Which way? Which truth? Which life?

Warning! Hypothetical situation:

Someone has asked Jesus into their life and accepted the truth that He is Lord. (Alleluia!)

They see a lot of uncharitable Christians (Catholics, Protestants, etc.) constantly berating each other and claiming truth. First this turns them off to Christianity because beliefs in Christ are causing dissension and animosity.

Now, they are confused because there are so many Christian churches and so many beliefs and knows certainly that they cannot all be correct at the same time. They know they do not want to simply choose a church for the sake of choosing one because they want to find truth and know that since Jesus is Truth then He must have left us absolute truth.

My question:
(Prayerfully discerning this)
How do they know which “brand” of Christianity to choose?

Dear Friend, like our own children, like any human group of persons there are confusions and dissentions. We are human. Unfortunately none of us is perfect. Where there is courteous dissent…we can gracefully handle that, but whether between children, between couples, between groups there is any lack of love or rudeness it pains us. It can alienate people, it can cause hurt, it can even begin a journey away from faith.

I’ve been thinking of putting a post in the gentlest and most loving of our forums, in Prayer Intentions for this very reason, prayer for consideration, courtesy and kindness to prevail in all forums. It most often does. Generally I am often grateful and admiring of post after helpful post in a thread! but occasionally, anything but, and even off the original question! Thus are humans! Someone asked Evelyn Waugh how he could be so unpleasant and still call himself Catholic. His reply was that if he weren’t Catholic he’d be so much worse! We try, but we don’t always succeed.

I believe that a true understanding a careful reading of Scripture leads us to the Catholic Church. If there’s any question raised regarding that I grab my bible and draw out the texts.

Anyhow, may the Spirit of God’s love prevail always in our discussions, between Catholics, and within inter-faith discussions.

Thanks for your thoughts. It is important that others can indeed say, “See how these Christians love one another!”

Its posts like these that draw me to Catholicism (truthfully). :slight_smile: Blessings,

Brian

Have you ever heard of the Early Church Fathers? They are the men who were one generation removed from Christ… they were taught by the apostles. If you study what they believed, you will find your answers alot easier…
earlychurchfathers.org/

For me, I choose to look to the early Christians and the early Church…what was it that they believed? Surely those closest to Christ and his apostles had the truth as the Lord intended. As I read the scriptures, especially the letters to the early Churches from St. Paul and came to the understanding that the Church existed for hundreds of years prior to the books and letters of the Holy Bible being bound and gathered together, that the Church came FIRST and as I read of the early Church fathers and followed the line of bishops of Rome to Peter himself, it was quite clear to me that the Catholic Church was the early Church and the absolute truth that Jesus left us.

[FONT=Verdana]The Church of St. Paul and St. Peter and St. James in the first century was the same Church as that of the Council of Carthage and of St. Augustine in the fourth, and of the Council of Florence in the fifteenth, and the Vatican in the nineteenth—one and the same body—growing and developing, certainly, as every living thing must do, but still preserving its identity and remaining essentially the same body, as a man of 80 is the same person as he was at 40, and the same person at 40 as he was at 2.

From
[/FONT]Rev. HENRY G. GRAHAM
1911
Where we got the Bible.
read it online

God bless

I guess i don’t see the “so many different beliefs” that you are implying here. There are many different Protestant churches for many disciplinary and customary reasons versus different views on Scripture. Which brand of Christianity do I chose? Pretty simple. All of Christianity has at least some if not all of their authority in the Bible, so I would choose a church that not only studies Scripture but lives it and geuinly professes and trusts it to be the unwavering truth.

Simply love the truth and seek it out in a prayerful and humble spirit. Even when you run across difficult people there is always something that can be gained from the experience. Sometimes these people will gain something from you.

Eph 4:29 tells us the following:

“Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.”

It’s a real shame when we are not respectful to one another. A lack of charity will not impart grace. The Lord is giving us an opportunity to “impart grace.” What a difference charity can make.

Amen, Pax!

SIA:
You said “I would choose a church that not only studies Scripture but lives it and geuinly professes and trusts it to be the unwavering truth.”

All Christian churches (at least they claim to and I am not sure all their members live it) “study Scripture, live it and genuinely profess and trust it to be the unwavering truth.”

Again, I ask, how does this person choose among all these churches, which study Scripture and interpret it differently?

¿¿¿ Which ???

The only way to know for certain is to die. At that point there are basically three possibilities:

  1. Oblivion - This is by far the most likely occurrence. You die. End of story. Supported by the fact that there is basically zilch evidence of any sort of after life and nor is there any accepted scientific notions that such an after life is even possible.

