Something I've had trouble understanding


#1

So there are passages in the bible condeming homosexuality and premarital sex, as we all know.
However there are also passages in the bible that suggest it would be quite alright for a father to sell his daughter.

But even so… why do we choose these things to be such huge sins these days?
What about the 10 Commandments? The 7 Deadly Sins?
People break them every day without any notice.

[RIGHT] :confused: [/RIGHT]


#2

Maybe people do break them every day.

But the Church is not a democracy.

The seven deadly sins are still just as deadly and we are always bound by the ten commandments.

Just cause the majority do it, doesnt make it right. :thumbsup:


#3

Infabilly:

Morality is not a democracy—that’s what Satan sold to Adam and Eve in the Garden. We do not have the authority to judge what is morally good or evil…these are God’s alone.

What is wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. What you said about people not noticing is the demise of conscience and the moral social construct that has been decaying for quite some time now.

Our job is to do what Christ commanded: be perfect like your Heavenly Father, be the salt of the earth, if you wish to follow me, pick up your cross. We are called to go against the grain of a secular culture and convert ourselves then others to the life that Christ asks from us.

in XT.


#4

from Catholic Answers Jan/Feb 2004 V17#6 (the other one, from OSV edited by Fr Stravinskas, if I find it online I will post a link)

How to Read Sacred Scripture According to St. Augustine: A toure of De Doctrina Christiana, by Stephen Filippo

This article deals with the difference in relying on the literal or the figurative meaning of any word or passage in interpreting scripture, a really outstanding summary of Augustine’s teaching.

briefly: things which are clearly asserted in Sacred Scripture as instructions or rules governing life and belief, i.e. the Decalogue, are meant to be taken literally. Problems arise when the signs and language are ambiguous, or from interpreting literal signs as figurative and vice versa.

some ambiguous passages are made clear when referenced to other passages in scripture which offer clearer exegesis, some by referring to the original texts to interpret the meaning of the original writers, others by reference to Sacred Tradition and the rule of faith.

the first error is to take a figurative expression literally-only seeing the carnal sense of the passage and ignoring the spiritual reality (the pharisees reaction to Jesus’ healings on the Sabbath).

the second error is to take a literal expression figuratively. In general, he quotes from DDC III:x:14, understand as figurative anything in Holy Scripture which cannot in the literal sense be attributed to either an upright character or to a pure faith. so if the passage seems to be praising or promoting an action the person of good conscience knows to be objectively wrong, the passage is to be interpreted figuratively.

He then goes on to offer Augustine’s thesis in regard to judging sins and moral actions, by the current culture rather than by objective biblical moral teaching. In applying this to interpretation the saint says:
If the words of scripture contain harshness in apparent cruelty in the word or deed of God orhis saints, these words are efficacious in destroying the power of vice, and therefore are to be taken literally when scripture speaks plainly: against fornication, homosexuality etc.

Those things which appear wicked in word or deed, as applied to God or holy men (the prophets etc), are meant to be taken figuratively (the sacrifice of his son by Abraham for example.

He goes on if scripture is didactice in condemning vice or prescribing charity, it is literal, not figurative. If scripture appears to endorse vice or crime or condemn kindness, it is figurative. (i.e., cut off your right hand rather than sin with it).

Augustine often warns not to take a metaphor used in one passage as a universal meaning throughout: a lion represents Christ in one place (RV 5:5) and satan in another place (1Pet 5:8).

finally he warns with reference to OT not to apply universally today what was then accepted as a way of life (polygamy was permitted until God had brought the Jewish people through his progressive revelation to a more enlightened way).


#5

[quote=infabilly]So there are passages in the bible condeming homosexuality and premarital sex, as we all know.
However there are also passages in the bible that suggest it would be quite alright for a father to sell his daughter.

But even so… why do we choose these things to be such huge sins these days?
What about the 10 Commandments? The 7 Deadly Sins?
People break them every day without any notice.

[RIGHT] :confused: [/RIGHT]
[/quote]

It helps to know the context. It also helps to understand that people’s understanding of revelation develops—in a sense, God has had to put training wheels on our tricycles, because it takes us a while to grasp things. I say this because, in the case you mention, I believe that selling the daughter was an advancement on the practice of the day, which was killing (I could be misremembering, so perhaps someone else can confirm this).

Also, you need to distinguish between the Ten Commandments ,which largely reflect natural law, and the various Old Testament rules of practice which may not. Example: it is “written in our hearts” (natural law), that murder is wrong. It is not “written in our hearts” that a particular practice might involve selling one’s daughter.

The 7 Deadly Sins seems to me to simply be a list of those grave sins that we are inclined to and should be avoided, as they lead to a severing or a weakening of our connection with God. As such, I always view them as warning signs, so to speak: watch out for these! They aren’t “commandments”, and so we really don’t “break” them—we commit them.

As for people breaking them every day without notice: God notices, even if modern man has decided that God doesn’t exist. Some people have lost the sense that there is a hell----all they have to do is be “nice”, not hurt anyone, and—whoosh!–=it’s off to heaven when they die. This simply reflects the relativism that has permeatd society. It’s easy, too----it’s far easier to say that one is “not religious but spiritual”, and go on one’s way, because that person’s God never asks anything of them, and their God always approves of everything they do. The road to hell is very broad…


#6

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.