Catechism On Line
Making Christian Decisions
In this chapter we discuss the following topics:
Moral DecisionsJust as the rest of the animal kingdom (all living things are classified into five kingdoms - plants, animals, fungi, protists and bacteria), us, the humans were created by God through evolution. There is one major difference between our human and other animal decision making however. Unlike the other animals, we, humans are considered to be "rational animals" capable of making moral decisions. Moral decisions are choices we make to live as children of God. They strengthen our character. Jesus taught us making moral decisions. We can also accomplish making moral decisions through the use of our intellect, free will, and feelings.
Intellect - our ability to learn about God, ourselves and the world we live inThe gift which helps us to make moral decisions is our Conscience. It guides us to know and judge what is right and what is wrong. Those of us who worked with animals know that even animals DO exhibit conscience and have feelings.
Just as there is not only black and white, but many shades of gray in
between, so there is not only evil (Satan) and good (God). Most men are
somewhere in between. Some tend to be guided by the Holy Spirit and tend
to be more holy, whereas others may tend to seek only benefits for themselves
at the expense of others. Yet, even holy men do sometimes struggle with
temptation, and evil men might be moved by their coscience to do good at
times. The following are the characteristics which come from Satan, and
those from God:
Presently we live in a world in which the original sin has weakened
our intellect and good will. Often we do not use our feelings to help us
to do what we know is good. We struggle to overcome temptations. Temptation
is everything which moves us to make convenient decisions often contradicting
the will of God.
Cardinal VirtuesThe moral virtues, also known as the cardinal virtues are spiritual powers to do what is right and help us to live holy lives. They are:
Prudence - helps us to evaluate situations and to judge whether they will lead us to do good or evil.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts ....God's values are not necessarily our values. We are coscious of only this physical world and perceive limited number of events in our life. We can not read other peoples' minds and so we are very limited in our thinking. God has no such limitations since He is omnipotent and omnipresent. Through His prophets He repeatedly emphasized: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts". Is 55:8,9
God has fundamentally different views of some issues which our society condemns at present. For example, the issue of polygamy or slavery. God did not condemn any of these. Why would He condemn a man who loves and cares for three wives and their children? Why would He condemn a master who bought a slave and treats him/her with righteousness and dignity? This is because God is interested in, and understands our internal disposition (how we think of, and treat others) rather than our external appearance or expression. In our societies, there are many people today who make wonderful speeches, yet, deep inside they may be full of insincerity and deceit.
In addition, the following table contrasts the values of our present
physical world with those of God as it was demonstrated by Jesus' beatitudes
delivered during His Sermon on the Mount.
Today, you should all be in the position to see clearly why this is so!