Thursday, March 22, 2012
The Absurdity of Our Thoughts as Reality
Unsurprisingly I have witnessed the typical Jack Chick type of lie mongering that people who know nothing of Catholicism but who possess a rampant hatred feel a need to spread, including typical comments damning all Catholics to Hell and that sort of thing (I always want to ask people like that when being Catholic became the only unforgivable sin! After all everyone but Catholics can apparently be saved with a few words, but by virtue of being a practicing Catholic it's straight to Hell in their books!). I've also witnessed hundreds of Catholics (and people of other faiths too!) standing up for their beliefs and speaking eloquently about our faith.
One anti-Catholic comment that I read yesterday (on a post that had spun off the original post) basically said that the things that he believed about the Catholic Church were true to him because he believed them.
Hmmm... I thought as I read the words. That sounds awfully familiar. Where have I heard that before?
I rewound the past five years in my mind and could practically hear the words, that had bothered me so much when I heard them spoken, echoing in my ears. I don't remember what we were talking about beforehand, my guess is it had something to do with misconceptions about the Catholic Church, but the RCIA teacher, in a very kind voice, began to explain that some people didn't know what the Church teaches about various practices and traditions. The moment was set. She could have talked about evangelizing and spreading our faith. It was a great launching point.
Instead we went in another direction: "Some people don't know what the Catholic Church teaches. They believe that we worship Mary and the saints. And that's okay too. Because that's their truth. It's true to them."
Now I didn't know much about theology. I didn't know much about Catholicism. I had my toe in the water and had had more negative education on Catholic teaching than positive (like when the former Christian Brother who taught my Biblical Literature class repeatedly stated that Jesus never claimed to be divine... That he never said he was the Son of God... And he repeated that throughout the entire semester at the CINO college I attended).
Instinctively I rejected the words. I wasn't Catholic but I knew that there were such things as reality, truth, good and evil in this world.
It's not true that we worship the saints, and it doesn't magically become true just because some person poorly versed in Catholic theology believes that we do. It's not true the Catholics believe that we work our way to heaven. Things in this world don't exist just because we think that they do. They exist because God created this world. Our motivations can make our actions good or evil. But thinking a certain way doesn't alter reality.
I am a Christian because I love Christ and know that he came to bring salvation to all those who were willing to follow him. I am not a non-Christian because some crazy person somewhere declares it. There are not two conflicting realities. Some statements are true. Some statements are false.
Christ is the Word made flesh. God spoke our world into existence. We don't think our world into existence. But I have a feeling I know where that idea comes from. After all Lucifer's sin was pride. He wanted to be God. And that sort of logic, which is apparently alive and well in our world today, reeks of that particular rebellion.