Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Path of Inquiry

“The faith of a soldier is commonly the fruit of instruction, rather than of inquiry;”
Edward Gibbons

I’m reminded of the hymn sung on Sundays in the Baptist houses of worship, “onward Christian soldiers”, and on the almost complete trust and weight of discipleship resting on the foundation of instruction in the modern church.

I’m chastised and forcibly reminded that Jesus never recruited soldiers, unless to convert those into friends and brothers, and that he only ever led us into his imitation in discovering and communicating the underlying truth of man’s nature and purpose. The path of peace, as some generations of Christians have embraced, bends the partisan sword of soldiers into the patient understanding of neighbors.

The path of inquiry is where we will see the footprints left by an elder brother we remember and still hold up as a mirror and measure of our own behavior. Where we don’t yet understand, and there will always be considerable amounts, we should rest on the wisdom of our family and the good knowledge of our friends, until we have the time to personally inquire and investigate the truth for ourselves, both enlightening and exercising our own minds in this prescribed and singular practice of faith.

We are not the soldiers of a sovereign but the friends and little brothers of truth.

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