At the end of Part One, I was beginning to discuss the moral compass inside all of us, the natural law etched on our hearts. Two examples of this compass come to mind. Some Christian fundamentalists I’ve met will say that a dying baby not yet baptized will not be saved nor go to heaven. My internal compass starts doing flips when I hear this. A loving God would be that rigid and deny salvation to an innocent? Sorry. It just does not ring true.
The more extreme example is the father who sexually abuses his ten-year old daughter. This is objectively wrong, universally wicked and a reasonable person in tune to his moral compass would have to agree.
The relativist, denying that moral compass and existing in a world that is never absolute, might say that depending on the culture, societal or historical context, this abuse could be condoned. The absurdity of this statement, its brazen opposition to natural law, is evidence that relativism in regards to morality is false.
One last comment on relativism. It is somewhat influential in our society and that is troubling. “You’re imposing your beliefs on me? Who is to say what’s right or wrong?” Such questions might come from a relativist or a secular liberal, which helps to explain why abortion, same-sex marriage, birth control and other issues are such contentious battlefields.
I came to the realization that God, as Jesus, founded the first Church. And God, as Creator, is the author of the natural law.
I was initially a skeptic when I began my foray into Catholicism. My preconceived opinions, notable for their inaccuracies and their reliance on both secular sources and uncharitable Christians, were nevertheless rectified. I found Catholic teaching nothing short of awe-inspiring.
As for other religions, it was important to me that I give them due consideration.
Judaism, the monotheistic religion of the Jews created by the biblical covenant between God and Abraham, is unwilling to recognize the new covenant as established by Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. That limits its appeal for me. I say this with some sadness but that doesn’t diminish in the slightest the extraordinary amount of respect I have for their religious lineage.
I will always acknowledge the special relationship that Christianity shares with Judaism with great affection. It should never be lost on anyone that Christ was a devout Jew but most importantly, that He was the fulfillment of the old covenant. Christianity was borne out of Judaism.
As for other religions, philosophies, cultural traditions and Christian splinter groups that have attracted legions of followers, men and women, not God, founded them. Some of these people have been characterized as prophets, revolutionaries or visionaries and their ambitions may have been laudable. But God was not the originator. That in itself is hugely problematic. I am not interested in man-created creeds regardless of the charisma of the founder or well-articulated teachings. I do not want to stake my soul on human invention.
Over the ages the list is endless, but a small sampling of these man-made religions and their prime architect would include: Islam/Muhammad; Buddhism/Siddhartha Gautama; Hinduism developed from the Vedic religion and the early Aryans; Lutheran/Luther; Presbyterian/Calvin; Anglican/King Henry VIII; Quaker/Fox; Baptist/Smythe; Mennonite/Simons; Methodist/Wesley; Seventh Day Adventist/White; Jehovah’s Witness/Russell; Calvary/Smith; Christian Science/Eddy; Mormon/Smith; Scientology/Hubbard; and so on.
(to be continued in Part Three)