“All truth”…

As I’ve said before, my dad was a full-time minister in my chosen faith tradition. I grew up totally immersed in “church stuff”…every time the church doors were open, we were there. (Even if my dad was out of town on church business, we were there–my mom made sure of that!)

It was more than just Sunday school and church…it was my social group, my everything. A lot of that was healthy; some my folks would have changed if they had had a do-over chance–as I think is true of most parents. I think they would have encouraged me to be involved in more non-church-related activities. I did that on my own later, and I think I’ve turned out pretty well.

But that’s not what I was thinking about today.

A lot of churches have formal creeds that are part of their belief system. Mine doesn’t, even though there are some things that some members think ought to be required. We have struggled with that through the years–and are still struggling with it.

But I remember my dad saying that if we did have a creed, his belief was that it ought to be simply two words: “All truth.” He believed that none of us can have a lock on knowing everything about God–and that we all have more to learn. As our relationship with God grows, so does our understanding–and we come to see that what we thought was completely true may, in fact, not be.

“All truth”…that is what we seek. It’s a goal…an acknowledgment that we don’t have it now…a statement of the journey that we’re on.

There’s a song that we’ve sung (with various adaptations) for many years in my faith tradition–one that many of our members are surprised to find was not written by a member of my religion. It was written in 1835 by George Rawson, and I think it really catches up what my dad meant when he said that our creed was “All truth:”

We limit not the truth of God to our poor reach of mind
By notions of our day and sect, crude, partial, and confined.
Now let a new and better hope within our hearts be stirred–
The Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from His word.

Who dares to bind to their dull sense the oracles of heaven
For all the nations, tongues and climes, and all the ages given!
The universe how much unknown! That ocean unexplored!
The Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from His word.

O Father, Son, and Spirit, send us increase from above;
Enlarge, expand all Christian hearts to comprehend Your love;
And make us all go on to know with nobler powers conferred:
The Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from His word!


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