How can this be true?

How can other faiths have some truth to them? I was talking to a very dear catholic friend and he said all faiths have some truth to them? This makes no sense to me. Can someone explain this?:blush:

In regards to what they have in common to Christianity.

If Christianity is true and there is some element in the other belief system that is taken from or shared with Christianity than those elements of that philosophy or religion are correct. But not b/c they are part of that religion but b/c they are part of Christianity. It is simply validating a Christian truth that happens to exist in the other religion as well.

But they are still false there can be only one true faith ( christianity) Am I looking at this wrong?

It is just saying that the particular similarity with Christianity is true. Not the entire religion. For instance, if another religion believes that there is only one God, like Islam for instance that particular aspect we could say is true b/c it is also affirmed by Christianity which we believe to be the true religion. It is not saying the rest of Islam is correct only that particular belief (or any other ones that they have in common with Christianity).

We would say whatever they proclaim that contradicts Christianity is false. It is false b/c it contradicts Christianity and other aspects are true b/c they parallel Christianity.

Again, we are simply affirming our own faith when we point out these things in other religions.

Oh ok I understand now. Thank you:thumbsup:

Let’s see

Jesus is truth
Jesus is God
Therefore God is Truth

God is in everything

Therefore there is Truth in everything

While we believe that the fullness of truth is in our Church, that doesn’t mean every other faith is bereft of truth. As an Orthodox you would know. Orthodoxy does not teach that holiness cannot exist outside of the Orthodox Church. God brings His grace wherever He wants to bring it.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains in paragraphs 839 to 848

Also, in so far as a religion promotes love, compassion and virtue it has much in common though the specific theology may be very different.

I think to the degree that human beings look at such rational traits as empathy, guilt, remorse and a sense of justice or moral compass, and try to explain all that…there is some truth in other faith systems.

I believe that some of this expressed spirituality is an incomplete acceptance of God’s truth, or an incomplete cognition and acknowledgement of it.

On of the things that separates from animals is empathy…and many religions attempt to put some meat behind that.

I believe that Roman Catholic Christianity in particular is the fullness of the revelation of God and the highest form of expression of spirituality. It is more complete.

Its not to say others are totally in error as much as they are misinformed and incompletely comprehending God. Many are misled by pastoral leadership with ulterior motives…money, power, celebrity and a puffed-up sense of self importance and self-authorization.

How can it not be true?

No one, however hard they try, can say anything that is entirely false.

Even the statement “there is no God,” for instance, is not entirely false. All words are inadequate to express the reality of God. By denying all of the names/ideas of God, the statement “there is no God” is pointing (itself inadequately) to this truth.

That’s an extreme example–if you accept my point, it’s easy to see from there how much truth, comparatively, is in the major religions.

The trickier questions are

  1. Can this truth be said to be in some sense a form of divine revelation?

  2. How is the truth in other religions related to the Incarnation? I.e., does it relativize the Incarnation?

  3. Can Christians learn something from the truth in other religions that they did not already know?

I would answer a cautious “yes” to 1, a definite “yes” to 3, and an even more definite “no” to 2. But your mileage may differ (at least on 1 and 3)–these are tricky and difficult issues.


People of another religion, who loves God and loves his neighbour, will be saved.
Jesus clearly said that if we are not going to do better than the pharisees, we are not going to be saved. We have to take advange of the tremendous advantage we have through the holy sacraments. It is not only the philosophical truth of our religion.

Of course they do! If they had absolutely no truth and absolutely no good in them, then who on earth would follow any of them? Every religion will at least get something right while mixing it with error- Christianity (Catholicism, in particular, as we believe) has the fullness of truth- not some truths mixed in with error. But no one unless he is in hell lives in total darkness- even if you right now start a new religion, there will be something true that you will say, even if it will be mixed with lies.

Also, there’s a long held tradition in our missionary approach. We don’t just believe that people live in absolute error until missionaries arrive with the truth. Rather, missionaries will need to look into the people and their culture to discover the ways in which God has already prepared that culture for the reception of the truth so as to be able to teach them through an approach that they will understand.

