[Note: Long, religious post ahead. Hope you read it still.]
“I want to be a priest” I said. My closest friends stared at me in wide-eyed disbelief, eyebrows angled at 90°, and after doing a couple of somersaults, told me encouragingly, “Utot mo!!”
Their reaction did not take me by surprise, really. If you’re someone close to me, you’d know that I am anything but priestly. I only hear the gospel during the first Friday mass at school or during Christmas Eve. I don’t pray the rosary. And I only knew my Bible stories because of Flying House.
But it doesn’t mean that I am a man of little faith. In fact, I am a man with a lot of faith. And my self-imposed recollection in my room last Holy Week just magnified every bit of faith I have in my soul. I realized that God almost always gives me what I pray for. It’s my turn now to give back the glory and serve Him on a higher level.
That’s when the idea of priesthood entered my mind. Only with one big dilemma: I’m not sure if I can live up to a celibate life. I want to have a family of my own, of course.
Now that’s when the idea of converting my religion from Catholicsm to Born Again Christianity came into view. “If I can’t be Father Joel, then better be Brother Joel” I said to myself. And being surrounded by a lot of Christian friends, I somehow have the gist on how it is to be in their group.
I religiously followed Bo Sanchez’s blog, listened to Hillsongs music, and started reading the Bible by heart. For a time, I somehow thought I wanted to be a true Christian.
Then one day, one of my friends told me to read a particular book written by a Christian pastor. Interested, I obliged. I was enjoying reading the first few pages of the book, but for a certain reason, I felt the urge not to continue.
What I don’t like (not that I hate it) about some Christians is they sometimes try to impose on others that what they believe in is right. That the other religions are spreading falsehood among their men. That their OWN interpretation of the Bible is the RIGHT one and should be the one to believe in.
I know I’m not the right person to talk about religion but I can’t help but feel disconcerted. It’s not only an attack to my religion, but a personal attack on me, as well as the other followers of my religion.
Now please, don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning to start World War III here. Kristiyano ka man o Iglesya o kahit pagano, nire-respeto kita. I just want to get my message across: We all believe in ONE God. In the end it’s not about who’s got the better religion because there is NO such thing. This is not about religion. This is about FAITH. And faith is not something you impose on others. It’s something you find for yourself. Something you find IN yourself.
So what now, Father or Brother? I still don’t know. So help me God.