Wednesday, July 27, 2016

10 Christian Myths


This has been sitting on my mind and heart for a while since we have been going through turbulent times in the U.S.A. in the last few weeks (or decades).

There is a tension in the air that everyone can feel and trust me, Satan, whether you believe he exists or not, is sitting back sipping a cup of tea like a Kermit the Frog meme, loving every minute of it. Whether or not you believe, please continue reading just to educate yourself on a few matters, in case the topic comes up.

1) Christianity is a made-up religion used as a crutch by those able to be 'brain-washed' to believe it.
    There is a deep history of theologians, scientists, scholars, priests, nuns, laypeople, who have studied, written, and 'believed'. They were not dummies or blind followers but great thinkers and fact-checkers of their day. There are many who started out trying to disprove Christianity and Christians and found themselves converting because they couldn't find anything but the Truth in it. It happens to this day. There are no Crusades. There is evangelization but not in the political meaning being used by Christians in the States. Brothers and Sisters are seeking and learning. I believe that is why some don't seek the information. To be proven incorrect or have to question what you believe can be a painful adjustment. They'd be pulled toward what they 'think' they aren't ready to commit to and being a Christian AIN'T for wimps. That's where the Faith comes in. "Be not afraid."

2) All Christians hate women who want or have had abortions and the clinics,  different ethnicities, homosexual or transgender men or women, and are all bigots.
  Christians are not taught to hate as Christians. That's a personal problem for each to seek Guidance about. The ones that gather and show their a--, I mean their ugly side, are not following the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church. We may hate the sin and love the sinner but would never disrespect our neighbors, their funerals their families and friends, their lives as our brothers and sisters, their civil rights, or try to prevent Love because that is preventing Jesus who IS Love from making Himself seen. We cannot condone the acts taken by all of our brothers and sisters. We pray they come to some realization that the sin is not necessary for Love to be shown.

3) Christians are trying to control women's health.
  A Christian will try to offer an alternative be it assistance to keep a child, adoption, or a method that won't harm women trying not to get pregnant. The science behind the Creighton Fertility method revealed that it is as effective as birth control pills. I'm targeting particularly pills (shot, implants) as they cause the most harm to women's health. Also, problems present themselves when women stop using these types of  contraceptives and should they desire to conceive later. Please see for more information on how to safely avoid or encourage pregnancy.

 It's about knowing our own bodies and when to say 'yes' or 'no'. It's respecting our own bodies and our partners respect it as well to realize it's a 'yes' or a 'no' time. It actually respects women more and gives more control to women than the pharmaceutical companies do with the harmful and less effective, means of knocking on the door of your womb. There are plenty of people trying to conceive that could be helped by this method and it has been proven to work where IVF has not.

If adoption is not the manner a woman has chosen, there are worldwide organizations to help her to cope with her decision. Everyone says, "It's no big deal. I'll get over it.". However, there are studies that show the many women who've regretted the decision at some point in their lives, maybe not immediately, but at some point. And as a Christian, you better believe forgiveness IS there if they seek it. God and His Children are there for her. If one Christian doesn't help, there's another. Don't give up.

4) Speaking of which, Christians are unforgiving.
  Christians believe in Jesus Christ. God appeared in love and weakness in the form of a poor infant, not as King of the Universe everyone expected in a Messiah, in order to live as Man, understand Man, suffer and die for Man, enter Hell and save God's children from eternal death from Original Sin (see Adam and Eve) and rise again. Now, there are disagreements on some of the principles of the Faith that turn others away. This is one of them. Even your holiest, shout in the aisles, and praise the Lord Christian will have someone in their lives that they won't forgive and walk away from, talk trash about, ignore, neglect or fight. This is not the behavior we are called to exhibit so don't get that wrong if you are a nonbeliever or non-practicing Christian. We believe that if Jesus says in the Bible to forgive your brother Seventy times Seven times (and that's only an example meaning "always") then we do. That's all there is to it. We cannot even pray, in good Faith, the "Our Father" (you may know it. Jesus taught his disciples to pray it and we do daily). That prayer specifically asks God to forgive us OUR trespasses AS WE forgive others who trespass against US. Soooo...we are asking for forgiveness but can't give it ourselves? Or we give it stingily? Or we take it back? Then we'll be forgiven the way we forgave others. That's a hot topic and a bad place to be.

