On the Side of Truth

The Church’s experiences with heresies and conspiracies have been so intriguing and challenging. They have left both a sweet and a sour taste in the mouths of the chroniclers of Church history. The message of the good news of salvation invites us to know the truth that sets us free. But more often than not, that truth is misinterpreted in ways that create fear and confusion for all who seek the truth with a sincere heart.

Matters of faith are so delicate and subtle that they can easily be used to manipulate people into believing falsehood under the guise of truth. The message of the good news is clear and simple. It does not sow fear or confusion, because God cannot tell lies or mislead us. For the spirit we have received is not a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.

So, every spirit of falsehood and fear works against Christ. Sometimes we may think that matters of faith become real and relevant when we are presented with horror stories. We may think that the antichrist is a monstrous being who will appear at the end of time to threaten and destroy all that belongs to God. But that is not the case.

New Millennium Scare

I remember the horror stories we were told in the last months before the new millennium. As teenagers we heard many conspiracy theories about how the devil was working to destroy the world. About the “three-day darkness” that was supposed to haunt the world in the last three days of 1999. It looked like the world would end on December 31 of that year.

We were asked to buy candles and bless them in the churches so that we would be ready to keep our lights burning as children of light when that darkness came. Frightening prophecies and conspiracies were spread in churches, communities and homes, and people believed in fear. Everyone was terrified and overwhelmed with preparation. We prayed in fear and apprehension as we all waited for the strange thing that was to happen on the night of the passage. We closed our eyes in fear, praying and counting down the last seconds; three, two, one, and then, happy new year.

We opened our eyes and lo and behold, we had a new year, a new century and a new millennium, and nothing happened. All these fears were futile. No monstrous creature appeared to threaten or destroy anything. This day was much like the previous days. There was no reason to be afraid. We realized that all these strange and frightening prophecies were false because God cannot frighten us. We cannot fear God in order to believe in Him.

Today’s reading says emphatically that any spirit that will not say that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is the spirit of antichrist. Any spirit that is not on the side of truth is working against Christ, and is therefore an antichrist. So we should not look for antichrist in monstrous, frightening creatures, he is with us in our daily lives, spreading falsehood and conspiracies that confuse and distract us from preparing for the Kingdom of God that is near. So let us always be ready to come to Jesus for strength and rejuvenation. Our God is love and truth. He is not scary.

[Readings: 1 Jn 5:5-13; Lk 5:12-16]

Fr. Tony Ohaekwusi

I am a Catholic Priest of Orlu Diocese, Nigeria. I am presently a Ph.D. student of Philosophy, researching on "Religious Terrorism and Moral Blindness" at the Johnpaul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, where I obtained Master’s Degrees in Philosophy and in European Union Law. I have broad experience and interest in Pastoral Administration, Scriptural Reflection, Spiritual Direction, Moral Philosophy, Critical Analysis and Editing, Youth Coordination, Strategic Studies, Multi-culturalism, Investigative Journalism, and Humanitarian Services.

1 Comment

  1. Oluchi Choice on January 7, 2022 at 5:32 am

    Thanks for this, Fr. Tony.


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