lørdag 14. juni 2014

# 31 - Do you feel that the Bible is outdated and was written for people of another time?

I suppose you know that Jesus gave power to the Church and the Pope (Mt 16:17-19), (Jn 21:16-17), (Acts 9:4-5, where Saul who persecutes Christians are told that he is persecuting the Church. «Persecuting me» is the Church because Christ is being consumed under the «cover» of bread and wine. Christ and his people is the Church. If Jesus had meant otherwise he would have said: «Why are you persecuting them?» He didn't say that!).

We have come to question 5 in blogpost # 3 (August 2012). We often hear atheists talking about the Bible as a book full of fairytales. Sometimes Christians treat the Holy Book as if they believe that too. It was good to listening to the story about Noah when they were kids, but now that they have grown up, they cannot see the meaning because science has shown that there perhaps never was a flood that covered the whole world. May be people of the time of the Bible needed such stories, but ....

Stop! Wait a minute. We have the celebration of Pentecost only a short time away (2014). What happened that day, do you remember? Well, it was the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out at the apostles and it was the day when the Holy Catholic Church (for all people) was instituted.

What had Jesus said to the apostles before he left them? He said: «I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth» (Jn 16:12-13). 

And who were the apostles? Jesus had many disciples, but only 12 apostles (one betrayed him, but he was replaced by another). These apostles were to lead the Church and to lay hands upon others to become priests. So these apostles were the first bishops, with Peter as their leader (pope). It was Peter who took the word at Pentecost and said to the crowd: «Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with your ears receive my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day: But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass, in the last days, (saith the Lord,) I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh» (Acts 2:14-17)
If the Holy Spirit guides the whole Church through the pope (Peters chair) and the bishops in the magisterium, then we must remember that it was the bishops under guidance of the Holy Spirit that picked out the books that together should become our Holy Book. The Bible is like God willed it to be, (inspired by the Spirit, but written in the style of every author). Not everything is to be read literally, but that doesn't mean that the Bible is full of fairytales or that it is oldfashioned. Through the guidance of the Church (who is guided by the Spirit) we can learn how to understand the Bible.

Let us go back to the story of Noah. It might be built on a local flood, and that would mean that not everything outside of the ark was destroyed. Do you agree? But if it's so, why is that story in the Bible? According to the explanations that I have got, the point here is cleansing through water. Let me refer to Genesis in the «Ignatius Study Bible» with commentaries by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch: «Allegorically, the Ark of Noah is a figure of the Church, and the baptism of the world, which purified and redeemed it, corresponds to the saving Baptism of the Church (St. Cyprian, Letters 68). The family of Noah is saved by water and wood, just as the family of Christ is saved by Baptism, which represents the suffering of the Cross. And as every kind of animal was aboard in the ark, so believers from all nations are enclosed in the Church (St. Augustine, Against Faustus 12, 14-15) (referred from Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, RSV, Second Catholic Edition, Genesis commentaries p. 27).

As you probably see, even if there never was a flood that covered the whole earth, the story about Noah make sense through the Tradition of the Church. We Catholics don't believe in Sola Scriptura (the Bible alone).

When some Catholics shouts out that the Bible is outdated and start picking and choosing what they themselves want to pick out, they are separating themselves from the catholic tradition, Bible and Tradition (with a big T). They are not Catholics to the fullest but have become products of their own irrational needs and thoughts.

It's up to you if you want to follow in the footsteps of these «pick and chose Catholics», but that; that these people exists, shouldn't hold you back from becoming a catholic or coming back to the Church if you have left it. I have decided my way. I will not follow the trend of the cafeteria-catholics. I want the real stuff, even if some will try to trick my by saying that the real stuff is oldfashioned! I can stand at my own feet togheter with the Lord. I don't need the feet of those who stand togheter, but still stand in the sand. I want to stand at the rock! Jesus has asked us to follow him. He has not asked us to follow the people who seem to have the coolest and most modern thoughts of today.

My advice (if you want an advice): Buy yourself a Catholic Study Bible, read carefully half and hour a day and offer all your doubts to Christ while you are reading. If you have the ability to visit a catholic church for about 15 minutes a day and pray in front of the tabernacle in addition to your Bible reading, I think you will experience that that is a good start too. The Church is about 2000 years. You cannot expect to understand everything in one moment. Remember to look up the Catechism of the Catholic Church to have that as a guidance too.

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