As I look back on my years growing up in a very rural community, I remember the faithful admonition of my mother “Look Before You Leap”. Every time my brothers or I were about to engage in a controversial conversation or activity, we were told “look before you leap”! Certainly at 13 years old I had no real concept of what that meant, and what the heck did mom really know anyhow; but now, looking back and applying some of the life experiences that at times were thrust upon me rather than a casual brush with a simple education, I have a much clearer and somewhat colorful picture of her warning and my lack of obtaining the correct information.
Most recently I have, in puzzlement, watched as usually good people, become violators of one of the basic rules of the Judeo-Christian mindset; you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16 NASB); just because they ‘read it on the internet’, so it must be true.
More specifically, the recent attack on the Roman Catholic Church and the claims of how horrible their doctrine is has caught my eye. While I will admit I do not agree with some of Catholic doctrine, I am hard pressed to point a finger and claim that Evangelical Christianity or Orthodox Judaism – or any other group are better and have no faults.
In Judaism, we are warned against lashon hora (the evil tongue) and are taught not to be part of spreading rumors, even if the subject matter is true. Christianity teaches a similar lesson in the Gospel teachings of Jesus: Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?(Matthew 7:3 NASB). If I can be so bold as to paraphrase ‘who do you think you are? You’re not so perfect yourself’! If you personally don’t know the facts, stop pretending you do!
Did you know that some Evangelical Churches and Organizations (from where the complaints and indictments are coming from) approve of same sex marriage? Did you know that some Evangelical Churches and Organizations allow women to teach, preach and pastor? Did you know that some Evangelical Churches and Organizations will not teach against …..well many things Catholics are put down for, are taking place in the Evangelical Churches and Organizations. If you honestly believe that Catholic Priests are the only clergy that have committed sexual acts against children, you haven’t been paying attention in the Christian Youth Groups.
Before you decide to pass along what someone has posted on the internet, check it out. Before you decide to take a stand against the Catholic Church or any other religious organization, find out what they really believe, not what you think they believe or what someone has told you. And finally, if you really want to take a stand against Catholic practices and traditions (you have the right to do that), stop doing them in your life!
- · Eating fish on Fridays began as a Catholic tradition – and most restaurants that you eat at (and order clam chowder on Friday) follow that tradition.
- · Christmas and Easter, were started by the Catholic Church
- · Communion, as we know it today, was started by the Catholic Church – even if other churches have changed some of the words and manner of distribution. (no, Jesus didn’t start communion, he was celebrating the Passover Seder)
- · The Catholic Church gave us Liturgy which in modern churches is called ‘order of worship’ (which is really a Jewish term, but that’s a subject for a future writing)
- · The calendar we use today was introduced by Pope Gregory VIII, of the Catholic Church
At this point I can hear the cries of anguish from those who truly believe that they would never participate in a Catholic practice or tradition! Oh really?
· looking guy or website, is not true. If you want to know about Catholic Doctrine and traditions, go to the Catholic Catechism, not an Evangelical writer who is trying to sell books.
Look Before You Leap – if you don’t, you might find yourself being embarrassed by facts rather than speculations.