In our age information has increased. The amount of data on a myriad of subjects available today has far surpassed the ability of any one individual to know or understand all the information which is at our fingertips, let alone interpret it into sensible paradigms to live by. In fact now I envy our ancient cousins, even those just a few hundred years ago when a book was a rare thing. How you shaped your life was determined by where you lived, what your family believed and what were the societal norms of the day. I guess that when you had the wisdom of years to instruct and guide you, life was relatively easy. There were no big questions hovering over so many aspects of your life that life was simpler to put into an understandable reference frame. But today, we have a serious problem. Our understanding of life is beset by so much variation that it is difficult to reconcile anything. We are so bombarded by perspectives, paradigms, understanding meaning is almost impossible. What we need is an absolute, something that we can measure everything else by and so decide which side of right or wrong that which we are investigating, adopting into our world view, resides.
Now I would argue that the Bible is that absolute, or more correctly was that absolute. Back in the day when the ploughman in the field had access to the King James Version and could read it in his native English he had that measure of absolutism. In its simplest terms one could say that “The Bible says….” and that was the end of the argument. Granted, high browed scholars in cloistered halls would pick and worry miniscule exegesis from every phrase of every verse, but by and large that microscopic introspection did not filter down to the man in the field or the maiden in the kitchen. They could move confidently through life sure in the knowledge that Isaiah 40 verse 31 is true and absolute, as are the rest of the verses they may have known by heart.
Now, what a sorry state we are in today. You can get any information on anything on the internet. You can find a position to take on an aspect of life then also have a hundred opinions in contravention of that. You can find a treatise on an aspect of Biblical living expounding a particular viewpoint and then another with a diametrically opposed conclusion using exactly the same information as evidence. How on earth can anyone be certain of the shape of their life, that is is indeed pleasing to YHVH (God), or that you are properly following his precepts and commandments. It is impossible.
We are coming up to Passover and I am keen to observe this time as YHVH desires us to. One thing that is certain to me is that the traditions the Church has accepted around Easter are not of Godly origin, so the first step must be to avoid everything that is coloured by those introduced or adopted traditions. Now, that leaves Leviticus 23 and the Holy Days and Feasts given therein. So, Passover is the 14th of Nisan, now what day in our Gregorian calendar is that? Immediately you have a problem! There are many ways of determining the Hebrew calendar. The conjunctive moon, the sighted moon, the ripening barley, the jewish traditional calendar and probably several others I did not find. And then, to top it off, was the passover on the eve of the 13th or the 14th? Some argue that Jesus had passover on the eve of the 13th Nisan so that’s when we should have it, but YHVH commands in Leviticus 23 that it is the afternoon of the 14th that the lamb is slain and the meal eaten that evening. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? I have no idea!
If you were hoping for a definitive revelation at the end of this I am sorry, I cannot give you one. I don’t know for sure, I know what I think or believe, but that’s me.
What is truth and how do we recognise it?
I suspect this is why Paul wrote in Colossians 2:16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”
He had his teaching on this, after all he was a student of Gamaliel and knew the Torah by heart, as well as all the traditional teaching, the ‘oral law’, but I think he also knew the divergent understandings around everything scriptural that had arisen and would arise.
Effectively I think he was saying that if you take a position let that be in good conscience and let no man judge you or condemn you on it.
In today’s information overloaded, opinionated and polarised society we can expect diverse opinions, reflecting not just moderate perspectives around a central theme, but radically opposing views hardening into intolerant dogma. So how do we walk through this minefield of explosive thought? I think we have to know why we understand what we understand, why our paradigm of life is as it is. We need to ask ourselves questions like; Why do I take this or that position? Find the answer and test the contributing elements.
If you can say this is what I believe and this is why I believe it then walk tall in the the understanding you have, be it a simple faith or a complex multidimensional model of esoteric arguments. Understand it, walk in it and let no man judge you in that. But if another element is introduced to you, look at it, investigate, see if there be any truth in it as judged by your own conscience, remembering the Holy Spirit is in there too guiding believers and if it has weight, then change your position as the information dictates. Then Walk in that truth.
I believe that YHVH is looking for people who walk in the integrity of the understanding they have and He will judge them by that understanding.
I also know that some will disagree with me.
May all Israel, Honour YHVH.