"Caring" and a New Morality
Author: Professor Walter J. Veith, PhD
Publish date:
Summary: The work of Richard McBrien and Martin Heidegger increased the popularity of the needs-based social Gospel in Christian circles.

The work of Richard McBrien and Martin Heidegger increased the popularity of the needs-based social Gospel in Christian circles.

Martin Heidegger

Controversial Philosopher Martin Heidegger CC BY-SA 3.0 by Willy Pragher https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Heidegger_4_(1960)_cropped.jpg...

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.

Richard McBrien

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.



i. "Heidegger, Martin," The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

ii. Alex Scott, Heidegger's Being and Time.

iii. Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism (New York: Harper/Collins, 1994): 725.

iv. "Father Richard McBrien Discusses 'Challenges Facing the Next Pope' Wednesday," DePauw University website (April 8, 2005).

v. Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism (New York: Harper/Collins, 1994): 705.

vi. Ibid: 701.

vii. Ibid: 704.

Science Deceptions
Media Deceptions
Spiritual Deceptions
A Basis for Conflict
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Conforming Under Pressure Evolution Is Not Science—It's Religion How Can We See Stars That Are Billions Of Light Years Away? Creation and Evolution: Is Compromise Possible? Understanding the Creation Week Geocentricity: It's Time to Face the Facts The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking Earth's History: Conflicting Paradigms Lamarck Proposes Natural Selection Where did the Universe Come From? Evidence for a Young Universe Age Of The Earth Is Carbon-Dating Accurate? Flood Chronology
Evidence in Stone
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
Soft Rock Evidence for Rapid Washout
The Fossil Record
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.
Evolutionary Sequences Order in the Fossil Record Evolution of the Horse Explosive Evolution Fossils prove a Flood Fossil Footprints Dinosaurs and the Flood Petrified Trees The Biblical Flood Reasons For Extinction Fossil Reefs The Post-Flood World Human Evolution
Genes of Genesis
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?
Why So Many Species - Glossary Is the Gastraea Hypothesis Viable? Mechanisms For Variation Built-in Variation in the Gene Pool Answering Questions "Species" versus "Kind" Molecules That Began Life Creating Life in a Test Tube? Post-Flood Distribution Natural Selection Reproductive Exchange Natural Selection as a Creative Force Transposable Elements Recombination of Chromosomes The Evidence of Things Not Seen Ernst Haeckel's Theories Dinosaur Extinction and Global Catastrophe Jesus Christ—All Things Become New Variation and Classification Evolution: Miracle of Miracles Why So Many Species? Is The Grand Canyon Proof of Noah's Flood? Spiders and the Creative Genius of God Things That Negate Evolution: Snake Legs Wrong Assumptions in C-14 Dating Methods Rapid Cave Formation The Australian Problem Synesthesia: Mystery of God’s Creation
Creation to Restoration
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?
A Good World Gone Bad An Imperfect Planet Evidence For Design Evidence For Transformation Rapid Transformation Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet The Dawn Chorus and Life Forces
Archaeology and the Bible
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?
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Tyre and the Bible Petra and the Bible Egypt and the Bible Babylon and the Bible The Lost Books of the Bible
Crossing Musical Boundaries
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.
The Philosophers Talk Music Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Christianity The Pursuit of Pleasure Music and Worship The Beat Whose Music? The Rave Can You Feel the Music? The Bible and Rock Music: Are they Compatible? The Last Great Contest – Worship The Ear Classical Music Therapy Music and the Frontal Lobe From the Horse's Mouth: The Rock Industry Condemns Itself
Hollywood and the Movies
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Hollywood's History Gnostic Themes in the Movies Hollywood and Gnosticism
Brain Closed—Please Come Again
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
The Dangers of Television
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Violence and Video Games
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
The Origins of Halloween
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Introduction to the Reformation
What started the Protestant Reformation? Was the Reformation a success? Does it still matter today?
The Pope Claims to be God on Earth
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - A Timeline
The oppression of Protestants is widespread and consistent throughout history.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - Quotes
It was once written in America's oldest Catholic newspaper, the Boston Pilot, that "No good government can exist without religion, and there can be no religion without an Inquisition, which is wisely designed for the promotion and protection of the true faith.”

