Fairy Tales???


#1

I am a recent convert as is my husband.

OK…My mother came over today. She and I have had moderate conversation regarding my faith.

Today, she said, “I have a question about Catholic’s” So, I told myself to be patient to hear what she had to ask/say…and grinned the entire time she asked her question; then my face fell. It was a disturbing question. She told me that she had met a woman in the Methodist Church who had been Catholic…her kids had gone to Catholic Schools, but she pulled her kids out of the Catholic School. Anyway, it seems as though her kids were told that only some of the books in the Bible were true, the others were just Fairy Tales. Then my mom backed it up by the fact that her husband was told the same thing.

I said I wasn’t there to hear what was said…this person may have heard something out of context and that her husband may have heard something that wasn’t really said; however, Nuns and Priests can make mistakes, NOBODY is perfect.

I told her that the Church teachings were pretty solid. I didn’t go into any details…I tried to leave it at that…I didn’t want to shy her away…I said that the Church is true, there may be some who are Catholic only in name (I explained Cafeteria Catholic).It happens, sad to say! I don’t know if I did a good job today. If any of you have any suggestions I would appreciate them. I don’t want to push her, but I think she may be open.

God Bless!
M


#2

[quote=MCOLE]I am a recent convert as is my husband.

OK…My mother came over today. She and I have had moderate conversation regarding my faith.

Today, she said, “I have a question about Catholic’s” So, I told myself to be patient to hear what she had to ask/say…and grinned the entire time she asked her question; then my face fell. It was a disturbing question. She told me that she had met a woman in the Methodist Church who had been Catholic…her kids had gone to Catholic Schools, but she pulled her kids out of the Catholic School. Anyway, it seems as though her kids were told that only some of the books in the Bible were true, the others were just Fairy Tales. Then my mom backed it up by the fact that her husband was told the same thing.

I said I wasn’t there to hear what was said…this person may have heard something out of context and that her husband may have heard something that wasn’t really said; however, Nuns and Priests can make mistakes, NOBODY is perfect.

I told her that the Church teachings were pretty solid. I didn’t go into any details…I tried to leave it at that…I didn’t want to shy her away…I said that the Church is true, there may be some who are Catholic only in name (I explained Cafeteria Catholic).It happens, sad to say! I don’t know if I did a good job today. If any of you have any suggestions I would appreciate them. I don’t want to push her, but I think she may be open.

God Bless!
M
[/quote]

I assume your mother attends some church. You might ask her if anyone in that church ever said anything contrary to what the church itself professes.

Part of the problem is that quite some time ago, scriptural scholarship, which previously had been contained pretty much within the world of scripture scholars, began to circulate more widely among the unwashed masses. Language that had a very narrow and specific meaning was used by the scholars, and those unwashed masses, being uneducated in the nuances of the language of the scholars, took what some scholars said and ran with it, with common language understanding. That was the start of the issue about the term “myth”, whcih had a very narrow, specifi and nuanced meaning within the world or scripture scholarship, and a completely different meaning among the hoy paloy. It quickly degenerated to a “fairy tale” status, which had nothing whatsoever to do with what the scholars were discussing. And it still lingers on, now having taken on the life of an urban legend.

So yes, there are Catholic catechists going around repeating the urban legend, which has now taken a life of its own. The damage is reported to be wide spread.

And it is not well refuted by Catholics who attempt to become literalists.


#3

Mcole:

Prayers. Mortification. More Prayers.

The holiness that we try to live will speak louder than any words we can offer. Remember the time when the disciples coudn’t cure a posessed person, Christ said this one can only be cured by prayer and fasting. That applies in our apostolate as well.

As for what they’ve been told, well, it may be true that some teachers shouldn’t be teaching heresy. This friction has been with us since day one.

in XT


#4

Just tell her you think that everything in the Bible isn’t to be interpreted literally-some are stories that are lessons (there are reports of a great flood around Noah’s time, so obviously not everyone died, so it could be a lesson of somesort), and some are reperesentative of a greater thing (Ex, IMO, Adam and Eve).


#5

FuzzyBunny,

The Church does not teach that about Noah’s flood, so I would not take that stance. We cannot assume that anyone survived the flood except Noah and his family because that is what is specifically says in scripture.

Pax Christi


#6

[quote=mgarstin]FuzzyBunny,

The Church does not teach that about Noah’s flood, so I would not take that stance. We cannot assume that anyone survived the flood except Noah and his family because that is what is specifically says in scripture.

Pax Christi
[/quote]

But is believing literally in Noah’s story, a matter of faith and morals?


#7

Thank you all for replying. I need to tell you a little more…I told her, my mother, that though Nuns and Priests may make mistakes we have the Church teachings. I don’t find the Catholic Church at fault.

She says her husband calls the Methodist Church that they attend, Metholic. I don’t know that I care for that, but I try to understand.

I hope I can improve my apologetics.

Again, thank you all!
M


#8

One of the hardest things for those who lean on Sola Scriptura to get a grip on is that some parts of the Bible cannot be proved to have been written as accounts of historical events.

