Catholicism and You… Actually, Just Catholicism. Forget About You.
by blue midget
Since the passing of the previous Pope and the appointment of Pope Benedict, I have been giving the institution of the Catholic Church a great deal of thought. More so than I usually do, that is. This, of course, I attribute to all of the media that has been surrounding the Catholic Church as of late. When I normally see something strange and topical regarding Catholicism, I usually nod with that bland look on my face and say, “Ah,” as if I were entertaining the notions of a child, or a traveler who went in search of the truth and somehow lost sight of the goal.
As the centuries pass, evolution and transition of management can push an institution farther and farther from the reason they were established in the first place. And the Catholic Church is taking a lot of poor, lost souls with them. This makes me furious, as the Catholic Church has demanded that members of this sect put their trust and faith completely into the institution and Catholic leaders – those in robes and pointy hats – to guide them to… Heaven? Goodness? Brownie points with Jesus? Get out of hell free cards? I wonder if followers even know anymore.
Around 300 A.D., Constantine the Great, the Roman Emperor, became a Christian. Wanting to add more followers to the faith, he legalized the religion and decided that Christianity would be a lot more popular if it looked like many of the other religions of the time, and decided to copy what they were doing. Thus, the “church building” was born, with pulpits, stained glass, appointing more hierarchy of authority in the church than was originally established and, of course, robes and pointy hats, among other things. The Christian church (followers of “The Way”) drifted away from its original meaning. Nearly two-thousand years later, many branches of the Christian faith still cling to these additions that Constantine established.
They had the right idea though; they really did. In the beginning, some person or persons saw the basic teachings of Christ and his Disciples, and saw that they had value for a full spiritual life in God. They took these teachings and, seeing as how they would be appropriate for everyone to participate in, institutionalized them into holidays and rules and regulations. Take Lent, for example. It seems to be some deranged, watered-down version of fasting. Fasting has been a spiritual principle embraced by many religions, not just Christianity. It is my personal opinion that someone saw the value of fasting and decided that everyone should do it. This basic spiritual principle became institutionalized for the masses, and the personal knowledge and growth behind it was lost. Fasting in itself is a wonderful thing if a person is doing it for all of the right reasons. It is completely useless to the spiritually retarded. In the same way, I can see how Lent would be a very valuable practice, if doing it with the correct intent.
The Catholic Church has been busy over the centuries. Wars have been waged in the name of God and of His Infallible Word, but as society has evolved and changed and ultimately moved away from the Bible’s view of morality, the Catholic Church has changed its doctrine again and again and again, often contradicting said “Infallible Word of God”. So is it any wonder that now, after centuries and centuries of changing doctrine and saying that it is okay to behave in a way contradictory to the Bible, the church has now released a statement that the Bible cannot be believed in its entirety?
So now, the Bible is not infallible after all. I’m not surprised. Personally pissed, but not surprised. Angry on behalf of Catholics everywhere, but certainly not surprised. I wonder if it is still considered the Word of God? I’m guessing no, since it is no longer considered to be believed in its entirety. I’m also wondering which parts we’re supposed to believe and which we aren’t. Actually, this really doesn’t matter, since it is required for all believers to put their faith solely in the leaders of the church, and their ability to make you spiritually “right”. It’s true, isn’t it? Members of the Catholic Church are required to put their trust not in God, or in their Savior, or in their Holy Virgin Mother, but in church leadership. Let’s face it: Most Catholics have never even cracked a Bible, and when you ask them about basic Christian principles, they don’t know. How do I know this? I’ve talked to a ton of Catholics over the years, asking them these very things, and they never know anything about anything. They defer to their priest, saying they’d have to ask him first. I can’t tell you how many times that one has been said to me in absolute seriousness.
Ok, I’m going to throw this out; you can take it or leave it: In the proverbial end times when Christ raptures the church and judges all mankind, based on what is taught in the Catholic Church, all individuals will be personally responsible for how they lived their lives, their personal faith, and morality. You, personally, will be called to account for your own life, your choices, how you lived, and what you believed – that is, the act of your faith and knowledge of God. The Book will be opened, and it will be you and God, and God will tell you your fate, depending on how you lived. No priest or formal religious edict can change it, for God is eternal and He is the final authority.
But that’s not how the Catholic Church is set up. The spirituality of the believer has somehow become the responsibility of the church leaders, and followers of the faith are blindly handing their souls over. Now that the Bible cannot even be believed, it secures an even bigger trust in church leaders, that is, in human beings. And as the times keep changing, the policies of the Catholic Church move farther and farther away from basic teachings in the Bible.
So I’m only going to say this one time, and I’m not going to repeat myself so listen up and listen well: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS BARELY EVEN CHRISTIAN ANYMORE.
Oh my God, I feel so much better for saying that. I can’t even explain how good that feels.
I detest how religion has become convoluted and confusing, filled with all kinds of rules and regulations and all sorts of extracurricular crap. After all, did we not learn from the Hebrews who, after receiving the laws given by Moses, added over one-thousand additional rules and regulations to them? Of course, if your high priests had a good chance of dropping dead in the Holy of Holies once a year, you’d probably be a bit paranoid as well. But still, my point is, leave it to humans to make things even more difficult than they have to be.
What, then, do we do? Well, if you believe in the Bible at all, it’s time to get rid of the asinine idea that to get to Heaven, you must “be a good person” and “go to church”. I have been through the whole of the Bible, and I have yet to see that anywhere. Instead, I’m going to simplify it for you, because I don’t think Jesus wanted things to be so difficult. What did the early church do?
In Acts 2, verse 42, it says they: “dedicated themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.” Think of these as the “Four Food Groups of Christianity”, if you will. Try those, and I think you’ll find it easier.