I started out Roman Catholic. During the 60's the church changed so much that it turned us all off. Also, the devil managed to fill our trip on the way to church with nervous arguments. So, for awhile, I don't think any of my family went to church.
Years went by. My faith didn't go anywhere, but I didn't ever totally abandon the Lord. Then in the navy I met some dooms-day Christians (always looking up to see if Jesus is coming - which is O.K., just makes life very difficult). I decided to read my first bible all the way through.
The passages that impressed me at that time were:
[Gen 11:6] And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and NOTHING THEY PROPOSE TO DO WILL NOW BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM.
[John 14:13] Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son;
And so I started to pray every night before I went to sleep.
Time went by. I got out of the navy, got some degrees. I wanted to start a family. In 1986 Northrop hired me, and I met my wife through a computer dating service.
My wife grew up Southern Baptist. When I met her, I was in a sort of religious limbo, not committed to any denomination, but believing that a simple faith was the best.
I joined a bible study at Northrop. Good bunch of people. I went to Chuck Swindols' Evangelical Free Church for over 5 years. I have had the absolute cream of Evangelical Protestant teachings.
From the time I first met my wife, pressure was felt to get baptized according to Baptist rules. Deep inside, God has been telling me: it is the Holy Spirit who perfects the sacrament of baptism - and in the limitless Love of God, He has perfected your baptism. Of course, every Protestant I meet practically goes rabid when I confess this to them. But, according to God - one baptism is enough.
As you know, all of God's people are encouraged to study His word. The deeper I studied it, I noticed (and it bothered me) I had to skip certain passages in order for Protestant theology to work. Over time, these passages began to yell at me.
These passages knock the foundation out from under the teachings of the Protestant fathers. Yet, for a time, a thin straw held up the chair.
Then one Sunday I went to a conservative Baptist church with my wife. The preacher started picking on the Catholic Church. As with most of the stuff people throw at the Catholic Church, the accusations he made were slanderous and inaccurate (devilish). As I looked around the church, all I could see on most faces was blind acceptance of what this guy was saying. I sent letters to the preacher. The preacher sent me a brochure of quotations written by a man holding a grudge (so it was inspired by HATE), pulled entirely out of context, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible.
This was the straw that broke the camels back.
With the love of God in Christ Jesus, John (cheese-sandwiches)
All Glory and Honor are yours Almighty One, forever and ever, Amen!