THE QUESTION (No. 63)
I have found your web site to be enlightening. I was just wondering where your knowledge comes from. I am myself a Christian and have questioned the Eucharist but I am just wondering where you are coming from in providing the info for your web site.
One way to respond to this question is to direct you to my "Statement of Faith" where you read the following:
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me." This is the creed that serves as the foundation for this site and that is the preface to everything you read here. We can know him only through the record of his deeds and words that the Holy Spirit has preserved in the gospels. The voice of Jesus first uttered the words in the world and, as he said, it is through abiding in his words that we can know his Truth. There is no other legitimate authority. Stated therefore, in its greatest simplicity and brevity, Jesus of Nazareth is my creed.
As a Southern Baptist and Southern Seminary graduate (1952) I had many sources, but none of them had the answers to my deepest questions. I was disturbed by the many contradictions between the sayings of Jesus on one hand and Christian doctrine on the other hand. I was disturbed by the ethical contradictions of Christians practicing racial segregation and by their support for and participation in wars. I was disturbed by the existence of thousands of Christian denominations, each with its own distinctive doctrines. I could not accept the standard explanations for the differences between Jesus and Paul. I came to a time of deep despair. Then, one day, searching the gospels, my eyes fell on certain words of the Lord. I had read them many times, but this time I heard them. They are these from John 8:31.32:
If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
It was a promise directly to me. I did and it did! I required years of "abiding" before things cleared up due to the many false teachings to which I had subscribed and that came primarily from Paul. Yet the Gospel of the Kingdom is so simple that a child can understand it, while the wise and understanding have not a clue. It began to clarify when I understood that it is all about family -- God's family -- and that the Great Commandment and Great Principle are the roots from which it grows.
It is unconcealed but hidden. It is radical, which contributes to it's hiddenness. It's plainly spoken Truth seldom registers with the learned, and when it does, the subconscious (or perhaps the conscious) intrudes and concludes, "No! He can't mean that!" And that's the end of it.
There is a caveat that dictates who can and who cannot receive his Truth.
Jn.6:44 FNT No one is able to come to me except the father having sent me pull him, and I will raise him up in the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets,One of the many things I learned was that I cannot be loyal to Jesus and continue to identify as a Christian, so now I seek only to be a disciple and a witness to what he is teaching me.And they will all be taught by God.Everyone having heard the father and having learned [from him] comes toward me.
The Truth is Light! The body of the genuine sayings of Jesus of Nazareth is my Source. Abiding in them -- dwelling on them -- slowly brings Truth into focus in the midst of the obscuring Christian doctrines. It is as he said:
Jn.8:12 FNT I am the light of the world. The [one] following me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light of zoe-life.