There HAS TO BE!


#1

I talked with my mom on the phone for a least two hours last night after getting home from RCIA. We were mostly talking about the Catholic Church and Protestant churches and this and that. She told me that she doesn’t really think too much on what the true religion, or truth is, she respects all religions and is opened to them which is fine with me. But I told her that there HAS to be a TRUE RELIGION in this world! :yup: There HAS to be! I mean, if you think about it, we have all these religions (Christianity, Muslim, Buddhists, Islam, Shinto, etc.:hmmm: ). I told her something like how on earth can we know the meaning and purpose in life if we have all these different religions? :banghead: I know that sounds kinda pathetic to ask but I always think too deep down and sometimes ask the hardest questions. I also told her that people can look at it this way: you can either be in a certain religion and find the meaning of life w/ beliefs and think it’s the truth, or you can you can just think all religions are just false and there’s no purpose in life (which would be an atheists’ point of view).

I guess my question is, here we have all these religions with their own beliefs and so forth. How the heck are we to know the REAL, TRUE, meaning of life when you have all these beliefs? It’s as if people are trying to find for themselves the meaning of life.:eek:

Now I don’t want you guys to think that I suddenly lost faith and hope in God. I know Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" and whenever I think about what the purpose of life is, His words will always remain in me. Now you guys might say, “well, why the heck are you worrying about what the purpose of life is when you already know? Why do you ask questions you already know the answer to?”:wink:

But can you guys at least see my point of view?


#2

Yeah, I see your point of view. I think there is an ulitimate truth. Two things that contradict each other cannot both be right.


#3

[quote=Catholics4Life]Yeah, I see your point of view. I think there is an ulitimate truth. Two things that contradict each other cannot both be right.
[/quote]

Exactly! I was told by someone once that all religions worship the SAME God but in a different way. That can’t be because if that were the case, then wouldn’t God be contradicting Himself and He can’t contradict!


#4

[quote=Paris Blues]It’s as if people are trying to find for themselves the meaning of life.:eek:
[/quote]

That’s exactly what I think is going on! People are searching, and when they don’t feel like they’ve quite found what they’re looking for, they create their own.

That’s alwo kind of the basis for the whole “new age” thing isn’t it? You decide what the meaning of life is for you, and your do it yourself?


#5

Here’s where it gets sticky, yet clearer for me when I go down that path of wondering whether there’s ONE true faith…

My comfort comes from the history of the Catholic Church -
Knowing with certainty that Jesus founded the Church, that it is because of the Apostles and Pentecost that humanity even HAS a version of God’s revelation to man at his fingertips to read, explore and discover God.

With regard to non-Catholic Christians - I just can’t begin to understand how they can so adamantly believe in Christ, preach about a personal relationship with Him, yet reject His own teachings - not as they are explained by the Catholic Church - but as written in the Bible itself.

With regard to non-Christians, then it gets a bit sticky because my confidence comes from believing that Jesus was a man who physically walked the earth, that he is God, and that he did say and do the things that have been written in the Bible.

Fortunately, Roman history verifies the persecution of the early Christians for their steadfast belief in this man, so I can actually know Jesus existed and he had a profound affect on a whole heck of a lot of people who willingly died in His name. That makes it easier to remain true to my convictions - since the Man existed and the persecution is verified from secular sources, it’s easy for me to trust in the rest of what the Bible reveals - which includes Jesus’s revelations of Our Father and everything else about God’s plan for us.

But, for those who believe Jesus existed but was not God, then I can understand why the rest of the Bible carries little weight in their beliefs.

Then there are those who dismiss the existence of Jesus as being of any import to them, just as we dismiss Mohammed or Buddah. It gets trickier for me because I can relate to how easy it is to dismiss such things so I can’t find fault with those raised in their faiths resisting any talk of Jesus as THE Truth. They know the truth as confidently and firmly as I **know **the Truth, and it’s because they believe in the messengers who revealed the truth to them as much as I believe in our messenger.

I’ve decided to leave the matter of their souls to God. My obligation is to speak the Truth of Jesus when the opportunities present themselves. The Holy Spirit will take it from there in people not of the faith, or so I believe. And of course, I keep all non-believers in my prayers.


