Heresy is improper support for your own position for it is parasitic on something claiming to be or possibly being the truth 

On the human level it is the leader and founder's religion to lay down the objective standard of what the religion believes and entails even if he delegates that authority.

On the spiritual level the same thing is true but for a different reason.  If he is divine and able to heal the mind and soul from evil inclinations and sins it is another reason for taking what he has authorised as standard.

Christianity says religion is a person not an organisation or community.  Christianity is Jesus so if he is divine and able to help then it is about a personal relationship with him and the organisation and community are consequences.  The idea is that you don't make up the Church the Church just happens.

The teaching that the Church is one means the union with Jesus is so close that unlike every group which is really divisible into loads of other groups and it never ends there is harmony.  In this light, disobedient Christians are really just sectarians.

Clearly we should call those who want the Catholic or Christian label while thinking what they like and ignoring the teaching of Jesus what they really are - liars and hypocrites.  It is about more than just them - we are asked to put away logic and good sense in order to call them Christian or whatever!  If the Church tolerates them they misrepresent and abuse that tolerance.  In fact it is not tolerance at all for Jesus said he would deal decisively with the fakes and heretics.

Part of what religion is, is that it offers membership. Membership is not about mere enrolling but about keeping the membership alive. It’s a process not an event. A cherry-picker obviously cannot be a real member but an actor. Religions that deny these things are about nominal members and about labels and should be called pseudo-religions.

The founder of a religion may have a definition of religion and what it is for. Even if the whole religion ends up with a different purpose from his that is still not what it is for. Only the founder can determine what the religion is and what it is for. You may have a purpose for his religion but it remains yours not the religion's. A religion with a bad purpose is bad. A bad religion is bad no matter how many good people are in it. It is the purpose makes it bad. The members degrade themselves if they refuse to do the bad things for they make themselves hypocrites. And goodness is defiled when you let yourself be part of a bad religion. To defile goodness is actually worse than to just be bad.

Jesus was explicit that religious disagreement is bad in a religion for a house that is divided against itself cannot stand.  By implication each religion teaches the same for it wants to exist.  It is good sense not just theology.  People trying to change Church doctrine to suit themselves is self-defeating.

Tolerance of heretics and sinners in the Church is based on the doctrine that they are parasitic on the goodness of the Church and how true its doctrine is. The truth and the good will always win which is why they are put up with. In a sense this is not tolerance of any kind at all.  Heretics who lie about Church doctrine don't care enough about their heresy to leave and that looks bad.  It is hypocrisy not support.  It is self-delusion.  If you have the truth and the Church does not then to support that truth and to allow to be heard and supported correctly you have to find the door.

Your opinion if it contradicts your religion should not count and does not count if you are not following what that religion is about in saying what you say.  Thus atheists must and should agree with religion considering somebody a heretic in the light of the fact that a religion has the right to be judge by those who obey its standard doctrine and not those who ignore it. Heretics are in a sense a compliment to that religion.  The heretics insult atheists too for a religion speaks to its own and those outside and we have a right not to be confused.
Baltimore Catechism, Q. 554. Could a person who denies only one article of our faith be a Catholic?

A. A person who denies even one article of our faith could not be a Catholic; for truth is one and we must accept it whole and entire or not at all.
Comment - not accepting the testimony of God when it suits you is calling God a liar so it means that you are only kidding yourself that you believe the rest of what he said. If you say you accept all mathematics except that 1 and 1 is 2 then it is clear that you don't really accept any of it for it is all interdependent and connected. It proves that not everything that looks like a minor matter really is. To deny a "small" doctrine of the Church is to deny it all for it is a denial of the basic core doctrine that God gives the truth and only the truth.

And the fact remains that the Catholic bishops are the authorised teachers of the Church and supposedly stand in the place of Jesus and are guided by him.  Truth is narrow and thus a religion that claims to be the truth has to be narrow. If they are narrow, they are only telling you what logic says.  A truth claim necessarily excludes those who dispute it or ignore it.  Nobody is entitled to complain if the Church disagrees with them.  Their only entitlement is to find a religion or secular group or be persons of no religion.

A religion can fundamentally bigoted and anti-truth.  It can be patriarchal and anti-woman.  It can be fundamentally twisted.  Individual believers (if that is the right word for them!) can be different but that does not mean the religion can agree with them and still be true to itself.  Believers opinions about their religion cannot change the religion for the religion is not about what they want to think.

If Catholic you must accept the solemn teaching of the Church as infallible for it is dogma that belief in all the dogmas is essential.  Vatican I decreed, “All those things are to be believed with divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written down or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment, or by her ordinary or universal magisterium, proposes for belief as having being divinely revealed. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

With truth, the Church is right that whoever opposes so much as one thing that is true indirectly attacks truth in general.  If one truth is a lie then no truth can be trusted and it is stupid and dishonest to trust.  So whether or not your belief system is true or not, you think it is and thus have to see one truth being denied or treated as uncertain as attacking the whole lot.  An indirect attack is worse than a direct one in terms of practice for it hides the danger better.  For the sake of truth and yourself cherry-picking what you say is the truth is evil.