Best example is St. Paul- He went to the Greeks and found some grain of truth even though small- the piety of the Greeks in the worship of their gods and their worship to the unknown god- that’s some small grain of truth that he found with them already. Then he began teaching them from that small truth that they already had in order to bring them to the fullness of truth and faith in Jesus Christ, which they did not have. When he spoke with the Jews, he began from the Old Covenant, prophets and the Law so as to bring them to the fullness of faith in Christ.

You see, if there’s no common ground at all, you cannot even begin a conversation with anyone-let alone convert them! This common ground that you will find with all people on Earth are those elements of truth that we are talking about, which you will discover with everyone, but the fullness of Truth is Jesus Christ. :slight_smile:

The same way a can of coke has water in it. Let me explain further:

To hydrate, your body needs water. The best & purest form to get water is…drum roll please…drink a glass of water. BUT some people drink soda instead. You’re body can benefit from the water in soda, but your body will suffer from the other aspects of the soda- the sugar, the caffine, etc. aren’t beneficial, but hurtful over time and consistant exposure and make the body sick with diseases like diabetes.

The same is truth with various Faiths. There is only 1 best & purest form of religion (I say it’s Orthodox Christianity- others will say other Faiths are, but back to the point I’m making) the right Faith is all that we need spiritually, BUT some people will cling on to others Faiths which may have some bit of truth from which they can gain some benefit, but their souls will end up sick with spiritual disease from the constant exposure to “lies” that are being swallowed along with the little bit of truth.

Let’s take this a step further by giving a brief, but specific example: The Baptist Faith teaches people that God is Trinity- that is Truth. But it also teaches that there is no Priesthood or Eucharist, so the Baptist people do not have all the Truth. The little Truth they have is spiritually beneficial to their soul, but the lack of access to a Priest and the Eucharist is harmful to their souls.

But if they reject Jesus they can not be saved:shrug:

Isn’t it your own Communion that has the saying, “We know where the Church is; we do not know where the Church is not”?

As @Marybeloved pointed out Paul argued with the Greeks by starting with what they held to that was true. I’d also point out in the first chapter of his epistle to the Romans he declares that we can know some of the truths of God simply from creation itself. So from the Bible itself we can conclude that some faiths could be created by man based on observable truths of God. As others have said the key is that they lack the full truth. And as @Contarini points out all men understand God incompletely. Some theologians hold to the idea that we can only describe what God is not. So all descriptions of God should be negatives. For instance God is not limited in power, not caused, not temporal etc.

Well, that’s a separate question from the first one.

The question here is what it means to “reject Jesus.” We all agree, I think, that someone who rejects Jesus knowing who Jesus is cannot be saved unless they repent. But someone who has never heard of Jesus, or who honestly does not find the evidence for Christianity convincing while genuinely seeking truth with every fiber of their being, is not rejecting Jesus.


More like the fullness of faith or the full deposit of faith Many other Christian faiths do share in the same beliefs and yet lack some key aspects. Put it this way: We have the full pie, they have a few slices.

Muslims believe that God exists and that He is all-powerful. That is certainly true. Realize that some religions may have 2% o the truth while others have 50% or more. It is the Catholic Faith which has 100%. Thus those to whom much was given, much will be required. All Catholics are wealthy in God’s grace, with all the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Thus we have a greater responsibility, since much more was invested in us. We are to bring joy, truth, goodness and love–in other words, the LIGHT OF CHRIST–into a very dark and cruel world to those who are starving for Christ.

God made all human beings in His image and Likeness, which means we have an intellect for truth and a will for goodness and love. Since God is Truth, Goodness and Love itself, the purpose all all human beings is to serve God. God’s laws are written in the hearts of all people; thus all men of good will are God’s people. We will not be judged by our religion, but rather on our love for God and our fellow human being.

Here is how Jesus said we will be judged

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