Correct Answer? By J. Reagan

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2012/11/02 at 9:11 AM

THE PROBLEM: Pollsters who deal only in religious matters tells us that between 75% and 80% of those who live in the U.S. Label themselves  as “Christian”.  This means that between 225 and 240 million people label themselves as followers of Jesus Christ.  Yet, by any theological, moral, philosophical, or cultural standard, the US is a pagan nation with a notable lack of Christian morality: 50 million abortions, rampant pornography, illegal drugs, greed (often called “inflation”).

Does anyone really think that  all this can be attributed to the 20% of non-Christians in the country? Pollsters further tell us that Catholics are no better than any others in espousing the cultural immoralities. Between 60-80% of Catholics approve abortion, divorce, pre-marital sex, cohabitation, Mass  as optional, same-sex relationships etc.

The same high percentages do not accept/ believe some of the basic doctrines of the faith.  63% do not believe that Christ is really present in the Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine.  Some do not think morality is any of the Church’s business, especially regarding sex and marriage. I wonder if this is why Our Lord spoke of hell far more than of heaven.

HOW DID WE GET TO THIS POINT? During the Middle Ages, the Church took the best of the ancient Greek and Roman  world and Christianized it.  The Renaissance  took some of the worst of the ancient world, ignored the Church’s contribution, secularized society and philosophy, and declared, “Now we have the answer”.  The Reformation  took the truths of Revelation and reason, and disputed, distorted, and destroyed many of them.  And they cried, “Now we have the answer”.

Rationalism/Enlightenment said religion is the cause of too many problems.  Man needs only his reason the build a perfect life for himself. Forget the supernatural nonsense. We will think our way to a Utopia on earth.  Science became the new religion.  And they smiled and said, “Now we have the answer.”

Romanticism- it took no time at all to discover that people do not really want to think very much. Rousseau said that everyone can’t think well, but everyone can feel.  Emotions and feeling became to the guidelines and norms.  And they danced for joy and said, “Now we have the answer.

On and on the crazy ideas went until nowadays we are told…there is no objective truth;  truth is subjective; contradictions are quite acceptable; opinion is what counts; moral and intellectual judgments are taboo; religion has the status of a hobby; God is made in man’s image….if He is thought of at all.

THE EFFECTS: The result of these centuries of false and anti-human philosophies is a crushing and  irrational secularism sweeping the part of the world that was once called “Christendom”. Religion, the most far-reaching and important activity of humans has been relegated to  the level of one’s personal likes, such as television programs, in the dominant cultural philosophy.  But religion is still given lip-service once in a while and Jesus Christ is usually listed as a “great philosopher”, a great moralist, a great teacher in the same breath as Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius or Lao-Tse.

In reality, that idea simply does not work. Christ is  either God or a fraud…often, as we say, a nutcase. Why? Because too many times He claimed to be God. The first sign hat He might be what he claimed lies in the hundreds of prediction about Him and His life, made by many prophets, who did not know one another because they lived at different times. All these prophecies were centered on one person and every one was fulfilled in that same person. No one predicted Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Martin Luther etc.

Imagine trying to predicts particular details of the life of descendant who will live five centuries from now.Impossible. Yet, this is just what happened in the case of Christ…and no one else.

Jesus Himself prophesied the betrayal by  Judas, the denial by Peter,  His own resurrection, and the destruction of Jerusalem.

We are familiar with the Gospel miracles so we need not labor over them. They are historical facts. And there were at least hundreds because the Gospels, in several places, tell is that “He healed all in that district”.  These miracles were done on His own authority and using his own power.  No other religious founder claimed to be God or  performed miracles. At most, they claimed a special relationship with God.

We must remember that the Resurrection is the one surpassing miracle never duplicated in the entire history of the world.  It is a  historical fact.  We have conquered space and the ocean, but not the six-foot hole.

CONCLUSION: But what about us? We don’t live in  the time of Christ. How do we connect?

Our Lord told us that He would be with us for all time. He is with us and we are with Him in the Catholic Church. The Church is the visible representative of Christ on earth. Like her founder, she is the only source of salvation, the only source of truth, infallible and miraculous in her spiritual activity: the Sacraments.  The Catholic Church is the one true Church.All other churches that call themselves Christian are deficient to some degree. But, this is not a good time to be a Catholic because of the scandals. The Church has never enjoyed a “Golden Age”.  Our Lord predicted multitude of trouble and so has it been .mostly because of the clergy.  However, He promised : “I am with you all days…the gates of hell will not prevail.” The scandals prove the divinity of the Church, the two natures in the Church. The Church will survive.

So, the Christ..God or Fraud. Does It Really Matter? Absolutely. It’s a matter of life and death;.eternal life or death. Unless we answer this question correctly and live accordingly, we may hear some the most frightening words in the Bible, “Because you have denied me before men, (and that’s what an incorrect answer is.) I will deny you before My Father.” Those who have the correct relationship with Christ and the Church will be able, not only to say, but to know:”Now we have the answer”.  And there is no other.

  1. This comment was sent by email to the author of the article. Printed with permission of the sender, Len Porochnia.

    I studied philosophy, poetry, literature and history in my last year of high school and my first year of college to “find the truth”. What I found at the end of the quest is that these esteemed philosophers, writers and historians did “not have the answers”. What they had was delusions, human constructs, unaware of their own limitations as imperfect human beings. regardless of how brilliant they and the world considered them to be. They all claimed to “have the answers”, no matter how disparate and contradictory. At the end of their quest for eternal answers they died more confused and deluded than when they started. The human condition was ordained by God and so were the eternal truths. Man, by his own powers, can never discover the meaning of life or its purpose. That’s what I learned from studying the “great minds” of the human race. Jesus had more wisdom and insight into truth than all of these “great minds” put together in all the thousands of years of human existence. The acquisition of truth and wisdom is achieved by humility and gratitude, not arrogance and defiance.

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