Had I not just read a copy of (and stifled a critical comment on) the shared-sermon spoken Sunday at my friend’s church service, I might have brushed over this little interchange below, but the “absolute certainty” expressed in the comment on the picture presented above accentuated my earlier feeling on the sermon’s ‘factual accuracy.’
“Another example of ‘the certainty of ignorance’,” echoed between my ears.
It isn’t necessarily what we ‘know’, that makes the interactions with others so difficult. The problem lies in our loudly professing what we “believe,” rather than what is factually accurate—that dooms the communication attempt from the start because everyone has their own “beliefs” and often times, those beliefs simply don’t match our own.
So this morning, I’m cruisin’ through my social media and a guy is sharing his South Africa vacation images, including this leopard pic taken at a sanctuary he was visiting; and in the comments below, one guy says, “Jaguar, not Leopard having a good rest!”, to which the original poster says, “Andy, actually Jaguars are native to Central and South America. This is a leopard.”
Obliviously, Andy then replies, “One and only one there?”
Now I wondered what made “Andy” so certain that this particular image was misidentified by the guy who actually took it? Has “Andy” personally SEEN jaguars in South Africa? I guess we’ll never know, but what I got from the interaction between them was that there will be NO convincing Andy that whatever actual species of big cat that is above, it doesn’t match his BELIEF of what it might be—doesn’t match his CERTAINTY that he is ‘right’ in identifying the image as he does. He believes it to be a jaguar—so therefore it MUST be.
Which brings me back to the earlier read church sermon where the preacher is expounding on the depths of Saint Paul’s faith and devotion to Christianity; and “how if we could ALL be more like Saint Paul, we’d all be BETTER Christians.”
Okay, I won’t rehash much of my earlier comments on Saint Paul (actually called Saul of Tarsus, the tax collector who watched a mob that he was a part of, stone to death Saint Stephen—yeah, the same guy who never met Jesus in person—was NEVER a follower of Jesus prior to his death—but claimed to have had a ‘blinding light’ experience with his Spirit three years AFTER his death—witnessed only by himself).
Yes, the same guy that the true disciples themselves shunned as a faker—a pretender—a mocker of their actual first-hand experiences with Jesus, the actual man who was crucified before their eyes on a cross at Calvary.
I personally think the biggest thing Saul learned to do, was to latch onto a growing religious movement and spread his own version of Jesus’ teachings: “…The Church has always accepted the apostle Paul, not at all as a religious philosopher, but simply and solely as a witness to Jesus. [But] If he was not a true disciple of Jesus, then the authority which he has always possessed and the influence which he has wielded have been based upon a misconception…” (www.biblestudytools.com/ )
Read some of the documented differences between Peter’s version (an actual disciple) of Gospel and Paul’s version. They are quite different. The early organized church preferred Paul’s version, and that became the standardized ‘word of God’ issued through questionable sources because the Church of that time had an agenda.
My complaint with it all is this: I want people to idealize TRUTH itself, not some fabrication created for dubious reasons!
No more fictions. No more myths and fables concocted to manipulate others or push someone else’s agenda. I don’t care if they are established institutions or global organizations, or some politician proclaiming their own ‘second comings’ whenever election season rolls around.
Either speak truth or don’t speak at all.
And Jaguar or leopard, it’s still a very big spotted cat taking a siesta on a limb.