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Monday, May 19, 2008

Comments

 WilhelmThe Inquisitor

The Author should be Drawn and quartered

In Exile

I've never been a fan of religious people fighting fire with fire. That is, it's almost impossible for the religious to attack secular notions of sexuality, without looking uptight, stupid or 'behind the times'. People see church teaching on sexuality as repressive so I usually counter with an explanation of the beauty and high ideal of love in the Catholic church. An explanation of why the church teaches what it does. Rather than engaging in campaigns AGAINST secular sexuality, we should be in engaged in campaigns FOR Catholic teaching. Let them have their version. Let's just make sure our version is available and abundant. In this way, egos don't get involved. People don't want to be convinced that they're 'wrong', but if we offer them something awesome, they'll likely want it for themselves. So, rather than being anti-contraception, anti-sex out of wedlock, we should strive to be pro-love that doesn't require protection, pro-love that involves complete self-giving. Pro-love where are bodies are used to accurately reflect that total self-giving. People can see for themselves how real love and therefore real love-making is then naturally disposed to be reserved for someone that they're intent on giving themselves over to for the rest of their lives and why the sacrament of marriage is an appropriate step in the process.

When I see a video like this, I'm embarrassed for Christian's everywhere. It's exactly the kind of thing that gives us a bad name. It's precisely what I couldn't stand Christians before my own conversion and it's one of the reasons why I was so reluctant to even explore Christian teaching. Incidentally it still drives me nuts. The only thing that makes me crazier? Creationists.

Those are my thoughts... Love the candor in your blogs. Peace out...

Dominic

Oh.
Yet another moral relativist.


Dominic.

In Exile

Oh.
Yet another "Christian" fundamentalist.

Keep breeding antagonism if you like. I'll keep trying to bring people together in Christ, with love.


In Exile

Thomistic

In Exile,

I think you must mean something more specific than "creationists" when you mentioned the "only thing that makes [you] crazier".

A creationist is anyone who acknowledges that God created all things out of nothing. It's simple Christian doctrine, and a dogma of the faith. All Christians are creationists.

I think you must have meant that you do not like hearing some whose perspective is that the only correct understanding of Genesis requires an exactly literal interpretation of the creation narrative in Genesis and who claim that it is heretical to believe that some elements of Genesis, while teaching the truth, do so allegorically (as opposed to literally). At least, I hope so, because belief in creation is not an option for any authentic Christian.

As for your main point, while your stated intention is nice, I think you may be guilty of the same thing you claim to oppose; namely, being against something as opposed to for something. You just happen to be against telling others they are doing something wrong, at least in certain instances.

I think you've stumbled on a part of the truth, but perhaps missed the rest.

There is no way to articulate authentic Catholic teaching on sexual morality without articulating things that may never be done and/or offending those who do not want to live that way.

Jesus doesn't want people to masturbate, and He doesn't want people to look at or draw pictures of teenaged boys and girls masturbating. Such drawings aren't good for anyone of any age, much less ten-year-olds.

It's not loving to let someone drink poison in order to spare them the embarrassment and discomfort they might feel if we point out their error.

In the same way, it's not Christian or loving to shirk our Christian duty and, through false charity, allow our neighbor to sin and risk eternal damnation by neglecting to correct them and speak the truth, in love.

The solution, I think, is both/and, and not either/or, as you've suggested.

The best example I can think of is the way the Two Great Commandments are worded in a positive way.

The Two Great Commandments that contain the whole law of God are:

1) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength.
2) Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

I'm sure you've read this passage:

And one of them, a doctor of the Law, putting him to the test, asked him, "Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?" Jesus said to him, "'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.' This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:35-40)

Whereas each of the Ten Commandments begin with "Thou shalt not..." (I don't think I need to list them, do I?)

I'm certain you wouldn't suggest God was being overly negative and foolishly turning people off, despite the obvious difficulty most of humanity seems to have with keeping all ten of those Commandments.

