|photo by Jenniferschwalm in flickr|
I have seen how Protestant look at God and now I have seen how Catholics look at God. I'd love to give you examples of how I each.
The first two examples of the religious divide are taken straight from the Mary's Foundation's: The Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet CD that I love and it really changed my perspective on how God is viewed.
Imagine with me please, two different people pass away and go to Heaven, they are both Christian, one being a Catholic and the other a Protestant.
The first steps into the throne room of God. There is a diamond-studded carpet, tapestries on the walls, hundreds of people talking and getting along with one another, stained glass windows, beautiful music playing in the background, flowers in glorious crystal vases everywhere, and at the center of the room is a resplendent king in fantastic silk and fur robes.
The second person enters his throne room of God and the first thing he notices is that he is walking on a concrete slab, there are nothing on the walls, there are no windows, and there is no music or people around, but in the middle of the room is a king on a folding chair, wearing a cotton bath robe.
Now, my question to you is which king is more glorious? The king that lavishes beauty on whatever and whoever He touches or the one that is so jealous of His own glory that he can't stand the fact that we get caught up in admiring a painting or statue devoted towards Him for one single second?
Certainly the first one. The second king is more of the protestant model. The protestant king seems to be more narcissistic in His view of Himself, so that anything that diverts attention away from Him, even if it was made in His honor, will cause sin.
I say to you however, that God created all things to be our tools.
In addition, He blessed us with artistic ability to showcase our love for Him and certainly everything created for His Glory is undoubtedly beautiful to Him. If a child that adores you draws you a picture, do you not want to post it on the refrigerator?
If the husband/wife you truly love serenades you with romance in their heart, do you brashly tell them to shut up? No, you want to listen!
And you want to tell others about your love, maybe even secretly, make them a little jealous of what you have.
I didn't realize this until I started going to a Catholic Church, but look at the grounds of a Catholic Church, there are gardens, statues, bells, benches, stained glass, sun roofs, and all kinds of decorative items on display.
The architecture is typically remarkable, with slants and eaves, some even have built in pools.
Conversely, look at your typical protestant church, normally built like a large tool shed. There are only shrubs, normally, maybe a walkway. If its a rich or largely attended church, its big, if not its small, but its always bland.
Wouldn't God want us to show Him honor?
A man falls in desperate love with a woman, he feels that he can't live without her. He tells her almost at the first part of their relationship that he loves her and he wants to know everything there is to know about her.
Although, he doesn't want to know where she comes from, doesn't want to meet any of her family or friends, and doesn't want to have anything to do with her past.
Doesn't that seem a little odd to you? If you were the girl, would you not be a little bit put off by the whole apathetic spiel? I mean, our personalities are the way they are because of the people we know and the experiences we have.
In order to know Christ better, wouldn't you want to get to know the people who were directly shaped by Him?
How often is it that you run into a humble man that upon instantly meeting him, starts talking about himself to no end?
Isn't it more likely that a humble man will pull out his wallet and start talking to you about his wife and kids? Don't you think that Jesus would be the same way? He was humble, you know. If you met him today, perhaps he would take out his wallet and show you the picture of His mom and dad and the friends He was closest to in His life.
Would you tell him to shut up? If you're taking the time to read this, odds are you wouldn't.
One of the things that we must avoid as ex-cult members is becoming the narcissists that we have began to loathe.
Do not be afraid to look in different directions of Christianity.
After those that leave a cult want to come back to Christ, start looking at the big picture of the Bible.
The Gospel is all inclusive of the Bible. It is all real, not just the parts that cult leader wanted you to believe.