2How do we know about God? Please write your name on your worksheet. Write in complete sentences.You will hand it in after we discuss it for participation credit.
3The PlanBefore we can understand our relationship with Jesus as Lord we are going to do the following:Examine the nature of knowledgeExamine the nature of truthExamine the nature of opinionExamine the nature of revelation
4Knowledge How do we come to know anything at all? We have our own senses and our own intellect to review what our senses receive.We hear, smell, taste, feel, and see.We obtain some knowledge through experienceMost of our knowledge, however, comes to us from others who “Witness” to the truth.You cannot experience the civil war but you can gain knowledge of it through witnesses.
5KnowledgeYou and I cannot experience the result of every scientific finding, we have to trust in the scientists who witness the results of their experiments.The scientific community itself does not put blind trust in their peers, rather they do peer reviews. It is on the word of many scientists (Witnesses) that we have more confidence that it is true.Human witness is subject to error and corruption.Scientists often steer their findings toward their desired results.Science is often seen as somehow more reliable than faith in proclaiming the truth when in fact both disciplines rely on witnesses.
6ReliabilityBoth science and faith are supported by witnesses and both are reliable ways of receiving knowledge and truth.The repeatability of scientific experiments gives us great confidence while both our method and our interpretation of data leaves a lot of room for error.A scientific truth today is subject to change with tomorrow’s great discovery.Galileo taught the world this truth by declaring the earth was not the center of the universe.
7Understanding The Truth The truth must be one.Something can’t be hard and not hard at the same time.Something can’t be bright and not bright at the same time.Something can’t be hot and not hot at the same time.Something can’t be true and false at the same time.
8Understanding the Truth 1+1=2, it cannot equal 3 or any other number. Everything else is false or wrong.Though opinions of truth may vary down to each human person, the truth itself must be one.If I told you that Barney the Dinosaur was in that conference room, you might go and discover that he is not.You could then say that I’m wrong.I could say, “It is true for me.” But you would still say that I am wrong.Or if I promised to pay for your college and when the bills keep coming you approach me and say, “You didn’t pay for my college.” I could reply “Yes I did,” until my teeth fell out, but the bill would still not be paid.
9Truth vs. Opinion I think the planet is warming. I think the planet is not warming.These are both opinions.Either might be true or false.But the planet cannot both be warming and not warming at the same time.At least one opinion is false as they are opposite.It is possible that they are both false.It is impossible for them both to be right.
10RevelationGod has revealed to us the Truth and we call this revelation.He has told us the truth about Himself.He has told us the truth about salvation.He has told us the truth about morality.He has told us the truth in such a way as to have many witnesses and to be fully “peer reviewed” throughout history.Jesus said, “I did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.”
11How we know about GodWe know about God through the many witnesses who have heard and seen what God has revealed.We have 4 gospels, 12 Apostles, many prophets, etc.Why should these witnesses be any less reliable than scientists when peer review has come to the same unchanging conclusions over years!St. John says, “Faith is in hearing.” We hear from these Witnesses.
12Witnesses To ChristIf you believe the witnesses who recorded the “Data” in the Bible and/or the teachings of the Church then we believe that God has revealed the truth to us.This would mean that God has revealed the “Fullness of Truth” to His Church.Because it is true, it must be perfectly reasonable and intelligent.Because it is true, it must not contradict itself.All of these things hold true from God’s first revelation to Adam and Eve to God’s final revelation in Jesus Christ.
13Spiritual RelativismThe term Spiritual Relativism is the belief that all religions are the same (“It doesn’t matter”)This belief system is a product of Atheism.Remember when we said: The planet is warming vs. the planet is not warming?We said that only one could be true, at least one is false, and maybe both are false.Spiritual Relativism is based on the notion that all religions are false.If every religion is false than who are we to judge which one is best for you?But if the truth is available there can be only one and it is best for someone to have the truth over a falsehood.
15This is the One True Religion! Instead of saying all religions are false, we say that there is one completely true religion…The Catholic Faith.However, other faiths share some of the One Truth with us.If we were to say, that the Red Sox and the Patriots are playing today, this statement would be false.However this statement has some truth in it, “The Patriots are playing today,” however it also has falsehood in it…”The Red Sox are playing today.”Those who go to Gillette Stadium will enjoy the truth while those who go to Fenway will find an empty stadium.
16Sharing in the TruthA Muslim who devotes themselves to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is like the one who goes to the Patriots game.These wholesome practices of truth and piety will grant them the expect reward.If they follow the false teaching, they will encounter emptiness and ultimately dissatisfaction.
17The Catholic Church One Truth! Sharing in the TruthThe Catholic Church One Truth!JewsMuslimsCatholic ChurchProtestantsPagans
18Sharing in the TruthSt. Paul when viewing the Pagan Temples saw one to the “Unknown God.”St. Paul said, “That shrine is to the True God.” Those who worshiped at this shrine found God and found salvation. St. Paul points out there is truth there as well.However, St. Paul goes on to tell them who that God really is.The Jewish man who approached Jesus and confessed his love for God with all his heart, soul, and mind, was told he was close to the Kingdom of God. He was Jewish but had found the saving truth.The Muslims who believe in One God, a God of Mercy, a God of Love, share those truths with us.Jesus said, “I am the…Truth!” So anyone who learns to love the truth that we share, learns to love Jesus, whether they know it or not.
