Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Me and Scripture

After my born again experience in adolescence, I learned that Catholics don't read the Bible and discourage its personal use. Since we had no Bible at home and my parents knew very little about it, this proved it! I must have concluded that the three readings of Scripture at every Mass, somehow didn't count as "Bible reading." And that interesting way the priest elevated the Gospel and kissed it as we stood at attention as the Gospel was read. Somehow the obvious implication that the Church reverences Scripture was lost on this wide-eyed long haired fanatical young Bible totin' believer. I continued to go to Mass weekly with my parents for at least 4 more years after my born again experience so I had ample opportunity to see and hear Scripture used in the Catholic Church, but I chose not to hear it or see it. I was like a screaming four year old with his hands tightly clasped to his ears repeatedly shouting: "I can't hear You, I can't hear You."
I was so blinded by the anti-Catholicism fed to me at Wednesday and Saturday night Bible studies, I couldn't see the Truth in Catholicism if it hit me over the head. Sometimes I wish my local priest did take a Bible and whack me over the head with it. And being that the Catholic Bible has 7 more books in it than the Protestant one, the extra weight might have done some righteous good! At the time I was reading the Good News for Modern Man version of just the New Testament so you could see how balanced my theology was going to be. (15 references of the "Blood of Christ" were removed and changed to 'sacrifice' because of the bias of the translator Robert Bratcher, who was later forced to resign from the American Bible Society because of his view that Scripture was not infallible.)

I never heard these these quotes below by some well-known Bible-lovin' Catholics

"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." -- St. Jerome, A.D. 340-420

"To get the full flavor of an herb, it must be pressed between the fingers, so it is the same with the Scriptures; the more familiar they become, the more they reveal their hidden treasures and yield their indescribable riches."--
St. John Chrysostom, A.D. 347-407

The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New" -- St. Augustine, A.D. 354-430

"All troubles of the Church, all the evils in the world, flow from this source: that men do not by clear and sound knowledge and serious consideration penetrate into the truths of Sacred Scripture." -- St. Theresa of Avila, A.D. 1515-1582

The Catholic Church loves the Scripture and encourages the faithful to read it.
So much so that Mother Church has given a partial indulgence to those who spend time reading it with the veneration due God's word and as a form of spiritual reading. Yep, the authority to forgive sin and remit the temporal consequences of our sin. What's Not to Love?


Anonymous Nancy said...

And that doesn't even take into consideration the Scripture that's found within the text of the liturgy itself.

Between attending Mass and daily praying of the Liturgy of the Hours, I'm consistently absorbing far more Scripture than I ever did as an evangelical "Bible Christian". Go figure.

August 22, 2007 9:36 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Yes, the liturgy is interwoven with Scripture. The reality was that the Bible was canonized and collated so the Church would know what Sacred books to read for the Mass. It was intended for the Mass and finds itself so integral to the worship.
It was never meant to be separated from the Church, but to be a part of the the Sacred Tradition given to the Church as part of the dposit of faith.
It has always been there, I just didn't know it.

August 22, 2007 9:45 PM  
Blogger MMajor Fan said...

See the way he walks down the street,
Watch the way he shuffles his feet,
My he holds his Bible up high,
When he goes walking by, he's my guy.
When he holds his (complete Catholic) Bible, I'm so proud,
'Cause he's not just one of the crowd,
My baby's always the one to try the things they've never done,
And just because of that, they say-
He's a rebel and he'll never be any good,
He's a rebel cause he crossed that tiber river to holy Roman Wood...

August 22, 2007 10:21 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

LOL, when he holds his "complete Catholic Bible"

your getting like joyful catholic with the Parodies!~~~ Nice Job

August 22, 2007 10:33 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 23, 2007 10:54 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Let me ask you a question, as a born and raised Catholic I experience what many American Catholics experience. A Catholic Life that is more cultural then anything. I was ignorant to scripture, as well as my family. Why is it that way? It seems that most Catholic families I know are simply going with the flow. Living the Catholic Faith simply because the family has always been Catholic, with little to no faith.

August 24, 2007 8:18 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Hey I thought you weren't blogging anymore! :)
I don't know JP. I would not say it is across the boards. I would say that Catholicism is 25 percent of the american population and therefore, more people are Catholics than anything else, and there are many as we were, devoid of understanding the Eucharist etc. Given the sheer numbers, the odds that you run into lukewarm ones is pretty high, I'd say.
Having said that, I have now known many onfire Catholics with 5, 6 and 7 children who have always embraced the Church since childhood. I ask them how they turned out so good, and they say "My parents were devout."
Lack of catechesis? wishy washy homilies? the effects of mis interpreting Vat 2, all can be blamed but the bottom line is the grace of God's presence was there in the Mass, but it isn't magic, so you aren't automatically touched and converted. The grace of God is only available to those who are open to it. So the Blessed sacrament doesn't transform those who take it without rightly discerning it, which could be many Catholics, but only God knows their hearts.
On the flip side, children grown up in evangelical families with strong biblical teaching, bible camps, christian schooling, nightly prayers, dynamic youth groups etc can and do choose to not follow the faith of their fathers either!
There are and will be saints in every Catholic generation . Look at the number of new vocations in the past 10 or fifteen years, and you will see the tide is starting to turn again.
But , yes, why didn't I "catch it" as a kid?
I think about it a lot.

August 24, 2007 8:51 AM  
Blogger tara said...

Reading the Bible as a Protestant--I was continualy confused--one Bible verse seemed to refute another??

Now that I'm Catholic, I have the entire Salvation History Story--all the parts fit together in the main story--Old and New Testament. The Old Testament prefigures the New--the New Testament completes the Old. The story is complete--no more confusion! I love our Church--and the entire Bible.

August 24, 2007 3:50 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

Hey MMF! GOOD ONE! Let's collaborate sometime, eh??? : )

BOY does the cover of dat dere bible bring back some Jesus Freak memories!

Dang....I'm older than dirt!

August 24, 2007 6:47 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

I thought some might have flashbacks on seeing it!!

August 25, 2007 7:47 PM  

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