Ahh, Gchat! You weren’t the first chat vehicle, but you sure do provide a forum for some deep discussions.
As you may have seen, Leah of Unequally Yoked is holding a Turing Test for atheists and Christians to participate. Julie emailed a bunch of Catholic bloggers, informing us of the need for participation and Stacy wrote back with a whole post dedicated to why she cannot take the test.
Did you read it? Okay, good. Now you can read my cop-out.
I read Stacy’s explanation and wondered how Stacy managed to reach into my head and tidy up the thoughts that were going through my head when I was struggling with Leah’s test! I simply could not vote in Leah’s test and it was bothering me.
|Don’t feel trapped.|
First of all, I was a little afraid, which can be a great challenge for faithful individuals. Fear is okay; I assert that it’s a good thing. A fearless person of faith hasn’t explored enough, if you ask me.
I responded to Stacy with the handy “reply all,” thanking her for her words, which also reached Bryan of Calling All Witnesses. He used the ever-powerful Gchat to spark our own response.
Please forgive me for my laziness, but I’m just going to share it with you:
Bryan: Hey! I just saw your e-mail and I had to log on and tell you that I had that SAME feeling too!! If we’re all feeling that way, there’s gotta be something to that… 🙂
Me: I agree!
Bryan: There was one that I read and my first reaction was “man, that’s gotta be an atheist, because they are way off!”
But then I thought, “Well, what if that really was a Christian, and they are either just getting started, or haven’t formed their beliefs properly just yet?”
me: Exactly! I was thinking the same thing as Stacy and you, but I didn’t want to back down because it would look like fear of the unknown to Leah.
When you break it down like that, you realize Leah might be trying to point out (either knowingly or unknowingly) that any disagreements among individual Christians proves that Christianity is so flawed that it can’t be true.
Bryan: Good point. And in the end, it’s not about what you or I think about what the Church teaches (in the case of Catholicism), it’s what the Church in fact teaches… And why.
There is an ultimate Truth. Getting a consensus on the fact that people disagree on what that ultimate Truth is doesn’t disprove that the ultimate Truth exists.
Bryan: Yes! There were a lot of people that thought the Sun revolved around the Earth. And when there was disagreement, it didn’t mean that there was no Truth… It meant that the ultimate Truth was that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Fr. John has a great line about the Earth being round…He says: “You can want the Earth to be flat all you want, but you wanting it to be that way, doesn’t make it so!
Bryan pointed out that “Truth transcends time…” Even if there hasn’t been enough time to fully discover the Truth, it still exists. He said that, for example, “‘It takes the sperm from a man and an egg from a woman to produce a baby” is true for all people, at all times… two sperm together won’t produce a baby and neither will two eggs.”
As Stacy pointed out, Leah took care to be fair and keep things balanced in this little experiment. I don’t think she purposefully targeted faith as if it’s an object sitting in a room, waiting to be ridiculed, as evidenced by her commitment to understand her boyfriend’s Catholic faith over the last year.
We should take these strides to understand one another, but we need to recognize that in many ways, we’re not speaking the same language with the same definitions.