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Life-long learning

"... In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18.37

Truth matters. Without it anything goes and nobody knows what to believe anymore. That applies to everyday life as much as to philosophy and religion. Think about it. If there are no guidelines and nothing we can rely on, how do we know the floor isn't going to cave in the next time we walk on it. Or what is to stop somebody walking onto my house and helping themselves to my treasured possessions?

To cope with the mysterious aspects of life we construct laws and principles. These act like handrails, helping us to find our way, orient ourselves and make sense of our surroundings. These parameters work on an individual level and they are often applied collectively, to bind societies, cultures, faith groups... Religion is derives from two Latin words whose literal meaning is repeat binding. Failure to comply or adhere is condemned as heresy.

Heresy has become a pejorative description for people who abandon true faith and are a threat to others. It too has a literal meaning which suggests a different interpretation: choice. Originally, heresy referred to the choices one made in life, generally and not just in regard to one's religious convictions. The implication here is that there is room for a range of options concerning the decisions we make.

Jesus' response to Pontius Pilate's interrogation insists that understanding and choice are revealed through paying attention to him, what he is saying and doing. Jesus invites us to make sense of life through a lifelong process of what we might call mentoring and what, in his day, was celled discipleship. More than an educational activity, this is about a way of living: an on-going curiosity and appetite for learning.



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