I recently came across a website of an organization called “Freedom from Religion” which had a very specific goal: to help all people purge religion from their lives so that they could be “free.” This view on religion is nothing new, and it isn’t surprising that a movement is currently happening to abolish religion from humanity. The topic of the problems with organized religion has been brought up to me in conversations from both atheists AND(surprisingly) by Christians.
Recent Christians’ negative view on religion especially started when the “Why I Love Jesus but Hate Religion” video came out (See the Catholic response here). The whole idea that we have to obey the Church is viewed by people as a loss of freedom and oppression. It irritates me greatly when people express this view because of how far it is from the Truth.
“Because people beat the Bible against others, simply condemning them to hell, Christianity is just a scare tactic to avoid anything fun.”
I will admit there are Christians that do not know how to speak about the doctrine of hell. What should first be talked about is God’s infinite love, and how we no longer worthy of death because of the cross and resurrection of Christ. Our mission as Christians is to preach there is hope in Heaven instead of despair in hell. Once that has been established, it is important to remind people that God wants a relationship with them as a specific individual.
If someone doesn’t want God in his/her life now on earth, why would that change in the next life? The reason Hell should be brought up is because as Catholics we should be concerned with the eternal state of others’ soul. Although, we should not yell at them to condemn, but inform them that there’s something better in store for them.
If we Christians really believed what our faith teaches, why are we not telling others of this great God that has the satisfaction of all our desires. Think of it as a parent who sees his/her child walking on thin ice. The parent would immediately warn their child to get out of the thin ice out of concern the ice might break, and the child could drown. The parent would not just let their child walk on the thin ice thinking, “It’s his life, I’ll let him do what he wants.” In that sense, there is no love for the child since the parent is allowing the child to be in danger. We should not leave the people we care about to walk on thin ice if we truly cared about the state of their soul.
“Why do the more educated people, like scientists, choose an atheistic view and the religious people seem uneducated on the real world, only educated in the Bible.”
It depends what someone means by “educated”. If the person means in the sciences, than that is the case for a lot of people, not just religious people but non-affiliated with religion too. Also, some atheists feel so strongly about God not existing that they become “religious” in something else. As for people who are just educated in the Bible, sometimes the correct interpretation for the Bible is not used. That is why people think science and faith do not go together, because the wrong interpretation contradicts what science has explained.
“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”
― Werner Heisenberg
“Religion distracts us from making progress as humans. There is constant persecution of people like homosexuals and women’s rights that only shows hate for people.”
The reason people refuse to accept the church’s view on homosexuality, marriage, and the female person is because they listen not to understand, but only to respond. I won’t go to entire detail in everything on this topic because there are people like Jimmy Akin, Tim Staples, and Trent Horn who have stronger expertise on these subjects.
Dealing with homosexual marriage, I’ll let Christopher West say it best as it is a touchy subject for people and he is more of an expert as well.
“Organized religion has too many scandals, and they don’t care about the poor because the Vatican has all these treasures and riches.”
Scandals in the Church are a common objection to religion. The Catholic Church’s first scandals go all the way back to Jesus’ time. One of our first bishops (Judas) betrayed Jesus with a kiss and lead Him to be killed. Our first Pope (Peter) denied he even knew Jesus right in front of His face when people accused him of being a disciple. As you see, Church scandals are nothing new since Catholics have had them from the start.
The point to remember is that the Church is made up of sinners, which means there will be moments where people fail to fulfill the Church’s (and Christ’s) teaching. I will not deny there is corruption in some parts of the Church around the world, but in a way, that is proof that Jesus founded the Catholic Church.
What I mean is all the great dynasties and empires have fallen due to the fallen nature as humans, yet the Catholic Church is still alive after all of the 2,000 years it has been around. We even have the successor of Peter still around. If Jesus didn’t send down the Holy Spirit to guide us sinners to be the Church to the world, the Catholic Church would have fallen a long time ago.
As for all the Vatican’s treasures, people have a problem with how the Vatican has gold and expensive items which could be sold and given to the poor. I like to remind people that they sound a lot like Judas Iscariot when they say state this. Jesus’ response to Judas was, “There will always be the poor” which demonstrates that no matter what we do, even selling the Vatican, poverty and hunger in the world will not end.
If you are interested to see where most of the money goes that the Catholic Church receives check out this link on ChurchPop.com
Do you want to know what industry makes millions and millions more than the Vatican? The porn industry. While people are claiming that the Vatican is being selfish with treasures, a lot more people are funding billions of dollars to organizations that are directly linked to sex trafficking, abuse of women, rape, sex slavery, and worst of all, the loss of authentic love in the world. While there are people in the world starving, begging, and suffering, some people would rather fund something that only gives a negative impact to the world. But the blame cannot be given entirely to them, as pornography treats the body as any other destructive and addictive drug.
“Religion just makes someone feel guilty about things that are natural, like sex. Plus you can be a moral person without the “middleman” to God”
The Church’s teachings isn’t to make someone feel guilty or suppress natural feelings like sexual desire. What the Church really wants is to truly fulfill is what the human person was meant to be. Jason Evert gives good examples of what sex is and its purpose. Christopher West also does well in explaining how erotic desires are meant to be taken.
As for keeping morals, it is true that one can be moral without religion, but morals are not the main point of Catholicism. The true point is that Christ has risen from the dead so we should journey toward Him to live again.
Think of the rich man in the gospel who kept the commandments and was a moral person. The only thing he was missing was to give up all things that are a part of the world and follow Jesus. The rich man couldn’t do it because he was too attached to this world and left saddened. The true point of having good morals is to show Christ that we love Him above all else.
“If you love me, you’ll keep my commandments” as Jesus said.
There are more objections I could cover, but I wanted to cover these to help understand this main point: The Church is not an organization, it is an organism. It is a living mystery, not a pyramid scheme. People have been martyred for being a part of the Church and killed in some of the most gruesome ways. There is a true God out there that wants to be Our Father and wants what’s best for us, because of that, He founded His Church to spread that news to the world. He sends down the Holy Spirit to keep the Church alive even with all the sinful people in it.
“I will not leave you orphans”