Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Knowing the Truth - A Small Group Exercise

John 18:37-38
"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
"What is truth?" Pilate asked.

Acts 4:10-13
It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth . . . Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

The Small Group Exercise
I value the truth. I couldn't be who I am without Jesus. For He is the Truth. Pilate's question is, in my thinking, the most pertinent question for our post-modern world today, "Truth! What is truth?"
We have the Bible. And this reveals the Truth to us. But, there must be a discoverable and present Truth without the Bible. Why do I say that?
There is a question I love to float by Christians of all ages - "What do we need to do to know God?" Bible study always ranks high, usually first, on the list. Then I ask, "What if you didn't have the Bible? Could you still know God?" The conversation then usually goes somewhere down the "last days" motif and all the Bibles being taken away. And then I say, "No, I mean, what if you never had the Bible - never had John 3:16 - and you didn't have any written proof or truth. Would you then be able to know God?" This usually gets a stunned silence. Someone ventures a "God wouldn't do that to us. He hasn't. It wouldn't happen, because we need the Bible. It is God's WORD - his way of speaking to us!"
And then I say, "What about Enoch? Did he know God? He didn't have a Bible - or any written proof or truth - and centuries later when Moses wrote it down, he said Enoch walked with God. So, how did Enoch do it?"
I LOVE THIS EXERCISE!!! It takes people out of their preprogrammed answer box and makes them think. Enoch walked with God because he walked with God. What does that mean? We don't know much about Enoch, other than he "had been with Jesus." And that was enough for him!
I am not saying the Bible is unnecessary or useless. It is exactly the opposite. It is our source on the Source. The word on the Word. And I wouldn't be without it, but... It is truly nothing if we have not "been with Jesus."