Why Does the Modern Need the Church to Confirm His Beliefs?

So much of what we hear in the Church today is about “changing” moral teachings.


Why are there people who command the Church’s approval for what they do? Are they insecure? What?

I don’t understand it. It doesn’t make sense theologically, philosophically or anthropologically.

If you are so correct and you know it, combined with the fact that it is so culturally easy to do what you want to do and not have anyone react negatively, why do you care what the Church teaches about, for example, sexual ethics?

Why do you care? If you’re sooooo right, why do you care? “Cuz I was raised Catholic.” What? You remain in this group of people for cultural reasons even though it is filled with teachings that fundamentally contradict your beliefs in very basic ways? I can’t accept that, it makes no sense. Listen to yourself, it’s mad. It would be like trying to be a neo-Nazi and a member of the ADL at the same time.

I’m trying to understand this for real.

It doesn’t make sense. It really doesn’t.

Either you truly believe what you believe and to hell with what the Church teaches–after all, that’s only logical–or you really don’t deep down believe what you say you believe or what you want to be true and your desperate diggings around in Scripture and obscure Patristic texts to find the slightest droplet of “proof” for the truth of what you believe is only a rationalization on your part because you really deep down know you’re 100% wrong.

Know here that I’m really trying to understand this, this thread is me thinking aloud and is not to be construed as being specifically accusatory or condemnatory. Take it in a general manner and let’s try to think about this.

Let me just say that I have done plenty of bad things in my life, large and small, and I know they’re wrong yet, yes, I do/have done them anyway. But I never say to myself, “I’m right and they’re [Church] wrong.” I don’t do that. I know I’m wrong. I can’t do that on the level of conscience because I know it is ludicrous, it would be funny to me if I tried to say that to myself, I’d laugh. I would think, “You’re * an idiot, shut up, self.”*

There’s a number of reasons:

  1. Non-conformists are very to strictly conformist in their tribal identity. They know others would begin to question any one of them if they began behaving and acting in ways that were not common to their group. Outside their group, they may see other groups, like religious people who are against some aspect of the way they live for what seem like good reasons. Their choices are: (a) ignore those religious types, (b) accuse them, even just inwardly, of just being wrong, or © engage the other group by listening, debating, arguing or even insulting them.

  2. There’s a lot of information out there. Some of it designed to lead people away from the truth and make very elaborate claims about other truths. In most cases I’ve studied, there may be a kernel of truth in there, but it inevitably leads to (a) join my tribe, (b) think like me, or © here’s my permission to live how you want but you must follow my formula. From a research standpoint, good to know. But if you have the truth, then it’s very, very dangerous for people who don’t believe the truth.

  3. Science has become god for some. But there are no scientific peer-reviewed papers on the books of the Bible, God or the soul. Yet, it has become quite common to ignore truth and the fact that God has non-human powers far beyond anything we have and knowledge. Since there is no science that studies God or the supernatural, there is no logic behind any school of thought that says otherwise. No science text to point to as proof. But it does confuse some people and I think that’s why it exists. Pink unicorns don’t exist so God does not exist. It’s a denial of god and an unexamined. or carefully argued, denial of a fundamental truth: There is a God who is righteous and good, and a judgement. In some cases, it is the worship of man over God. But, for some, sowing confusion is what they want.

  4. There is very real evil in the world and it has an identity. His primary weapon is deception and spinning many different looking webs that all end at the same place. The Devil? Satan? Surely, not in the 21st Century! What’s so special about the 21st Century? Tablets? Smart phones? Man has not changed in terms of behavior for thousands of years. The First Word War was a catastrophe. The Second World War - even worse. A Third? If so, “The living will envy the dead.”

The Church must embrace falsehood from various places. It must! Otherwise, the Church makes people uncomfortable. A threat, even. It is painted as bad - right now. How dare the Church tell me what to do? It’s not. If you don’t want to hear it, that’s fine. Your choice. But it’s that “if only we can degrade the truth to fit my feelings then all will be right with the world.” In the end, it has nothing to do with logic - just feelings. And deception.


There are the True Believers in progressivism, who believe that anyone who is not for the social changes needed for the perfect society which will create the perfect man is holding humanity back from all that perfection,

And there are the Hedonists, who want to get everyone to agree with them about their lifestyle so that their conscience’s voice will be stilled.

I’ve frequently wondered the same thing. Previous posters have covered several of the reasons. I would add the one that God’s laws are written in our hearts - so in going against God’s laws, these folks have set themselves up for an ongoing internal struggle, which is uncomfortable. In order to get a little peace and quiet, they think getting a dose of external validation might quiet that pesky nagging voice of conscience at least a little. :twocents:

It’s an age old problem.

1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.

I agree with you that it is not logical that people claim one belief system but act within another. I think we all do it at some level. Usually with relatively minor things.

I understand that everyone is ultimately bound to follow their conscience.

I also understand that the Catholic Church promotes having an properly informed conscience, which is in line with the teachings of the Church.

