Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Religion is for Adults"

My neighbor is an orthodox Jew, the kind that take the sabbath seriously and wears a yarmulke everywhere. He and I love to converse over religion and politics and it turns out we are in agreement on many topics. We were talking about how to keep children in the faith and he mentioned that many people who leave their respective religions do it with a juvenile mindset, meaning they never learned about their religion past their adolescence.
   He said that no one should leave their faith that they are born into until they have completely studied it as an adult. "Religion is for adults" he said, meaning the understanding of the faith is best understood as an adult vs a 14 year old teenager. Was he implying that kids don't need to be catechized or taught the truths of their faith? No, absolutely not and he is doing the best possible job to ensure his young children are learning the rudiments of their Jewish faith including making sure they achieve their Bat Mitzvah.
   I thought about my own experience in leaving Catholicism as well as the experience of many other ex-Catholics I knew who left the Catholic faith. The overwhelming majority left the faith not ever truly practicing it, understanding it or embracing it and many, such as myself, left in our adolescence not reading about or learning the faith. Instead we learned against the faith from anti-Catholic tracts which were completely bias and packed with falsehoods about the faith, written by those who never intended to portray it in a fair light.
    Is it fair and honest to denigrate and move away from the Catholic faith with just an adolescent view of the Church? Many of us who left were Sunday only Catholics who received the sacraments in rote fashion but never embraced the faith and developed a deep relationship with Christ.  Armed with "an adult mindset" and tools for research readily available from non-biased sources, I wish that ex-Catholics would take another look at the faith they were born into before discarding it so easily with an adolescent perspective.


Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

Amen to that, Russ! Your friend is right, too.

I have a friend in my old hometown that was talking to a mutual friend of ours one night in Aug. last year, and then she told me that "Glenda" had left her Mennonite church to join a new, lots o' music type 'independent' little fellowship in town. "Hm." I queried (to myself) "why would she do that?" I will keep this post in mind, because what i hope to ask "Kristi" someday is; "why would Glenda leave her Mennonite faith for this independent one?" then see how Kristi might answer. It could open up a good discussion that there was no time for at the moment.

Because if "Glenda" was so led by the Holy Spirit to leave the Mennonite faith a year or two ago, for some fellowship without any authority except the pastor, why is it that they might (guessing they probably do) have such trouble with *me* being led by the Holy Spirit BACK to the Catholic Church/faith/religion?

It's odd, the whole group-think of these Evangelicals, is that the Holy Spirit can lead any of them to anywhere else, roaming around like sheep w/out a sheperd, and yet when that same Holy Spirit is in *my* life/heart, they seem taken aback that He would lead me to the Catholic Church, where 'rules and regulations' abound, that so hamper our 'freedom.' Free to what, wander like lost sheep, never settled ANY place? Seems God would rather "Glenda" had remained a good Mennonite, than to now be a 'non-denomer.' :/

January 11, 2012 9:45 AM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

They who leave the Church seem to discard it so rapidly, finding such fault, e.g. believing the CC is 'man-made' religion and yet they abide many 'anti-Catholic' tracts by disgruntled folk, like i did, with incredible haste, too. Are we not supposed to use our brains and reason and think things through and count the cost of what we do, where we go, where we assemble? Of course we are. We're to 'test the spirit' of all and God plainly says in the b-i-b-l-e, "Come let us reason together..."

But we are the 'baby boomers'- the 'adult spoiled kids' who can't seem to mature in our thinking, as nearly 40,000 denominations certainly attest! Then what it really is, is the tyrant of relativism leading us, rather than the Holy Spirit. *sigh*

January 11, 2012 9:56 AM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

"they never learned about their religion past their adolescence"

I tell this to the 11-year-olds in Catechism class every year.

January 14, 2012 4:15 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

I pray tht those kids will have your lessons imprinted on their minds and heart!

January 14, 2012 7:05 PM  

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