It is a mantra chanted by the secular populace since Adam and Eve first covered their nakedness; it never ceases to be repeated ad nauseum.
“We are reasonable people, give to charity, and display the right amount of manners in public. There are so many reasons in light of being good people who follow a moral code who don’t necessarily need the Catholic Church to get us to that point.”secular republic, book of life, chapter of indifference
It is of course, right to hold this position and even scripture supports it, but there is a need for religion which I will explain in a moment. First things first, we need to explain the position of the Church to those who dismiss it.
The law of God, inscribed upon our hearts means we will inevitably and in some deficient form, follow the rules of Christ. It’s still not a good position to hold because we leave ourselves open to judgment. St.Paul tells us, God judges those who obey the message according to their conscience.
“(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”St.Paul, Book of Romans, Chapter 2, verses 14-16
Sadly, many Catholics who no longer go to Church fail to recognize the error. We don’t go to Church to learn how to be good people, but to save our souls. Without the Body of Christ, he says himself we will never have life in us.
The concept that we are “good” is always highly debatable. There’s no such thing as a pure person without God. Charitable, yes, good-mannered in the public forum, yes but…without sin? Impossible. Such level of perfection where our pride, envy, anger, avarice, sloth, greed and lust are absent is rare. We can be good without religion but can become even better when we take part in the sacraments of the Church.
If our Catechesis goes no further than looking at the Church as being a handbook on how to be a virtuous person, is it any wonder we struggle with such arguments. These quarrels devised by Catholics indifferent to their faith need responding to but if we are blind ourselves, how can we help? In such trying situations, we stare at our feet in an awkward silence hoping the conversation may change to something more reasonable.
The mission we Christians have, then, is helping people examine themselves more closely. We do this in the hope the general public realize they’re not as unique as they think they are. If I may digress, Some even willfully delude themselves into believing Gods presence encompasses the entire world, not just the Church, so why go? We go because, while the atmosphere is full of water, when we are thirsty, it makes sense to visit the fountain. Church is the same concept. God wraps himself around the world, but only at the altar do our soul’s hunger and thirst get satiated.
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