the Catechism vs the Bible
Having grown up in the Roman Catholic Church, I can now see the level of Christian and over all religious ignorance that I had and still have. We didn’t study the Bible since we neither needed to or had any incentive to do so. Maybe this ignorance was key in being and forming the Catholic mind. At most, we studied the Catechism (http://www.usccb.org/catechism/; http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM). Yet we called ourselves “true” Christians with a certain degree of arrogance especially to Protestants.
Now going to a Protestant church, I’ve had the opportunity to read and study the Bible as well as questioning religious beliefs and practices — some with deep Pagan roots. Does studying and questioning make Protestantism better? Well it does in order to really know who and what God really is and not be led blindly.
As all human organizations or anything touched by human hands, religions and the millions of interpretations of each are imperfect. Hence Christianity is broken and at times corrupted faith (several generations of accusations of sexual abuse primarily, yet not limited to the Catholic Church).
Since I’m on the topic of being subject to imperfection (not always good) and corruption (evil), I never understood as a Catholic the whole concept of saints and the need a Pope as the human representation of God on earth, as God’s top priest. After all humans — including the clergy and the Pope — are imperfect and over all broken with all the good and evil in the world. Further more, history is plagued with corruption from the Roman Catholic Church including adultery, slavery, child abuse and assassination; http://www.reformation.org/holocaus/.
Why am I beating on the Catholic Church? Well I still bear scars of this broken subculture and, yes, I do realize that I’m beating on a dead horse.
Am I closer to God having defected from the Catholic Church and adopted Protestantism? No, I’m not, but at least I feel more honest to myself about my beliefs in God.
Said all this, does it all make a smarter or at least a better person? I doesn’t make me smarter since I’m sharing this with the world. It does make me a better Christian (person) having this broad understanding of the differences in Christianity and my curiosity to explore them all.