How can we know that actual miracles and deities are exclusive to Christianity?


#1

I’ve been struggling with this for a lengthy time, and ultimately, I really *can’t *see…

How everyone who’s not a Christian is going to hell,

How God would only allow a fraction of the world to know Him (honestly, how could someone raised Muslim, Buddhist, or Jewish in a foreign country be physically able to convert to Catholicism, and what about all the less-intelligent of them to whom reasoning means little anyway: are they going to hell because the Christian God didn’t give them the intelligence to convert to the one, true faith?)

How any miracle performed or manifested outside the Catholic Church must therefore be a heathen, demon miracle simply cause it’s outside the Church.

How good, religious moralists of other faiths such as Hinduism still have to go to hell, even though they may have had their own divine revelations from their own deity.

How so many Catholics base their faith upon the miracles, teachings, and works of Jesus and the Saints while equally astounding miracles such as those of Sathya Sai Baba are slammed with skepticism.

Basically, I don’t see how anything of divine nature has to be exclusive to Catholicism or Christianity for that matter. When we snub other teachings and miracles, it just seems like arrogance

I’ve been able to reconcile many things, but I’m afraid I might lose my faith in Christianity simply cause under it so many people are going to hell for no real reason.

Nothing is black and white any more, it seems I’m slipping reluctantly into relativism.


#2

Everyone? Non Christians, who by no fault of their own do not know the Gospel, are not necessarily barred from Heaven.

How God would only allow a fraction of the world to know Him (honestly, how could someone raised Muslim, Buddhist, or Jewish in a foreign country be physically able to convert to Catholicism, and what about all the less-intelligent of them to whom reasoning means little anyway: are they going to hell because the Christian God didn’t give them the intelligence to convert to the one, true faith?)

The Church does not teach that. There is some truth in all religions, but the fullness of truth relies in the Church in which God has fully revealed Himself, namely, the Catholic Church.

How any miracle performed or manifested outside the Catholic Church must therefore be a heathen, demon miracle simply cause it’s outside the Church.

It depends on the miracle and what it does. If what it does is keep someone from the Gospel, then yes, it is false. God cannot contradict Himself, but Satan does that all the time.

How good, religious moralists of other faiths such as Hinduism still have to go to hell, even though they may have had their own divine revelations from their own deity.

Either there is one God, many gods, or no God. If there are many gods as there are in hinduism, and our God is one of those gods, then our God is a LIAR for saying that He is the ONLY one. Otherwise, all those other gods are not actually gods, but something else…

How so many Catholics base their faith upon the miracles, teachings, and works of Jesus and the Saints while equally astounding miracles such as those of Sathya Sai Baba are slammed with skepticism.

What makes the Catholic miracles and faith unique is that the foundation-the resurrection, is based in actual recorded history which can be corroborated with other records, and not some mythical prehistory.

Basically, I don’t see how anything of divine nature has to be exclusive to Catholicism or Christianity for that matter. When we snub other teachings and miracles, it just seems like arrogance

It’s not arrogance. It’s logic. Either the Catholic Church is what she claims to be, or she is not. If she is what she claims to be, then what contradicts her in other religions is false. If the Church is not what she claims to be, and some other religion is true, then everything that contradicts that religion is false. That’s the basic principle of rational thinking: the principle of non-contradiction.


#3

I’ve struggled with this very issue for a very long time (in fact, this issue was my first post to the CA website).

My sense at this point is as follows:

  1. Catholicism teaches a spectrum of participation when it comes to truth. From not so full to fullness (see Vatican II’s Nostrae Aetate). Christianity, of course (!), possesses the latter fulness. But I look at this in Greek terms (both philosophically and theologically): the Word became flesh that (all) flesh might become Word (or, as the fathers were fond of saying, God became man that man might become God). I mention this because I believe it means that the whole of man (including religious expressions) was taken up into this Word and divinized. Now, of course the nonsense is left behind.

  2. The idea of hell is a necessary corollary to the idea of free will. But that’s to say it is a logical necessity–on the level of an idea. In the end, as Hans urs von Balthasar says somewhere in “Dare We Hope that All Men Be Saved?”, I believe God has some card stuck up his sleave.

  3. Beyond this, I hope for the salvation of all rational creatures (both men and fallen angels)…but that’s just me.

Keep struggling. Despite my own doubts regarding this and other issues, I can’t help but think along with some of the others, “Lord, where will we go, you have the words of eternal life.” That’s our faith.


#4

All was helpful, but I’m confused: even those who have heard of Jesus Christ but believe in other religions can still make it to heaven? Why bother with Christianity then?

Also, I’m getting the message that all other miracles in other religions that do good things are from our God even though they reaffirm people’s faith in *another *god.


#5

Because it’s true. The Church only allows salvation of the ignorant as a possibility. She says nothing about it’s likelihood. We are however unanbiguously obligated to bring the Good News and baptize all nations and people–in part because it would be immoral to bank on a possibility when a certainty is available.

Also, I’m getting the message that all other miracles in other religions that do good things are from our God even though they reaffirm people’s faith in *another *god.

The Church AFAIK does not speculate about supposed miracles in other faiths. Interestingly, it doesn’t even confirm modern miracles or apparitions within the Faith. It tests them rigorously to make sure they are not a hoax, makes sure the content does not contradict the Faith, and then might rule it not as true or false, but merely worthy of belief–meaning a Catholic can choose to beleve it or not. I think it is spectacular that the Church is one of the few healthy skeptics left on earth. :slight_smile:


#6

And we know that we’re not the ignorant ones how?