I don’t believe all the teachings of the Church or hold that the Church is the ultimate authority and holds the fullness of truth, that is why I am not a Catholic.

Knowing what I do of the Catholic Church I am surprised that people expect it to change, or that people think the Church should change. Any faith has the right to it’s set of beliefs and to hold the members of that faith to them.

If the members don’t hold to the beliefs, they can leave or expect to be disciplined. Pretty much like a job. If you don’t like the rules in the company handbook, you can quit, bite the bullet and follow the rules, or act against policy and expect to be disciplined.

The difference being that sometimes the rules of the company handbook could be against the law, the Church holds that it is a higher law.

I think it’s healthy and normal for people to discuss the teachings of the church and their feelings on them, questions etc. But ultimately expecting or attempting to get the Church to change doctrine is futile and like asking a leopard to change it’s spots. it’s not going to happen. Move on and put your time, energy and commitment into a religion that you are in line with.

I do understand people wanting to stay because they love many of the things about the Church, faith, ritual, culture etc. But Catholicism is not something you can pick and choose bits of.

:thumbsup: Excellent post. Your honesty is refreshing. Would that many within the Catholic Church were as clear on such matters.

You seem to understand much about the church, that is, from a worldly view. You do not seem to be concerned about what the church is. There is no legitimate comparison between the company handbook, or Mao’s Little Red Book, and the teachings of the church. Your post implies that there is such a legitimate comparison and then that the church is arrogant in holding to “a higher law.”

There is a higher law, that is why you may find your conscience pings you with doubts and concerns about an act you have performed or are considering. The ultra man concepts of the progressivists take this as a license to lie about things more than ever and live a deeper falsehood under the dictates of relativism. They call this building a greater harmony.

The higher law argues against many modernist claims because the higher law is truth. God is Truth. The Church is founded by Jesus who is God, Immanuel, the incarnate Lord. The truth does not change. God is in charge of truth because God is The Creator. The Holy Spirit is called the third person of the One God who has revealed his nature as three persons to mankind. The Holy Spirit indwells and at Pentecost set His Church on fire.

Reason is compatible with faith. But, faith is compatible with Holy Spirit fire. Purge your sins through reconciliation, confess them and be healed. Then, light up! through faith.

That’s pretty simplistic. And while it might be easier to assume that Catholics who reject specific teachings of the Church are just “selfish or they don’t want to be told what to do,” that’s often not the case. There are Catholics who are invested in genuine struggle between what their fully formed consciences tell them is right and what the Church tells them is right. I know the Church likes to think that if one is properly catechized, he agrees with the Church’s teachings. But that doesn’t always happen. We could assume these people are simply self-absorbed, Satanically influenced, secularized, etc. But when we make such assumptions, we simply deny the actual problem and fail to directly confront it.

Maybe because they believe in the Creed. Maybe because they believe in transubstantiation. Maybe because they believe in the Church’s teachings on nearly every topic save one or two, with which they are engaged in continuous struggle. Why is it problematic to leave these people to struggle on their own without wishing them to get gone? If the Church’s doctrines cannot change, there should be no worry about the call to change from those who desire it.

What progress are these Progressives for? Sometimes, it’s pure evil, like euthanasia. Other times, it’s a powerful group that lobbies for their view of Utopia. And sometimes that means religion must be removed from any type of government decision making. “Just go to your Churches but keep your Bible out of my government.” Funny, unless one knows that everyone has the guarantee of free exercise of their religion in public and have the same right to petition their government.

The Hedonists want No shame, No guilt and certainly No Sin attached to their lifestyle. Yes, it’s a desire to still the conscience we all have. Now, why can’t the Church agree? They know it can’t but it does not stop the various attempts. Somewhere, as the OP wrote, they believe there must be something written down in Church documents at some point in time that provides a loophole for this or that, or some “official” interpretation that does.


Agreed. Jesus founded the Church, not men. If we disagree with what the Church teaches, it is up to us to get understanding. It is up to us to humbly submit to God and the authority of His Church, with understanding. God gave us the ability to have life more abundantly. And that abundance comes from following His practical commands. How much better off in this life would we be, in a practical and spiritual way, if we stopped the lying, the stealing, the cheating, and other falsehoods that can get us in trouble on both a practical and spiritual level?

The Modernists? biblehub.com/2_timothy/4-3.htm

They want others to affirm them, elevate them. And there’s nothing modern about that.


Where are modernists? They appear to post in Louvain. Posting modernists?


The religious dialectical, is obscurely, an oxymoron. Don’t steady the ark when the oxen stir the waters upon which floats Peter’s bark. Or, whatever floats your boat.

Their feet run to evil, and they are quick to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are destructive thoughts, plunder and ruin are on their highways.
The way of peace they know not, and there is nothing that is right in their paths;
Their ways they have made crooked, whoever treads them knows no peace.

Isaiah 60: 7-8

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