From Ignorance to Bliss

My Journey to the Catholic Church

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Home Hunting

Over the course of two years I was going through a number of seemingly unrelated changes. First, my exposure to Catholics through the pro-life movement led me to a deeper knowledge of the Church's teachings and practices. This came in the form of witnessing Catholics in action as well as participating in serious (and often heated) arguments with friends on points of doctrine like purgatory or the perpetual virginity of Mary. Second, the reality of my own limited upbringing in the Faith was being laid bare. Engaging other types of Christians for the first time - Calvinists, Lutherans, Catholics - forced me to recognize the disunity that exists in Christendom. Because of my sheltered religious upbringing I had no idea, for example, that other Christians did not believe in "once saved, always saved" like I did. Finally, I came to recognize that I could no longer be a Methodist due to that denomination's official acceptance of legalized abortion. I was sure that no church could legitimately claim to be a church of Christ while also condoning the brutal murder of innocent children in the womb. This left me searching for a new church "home." I suspected that my search would lead me to a non-denominational church or a "low church" community like the Evangelical Free church - after seeing the capitulation to the culture that had occurred in the mainline Protestant denominations, I doubted that any of them would be my destination.

One thing however disturbed. Even if I found a church that still boldly proclaimed the Gospel without compromise, what assurance could I have that it would not later cave to cultural pressures? After all, the Methodist church had been faithful to basic Christian morality for centuries before it succumbed to society's prevalent mores; if I had lived fifty years earlier I would have never suspected what lay in store for my church. So if I chose to join the Evangelical Free church, for instance, what guarantee did I have that it would continue to preach the full Gospel? This fundamental problem nagged at me continually because I knew it spoke to the root of what it means to be a member of the Body of Christ. Did Christ leave us no way of being assured that the church to which we belong teaches the fullness of Christian Truth? Would Christ allow his followers to remain in such a precarious state, or did he intend for there to be one Church which he protected from error so that it could teach the fullness of the Gospel he had bequeathed to the apostles?
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