6/27/12 Danny, 19
Three teenagers were waiting in the shade for some friends to show up at the soccer field, so I went over to see if they would be willing to talk about their spiritual beliefs. "I have a crazy question for you". They looked at each other, not sure where this was going. "What do you think happens after this life? What comes next?" "We go to heaven" was their simple reply. "Everyone?" "No...The bad people end up in hell" This started a long conversation with one of the three, Danny, 19, while his two friends were just content to sit and listen. Danny attends weekly mass at his church, but doesn't read the Bible. "Why not?" I asked. "Well the priest told us that if we don't understand the Bible we shouldn't read it because it will do more harm than good". Instead of biblical teachings, Danny believes in many strange religious theories that obviously came from cable TV shows. He thought many of these ideas came from the Bible, and because he doesn't read it he has no way to tell the difference. The only way to tell a counterfeit is to study the real thing, so I had to disagree with what his priest told him. "You need to read the Bible for yourself. There are many parts that are easy to understand, and if you are obedient to follow what you read there, the rest will start to make sense too" I told him. In addition to a thorough explanation of the Gospel, I gave them some practical advice on how to red the Bible. We live in a society that has become biblically illiterate, and the last thing we need to tell people is not to read the Bible if they don't understand it!