Is it a sin to disagree?

What if you are perfectly good person in all areas - you rarely envy, kind to others, but you disagree or vote against the Catholic church’s teachings on controversial issues. It is not always easy to understand why the Catholic Church has its stances on certain issues. It is not written in the bible. Some say you should accept the church’s teachings and obey - where is our free-will - this is when I start seeing the church as controlling.
Sometimes it is difficult to see how Atheism is a sin. Not everyone can easily find Christ. There are so many different religions. If I were from an interfaith or atheist household it would be difficult to know for certain one religion is right and all the others are wrong.

If you know Church teaching and simply reject it then yes that is sin. Christ left the Church to guide mankind until he comes again. To reject the Church is to reject Christ.

I often see the argument that as long as someone is good then it doesn’t matter if they reject moral precepts. The problem is it allows the person to say what is good and bad and rejects that God is the author of morality. Morals are about what is pleasing to God or more correctly avoiding those things that are displeasing to Him.

When someone says I take care of the poor, but then sleeps around and use the Lord’s name as a curse or epitaph, are they truly being good? Let’s take it out of a theological construct. If you have a child that always helps and does chores, but then kicks the dog and complains about their slave driving parent are they being good? In both cases I would say they have goodness in their heart, but immaturity leads them to pettiness and spite.

The question is always about if we are placing our will before doing what’s right in God’s eyes. We use the Church as the barometer since our fallen nature allows us to delude ourselves into thinking we are good. Most the time we are small and petty; we look for ways to justify that little voice that tells us it’s okay to ignore God… He’ll understand. But does it lead us closer to heaven? I don’t think so.

Yes and it is a grave sin. All Doctrine and Dogma is from the Holy Spirit. If you willfully disagree with Church teaching, with full knowledge, you need Holy Confession and if you won’t confess and submit to what God taught His Church - you may not receive Holy Communion. It will be sacrilege if you do.

This is not fully your fault. You were not even aware that this is the definition of heresy. Someone should have told you that heresy is a grave sin that the literal Devil will tempt you to commit.

It violates the 1st Commandment.
2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c1a1.htm

Please do not receive Holy Communion until you submit to God and I recommend that you go to Holy Confession. You may not have had full knowledge, because you didn’t know heresy is a sin, but I would still go to confession ASAP. The Holy Spirit literally gave us all of the Church’s Doctrine and Dogma.

When I first came back to the Church, my conscience was corrupted. I was blessed by God to know that all Doctrine and Dogma is truly from Him. He gave me that grace. So I knew that what I felt was wrong and that His Church was right. It wasn’t always easy, but by God’s grace my conscience is getting much better. I don’t have to fight my feelings as much anymore.

I love you. I will tell you the truth. Heresy puts your soul in danger of losing God forever.

You are having 2 issues that the Devil is using to tempt you

You are doubting that all Doctrine and Dogma is from the Holy Spirit
You were unaware that it is even a sin to disagree

There is a difference between FEELING something is wrong with Doctrine and Dogma because you have concupiscence thanks to the fall - and literally disagreeing (literally disagreeing is heresy). We have a tendency toward sin. One of the sins we have a tendency toward is heresy. The Devil knows that.

If you want help dealing with this issue, send me a message and I will work through this with you and take as much time as it takes to help you through this. I love you and I want you in Heaven.

God loves you. Be at peace.

Thank you God, for giving them the grace to ask this question.

I think at some point we all have issues that we do not understand and do not always feel we agree with. I think this is in large part due to a lack of knowledge about why and how the Church has placed certain parameters and guidelines and “rules”. And when Satan knows you are doubting and question, he is going to get his hooks into you and it will spiral out of control. You need to quickly find an knowledgeable spiritual direction, one who is proven to be faithful to the Magisterium. And it probably needs to be brought to the attention of your confessor so that you may gain strength and grace during your time of struggle and doubt.

God Bless!

What a great response! So well stated and understandable.

I will just add your free will is exercised in choosing yourself or choosing God.

When you choose his church you choose him.

From our point of view this is a contradiction in terms. A perfectly good person conforms perfectly to the truth as well as to the good. I understand that not everyone sees our faith as “the truth,” but suppose for a moment that it is. Would its being controversial make it any less true?