You will only be seen as a heretic and not as a reformer or person who wants to see the religion reformed along the lines of your thinking

Your minority opinion means nothing against the official teaching of the faith.  It is like how you can never call an organisation bad or wrong over the actions of a minority.  You cannot expect people to think your minority view is authoritative. If some bishops and church leaders, would agree with you about what doctrines of the Church are probably wrong, you cannot assume that the doctrines are not binding on you. That would be the fallacy of rash generalisation. It is not their job to promote discord and you have dissenters in everything in life. Christianity should not be judged on the basis of those who claim to be its adherents, when, in reality, they practice the opposite of what it teaches or ignore teachings they don't like. A person can claim to be anything.

Your opinion is not official. Your cause backfires if you speak for yourself and claim to be about changing a religion. It makes the religion dig its heels in and makes many people think, "Who does that person think he or she is? A religion has the right to make its own rules and if you SERIOUSLY don't like them just go".

Cherry-picking Catholics are still welcome at Church services but may not be allowed communion if they publicly declare they oppose any teachings Catholics are obligated to accept. This welcome does not imply approval for their cherry-picking. It is about keeping in touch with them so that they will see the light and stop cherry-picking. If the light is not the light, or if the Church does not really believe the light, then to associate with it by attending its worship and giving it money is to consent to being manipulated. Cherry-pickers betray their own version of the faith.

The religious picker and chooser may think that truth is not truth but just whatever you want it to be. They are relativists. A relativist Catholic can seem to be Catholic but because she denies the core doctrine of Catholicism that truth is real and not just opinion, she is not Catholic at all. If relativism is correct then there is no knowledge and therefore real belief. The relativist may pretend that her guesses and assumptions are her beliefs but they cannot be. Belief is based on what you think the evidence is saying to you about what is true.  Relativism itself is parasitic on absolute morality.  No system can work without imposing rules.  Relativists for example call you a bigot if you try to stop abortion or something that is ingrained in another culture.

People claiming to be good Christians while starving the poor and having sex outside marriage and ruining people's health by selling tobacco had to happen. You see a lot of it about. It had to happen for Christians put themselves before Jesus Christ. Jesus advocated blunt speech in opposition to sin and regarded social details such as etiquette and cultural religion to be a hindrance to the pure gospel. He told his followers that if they are authentic they will be hated by the world and slandered and they must take up their cross and not use religion as a crutch. In that light, it is unbelievable that Christians would reason, "Obeying the rules of Jesus or the Church makes me unhappy. Therefore I can be a good Christian and do my own thing." That attitude is hidden in their claim that they follow Jesus not the Church rules! They think religion is about them and their needs and desires only.

A cherry picker keeps up a religious structure that forces its will on others in certain circumstances. While the cherry picker rests on laurels the priest may be thrown out for living with a woman or man. The Church does it and the state does it in the sense of letting it happen and agreeing to let the Church run itself. While the cherry picker is lazy on the sofa somebody who really is into the religion is persecuted. And if somebody claims religious discrimination that can be difficult to prove if the religion is full of cherry pickers. Refugees from Christian backgrounds have not been taken seriously as Christians simply because they came into a country full of Christian hypocrisy and inconsistency.

To be in a false religion of your own choice, is to be insensitive to and tolerant of the damage lies and errors can do and to encourage others by your example to commit themselves to illusions and perhaps ones that are even worse than your own. The Mafia claim to be good Catholics and is it any wonder when most Catholics claim to be good Catholics and cherry-pick? The cherry-pickers enable the Mafia to feel better about what they are doing.

It is obvious that it is against the principle of honouring justice and honesty and truth to stay in a false religion when you know or believe it to be false. It is far worse though if you know. If you could do that there would be no need for different religions. And if you stay it will be because of feelings and not truth or principle. It is strange to say you will stay say in the Catholic Church no matter if it is wrong or not. It is strange because it is admitting that you only care about what you feel not about the truth. If your feelings are so terrific and sacred, then why are you so sure you will want to be Catholic in the morning?

Nobody picks and mixes what they want to believe from language, medicine, etc. They certainly do not pick and mix from the law of the land. But as religion cannot impose punishment on them through inability and laziness they will get away with treating the faith like a cafe menu and they take advantage of that. Such an attitude is no attractant towards liberal or humanist values - they come across as cowards and as shifty. Nobody thinks it is right to act like a believer in or to exploit a religion you believe cannot be true or don't believe in. Nobody thinks you should join the religion. So why then would you stay in a religion that you find untrue, manmade and implausible?

To cherry-pick bits of your faith is to say that the evidence for the correctness of the faith is groundless. So when you affirm Church doctrine you are stating something groundlessly. What is groundlessly asserted can be easily and freely denied.  Support in such a case is hardly support at all!

To cherry-pick bits of your faith is to say what you want to believe is more important than evidence or anything else thus you enable the one problem that fundamentalism and extremism need to thrive - the putting of doctrine before truth and facts and evidence. A decent person looks for evidence and values truth for they don't want to be in a religion and end up unwittingly using people or being part of an organisation that uses wittingly or unwittingly. Every religion, Catholicism especially, suffers from people who claim to recognise that it provides the truth and is an authority on the truth but who choose what they want to believe out of it. They turn religion into subjectivity and go as far as to try and impose that subjectivity on others and on their religion and bring disdain and sorrow on those who try to follow the religion seriously. It was this subjective kind of attitude that led to Germany collaborating with and enabling Hitler to do what he did. The conservative pope trying to be rational is far better than the pick and mix Catholic.

Heresy is parasitic on the religion's truth claims.  Even if the religion is not true then you are attempting to be parasitic on truth when you cannot prove or show the religion is wrong.


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