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Pop Quiz: What is the most important event that occurred in 1492?
How long did it take to answer that question if you grew up in the U.S.? What about in North America, outside of the U.S.? How much longer do you suspect it takes on average for your mind to produce an answer if you are from another continent?
We will come back to that in a minute.
The Truth seems so obvious. It is very easy to obtain, right? Okay, maybe not about what so-and-so from Church said about me (since each of the three people that reported what she said about me used different “descriptive and colorful metaphors” . . .)
…but in this day and age it seems that we often have immediate access “to the Truth” when it is facts or figures. I sometimes wonder if it can ever be “too much Truth?”
Forty years ago, I would have a hard time finding my favorite player’s current batting average unless I was watching the game and it was announced. In the internet age, however, dates and times in history, or my favorite baseball player’s batting average, let’s say against left-handed pitchers; with, oh, runners on base; and say – with more than one out in the inning . . .and during the final month and a half of the season, of say the 1994 campaign. Easy, right? Internet, here we come. I’ll have the answer in seconds.
Sometimes facts are ridiculously easy to obtain in our internet world. And…sometimes that makes the Truth ridiculously elusive to obtain in our internet world. Or, as Maya Angelou astutely observed, “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth.”
Sometimes facts are ridiculously easy to obtain in our internet world. And…sometimes that makes the Truth ridiculously elusive to obtain
Advertisers lie to us, or at least try to sway our opinion. Businesses lie to us; or at least try to sway our opinion. Our friends lie to us, or at least try to sway our opinion. Our family lies to us, or at least try to sway our opinion. Even our House of Worship lies to us.
Or at least tries to sway our opinion.
Whether these sources primarily deliver Truth, persuasion, influence, manipulation, lies or a combination to you, and how effectively they sway your opinion, only you can say. But they are effective! Often these external sources are far more effective at persuasion than we ever suspect or imagine!
If you do not believe it, try this test: What was your answer to the first sentence of this post?
No, it was not a trick question. We weren’t looking for a dissertation on Columbus’ actual landing being Hispaniola instead of the Atlantic seaboard, or a treatise on “Indians v. Native Americans.” Props to you if you thought of those things, but if your answer was along the lines of Columbus discovering the new world or Europeans landing on one of the islands in the Atlantic – you get full credit for your answer.
Those may indeed be “facts” . . . but are they “The Truth”? Are they even close to The Truth?
As terrible as our public education system is in the U.S., 1492 is one of the few years that is widely known. The vast majority of Americans know and automatically associate those four digits, in that sequence, with Columbus and “The New World.”
As children we were taught the year 1492, we were taught to associate 1492 with enjoyable jingles and rhymes, our teachers made our learning environment extra fun and inviting during those class periods. From early on, most of us learned, with pride, fun and happiness, to associate 1492 with the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America.
‘1492’ is emotionally anchored to feelings of happiness, pride, and fun for the overwhelming majority of Americans. A very, very, very small fraction of Americans have escaped the emotional blackmail inherent in wearing this mental shackle.
Because . . . almost every single American knows there is little to no truth in the above. We are emotionally anchored to 1492 to produce in us strong feelings of fun, pride and happiness – and that is why it feels good to remember and make that connection in our minds between 1492 and Columbus or 1492 and the New World.
Most of know, in Truth, however, that people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years prior to that date.
People had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years prior to 1492.
Most of us know, in Truth, however, that “those people” were the wrong color. “Those people” believed in living in harmony with their environment. “Those people” were against irrevocably destroying the places they lived and worked in exchange for money and power. “Those people” could not figure out how “land could belong to people” as the White People claimed since they believed “people belonged to the land”.
So “The Truth” was – “Those People” had to go.
And, give us some credit as Americans. We are awfully good at advertising, marketing, spin, and manipulation. Our educational system might suck; but we have still managed to convince the vast majority of Americans– at least at the conscious level – that 1492 was the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America.
Whereas, in Truth: 1492 was the year sea pirates began in earnest to rob, cheat, displace, and kill the thousands of people living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America.
1492 was the year sea pirates began in earnest to rob, cheat, displace, and kill the thousands of people living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America.
And, yet, I would estimate that 9 times out of 10 when I think of “1492” I think I am thinking of “The Truth” when nothing could be further from The Truth since what I am actually thinking of is My Truth, which, in Truth, is nothing but a series of lies cleverly anchored to the emotions of pride and happiness – making my mind want to access that information, so I receive my chemical dopamine reward…
Instead of the somewhat gloomier . . .but undoubtedly Truthier, Truth that we all know. But the Truth that we only rarely think.
