The Christian Noob (n00b)

born & raised Catholic, now going to a Presbyterian church & still learning

no need to read the Bible!?

Today I was talking to a good friend of mine who’s been enduring a deep and long depression since her ex-boyfriend called off their engagement. She told me that she felt as if God has no time for her problems and rants.

I told her that we all feel that way once in a while. It’s weird that she told me this merely two days after (Sunday the 27th) Reverend Kate Dunne at FAPC (http://www.fapc.org/) talked about this same issue in her sermon (http://www.fapc.org/component/eventlist/details/1475-The%20Rev%20Kate%20Dunn%20%E2%80%9CAsking%20for%20Directions%E2%80%9D). She mentioned that we all need to “ask for directions” to find God and that such guidance comes from the Word of God (the Bible). Hence reading and studying the Bible can surely lead us to God.

As I tried to cheer up my friend of over two decades, I asked her if she read the Bible. As a “good” Catholic girl brought up in a Catholic home and taught in an all-girl Catholic school, she told me that she doesn’t read the Bible at all. This comes as no surprise.

Growing up Catholic meant not reading the Bible and taking whatever came from the altar as true and law. As a Catholic, we weren’t even required to have a copy of the Bible. This might be biggest mistake in the Roman Catholic Church — other than sexual abuse, theft, murder and other crimes that no one wants to talk about.

I’ve learned that every person who calls him/herself Christian should read and/or study the Bible alone and/or with others. A person should question and learn from the Word of God. Only in this constant questioning, a person’s faith can really grow. Further more this spiritual growth should also be lived out by serving others as a means to serve God.

Anyway I sent her the reading of this past Sunday, on which the pastor had written her sermon. Hopefully it’d help her somewhat to read key verses of the Bible.

51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God
– Luke 9:51-62 (KJV)

This whole process of reading that sacred book that we weren’t required to read would be like forgetting everything that we were told growing up and “learning” to be Christian all over again.

What troubles me is that she was the die-hard Catholic growing and I was the stray. Now it seems that the roles have changed. It’d be different if we could just share jokes without the void in our souls that religion had left us with.

After all, it took me thirteen (13) years to go back to church. I probably spent three (3) of those years dying in that void where no drug or religion could rescue me from (the words I often used). In all it could easily have been twenty (20) years in a godless state. That’s almost half of my life as a stray in a godless land, but at least I’ve gone to church every Sunday for close to two (2) years.

Now it’s time for me to help her (for a lack of a better expression). I just hope I can do a good job. One thing that I must consider is that I shouldn’t try to “covert” her to Protestantism.

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