In the empirical sciences, there are often pioneers whose views are at first controversial, but later they are shown beyond reasonable doubt to be true. This is of course only an analogy; spiritual truths of the sort we believe require supernatural faith. But you see, don’t you, that an assertion being controversial does not, per se, make it less true?

We’re not a Bible-only religion. Sacred tradition is also divinely inspired, and it encompasses oral tradition and much more.

I’m not sure how you’re using the term free-will. In theology we use it to mean the freedom to choose good or evil, with all the attending consequences of either.

Are schools controlling because they teach arithmetic? If students get marked wrong for some answers, is that controlling?

That’s a very good point. God understands this and takes it into account. In the end, though, it’s not just a matter of using our natural reason alone to arrive at the truth. It’s a response to a divine invitation. We can’t believe fully without the gift of supernatural faith, which God gives to all who will receive it.

I’m going to stop you right there, because of how messed up that mindset is.

I am sick and tired of hearing “It is impossible to be a good person without being in 100% agreement with everything the church teaches, no matter how much it might bother you.”

To start out with, there ARE good and loving people in the world who don’t believe in Our God (or, in some cases, any God). There are Atheists who would throw themselves in front of a truck in order to save their children, there are Hindu’s who donate life-saving organs to strangers whom they will never meet, and there are Muslims who volunteer at charities on a regular basis. God gave love and human empathy to ALL humans, even the non-believers, and refusing to accept it is downright bigoted and mean-spirited. it’s almost un-christian to always assume the Samaritan on the road is incapable of being good by virtue of being a Samaritan.

Secondly, what we (I’m using the collective we) agree or disagree on is determined by our moral codes. We can not choose our moral code, we can not choose belief or disbelief, nor can we choose agreement or disagreement. Nobody is a Catholic or a Non-Believer by choice.

Finally, everyone disagrees with the policies of their leaders at some points or another. It isn’t an iron-curtain that separates the disagreeing person from God’s love, it is just a sign that the disagreeing person needs to investigate this and become informed.

You bring up some strong points.

The point to his comment was: there is truth. It can be known: perfect goodness is found in truth which is God.

God does not one day say x is true and another day y is true.

God made us “very good” in the garden. We were in perfect harmony with his truth. Today in our fallen state we make choices toward seeking that truth that was lost. Sometimes we in good faith err as individuals. But the Church does not err in faith and moral questions because God protects her from doing so. That is de fide. That is what being Catholic is…accepting that.

To start out with, there ARE good and loving people in the world who don’t believe in Our God (or, in some cases, any God).

Yes but not perfectly good. Good in some choices but not all. No one is perfectly good until they are in heaven with God and he makes us like we were before the fall.

There are Atheists who would throw themselves in front of a truck in order to save their children, there are Hindu’s who donate life-saving organs to strangers whom they will never meet, and there are Muslims who volunteer at charities on a regular basis. God gave love and human empathy to ALL humans, even the non-believers, and refusing to accept it is downright bigoted and mean-spirited. it’s almost un-christian to always assume the Samaritan on the road is incapable of being good by virtue of being a Samaritan.

No one said that people cannot make good choices. Of course they can. Even Adolph hitter made good choices. You are missing the point. The point is about something far greater than individual choices. It’s about bringing society and all men into perfect harmony with God. If Christians hadn’t evangelized and reformed society, perhaps we would all be doing human sacrifices right now. That is not good. Gods revealed truth has been given to help us shape society into a more sincere expression of human beings as we were meant to be. Little things add up to big things over generations and in ways sometimes unknown today for both the good and the bad.

Secondly, what we (I’m using the collective we) agree or disagree on is determined by our moral codes. We can not choose our moral code, we can not choose belief or disbelief, nor can we choose agreement or disagreement. Nobody is a Catholic or a Non-Believer by choice.

Why can we not choose our moral code? Of course we can. I can choose my moral code to be kiddo christian and live in the west, or Atheistic and live in China, or Buddhist and live in India or Iskamic and live in the Islamic State, etc etc etc.

I am a Catholic by choice…how are people not?

Finally, everyone disagrees with the policies of their leaders at some points or another. It isn’t an iron-curtain that separates the disagreeing person from God’s love, it is just a sign that the disagreeing person needs to investigate this and become informed.

