For example, it seems to me that God had such high expectations of Miriam and Mosses in the Old Testament that He judged them using a much higher criteria because they were much higher in God’s eyes than were the other Israelites. Similarly, I wonder if God judges us in this day and age using the same criteria given that the quality and intensity of temptation varies so greatly across individuals. For example, we all know that homosexuality is sinful, but I have to wonder if God will use same criteria in judging someone who suffered from homosexual urges from an early age the same way he would judge a heterosexual who just decides to explore homosexuality given they did encounter the same intensity of homosexual temptation as those others who experienced intense homosexual urge since early childhood?
Excellent question. I know many people whose habitual bad behavior is a result of elements of their childhood that seem to have a grip on them. I wonder if the flip side of “to whom much is given, much will be expected” is “to whom less is given, less will be expected.”
The same kind of thought also crossed my mind… to whom much is given much is expected etc.
Remember we are promised that we will never be given a task without sufficient grace to handle it.
From personal experience, when I’m given very hard spiritusl/moral challenges, and I overcome them, in every case the result was that I’ve grown closer to Our Lord, and, in fact happier.
So I believe God judges according to what has been given, and the rewards for overcoming these obstacles are commensurate with the difficulty.
Think of St. Paul’s thorn. God’s answer: My grace is sufficient for you. But, I’m gonna guess that the rewards St. Paul reaped in heaven WAS more than worth any discomfort Paul “temporarily” had.
The sad reality is that, yes!
God Judges with the same criteria:
20 For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (St. Matthew 5)
Sin is sin.
Since I am heterosexual would my sin be different if I have stolen from my early childhood and continue to steal today? It could be argued that habitual stealing must no be held as a sin, right?
Here’s the difference, a kleptomaniac is a person who has the compulsion to steal; it does not have to be items of any great value; these stolen items could well be kept as mementos or sold or thrown away (I don’t know the full extent of the decease). What makes it into a diminished capacity is the fact that there is a mental disorder.
Just recently I saw a pic and read a description of a celebrity proudly defending her male child right to wear female attires… the child could not be older then 5 or 6 (in my estimation), is that a decease or libertine act? Homosexuality is the conscious practice of going against the natural state. Redefining nature does not make it less or other than what it is. Rejection of what Yahweh God Commands does not make us less responsible for His Demands.
As for masturbation, the CCC is quick to point out that: “To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.” This suggests that God indeed uses different criteria across individuals!
Robert, diminished capacity is not the Call; the Call is to Be Holy!
This is the problem that the Church, as Moses, has created; people are aiming for the gutters (‘cause God loves us just as we are’) instead of aiming for Heaven (‘hey, I’m no saint’).
What the Church intends is to have us seek God instead of fearing the Sacrament of Reconciliation; yet, what people are doing is claiming innocence, diminished capacity/culpability or ignorance as the guise to continue to live unrighteously.
But you must agree that God judges people differently based on how the sin was acquired.
Not people, SITUATIONS. We don’t “acquire” sin. We DO it.
Ged is aware of what happens to us. Even still, we have the capacity to do the right thing and repent.
If God made exceptions to His laws…He would be unjust.
Are you really suggesting that God is unjust?
I’d think twice about that.
God bends over backward to show His mercy, man.
Bend over backward.
Died on a cross, frankly.
To whom much is given, much will be required.
For instance, it is reasonable to believe that God will weigh the sins of an intellectually disabled person (mental retardation) in a different way than a neurotypical person who had every advantage…
If God is just, he must consider how the sin was acquired!
We don’t ACQUIRE sin!!!
I think you’re skating around something here.
That’s OK, I’m out.
Text in Romans 2 seems to imply that god will judge people based on what they are given. The Jews will be judged based on the Law, the Gentiles will be judged without the Law. Perhaps, one could draw the conclusion that God will judge a non-Christian (one that is non-Christian out of ignorance) without Christian demands. But that is only my thoughts.
This may not be a fair question, but I’ll ask anyway. Which sin offends God more: Somebody who watches porn and masturbates to it a million time and then engages in raunchy sex with male and female prostitutes, or someone who fails to love God with all their soul, heart, mind and strength for just an hour, which I believe we all fail at? Indeed, all the sex can be easily forgiven in some circumstances, and in some cases may not be a sin at all! What do you think Christ would say given He explicitly states that many prostitutes will enter Heaven before the self-proclaimed righteous?
