Devotion to wrong religion vs lukewarmness towards right one?


Who displeases God more - the devout follower of the wrong religion, or the half-hearted/lukewarm/lazy follower of the right one?

I’m interested to know answers to this question from different religious perspectives (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, etc.)

Thank you

Luke 7:47
“Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less.”

Ever read C S Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia? Well, like it says in the last book, prayers for good go to God, and prayers for evil go to the Devil. Also, somewhere in Pauls letters he mentions that lukewarm people get spat out. I’d fall on the side of misplaced devotion, because the passion is there. Lukewarm attitudes are the hardest to change because they just don’t care.

It all hinges on the word “devout.” Charity is the measure of true devotion; therefore the soul with the greater charity will be more pleasing to God.

That’s not up to us to decide, that’s God’s place! The right thing to do is devoutly follow the right Church that Jesus Christ founded 2,000 years ago, the Catholic Church, and pray for all the rest. All Catholics should learn the TRUTHS about our Faith and NOT make up our own minds as to what to believe. God Bless, Memaw

While this is all true, I don’t think it applies to the question.

If I were to hazard a guess, I would imagine that the devout believer in a false faith is looked upon more favorably than the lukewarm believer of the true faith.

The devout believer pours all that they have into their faith, they make it the center of their life. Even if that faith isn’t properly directed, it shows an inward desire to live in communion with God, and God knows our hearts and knows that that person desires Him, even if they don’t know it themselves.

On the other hand, the person who has true faith, but does nothing with it, is like the servant who buries his talent in the sand until his master returns. He does nothing with the truth that has been revealed to him, and Christ tells us quite plainly that the lukewarm will be case out.

Now, is any of this definitive? No. Ultimately, that is up to God. however, I believe the principles I’m relating are sound. Faith, even misdirected faith, shows the desire to know and to please God. A person’s culpability for their belief in a false faith is something we cannot know this side of Heaven, so we must pray for those who believe falsely, no matter how devout and well-intention-ed that faith must be. But I personally feel that the devout false believer is in better shape than the lukewarm true believer.

Of course, I am always open to correction if something I’ve said contradicts the Church ^^

Wouldn’t a devout believer be one who is always strengthening his/her faith and learning more about God? You’d think that would lead him/her to the truth then since Catholicism is logical and, well, right.

It probably will, but we can’t discount ingrained prejudices which would prevent someone from seeing the truth. The anti-Catholic rhetoric in certain non-Catholic circles is so strongly enforced and blindly accepted that it can be very hard for them to overcome it, no matter how rational or logical the arguments put forward are. At that point, we commit them to God’s mercy and hope that that impediment reduces their culpability.

There is also the issue that “being devout” does not mean the same thing to all faiths. For a devout Muslim, studying other faiths is a bit taboo; the same is true for Mormons and JW’s. As such, when they seek to be devout, they actively avoid the study of other faiths. In Buddhism, devoutness isn’t about study, it’s about seeking enlightenment through meditation and the emptying of self; so it’s not super likely that their path to devoutness would be accompanied by in-depth study like you see in Christian circles.

I’m not sure that “false faith” is a good term as most beliefs have at least some of the truth. Some have more than others but those with less of the truth, might be socially prevented from knowing truth in fullness. How this is handled at the time of judgement isn’t my call.

This from the Second Vatican Council speaks volumes to me.

Presence And Action Of The Holy Spirit In The World And In Other Religions.

There is no virtue in being devoutly wrong

I think there is virtue in the love and worship of God and as the catechism states, the desire for God is written in the human heart.

27 The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for:

The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.1

So if I devoutly worship Thor that is better than being a lukewarm catholic?

Whatever dude.

I like this. Good job.

If that devotion is all that you know, then I’d say yes. If you’re doing it be be contrarian because you simply don’t like what the Church teaches, then no.

I am curious how being devoted to a false god can be better than following Jesus Christ but not being devout?

That’s why I specified that the false faith is the only thing you know. If you don’t know any better then you cannot be held accountable. If, on the other hand, that false faith is the result of a rejection of Christ, then you’re far worse off than the lukewarm Catholic.

Devoutly worshiping a false god is an act of the will. It may actively exercise virtues such as faith and love. Lukewarm Catholics presumably follow Jesus through inertia or convenience and are therefor not exercising virtue.

There must be a lot more Norsemen where you live as I know of no communions of Thor in my entire state. The decision on lukewarm Catholics is up to God. I’ve been a lukewarm Baptist before and it seemed to have little to no value at all.

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