Face it…we do not know for 100% sure that the creation accounts in Genesis (there are two) are literal or if perhaps meant to just drive home the point that God created everything.

The oldest book in the Bible is actually Job (and it’s great reading) but no one knows for sure that it all really happened or whether it might just be a terrific parable designed to teach us certain things about God and life.

There is really no way that we can know for 100% sure that some parts of the Bible (particularly in the OT and maybe Revelation) …are meant to be literal instead of being a parable or an analogy.

Now, does that mean that Catholics don’t believe the Bible? GOD FORBID! What is does mean is that Catholics are honest enough to say when we really don’t know for sure about some aspect of the Word of God. None of that changes the fact that it is the Word of God and that it can be relied on for our guidance in matters of faith and morals. I mean just because the story of the Prodigal Son, the Sower and the Seed, and the Ungrateful Servant are “just” parables doesn’t mean that we don’t learn important things about God and our relationship to Him from them.

Me… I have no problems with it, and I love the Bible. I also love the honesty of the Catholic Church that I belong to.
Pax vobiscum,


#9

I had someone say that to me once. I was confused and I pressed them further. I found out that the person asking went to a “bible” church where they take everything literal. As I talked to them I asked if the parables were true stories of if they were ways Jesus could explain things to people in a way they would understand. This person replied that the parables were true. So if that is the case…somewhere it was documented that a man went out to sow his seed and kept accurate account of the yield of the grain from the rocky ground, the weeded ground, the hard ground etc. I think that this was a pictoral representation of our souls and not about the yields of grain in different enviornments.


#10

I think Church Militant and other posters on this thread bring up some good points. Aside from some questions concerning stories in the old testament being true, we must also be aware that some of the historical dates, geography and historical people in certain sections of the bible may not agree with known history. That’s OK because the Church teaches us to believe in the scriptures 100% when it comes to matters of faith and morals. I think that getting the story right 100% regarding historical accuracy is secondary to what the story is trying to teach us regarding faith and morals.

Also, it may help to delve deeper into the two creation stories in the first 2 chapters of Genesis with your mom. In the first story, man was created on the 6th day; however, the second story of creation has man being created at the very beginning. If the bible is to be taken literally in all cases, then one of these stories is wrong. Fortunately for us, the key to the bible is understanding what God/Jesus is trying to teach us regarding our faith.

You may also want to consider the apocalyptic scriptures (Daniel and Revelations). From what I learned, apocalyptic writings were a common genre in those days, and people knew to not take literally the creatures described or the numbers stated in these books. In Revelations, it is stated that 144,000 people will be the elect at the end times. Is this number to be taken literally? We know that 12 represents the apostles or the 12 tribes of Israel, and 1000 means merely a large or immensity. I don’t know if this is 100% true, but I think this number is to signify a large number of the followers of the appostles (12 squared * 1000) are the elect of the Kingdom of God.

What I am trying to say (albeit long winded :slight_smile: ) is that there are no “fairy tales” in the bible; however, parts of the bible are not to be taken as literal wrt actual historical events, but must be taken as literal as teaching the faith and morals of our Church.


#11

Catholics are not fundamentalists.

Back in the 5th century, St. Augustine was troubled by the stories in the Old Testament, and found them a stumbling block to his conversion.

St. Ambrose reminded St. Augustine that the letter killeth but the spirit gives life.

Our rich Catholic tradition fully allows and embraces symbolic interpretation of bible stories.

I promise you, as a cradle Catholic with relatives who teach in Catholic schools, no one in a Catholic school would say the stories are fairy tales. The pejorative sense of that term is completely un-Catholic, and nobody would ever defame the bible in that way.

You’re being played. Please don’t let fundamentalist bullies manipulate you.


#12

I suggest you read a book called

The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark

written by Dennis MacDonald

He has written several books on the gospels but this will give you a different perspective of the bible, as a new Catholic this has trully strengthed my faith.

Also read Truth and Tollerance by our new Pope.


#13

Thank you all! This has been great information. Church Militant, I see your posts all over the place, you’re GREAT!

I need to tell you all that during that conversation with my mother she told me that her husband “would never say anything to make me not want to be catholic.” I just grinned and said, “There’s nothing that he COULD say that would do that” She smiled too.

So, now I’m looking forward to sharing some of this information with her and maybe she’ll ask some more questions. We’ll see!

Thank you all and God Bless each of you!
M


#14

Just to add a bit to otm’s great answer, the word myth or mythology are terms describing a type of literature. The word myth does not mean “untrue” or “not factual”. That is a modern, common understanding that scholars of literature, anyone’s literature, be it the Bible or Shakespeare, simply do not use.

And even fairy tales are not necessarily untrue. What could be more true than the kiss of a prince awakening a sleeping princess when understood in the Christian context in which Cinderella was written? The prince is Our Lord who awakens his Church to new life even though Satan (the Wicked Witch Queen) did all he could to destroy her. You see what I mean?


#15

Very nice, Della! :wink:
M


#16

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