Is not caring about a doctrine the same as denying it?

Hi,

I’m in a situation where I honestly don’t care whether the list of Church dogmas and doctrines are all true… I know, I know, kinda weird. But that’s where I’m at. So, I hear that denying any of these is a bad thing, that doubting them might be acceptable…but I guess I’m curious about the way I view them - I don’t exactly doubt them so much as I don’t care at all whether they’re true or not. I currently just see them as a hindrance to faith in Christ for me. I’ve adopted a mentality where I completely reject any arguments in favor of or in disagreement with doctrines other than the most basic teachings of Christianity. So I’m fine with the Virgin Birth, The Resurrection, God creating the Universe, the Trinity, etc. but the things that are distinctly Catholic or Protestant or Anglican or Eastern Orthodox… I’m just so over the disagreement and the endless amounts of information to support any of these views that I’ve concluded I will never make up my mind about who is right, so I stopped caring.

Does that fall under doubt? Or what?

You are not ignorant, therefore, in your present condition, you will spend all eternity in Hell.

Wow. I’m speechless…

Someone else asked a similar question recently, and got a great answer. I’ll try to find that for you and post it here. Main questions you may want to ask: Are you obstinately refusing to believe something which must be believed? Are you at least open to continuing to search for truth?

(I’ll get back as soon as I can with that other response.)

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=963180

^It was your own post I was thinking about. I don’t know what else I could add to that. (David Filmer’s posts)

I’m definitely open to truth but only if it falls on my lap in an undeniable way (which admittedly has happened in the past - sometimes God just makes it plain as day). I’m not open to it in the sense that it means I have to continue reading arguments and counter arguments because that goes on indefinitely and there isn’t enough information out there to really give me certainty of which Church is “right”. I would love to be convinced beyond a doubt that one specific way is what Jesus intended but I have not yet found that conviction. I’ve also come to think that it doesn’t matter because no one denies that those other Christians are Christian, the differences in doctrine seem unimportant in the big scheme of things to me.

As for obstinately refusing to believe … This seems to make sense to me only if one accepts that the Catholic Church is definitely the Church Jesus established and yet denies some other teaching such as a Marian dogma or whatever. But it is the very idea that the Catholic Church is “the Church” that I am very uncertain of. And since I have so much uncertainty about it, I’ve kinda concluded it doesn’t really matter. If it isn’t “the Church” and I worship in it I’m sure God would understand that I was doing my best with the information I had. If it is His Church and does have the authority it claims and I just never come to embrace that with certainty, yet still believe in Jesus and make an attempt to live as a Christian, again I trust in Gods mercy and that He would understand I was doing my best with the information I had.

I fully intend on living a moral life, loving God and loving my neighbor, giving to the poor, praying and growing my relationship with God, participating in the sacraments and going to church. I can do that as a Roman Catholic or as a Greek Orthodox or a couple other faiths that claim apostolic succession … I don’t have a preference or conviction that either one is more right than the other. Does that mean I should belong to neither? That certainly wouldn’t make sense.

Reported. Catholics are not able to judge the state of a person’s soul, nor determine who is/will be in hell.

If you don’t care then you don’t believe. We always care about things we believe in.

As I said before (in the thread that ahs linked to), disbelief is not inherently sinful, but there are three conditions that indemnify us from sin through disbelief. The second condition is that you must make a sincere, ongoing, good-faith effort to correct your disbelief.

That means you can’t be complacent in your disbelief. Saying you “don’t care” sounds a lot like complacency to me. It sounds like you have no intent to form (or reform) your beliefs.

And that would be bad.

Ah, yes. His response was good. He does mention certain conditions regarding the doubt though that I don’t believe I meet. I’m past doubting at this point though, I’m more in the “I don’t care” category. It doesn’t seem essential to the faith. And some of the emphasis seems to be that we “have” to accept what the Church teaches or else - or else what? We go to Hell? It seems contrary to what I think Jesus taught - that we had to believe in Him - not in a list of dogmas that are too long for anyone to even remember them all.

As for David these were the conditions he mentioned…
He said:
“The person must recognize and admit that his disbelief is a personal flaw that should be corrected (he must realize that he is somehow wrong, even if he can’t explain why. He cannot say that he is right and the Church is wrong, even if he can’t understand why the Church is right).
He must make a sincere, diligent, and ongoing good-faith effort to correct his disbelief.
He must not teach his disbelief to others as an alternative truth.”

Disbelief can be sinful, either as a sin of commission (obstinacy) or omission (complacency). Like all sins, this can be venial or mortal, depending on the degree of knowledge and consent.

Given sufficient knowledge and consent, disbelief can be mortally sinful, which would forfeit your Baptismal Grace, putting you in danger of hell.

So, yeah, that could happen.

It’s not that I don’t care as in I don’t want to know… It’s that I’m not satisfied with the arguments (and I’m exhausted of reading unconvincing arguments) presented to me about certain things (like Roman Catholicism vs Eastern Orthodoxy, for example) and those things don’t even seem to be central to the Gospel.

But just to be clear, you’re calling this disbelief and that is distinct from doubt? I mean, I don’t believe it but I also don’t deny it. I feel very agnostic about it - to me it seems that I honestly don’t know and it doesn’t seem to matter. With the example I gave about Roman Catholic versus Eastern Orthodox - I honestly don’t know which one is - if in fact either one is - the "right " or “true” Church, I wish I knew, but I don’t AND I don’t think it matters because all the people in either are still Christian.

