Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


HERESY – ALWAYS SINFUL AND FORBIDDEN

The word heresy comes from a Greek word meaning choice. Heresy is choosing to go against what God has revealed.

The Church “does teach that no Catholic who has been brought up as such can ever have a sufficient reason to justify his abandoning it. If, therefore, a Catholic should lose his faith and abandon the Church he has certainly been guilty of sin; and if he dies without repenting of his sin he will lose his soul” (page 73, Question 296-7, Radio Replies – Volume 3. See also Vol 1, Question 1046). And “No instructed Catholic can renounce the Catholic Faith without a grave fault on his part. Always he has a grave duty to adhere to his faith, and always he has reasonable grounds for doing so. If he abandons it, he does so by a wrong and guilty choice as well as by an unreasonable choice. If any reading awakens or fosters doubt in the mind of a Catholic, he knows at once that he must cease reading things which endanger his faith” (Question 297, ibid).
 
The Church casts a slur on the Atheist by saying that nobody can become one without a sin of some kind (Question 1, Radio Replies, Vol 2). According to this, if anybody becomes an Atheist it is because they don’t want God to exist for they want some evil. As if they couldn’t believe and have their sin! They could become Protestants who all hold that Heaven is not closed to saved sinners. The Church also says that only believers in God can live really good lives for unbelievers only act good but are not really good for they do not do all they do for God alone helping neighbours only for the sake of God (Question 61, Radio Replies Volume 2). Romans 1 says that all humanity knows what right and wrong are and God’s existence is evident to them. This means that morality as God sees it is no mystery to the human race – they don’t have to learn it. The implication is that every man knows there is a God and that he is to be served and that it is a moral duty to do so. This accuses the Atheist of insincerity and sin and Satanism. It says the Atheist can be moral but never will be.

Radio Replies 3 enlightens us with the following, “I deny that either a Mahometan or a Buddhist, or a member of any other non-Christian religion can ever have the same kind of certainty concerning his religious beliefs as that which is given by that particular grace of God known as the gift of Christian faith” (Question 158, page 38). If you assume any religion is the true one then you have to use that logic. God would not be worth following if his true religion had bad evidence in its support compared to an untrue religion!
 
Catholic teaching says God’s grace can work with a person who converts say to Islam but the person misunderstands the grace and thinks he or she is being led to Islam (Question 267, Radio Replies Volume 2). This is quite nasty for it implies the person can see the misunderstanding but refuses to. God cannot help anybody in such a way that will cause them to go astray. So they are to be condemned if they do not see.
 
The Church believes that anybody who suspects the Catholic Church might be the true Church has a duty to find out if it is (Question 488-489, Radio Replies, Volume 3). Any religion would have to say the same things if it claims to be the true religion for the true religion would be the most sensible one. But to declare that the evidence for your religion is stronger than that for any other is the height of arrogance for you would need to know every religion in the world inside out to make a statement like that. That’s the nice thing about listening to reason only and ignoring revelation for it makes it all simpler.
 
The thought crosses every religious person's mind, "Is my faith really correct and am I in the true religion?" So it must follow that every Protestant who has heard of the Catholic Church must be damned.
 
Rome says that outside the Roman Catholic Church there is no salvation. This means that anybody who suspects that it is the true Church and won’t look into it or join up will be damned. But Rome does not say that any Catholic who suspects that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are the true faith and does nothing about it will be damned. So why the difference? Considering that the Jehovah’s have a far sterner attitude to the need to be in the right faith than the Catholics it can’t just be because the Roman Church teaches there is no salvation outside the Church. Who will be saved for all must suspect that any religion they hear of might be true?
 
Pondering these questions there can only be one answer. The Roman Church must declare that it is more than obvious that the Roman Church is the true Church and any dimwit should be able to see it. Only that way can the question be answered. Any religion can claim the same so it must be as obvious as that you need to eat to live if it is going to work. Also God must inspire people to see that Catholicism is true so it should be able to draw people in easier than say Islam can draw people in. Either way, it must be your own fault if you fail to see that Catholicism is true.

Cardinal Perrone published his Popular Catechism which the Church approved in 1854. It opposed the view that anybody could leave the Catholic Church without sinning. “It is a contradiction and an impossibility that any Catholic should turn Protestant through honest motives; we might as well talk of committing a grievous and heinous sin from honest motives…it is certain, with the certainty of faith, that all Catholics who turn to Protestantism are damned, except those cases where a man repents sincerely before his death and abjures the errors he had professed. Except for cases such as these, it is an article of faith that all Catholics who become Protestants are damned irremediably for all eternity” (quoted in Difficulties, page 118-119.)

