APOLOGIA (20) – Is the Christian God the only God?

Anastasios

 

Objection 1: Different religions call God with different names but they are talking about the same God, the God we believe.

Objection 2: If God is the Father of all, so everyone is son and daughter of God, regardless of the name they want to call Him.

On the contrary, in Deuteronomy 10:14-17 it is said: “To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. … For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”

I reply that we need to be very careful in the way we pose the question. The answer to the initial question would be: yes, the God that is worshiped in the Catholic Church is the only God. In the passage we saw before, He is called “God of gods,” meaning that He is the supreme Being and the others are our idols, gods made by human hands and imagination but not real gods. So, despite the fact that there may be also good things in pagan religions, we have never to forget that they worship idols, not the real God.

With the Jewish people we have certainly a common and important history, but the differences are very important, if not fundamental. They are still waiting for the fulfillment that will come through a Messiah, and this is one of the basic element of their religious life. But we don’t forget that for us Catholics, this fulfillment is already here and his name is Jesus Christ. In John 14:9-14 it is said: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

So the Son, Jesus Christ, is the one that shows us the splendor of the Father and speaks with His own authority. Can we say that these things, between us and the Jewish people, is a detail of secondary importance? Certainly it is not, it is a fundamental issue, because we affirm, through the Word of Jesus, that there is one way to go to the Father and that is Jesus Christ, Our Lord and His only Son. In Acts 4:8-12 it is also clearly affirmed: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.”’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Our faith in Jesus is not, cannot be and will never be a detail in our faith.

Reply to objection 1: After what was said before, we can only understand that the problem is not just a different name for God, but the fact the some religions are talking of a supreme being that has very little in common with what the Bible in the Old and New Testament has revealed to us about God. It is not enough to say that someone believed in “god” to think that we are talking of the same supreme being. A few days ago an actress said that she believed in God “in her own way.” What is the meaning of this? There are no different ways of believing in God if they are outside what Jesus and the tradition of the Church has revealed to us.

Reply to objection 2: Yes, that all are sons and daughters of God does not mean that everyone recognize Him for what He is. God waits for everyone but not everyone will answer His call in the right way.

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