The Church AFAIK does not speculate about supposed miracles in other faiths. Interestingly, it doesn’t even confirm modern miracles or apparitions within the Faith. It tests them rigorously to make sure they are not a hoax, makes sure the content does not contradict the Faith, and then might rule it not as true or false, but merely worthy of belief–meaning a Catholic can choose to beleve it or not. I think it is spectacular that the Church is one of the few healthy skeptics left on earth. :slight_smile:

What if instead of our God working the miracles in other religions so as to bring them closer to God and to make them act morally, a Hindu or some other eastern conception of God was working through our religion? How do we know that *they’re *not the actual truth and that the works of Jesus and the Saints isn’t merely that other God???


#7

Why should miracles worked by adherents of other religions not be perfectly genuine ? That’s a view I never heard until now.

As to deities though - there is only one. IMHO, all others can be explained as either good angels, bad angels, genuine divine revelations, or in some other way that does justice both to the ascertainable facts, & to what as Christian we believe. So if a Roman historian claims that the gods Castor & Pollux assisted the Roman legions at the battle of Lake Regillus - I don’t see why that can’t be true; after all, a similar story is told in Joshua 5. If the emperor Vespasian is said to have healed a man - well, why not ? All healing miracles - all miracles - whatever the human or other created agent, are always the work of God, whether a Catholic saint or a Hindu swami works them.

Was God at work in Roman history as in that of ancient Israel ? Why not ? ISTM that one could perfectly well look on the salvation of Rome from Hannibal as a sort of extra-Biblical “mighty act of God” - the thing with the Bible being, that we are told event X is a “mighty act of God”. No such interpretation is given us for the events of the lives of other nations, but, we do have, from the Bible, some knowledge of what God is like, & is likely to do in a certain set of circumstances: so we can make educated guesses, by comparing (say) the slaughter at Trasimene & Cannae, followed by the decision of Hannibal not to march on Rome & burn it to the ground, with the preservation of Jerusalem from the Assyrians. Result: two salvation-stories, by the same God: one in the OT, one in (so-called) secular history. The salvation of England from the Spanish Armada is another such story; or Dunkirk in 1940.

The Bible & the Church are not the boundaries of reality - God is. God does not down tools the moment the Bible is ended, not at all. :slight_smile: Salvation, healing, mercy, wisdom, restoration - these are all the works of the One Sovereign God, Who allows tyrants to strut & posture, uses them to to work His Will, then strikes them down. :slight_smile:

Hope that helps


#8

works for me


#9

Imagine you are a judge, and two boys come before you charged with similar offences - beating up a handicapped boy and stealing his money.

The first has a father who is a doctor and a mother who is an accountant. He does well at school and has a place to read law at university. He is popular and successful at sport, and he has an attractive girlfiriend. In fact his motive for the crime wasn’t the money but to show off to her.

The second has a mother who is a drug addict and prostitute. He has lived with a succession of her boyfriends, one of whom beat him and another whom sold him as a rent boy. He is physically small and weak due to poor nutrition, and is constantly bullied and picked on by the street gang he hangs out with. Money was a factor in his crime, but he also did it to look tough.

Now would you pass exactly the same sentence on both? Is there actually no answer to this, maybe boy one has a legitimate complaint if boy 2 gets a lighter sentence, but maybe boy 2 deserves some slack?

Supposing you decide that you will give boy 2 a light sentence and boy 1 a heavy sentence. Would you not want to make absolutely sure that this would not encourage parents to bring up their children like boy 2?


#10

Because there is nothing obliging us to entertain it. We can’t throw the claims of Catholicism into a test tube and come out with iron-clad scientific proof that it is right. I do think we can make a solid logical and cumulative argument that it stands head and shoulders above the alternatives. Of course another problem is that if one says we need scientific proof of something to believe it, I would need to see the scientific proof that scientific proof is the only way to arrive at truth.


#11

Do not doubt, but believe. Doubting an article of Faith is a sin. As Newman wrote, A 1000 difficulites do not make one doubt. When assailed by the temptation to doubt, we should make a act of faith. As for so-called miracles in other religions, I don’t beleive they happen. They are the lying miracles mentioned in scripture. At least the Muslims admit they have no miracles. Case in point, this ‘Baba’ character claims to be a divinity, but is accused in some quarters of child molestation. He is just a sinful creature like the rest of us and will die and be judged like the rest of us. Our Holy Catholic Faith is incomparable.


#12

I seem to recall a few Jewish miracles—parting the Red Sea, plagues for Pharaoh, that sort of thing.

Why do we set ourselves up to judge God?

If God in His infinite mercy delivers us from evil, even those of us whom do not know Him perfectly through the Catholic Church, shouldn’t we be happy?

My deacon’s very wise answer for these types of questions—“What happens when we die?”—is “I don’t know. Come back and tell us.”

We cannot know (despite the Calvinists’ claims) whether or not we’ll hear the Lord say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” We can only have faith, and do our best to live as He wants us to live.

And charity should compel us to share the Truth with our neighbors, that they may plot their path to salvation more surely armed with the knowledge we have been given.


#13

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