Catholic vs. Catholic - 2018-06-30 - Minh Ho

Author Recorded Saturday June 30th, 2018

There are 44 episodes in the Versus:Catholic series.

Recorded September 13th, 2017

Catholic vs. Catholic - 2017-09-13 - Thomas

I met Minh Ho at a Christian Meetup group about two years ago. At first I had no idea he was Catholic, but I have been enjoying getting to know him and discovering his unique approach to Bible Study, particularly as concerns the Torah, or the first five books of the Old Testament.


Catholic vs. Catholic - 2018-06-30 - Minh Ho

Author Recorded July 26th, 2017

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hello my name is Minho and you're listening to Catholic versus Catholic tell the listeners if you would a little bit about yourself who you are what you believe and how you came to believe it okay so I grew up in a Catholic family my mom is very practicing Catholic she spent a lot of time to help the church and help with the services and try to teach us when I grew up in from like let's say 12 or 13 14 I started to kind of drift away from from the faith and it was only after the end of the university that I started noticing that you know the bad things are happening in the world and behavior people is counting problem and I was always searching for what could be the answer you know how how could we help people and well I thought God what God existed but I didn't see you know how God worked in the world and you said I would watch on YouTube and things like that and I would do more research and then I am I learned that God really act in this world and so and so forth and definitely God is the answer to help so yeah what are some of your earliest recollections and what role did the people around you play in terms of your family your parents your grandparents your siblings just fill in the very early childhood up until adolescence and then will go beyond that after okay well in childhood I come from Vietnam so in the south of Vietnam this is a fairly large like Catholic presence so basically like in my family like we would often go to church and we would have relative who who are like nuns and priests and you know sometime that's like there was a lot of like trouble like back then with the Vietnam War and so on and the refugees and there was always like some priests that we would trust and money with them and so on and so on and so forth so the Catholic presence was quite there and when I came to Quebec like my teacher was a nun and and so and so forth so and like we could go to Catholic classes and and so on so it was pretty much there since since not at all since actually yeah was it natural for you to pray to God at night and that meals and stuff like that yes actually we we would pray but like I never really thought about it like and and people never really helped me to think deeply like if I had questions and so on so it became more like a ritual and you know like I just thought okay it's very nice to believe in God and to be a good person but like I didn't spend enough time to to think about it really yeah okay and how far did you drift away from God and from a religion during your adolescence two years or your young adult years can you talk about the dark side a little bit well I was always tried to be a nice person I was just I was a regular young adult and had some time difficulty with relationships but nothing really out of the ordinary did you always feel close to God or did you feel sometimes like an atheist well I I feel that was like God there was a heaven I would say that I would try to be like to be help people and so on so forth but you know by yourself it's just so easy to fail you know so because I wasn't reading his word I and I didn't keep going to church I wasn't close to God yeah okay and what is the earliest moment that you can remember where you had a genuine sincere conversion as an individual where you and your heart you committed yourself to Jesus Christ do you have a memory of a conversion and then once you talk about the first conversion maybe you can tell me about subsequent conversions that you've had that are memorable I would say the first well I I i was playing playing volleyball and one of the person playing what about me went to this this evangelical church and I was just curious you know like I've never went to avenging evangelical church so I was just curious and I went there and I thought yeah these people are nice so it's I see that they have a good community so so I see ok this is a good path so I start learning more about Jesus about the gospel about you know the Old Testament the New Testament and yeah do you have siblings are all of them religious or without getting too personal but to the extent that you're comfortable talking about it is your mother more religious than your father is one sibling completely religious just give a little really brief overview yes ma'am oh he's very religious she prays a lot she she spends about a church like my my dad he believes in God but in the in the past sometime he would get angry but like the mall we pray for him he seems to be better but it's hard to get him to study like the preaching even though my mom's I was playing them you know in the kitchen then my older brother he's like spiritual but he said he likes Buddhism more because it's more rational why we always have like funny and intense arguments because it's not true that you know in capitalism or in Christianity you just you have to believe you know so basically that's the idea he has and my middle brother I've been teaching him for years that you know some of the things he did he's doing is quite against the rule of God you have to be careful with other people and so on but he had recently issue with his health so maybe it's a way that God is maybe working him up and bringing him back good closer to us because yeah because we helped him like just what his health also so yeah that's a situation with your brother that likes Buddhism I did not understand his criticism of Christianity can you just fill that out a little bit for us we understand what his criticism was okay because he his contact went in his childhood with the priest you basically when he had a question the priest just basically don't want to answer him he just say I'll just believe my brother my other brother is the guy with lots of questions so so he didn't like that he thought that was like why can I ask questions but he liked the reasoning of the Buddhist preaching but actually it's very similar to what we teach but this is missing a few parts yeah yeah yeah so now there's just one other biographical detail I want to understand is more psychological insight into your personality it seems to me that your emphasis is a lot on other people and helping with relationships it's all very external what about your weakness what about your sin what about your need for a savior because Jesus Christ suffered and died for you and your sin you haven't talked about that well I feel awful so I feel like I was gonna bless with like I have a good ability to think and to learn and let's be a good family so this is just external stuff it's it's it's a good blessing and it's great that he brought me up in the Catholic Church and he finds friends for me who are who helped me and also led of course the the book of God and that really helps and all the multimedia like the videos and so on so that I feel like I'm quite blessed you know manner already so yeah but you didn't really answer my question are you a desperate sinner in need of a savior yes or no well we are all sinners and so on so forth we and I was trying to learn okay because many things we also do a lot of sin that we are actually not aware that they are sin so I spent a lot of time to learn more and more yeah what is your prayer life like and how do you do examination of conscience and how frequently do you examine your conscience well when when I would pick up and take a walk through the day and during the day I would review play say what I did okay well what could have done better so I tend to do that when I take a walk and my prayer life I I mainly pray during lunch and supper but I spent a lot of time thinking about the Word of God well in the past I've just listened to videos and that I could learn and think about many many things but I feel a real stage where I actually have to do a lot of like harder what I have to do really dig myself spend time sit down with paper and think about verses by verses and that's how I could progress faster yeah okay now I think this is an appropriate time for you to talk to us a little bit about your unique approach to Christianity which is very heavily emphasizing the Old Testament the Jewish Scriptures and even drawing on the wisdom of living Jewish rabbis today can you talk a little bit about your perspective how you came to this habit or this understanding mm okay well first of all I think all light and wisdom is actually from God so if you recognize what it's light and what is something that is useful for others and for the world it's actually from God and we should use it so that's the first principle the second principle is that our own Pope Francis he said that the Torah is a great gift to humanity and the third point is that in the past lots of people were Christian it was easier like when people were less a Jew it was easier to ask people to believe and I find that now in a more modern time more people are educated and so on so forth it's hard to just ask people to believe so we have to bring reason so what I'm saying is that the Catholic Church has had a strong very strong emphasis on reason that's good but I prefer to look what has God prepared for this time an age where people need more than just tell them to believe so that that I'm more curious about that's the third principle why I came toward that point because the main interest of God is to rectify the world and to do that we have to spread the knowledge of God not just the belief of God in the first commandment God says that I'm the Lord your God so when he says that he's in front of millions of people and he said that after he made all kind hundreds of very clear earth sharing miracles and then he said I am the Lord your God so we can interpret this as okay believe that I am the Lord your God or know that I am the the Lord your God so I would take the interpretation has know that I am the Lord your God so the way God teaches us is he we have to stand up effort to dig and so on but the final commandment is actually know that He is God and believe that Jesus is the Son of God okay so belief is good but knowledge of God is even better so if God gave us the commitment to know that He is God and it is the first commandment it means that it's very important okay so if God gave that commandment how is it possible to achieve it so the first step you would say okay then he gave it to most and the entire nation of Israel okay so he gave it to them okay so it means that those who have inherited the seat of Moses must know how right so they must have something very important that God has delivered to them so it is actually a journey that I still suggest to the listeners to go search for that how do we have the knowledge of God more than just believing and everything else will be so much easier after that and did you start chronologically your studies at Genesis 1:1 or did you jump in according to the video that you stumbled upon talk a little bit about the topology and your emphasis well when I started I guess I just searched video for the proof of God and then when I saw that the rabbi's was speaking it was pretty good and basically it's not because he's a rabbi that I like but it's because I find is the reason he speaks it's very sharp it's not shaky you know like so that's what I like so basically I'm just very attracted to light and things like that and also why I'm so curious about what what the Jews might be able to teach us the reason is that Jesus say that the you know the father's prayer is hallowed be be your name so if you know like the Torah very well like not very well but sufficiently it's very easy to have a bad viewable and about your question about topology I would say I just started with looking for proof and then I just find what who I likes to listen to and then I just kind of just read like different books like that and just watch all the videos I could find and then listen to audio Bibles different product or quickly but now I'm rereading it but it is the way I read it so just for one verse like three verse it would take me like two hours because it's very complicated and that's how I'm able to get like very deep information do you rely on the study of the original languages ancient Hebrew and Aramaic and these sorts of things or do you just rely on the scholarship of others or do you use translation actually I would like to study Ebru but I don't have much time it's but it's very important in our research to rely on the shoulders of kind of giants basically a couple like I use app that has both Hebrew and English and yes the Raschi is one of the very famous rabbi who who give commentary on Torah and and just from that you get some information but just from the translation you can learn so many things but there's a few principle about Torah that you need to know before you start studying like that is because like when so first that follow each other a subject that follow each other they're somehow linked and everything means something and something that comes to my mind is for example it's very strange like God asked Abraham to bring his son for sacrifice right but the wording he that God say was okay bring your son Isaac that you love to Mount Moriah for a sacrifice so the wording is actually very specific he didn't tell him to bring him to slaughter but bring him there for a sacrifice but maybe bring him there so you will sacrifice with with him a lamb right so it's like it's very very precise just the the precision of the wording you know it's you can derive so many things that's just find it very very I'm very attracted to that this is a more general question for you it has to do with the general doctrine of inerrancy and inspiration those are two separate things but they're intimately connected God is the primary author of Scripture both the Old Testament and the new he's the primary author and the human authors are also true authors they were truly free and they truly wrote what they wanted to write and they wrote what God wanted them to write so inspiration is one question and you can talk about however you the second aspect is inerrancy how can it be that there are apparent contradictions and yet we're not troubled as Christians mmm I think there's one verse in the in Bible that says that whenever God says something you can never like cancel it everything he say is actually true so it comes down to a matter of interpretation of a different verses so what happened is that because I would say that I am Asian and in in Asia we are used to saying statement that I kind of vague and it could mean many many things I'm not sure if you heard that first of all in Japanese a person could say yes and yes could actually mean yes I heard you but the answer is no and I find Hebrew is kind of similar in that it couldn't mean many many things and people say translation is very difficult from Hebrew so whenever God say something it couldn't means ten different things if you really think about it and let's say that's this there's three things that seem to contradict each other from different part of the Bible okay so the correct solution would be all the interpretation that will match for all three so yeah and what about the inspiration how does that work as far as you understand how can these authors be free and truly human and yet have the grace to communicate exactly what God wants them to communicate how would you tackle that problem well God we know that he's not like fully revealed in this world and even in his world we have to make quite a bit of effort to get the right message so how can we be inspired in our free will and well God he has so much control everything that somehow he just able to coordinate everything and even if the writer has something that's not like very clear he would bless those who have sufficient humility to is actual humility is extremely important your ears have to be open to everyone who has studied that subject and you have to review everyone without bias and then find what is the possible correct answer and like I said before that God really really really prized people who recognized truth and light what is truth so basically the situation is such that we have to spend effort and be very humble and be very curious and actually miracles happen all the time but because they are so common we think they are not miracles but basically my miracle is it's just the breaking of the laws of nature and the law of probability so if we want God to do miracles which is an exception he wishes us also to spend enough effort to seek for him to seek for the truth and to seek how to help others how would you approach the skeptical atheist today that isn't comfortable with faith because they thinks that it's contradicted by science the natural sciences and reason and this sort of thing what would you say in general terms mm-hmm well the more we learn about the universe the more it is just incredible like how much like a power and big the universe's and we just don't understand how where did the Big Bang come from it's like if you think about it like that's magical you know like what do you mean like I'm a small object everything expands like God he controls time and space you know like like if you say in the Bible the world was the world was made in six days I mean like if God has perfect control of time and space you can actually time I can use evolution and isolate everything very quickly time doesn't matter you know for every argument that I can come up with there's so many arguments that proved otherwise but it's more a problem of the will so it's not that you need to be smart it's that you need to love you need to love the God that loved you first well Jesus say that people don't believe because their works are evil and actually the way you look at the way the world works God he actually give seemingly proof for atheists and at the same time proof for atheists to dig to find clearly that God exists so Jesus say it's because in their heart that do the evil things but then you have to explain why in the 1,700 1,600 everyone was strongly believing and now with lots of people going to university studying evolution and and so on suddenly it's very hard to teach them so we have to figure out how to reconcile both so nowadays it's very hard to evangelize people so so if that's that is true it means somehow the wheel in the past was different of the general populace than now so how to reconcile these two so I would say that there's different level of faith and also like if you live in an era where like strange things happen you don't know the reason for them it's actually easier to believe and follow everyone but when we live in an era that seemingly we don't need God we have science we have medicine we have social security it is the same will actually yeah there's an issue that's sort of lurking behind what you were saying which is the issue of the cultural aspect of religion where someone would the checkbox yes I'm religious and in the Middle Ages I think it was the same thing I think there were people that hopped on a bandwagon it's more convenient to be a cultural Catholic in the Middle Ages than it is today but there still are today cultural Catholics I meet them all the time and they don't have the depth of faith and they don't agree with the Church's teachings on this or on that and usually it has to do with sexual morality just because that's the pleasure that's hard to resist but how do we tackle those people that are sort of complacent and haven't dug deeply into their faith and they're not on fire for their faith how did these people come to life how to bring these people to life well everyone wants to be a superhero everyone's wants to help other you know like I think inside everyone is that spark so I know that your interest in the saints and the saints are known for God accepting their prayers accepting the blessings to others like through them healing our people so those are superpowers if you think about it is that a demonstration of love love is the the Willing of the good of other people and has Christians we should be the main focus actually of all our studies is actually how to demonstrate love and I spend so much time to study each verse it's because one of the key thing is we have to be extremely careful with other people how to evaluate them where what what stage are they now so how to best approach them so what I'm saying is that these are rooting people to want to be superheroes but sometimes they don't see a solution and they just say oh that was a dream but what I'm saying is that the same God would do incredible miracles to them so God is very interested I believe in giving us this incentive to demonstrate the attribute of love but to reach that it's actually it's difficult so we're all trying to get there and that's why I spend so much time like to study like two hours from for two verse so another thing is people love challenges and and God he actually depending how much you you have he knows where he just wish you'd ask to be the best we could be and that we could would think how to do to help others so I think maybe a message like that I have a personal problem maybe can help me with it I do know someone at a certain church which will remain unnamed and he revealed to me his view on human sexuality and it didn't align with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the church to such an extent that it's very dangerous for his eternal salvation so obviously I'm concerned but the problem is my handling of the situation was a little bit cut and dry to the point where I just pointed out the Church's teachings and I said I have to make a choice you can conform yourself to Christ or you can try to teach the church but you're not going to win that battle you can't teach Jesus Christ and His Church about sexual immorality you just can't do that you can't it's it's a losing battle so I prefer that you conform yourself and you humble yourself and you conform yourself to Jesus Christ even though it's challenging it's difficult it's not convenient but my problem socially is that I'm very cold and dry when I present these sorts of things even though I use nice words like I love you and I want you to be healthy and happy and live forever but it comes across to the other person like I am morally superior that my standards are too high and this sort of thing can you please give me some practical guidance of how I can improve my one-on-one friendships with people that disagree with Jesus Christ and yet claim to be Catholic yes the reason why they say they reject some teaching the sexuality is because it is too difficult to follow it's just too difficult so it's hard for them to Fantom such a drastic like maybe they recall the days where they tried and they were so unhappy or you know always having bad thought every day you know that like like st. Paul say that like where we we give or we do for God we should we should do that really with a joyful heart that's extremely important and even in the Old Testament the Jews were just go through emotion and things like that but they thought it was like a burden and just because of that they God was very unhappy and also when Moses was about to come down God told him when you come down those who are willing ask them to give me a sacrifice to build like the tent for God like this kind of wood this goal and so and so forth so those who are willing so it's if we push a person toward the standard that the church has has set and they're not ready and inside their heart they are grumbling it's actually not the ideal way God is patient so we should view it as go step by step and just possible if just to ask them to do things that are like less painful like try to limit the number of time you do it or who you meet what kind of event you go to let's say you go like every weekends try every two weekend I just at least he's sorry he's making effort to go away and the way it works is I'm pretty sure as soon as God sees that he is making effort he he will definitely help him yeah and it will become easier and easier yeah the distinction I would make is between someone that sees the error of their ways and is repentant and that wants to change but finds it difficult to change and the other person who says look what I'm doing is good it's healthy that person you can't ask them to make baby steps in the right direction because they think that their advice is a virtue so I'm thinking now I'm thinking about the Golden Calf and what was it Aaron that made the Golden Calf well apparently he was making the Golden Calf well according to Jewish tradition he was kind of forced because he had like a rebellion on his hand and he was trying to delay it but anyway because he wasn't punished yeah anyway okay yeah but I'm thinking about that scene with the golden calf and the people if you ask the people that were enjoying the celebration and the so-called worship of that false God I think that they were unrepentant at least until the punishment came and then maybe some of them started to think that they had gone down the wrong path possibly I don't know but I think 3,000 died that day if I'm not mistaken is that right something like that it's funny that you say about the golden calf actually in that those verses it talks about men and women joking and laughing and actually that those allusion that because one would think that the Jews after they received the Torah they rebelled most was restriction on sexuality and that was the one of the things that was hardest for them people who were unrepentant if they are truly unrepentant God will find a way to help them bring them back but they are going to church try to find what good things they are doing are they are they doing all the good things that are kind of difficult like are they trying to be close to God except on that particular part that's already a good thing but one of the problem is that there's a Cavill that covers our eyes that we on that if we don't really look hard we don't see what's true and false and he actually might believe that rationalize that but the final saying is that whatever God has has has category said this is good this is not good that's the the right way it's as simple as that if God decides that this is bad it's bad it's and sometimes I would say all these things that the the ordinations are doing is actually don't that because through that those acts they have defiled themselves and actually it will miss a different part of his life actually and it will limit where how haha he can go but like I mean we should be patient and and observe I'm going to wrap up soon but I just I really want you to talk from your perspective from what you've learned and any intuitions you have about this idea of marriage because when I think about sexuality what I think about is Jesus Christ and His Church and the bridegroom and the bride and I think about the Song of Solomon and I think about the intimacy that God is willing to have with these creatures that are made in the image and likeness of God it really is mind-blowing the idea of the theme of marriage runs throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation the wedding of the Lamb even in Hosea the Prophet Hosea God talks about Israel being the bride and Hosea is told to marry a prostitute because that's how God's chosen people are acting so there's always this idea of love romance marriage the family and part of that is intimacy and so I want you to talk about that if you would and the Eucharist can you talk about the Eucharist in the Torah and in the Old Testament and you can draw on whatever images come to mind for you or whatever interests you you can read the Torah and there's so many way to interpret it but if you interpret it from the lens of what Jesus started is actually very very good and Jesus is called the Word of God and the Torah is the Word of God and it was the preeminent text of Scripture that Jesus was talking about Jesus is the word of God that became flesh and possible Mary is the Ark of the Covenant the Ark of the Lord and she was carrying Jesus and in the Ark of the Covenant the original copy of the Torah was there and they always review versus the copy if needed so taurah is about Jesus and you have to read it from the lens of what Jesus taught us it's extremely good from that lens and the euro currency well when I go and have the the accuracy I feel like you know fulfill spiritually and I feel more love and calmness and things like that and she just say that if you don't eat my flesh and drink my blood you are dead or like you don't believe something like that and in in Deuteronomy God says that if man doesn't leave by food alone but from every word from the mouth of God and at that time was the Torah so it's very similar and it has from one for my my study it's has a similar very similar effect so it everything goes together so was that all the questions yeah there now thank you very much for that at the end of my interviews I always give my guests a chance to talk directly to the audience just with a little message of hope so what could you say to someone that might be out there listening now well God sometimes we think God has created a world and he doesn't run the world anymore and we don't understand why if God runs the world there are bad things happening that can be very scary it's because actually I believe that God he runs the world like according to the laws of nature and probability but if we seek for him we search deeply for him the more we search for him the the more he he the level of miracles is actually that we have I have witness it's just incredible and it might not happen to everyone but for the general public I would say seek those that you see that there they bring the light of God and and you it's easy to make mistakes also but try to do to learn from trusted sources yeah that's the message you've got some questions I see and I'll tell all you got to do is ask all you got to do is got to do is

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