Today I’m thinking about the famous dialogue between Jesus and Pontius Pilate found in the Gospel of John, Chapter 18, specifically verses 37-38, after Jesus speaks of his kingdom in the preceding verses. It goes like this: “So Pilate said to him, ‘Then you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’” Today we find this question to be quite profound and we find different groups claiming different answers.
We Catholics claim that we have the "fullness of the truth," adhering to all that was revealed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Protestants claim that the Catholic Church lost its way in the early centuries following the death of the last apostle and that the truth was re-discovered in the 16th century by the Protestant reformers. Islam claims that Jesus was nothing more than a prophet and that the stories in the Bible are nothing more that human fabrications; that the real truth was delivered to Mohammed in the 6th century and recorded as the Quran. Mormons claim to be Christian and that additional revelations were given to Joseph Smith in the 19th century and recorded as the Book of Mormon. Then, of course, there are the atheists, who claim that God does not exist and that all of these recorded documents are nothing more than silly human fabrications.
So we come back to the Pilate’s question: What is the real truth? If there is no God, then the entire universe, including the evolution of man and his surroundings on earth, happened completely by “chance.” As I’ve tried to show in previous postings to this blog, and despite the opinions of famous scientists like Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and others, this seems to me to be completely out of whack with our observations.
What about Islam (or any other non-Christian religion)? While I have a great deal of respect for these religions, St. Peter answered this question in his famous speech to the Sanhedrin in Acts, Chapter 4, verse 12, speaking of Jesus Christ: “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” If you believe the Bible, apparently Christianity is it.
What about Protestantism, including Mormonism? Numerous Scripture passages indicate that the Church established directly by Jesus Christ will last forever. In other words, this Church will never be led astray and will last to the end of time. For example, in Matthew, Chapter 16, verse 18: “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” Also, in Matthew, Chapter 28, verse 20, where Jesus said: “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” He was speaking to a group of Catholics long before the Reformation happened. Apparently Catholicism never has and never will be led astray. The fullness of the truth is in the Catholic Church!