One of the most memorable things said at Wild Goose 2013 came from Frank Schaeffer. At the beginning of the festival, at the Darkwood Brew Unplugged session, hosted by him and Eric Elnes, Frank said: “Certainty is the enemy of Truth.” It rang true for me the entire weekend.
“Certainty is the enemy of truth” is an exploratory remark that caused me to look inward at the things I believed I was certain of and was intended to open up an internal discussion. So often we as humans are so certain that our certainties are in fact truth. That often gets us into trouble. Frank’s statement means simply that truth is an ever-changing exploration of the moments and thoughts that create a whole idea—it’s a fluid thing that constantly deserves examination.
I think ultimately that’s the goal that the folks at Wild Goose adhere to. They’re not pointing any fingers at those who have reported “truths” that may or may not have been right or righteous in the end, but they’re saying, let’s take a look at it. Let’s not be so certain about something because it has been labeled truth, and let’s always allow for a the chance to change. Uncertainty is a virtue in Christianity, and an undervalued one. Without the desire to know more, without the yearning for knowing who or what God is, we’ve lost an important part of being human (something I think that Eric Elnes may have said).
Taking a look at the Bible, uncertainty appears to be one of the largest veins present throughout the entire text. Even the early leaders of the Church were called to question. Christ tells Peter, you’re going to deny me three times. Even Christ himself in his most Human moment questions what he must go through. So many times throughout the Bible uncertainty rears its beautiful head, in the hopes we will learn the most valuable lesson: that it’s the search for truth that is at the heart of our spirituality, not getting to an end game.
Wild Goose is a place where it’s okay to want to learn more about the endgame than reporting on what we believe the endgame might be. What we believe about suffering, or our relationship to the “Other”, what a pastor, preacher, leader and so on should look like, the meaning of the connection of music to our soul (or rather to God), or even our relationship with ourselves, were topics all raised for questioning at this year’s Wild Goose. Hopefully that fuels a change in the people who were there that then trickles out to everyone.
More recaps around the Jericho authors at Wild Goose in the coming days.