Author Topic: Does the Church Change its Teachings on Moral Issues?  (Read 474 times)

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Offline byhisgrace

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Does the Church Change its Teachings on Moral Issues?
« on: March 06, 2016, 12:23:35 PM »
"Past morals" or "present morals" are all meaningless if you believe morality is static.

Morality is not static in the most part. Should I believe it is moral to sell my daughter? Should I believe that slavery is moral? Once upon a time, all that was moral, today thank God it is not in most civilized countries.
To the contrary, slavery and selling one's daughter were NEVER moral. Only recently did we grow to recognize this and take measures to outlaw such practices.

If I understand you correctly, it's that all forms of slavery were wrong, even those practiced by the OT Israelites. If correct, then my follow-up question is this:

If slavery has always been wrong, and it took centuries for the Church to realize that, then on what basis can I be confident that its current stance on other moral issues are right (such as homosexuality and ordination of women)?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 12:24:52 PM by byhisgrace »
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Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Does the Church Change its Teachings on Moral Issues?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2016, 01:44:38 PM »
It might not be possible to have 100% confidence, given how sensibilities have changed on some issues in the past.

That said, Christianity (unlike, for example, Islam) does not teach salvation through obeying moral laws. So it isn't necessarily a make-or-break.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Does the Church Change its Teachings on Moral Issues?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2016, 05:55:41 PM »
The whole world is "wrong" and is likely to continue to be until the restoration of Paradise. God has ordained us to live under a "whole world [that] lieth in wickedness." The Gospel is not the overthrow of the world in time, at this time, but "that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ." Why is this what God has ordained for living souls? After all, he "alone loves mankind." The answer is difficult, but something like this: that the evil world is a challenge we are able to bear and is intended to be a part of what saves us to be co-heirs of the Kingdom.

To be cruel to another person is always wrong. To be kind to those who are treated cruelly is always right. To be kind to those who are cruel is Christian.

Slavery was one arrangement of the ancient world -- a third of residents of Roman cities are thought to have lived in slavery. It was an integral part of economic systems in what we like to call the civilized world of the past. It was justified either in economic terms or in terms of mercy after battle: that is, it was the alternative to the ancient "ban," that terrible outcome of war in which a whole population was sentenced to die.

We could look around our own world -- in a hundred years, we could look around that world -- and find institutions, economic or war-related or otherwise, well worthy of criticism. If it were not so, we would not even be living in the world. "The poor you have with you always," as Christ quoted to his Pharisee friends, and as we know, the passage in Moses goes on to say, "So stretch wide the hand," i.e., so have mercy on them however you are able.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 05:56:46 PM by Porter ODoran »
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Does the Church Change its Teachings on Moral Issues?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2016, 06:30:28 PM »
Revelatory issues could be at hand.
Did not the OT Jews free their slaves during Jubilee? At least the Jewish ones?
And because we do see through a glass smoky and dark, the Real Light may not seem as it is at the time.
When Philemon is read one can see that the future of slavery was getting some light shined upon it at a future time.
As to homosex, no that is as fixed as sex itself....it is what it is and no-thing can change The Church's stance, though civil law and cultural "norms" change as water in a stream.  It still remains water.
Women priest is a contradiction in terms and though you may frame and see it as moral, it is not.
Individuals responsible for the deaths of other individuals, call it abortion or euthanasia, even though civil law desires to call them one name or t'other, they are committing crimes against the moral code. The Church has been and always will be "against" such actions.
Men come and go in The Church and POV are like belly buttons, but the moral code remains the same.

« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 06:31:44 PM by LenInSebastopol »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Does the Church Change its Teachings on Moral Issues?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 07:16:04 PM »

Did not the OT Jews free their slaves during Jubilee? At least the Jewish ones?

Ah. Did the Law teach: it is not wrong to have slaves? Or, did the Law teach: it is wrong not to free slaves on Jubilee?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline byhisgrace

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Re: Does the Church Change its Teachings on Moral Issues?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2016, 07:32:21 PM »
Thanks for the responses, so far.

The whole world is "wrong" and is likely to continue to be until the restoration of Paradise. God has ordained us to live under a "whole world [that] lieth in wickedness." The Gospel is not the overthrow of the world in time, at this time, but "that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ." Why is this what God has ordained for living souls? After all, he "alone loves mankind." The answer is difficult, but something like this: that the evil world is a challenge we are able to bear and is intended to be a part of what saves us to be co-heirs of the Kingdom.
Then would it be fair to say that the Church has never been perfect in its teachings on morals, but will always grow and mature over time?


Revelatory issues could be at hand.
Did not the OT Jews free their slaves during Jubilee? At least the Jewish ones?
And because we do see through a glass smoky and dark, the Real Light may not seem as it is at the time.
When Philemon is read one can see that the future of slavery was getting some light shined upon it at a future time.
Does that mean that the Church continued to receive new revelations, after the 1st century? I ask because abolition of slavery did not start at Philemon's time, but at least a thousand years afterwards (depending on location).

