Monday, March 5, 2012

Rely on the ultimate rule book

I went home this weekend...a much needed break from Fayetteville. Not that I don't love Fayetteville, but sometimes it's good to be back home! Saturday, as I tried to shove everything I could into one day, Mom, Maggie and I drove for about 35 minutes to watch my cousin Lauren play frisbee. Well, we drove the long way so we didn't even see Lauren play, we just caught up with her on the sidelines for 10 minutes or so before we had to turn back around to meet up with Dad for lunch.

On the ride there, Mom brought up an interesting topic. Recently, a St. Louis man was fired from his job at a Catholic school because he has decided to marry his male partner of 20 years. Homosexuality in the Catholic religion is seen as a sin. But is that reason enough to get fired from a job? As we were talking about this mom asked me when I thought it was appropriate to shy away from the church when I had differing opinions on certain things. Is it ok to still say you're Catholic even if you don't believe homosexuality is a sin? What do you do when your church supports something you don't?

Immediately I thought of this video (go it!) It's a four minute poem-turned-video that talks about the difference between religion and Christianity, or Jesus. Some of what the man says is out there, but for the most part, I agree with it. As I was talking to Mom, I said there are some things about the Catholic religion that I will always believe in; taking the blood and body of Christ, the apostle's creed, the tradition of a Catholic mass(no matter if it's boring or not!)

But there are some topics that I don't turn to the Catholic rule book but to the ultimate rule book: The Bible. I do shy away from Catholicism in some aspects because of it's "old" ways. Does the Catholic Church believe Homosexuality is a sin? Yes. Do I? No. I don't think I have the authority to judge a person by their sexuality so I can't condemn them. I am not here to judge, I am here to love(1 Peter 4:8). I will be saved from my sins because I believe in Him(John 3:16)

It doesn't matter what a person does. Yes, it is bad to go out and kill someone. In God's eyes it is just as bad to do so as it is to tell a lie. There is no 'greater' sin. What there is, is forgiveness and eternal life. God has forgiven me, forgiven you, forgiven everyone who believes in Him for every sin that I, you, they, will commit. He loves us that much.

So do I consider myself a Catholic? Yes. But do I search for my religion through their rules? Not all the time. Jefferson(the guy in the video, not Thomas) spoke about the church being a hospital for the broken, not a museum for the good people. A church should be where people who are broken, who are questioning should feel welcome, not shunned. It is my hope that people can see that I am just that. I am the embodiment of my church. I want to be the one someone goes to when they have questions, not to be looked upon as intimidating, or think I will judge.

I am broken, but I have found God.

From Matthew 10: 39 "Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it."

Are you relying on the church to answer your questions? Or through research of your own?


  1. Abby, how refreshing to see you focus on Christ's message, and not the rules of the church. The church is too often mistaken for divine representatives, when they are in fact a collection of fallible men. There is only one true divine representative I'm aware of, and I can't imagine him firing someone for wanting to commit to the person they have loved for 20 years while protecting those that have inflicted egregious abuses on children. The church has dragged its feet on many things (slavery, women's rights, the fact that the earth is round and revolves around the sun), maybe someday it'll get there with regard to homosexuality. Until then, I know that I am able to nurture my family in a way that many straight men cannot, I'm capable of living a life that I am proud of, and I can put together an amazing outfit in 10 seconds not recognize those as a gifts from that is what I'd consider a sin!

  2. This is the last time mom drives!

    Tim, well spoken but I don't believe the 10 seconds:-) Dude, you have been late several times for dinner!! Ha...

    Abby, I have come to accept that ANY organized religion is a guide, not a restrictive covenant for RULES. I find it hard to believe that anyone can accept ONE organization as the sole answer. Some do of course and those people scare me. Passion is acceptable. The inability for people to think for themselves and to wear blinders is a fact of life. For me though, this is what makes humanity so interesting. You just need to pray for their sight to return.

    Love that this message is reaching so many and there is a dialogue.

    Just let me drive next time:-)

    Dad (Uncle Reg:-))