Я. Barker writes in http://frozenclocks.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/truth-and-personal-relationships/ that men and women approach the search for truth differently, and that women are reluctant to leave their communities even when they know truth is elsewhere and that community is valued over truth, relationships over truth, to which I respond:
You seem to mock the status of relationship in life, but life is relationship. It begins through the relationship of father & mother, then the primary is mother-child. If a baby does not have relationship with others, the babe does not thrive and may even die. Relationship is how we learn when we are young, only beginning to learn on our own. Love and community are a kind of truth, and the lack of them reveals where truth is not practiced, in the life of the family, in the life of the church. It should be no surprise then that the relationships are difficult to break from, since they operate in one kind of truth.
Growing up in a family that was completely dis-functional and lacking the element of love, I will tell you that the pursuit of truth on my father’s part is a pathetic thing, as far as I’m concerned. For truth must affect how we live or it is worthless. If our faith, our trust and our belief does not change us, can it be truth at all? Yet truth itself does not change. Gravity does not cease to function because I believe or do not. The earth’s shape does not change because I believe it is round or flat, yet my understanding of the truth ought to change how I live. Believing the earth to be round, the explorer’s were then free to sail away and try to find another route to India. The earth was no less round when they did not believe it to be so, and if, believing it to be round but failing to act upon it, never explored, human history would be very different.
The primary relationship we must have is with God Almighty, the Eternal, God his Son, Jesus Christ and God the Spirit, our comforter, for God is both Love and Truth. When we have that relationship settled, when we begin to follow after that relationship, when we are after worshipping in Spirit and in Truth, it becomes easier to leave one’s community to follow truth.
I would suggest that should a church body have no warmth, and no community, no loving relationships and does not welcome the stranger, that though they have every item of doctrine correctly whittled into their doorpost, though they speak it aloud morning, noon and night, that the truth is not in them. Truth must be alive. It is not a dead, academic thing. I will run screaming from a church with no love, no warmth and no community.
Truth is both an objective thing and an active thing. Truth changes that which it touches or it has not touched there at all, or so it seems to me. If a body of believers has truth and no love, they must be lacking in The Truth, The Life, The Way. If they lack mercy, though they preach the tenants of mercy day after day, it is a dead thing in them and no truth at all.
If the relationships are fouled, can truth be realized? Can it be understood? Acted upon? And if certain truths are best seen in relationships and community, is it a surprise then that community is difficult to give up?
I have accepted that should I come to accept the claims of orthodoxy, that my course of action will be reluctantly clear, for I believe truth is important, and I will accept reluctantly the incense, the icons, the church that for some reason found its source of all art and music in Byzantium and has remained in stasis ever after. I do not know if I could ever accept a church anywhere at any time that did not have love and community and relationship as part of the fabric of it’s being. This may not be all truth, but it is a portion of it.