I realize you want to "bring people together in Christ", but Christ never sacrificed the truth to bring people together. In fact, He promised that His message would be rejected and would cause division, and he warned Christians against shirking their duty to share the Gospel because of human respect:

"But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:33)
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:34-39)

The message of the cross is not popular with the world, which shouldn't surprise anyone:

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

For it is written,

“I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”

Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

In Exile, whether you intend it or not, your position essentially seeks to silence Christians who wish to give witness to the truth. It would be one thing to remind people to encourage goodness in addition to correcting evil and error, but it's another thing to suggest that the two are mutually exclusive, with the former being good, and the latter being evil and repulsive. Again, it's both/and, not either/or.

Pax,

Thomistic

Dominic

People like you let so-called love soften the hard edge of what should be a judicial sword against apostasy and heresy.
That is called presumption.
Sure,approach the homosexual,the sex-addict and the abuser with love,but be aware that not all of them are people looking for an out for their sickness.
Some are dedicatedly hardened in their sins ,and seek to spread the disease to others.
Learn the difference.
Or don't you agree that True Evil actually exists,and wants these people as footsoldiers?
And I am NO fundamentalist.

I'm just not a liberal or a leftist toad like some of the 'gay'' apologists that heckle the real Catholics on these blogs.
i have standards that I will not soften or compromise on.
So,take your attempted slur someplace else.

Like maybe to Gerald Augustinus' Heresy on Tap blog.
There you can backstab all the Catholics you want and get applauded for it too.


Dominic.

Dominic

The above post was for Exile,not you Thomistic.
sorry if you thought so.

Dominic.

In Exile

Mother Teresa once said:

"I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there."

This is the spirit in which I wrote my comment. For the record I'm not a moral relativist (as I believe Church teachings on ethics and morality reflect objective and universal truths. Incidentally, neither was Mother Teresa.), but someone who struggles to live up to the teachings of the church. If my words or actions aren't grounded in love though, I'm a fraud. Incidentally any "Christian" whose actions aren't grounded and growing from love is a fraud. I believe the teachings of the church to be true and my life reflects that. I don't believe the way to convince people though is by attacking them. It's confusing for people stumbling around in the dark "down here" and all too often these well meaning speakers of truth are turning people away from Truth rather than towards it. It's more about them being right,then about being a living witness to the Truth. Their egos all too often get in the way of evangelization, which is what all this is really about.

Love you all... Incidentally, I would love to hear more of Dominic's point of view. That is, if he can refrain from making generalized insults about me gleaned from a single comment I made. I'm open to being convinced otherwise, but only in the spirit of rational discourse.

Your brother in Christ...

In Exile

Thomistic

I understood.

Dominic, I admire your zeal for the truth and want to encourage it. However, I would encourage you to consider whether your admonishments, though doctrinally accurate (as far as I've seen) could be worded in such a way that you show that you are judging the truth or error in people's statements, as opposed to judging the people directly. You are right to call error for what it is, but it's easy to fall into the temptation to believe you understand the motives and/or intentions of the people who articulate error (while calling it truth).

Those who are spreading these errors are certainly ignorant (though it's harder to tell if their ignorance is vincible, invincible, genuine, or affected). They may be more ignorant than you appear to believe. Whether or not they are open to the truth remains to be seen. You may be planting seeds, but water will help them grow better than vinegar.

Please don't be hurt by my suggestion. The Apostles James and John were called Sons of Thunder by Our Lord, because they wanted Our Lord to call down fire from heaven to consume those who would not accept Him. I see something of that in you, and it's surely a sign of zeal, but tepid souls and those who have gone astray may hear things differently. You don't want to be an obstacle to their acceptance of Christ by unintentionally goading them into hardening their hearts out of pride.

Pax,

Thomistic

Thomistic

In Exile,

Mother Teresa also spoke out many times against the evil of abortion, even in front of the Clintons during a speech.

One quote of hers that I love is:

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die, so that you may live as you wish."

Again, both/and, not either/or.

Pax,

Thomistic

In Exile

I can meet you there Thomistic and you're right about what I meant by 'creationist'.. good post.