Even today the Church puts its seal of approval on publications like Reasons for Hope which say that heresy should be a crime (page 198).

It is not possible to believe that a Catholic could walk out of the Church in good faith if faith is a supernatural gift from God that has been planted in them from baptism. To leave the Church for another religion the Catholic must know something of Catholic doctrine. If the Catholic believes that God is love then God can use that to inspire the thought in the person that there is something wrong in the religion he or she is attracted to which is not wrong in the Romish Church.

The heretic must know deep down that his or her new doctrine is wrong. Then the Church has the right to force her or him back into her fold. And she would also be allowed to prevent that person from making others as bad as themselves for liars and frauds should be stopped.

Some Catholics believe that not everybody who leaves the Church is sinful for they might never have had the gift of faith to lose it. This contradicts their doctrine of the sacramental faith-causing power of baptism and that revelation is given by God to you directly but as guided by the Church. It turns the faith into a collection of dogmas. It denies that God wants all people to know the truth which the Bible plainly teaches. Even if God does not call all men to salvation he certainly wants all to know what the truth is. Christianity does not teach that faith is a choice but a gift from God that you choose implying that anybody that does not get the gift does not want it and is to be condemned.

Jesus claimed to be the way, truth and the life (John 14:6)- that is he gives us the life of God and we experience God living inside us. It follows then that he came to be truth and life for us. It follows then that once you believe in him and experience his life-giving power you have no excuse for departing from the faith or any part of it. The New Testament claims to be the truth and that those who believe have the truth (2 Timothy 6:3,4). So it is forbidden for the Christian to say, “I believe I have the truth”. The Christian must say, “I have the truth.” There is no doubt that Christianity advocates stubborn arrogance. Truth is naturally intolerant of error so if you have the truth then tolerating those who differ or their views would be wrong.
 
What we have read implies that Protestants will be necessarily surer of the doctrines they share with Rome than of their own. That would indicate that the distinct disagreements are not from God but man for everything God says is sure. Thus, Protestants would have to be heretics though they are called separated brethren today in Roman Catholicism.

Many ordinary Christians and Muslims and Jews think that it is great for anybody to have a little bit of faith. They might not be able to believe everything but what little they do believe is appreciated as long as they try to believe the other things as well. One surprise I have had recently was in the fundamentalist Christian book, Are There Hidden Codes in the Bible? Written by Ralph O Muncaster, the book ends with an invitation to serve Christ and how to get born again. He advises those in the Questions and Answers paragraph who say they cannot believe the entire Bible that they can still be saved for it is not necessary to believe the whole thing for everybody has doubts and nobody can afford to wait until all doubts are settled before turning to Christ (page 45). The words of Christ stand in condemnation of this. He said you are either for him or against him. You are either for the Bible or against it. In the story of Dives and Lazarus in Luke 16, Jesus made the point that even if a man comes back from the dead to tell people to do right it will do no good when they won’t listen to the Law and the Prophets. Many people are not experts at right and wrong and can differ from most people in what they think is right for the wrong reasons. So people will only listen to the Law if it makes sense to them. But to most people it does not for it advocates a lot of savage butchering and killing. So you can only accept the Law because you imagine God wants you to believe in it and not because it makes sense. But you will only accept the Law if you treat it and think of it as wholly infallible. Jesus once again rejects the view that you can accept some of the faith and be accepted by God even if you cannot believe the rest but are trying to.

The free will defence teaches that man makes evil and suffering not God. Some Catholics admit that the Church cannot expect people to seriously think that human free will is God’s excuse for allowing evil. So it seems that you can deny the free will defence and still not be a heretic. But this would be a serious error if wrong and is blaming God for evil and then refusing to admit that you do. And you are a heretic for denying what is less important than God’s goodness, the Eucharistic transformation of bread into Jesus’ flesh! This shows that heresy banning is about keeping up the stranglehold the Church has got over people’s minds. Examples of this double thinking in the Church can be compounded without end. It’s not about love or preserving the truth or even about God. Catholicism doesn’t mind you believing in an evil God as long as you obey him and support its doctrines.
 
