Cuesta College: Christianity has evolved to where you don’t have to follow the Bible

Student says his Catholic faith and youth group are important to him, but still believes in gay marriage

Interview with Lyndon Livingston, who is studying film and TV entertainment, took place outside the cafeteria at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo on April 8, 2019.

Do you consider yourself religious?

Lyndon: Yes, I do. I’m a Christian, I’m Catholic, same thing I think. Religion in many ways has helped me become who I am today through meeting new people, through my youth group at my church. The community aspect of the religion that I’m in has really helped me out.

Lyndon Livingston is a student at Cuesta College. (image: Mary Rose/California Catholic Daily)

What would you say if an atheist asked why you believe in God?

Lyndon: I’ve never been really asked that question before and I’m never met exactly an atheist before, so I’ve never run into that complication. I say “complication” just because it’s complicated thinking about it. I can tell you a quick story though. My friend, a couple years ago, he never went to church and he considered himself somewhat of an atheist. Not like, “There’s no such thing as God whatsoever,” but he didn’t attend church, didn’t believe anything that we were thinking about. But then he came to church a couple of times with us. He came to my youth group a couple of times. Now, three or four years later, he’s heavily involved in the worship team, he’s one of the leaders of the church. So I guess if I was talking to an atheist I would say maybe give it a chance and see what comes out of it. And I would tell them that story, as well.

Students waiting outside the Language Arts building. (image: Mary Rose/California Catholic Daily)

Do you hold the traditional Catholic views on abortion?

Lyndon: I’m not a big fan of abortion, just in general, whether it’s religious or not. If I was to say it bluntly, I’m against abortion. It’s a new life coming into the world and whether that person or child, baby or fetus, or whatever is here or not in the world, it is still something that will be entering the world and you’re taking away its right, its opportunity to see what the world is.

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman, only. Do you agree with that?

Lyndon: No. I’ve many lesbian and gay friends that I’m really good friends with. So I guess I don’t believe that aspect of it. Man and woman, man and man, woman and woman – I don’t mind any of it. Just be with who you want to be with. That’s my opinion.

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Students walking around the Humanities Forum (image: Mary Rose/California Catholic Daily)

Lyndon: Yes. I believe in an afterlife. My exact idea of what happens in the afterlife, like whether we’re within a different body and we just get to walk around on clouds like we see in movies, I’m not exactly sure. Or whether we’re just some sort of spirit floating around, I don’t know. So yes, I want to say something happens afterwards but there’s like one percent doubt in my mind that if you die it just goes black and the TV gets turned off. So that has always been in my head but it’s always brought me comfort being with my community in the church and us all talking about our different views on it and our different opinions and guesses as to what’s going to happen.

Do you think we have to live a certain way to get to heaven?

Lyndon: Simply be a good person. That’s very very blunt, because it depends on your point of view. I know the ideal answer for a religious person would be like, “Follow the Bible, you’ll most likely get into heaven.” But there’s a lot of things within the Bible that I’ve already said I’m against. So I can’t just say, follow the Bible, you’ll be good. I would say, do your thing, see what happens. I’ll bring in terrorism for example. If a terrorist does something they see as a very good cause or their cause is definitely good, from their head that would be a good thing. If I do something like holding open the door for an old lady, I see that as a good thing. So I can’t give you an answer. I’m not really the authority to answer what is the ideal thing to do in order to get into heaven.

Student walks toward the cafeteria. (image: Mary Rose/California Catholic Daily)

If you think there is a God who made a heaven, wouldn’t it makes sense for Him to give us instructions on how to get there? Wouldn’t that be the Bible and/or the Church?

Lyndon: A combination of the Church, the Bible, and people’s general beliefs, whether it comes from the Bible or not. Like most things, like vehicles or technology, religion has evolved over time. Church and Christianity and religion in general came around two thousand plus years ago. I would say in that time it has evolved to a point of which it’s not strictly the Bible that you have to follow. Like maybe nineteen hundred years ago it was the Bible you followed and you would get to heaven. Two thousand years after that, as a the community, the religious groups have decided there’s other aspects that have to be taken into consideration in order to fit the times.

What is the role of Jesus in your life?

Lyndon: The usual Church answer is He’s a man Who died at like the age of 30 for our sins and made sure that we could get to heaven. I would say He’s a Guy I can just turn to, pray to. He’s like an imaginary friend that is always standing by you and always agrees with you, always is someone you can just talk to, that you can put your secrets within, that you can tell your innermost truths to, you can tell your sins to. Anything along those kinds of lines that you wouldn’t generally bring up in a normal conversation, He’s there to listen to you. He doesn’t talk back immediately or He might not talk back at all, but He’s always listening.

California Catholic Daily exclusive by Mary Rose.

 

 

Comments

  1. Now you can follow CNN and the New York Times!

  2. helen wheels says

    Geography has evolved to where
    you don’t have to follow the map.

  3. We’re a crazy mess of a church these days.

  4. Thank a generation of liberal catholic scholarship that indoctrinated teachers and from them students to doubt and/or reinterpret or re-imagine biblical truths to conform to the current zeitgeist. Some 35 + years ago a Catholic sister told me all the nativity stories were fables and that this was standard fare among religious professionals at least in her understanding. She warned me not to teach the young that they were true else when they got to high school and found out they weren’t, they would lose their faith and it would be my fault. My jaw dropped. Another asserted the oft-repeated canard that the multiplication of the loathes and fishes never happened. Oh, did the pope not recently assert the same?

    • I have met a few priests and nuns like that. They are in total denial that they have pulled the rug right out from underneath themselves as to their own reason for being. If what they say is true, and it is not, who would even need them. They remind me of the scribes in the Bible who really did not believe in anything, including a life after death. The scribes were more like Jeffersonian Deists, or should I say the reverse. Fr. Raymond Brown comes to mind.

      • Clarification: I meant Jeffersonian Deists were/are more like some of the scribes and the Saducees in the New Testament.

  5. Continued from above: the point is, declaring some miracles never happened evinces roughly the same thought structure as saying biblical truth in ethics never happened. Oh, they were believed once upon a time but now in enlightened times we know better. Naturally one must ask if any of the miracles associated with Christ are true, given our progressive knowledge of things, or if there is anything left of biblical ethics besides general platitudes. Pure subjectivity seems to rule, as in our friend Lyndon. And this is as much a problem with protestant Christianity as with catholic.

  6. Joel Fago says

    If the Catholic faith were truly important to you, you would not believe in “gay marriage.”

  7. What a totally misinformed guy. I call his belief system the Burger King Gospel. You know their slogan, “Have it
    your way.”

    • Well at least he is headed the right way on abortion. Keep praying for him. We were all young and naive once, unless we had an excellent Christian upbringing, and even then some of us fell away, but often came back. I am still learning in my so called “golden years”.

  8. helen wheels says

    Cooking has evolved to where
    you don’t have to follow the recipe

  9. Anonymous says

    The title is very misleading. I also don’t think any of us have the right to evaluate him. But if I do evaluate him…
    This young Catholic is on the right road. He is praying. He should read the Bible, though. This is a good kid. He is confused by some things because of the culture we live in and the conversations he is having with other young people.. He is doing better than most adult Catholics.
    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

  10. Cuesta College did not say one does not need to follow the Bible. A single student there did. Clarity?

  11. helen wheels says

    i say this in all sincerity,
    it’s great that he’s holding
    a cup of coffee rather than
    a cell phone – i too am a
    coffee achiever

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