Are we judged according to God's truth or our own?

There is only one absolute Truth: God’s. But eveyone has their own personal “truth”, or each religion has it’s own “truth”. Are people who are born and raised Hindus and Buddhists judged by God according to His Truth, which they have never heard? Or are they judged by how faithful they remained to their own conscience, what they honestly believe to be true?

I tend to agree with the latter. I once heard a priest say that a Hindu, Buddhist or even atheist can become part of the Universal Catholic Church, not the institutional church, if they try to follow what they honestly believe to be good and true. This makes sense, because how could it be just for God to condemn someone who has never even heard of Jesus? Or someone who has heard of Jesus, has argued long and hard with Christians and at the end of the day remains unconvinced that they hold the Truth? An atheist can live according to the same principals as a Christian, practising Christian virtues not because he believes in God but because he sees some good in them. And that good is a tiny part of God, and so the atheist is following God, whether he knows it or not.

So… if we are judged according to our own consciences, why should someone become Catholic? Or is my premise mistaken?



I understand what you are asking: may non-believers who are sincere and try to live according to their consciences reach heaven. The Church says yes.

However, there exists only one objective truth. There is no such thing as a personal, subjective truth. Truth is what exists. If the truth is that there is only one God, then there can’t be many gods simply because I want there to be many gods.

To be a truthful person, one must accept as a fact, that which is. Now, one my think other wise. If one honestly thinks other wise, then one is acting honestly, but one is still ignorant of the truth. If one honestly thinks he can walk on water, he will still sink if he tries to do so–because his honest thinking is not based on the truth.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P

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