Disagreement isn’t so much a problem as long as you properly form your conscience and are obedient to God and HIS church.

The church is the authority. Not you. That is what Catholicism is.

Christians that place their own authority above the church are Protestants as this is a core tenant of Protestantism.

If God came to you today and said “stop doing what you are doing” I’d hope you say ok regardless of if you understood why it agreed. The church is Gods living voice of authority for us.

That said, the church’s teachings are very well structured, organic, cohesive and unchanging so we should really strive to try and understand them because they do make sense and they do promote human flourishing.

I really think it will help you to think more macro and less micro and more philosophical and less practical to form an initial foundation on this issue that you can then develop into micro and practical levels.

Peace,

Jon

Honestly we do choose our morality code. Being a certain ethnicity where a particular religion is more dominant can influence our choices. That is all left to God.

BornInMarch, the OP refers to someone “perfectly good … in all areas”. I do not deny that unbelievers can possess a high degree of natural virtue.

Our moral code is shaped by external factors. The type of people you were raised and educated by, the cultural community you grew up in, how you were raised to cope with hardships, how much hardship you had to endure, etc.

For example, a man who is raised by loving catholic parents who nurture him is more likely to grow up to be a catholic because he had good experiences with the faith and saw how Living a Christian Life can lead to happiness.
Meanwhile, a man who is raised by “catholic” parents who emotionally or physically abuse him is more likely to be pushed away from God altogether because he had bad experiences and mistakenly assumed that was living a christian life.

In the bible Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for claiming that they would never have murdered the prophets of old, when in fact they absolutely would have had they lived under the same circumstances of the murderers.

If Jesus hadn’t intervened directly, St. Paul would have spent the rest of his life being Saul and murdering Christians.

Here I have to strongly disagree with you. 10 years ago I supported abortion, gay marriage, fornication, and a whole slew of societal ills in the name of personal freedom. I was also essentially an atheistic leaning agnostic. Through study and eventually prayer I came to understand how messed up my moral code was and chose to amend my thoughts and beliefs to conform to the will of God as held by the Catholic Church.

I am only one of millions that have chosen to change our internal moral code to match that of the Church. To say that no one can chose their mores is complete bunk. It is a cop out to say I live in a society that doesn’t respect God’s teaching so I have no choice but to reject it too. By that account Christianity and its moral ethos should never have left Palestine as it was not native to those other cultures.

I also understand the original question to be “if someone knows what the Church teaches and chose to disregard those teaching, is it sin?” I take this as someone that has been in the Church (i.e. raised in or made a profession of faith). In that case we aren’t talking about someone from a culture completely removed from the faith. We are talking about someone who has been inculcate by secular reasoning to put their own wants and desires as central to their moral code rather than those of God. They are concerned with pleasing themselves before pleasing God.

Wonderful replies everyone! I struggle with absolutely being certain that Our Lord is present 100% in the Holy Eucharist, yet I cannot find truth in contraception being a mortal sin. I only used ABC for six months when I was in my twenties and at 62 I have no need, so the issue is academic, but there are some posters here on CAF that believe I am not a “real” Catholic because of what I think. Am I the only one out there that had this issue? Is there a way to separate theological truth from social realities?:shrug:

Hey I would like to recommend two books to the forum in regard to ABC and its morality. The first is

Healy, Mary. (2005). Men and women are from Eden: A study guide to John Paul II’s
theology of the body.

and the second are Angela Frank’s books;

“MArgaret Sanger’s Eugenic Legacy” and “Contraception and Catholicism”

kazlosap, I will private message you a paper I wrote on this issue that I think you may enjoy and hopefully may help your understanding on this issue. It is too long to put in the thread and probably derails this particular thread a bit.

Here’s the thesis though;

“Throughout history, but particularly in modern times, women have viewed their body as inferior at least implicitly. This view has lead for women to find ways to control their bodies rather than know their bodies. Only once men and women together embrace sexuality as God designed it, can social justice take hold in all social areas affecting the family, but particularly in advancing true feminism as an expression of knowledge rather than supposed control.”

Thanks Jon! I’ve bookmarked your link. Thank you for not just putting me down! Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!:slight_smile:

Merry Christmas to you as well!

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