To finding freedom in truth,
Kurt V. – Thank you for your Wisdom and your Truth.
It must be a tough life to follow the Most Famous Verse in the Bible. You might be incredible and yet will never get out of the shadow of your more famous sibling and be recognized on your own merit.
Can anyone actually quote John 3.17 by heart?
Just in case, here are the next two verses after John 3.16 in both the NIV and Phillips Versions
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:17-18 NIV
You must understand that God has not sent his Son into the world to pass sentence upon it, but to save it—through him. Any man who believes in him is not judged at all. It is the one who will not believe who stands already condemned, because he will not believe in the character of God’s only Son. John 3:17-18 J.B. PHILLIPS
What do the highlighted passages mean to you? “Not to condemn” and “not to pass judgment on” – these are verdicts that seem like “not guilty,” The way J.B. Phillips translates the last passage seems like “the prosecutor refused to move forward with the case against the Defendant.”
Does this mean that Jesus has done everything for us? Does this mean that Faith in Him grants me justification under the law? Is it a complete justification or only partial – leaving me with some work I must do? Or commands I must obey?
Am I saying the commands are not important? Absolutely not. They are important for us to follow so that we lead Lives of Abundance – the entire reason Jesus came here for us!
But I think we do ourselves a disservice when we focus on not running afoul of the Ten Commandments instead of focusing on Jesus. Which is focusing on Love.
As long as we live here, we WILL sin. We will have troubles. We will have trials. We will have conflicts and arguments with friends, family, and fellow Church members. And we will break the Ten Commandments.
The question is: When we do, will we be so distraught that we let it upset our Christian Life? Or will we apologize to whomever we have wronged, and apologize to God, and then LEAVE IT RIGHT THERE — knowing unequivocally that we are forgiven? Or do we tend to wallow a bit in how revolting of a Christian we actually are?
The Apostle Paul did not judge himself.
The Apostle Paul came to a place where he said he no longer even judged himself. Can we do that? Can we make the choice to be the best we can, but make daily improvement instead of perfection our goal? Can we choose to be less hypocritical and judgmental? And more Loving like our Jesus?
DISEMBODIED VOICE: “Today, from gorgeous, rainy, Babylon, er, uh, I mean . . .Southern California, it’s time to play everybody’s faaaaavorite blogging game show . . . THE OPPOSITE GAME!
Where, today, one lucky contestant wiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllll win, the opposite of a trip to Israel and the opposite of ONE-MILLION DOLLARS!
. . . And, now, here’s your host of THE OPPOSITE GAME . . . Ann Tipodes.”
ANN: “Thank you and welcome to THE OPPOSITE GAME! You know how the game is played. And you know the RULES.
And, by rules, I mean those pesky, annoying, little things that we all have to pretend to follow perfectly. And even though we know we all fall short, we still grit our teeth and white knuckle all our little Christian behaviors — in the hopes that we will either fool God Almighty, or at least that He will find “that we have tried hard enough” and therefore be acceptable to Him via our Self-Righteousness . . .
Even though we have all been clearly informed that Trust in Jesus is the ONLY PATH to Salvation. And once on THE PATH our lives automatically begin to fall in line with the Rules . . .
But have we forgotten that observing rules in the hope of finding THE PATH to Jesus IS THE OPPOSITE of the New Testament Gospel?!? (If so, perhaps we should quickly read Galatians Chapter 3 again!)
Have we taken the Gospel, literally meaning “Good News” – and turned it into THE OPPOSITE – that we must merit our way to Heaven?!? Because, if so, we all have major problems since we all have sinned and fallen short of the Demands of the Law. And anybody who says they do not sin is a liar and the Truth does not Live within them.
So, without further delay – or sermonizing – here are our questions for today. Good luck and good knowledge. . .
And thank you for playing THE OPPOSITE GAME!”
Each Correct Answer is Worth the Opposite of Ten Points:
and, your FINAL QUESTION, worth the Opposite of Fifty Bonus Points!
Thank you again for playing THE OPPOSITE GAME! If you are The Winner, feel free to send your one-million dollars via check, money order, or bank draft (NOTE: we cannot except cash over $500,000 in a single envelope) to:
MY TREASURE IS IN HEAVEN, LLC
7 TrustinHimalone Way, Suite 77
TrueAgapeJoy, California 77777