Jesus Freaks

Ok, so this is not quite a review… just some comments. I haven’t actually finished reading the book.

See, it was originally on my sched, but I switched that to The Authentic Catholic Woman, and I’ll just get around to finishing it when I can and when I feel like it.

Please don’t get me wrong — I think the some of stories shared here are of pretty awesome people, and I much admire their faith in Jesus. I guess what makes it appeal less to me is that it really is written from a Protestant point of view. upholding people in history that were persecuted by the True Church. It upholds people like Tyndale and Luther. Do you know the real story behind them? This book is controversial in itself, in that it upholds the True Church’s recognized Saints along with those who were persecuted by the True Church. It’s anti-Catholic and pro-Catholic by turns.

Oy, I’m not supporting, say, the Portuguese Inquisition or something — I realize that that was wrong, and Catholics’ll say so. Forcing religion is never an option, and we’ll be the first to admit that that was not the way to go. But I guess what I mean is, for a Catholic who isn’t that well-read in their Faith, this book will lead to questions, which DO have answers, but will they do their research and seek the Truth or will they simply believe it because of the light this book throws those people in? Isn’t it the same with any book that attacks the Catholic Faith? We DO HAVE the answers, but will all Catholics bother to research?

This book was written to be an inspiration to teens in their Faith in Jesus Christ. That’s great, and I respect and admire that, and I know that teens need it. But do Catholic teens need this? I don’t like how one minute, a Catholic teen will think, “Ohey! This dude is a Catholic like me! Awesome!” and the next entry will make them think, “Wait… my Church did that?” and will they bother to try and find out why the Church did so and so?

Look, it quotes from Saint Thomas Aquinas!!! Yay! But then… but then it tells of Martin Luther and says “At his trial, corrupt church leaders tried to get him to recant, but he refused…” ‘Course if you hear his story from a Protestant view, it’s can be pretty convincing. I’m not saying I’m an expert at those things; I’m still learning, you betcha. But if you know that Martin Luther added to the Bible, it puts things in a new perspective. If you know what the Church had against his teachings, and you’re not hearing it from a Protestant, then of course you’re going to understand better. Ahh, we come to the biased opinion. Please don’t bring that in. We’re talking about facts, about Church dogma that’s written down and been handed down directly from Jesus Christ himself!! vs. facts about Luther’s doctrine and how it contradicts the Bible — that is, the Bible without his additions to it. Furthermore, if you know that Protestants follow the Palestinian Canon and Catholics follow the Alexandrian Canon, and you know why Catholics do what they do, then good. Do we have basis for that? ‘Course we do! Because the Alexandrian Canon is the one used by Jesus and His apostles, and the Palestinian Canon was the one put together by those who opposed JESUS, AFTER His death, because they feared the rise of His followers.

The thing is, I know that if my Faith is challenged, I WILL do all the research I can to find out what REALLY happened. I’m not putting down other teens, I’m just concerned that if they’re not like that and they read this book, then that’s… not good. They’ll be deceived. They’ll be letting themselves be deceived.

Ah, and Tyndale! Don’t get me started. Of course you’re going to sympathize with him if you read this book. Because it’s meant to put the Successor of Peter and the rest of his flock in a bad light. BUT DO YOU KNOW THE REAL STORY? Because you won’t find it here! Go do your research! Will Protestants criticize me for not writing longer comments? For not taking this opportunity to defend my Faith? That is, if I can, they ask? Oh, I can. I just don’t need to do it here. Partly because I won’t be writing a personal, biased opinion. I’ll be writing down facts that you can find elsewhere, anyway, so I think you can wait for me to have time for a post explicitly on what’s being uncovered before me every Monday night.

Another thing that I don’t like about this book; the take quotes from the Bible and so simplify the vocabulary to the point where it doesn’t sound like Jesus anymore. As in it’s been simplified to the point of extreme teen language that seems so… so… by heaven, irreverent. Here, take this for example:

“Count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens — give a cheer, even! — for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds.”

It says that was taken from Matthew 5:11 – 12. But does it sound anything like this? —

“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Yes, yes, it more or less means the same thing. But there is a richness in the language of the Bible that just seems so horribly irreverent to take the words of Jesus and turn them into teen-talk. It’s like the whole controversy with the Latin Mass. Gosh, I can’t go into that right now, else this post will be as long as my Conference testimony… Besides, that is a promised post, since I’m writing it for the Catholic Teen Magazine. (Which, I might add, is running late…)

Hey, listen, I’m not trying to sound like I’m putting down Protestants. I’ve got super awesome Protestant friends, and I admire them for their firmness of Faith, and I’ll say so! And, as I’ve said before, I do believe there are some things Catholics can learn from Protestants. But I have reason to believe that extensive research could contradict some of the supposedly quoted conversations in this book. What’s the point of reading about the great deeds of Jesus Freaks if the facts aren’t straight? Heck, don’t you want to know how it really went? Don’t you want to be looking up to real people — no, I am not saying those people didn’t exist, what I mean by real is that you understand the real motives behind how both sides acted — and being inspired by the things that really happened to them?

No, I am not denying that Tyndale was refused permission by the Church to translate the Bible into English. But if I asked you, could you tell me why the Church did that?So there you have it. Some of my comments on Jesus Freaks. I’m very grateful to Kuya Vin and Ate Candice for lending this book to me, and I think that firm Catholics will be able to draw some inspiration out of it, but I think that it would be more useful to study their apologetics and read books that focus solely on the Saints. I really like the stories about Christians who faced (or are facing) Communist persecution, but I think that that is all that I really appreciate about this book. It’s fine for Kuya Vin and Ate Candice who are firm in their Faith to read this, but I would not give it to my little brother just yet, or not at all, even. There are better sources.

All the same, I mean to finish the book. But I would not recommend it just for anyone.

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