The mechanism of doctrine the openness of truth


William Shakespeare in Hamlet wrote: God hath given you one face and you make yourselves another.

Next, we developed religion to placate the God we invented to allay our fears of what we could not understand or control. Then, we wrote the Bible to sanction the religion that placated the God that we invented. Next came clergy, to interpret the Bible. And today, we have [theologians] academics to challenge the clergy who interpret the Bible that explains the religion that placates the God that we invented. (Levine & Knight, Biblical Views of God)

Pascal simply says God created us in His image and we returned the compliment. We construct our image of God based what we see or what we think we see looking through the mask of doctrinal ideas and traditions not realizing the image is biased to those preconceived ideas.

It was Moses who asked God to show Himself and in immediate considerations of certain Bible translations it seems that God did not give Moses what He really asked for. But did He? Moses did not get to see His face but did get to see His glory. God responds by telling Moses that He would cause His goodness to pass before him. God tells Moses He would do something elseHe said He would call out His name as He passed by (Ex 33;12-23). The LXXE says Moses asked God to manifest Himself to him. God places Moses in the cleft of a rock and covers him with his hand and Moses sees God's hinder parts. God then tells Moses His namenot a title but His character (Ex 33:19). Interestingly, some Rabbis indicate this is God saying you can only see where I just was. In other words, the implication is we can see or ascertain where God has been and we cannot comprehend His ways. Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center in Pittsburgh says it is Moses having a view from the eyes of God. He is seeing as God seesbehind God's head.

The Message Translation emphasizes the face to face encounter God had with Moses in which Moses places a veil over his face to hide the waning glory. He did not want the people to know that what was behind the veil (the mask) was no longer there. In 2 Corinthians 3:13 to 4:2 which says Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldnt notice that the glory was fading away and they didnt notice. They didnt notice it then and they dont notice it now, dont notice that theres nothing left behind that veil. Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, they cant see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that theres nothing there. Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they areface to face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. Were free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, were not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We dont maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we dont twist Gods Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God. (The Message Bible, Eugene Peterson)

Sometimes in our effort to see God we get what we think is a piece of truth and hide it so it can't get away. We try to hold on to it as our personal piece of Godlike Moses did. This distorts our image of God and truth never grows or progresses nor becomes real to us. Instead it becomes stagnant and we build a belief system around it and call it a statement of faith. That portion of information, being no longer challenged or probed converts to doctrine and then our heart proceeds to judgment.