Dominic. I can appreciate that you're not a fundamentalist, but you have to realize that my post was not meant to encourage antagonism but dialog of the variety provided by Thomistic. I don't claim to have all the answers, but am fully willing to admit that it's difficult to make sense of some things. Ideals and thoughts I held dear and truthful last year are ridiculous to me this year and I'm sure the same will be true next year. Didn't mean to offend, but you do seem pretty antagonistic and you're the won who threw the first 'slur'.

"backstab all the Catholics you want and get applauded for it too." ?!

I have no interest in doing any such thing...

The spirit of my post was just this, as reflected by Mother Teresa:

"I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there."

Love you all...

In Exile

Ach! I didn't mean to quote Mother Teresa twice.. I thought that last comment was lost... Sorry..

Dominic

In other words,I should be all sweetness and light to these enemies of HMC,is that it?
Not call them what they are?
Heretics and apostates?
Why should I not give them back in full measure the recompense for thier treason?
Considering their hubris,and their cackling mockery of everything Catholic.

Answer me that .


Dominic.

In Exile

Dominic: I'm a Catholic. I've studied the Heresiarchs. I'm not against you. I'm not against Catholicism. I love Catholicism. If I speak 'treason', or 'heresy' it's an accident and I'm willing to be corrected for it. The Summa is big. Two thousand years of theology and philosophy is hard to absorb. I don't know all the answers and don't claim to. It disturbs me a little that you do though. If I'm wrong, then HELP ME. Don't spit on me.

"Why should I not give them back in full measure the recompense for thier treason?".. because it's not on purpose! Incidentally, Thomistic's point is exactly my own. I responded to a video, he responded to my response. Had someone else responded to the video the way that I did, I likely, though far less eloquently, would have responded to their post the way Thomistic did.

I never meant to give the impression that I'm anti-Catholic. I'm not. I'm in discernment for crying out loud! lol. Maybe your exhausted from fighting treason to the point that you're seeing it where it isn't? Just a thought. Again.. If I'm wrong, or if anyone is wrong, does it not make sense to try to help them work it out? I would understand you're frustration if I wasn't open to being corrected, but I am.

Thomistic

Dominic,

Our Lord said to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. He is our model. He spoke the truth, sometimes harshly, but probably not at first, and also with a certainty we lack, because He knew what was in the hearts of men.

Our Lord didn't curse the men who crucified Him or call them infidels, heretics, or apostates from the cross. He prayed for them and recited the first line of a familiar Psalm that described exactly what was happening to Him. The Psalm referred to those crucifying Our Lord as "dogs". Our Lord didn't need to "rub it in", as it were.

Your reaction to me was abrupt, and I was, I believe, quite gentle with you, and even said good things about your zeal and acknowledged the truth in things you've said. Yet your response, in my opinion, lashed back with the same sort of anger you show for those you call "heretics and apostates" (and many of them probably are that, if they ever were Christian at all and aren't just baiting you).

I suspect you've been hurt by the insults of those who've rejected your attempts to share the truth with them, and this has made you more susceptible to receiving any sort of feedback in the worst possible light.

I meant no harm. I made a suggestion. You are free to reject it, but remember the old A.A. saying that it's insane to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result? If your words are generally met with the suggestion that you're coming on too strong and turning people off, even from those who agree with you, you will probably keep getting that reaction, unless you moderate your words and your tone, and expecting a different result, after careful reflection, might turn out to have been a premeditated resentment.

Pax,

Thomistic

Thomistic

I have to go, as I need to prepare for work. I've been on too long. :)

Pax,

Thomistic

Dominic

Never thought that I spit on you,nor do I know in total the Summa.I never said that you were anti-Catholic;it is just that too many Catholics today have replaced the definition of the word ''tolerance'' with the reality of actual acceptance of Mortal Sin.theT are afraid of being called hateful,mean and spiteful.They have caved in to what the World wants them to be.
Thus, what the Adversary wants them to be.

Useless,and with no Christian backbone.

And I would like nothing more than to help these people;but as I said ,there are the ones that are dedicatedly corrupt and that WANT this filth to be spread.
Those are the ones that need to be hauled in on charges.
I will never enable them in this disorder,whether they are actively promoting it,or whether they are just simple dupes .
either way,if they are practicing it,and refuse to renounce it,they are damned.
You should know this.


