Thursday, April 26, 2007

Conversion: The Search for Unity

~Here is a conversion story that I found at Catholic Daily.
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Me? Catholic? If someone told me two years ago that I'd be Catholic today, I likely would have laughed at them. There wasn't a chance in the world I'd end up Catholic... unless, of course, God himself told me to go there, and that just wasn't going to happen!

But something did happen. I fell in love with a man who is Catholic. We both agreed that our meeting was divinely orchestrated. We were meant to be together. I had been looking for the right Christian my whole life, and there he was! But I had my work cut out for me because he was a...Catholic. I thought it would be a simple fix. All I had to do was show him the error of the Catholic Church, coupled with a lot of prayer and eventually he'd see the light and leave, to gladly join me in my own non-denominational, Christ-centered, Bible-only church. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of my own journey into the Catholic faith.

We began to struggle whenever issues of faith came up in our relationship. It wasn't long before we couldn't even discuss God at all. This brought up a serious issue in my mind. We lacked unity. 1 Corinthians 1:10 says, "I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment." I asked myself how it could be that we could both be Christians but have such horribly opposing views. We tried to come to a common ground, agreeing to disagree and focus on the "essentials"...but that didn't work out very well.

The lack of unity within our relationship caused me to take a closer look at Christianity altogether. I realized that this lack of unity extended into the various denominations. This is how new churches get started all the time. Someone decides they don't like what's being taught and they go start a new church, with their own teaching, by their own authority. These denominations somehow find this acceptable by saying they share essential beliefs while disagreeing on non-essential beliefs. The problem? Who gets to decide what is essential and what is non-essential and where in the Bible does it tell us what is or is not essential?

The relativism that was coming into focus, rocked me to the core. How would I be able to know what was true if no one could agree on anything? If everyone was using the Bible alone to know the truth, why were there so many different interpretations? It frightened me, because for the first time in my life, I wondered if I should even be a Christian at all. This was my deepest moment of brokenness. Everything I had ever known about faith and God was now being questioned and I longed for unity, within my relationship and within the body of Christ.

I had no idea where to begin at this point. I had asked the age-old question, "What is truth?" The only place I knew where to look was to God and his Word. I was informed that the Catholic Church had been around for 2000 years and that a close examination of the Early Church Fathers would reveal that the early Christians were Catholics. But before I could even consider the writings of the Early Church Fathers, I had to figure out whether or not I could even trust what they wrote. After all, what if they messed things up? What if they didn't hold to what the apostles taught?

It's important to note that a few months prior, I didn't even know who the Early Church Fathers were. I had never heard of them. How could it have been that I spent my entire life attending church and never once heard about these very early Christians?

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1 comment:

Rob said...

-I wondered if I should even be a Christian at all.-

Right. I have always thought thought Protestantism was simply the first step toward atheism. Once you make certain rational realizations, Protestantism cannot withstand the questions that result. Catholicism (and any form of Orthodoxy) can.