Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I wish someone would explain this...

Over time and even at Candy's blog, I read comments that go something like this:

"I was a Catholic and then I picked up the bible and began reading it for myself."

The inference being of course that once they started reading the bible for themselves the decided Holy Cow!! it was totally against everything they had been taught as a Catholic and they quickly left the church for "true" "Bible believing" Christianity.

Now, I find that very hard to believe, but even if I did give them the benefit of a doubt, wouldn't reading the old testament make you want to become... Jewish?

And what about passages like this?
Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .

Matthew 16:19 . . . Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

John 21:15-17 . . . Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."

John 6:47-63,66 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life" . . . After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.

How does one read those and come away with, "Yep, I'm a Protestant!!" Do they not read these verses? or perhaps are they not "reading" the bible alone but with perhaps assists from sites like Candy's blog and others?

I don't believe that is is possible to just simply pick up a bible, with no preconceived notions and decide that the Catholic Church is wrong, but I'm open to hearing a compelling story otherwise if it exists.

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Nancy Parode said...

I'm always surprised to hear that people of any Christian denomination don't read the Bible. I don't read it every day (no time, boo hoo), but I pay close attention to the readings on Sunday and I do read it on occasion - even if it's just one verse. I took some great Bible study courses when I was younger, too. We own several children's Bibles so that my children can read Bible stories and understand them, regardless of their ages.

I don't know why former Catholics bring the mindset you described to their Bible reading - and they don't often explain WHY they "picked up the Bible and started reading." There has to be a reason, and perhaps that is what focused their attention on certain verses or interpretations thereof.

Kelly said...

You know, Nancy, that's a great point. I've been visited by people several times who left little leaflets with questions such as "How sure are you that you are going to Heaven?" and other similar questions. If such a leaflet got them started and pointed them to particular verses, it could flavor the way that they read the Bible.

Blondie said...

I wonder what all these former "devout Catholics" who supposedly attended mass every Sunday were doing - sleeping? There is more Bible in mass than I have ever seen in any Protestant church. And if someone such as Candy is so familiar with the Bible, then they couldn't help but notice that when attending a Catholic mass.

Elena said...

Well I guess what I mean is, that it always sounds as if they "just happened" to pick up a bible (as though they had never done that before, or hadn't in a long time) and then were so surprised that it didn't seem Catholic to them!

I just don't buy it! They either picked it up after having a deer-in-the headlights conversation with a "bible Christian" or with a Chick tract in hand, or some other kind of anti-Catholic reference. I simply don't believe that someone just picks up the bible and comes away with the conclusion that it's not a Catholic book.