5) Christianity is a special "club" that only Saints can join. Sinners need not apply.
  The Church calls all our brothers and sisters because all were made by God in our Beliefs, whatever religion you profess to be, if any. The Healthy don't need a Physician. From my studies of World Religions, it is the only one where a God, in this case, just well, God reaches toward Mankind in Love and Desire for Man to love and desire to be with Him. Christians can reach up and, figuratively, grab his hand, instead of climbing a mountain to get to Him, saying the right things and doing the 'right' thing. We just have to acknowledge and love Him and others. Simple. With others Man has mankind doing something extraordinary to reach Him or the place that is their goal. Christianity is full of Love and Peace. Don't get me wrong. There have been times in History where this wasn't shown but don't blame Christianity. Like today, MAN does evil or forces others against their will in the name of God. They have to atone for that. No judgment needed down here from anyone trying to answer the door of their glass house with a plank in their eye on Earth. That's just how it works. This is why you cannot expect every Christian you meet to be perfect. There's no use tossing that into a conversation in order to shame or discredit Christianity. Of course, we are not perfect! We are flawed humans. But we have a chance at Eternal Life. Pardon me but Thank God for that! And, yes, we will die for that rather than turn our backs on the Lord. Martyrdom? Yeah, Duh! That's what you call it.

6) "If their God is so good aren't all the Christians supposed to prosper" i.e. be rich, have a big house, nice car, designer clothes and money to burn.
   Christians prosper, just not always in that way. God answers prayers but He is not an ATM. Our Bible tells us it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle (the small openings in town walls in Israel) than a rich man into Heaven. There's a reason for that statement. Once people are dazzled by currency, they stop seeing the Lord and spending quality time with Him. Either they want it, want more of it, or have it and want more of it. Let those thoughts mean Love of God, not dollars. Christians are called to help one another, to be charitable with whatever we have. There's a Biblical story of a woman that gives her last penny. Foolish woman! The man who shares his last bread with a neighbor? Dummy! Shoulda kept it! A Woman that pours expensive perfumed oil over Jesus' feet and washes it with her hair? Judas saw that and blew his top! I'm just going to say, google the definition of Humility. Works and alms are counted. If people have that money and are rolling like that, as they say, and believe they were the ones who got it all on their own without a "By-your-leave" or "Thank you" to God. Silly rabbit! God didn't have to wake you up and keep you strong and healthy enough to get it, you know? If they don't have it, they pray to God to get it. Yes, God is our Father and wants the best for us, which is what He offers for all Eternity. It has nothing to do with greenbacks and I would take it over a McMansion any day.

7) Christians are always happy and healthy and so are their families or they did something to displease God.
  Suffering is unavoidable. The worst things you can imagine can happen to you or someone you know and love. This is not a 'punishment' from God. This is not God being 'mean' or 'uncaring'. The prayers were heard. His answers always Yes, No, or I have something better. Nothing could be better than to be in His presence. Argue if you must. (Read Old Testament Book of Job)

8) Christians can't even agree with one another.
  Actually, this is true, in a large sense. There are different Bibles, interpretations, church teachings, and information has been dropped and lost over the years in favor of a more "cafeteria-like" religion. Pick and choose the parts you like. That won't change in our lifetime. But it will change. It began 1500 years after Christianity began and has been convoluted ever since. We all do, however, believe in Jesus, in God, in the Holy Spirit, in the acts of Jesus to save our Souls, just not in the same way. As I said, it's changed in the last 500+ years.

