In 2 Timothy 2:24-26, we are encouraged to be courteous in our discussions and teachings of the Truth. “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may pehaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”
So, what is the truth when it comes to our Catholic faith versus the countless other religious faiths? I have to admit that I don’t believe in relativism. What is relativism, you ask? Well, in a nut shell, relativism is the concept that what is truth for you is not truth for me. Believers in relativism say there is no such thing as absolute truth and that everyone can have his or her own form of truth, which may be in opposition to each other. Believers in relativism say that the “truth” depends on ones opinions and beliefs and can vary when opinions and beliefs vary. But I ask you, is truth (like beauty) really in the eye of the beholder?
Unfortunately, much of the world thinks it is. You may think like this also. I am not here to tell you if you are wrong or right in your thinking about the truth. But I would like you to know that what someone may think is the truth may, in fact, simply be his or her private beliefs….what he/she believes to be true. My Jewish friends don’t believe Jesus was the Messiah and they are still waiting for the King to come. My muslim friends believe Mohammed is the messiah who will lead them to heaven. My protestant friends don’t believe Mary is the Mother of God, they don’t believe that Peter was the first Pope, they don’t believe in purgatory, (etc. I could go on with our differences, but I’ll stop here). Jehovahs Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, etc. all have different beliefs of what truth is. There are literally thousands of very different churches in this world which all claim to be teaching the truth to their congregations. Can they ALL be correct? How do we know, as Catholics, that we are the bearers of the REAL TRUTH, the ABSOLUTE TRUTH? Well, let me back track a little….take your bible and look at it. We should all have bibles and be familiar with some, if not most of the stories therein…. the Good Samaritan, the transfiguration, the curing of the crippled man, raising Lazarus from the dead, the holy family’s plight into Bethlehem, etc. There are popular stories and not so popular stories, but they are all stories written down many many years ago. We must ask ourselves, how and why did these stories get written? The TRUTH is that these are documented stories of people who actually lived. Just as we have a history books that tell us about what happened many years ago, we have the bible (and other ancient writings, by the way) to tell us what went on when Jesus lived on Earth. Although the bible was not meant to be a history book, it does communicate to us some history of life back in Jesus’ day. We must look at our bibles as accurate accounts of the truth written for us, all these years later…just as we see in a history textbook. We need to approach our bibles and say to ourselves, “this stuff actually happened.” These words, the words inspired by God, are actual documentation of what happened! We must see our bibles as “true stories”.
But can we, as Catholics, say that we are bearers of the truth. Is the Catholic Faith the TRUE faith of Jesus, the TRUE religion that Jesus, Himself began. Or put another way…..can there be other religions that are also TRUE and teach the truth?
Truth is a fact (statement) which describes or corresponds to actual state of affairs…it describes or corresponds to reality. To some people’s dismay, It is narrow and exclusive since anything that opposes it is false.
There are two main laws about truth. 1) The Law of Excluded Middle, meaning that if we look at these two statements – ”God exists”, and the opposing statement, “There is no God”. One of these statements is true the other is false. This law states there is no middle ground for the false statement….there are no ”maybe’s”. 2) The Law of Non-Contradiction, which states that two opposing statements cannot both be true. God cannot both ‘exist’ and ‘not exist’. So it is with this knowledge and confidence that I can say…(pay attention here because this is a biggy)… that if the truth lies in the Catholic Church and in its teachings ( and it does), THERE CAN BE NO OTHER TRUTH! Did you catch that? It’s narrow thinking, I agree…but it is amazing. There can be NO other true church!
God, who IS truth, communicated his truth to His people, who were created in His image. Our Catholic beliefs were true and in place two thousand years ago thanks to the teachings of Jesus, who taught His apostles, who passed it on to their disciples, who formed the Catholic or Universal Church. Two thousand years ago, Christians were going to mass, receiving the body and blood of Jesus, confessing their sins to presbyters (priests), receiving the sacraments, and propagating this faith that would lead to us here today. You must know this! You must know that Jesus formed the Catholic Church and He gave the keys of that Church to Peter to build upon a rock a faith so strong that no efforts from Satan would ever be able to tear it down. Praise Jesus!
Its too bad that human opinions, freedom of choice, and relativism have also proliferated and thus have created multiple detractions from the absolute truth. But maybe God had that in mind in order to test our strength in Him. Do you believe the Catholic Church is the church that Jesus created? Do you believe that we (Catholics) are witness to the ONE TRUTH? I hope you do, because it is and we are. Please remember, I don’t make the rules, God does.
Ad Mayorum Dei Glorium