Warnings of eternal consequences for their actions seem to have no effect when delivered as pleas for their lives and souls.
They have been hardened in thier sins before any evangelization could reach them.
Especially when they actively seek to convert our children to this filth,as a form of revenge against God.
These have proved themselves as the Enemy.
the ones that remain chaste and follow Christ have a chance at change and Salvation.They are working it out in fear and trembling.
It is the actively open and dedicatedly Evil disciples of homosexuality that I square off against.
And anyone that dares defend them in their sin.
Understand that I have crossed swords with a lot of people on this topic,and probably will continue to do so over time.
It is just that I have seen so many people fight this and eventually ''come around'' to the homosexual viewpoint either out of peer pressure,like on TCIC, or just sheer fatigue from the spiritual battle involved that it sickens me to see anyone just give in to it without a fight.
Let alone suggest that nice words and euphemistic platitudes wouild have any significant effect,except to further embolden the enemy,and increase their mockery of the defenders and the Faith itself.
The Catholics that already know Sound Doctrine usually make their positions known,and the ones that want to tinker with it and make it almost unrecognizable are usually the ones that beg for the most punishment for the Defenders.You have seen this too I believe.
Sure .I'd like to save the ones that attack HMC too,but how can you when they are fighting you under Satan's command?
I just wish that people would understand that under some conditions,war is exactly that;WAR.
I wish that it was not,because I used to enjoy blogging with some of these folks before they went all lefty on us.

I will defend the Church and defend her positions on all things.
I understand that perhaps I have come on very strong about these topics.
I always have because I beleive the way that the Church believes on the topics.
I cannot be any other way.
It is the fact that I have been mocked for not compromising these values that is at the core here.
I can take that.
What I will not tolerate are those who claim to represent themselves as Catholics and then do a 180 degree turn and promote all types of ''moral relativism'',let alone mocking Holy men and women as closeted homosexuals and lesbians.
It is the casting down of imaginations we are dealing with here.
The sin of Babel.
Read some of the filth being spewed over at Gerald Augustinus' blog.
And then tell me that I have no well-founded reasons for my disappointment,anger,and outrage.
If you think I'm overreacting,well and good.
Maybe I am a touch over-agitated.
But this much open perversion being posted on what was advertised as a Catholic blogsite is more than enough to make any Christian's head spin in fury,even with a prayerful hope that it was just an April-fools jape.
It turned out not to be so funny.
Sorry to be so serious about my Faith.
It's just that I take Faith and things like sacrilege and mortal sin VERY seriously.

I guess sticks in the mud like me make it hard on the party-goers that show up for Mass.Like Gerald.

Dominic.

anthony

When "admonishing the sinner" it is always best to deal with that person like you would deal with someone who is about to jump to their death from a tall building... always leave then an out. Give them a reason to step away from the ledge, and towards you. Show them how much you care about their well being and you stand a far greater chance of saving them from that eternal damnation that they are about to plunge into.

Thomistic

Anthony,

I agree with you. That's an excellent way to look at things.

I know that there have been times in my own life where I've probably hammered people a bit too hard when I've known they're wrong. It's easy to become so wrapped up in being right that I can forget that the person I'm dealing with is human and prone to the same tendencies toward pride and the same reluctance to experience the shame that can be experienced when admitting to being wrong that I see and feel within myself.

It's easy to allow my emotions to get the better of me and forget that Our Lord said we should treat others as we would wish to be treated. Nobody likes correction, but it's better for us to be corrected than left in error, and love for others helps us see that it's better for them too. the tricky part is correcting people in the way we would want to be corrected, which is the proper application of the golden rule (as opposed to tit for tat and an eye for an eye, which even the best of us can devolve into if we become overwhelmed by emotion when our Faith is challenged).

I'm not singling anyone out or picking on anyone when reminding people to speak the truth, in love. I too can be guilty of letting people have it with both barrels – probably more often than I'd like to admit.

Sometimes error can be exasperating, honestly. This is especially so when it does seem like the error isn't the result of a defect in the intellect, and is more likely the result of a defect in the will as a result of attachment to sin. When errors like that are combined with attacks on the Faith, and/or on good Christians, and/or sacrilegious words and actions, the righteous anger one feels can easily cloud one's judgment.