#6

When people suggest that all religions are basically the same I like to point out a couple of things. One is that God cannot contradict himself, he cannot on one hand say that 2 + 2 = 4 for one group of people while on the other hand say that 2 + 2 = 5 to a different group. They are contradictory. There are good philosophical proofs on why God can’t contain contradiction but that’s a longer discussion. Save it to say that Christianity says that Jesus is the Son of God, the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity, while Islam says that believing that God has a son is an UNFORGIVEABLE sin. Those two things cannot both be true, only one can be correct. Another example is Buddhism which believes in re-incarnation which directly contradicts Christian belief of each person having a soul that has only one life on earth. They can’t both be true. You can find such contradictions between all religions. So either God spread truth mysteriously out among all different religions, giving a bit of truth here and a bit there making it practically impossible for us to sift through each religion to discover the truth, OR He safeguarded the truth in one location and protected it from error so that we could find it all in one location and be certain of His plan. Which means that all religions may have SOME truth, but only ONE religion as the fullness of truth! Praise be to God that He has protected the truth through the Jews and now the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church - the Catholic Church! :slight_smile:

Hope that helps, peace :slight_smile:


#7

While it is true that people of other faiths are certain they know the truth, just as we are, there are some significant differences. One is that we both believe based on the witness of those who came before us. It is true that Muslims are willing to die for WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN TOLD about Mohammhed, yet they themselves were not first hand witnesses. Only in Christianity do we find people who were FIRST HAND WITNESSES (the Apostles and Disciples) who WILLINGLY underwent horrible deaths and yet not a single one retracted their statements, even when doing so would have been to their benefit. You do not see hundreds (perhaps thousands) of people willingly die horrible deaths for something they KNOW to be a lie, they will only do so for something they KNOW to be the TRUTH. If you went into any prison and took just 12 criminals who vehemently denied their guily and tortured them horribly unto death at least 1 of them would crack and admit his crime, especially if it would save his life. Not one of the 12 Apostles, nor even 1 of the hundreds of disciples cracked. They were WITNESSES and KNEW that what they were saying was the truth. Their testimony we can trust. You find no such testimony within any other religion.


#8

[quote=gsaccone]While it is true that people of other faiths are certain they know the truth, just as we are, there are some significant differences. One is that we both believe based on the witness of those who came before us. It is true that Muslims are willing to die for WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN TOLD about Mohammhed, yet they themselves were not first hand witnesses. Only in Christianity do we find people who were FIRST HAND WITNESSES (the Apostles and Disciples) who WILLINGLY underwent horrible deaths and yet not a single one retracted their statements, even when doing so would have been to their benefit. You do not see hundreds (perhaps thousands) of people willingly die horrible deaths for something they KNOW to be a lie, they will only do so for something they KNOW to be the TRUTH. If you went into any prison and took just 12 criminals who vehemently denied their guily and tortured them horribly unto death at least 1 of them would crack and admit his crime, especially if it would save his life. Not one of the 12 Apostles, nor even 1 of the hundreds of disciples cracked. They were WITNESSES and KNEW that what they were saying was the truth. Their testimony we can trust. You find no such testimony within any other religion.
[/quote]

I appreciate your previous post more than this one with regarding to discerning the True faith…
only because I just don’t know whether or not other first hand witnesses of other faiths were being persecuted at the time - thus presented with the opportunity to die for what they witnessed.

Your previous post about the contradictions is a very sound argument for the Faith for it’s undeniable. God cannot contradict Himself and it’s just like Satan to reveal just enough Truth to any of his doings to manipulate the masses.


#9

[quote=YinYangMom]I appreciate your previous post more than this one with regarding to discerning the True faith…
only because I just don’t know whether or not other first hand witnesses of other faiths were being persecuted at the time - thus presented with the opportunity to die for what they witnessed.

Depends on what you mean by witnesses. I am sure that there were witnesses to Mohammad and the Jewish prophets and the fact that they also were persecuted. Mohammad was forced to change locations because of those who opposed his new religion.

Your previous post about the contradictions is a very sound argument for the Faith for it’s undeniable. God cannot contradict Himself and it’s just like Satan to reveal just enough Truth to any of his doings to manipulate the masses.
[/quote]

The fallacy in this arguement, that God would not contradict Himself, is that it is not necessarily God who is revealing the facts of the different religions, but some man’s own reason or assumptions. We being Catholic and Christian believe what we believe because we believe that it was God that did the revealing in the person of Jesus Christ. People of other religions which believe in God make those same kind of assumptions. In the final analysis one is grateful for the gift of Faith.


#10

[quote=rwoehmke]The fallacy in this arguement, that God would not contradict Himself, is that it is not necessarily God who is revealing the facts of the different religions, but some man’s own reason or assumptions. We being Catholic and Christian believe what we believe because we believe that it was God that did the revealing in the person of Jesus Christ. People of other religions which believe in God make those same kind of assumptions. In the final analysis one is grateful for the gift of Faith.
[/quote]

True, but a God who would care to be involved at all with His creatures implies that He cares for them and loves them. In that case He would take care to guard and protect those He loves, which He can do because of His infinite power and knowledge, and safeguard that which He reveals. So even though He reveals His truth to imperfect humans, His love for us would lead Him to give us a place to find His revealed truth without error.


