Now that we are “Popeless”, and Lent to boot, my Catholic friends and I have been having “Christian” dinners together on Friday nights. (This means meatless). We have been having some lively discussions on the reason behind the Papal retirement. I mean, he quit. There is no quitting in the Papacy! I’m sure to non-Catholics, all these cover-ups and conspiracy theories are making for a lot of “told you so” fodder. Anyway, I originally wrote this blog over a year ago, but it seems very relevant today.
Last night I got into an very interesting conversation about my renewed interest in God, Jesus, and all things religion. Lately I have been reading the Left Behind series of books, and what a revelation the Book of Revelations has become to me!
I went to Catholic school back in the days of real priests and nuns as teachers. Since most of them were not necessarily educated to be teachers, they relied very heavily on teaching reading, writing and religion. The whole school attended Mass every morning, and twice on holy days. I think I can still recite the entire thing in Latin! Which actually turned out very useful to me, as Latin is the root of all Romance languages, and my love of reading and writing is with me to this day.
I grew up receiving most of the sacraments and going to church and never questioning the teaching of the church. That has changed since I began questioning evolutionism versus creationism. I have my own theory on that which combined the two to my satisfaction. (I will write a blog on my theory soon!)
Then along came Left Behind and a few other books I have read along that genre. It really made sense to me. I had never really thought much about the “rapture” and all that would happen afterwards. I read the words years ago but never studied them or knew their true meaning. Also, I have always been troubled about what would happen to all those good people on earth who believe in their own God, like Buddha and Allah etc. And the Jewish faith, who is still waiting for their Messiah. Is it really true that they cannot go to heaven because they don’t believe in Jesus? Do they go to their own heaven? Or are they “left behind”, and become true believers during the Tribulation?
Crikey, I remember back in grade school when I thought my non-Catholic (but still Christian) friends couldn’t go to heaven with me and I cried and cried. That’s what the nuns taught us, and we all bought it hook, line and sinker. I think that is why some people think the Catholic church is like a cult. I am proud to be a Catholic, but don’t buy into 100% of their doctrine. Which they change. More than once. Confusing. Also they don’t aways practice what they preach. What?!?! you may say. Think about the cover up with priests/boys. Enough said. Moving on.
The idea of an Antichrist and Armagedon has always fascinated me. But I never thought about the reality of that actual scenario. The Left Behind books, even though classified as fiction, give me a believable picture of how it will happen and what life will really be like. And if so, I certainly don’t want to be left behind, as I have I stated in a previous blog!
Our conversation last night debated the question on why God would not let a good person into heaven, if they follow all the commandments and moral code, but don’t necessarily believe in Jesus like he wants. Many people figure that if they are Christian and live a decent life that they get a free pass into heaven. I’m afraid that isn’t true. I’m afraid I may not make it there, even though I am a believer. But I am going to try my hardest.
I am glad that I had good friends to have this interesting debate with (thanks Amy, Kathy and Lin!). Everyone has their own beliefs and their slant on religion. I learn so much from other people. I hope to keep an open mind and become a better person.