It is better to deal with these people as if trying to talk them off a ledge, because they are on a ledge (as are all of us when we are being tempted or conscious of sin). It's hard to view those we perceive as our enemies (and/or enemies of Christ) as poor, lost sheep and fellow sons of Adam and daughters of Eve who have gone astray and need our love and prayers, but that is what these people are, whether we are thinking about that or not.

I think one of the best remedies for my own tendencies toward uppity self-righteousness is to reflect on my own sins and to remember that Christ promised that the mercy we show other will be shown to us, that we will be judged as we judge, that we are to pray that God will forgive us our trespasses in the same way that we forgive those who trespass against us, and that charity covers a multitude of sins.

I can't speak for others, but I know that I'm a sinner and that I need mercy. If nothing else can shake me out of the temptation to run around denouncing others as though they're all damned and I'm the light of the world, fear of my own Particular Judgement and reflection on how all of creation will see exactly how flawed and sinful I am at the General Judgment usually snaps me back into remembering the need to pray for the grace to forgive (despite any lingering feelings of resentment or negativity) and beg for mercy for those who have injured me and all who offend God through sin, because I definitely need God's mercy.

Pax,

Thomistic

Robin Conroy

I WIL NOT take a side on this debate - - it's words and words don't get at the meaning here.
IN EXILE - thank you for a way to approach an issue - it is very pastoral!
Thomistic - Ia appreciate your wisdom and vast amount of knowledge.
Augustus - breathe and think in terms of WWJD - it sounds juvenile but when you start spouting accusations (no matter how true and right you may think they are) you have more of a chance to have people turn their heads and claim you are a mentally ill fanatic. Again, Christ met the people where they were - - the only extreme emotion that I have read was the cleansing of the temple.
As for other issues - I have taken to heart what many of you have said - and yet I find it hard and difficult to do as you ask when the bishop in three specific diocese have asked me to speak of my love and ministry for the church as a gay catholic. Go figure -

LEt us learn a lesson from InExile to find a peaceful resolution.

 WilhelmThe Inquisitor

CCC 2357 "Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved"

David1

If we want to be an agent bringing people to Christ, then we have an obligation to be effective. Depending on a person's nature, spiritual maturity, degree of lostness and other circumstances, they will be lead to Christ through different means. In some cases, reason will do it. In other cases, they may need a brick up the side of their head. In other cases, compassionate love will bring them to truth. The brick up the side of the head technique is the most dangerous because of the damage it can do if used improperly. Christ used mostly on the religous of his day who were lording it over others (such as teh Pharisees and even Peter on one occassion). Jesus used firmness on the rich young man, compassion for the adulturess woman and so forth. The key was that he used a loving technique that was skillfully applied to the given person. One size doesn't fit all.

As to the topic at hand, Exile was right that we Catholics can be seen as the "against" religion. We should always be inviting people to come to the beauty and joy of Christ. Catholic married sexuality is one of those areas of beauty. We should indeed be teaching sex education rather than leaving it to the culture of the day who miss the point altogether.

David1

I would also add, however, that we should never allow true damage to occur. The sexual teaching of our culture is very damaging and so we need to loudly point our the error and the damage it causes. However, we should always couple that with an invitation to the true joy of sexualty the Catholic way. Wee need a book called, "The Joy of Catholic Sex."

Anne Danielson

"But you, beloved, must remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, for they said to you, 'In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts'. It is these worldly people, devoid of the Spirit, who are causing divisions. But you, beloved, build yourself up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on some who are wavering; save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies." The Letter of Jude (17-25)

Dominic is justified in his fear of those who have no mercy in their quest to bring others into their lustful ways.

David1

One of the above quotes from Jude was, "save others by snatching them out of the fire." What we've been discussing is the best way to snatch them out. I contend that's not enough to "fear" them or to stand on the streetcorner screaming "sinner!" Notice all the ways in which Jesus worked with individual people one on one to save their lost ways. That's our model.

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