I once read how divine revelation is a blossoming flower. No petals are plucked, but only unfolded. Making this my own saying, I typically say that you cannot burn the field of flowers just to save the one you want, but you must accept them all as they are, even if you don’t like or want them all. New revelation cannot conflict with or contradict previous revealed truths. Every religion in the world that contradicts older truths (truths are forever true), is false. True religion cannot be improved upon. If it is true, then it must be rigid, narrow, and even at odds with passing cultures and governments.
The following are some quotes I jotted down from Fr. Gordon Knight’s Rational Theology (1956) to share with you. I could have typed up so much more, but I think you will get the gist of what Fr. Knight’s message is with the following. Try to commit some of this to your own knowledge so to let some of these words come out from you when you are called upon to give rationale for your religion:
”One of the things about the Catholic Church most irritating to outsiders is what they call its smugness. It is so sure that it is right. It is its sureness, not its disagreement, that is irritating. Those outside the Church are accustomed to disagreement in the matter of religion. They disagree not merely with the Catholic Church but with each other. They may believe that they are right, but they are not sure. They profess to be groping for the knowledge of the truth. But if those outside the Church understood why the Church behaves as it does, perhaps they themselves would be less sure that they cannot learn the true version of religion from the Church Christ sent to teach it.
..The Church has never believed that it was supposed to grope for the knowledge of what Christ sent it to teach. The Church considers that it has known these things from the very beginning of its teaching, and that it has been teaching them unanimously ever since.
..This inflexibility of the Church may seem narrow and intolerant, but only to those who do not stop to reflect on Christ’s promise that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, would guide his Church forever. It is precisely this guidance of the Spirit of God that will cause his Church to adhere forever and inflexibly to what it has always taught to be the doctrine of Christ.
..Change is progress only when that change is in the right direction. If one already has the truth, change is not progress. It is departure from the truth.
..Christ Himself has told us what those things are that God expects of us. His version of religion cannot be improved upon.
(Fr. Gordon F. Knight, Rational Theology – Apologetics, 1956)
What does it say of those who believe they have such authority to improve upon what God has already laid out as the true religion? Why would Christ come at all if religion was up for personal revelation and interpretation, instead of being taught by our Blessed Lord?