Jesus said that the main commandment was to sacrifice self in love for God and to do it with your whole will and being. Nobody will ever do that. Would you suffer forever if God asked you to do it to benefit others? No matter how good we are, there is always a defect in what we would do for God. The greatest commandment says nothing about loving yourself. Because it is the greatest commandment, better even than the rule not to commit murder, to break the commandment is to commit the greatest sin. So we commit this greatest sin all the time. But you may say if you commit murder you are not loving God so murder must be one of the greatest sins in that sense. True. But the murder is one sin and the lack of love for God it expresses is another. The sinner is not considered deserving of everlasting torment and infinitely long punishment for stealing a pencil so much as for what it says about their attitude to God.
 
The greatest commandment to love God implies that every sin is a failure to love God and therefore breaks this commandment. So murder breaks it and stealing and adultery and so on for these commandments tell you what failing to love God entails doing. So greatest sin is offending God by disagreeing with him. Every sin implies you disagree with God and want to be free from him. Because this is breaking what Jesus called the greatest commandment it is very seriously wrong indeed. An insane Jack the Ripper is better than the "decent" and "hardworking" person who turns away from what God said to believe some heresy. Jesus was implying that whoever does not believe in the commandment and that it is the greatest is a bad person and promoting evil and sin. The heretic questions God and so even if he does not oppose the commandment explicitly he opposes it by implication for what is to stop him questioning it too if the mood takes him?
 
The greatest commandment implies that we must believe in God with our whole hearts and in what he says or reveals because we can't love a God very much if we don't have strong belief in him. It implies we must believe that Judaism was indeed the only true religion and revealed by God for the commandment is spoken to Israel and calls God Lord. God is not Lord if we have to work out morality and his commandments for ourselves. That is us being our own Lords. Christians believe that Judaism rejected Christ and so Christianity became the true religion then so for Christians the commandment implies obedience to Church authority through which God operates.
 
 Jesus said that the commandment next in importance is to love your neighbour as yourself. So loving God is more important than people. If there is a choice you choose loving God. This shows then what a serious sin heresy is. It shows why Christianity has to provoke division over matters that look trivial to outsiders. It shows why the Church makes saints of those who choose execution rather than supporting heresy.

The Church teaches that heresy is always a mortal sin and deserves eternal damnation because it calls God a liar and casts doubt on all he has said. The Bible often abuses heretics and hopes that they will have a bad end in this world and the next. To obey God’s commandments, for example, “Thou shalt not steal”, because it is best for us not to steal in a society that frowns on it is heresy for the motive should be that God forbids stealing. Jesus said that all love must be given to God and the way God is loved is by service of others and yourself for the sake of God alone and not a combination of God and others. To keep the law from the wrong motives is a serious heresy and an abuse of the law of God and because it rejects the entire law of God and because it is heresy for these two reasons it is one of the most blasphemous and serious mortal sins. The ranting Jesus did against hypocrisy in religion makes it a hell-deserving sin so if you obey the law for society and not God you are a heretic and a hypocrite. A sin which you will benefit from is worse than one from which you will not benefit because it is more selfish and has a greater hold on you. Since God is the origin of all law it follows that any law keeping without him is not law keeping at all and does not deserve to be respected or applauded and if the state respects it, it deprives itself of any moral authority to tell society what to do. God implies then that Church and state should be one and that persecution should be the reward of the heretics and unbelievers.

The doctrine of God and that he has revealed his truth implies that God wants the whole world to recognise that truth. Even if the Calvinist doctrine of predestination is true, that only some are chosen for salvation when God give them faith in the blood of Jesus, God still prefers everybody to agree on what the truth is. So if we are not one it is because we resist the grace of God. The Book of Wisdom chapter 6 states that God gives the gift of wisdom to all who are open to it. This tells us that it is every country’s best interest to have a state religion and to subjugate others to that religion for the religion that is of God and not man-made should be the best way to unite the nation in grace, fellowship, holiness and in opinion. Society has to work for union to function and for the state to abandon God and grace to do that would mean the state was a failure and a curse that should be broken down and replaced with a theocracy. The state should persecute Atheists, Agnostics or those who believe that God has no bearing on human life.
 
CONCLUSION
 
The Catholic teaching about heresy shows gross intolerance and hatred that they won’t confess is hatred. Catholicism is a dangerous religion.