This post will discuss at length the question of some heathens who live decent lives and as a result, assume they don’t need God. It will address the argument also that one does not need to go to Church in order to be a good person. “I know some secularists who behave more virtuous than some Christians” and “Why do I need to go to Church? I’m a good person who is charitably active within the community.” These are the popular questions today that many Christians don’t have a defense for.
Furthermore, in this article, we will explore the idea that these arguments are “progressive” and “modern” in nature. We will discover that while they appear to be so, the reality tells us that humans have been repeating the same garbage per millenium since indeed the foundation of the world.
Let’s get one thing straight. We don’t go to Church to learn how to be good or behave. That is simply one of the bricks laid upon the foundational purpose we attend. The reason we attend Church is for the salvation of our souls, because without the Holy Eucharist there can be no eternal life hereafter. One could write a book on the reasons we go to Church but that’s it in a few sentences.
Being a “good person” has its own meaning according to the pair of glasses someone is wearing. If you’re wearing glasses that view the world from secular philosophy, then you’re idea of a good person will conflict with that of the Gospel.
A secular person tells themselves that they’re happy and content they way they are. They’re convinced of their goodness. Consider the following day in the life of a secular woman:
“I have a nice boyfriend. We are living together in a stable relationship and the sex is great. He loves me and I love him. I go out on a Saturday night in a skimpy little skirt looking like a prostitute on steroids and get drunk. But, I’m a happy drunk and I’m doing nobody any harm.
Then in my spare time I am a volunteer driver for cancer patients back and forth to the Hospital. Furthermore, I am a member of the Samaritans hotline who speak to people that are depressed or feeling down. I go home and enjoy charging my new age Chrystals by the light of the moon while I watch entertaining horror movies like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Then my friend calls me and asks if I’d like to meet with this clairvoyant person and reunite with some dead relatives. Sounds cool so I go. Along the way we bitch about many of our closest friends behind their backs and judge them. Looking out of the car window I see these huge mansions as we are driving through a rich estate. I begin to begrudge them this and become envious. Then After that little Seance get together I wake up refreshed and ready to do some charitable work all over again. I’m happy, life is good.”
Do you see how wildly apart the two views of what a good person is for Christians and those who have made a friend of the world? To a Christian this lady performs good deeds, but destroys them all with the unChristian life she leads. In the end she thinks she’s “good” but her envy and judgement of her friends prove otherwise as does her casual sex and cohabitation with her boyfriend amidst other demonic practices.
Truly, there’s no such thing as a good person in this world. Yeah, I think we’d all agree that some are better than others for we are not all serial killers, huh? However, when placed beneath the magniftying glass of Gods perfection, we discover that there’s really no such thing as a virtuous heathen much less than there is a careless and unholy Christian.
Sure, there are heathen out there who do better than some Christians but they perform whatever little good they do in vain. The difference between them and the Baptized who struggle with their weaknesses, is that Christians are at an advantage. The eternal salvation of the Christian is much more secure while that of the heathen unknowable. As a result the secular man places himself in a much more precarious situation. But what does he care? He is under the illusion that he is happy, is a good person and life is going well for him.
For such a person only prayer and the Grace of God can help him. But nobody is happy so don’t believe that either. Happiness for a secular person is the joy they get out of the moment while true happiness as conferred by the Holy Spirit is a way of being. Even millions of Christians fail to attain that kind of perfection. Few spend their lifetime in the desert away from the world in search of it and only ever get glimpses.
Therefore while indiluted happiness is always within our grasp, Christians don’t go to Church only to get happy either (though studies show that people who are religious tend to be more content than those who do not practice their faith.) The ultimate goal of going to Church is to attend the Divine banquet of the Lord and to maintain a realtionship with Him for the salvation of our souls. While the type of happiness that comes from leading the life of spiritual perfection will not result from this, the Lord provides a clarity of soul that is simply a taste of what is to come when the Christian finally departs this life.
Secualrists beleive themselves to be happy but they neglect to speak of the times when they’re most depressed. It’s very difficult to believe them for many tell lies that they’re “happy” and “content” with life. They decieve themselves in order to avoid standing in the light of better reasoning, being humble and admitting defeat. “I’m a good person”. Ha, no you’re not. Shut your mouth with that nonsense and stop deceiving yourself. You may be able to fool the weak minded secular peasant, but not the Lord. You don’t fool He who sees your miserable unhappy heart.
This brings me to my grand finale which is the idea that such claims to virtue are modern and progressive. You often hear these atheists, secularists, agnostics and humanists make the claim they’re modern. Observe how “cosmopolitan” they think they are when they say it too. Many are self-styled philosophers who think they’re so with the times, intellectual and cosmopolitan. They’re usually the over privileged delinquent children of the upper middle classes whose parents paid for their education. Roaming around the halls of academia and inhaling the demonic spirits that float therin, they assume that by their presence alone they are now professors on life and know-it-alls.
The following quote from St.John Chrysostom on his homilies of the Gospel of John prove there’s nothing modern in the “I’m such a good person” argument.
“Well”, “says someone,” “but are there no Christians that do evil, and heathens that live discreetly?” That there are Christians who do evil, I know; but whether there are heathens who live a righteous life, I do not yet know assuredly. For do not speak to me of those who by nature who are good and orderly, (this is not virtue,) but tell me of the man who can endure the exceeding violence of his passions and (yet) be temperate. You cannot. For if the promise of a kingdom, and the threat of hell, and so much other provision, can scarcely keep men in virtue, they will hardly go after virtue who believe in none of these things. Or, if any pretend to do so, they do it for show; and he who doth so for show, will not, when he may escape observation, refrain from indulging his evil desires. However, that we may not seem to any to be contentious, let us grant that there are right livers among the heathen; for neither doth this go against my argument, since I spoke of that which occurs in general, not of what happens rarely.Saint John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of John
Do not tell me that a man is temperate, and does not rob; these things by themselves are not virtue. For what advantageth, if a man has these things, and yet is the slave of vainglory, and remains in his error, from fear of the company of his friends? This is not right living.Saint John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of John
As you can clearly see, many are good but only for show and for a time. Rarely do any of us see a mans heart or what goes on behind closed doors. If even Christians with the threat of Hell can’t be good how can a secular person who never darkens the door of his local Church be considered so?
Don’t listen to these fools who delude only themselves. They’re like people who purposefully break glass, put it in their porridge and then eat it. Who does things like that? Crazy people. Who tells themselves that they’re good and don’t need God to be a good person or happy? Crazy people that’s who.