#11

I think the key word here is faith. We believe firmly and indefinitely that we have the true faith…I would never leave the Catholic church because I know so completely in my heart that it is God’s church on earth…how do we know we’re “right”? Simple…we believe…that’s all there is to it. And honestly, if I’m “wrong” in the end, I don’t think that a just and loving God would care as much…my faith through the Catholic Church on earth brought me and held me to Christ…that’s all I’m going to worry about right now:) God will decide in the end, and it won’t make a difference how we argued it down here:)

Yeah, kinda scattered I know, but I’m a lot of medication, and thinking is slightly more difficult for me right now:)

in Him,
Britty


#12

[quote=gsaccone… Save it to say that Christianity says that Jesus is the Son of God, the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity, while **Islam says that believing that God has a son is an UNFORGIVEABLE sin. Those two things cannot both be true, only one can be correct.
[/quote]

Lumen Gentium, 16. Vatican Council II:

" together with us they (The Moslems) adore the one, merciful God."

Yet:
The Catholic and Christian God is ‘The Trinity,’ and our Lord Jesus Christ, the second Person of that Trinity, is the Creator and One true and merciful God. Despite monotheistic appearances, we do not have the same God; we do not have the same mediator. How then can it be that " together with us…"? Moslems vehemently and vociferously deny the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, the Crucifixion of our Divine Lord and the Divinity of Christ. The Mohammedans have such a carnal notion of heaven that St. Alphonsus did not hesitate to declare “The Mohammedan Paradise, is only fit for beasts; for filthy sensual pleasure is all the believer has to expect there.”

Their god is but another strange god.** On every essential point concerning the true God and the nature of the true God, the Mohammedan belief radically and seriously conflicts with the established and revealed Dogma of the Catholic Church.**

Reality is quite the contrary to VAT II as objectively speaking we can only affirm the contrary. This point is clear from Scripture “Whosoever does not continue in the doctrine of Christ does not have God”. - II St. Jn 1:9


#13

[quote=Paris Blues] ………… But I told her that there HAS to be a TRUE RELIGION in this world! :yup: There HAS to be! I mean, if you think about it, we have all these religions (Christianity, Muslim, Buddhists, Islam, Shinto, etc.:hmmm: ). I told her something like how on earth can we know the meaning and purpose in life if we have all these different religions?
[/quote]

Well, no there doesn’t HAVE to be
There MAY be and we believe there is
But there does HAVE to be. That is why they call it “faith”.

The very fact that there are multiple religions and various variations on no religion at all is testament that humans have come up with a number of choices.

There could be one true religion and one group has it and everyone else is in trouble
There could be one true religion but no one has it right and we’re all in trouble
All religions could have apart of the truth then we’re all OK
or Religion could just be a human social construct so it doesn’t matter

[quote=Paris Blues] ……I guess my question is, here we have all these religions with their own beliefs and so forth. How the heck are we to know the REAL, TRUE, meaning of life when you have all these beliefs? It’s as if people are trying to find for themselves the meaning of life.
[/quote]

Well yes people are trying to find it for themselves
I was always taught that faith is a personal journey

[quote=Paris Blues] ………But can you guys at least see my point of view?
[/quote]

Yes


#14

It hinges on one question really: Does an infinitely loving, wise, and holy God exist?
If He does, then He would want us to draw near to Him.
And if He wants us to draw near, He would have provided some means of doing so.
And if He would have provided some means of drawing near, He would make it known to us to either A.) Be accepted or B.) Be rejected.
So, following that, If a loving God exists who provides the opportunity to know the truth, then why is it so hard to be sure?
Faith takes up where reasoning leaves off.
I look at it this way. This is such a huge deal (since we’re dealing with eternity and all) you pretty much have to put all your eggs in one basket. I know the Catholic Church is Christ’s Church, but of course there are the devil’s doubts popping into my head from time to time.
Here’s the thing you MUST realize. It’s weird to think of it this way, but sometimes I am more convinced of the existence of satan than anything else. In THIS modern age, I’m so convinced of satan’s existence, that by reverse logic, by his temptations away from God and his lures away from truth, love and beauty, it reaffirms God’s existence and Christ’s Church.
So to summarize.
Reasoning demonstrates that truth is attainable because satan tries so hard to confuse us. Think about THAT one.
So many things to think about. It’s hard being 17, juggling a religious vocation, wanting a girlfriend, and wanting my mind to turn off every once in a while. Does anyone else get that ever? Hyper active mind activity I guess you could call it? lol
But anyway, put all your eggs in one basket and give God permission to bring you to the truth in any way He sees necessary. The absolute NECESSARY point of life is this: To seek the truth. BEG God for the truth every day, be willing to give up everything for the truth.

When you find the truth

You

Are

Free.

