They have made themselves irrelevant at best.
In ''A Church That Can and Cannot Change,'' Noonan drives home the point that some Catholic moral doctrines have changed radically. History, he concludes, does not support the comforting notion that the church simply elaborates on or expands previous teachings without contradicting them.
His exhibit A is slavery. John Paul II included slavery among matters that are ''intrinsically evil'' -- prohibited ''always and forever'' and ''without any exception'' -- a violation of a universal, immutable norm. Yet slavery in some form was accepted as a fact of life in both Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, in much Christian theology and in Catholic teaching well into the 19th century.
[Noonan] undertakes a rapid historical survey of Catholic doctrine on lending money at interest (usury), marriage, slavery, and religious freedom, showing in each case how the Vatican's position changed and explaining the principles that produced the change.
For instance, lending money at interest was once regarded as a mortal sin, contrary to natural law ("money is barren") and contrary to the Gospel ("Lend freely, expecting nothing in return").
But today no one, not even the Vatican, disapproves of putting money is a savings account to earn interest.
For nearly two millennia, the Vatican taught that it was not sinful to own slaves. After all, the Apostle Paul approved of slavery ("slaves, stay with your masters") and actually returned a runaway slave named Onesimus to his master.
Barely a century ago, in 1890, Pope Leo XIII for the first time denounced slavery as immoral and incompatible "with the brotherhood that unites all men," a brotherhood that had previously escaped notice in Rome.
Similarly, the Vatican long taught that heretics had no religious liberty and governments should execute them, a position supported by Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and words attributed to Jesus himself.
Only in 1964 was this position finally repudiated by the Second Vatican Council which announced that the freedom to believe was a sacred human right. A previously undetected right, apparently.
#2: Christianity? Really? Out of all the fables you can construct that could make a near-anonymous individual feel special, why this particular brand of myth? Make up whatever you want! Go nuts! You could easily go one of two tracks: Make all followers subservient and pentatent, and by their humble piousness they become holy OR claim to empower all believers, so everyone feels like a prophet or near-god.
To paraphrase Ghandi: “If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of America would be Christian today"
.Like the other major groups, people who are unaffiliated with any particular religion (16.1%) also exhibit remarkable internal diversity. Although one-quarter of this group consists of those who describe themselves as either atheist or agnostic (1.6% and 2.4% of the adult population overall, respectively), the majority of the unaffiliated population (12.1% of the adult population overall) is made up of people who simply describe their religion as "nothing in particular." This group, in turn, is fairly evenly divided between the "secular unaffiliated," that is, those who say that religion is not important in their lives (6.3% of the adult population), and the "religious unaffiliated," that is, those who say that religion is either somewhat important or very important in their lives (5.8% of the overall adult population).
holding doctrines that seem contradictory to the central tenets of the religion (being anti-gay, for example)
The Golden Rule and Ten Commandments are probably the most central tenets
I don't really understand the blind dogmatism that says that if you are moral for the WRONG REASONS that this is so terribly bad.
also, the idea of Jesus' divinity is as commonly held, as central, a tenet as you can find in Christianity. So the texts that contain his teachings can legitimately be read as more significant than the glosses of the other writers in the Old and New Testaments
(also, the idea of Jesus' divinity is as commonly held, as central, a tenet as you can find in Christianity. So the texts that contain his teachings can legitimately be read as more significant than the glosses of the other writers in the Old and New Testaments. The primacy of the Gospels is pretty widely accepted. Ditto the 10 Commandments, seeing as they are said to come have come directly from the horse's mouth.)
Don't presume I haven't
I don't think I've actually said what I believe to be right. I'm talking about what positions are most commonly held.
Belief that there is a single God
Jesus as both divine bring and mortal son of God
Salvation and eternal life available through following teachings of Christ (not all Christians say through Christ alone)
Bible as primary text (attitudes toward what text is vary among denominations)
That's why I specifically pointed out that the Epistles and the references to Mosaic Law need to be viewed differently than even Genesis or Job. They're one or two steps away from actual Word of God
If you believe Jesus is divine and that salvation is through following his teachings, then a contradiction lies in any attempt to condemn another human being based upon their behavior.
I'm also still waiting on an answer as to how anti-gayness contradicts the Ten Commandments.I'll drop it; I'm having trouble with the varying enumerations and translations. I'd be drawing on a modern transliteration, not on ancient text.
I'm also still waiting on an answer as to how anti-gayness contradicts the Ten Commandments.
If your approach is "Here's how I construct Christianity and read the Bible and any other reading is wrong!"
What is your point?
um....you just described the bible. the whole thing. if anything else were true, what purpose would constantinople have had for the council of nicea?
To which my response is: so?
Give what as a defense?
"Progress toward equality did not occur when quiet civil rights supporters sat on their asses"
The longer they are allowed to hijack the name, the more they own it.
There are obviously great herds of self-identified Christians, and I guess most of them probably do at least nominally believe in some vague "Jesus is the Son of God who died for my sins and rose again" general stuff, but what I'd like to see is a survey that just presents people with unidentified actual Christian teaching and see how many actually buy it.
...Christianity (or any other religion) in that sense can become just a dimly-lit reflecting pool, wherein people see what they want to see.
I'm not sure whether you know this, but in both Catholicism and Judaism and in some forms of Protestant Christianity, it doesn't matter how many rules you take away - you retain your religious identity in the eyes of the church's theological leadership.
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