Thursday, February 18, 2016

Conflicting Belief Systems: "What is Truth?"

On the first Good Friday nearly 2000 years ago, the Jews presented Jesus to Pontius Pilate hoping that Pilate would condemn him to death for making himself their king.  To his credit, Pilate anxiously tried to discover the truth.  Was Jesus the king of the Jews or not?  He questioned Jesus.  Jesus’ famous response was confusing:  “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 is of the truth listens to my voice.”  Pilate’s comeback demonstrated his obvious frustration:  “What is truth?”  (Quotations are from John, Chapter 18.) 

Right now I feel a little bit like Pilate because I am frustrated by what some people feel is the truth about modern day issues.   My question is this: how can intelligent people disagree on what is true even when all the evidence is laid out in front of them? 

Examples:  Does God exist or did everything in the universe and on earth simply evolve with no supreme power?  Was Jesus Christ the Son of God, or just a good man?  Is the Catholic Church today the true Church founded by Christ or just one denomination out of thousands for us to simply choose?  Is the Eucharist the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, or just bread and wine?  I’ve given MTT about these over time and you may have sensed that I get frustrated just like Pilate.

Then there are modern day examples in politics that constantly frustrate us.  A Facebook friend recently posted his thoughts following Justice Scalia’s death:  “I do not relish the passing of anyone, but he did NOT represent my principles and belief system -- on almost any subject.”  Ah, yes, the debate between conservative belief systems and liberal belief systems.  For example, is the pre-born child a human being and thereby covered by the Constitution as deserving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or is it just a glob of cells that doesn’t become a human being until birth?

Yes, I seem to find myself asking "What is truth?" every day.  I always have an answer, and I get frustrated that  other people don't arrive at the same answer.  My answer always seems like the obvious one.  Why can't others see it?  I don't have the answer to THAT.  I guess I just have to say that my belief system is what it is and it is different from theirs.  That's when I turn to prayer:  Lord, I pray for the human race and where it is headed.  I know that you will come again some day.  Please intervene in the meantime and help us conform to your will.  Amen.

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