Is It Hubris to Believe That the Catholic Church Is the True Church?

Catholic Church true church

Have you ever heard someone say that it is hubris to believe that the Catholic Church is the only true church? The person who remarks in this way simply wants to end a discussion by reducing it to relativism. By saying essentially that your church is good for you and my church is good for me, they seek to make all churches (or even religions) equal and the discussion irrelevant.

The True Church

A couple of years ago, I wrote a two-part article titled How Counterfeit Churches Devalue Christianity in which I laid out numerous biblical and historical reasons for the Catholic Church’s divine origin. Please click here to read it.

Also, Anthony LaneRay Sullivan, and Guy McClung recently wrote some quality articles on similar topics.  Please click on their names to read them.  We write these types of articles because the truth that Jesus founded the Catholic Church and gave it His authority is surrounded by lies to the contrary.  However, no matter how many lies surround the truth, the truth continues to be relatively easy to find.

Truth and Lies

Truth is simple.  It is a word, either in the mind or communicated to another, that accurately reflects reality.  Unfortunately, numerous lies often surround the truth. When I was a criminal investigator, I interrogated countless criminals. Before arresting these subjects, we gathered multiple items of testimonial and physical evidence. The evidence gave us assurance that we were arresting the right people. After the arrests, we conducted interrogations.

One thing every criminal had in common was that they refused, many times for hours on end, to tell the truth. They came up with every lie imaginable to hide their criminal acts. They not only lied about the crimes themselves but also about everything leading up to them.  Sometimes, they even lied about the evidence we had in our possession.

Conversation With a Criminal

Imagine the following exchange:

Investigator: Did you steal from Joe?

Subject: I don’t know Joe; I wasn’t in the area; I don’t steal; I didn’t need the money; I didn’t do it.

Investigator: Why are you in this surveillance video, in which a business recorded one-half of a block from the theft?

Subject: That looks like me, but that’s not me; I don’t know; That must have been from another day; Like I said, I’ve never been in that area.

Investigator: Why is your 2012 Silver Toyota Tundra with a dent in the driver’s side door and with your license plate affixed, the same truck that was at your home when we arrested you, parked one block from the area where the theft occurred and at the time it occurred?

Subject: That’s not my truck; someone must have stolen it; I don’t know how it got there; Someone must have stolen the license plate and put it on their 2012 Silver Toyota Tundra with a dent in the driver’s side door.

Investigator: Explain why we found the stolen money in your apartment with your fingerprints on it and the apartment surveillance video showing that only you had entered your apartment since the crime.

Subject: I don’t know how the money got there; Someone must have planted it there; I’m being framed.

Multiply these lies by five or so and you will get an idea of how interrogations go. Thankfully, the lies eventually give way to the truth. When this begins to happen, the investigator can psychologically corner the subject and obtain a confession. If you let liars talk long enough, they will expose themselves as liars.  This applies to those who lie about the Catholic Church as well.

(In case you are wondering, a confession differs from an admission in that a confession includes an admission of guilt along with details about the crime and how the person committed it. An admission is simply a statement of guilt without the details.  Let us return to the subject at hand.)

Why the Hubris Argument Lacks Integrity

As you can see from the above scenario, countless lies often surround one truth. Now, we would not say that it is hubris to believe, based on numerous pieces of good evidence, that a particular criminal committed a crime. In fact, we would not say this about any truth, no matter how many lies surround it.  Rather, we would weigh the evidence against the criminal’s statements and make a judgement that conforms to reality.

Similarly, lies and false religions surround the truth about the Catholic Church’s divine origin. But if we have numerous pieces of good evidence to support the Church’s claim, and we weigh that evidence against the statements of our detractors, then we have no rational choice but to accept the reality that Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church and gave it His preeminent authority. It is the true Church. We call this intellectual integrity, not hubris.

Real hubris is spreading lies as if they were true because lies are nothing other than a pathetic attempt to recreate reality and make oneself God. On the other hand, humility is devoting time to learning the truths about God and submitting to them. The one who does this rejects relativism and the arrogance that goes along with it.

In the words of Saint Paul, “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.” Catholics boast of the Lord every time we say that the Catholic Church is the true Church. This is not hubris at all. It is simply humble submission to the Truth Himself.

This article first appeared on Catholic Stand.

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