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Friday, January 26, 2007

My story: Part 1

I have decided to tell my conversion story. I plan to tell it in two parts. Check back soon for the rest of the story.

When I was a young child my mother was a member of the Church of Christ (not to be confused with the United Church of Christ). For several years I went to church with her every Sunday. At this time my father did not attend church. As I got older I decided that I wanted to stay home with my dad on Sunday mornings. This became the practice for a few years. During this time I started to think about God and my relationship with him. Also during this time something happened at my mom’s church that caused her to leave. To this day I still don’t know exactly what happened. Mom started going to a Southern Baptists church where my dad’s mother and his sister and sister-in-laws were members. At some point I started going to church with my mom and sister again. For a while we visited another Church of Christ but ended up staying at the Southern Baptist one. When I was about fourteen years old I “walked the aisle” and was “saved.” However, the pastor was not comfortable “baptizing me into the Southern Baptist church” given my mom’s situation of not yet being settled on a church. About a year later I was baptized and in the few years that followed my mom, sister, and dad (along with my grandfather and three uncles) were all baptized and joined the Southern Baptist church. The Southern Baptists church’s insistence that my mom be “re-baptized” to show her agreement with its teachings was a major reason that she took several years to join.

After graduating high school I went off to college. I went to University Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist affiliated church, a few times but didn’t go to church regularly while at school. My dorm roommate was Catholic. This was something totally foreign to me. I was a senior in high school before I knew anyone Catholic. Well actually, I had known this person since kindergarten. I just didn’t know she was Catholic. That was also when I found out that my hometown (population 1,200) had a Catholic Church right across the street from the high school. It is a small mission parish and nothing outside the building except a very small sign suggest that it is a Catholic Church. Anyway, my roommate and I had a few discussions about Christianity and he tried to give me a book to read that would help explain some of the teachings of the Catholic Church. I didn’t read it. At the time I was a music education major and having trouble in my ear training classes. To help with this I joined the University Choir. I ended up spending two or three spring semesters singing with the choir. During that time we sang the Gloria from one of Mozart’s Mass settings and performed Faure’s Requiem in its entirety. Looking back now I can see that this was an important step in my introduction to the Catholic Church. I understood music and my interest in the Church was in some way stimulated by its music.

During my junior year of college I started getting into religious discussions with another Catholic friend. We often argued about differences in Catholic and Southern Baptists teachings. At this time I was already starting to have doubts about some Southern Baptists doctrines. My friend had been to Baptists churches with other friends growing up. This gave him some advantage in attacking my arguments, since I had no idea what I was talking about when it came to the Catholic Faith. One day he suggested that attend Mass with him to see for myself. Finally, I agreed and attended a Sunday morning Mass at St. Joseph’s . . .

Continue with Part 2

1 comment:

Gary said...

Why are so many Baptists converting to other churches? Is there something wrong with the theology?