Thursday, September 29, 2005 

Making our decision

As suspected, my wife was very disappointed that our church has changed its communion rules. We agree that it is time for us to move on. That won't be easy for either of us. We have deep ties to this church. We were married here. We have friends here.

I am considering finishing my term as president, then leaving the church quietly. I have four months left on my term, and is this the right thing to do? We don't care to make a big deal out of this. Resigning as council president is very obvious. If we wait until after my term ends, we can leave the church more easily, and more gracefully.

In retrospect, perhaps ELCA Lutheran was never a good choice for us. They have a more liberal philosophy. We are more conservative. ELCA has been considering ordaining actively gay pastors and performing gay marriages. Eventually, they are heading that way. Our pastor has publicly stated that he advocates this position.

There have been other issues, too. For example, after communion, the bread is thrown away - dumped in the trash! A few minutes ago, we called this the body of Christ, now it is called garbage. This has always bothered me. I have discussed my concern with the pastor on previous occasions, but nothing has changed. Its time for us to go to a church that takes the Eucharist more seriously. U

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 

My last days as a protestant

Make no mistake, I am not going to join a new church and bash my former church. Honest Christians can disagree sometimes, and that is the situation I faced. I still believe that the truth of Jesus Christ that binds us together as Christians is more important than the differences between protestants and Catholics.

For the past two years, I have been president of my Lutheran church's congregational council. For the past six years, I have been a lector, communion assistant, usher, and a Sunday school teacher. To say that my wife and I were very involved in our church is an understatement.

I love the people of the church. They are good, decent people, and they are good Christians. My wife and I were married in this church, and the people have been very welcoming of us. The pastor is a good man, but we don't agree on political issues. He is a liberal and I am a conservative. We have always been able to put that aside, though. Politics takes a back seat to Christianity.

Now, though, we disagree on an essential spiritual matter. He advocates a position that all people should be able to take Holy Communion in our church, even if they are not baptized. I disagree. Tonight, our congregational council discussed this issue as we have for several months. On a nine-to-three vote, the council agreed with him to remove the words from our church bulletin that requires a person to be baptized before taking communion. I suggested that we at least add the words that a person be required to believe in Christ before accepting communion, but he spoke against that, and the issue never received a motion. In fairness to pastor's position on the issue, he is trying to be welcoming to all people. I believing that we can be welcoming, yet be good stewards of the Eucharist.

So now, our church neither requires a person to be baptized, nor even believe, before accepting Communion. This is in contradiction with Lutheran (ELCA) church policy, which requires baptism. As I left the meeting tonight, I knew that my days at this church were coming to an end.

It would be hard to go home and tell my wife this news. She is a life-long Lutheran and I fear she will be hurt by this much more than I have been. U


The purpose of this blog

This blog is created to document my faith journey, particularly as I prepare to enter the Catholic Church. I am a life-long protestant. I was raised in the Baptist church, but have also spent some time in the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches. My faith journey now brings me home to Catholicism. I am choosing the Catholic Church. For the first time in my life, I feel as though I have chosen a church, rather than have someone else choose it for me. It is not my intention to bash any other church. I believe that Christianity is a religion of love and peace and brotherhood, not division.

I will chronicle the events that led me to choose the Catholic Church, as well as my preparation of conversion. During this process, I have looked online for resources and information. I will post as much of that as I can here, so that this blog can helpful to others who may be in a similar situation.

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