The Church’s Moral Standards Are Too High

“They say there’s a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it’s better, but I say it ain’t
I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The sinners are much more fun
You know that only the good die young.”

Read any line of Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” and you’ll find the song’s simple message ringing through: The Church’s rules are stuffy and useless, so give in to carnal desires and have fun. By his own admission, “The point of the song wasn’t so much anti-Catholic as pro-lust,” but it’s also hard to see the difference in this case. Joel painted Catholicism (or maybe the Church in general) as an institution disconnected from the world, out of touch with people’s reality, and burdensome to normal living.

But this sentiment is not limited culturally Jewish New Yorkers with a lot of experience living around Catholics. No, this is an argument that even some Christians have made: The Church’s moral standards are too high. Setting up rules and regulations completely disconnected from the lived reality of people today, the Church, some say, expect what is impossible when what it should do is “lower the bar” a bit and set more attainable goals. Why set the ideal as the bar when everyone is going to fall short?

As you can imagine, I am not one of these people. For me, the Church’s moral standards are exactly where they need to be because they point us to exactly where we need to be going: the kingdom of heaven.

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4 Comments on “The Church’s Moral Standards Are Too High

  1. Absolutely right on, Brother Casey! Done any other way, it become the religion of “me” rather than that of Jesus. If He is who He said He is (and I believe that!), then we must follow His Way rather than what is easily identified as “my way”. Hard, yeah, but Jesus even told us it would be…why are we now surprised?

  2. I guess we are not used to words like endurance, abstinence and perseverance anymore, they are seen as negative and painful in our comfy, cozy world. But we are loosing out! Because therein lies the battle for and seeking a true relationship with the Lord. We need these things to give us strength, mold us into the person Christ wants us to be, to fight for our relationship with Christ, through our addictions, lusts and desires to come out the other side as people that look like Jesus, ready for His kingdom. After all why are we here? To have a cozy life or to be Christ followers, counter culture, to be people who are known for their love of others, not judgemental but full of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. There are people out there who still feel like this, as do I, personally I feel it’s refreshing to know that ! Thank you brother Casey for all your doing, praying for you that you will have the Lords favour, blessings and anointing wherever you go.

  3. The bar doesn’t need to be moved. But there should be more forgiveness. The church keeps a lot of people out and away from reconciliation.

  4. Casey:
    Perhaps an unfortunate topic on the day of horrendous revelations from Pennsylvania.
    I hope next week you’ll try to speak a sincere word of repentance on behalf of all us Catholic clergy.
    Fraternally,
    Joe Nangle

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