- Contact Us
"Caring" and a New Morality
Publish date: Apr 21, 2010
Summary: The work of Richard McBrien and Martin Heidegger increased the popularity of the needs-based social Gospel in Christian circles.
|Share with others:||
The work of Richard McBrien and Martin Heidegger increased the popularity of the needs-based social Gospel in Christian circles.
German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) taught that life’s answers lie within the self.i Heidegger taught that the soul authenticates itself by showing concern for others or "caring." Heidegger’s "care" (German Sorge) has no place for God, but is based on the religion of self:
Being-with-others, having concern for others, and taking care of the world are modes by which Da-sein (there-being) becomes attuned to being-in-the-world. Thus, the being of Da-sein reveals a care and concern by which Da-sein understands and transcends itself.ii
Heidegger's philosophies were also found in the Church, which set up a system of "spiritual growth" that functions without God. In this system, the Church sets the standard and educates the masses through Christian psychology and spiritual directors, all of which leads to spiritual formation.
Father Richard P. McBrien, Professor of Theology at Notre Dame, is an influential Catholic and key proponent of the social Gospel—that is, the belief that the Church's mission is to right social wrongs. Father McBrien says in his book Catholicism that "the Church's involvement in, and commitment to, the struggle for social justice, peace, and human rights is an essential, or 'constitutive,' part of its mission."iii
According to DePauw University, McBrien "has served as an on-air commentator on Catholic events for CBS television and continues to offer regular commentary on all the major television networks. Father McBrien writes a syndicated weekly theology column for the Catholic press and is the general editor of the HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism."iv
In Catholicism, McBrien quotes Anne Carr, who says this:
The mission of the Church is one of service to the people, especially the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized. Although structures of authority are necessary for this mission, those structures are always subordinate to it and are to be judged by their capacity to enable the Church to fulfill the mission.v
We learn in Catholicism, courtesy of the theologizing of Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, that the Church in Latin America "must take a clear stand against social injustice and in favor of the revolutionary process," and via Leonardo Boff that "the Church must be defined in terms of energy, charism, and the progress of the world."vi
Father McBrien also discusses what he calls the feminist view of the Church as "an exodus community...called to abandon the established social order and its religious agents of sacralization and to witness an alternative social order." He says these ideas belong to the "change-agent" or "servant" model of the Church, which stresses proclamation and practice of the Gospel "by application of the Gospel to the struggle for social justice, peace, and human rights."vii
Missing the Point
While it is true that the Church is called to bring freedom to the oppressed and care for the poor, what Father McBrien's new morality misses is the reliance on God for freedom and peace.
As long as we see caring for others as a way to save ourselves through our righteousness, we miss the point. And when we spend all our efforts demanding human rights, we forget that as sinners we have no rights—except the right to death.
Jesus offers us the gift of salvation and calls us to live out the principles of His Kingdom on this Earth (see John 15:19 and 17:11, and Philippians 2:15). But as long as Satan and his evil angels continue to operate on this planet, we shall never see true peace. Too much of the world is led by false theories originating from the father of lies—the devil.
We are told to preach the Gospel to the world, but we know from Bible prophecy that all of the world will not choose Christ and His Word. In fact, the Bible is very clear that at the end of time, a very small percentage will be faithful to God's principles. This has been evident even in history. When Israel was still God's chosen people, the majority wavered in their faithful obedience to God and worshiped idols, but there was always a small remnant that kept the commandments of God.
During the Dark Ages, the same situation occurred: the majority followed popular teaching and the minority sought God's truth in His Word. Those that seek God with all their heart and mind and soul have always been the minority. This is how it will be will be until a final end has been made to Satan and his host.
True social justice and peace lie in obedience to God's truth as found in His Word—the Bible. This Book was written for "doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
If the Bible's principles of love were followed, inequality and social injustice would not exist. Our world is so full of abuse and injustice because we have refused to acknowledge the relevance of God's commandments. When we focus on God and obedience to His will as revealed in His Word and His law, peace and social justice can prevail. But when we pick and choose what we want to believe and reject God's rule over our lives, we see anarchy and chaos.
Heidegger, McBrien, and other proponents of justice and peace miss the focus on honoring God's laws. Instead, they believe that social justice and peace will be achieved through human cooperation, human unity, and human hard work. But the Bible tells us that our hearts are deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Only with the Holy Spirit in hearts that are submitted to God's will and ways and that are praying for God's strength through our weakness can we hope to make any impact for good on this planet.
We do not need a "new morality" based on good works and relativism. What we need is to return to God's absolute morality.
Ellen White tells us this:
While they claimed to be very jealous for the honor of the law, self-glory was the real object which they sought; and Christ would make it manifest to them that the lover of self is a transgressor of the law (Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 79.1).
This article is adapted from Walter Veith's Rekindling the Reformation DVD The Jesuits and the Counter Reformation Part 1.
iii. Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism (New York: Harper/Collins, 1994): 725.
v. Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism (New York: Harper/Collins, 1994): 705.
vi. Ibid: 701.
vii. Ibid: 704.
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."
This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
If archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true, then why is it a point of so much controversy?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life with author Wendy Goubej.
Did God create sin? If not, where did it come from?
Have you taken a day to recreate lately?
Since the beginning of time, God has communicated timely messages to the inhabitants of planet Earth. It all started in Eden, with the first Gospel announcement.
Are miraculous signs the best way to be sure that God exists?
Dive into prophecy and history in this chapter-by-chapter commentary of the book of Daniel.
Join us on a journey through the pages of this letter from Christ to His people.
The greatest deceptions are still being formed in society today. Secret international alliances, the mark of the Beast, the New Age, and other issues are discussed.
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Learn about the Bible's prophecies on God's judgment, deliverance, Armageddon, and the earth made new.
Learn from Paul as he teaches the Corinthian Church about spiritual gifts.
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life?
Excitotoxins cause physical and spiritual destruction. Learn about the main types of exitotoxins and what can be done to avoid them.
Reports show that red wine may be beneficial to heart health. Is that a good enough reason to start drinking alcohol?
Get the truth about lactose, calcium, and the need for caution around dairy products.
Today's meat and dairy industries are focused on profit rather than health.
The agriculture industry is fast becoming reliant on genetically modified foods. Learn the facts about GMOs and the effects this trend is having on health worldwide.
Most of the bread products consumed today are made of refined grains. Are our breakfast cereals and "fortified" loaves as healthy as we like to think?
Do the stimulating benefits of coffee really outweigh the costs?
Refined sugar is addictive, destructive, and devoid of any nutritional value. Why does it continue to be a staple food across the world?
Smoking leads to massive amounts of sickness and death every year. Can you beat the nicotine?
From mammograms to prescription drugs, the modern medical industry is always presenting a new way to diagnose and solve health issues. But are these new treatments really healing anything?
There isn't one person I have ever met who knew anything about cosmetics, and that is because the chemistry of cosmetics has always been cloaked in secrecy.
Find practical ideas for dealing with depression in these articles about symptoms and treatments.
We are surrounded by unhealthy foods, unwise practices, and even harmful medical advice. Learn how to overcome these obstacles and choose a healthy lifestyle.
These graphs and tables can help you jumpstart your health routine.