I think the issue here isn’t from the fact that have you have doubts, but rather that you think it isn’t important. Some of the things you’ve specifically mentioned, like the Eastern Orthodox vs Roman Catholic distinction, should be very important to you, because they have a significant impact on how faith in Jesus Christ is properly expressed, as well as who has the authority to make proclamations of dogma.

It is true that both groups are Christians, but then, Protestants are Christians as well, but some groups teach things that are logically and morally destructive (such as the widespread acceptance of abortion and contraceptives in many Protestant communities). They may be Christian, but some of their teachings have the potential to cause you to forfeit salvation at the end of your life.

It can be very tiring, that is true; and you certainly can feel free to take a break to let your mind clear; but you can’t abandon the question altogether. Your eternal salvation is, literally, the only thing that ultimately matters; so if there is a question that is pertinent to it, we have an obligation as rational beings to seek answers.

I use the words interchangeably.

But not “reject.” A rejection implies that a firm resolution has been made to disbelieve something. There’s a difference between not believing and refusing to believe.

AND I don’t think it matters because all the people in either are still Christian.

This is true. Both Churches are Catholic, having valid Orders and seven valid Sacraments. (“Roman”) Catholics and Orthodox have equal access to saving Grace.

When I converted, I considered Orthodoxy. The thing that convinced me otherwise was the question of authority (it always comes down to authority). I believe that Jesus empowered his Church to act with his own authority (“He who hears you, hears me”). I find that authority alive in the (“Roman”) Catholic Church. The Orthodox? Not so much.

Reading OP’s posts that weariness really came through - what I would suggest is - I hope I can articulate this adequately and I’m not entirely sure if I can so please feel free to ask for further clarification. :slight_smile:

[LIST]
*]Like many converts, there is a need to study, and it’s good to take that seriously, but some people do so much of it they may risk burnout, and
*]The person experiencing such burnout may be then tempted to “decide for him/herself” about how to deal with it all, rather than seek advice from a spiritual director for the burnout itself, and
*]It’s possible a spiritual director might advise to back off and go to prayer, to “Let Go and Let God” help with the confusion instead of doggedly trying to nail it all down or else giving up and becoming one’s own authority, even partially - two extremes to be avoided.
[/LIST]

So I pray for peace, humility, and discernment for the OP. We all need it no matter how far along we are in our spiritual journey. :blessyou:

Thank you!!!

Let go and let God. I need to tattoo that on my arm! (Not really I hate needles! But you get my point) I always seem to forget it. It’s the best advice ever, though.

I have OCD and I’m definitely facing burnout when it comes to researching beliefs.

Several people have reported the poster who posted the “going to hell” comment. An hour ago one of his name-calling threads was removed by a moderator.

Is your “don’t care attitude” an excuse to participate in activities that the Church wouldn’t approve of? For example have you stopped tithing, going to confession and actively participate in activities that could be considered mortal sins under Catholic doctrine?

If you are using this “new attitude” to justify sin then you are making a huge mistake. If you are simply overwhelmed with the many aspects of Catholicism and are electing to simplify your worship but not committing sinful behavior then you might be ok.

At a minimum you would need to at least:

Attend Mass weekly
Go to confession at least once a year
Keep yourself free from mortal sin
Actively pray
Share your gifts with the Church physically, mentally, spiritually and financially (as means allow)
Be a good and charitable person

If you are doing the above and striving always to have a meaningful and personal relationship with Jesus Christ then blessings will find their way to you. If you are outright rejecting these things then you most likely have a really big spiritual issue but it’s for you and Christ to decide.

We can’t be so arrogant as to think we only need Christ as a “supplement” and not a “necessity” in our lives. If our own wants and needs are becoming before Christ then we are headed down a bad path.

I wish you a blessed life through Christ.

WT

Please disregard what GWWDVD wrote as non responsive, not representative of CAF and in error. I won’t dignify it with any further response.

I’m hearing intellectual burnout. (These are some questions you might think about, please don’t respond.) Am I correct? Do you feel overwhelmed by an excess of conflicting information that you can’t sort out readily?

I see you converted five years ago. Consider the spiritual (prayerful) preparation you received. How and what were you taught about prayer, meditation? How is your prayer life now? Stats show that 1 in 3 converts are not practicing 3 years after initiation. The cause is hotly debated but in our parish we drew a correlation between failure to develop the interior life and not continuing in the Church after conversion.

I would like to suggest that you set aside for now the issues of doctrine that are confusing you because this is not a crisis of faith as much as spiritual malaise. I would encourage you to find spiritual director, (not to be confused with a confessor) and look at rebuilding your relationship with God before you tackle dogmas and doctrine. I’m not a priest bit it seems to me that spiritual malaise is an affliction, not a sin.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).

The ultimate solution for those currently experiencing burnout is to find refreshment in Christ.

I don’t disagree that other Christians that are members of other demonization are saved and valid Christians. But don’t forget Authority is a very important part of the Church and it is where other denominations fall short.

Protestants virtually have zero authority and have taken the position that the Holy Spirit will lead them all to the correct answers. This only breeds chaos, causes confusion and many time splits within congregations.

The Authority of Rome and the Pope is truly a magnificent gift along with the catechism that has answers for virtually any question. I’m so thankful to have come home to the Church two years ago and give thanks for the Authority I freely submit to. The best advice I can give you is to embrace the gift of the Church’s Authority.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.