  2. Damnation - Oops. There is an after life but you guessed wrong and now you pay the price. The odds of this happening really depends on what sort of god actually exists but considering that man was created in God’s image, I would expect most people would end up here. But at least you know you got it wrong.

  3. Paradise - Congratulations. You got the big prize. 72 virgins (don’t tell your wife) or endless harps or whatever it turns out the truth really is.

Is there any plausible scientific explanation as to why the world’s oceans and lakes do not dissapear into the ground like what presumably happened on Mars?

I do not think that there is a scientist anywhere in the world who would be able to provide a scientifically-sound explanation why water on the surface of the planet is defying the laws of gravity and not seeping into the Earth.

I would look at their articles of faith and compare it to the Bible. This will be difficult as the wording will often be vague. Then read about these beliefs from several different sources. I would include the Catechism of the Catholic Church as one of the sources. As a former Protestant I know that what I thought my faith believed and what it truly believed was not the same. Many faiths will tell you what you want to hear and not necessarily the truth. This may be from well intentioned individuals that may not even know their faith from a theological perspective. My former faith believed in predestination and not free will. This creates many theological problems that do not need to be discussed here. This was never discussed on the pulpit because it made many within the congregation feel uncomfortable. Some Protestant’s will believe in the concept of the Prosperity Gospel or the Rapture because this makes one feel good. It is not the truth of the Bible; however, these thoughts can appear to be supported by individual verses. These theologies fall apart when one reads the entire Bible. As such avoid letting one or two verses dictate a thought or discussion. One can pull out many verses of the Bible to support ones belief that are not in accord with the entire Bible. As a Protestant I fell for this process for many years and you will see this in many posts on this website. Lastly, after you have done this continue the journey by reading the early Church Fathers. Once one reads the early Church Fathers the Bible is easier to understand as they go into depth and explain it.

Not entirely sure what Martian hydrology has to do with the topic. Be interesting to see just how much water there was on Mars.

Are you of the opinion that because science cannot explain everything means that it can’t explain anything?

Well, you did say that oblivion is “by far the most likely occurrence”.

My point was that if science cannot adequately explain even such fundamental questions concerning our existence, then it does not at all follow that oblivion is the most likely occurence after death.

It is just one theory on what happens after death and there are other theories which are certainly no less likely to be true.

Which theories would those be?

**
In response to the first post (#1), it is an important question as to which church is the best to follow (to join). The same question can be expanded to say “Which faith, which religion is the best or better”.

I do not want to distract the questioner into more trouble. But it is a natural consequence of the basic question. There is no harm in exploring the other faiths because God is the God of all creation, all people on the earth. He revealed himself to every nation.

Now, I come to the point. Man did not create God. God created mankind. And revealed Himself to mankind through His agencies (angels). God talks to the men. He reveals Himself to them, to his messengers and prophets.

God used to talk to the mankind and He still talks. He has not become dumb or deaf. Please see in your scriptures that God spoke to Abraham and Moses. He even spoke to the mother of Moses and to the mother of Jesus (Mary).

The last two mentioned ladies were not any prophets. They were common good pious persons. And God spoke to them and gave them some guidance and good news. It was so because of their prayer to God. They prayed to God and God spoke to them. (See detail in the Quran)

So in order to find out any truth, the best thing is to be gentle, unbiased, doing good deeds and having love for all and hatred for none. Then if any one such person will earnestly pray to God and ask for Guidance,i am sure the One God will speak to that person by some manner (dream, vision etc)

That is the best way to find out the truth. One should pray to God (To his/her God) according to own belief as a Jew or a christian or a Muslim. God will reply. I may, in the end post /paste one verse of the Quran on this subject which is quite relevant. Please see:

[2:186] And when My servants ask thee about Me, say ‘I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he (calls) prays to Me. So they should hearken to Me and believe in Me, that they may follow the right way.’

Salaam. Peace.**

** If there is a God (and surely we do not go into that because we believe that there is definitely a Creator God) and there is some purpose of the Creation (it is not vain or meaningless life) then the natural consequence is accountability.**

I would tell them to read Marcus J. Borg’s;

The God we never new.

It should be about a relationship with God, with seeking truth and not about dogmatic absolutism.

I struggle with this statement as God did not reveal himself to all religions. He also has not revealed himself equally to all people. There is only one truth and that is the Catholic Church. One without a well formed conscience can fall into traps set by many religions. Many christian and non-christian religions tell half truths. These half truths are from very sincere well meaning people; however, they have been trained in falsehood. In my last statement I am not attempting to disparage Protestant religions. There are many religions that are neither Catholic or Protestant that state they are Christian; but, they are not in the defintions we would use.

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