Truth in the Jail

The brazen truth
The painful truth
An inconvenient truth
The whole truth and nothing but the truth
The absolute truth
A hard truth
The peaceful, prescient, lovely truth
The truth that passes understanding
The unfiltered, unadulterated truth
The ultimate truth

Jesus said “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Pilate said “What is truth?”

I tend to look for ultimate truth in religious sources. Religious sources appeal to me because of a mystical experience I had at age twenty. The problem with religious truth is that it’s not completely rational. Religious truth feeds the soul. For someone who is trying their best to live a rational life, religious truth is not the truth.

We do have people making valiant efforts to explain mystical realities in rational terms. In my opinion that’s a effort doomed to failure. A large number of Christians look for truth in the Eucharist. I like Richard Hooker, a famous Anglican theologian of the reformation years who said that neither transubstantiation or consubstantiation gave a satisfactory explanation of the Eucharist. And, that in any case, we should be looking at the effect the Eucharist has on peoples’ souls, not the accuracy of a definition.

Hooker wrote this opinion when Lutherans and Roman Catholics were killing each other over the difference between these two definitions.

I’m a Christian. I look to Jesus for the truth. I don’t look for black and white categories. Jesus was a human being. The very best of us can answer the same question in nearly opposite ways depending on the context. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the context of Jesus’ ministry. I do get glimmerings of rational insight from time to time.

I pray a lot. I find peace and certainty in prayer. Spiritual certainty is not the same as rational, intellectual certainty. I do have glimmerings of mystical insight from time to time.

My hope is that the glimmerings I have and the grace of God will keep me on the path that leads home.

In the chapel service at the 4th Avenue Jail, the inmates are serious about the truth. My years of searching are directly applicable to this ministry. The inmates have a seriously different set of ultimate concerns based on their life experiences. They are hungry for the truth. A hunger for the truth is something they and I share.

The inmates and I are a good match.

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This entry was posted in Christian Mysticism, Christianity, Jail Ministry, personal spiritual journey and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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