Learn by Topic: Apologetics
Modern Men are Confused about Truth
Today, many deny that “truth” exists. Pluralism argues that all “truths” are equally valid, while relativism argues that no “truth” is valid. Ironically, and satanically, secular activists deny that “truth” exists while militantly manipulating government to enforce their own “truth” (relativism/pluralism). The denial of knowable absolute truth is simply a modern version of Satan’s deception in Eden.
It is confusion about “truth” that has led modern society into darkness. The rejection of truth has resulted in the collapse of marriage and families, the attempts to pervert marriage, the slaughter of millions of children through legalized abortion, the mainlining of sexual perversion and adultery, growing acceptance of euthanasia and the rejection of Christ by millions. The lack of clear catechesis in Truth and aggressive secular tactics has intimidated the faithful into silence in the public square.
Jesus Christ is Truth
The Gospels proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Truth (John 14:6; CCC 217) and that He was born to “bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). In contrast to the Light of Christ, Jesus identifies Satan to be a liar and the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Only in Jesus have “mercy and truth…met each other” (Psalm 84:11). Only in Jesus do Truth, Judgment and Justice reside (Isa 45:19).
Through the Natural Law man can, through reason, know what is true and good and what is a lie and evil (CCC 1954). But only in Jesus Christ can man fully “know the truth…[that makes them] free” (John 8:32). Only Jesus promises to send “the Spirit of truth” to guide men to all truth (John 16:13).
The Strategic and Tactical Attacks on Truth
Jesus was attacked by Satan, religious Jews (Sanhedrin, Pharisees) and by secular political forces (Herodians, Romans). Strategically, the attacks focused on Jesus’ Identity/Authority (Jesus is not God, a carpenter nobody) and on Jesus’ Doctrines (teachings on Sabbath, table fellowship, marriage, etc.).
The tactics of attack included direct confrontation/debate, public harassment/intimidation, character assassination (Jesus is morally corrupt: a blasphemer, associates with sinners, a glutton, crazy, dangerous), subversive attacks (plots, schemes, infiltration), political manipulation (Jews ally with Romans) and ultimately, deadly coercion (The Passion). Today, these the same tactics are used against Jesus and His Church by those who deny Truth.
Jesus Christ – Defender of Truth – The Divine Apologist
Jesus Christ successfully defends Truth and gives a model for modern apologists. Jesus:
Irrefutably demonstrates His Divine Identity and Authority – Jesus alone defeats Satan in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-11), by repeatedly casting out demons (cf. Matt 8:28-34) and by using the Satan-inspired evil of Judas (Luke 22:3) for the Glory of the Cross and Resurrection (CCC 2853). He performs miracles (healing, power over nature and death), offers divinely inspired teaching (parables, sermons, use of scripture), shows omniscience (able to read minds, prophesize) and rises from the dead with a miraculous glorious eternal body. He leaves the full Truth in His Church and the Gospels.
Exposes and demolishes false doctrines in public debate using scripture and logic –Jesus publically rebukes religious authorities with direct winning logical arguments across a wide variety of doctrines (cf. Mark 10:2, 12:28; Luke 11:15, 14:1, 20:20, 20:32).
Publically speaks Truth to corrupt power – Jesus stands for Truth against the Jewish elites and corrupt economic powers. Jesus confronts the merchants and moneychangers and single-handedly clears the massive (35 acres) temple area (John 2:2:18). Repeatedly, He confronts the Pharisees and the Sadducees and provocatively corrects their falsehoods and rebukes them.
Is not deterred by anger, threats and intimidation – On many occasions, His enemies persecute and attempt and plan to kill Him (Luke 4:29, 11:53-54, 13:31, 19:47; John 5:16, 8:59, 11:53). Christ does not falter when questioned by Pilate, knowing that Pilate could spare Him (Matt 27:1-26). In all cases, Jesus never is intimidated or deterred from presenting the Truth.
Speaks the Truth bluntly when necessary – He tells Peter “Get behind me, Satan!” (Matt 16:23). He bluntly rebukes Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36-50). He calls the Pharisees “guilty” (John 9:41). Jesus pronounces the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit by the teachers of the law (Matt 12:22-32). He pronounces woe on the Pharisees and the experts of the law for their hypocrisy (Luke 11:47-54).
Acknowledges that many refuse the Truth – He says that the lost “have ears but can not hear” (Matt 13:13). To Pilate, Jesus says, “everyone who is of the truth hears My voice”, to which Pilate replies, “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38).
Picks His battles – Jesus knows when to defend (numerous direct debates with Jewish leaders) and when to withdraw when it does not serve His purposes to be captured (Matt 12:15, Luke 4:30, John 6:15). Jesus chooses not to do direct miracles for the wicked (Matt 16:4).
Is not deterred by the weakness and confusion of disciples –Proclaims the truth even when His family thinks that He is crazy (Mark 3:21), when the disciples turn away (John 6:66), and when close disciples become confused (Luke 9:41, 9:55, Matt 26:69-75).
Makes the Truth personal – In addition to public sermons, Jesus teaches the truth directly in a personal way (cf. Woman at the well – John 4; Nicodemus – John 3).
Breaks false cultural/religious rules– Jesus picks grain on the Sabbath (Matt 12:2), heals on the Sabbath (Luke 14:1-6), eats with sinners (Luke 7:33-34) and touches the impure (Matt 8:3, 9:20, 25).
Takes aggressive action to promote Truth – Jesus physically clears the Temple (John 2:2:18), provocatively enters Jerusalem as a king (Mark 11:1-11), and suffers the Passion to proclaim Truth.
Prays that the Apostles be committed to Truth – At the Last Supper, Jesus ends His vocal prayer with the Father by proclaiming that Apostles “know the truth” and prays that they may be “sanctified” and “consecrated” in truth (John 17:17,19). The Church proclaims that all men come to be saved and know the Truth who is Jesus Christ (CCC 74) through the Holy Spirit (CCC 91).
Leaves His lasting legacy of Truth in His Church – The Truth of Jesus Christ is preserved by the Catholic Church through the oral Tradition and the written Gospels (CCC 126). The Church proclaims the Truth of Jesus Christ through preserving, interpreting and promulgating the Sacred Scripture without error (CCC 107). The Church is “the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (CCC 171).