Theological digressions from the Roe v Wade thread

You forgot that if Mom dies due to being forced to carry a fetus full term that can’t possibly survive, she should have prayed harder.


God, uh, works in mysterious ways.


She probably also gets a special place in heaven

becomes one of the 72 virgins?

1 Like

You made me research official church dogma on what happens to aborted babies. I speak from a non-Catholic background and currently atheistic viewpoint, so please correct me.

From some research, it seems that “limbo” was recently removed from official materials like the Catholic Catechism because it was just made up by somebody 1600 years ago.

The new Catholic position is “Just as those adults may attain eternal salvation, we certainly trust that a helpless, innocent child who has died in the womb, been aborted, been miscarried, or died without the benefit of Baptism will not be abandoned by the Lord or denied his saving grace.” (This is just one top-result website explaining the topic, not direct from promulgated materials.)

If that’s true, would it not be the most selfless act to abort your child to guarantee their entrance to Heaven at peril of your own soul? Should you not abort, you risk their eternal damnation.

This is similar to what caused the first fracture in my religious beliefs - when the pastor told me that people like uncontacted indigenous tribes can earn salvation by the Word of God written on their hearts - if they were good people, God would recognize that. But then by contacting them, they now must believe in Jesus. I asked why we send missionaries if we were risking damning people by doing so. They didn’t like the question.

(Edit: Sounds like prior to Vatican II, it was also claimed that angels took care of aborted babies (Mass of the Angels). Were limbo and angels caring for them separate concepts or did angels care for them in limbo?)

1600, 2000, 3400 (or 3600, depending on who’s making up Moses’ birth year): it’s all made up.

"Did you make disease and the diamond blue?
Did you make mankind after we made you

And the devil too?"

You may find the 1991 film “The Rapture” interesting as a rare Hollywood film dealing with religion and similar questions as yours. Warning - this movie has a few rough moments that are not suitable for everyone.

Jesus said “There is no one good but God.”; we don’t have a good nature to discover. And good luck finding support in the new testament that getting baptism solves the sin problem.

Now if we are talking about a long long time ago, it’s more likely that maybe there was a bigger lack of information so that people could figure this out for themselves. In the end a lot of people just follow along with what one person days. Still quite common today however.

The argument is that since God created our nature, it must be good. Note that “created” reflects a dependency, not a distinct act in time.

We sin because we turn away from that good nature.

If our nature is so good, why are we sinning in the first place?

“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature” (Romans 7:18)

Again, under that argument, we sin because we turn away from God. The paradox is that it is both a choice and also an inevitability.

One meaning of nature: “what we are meant to do.” This goes with a premodern understanding of science, in which everything had a purpose or telos, and a potential. In that sense, our nature is good.

Another meaning of nature: “what we actually tend to do.” This goes with modern science, which rejects that things have a purpose. Under this second definition of “nature”, it is our nature to sin.

I don’t find your first meaning of nature having looked the word up in Merriam-Webster. I would use the word “purpose” instead.

Regardless of what is in the dictionary, the word has historically been used that way. Or at least historical words are translated into that one.

1 Like

Man’s nature was initially created good - that I will grant you - until Adam messed it up, and we have all inherited a sinful nature since then.

Are you claiming that man’s nature is STILL good - that God would approve of it? What arguments/text do you have to support this?

In the meantime I looked up the word nature in the ESV and am just going to rattle off a few more instances:

Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world … and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Hebrews 1:3 He [Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.

2 Peter 1:4 so that through them [promises] you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

I admit that your use of the word nature is befuddling me and perhaps there is some clarification I’m just not getting. But I need more than just your word for it…

1 Like

I think the disagreement is maybe mostly over words, not substance.

Suppose we say: it is not in a lion’s nature to be caged.

That is not purely a descriptive statement. We usually mean that a lion is not supposed to be in cage. A notion of purpose has managed to hide in our language despite a mechanized view of nature. A biologist would clarify: a lion isn’t evolved to live in a cage. That is close to what we mean, but is not really the same.

It sounds like you want to say: “It is in man’s nature to be good.” “Man was designed to be good.” “Man’s purpose is to be good”.

But, it doesn’t matter if we our purpose is to be good, if we have sinned we have failed at that purpose.

Furthermore, I would debate that it is NOT in man’s nature is to be good (on this earth). Ephesians 1:4 says that God chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. Revelations 13:8 also talks about the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

God knew that man would sin. God planned for Jesus to die for these sins before anything was even created. Sure enough, man sinned. So the plan was never for man to meet God’s high standards in this lifetime. It was a completely unachievable purpose in this life and therefore no purpose at all. It is God’s plan for sinlessness in the next life, for those who believe.

I still await more support around your viewpoint…

If you take your religion seriously enough, not necessarily. Catholicism has been at various points a significantly transactional system. Buy an indulgence, have some sins knocked off. The Council of Trent, “condemns with anathema those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them.”

If you’re actually a believer, and there is a set of rules of “Do A then B and you’ll eternally live in happiness, otherwise you might burn in hell for eternity” that you ascribe to… You’d be a moron not to do that.

Sinning is the failure to achieve our purpose. Our purpose is good because it is made by God. I think those two statements need each other to make sense.

It also matters because it means to follow God, and not sin, is to be our “true” selves. God really desires to save us, not simply make us follow some rules.

None of that contradicts at all the rest of your post, as far as I know.

It is to contradict exactly this kind of view that my earlier point is important.

If it is within our power to be good because that is our nature- which I think is what Klayman is arguing against- then we sin as matter of rational choice. Perhaps ironically, this becomes very moralistic. Salvation becomes a set of rules to follow, not a deeper transformation of the person. This view in early Christianity was rejected (but never completely.)

This is pretty much what I was taught of Catholicism as a Lutheran child. I know the religion has changed, but my religion didn’t talk about that. I gave all of it up later, either way.

OK, I can agree with that. Throughout the translated version of the Bible, the word “nature” typically means our current condition and not our purpose, so let me just switch out that word.

This wording “permanently finding” is still a bit awkward, not exactly sure what is meant there.

Yes, we are incapable of being good is my assertion, regardless of what purpose that was set for us. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

The Bible shows how man is utterly incapable of keeping these rules (the 10 commandments should should suffice to prove our guilty). Except Jesus, who lived perfectly, “fulfilling the law”. He doubled down and said it’s not good enough to avoid adultery, you must avoid lust as well.