Guest article by Fr Emmanuel Mccarthy (continued)
The search for God’s truth, like the search for truth in general, morally and rationally necessitates adhering to it, obeying it, once it is found. This is a moral obligation prior to all others. To not believe in Jesus as “the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Word made flesh, Lord, God and Saviour” and not follow His Way as the Way, Word and Will of God is rational. But, to believe that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Word made flesh, Lord, God and Saviour” and not obey His Way is irrational. It is spiritual and theological cacophony and chaos. It cast one’s existence into jeopardy. It is undermining of the entire Christian life and of one’s vocation (L. voco, call) from God to be a Christian. Why? Because, whatever God reveals is true and God is incarnate in Jesus, “the visible image of the invisible God” (1 Col 1:15ff ), the “the Word who is God” (Jn 1:1) “made flesh” (Jn 1:14 ).
“But, Jesus Way of Nonviolent Love towards all does not work. It cannot work. It is powerless. It is foolhardy. It is unrealistic. It is unreasonable. It is a fantasy meant for a few Christian fanatics,” say the Just Warist Christians Yet, all such objections are invalid and without a scintilla of relevance if the Person, who taught the Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as God’s will, is God. For if He is, then this Way is the Way of God and it will work because it is the wisdom of God and the power of God and the truth of God. That I cannot fathom at this moment in time how it will work is of no consequence. The credibility of the Author and Proclaimer of this Way is beyond all doubt because He is God-Incarnate and I, as a Christian, have absolute faith in Him as God-Incarnate, and therefore in the truthfulness of all He says is of God. “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7) with Christ-God along His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. We do not walk by faith as regards knowing the teaching or Way of Jesus, we walk by faith that His teaching and Way are true because of who He is, and therefore we adhere to His Way.
“Walking by faith and not by sight,” when God-Incarnate is the revealer of the Way we are walking, is the only rational thing to do. It is the only rational thing to do despite all the hypothetical fears that we may have regarding walking along that Way, or despite how incredibly unrealistic we may judge it to be. When we say that a statement, which we cannot prove by use of empirical evidence, is incredible we mean merely that it is extraordinary. But it should be borne in mind that this is a misuse of language, for the credibility or incredibility of a statement has nothing to do with its intrinsic probability or improbability. The statement’s credibility or incredibility depends solely upon the credentials of the authority of the one whose statement it is. In other words, the credibility of a statement that cannot be verified by empirical evidence is correlative with and proportionate to the credentials of the authority who makes it.
Now the credentials of God are indisputably infinitely superior to those of any human being or any group of human beings. Hence, what God says is supremely credible. His credentials for truth are impeccable. “God does not lie” (Titus1:1, 2). Hence, what God says is “the Way” is the Way beyond all doubt, objection, argumentation or alteration. His Way may not necessarily be what I or any other human being could have or would have arrived at by the use of human reason alone. Its probability of success may seem to be zero from the human perspective. Yet, all such objections are intrinsically invalid and without a scintilla of relevance, if the Person who taught this Way is God. All depends solely upon the credentials of the authority of the person who is communicating, “This is the Way.” And this holds true, whether the Way being taught is the Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies unto death as taught by Jesus, or the way of the justified human slaughter and maiming of enemies as taught by some philosopher, theologian, politician, media personality or prelate of distinction. What are the person’s credentials for claiming to know the Way of God, that is the question The credentials of Jesus, of God Incarnate, are impossible to trump, if you are a Christian!
(To be continued)
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy