LUNCH JUST 11 HOURS AGO ended on an unpleasant note. Was with a colleague H. when another colleague X. walked past alone. Invited her to join us. Initially, we chatted about elearning.
Then she mentioned "Luther" the movie. From that point onwards, things started going downhill: selling of indulgences, doctrinal misinterpretations, and etcetera, all came out like a can of worms. A typical distorted 500-year-old history that the occasional self-righteous Protestant wouldn't want us 'idolatrous' Catholics to forget.
After a few half-hearted attempts to explain the situation, i realized that here's someone with a 'closed mind' only interested in expressing her views and not interested in other views. She claimed that everything in the bible is open to all kinds of interpretations; however, she's very certain that the church that Jesus said He will build on Peter (Matthew 16:18-19) was "an invisible universal church", and etcetera.
Something's definitely wrong with this kind of apparently relativist and yet absolutist interpretations. Finding it fruitless to go on discussing in this irrational vein, i wanted to stop. Said so.
BUT THERE WAS NO STOPPING the mouth of this 'closed mind'. She just continued talking with a snide smile, "only expressing my views."
If Catholic and Protestant biblical scholars have been disputing the truth for hundreds of years, i couldn't see how this dichotomy could be resolved over a lunch that had almost ended. We were having dessert just to keep her company. And it was going to be a long and busy day, with part-time teaching in the evening and lots of work to be done.
Told her that she shouldn't try to force her views on me. Repeated my request to stop the discussion. But she kept saying, "Oh, I am not forcing my opinion on you. I'm only expressing my views." and droned on while my anger grew. She even taunted several times, "You are afraid."
Yeah, right. In a way, i was afraid that i'd start acting quite un-Christian (such as insulting or shouting at her) and later regret that. But how does one stop someone who wouldn't listen and couldn't respect another's decision to stop a meaningless one-sided discussion?
Finally, mumbled something that ended with "Thank you" and walked away. H. turned and followed me. How did X. feel? God knows. i could not be bothered anymore. The anger in me continued to seeth until now that i've told a few friends what happened, finished my night prayers (with a terse "please bless her, Lord") and written all these down.
Lord Jesus, you had said, "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide [us] into all the truth..." (John 16:13) How could it be that so many of your followers, who believe that they are inspired by Your Holy Spirit, should come to so many different interpretations about Your will and Your truths? When will Your Holy Spirit truly enlighten all who believe and trust in You? OR are many of these just decoys?
(See also a National Catholic Reporter review of "Luther", Catholic Encyclopedia: Martin Luther, and more information on Luther.)