Jesus has a couple of interesting messages regarding our judgement and reward:
“So when the evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they received it, they complained against the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them, and said ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ So the last will be first and the first last. For many are called but few chosen.” (Matthew 20:8-16)
Matthew 25, verses 31-46 where He explains that He judges souls according to our living-out of practical love for others.
The Church has shown extreme patience; as she Received from Christ the Authority to bind and loosen, she has the means to offer leniency–sadly, as I’ve stated before, this is being capitalized on by those who seek to minimize their responsibilities and obligations; instead of striving for perfection people are claiming diminished capacity… it’s that ole “a loving God will not send people to hell,” theology.
Yet, even here it is not about the sin but the capacity of the individual.
Say three of us meet up with St. Peter:
a) I go in promoting myself, how great I’ve been, how much I’ve worked in the vineyard of the Lord… (I may not even make it into the front gates)
b) Person b shows up not realizing where he/she is; yet, once identified his/her records shows that he/she lived according to the Golden Rules and that was instrumental in serving the needed out of love… (that person may be moved right to the front of the line)
c) Person c shows up with a list of excuses, relies on “ignorance of the law,” and “I don’t know why I did it, I just did…” (that person may have to take the express into double hockey sticks lane)
God’s Justice and Mercy is not dependent upon man’s conditions. Yet, God’s Love and Mercy does take into consideration the human conditions that may make a person a candidate for diminished capacity.
Robert, do you not see what you are doing?
Now you demand that God agree with your understanding of justice or God cannot be Just.
Even as young toddlers we learn to manipulate others around us… every wonder why it is that when a child slams him/herself against a door, furniture or another person he/she may bounce right off and does not utter even a peep? Yet, when caught doing what they shouldn’t just looking at them breaks them down into a river of tears?
It is the human condition. Instead of spending time and efforts in obeying God and striving to be Holy… we seek to find ways to excuse our behavior–we don’t want to give up “a good thing” even if it kills us ('the wages of death is sin).
The Jews were given the Law (Torah and the Prophets’ Writings) so they will be Judged according to that; Christians were given Jesus, the freedom brought by Faith so they will be Judged on that; non-Christians are given the law of nature, God is Revealed to them through nature, they will be Judged on that.
Yet, if a person feigns ignorance or actively rejects God, no amount of “mea culpa” or “but I just didn’t know,” will suffice.
Robert, you take so much liberty… I can only think that you are ignorant of Scriptures or willfully seeking to have the cake and eat it too…
Jesus warns the religious elite about failing God because they rejected God’s Plan of Salvation while the publicans (tax collectors) and the prostitutes heed God’s Call.
The part of this which you do not seem to be able to follow is that these do not remain habitual or purposeful sinners but that they change from the sterile unrighteous life to the fruitful righteous Life.
Check out how wrong your eisegeses on this is:
6:15 You know, surely, that your bodies are members making up the body of Christ; do you think I can take parts of Christ’s body and join them to the body of a prostitute? Never! 6:16 As you know, a man who goes with a prostitute is one body with her, since the two, as it is said, become one flesh. 6:17 But anyone who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. 6:18 Keep away from fornication. All the other sins are committed outside the body; but to fornicate is to sin against your own body. 6:19 Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God. You are not your own property; 6:20 you have been bought and paid for. That is why you should use your body for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians)
Play particular attention to this verse:
Keep away from fornication. All the other sins are committed outside the body; but to fornicate is to sin against your own body.
Everyone, even those who refuse to believe are held to the same condition: bought by Christ Blood to Glorify God!
Only God knows what criteria, but in my opinion it is definitely different for everyone in that it’s definitely on a case by case basis. Growing up you would always hear stories about what if so and so evil person (Hitler) repented before he died, or similarly what if so and so (Mother Theresa) commited a mortal sin before she died, crazy things like that.
I would like to believe God knows our hearts even better than we do and sees how we love each other and treat each other and uses that as criteria. Which makes much more sense than you evil fornicators are all going to Hell kind of Judgement, which I don’t believe for one second.