Sunday, July 21, 2013

Everyday "myths" of the Christian Religion

If you do not go to Mass on Sunday you will not go to heaven.

This is an example of what some were told as young Catholics.  How would that make you feel?

Unfortunately this paints a certain picture of Christianity to some that people base their other beliefs on. In reading and going to Mass, it has been discovered that many concepts about Christianity that are generally accepted do not necessarily coincide with Scripture.

The following is a list of some other common myths and a Biblical response to them:

Myth 1:  The Church is based on the clergy.

In the early formation of the church believers were the body of Christ and considered priests.   Christianity states that through baptism believers are priests.
                                                                                                                    - 1 Peter 2-5                                                                 

This is used separately from the modern notion of an additional ordination to be priests.

Believers are all consecrated priests through Baptism.  As St. Peter in 1 Peter 2:9 states, "You are a royal priesthood and a priestly kingdom," and it states in Revelation 5:10, "Through your blood you have made us into priests and kings."
                                                                                       - Wikipedia

The clergy are a significant part of the church, but what they do is to serve the congregation.  The church is based on a body of believers.

Myth 2:  God created evil.

If you create a product and someone accidentally breaks it, then did you create breaking the object?  Creating the object and creating what happens to the object by accident are not the same thing.

In addition the ancient Principle Of Polarity by Hermes he makes an observation.  His Principle Of Polarity embodies the truth that two seeming opposites are in truth compliments that differ only in degree of the same thing.
                                                                        - (, #4)

This means that evil is the absence of good, and not the opposite of good.  God did not have to directly create evil. 

What God created was good, as it states in the Book Of Genesis.  What humans chose to do with God's creation was bad.

Myth 3:  You should get married.

Significantly, Saint Paul regards BOTH marriage and singleness as gifts from God.

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.
                                                                                     - 1 Corinthians 7:8

As he said previously in Corinthians,

The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided.  And the unmarried woman is anxious about the affairs of the Lord"
                                                                                     - 1 Corinthians 7.34-5 

Saint Paul states that there are benefits to being married and to being unmarried, and it is up to you to decide.  He is not just declaring  "everyone should get married."

Myth 4:  You go to church to ask for forgiveness of your sins.

If you believe that Jesus Christ is your Redeemer then he already atoned for your sins through the cross and the resurrection.

In the Gospels Jesus says "It is finished" in regard to the work he has done.
                                                                                     - Gospel Of John 19:30

It is not until the Second Coming Of Christ that people experience the full results of the defeat of Satan and evil.

In this context if you are a believer you do not go to church to ask for forgiveness, but to thank God for forgiveness of your sins.

Myth 5:  People with near death experiences can accurately describe what heaven is like to you.

This is a controversial topic.  The Bible is largely silent on the topic of near death experiences.

The passages  2 Corinthians 12: 4-5  are often sited as evidence of these experiences,  but it assumes Paul was in heaven when he died.  It was a vision God gave Peter of heaven, and not a near-death experience in itself.

Scripture does not state it directly, but generally does not back up the notion of near-death experiences.  If it is not explicit in the Bible then it is not for humans to guess. 

Things are not always what they seem.

This adds meaning to life because:  The Bible is subject to interpretation, translation of languages and things such as different customs and times.  All of these can play a role in how God's Word becomes part of the life of a human.

Sources:  Bible, The Seven Cosmic Principles Of Hermes Trismegistos, various seminarians

Related posts:
The Priesthood Of All Believers
Getting More From Life By Finding Where Evil Came From
Questions And Answers: Near Death Experiences