Moral Theology & Ethics



We are to live the virtues and avoid vice. We would be better off spending our time doing this than in trying to seek out God's will moment by moment, step by step, hoping the Holy Spirit has revealed this accurately.

Living a holy life requires practice to form automatic habits of personal holiness.

Living the virtues and avoiding vice are foundations of Christian living.

Moral theology animates Christian life. Christians repent from sin and live holy lives to please God; these the heart of moral theology.

The topic of moral theology concerns (1) morals, good and bad, what we should and should not do; and (2) ethics — all these from a Christian perspective. The question is where are we to find true, infallible teaching on this topic? (Some may object to the notion of infallibility, but what good is a teaching if it is not infallibly true? in other words, if it might be false?)

The Church teaches about morals as well as about the faith. In fact, Christian teaching is incomplete if it doesn't address Moral Theology. Some might object that Moral Theology concerns our actions and is therefore not essential for salvation. The side-effect of this is that a person who habitually commits mortal sin with no remorse or no attempt to repent, that such a person is saved if they believed in Jesus at some point in the past.

Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:20)

Notice that sinners are saved only when they are converted from the error of their ways, when they repent of their sins, when they stop sinning. This is what is required for God to not judge us for our sins — without repentance and conversion there is no salvation.

Therefore, a key ingredient in the Christian life, in the life of those who are redeemed, is to practice the virtues and avoid vice.


Mortal Sins 

The Bible clearly distinguishes between sins that send someone to hell, and those that don't, between mortal sins and venial sins. In committing habitual mortal sins, a person's salvation is seriously at risk. Sadly, many Christians are led to believe their behavior doesn't affect their salvation.

Things I consider serious sins...

Activities I consider sinful because they are unwholesome or just plain rude...

The doctrine of Total Depravity taught by some of the Protestant Reformers is incorrect.

I believe the moral teaching of the Catholic Church is mostly correct (although it is not so clear what they actually teach about some things). Where it differs from my list above I of course accept my view instead.