19To Pursue the TruthThose who love wisdom (Philosophers) who seek the Truth, are not satisfied with a mere taste.Once we discover the truth we can more easily see lies.We have a responsibility to explore it as deeply as possible.For who ignores the one they love? Who upon finding Christ (The Truth) would then turn and ignore Him?
20Cast Off Falsehood To live in the truth we must cast off falsehood Let’s analyze the following logic:Jesus is the Son of GodJesus is not the Son of GodOnly one can be true, at least one is false, and maybe both are false.We teach Jesus is the Son of GodMuslims teach Jesus is not the Son of GodAt least one of us is wrongWe have faith in the Revelation and Witness of the Apostles that we are right.If someone is right, isn’t it better to believe in the truth.
21Cast Off Falsehood Let’s look at the logic of Spiritual Relativism: It doesn’t matter what religion you are.It does matter what religion you are.Only one can be true, at least one is false, maybe both.If everyone goes to heaven, if there is no need to repent and convert, if God doesn’t care what you believe, then all of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism is false.Not only that, Jesus, would be nothing more than a liar and a fool.
22Is Jesus a Fool?Why would God give up heaven to become a man if he didn’t have too?Why would he shiver in a manger and be born to a poor family?For if our beliefs didn’t matter why send a teacher?Does God simply want to suffer for the sake of suffering? What would that say about him?Why would God communicate at all?Why would he give a law to Moses?Why would he have prophets?Why would he come himself?
23Why Would Jesus Teach?When Jesus Christ is older, he goes around saying “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”If you can take any road and believe anything and get to heaven, is Jesus saying something that is false?If God himself says things that are false then logically nothing matters at all because we could never know the truth.
24Why Die?Then Jesus gets tortured and crucified for a crime he was not guilty of. All he had to do was speak and he would be free.Why did he shed his blood on the cross if the cross isn’t important?Why would he allow himself to be tortured if it doesn’t matter?Did Jesus die for no reason at all?Did his resurrection mean nothing?
25OR… Jesus is truly is the Son of God. And all that was revealed to the Jews before him was in fact true.That means we are bound to the law of love, expressed in minimum through the law of Moses, on penalty of Hell.We are not capable of living up to the law of love and so we are doomed to condemnation.Jesus came to teach us, sanctify us, and redeem us.
26The Tremendously Loving God So Jesus left his Almighty Throne in Heaven, emptied Himself, became a dependent and weak little infant for the immense purpose of love.The shadow of his cross fell over the manger.Jesus Christ came to suffer and die for us, so that we might never know the suffering of Hell.At Christ’s birth not only came the hope for salvation, but an unlocking of the human capacity to love.Jesus came to earth not because nothing matters, but because you matter to God.He came because our sins matter and he seeks to free us from eternal damnation.
27Teach Us To Love – Invite us to Truth Jesus spent his life demonstrating God’s love for us.He invites us to Love him in return and live in his truth.He does not seek to condemn other religions but lead them in one truth.“I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one Shepherd.”No matter what religion a person is, they can hear the One Truth (Jesus) and follow him.Yet false teachings in other religions can just as easily lead people away from Jesus (The Truth).Therefore we evangelize and try to bring people into the fullness of truth that their love of God may be without falsehood, and their joy could be complete.“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” No one comes to the Father without rejecting falsehood and loving the truth.
28Jesus Redeems UsThen the innocent man sheds his innocent blood to earn life for those who love him.An innocent God pays the price for his guilty creations that they might still know Him, Love Him, and Serve Him in this life to be happy with him in the next life.God who through the gift of freedom presented humanity with the possibility of suffering and death, gave the gift of his own suffering and death so that we might be free again (Made holy and free to love again).God who invites us to rise up to heaven to share his life, has lowered himself into all our pain to share your life with you.“No one has a greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
29Our Relationship with Jesus Jesus came to bring us the fullness of truth.Jesus came to forgive us our sins.Jesus came to reveal to us His Father’s Love.Jesus came to offer us His Friendship.
30Think Christmas Ask, is it all true? Was God truly born in a manger to begin a mission of love to save me?Is Jesus a fool and nothing matters, or is Jesus my Lord come to redeem me?When you spend the time with your family, giving and receiving, ask yourself if there isn’t something more meaningful in love?
31Share It With the WorldOnce we recognize the truth, which is love, we should share it with the World.We should love people of every belief, every sinner (no matter how bad), we should love them even to our own death.We should witness to the One Truth and even endure suffering and death to declare it in love for others.The word Martyr means “Witness.”We shall declare the truth in love and sing “Joy to the World” for the Lord has come and redeemed us.In discovering the Truth (Jesus Christ) Happiness is Yours! (Beati Voi!).