Quote from: LenInSebastopol
As to homosex, no that is as fixed as sex itself....it is what it is and no-thing can change The Church's stance, though civil law and cultural "norms" change as water in a stream.  It still remains water.
Women priest is a contradiction in terms and though you may frame and see it as moral, it is not.
Individuals responsible for the deaths of other individuals, call it abortion or euthanasia, even though civil law desires to call them one name or t'other, they are committing crimes against the moral code. The Church has been and always will be "against" such actions.
Men come and go in The Church and POV are like belly buttons, but the moral code remains the same.
How do I know that the Church won't make a new definition of sex, marriage, the Priesthood, and/or the beginning of life, in light of new revelations?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 07:44:39 PM by byhisgrace »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Does the Church Change its Teachings on Moral Issues?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2016, 08:32:54 PM »
Thanks for the responses, so far.

The whole world is "wrong" and is likely to continue to be until the restoration of Paradise. God has ordained us to live under a "whole world [that] lieth in wickedness." The Gospel is not the overthrow of the world in time, at this time, but "that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ." Why is this what God has ordained for living souls? After all, he "alone loves mankind." The answer is difficult, but something like this: that the evil world is a challenge we are able to bear and is intended to be a part of what saves us to be co-heirs of the Kingdom.
Then would it be fair to say that the Church has never been perfect in its teachings on morals, but will always grow and mature over time?

Where did I say that? I did not address it at all.

I suppose I can address it. The Church in eternity is perfect, her Head being Christ God. The Church in time participates in the same perfection. However, this participation does not elide the God-ordained facts of: the world, the Evil One, the Fall, the peculiar human organism either individually or as mankind.

If you read my earlier post again, and read the words of St. John the Theologian again, you will see the Church in time and how she lives.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 08:33:11 PM by Porter ODoran »
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Does the Church Change its Teachings on Moral Issues?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2016, 01:14:01 AM »
Thanks for the responses, so far.

The whole world is "wrong" and is likely to continue to be until the restoration of Paradise. God has ordained us to live under a "whole world [that] lieth in wickedness." The Gospel is not the overthrow of the world in time, at this time, but "that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ." Why is this what God has ordained for living souls? After all, he "alone loves mankind." The answer is difficult, but something like this: that the evil world is a challenge we are able to bear and is intended to be a part of what saves us to be co-heirs of the Kingdom.
Then would it be fair to say that the Church has never been perfect in its teachings on morals, but will always grow and mature over time?


Revelatory issues could be at hand.
Did not the OT Jews free their slaves during Jubilee? At least the Jewish ones?
And because we do see through a glass smoky and dark, the Real Light may not seem as it is at the time.
When Philemon is read one can see that the future of slavery was getting some light shined upon it at a future time.
Does that mean that the Church continued to receive new revelations, after the 1st century? I ask because abolition of slavery did not start at Philemon's time, but at least a thousand years afterwards (depending on location).

Quote from: LenInSebastopol
As to homosex, no that is as fixed as sex itself....it is what it is and no-thing can change The Church's stance, though civil law and cultural "norms" change as water in a stream.  It still remains water.
Women priest is a contradiction in terms and though you may frame and see it as moral, it is not.
Individuals responsible for the deaths of other individuals, call it abortion or euthanasia, even though civil law desires to call them one name or t'other, they are committing crimes against the moral code. The Church has been and always will be "against" such actions.
Men come and go in The Church and POV are like belly buttons, but the moral code remains the same.

How do I know that the Church won't make a new definition of sex, marriage, the Priesthood, and/or the beginning of life, in light of new revelations?

Seems you do not know: The Church shall remain with the definitions and natural order from The Original.  I suppose someone could 're-write" Genesis so that Adam's spouse is Steve. Or that the Priesthood is now is "gender neutral" but then it would simply be a church, much like the others in so many places. It could not be The Church. It comes down, in part, as a definitional thingy: how can we have a square circle, would be along the lines approached in the above questions. If a man, say the Patriarch were to change the definition of life, to your satisfaction, he would no longer be Patriarch, much like an up that is down, or a light that is dark.
When base definitions (a redundancy, I know) are clear then dialogue may commence. In this case one's definition is not the same as t'others. Such as you pose would not be a "revelation" but a perversion of what is true, good, and right. Life is life and nothing 'found' may change that.
As to "new revelations" after 1st century, such as those may be internal clarifications of founded and established Truths. Such findings are not external to the element of the moral code but rather a 'clearing" of same. Slavery via war captives, as practiced by Romans and many other cultures,  was wrong when one realizes all men, from their Creator, are the same, which can lead to the idea that War is Evil, something we've almost learned as a species and still continue to commit ourselves to such. Slaver based on race, as in American history, was finally seen as an evil though many knew it prior to the 19th Century.
The Church holds The Moral Truths and has one hell of a time having men, even within The Church, realize what is Good, True & Beautiful.
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Offline byhisgrace

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Re: Does the Church Change its Teachings on Moral Issues?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2016, 12:09:26 PM »
Fair enough. Thanks for the constructive response, Len.
Oh Holy Apostle, St. John, pray for us