When I moved from Our Nation’s Capital in 2011, I had just had a hearing test and was told by a medical doctor that I would need hearing aids ASAP to prevent further loss. It took me 3 1/2 years to get around to connecting with a hearing professional here in Chicagoland, both because of procrastination and denial. I feared this.
Guess what I learned after Friday’s hearing test: my hearing is “almost perfect.” I’m told that I have better hearing than most people my age or any age.
I thought it was true that I was going deaf.
“So why can’t I hear the bell on the microwave? Why do my kids have to repeat themselves.” The doctor answered my questions with more questions:
- Are you always in the kitchen when the mike goes off? (No.)
- Are you usually in the middle of something when the kids are talking with you? (Yes.)
So what’s true is that I can’t hear through walls and I can only concentrate on one thing at a time.
When Marcus Borg died last week, there were words of appreciation and words of criticism from all kinds of Christians. Some Christians now say that he saved their faith. Others say that he crushed (or tried to crush) their faith.
Marcus Borg said that – while the Bible offers Truth (with a capital T) – much of what we know about Jesus is not historically true. To say out loud that some of Jesus’ sayings and activities are in fact myths makes many Christians nervous, if not terrified that somebody is about to burst into flames and go straight to hell.
It used to be true that the earth was considered flat. Then it was true that the earth was considered round. Now it’s true that the earth is kind of egg-shaped and it’s getting hotter and hotter with each generation to the point that it might one day become hard-boiled.
It used to be true that if you worked hard and made good choices, you could buy a house and live a fairly comfortable life in the middle class. Now it’s true that the middle class is dying, according to both conservative and liberal economists and the income gap is growing, regardless of how hard we work. (Here are some interesting articles.)
The truth changes as we receive more and better information. But the Truth remains firm.
For followers of Jesus, it used to be truth that “everybody went to church.” Now it’s true that “we are the church.” What remains forever True is that the Church is called to make disciples and equip the saints and feed God’s sheep.
And I am apparently not going deaf. But – who knows? That could also change.