Read several authors' thoughts on papal Rome's history.
Catholic Councils
What happened at the Council of Trent? The First Vatican Council The Second Vatican Council
The Jesuits
Learn what people throughout history have had to say on the reputation, history, and political nature of the Jesuit Order.
An Introduction to the Jesuits Jesuits and the Hippie Movement Ignatius of Loyola and Martin Luther "Caring" and a New Morality Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises Ignatius Loyola and Spiritual Formation Protestantism Destroyed The Jesuit Superior General
Cross and Crown
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 Aggressive Intentions of the Papacy
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.
Christianity and Violence
Would the world be a safer place without Christian fundamentalism?
Stories of the Reformation
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
An Italian mystic. A minister to a British king. An Augustine monk. A Swiss farmer's boy. What do these men have in common? They were used by God in powerful ways to bring about the Protestant Reformation. Enter into the lives of these ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Inspiration for these articles comes from Gideon and Hilda Hagstoz' Heroes of the Reformation
Philipp Melanchthon John Laski Jerome of Prague John Wycliffe Louis De Berquin Gaspard De Coligny
Religious Doublespeak
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 Thinking and World Politics
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.
The Great Controversy
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Persecution in the First Centuries An Era of Spiritual Darkness The Waldenses John Wycliffe Huss and Jerome Luther's Separation From Rome Luther Before the Diet The Swiss Reformer Progress of Reform in Germany Protest of the Princes The French Reformation The Netherlands and Scandinavia Later English Reformers The Bible and the French Revolution The Pilgrim Fathers Heralds of the Morning An American Reformer Light Through Darkness A Great Religious Awakening A Warning Rejected Prophecies Fulfilled What is the Sanctuary? In the Holy of Holies God's Law Immutable A Work of Reform Modern Revivals Facing Life's Record The Origin of Evil Enmity Between Man and Satan Agency of Evil Spirits Snares of Satan The First Great Deception Can Our Dead Speak to Us? Liberty of Conscience Threatened The Impending Conflict The Scriptures a Safeguard The Final Warning The Time of Trouble God's People Delivered Desolation of the Earth The Controversy Ended
Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Did Jesus Ever Exist? Was Jesus the Messiah? Is What Christianity Teaches True? The Godhead and the One True God Movement Is Jesus God? Jesus: The Mercy Seat Why Did Jesus Have To Die? Six Purposes for Christ's Life and Death on Earth What Day Did Jesus Die? The 70-Week Prophecy Jesus, the Recycled Redeemer Names of Christ in Revelation
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
The First Beast—Comparing Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Revelation Identifies End-Time Babylon The Second Beast of Revelation 13 Identifying the Antichrist The Final Confederacy Walking Through Daniel The Seven Plagues Walking through Revelation
Religious Trends
What are the trends in the religious world today? Sun Worship, The UN and the One World Religion, Eastern Mysticism and Spiritism... Just what do all these things mean in light of Bible prophecy?
Babylonian Religion Sun Worship The Charismatic Movement Politics and the Papacy Paganism and Mary Wealth Redistribution Spiritism throughout Religions Catholic Pentecostalism Unity at All Cost? Sustainability Pentecostalism The Charismatic Movement and Spiritual Gifts Paganism and Christmas Manifesting the Charismatic Spirit The New Age Movement Paganism in our Culture The United Nations' Global Government The History of Tongues Secret Societies Revival and the "Power of God" Signs and Wonders What’s So Bad about Spiritual Formation? Zionism
Most people can understand the reasoning behind nine of the Ten Commandments—don't kill, don't lie, don't steal. But what about the Sabbath Commandment? Why would God give such a law? Why should we follow it?
What is the Seventh-Day Sabbath? Creation and the Sabbath The Weekly Cycle Why Sunday? Sabbath FAQ
The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Signs of The Second Coming of Christ The Second Coming of Christ Viewpoints How Christ will Return What will Happen to God's People? What will Happen to the Rejecters of God? Will there be a Secret Rapture? The Millennium of Peace
The Bible
Can the Bible be trusted to provide answers to our questions? Does it contain truth? Learn about the evidence that proves the Bible's authenticity.
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Choosing the Books of the Bible Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God Testing the Gospel of Thomas Testing the Gospel of Judas The Spirit in Scripture The Lost Books of the Bible The Gospel Story Spiritual Gifts
Christian Living: Sin and Salvation
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Christian Living Good God, Bad World. Why? God's Plan to Eradicate Sin Salvation By Faith The Ceremonial Feasts Pointed to Christ
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life? What are the false doctrines involving the immortality of the soul?
Death: Understanding the Terminology A Biblical Understanding of Death The Resurrection of Lazarus Spiritism Hell and Purgatory An Immediate Afterlife? The Parable of Lazarus