9) Every Christian you encounter will argue, berate, scare, and stalk you into Conversion.
  Thousands upon thousands of nonbelievers were converted at a time by Jesus. Saints converted thousands at a time, like St. Anthony of Padua. As laypeople, we will likely mention Jesus to you, for something to think about for your Soul's sake since we care about you. Many of us can't keep quiet about Him. It's that way when you are in love, right? If it's done right, you will think about it, maybe pray about it, maybe do your own research on Christianity, and find that, yes, that's where you belong, hopefully. If not, we've done what we were called to do. We planted the seed. Many have this mixed up and must be forgiven. In their zeal and love for Christ, it may be off-putting to nonbelievers, even making others angry to the point of insulting of the entire Faith. Don't freak out! The Truth is, if we are living our Baptismal Promises, others usually come to us and ask what the deal is. That's an opening to discuss. I'll never beat you over the head with my Holy Bible, OK? Scouts honor!

10) Catholic Christians don't believe in Jesus or the Bible.
  Ooh! That's a biggie! That requires one to do a bit of research of the origin of the Bible you use, if you use one, and/or how the Church began in the first place. "Interpretation" is a fickle verb. Leave it to each person, pastor, and church and that's where the fiery debates begin. There shouldn't be any debate since we all agree on the basics. But Divide and Conquer is a winning strategy except we know WHO wins at the end of this story. Anyway. Let's just say the Catholic (Greek for 'universal') Church's Mass is prayed 24/7/365 by a Priest somewhere on the planet, even if it is one lone Priest in the middle of nowhere making his way to deserted area as the Apostles did. We have many beliefs that are not for the weak. They are not secret. Just ask someone who knows their Faith. Unfortunately, there are quite a few that have forgotten or been caught up in the World and no longer have correct answers. The Mass is derived from Jewish Tradition and practices making us Judeo-Christians as Jesus came as a Jewish man for Jewish people and then Gentiles. During a Mass you'll hear readings, prayers, praises, thanksgivings, prayer requests, psalms, from the Old Testament (which contains all of the Books of the original Bible), followed by more prayer, hymns, readings from the New Testament and, finally, the Gospel Reading and maybe a Homily (or known as a Sermon to others). And get this. It's an hour on Sundays and half-hour through the week. Oh, yes! There are Masses throughout the week including Saturdays. The Church Year includes the entire life of Christ from Conception to Pentecost (the start of the Church filled with the Holy Spirit. Another topic!). And the same readings from the Bible are being read all over the World on the same day. Does that sound like Catholics don't believe in Jesus and use the Bible? Sounds weird but we ingest Him as instructed in the Gospels. It's no symbol. Men walked away and left Jesus that night He pronounced it because He wasn't kidding when He told the disciples this is my body and my blood. Do this in remembrance of Me. That's why I said it's not for wimps, half-jokingly.

I won't get into a Catechism here. There are plenty of Churches throughout the World that have Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults classes to have questions answered and not be obligated to convert that can handle that for you.

My final word on the topic is this post is because I've been horrified by the Christian political supporters of all kinds who are encouraging and spewing hate-filled disruptions at rallies, conventions, on Facebook, in forums, in comments to articles and in person and hurting and killing one another. When did we stop using our words, reasonably, with one another? We all must be patient with each other and realize that worshippers of every type of faith are all searching in their own way for the Love and Peace of God.

Only they've never known it or have, sadly, wandered away from it. It's right there. There. Right there. No, not to the Right. Go left. Your other left. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Uh-uh. Too far Left. A bit more centered. Yes! Got it? See it? Excellent! That's where the care for the humans on this planet and love need to be focused in God's name! Peace be with you.

For these I offer prayers today and always.

Reboot Challenge? Want to know more? Libraries and most bookstores are full of authentic, non-biased books telling the History of the Church's beginnings and expansion throughout the World, writings by Doctors of the Church, Saints like Teresé of Liseux (the Little Flower), about The Reformation, and more to explain why we are where we are today. Check 'em out or strike up a conversation with the one in the room you feel is the most at Peace with themselves and the World (you should be able to tell and it's not the one with the most charisma or friends. That's different.). Pick one this week. Get informed, if not converted. Thanks.