Posts Tagged With: objective truth

A Brief Note of Concern

Okay. I’ve seen a couple young ladies on my newsfeed link to a blog post entitled “The Day I Decided to Stop Listening to What Everybody’s Saying I’m Supposed to do & Why I’m Not Ready to Get Married in 44 Days.” The first time I read it, most of the comments were still sensible, but apparently many more people have discovered it since then and the sense has mostly been buried.

If you go back through the comments, I highly recommend reading the original comment from “Nathan” and also one from “Sandy.” If you’re too lazy/anti-internet-comments to do so (understandable), have a soapbox moment from me instead:

1) This post very much reads like it was written by a young twenty-year-old. There is nothing wrong with being twenty years old! It is a transition time from teenagerdom to adulthood. And some people are older at twenty than others, and this young lady falls into the latter category.

2) On that note, I’ve read blogs and talked to people who were married at twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two. Some of them were young, like the author of this blog post, and those whose marriages have lasted will unabashedly tell you how difficult being young and unready (which in this case often means “completely unaware of the sacrifices involved”) made the first few years of their marriages.

Others were older, and though unready in the sense that it’s impossible to truly understand what the sacrament will do to you until it’s done, had a sense of the responsibilities involved–had the sense that they still had growing and changing to do, but were committed to going through those experiences together.

3) In that sense, being “ready” to get married can, in part, be understood as being “ready” to submit yourself to God and to your spouse–and in THIS is freedom.

4) The author of the blog post defines freedom as “God created me as a [free spirit/the person I am right now and therefore I can do whatever I want because that’s who he made me to be.” This is not Christian freedom. Christian freedom does not elevate the individual above the community, nor does it provide justification for your every action. Christian freedom is the freedom to follow God, freedom from the slavery to sin, freedom to serve one another as Christ served us.

5) This is what God created us to do, to be. Each in our own unique way, with our own gifts, yes–but we are called to submit those things to him, and to do with them as he wills. Oftentimes that means submitting ourselves to the authority or will of others–rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, or honoring our fathers and mothers.

So ironically, the message the blog post author wants to convey is, technically, correct–we are called to the freedom of God’s children, which often bucks conventional “worldly” wisdom. She is, however, completely INcorrect as to what that actually looks like. Her words are quite romantic, but it’s an adolescent understanding of freedom–a young twenty–that fails to understand that her “free” (in this case, we could charitably call it “blind”) spirit is not the primary nor final arbiter of right and wrong, nor even of the path God wants her to follow.

God doesn’t always speak to us directly in our hearts. Sometimes he uses those around us–because after all we Christians are a communal people, one body bound in the breaking of the bread–to be his voice in our ears. True discernment–of marriage, of moving, of all the decisions we make–lies in learning to hear his voice, to see past the cloud of our desires into the clear sky of his light–and then learning to align our desires with his. Again, THAT is true freedom. Not walking barefoot at your wedding (a neutral act), nor putting your feet on someone else’s desk (actively willful–and somehow, I doubt that will is God’s).

So please, when reading this article, take it with a grain of salt. Or better still, skip it. But at the very least, recognize the difference between ramblings and wisdom, between a young woman experimenting with her understanding of the world and a young woman who understands that the world does not revolve around her.

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Categories: marriage, theology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I was thinking…about objective truth

I know when you go on hiatus you’re supposed to announce it, but I didn’t quite realize it was happening until I was knee-deep in the middle of it and couldn’t muster the power to mention it here. Apologies!

If it makes you feel better, I have at least three posts half-begun sitting in my draft folder. They are all turning out long, however, so I figured I would start with something shorter (ha, ha).

  • I believe in objective Truth. Even putting aside that to me Truth is also a Person Who Loves (that Truth is Love is Goodness, that these three things are inseparable), my understanding of the world includes this concept that there exists a Truth and that if we put our minds to it we can discern facts about it. Kind of like scientific laws, Truth is one of those underpinnings in the cosmos.
  • Since there’s objective Truth, that means there are things that are True and things that are False. Alongside this, there are things that are Right and that are Wrong. Period.
  • Since Truth is something to be studied and understood, like science, it is okay or at least understandable if we don’t have a perfect understanding of it. It’s a life-long process.
  • Our misunderstandings, however, don’t change truth. I can think leaves change color because they get tired of being green and want to show off, but that’s not why it happens. (It’s very pretty and poetic though and I’m going to use that somewhere else some day. You saw it here first!)
  • Obviously we, as human beings with limited understanding, occasionally (or regularly) get Truth wrong. Or, more likely, we are going to ignore the nigglings of Truth and do what we want because in our short-sightedness What We Want sounds way better than some objective standard we’d rather not think about. (Scientifically speaking, alcohol will destroy my liver, but man binge-drinking is so much fun!)
  • We’re also fully capable of twisting Truth around to our own ends, or picking and choosing bits of Truth in order to create the picture we want. (Okay, so scientifically speaking alcohol will destroy my liver, BUT scientifically speaking drinking lots of water and taking aspirin in the morning will help me avoid a hangover, so I’ll keep binge-drinking and just make sure I have pain meds on my nightstand, and my liver will probably be fine because I don’t feel so hungover so probably I’m fine.)
  • Again, our cherry-picking doesn’t change the whole seamless objective Truth that is still out there.

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Categories: philosophy, random thoughts | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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