Know that, embrace that, meditate on that, love that. The truth will set you free. Beg for it.

With deepest concerns for mankind,
Mordocai


#15

[quote=CheesusPowerKid] And honestly, if I’m “wrong” in the end, I don’t think that a just and loving God would care as much…my faith through the Catholic Church on earth brought me and held me to Christ…that’s all I’m going to worry about right now:) God will decide in the end, and it won’t make a difference how we argued it down here:)

in Him,
Britty
[/quote]

Yes, that works for me as well, but I also can see where that would work for ‘them’ too…Yeah, it’s on faith that any of us believe what we do as firmly as we do, and yes, we all put our trust in a merciful God who will certainly not punish us for not seeing the ‘real’ truth among the various options presented to us during our lifetimes. And honestly, I don’t believe God will send to hell those who sincerely followed Islam or any other God-centered religion - particularly, if by such belief they led lives which was respectful of humanity and the planet. I suspect they’ll spend an awful long time in purgatory though.


#16

[quote=TNT]Lumen Gentium, 16. Vatican Council II:

" together with us they (The Moslems) adore the one, merciful God."

Yet:
The Catholic and Christian God is ‘The Trinity,’ and our Lord Jesus Christ, the second Person of that Trinity, is the Creator and One true and merciful God. Despite monotheistic appearances, we do not have the same God; we do not have the same mediator. How then can it be that " together with us…"? Moslems vehemently and vociferously deny the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, the Crucifixion of our Divine Lord and the Divinity of Christ. The Mohammedans have such a carnal notion of heaven that St. Alphonsus did not hesitate to declare “The Mohammedan Paradise, is only fit for beasts; for filthy sensual pleasure is all the believer has to expect there.”

Their god is but another strange god.** On every essential point concerning the true God and the nature of the true God, the Mohammedan belief radically and seriously conflicts with the established and revealed Dogma of the Catholic Church.**

Reality is quite the contrary to VAT II as objectively speaking we can only affirm the contrary. This point is clear from Scripture “Whosoever does not continue in the doctrine of Christ does not have God”. - II St. Jn 1:9
[/quote]

You cite St. Alphonsus but wasn’t his time before Vatican II?
Could it not be that TRUE Islam is NOT what you understand Islam to be? Can you not trust the Vatican council - all the knowledge, experience, rigorous study pursued, first hand experiences they brought to the table - to be one more extensive than your own study of Islam from which your conclusions are based?

How can you ask: How then can it be that " together with us…"?
Should not the question be: How is it these wise men, blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, in such a rare and historic set of meetings, came to the conclusion “they are together with us?” so that you would then pursue the answer with the intent of coming to agreement with them rather than against them?

We know the Church reveals the Truth. We also know we often times cannot comprehend the Truth, but with prayer and reflection and diligent study we may come to understand the Truth in time.


#17

[quote=YinYangMom]Yes, that works for me as well, but I also can see where that would work for ‘them’ too…Yeah, it’s on faith that any of us believe what we do as firmly as we do, and yes, we all put our trust in a merciful God who will certainly not punish us for not seeing the ‘real’ truth among the various options presented to us during our lifetimes. And honestly, I don’t believe God will send to hell those who sincerely followed Islam or any other God-centered religion - particularly, if by such belief they led lives which was respectful of humanity and the planet. I suspect they’ll spend an awful long time in purgatory though.
[/quote]

Yup, that’s how I see it:)


#18

As in all things it depends on the point of view.

That being said, let’s try a little exercise. Pick any three dimensional object in the room and describe it. Now move to a diffrent possiton and do the same thing, and again, higher or lower, nearer or farther, the object appears diffrently according to our orientation to it. However, there is an absolute truth as to what the object is.

It is much the same way with God, we all have diffrent ideas about him because of our point of view. A new believer, a life long one confirmed in their faith, a priest, a monk, a nun, a sinner, all have a diffrent point of view on God. So to do diffrent cultures and diffrent times, it is due the the point of view which largely originates from the circumstances of their lives, yet they are trying to describe the same thing.

There is one truth to God, everyone tries to describe it in the same manner, the apparent contradictions are due to the limitations of man not of God. Fortunately God has given us a first hand view of himself in Jesus. In Jesus we gain an intimate knowledge of who God is and what he wants of us. The Catholic Church is the guardian of this truth because it is the ONLY church which is desended from those people who actually saw and spoke with God himself.


#19

If anything and everything is subjectively true…then there is no objective truth. Anybody who convinces themself that truth is what you make it…is illusional to say the least! It’s one more way to avoid the Catholic Church.


#20

true, subjectivity and relativism is bad and distorts the truth, but they are unavoidable. This could be furthered by saying that everyone views the Catholic Church in a diffrent manned depending on their experiences, but the true Church remains the same.


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