Why would a guy who has been an altar boy, attended mass everyday while in grade school, who has been saved and “gotten religion,” then decide to leave the Catholic Church?
When Christ came into my life at age 23 while at a conference in northern Indiana, my whole outlook was changed. While I had gone through a few years as an agnostic, this conversion was life changing for me and my taste for spiritual matters was sharpened many times over. After returning to Louisville, I resumed attendance at Sunday mass every week at the Catholic Church. But I soon noticed that the warmth, the fellowhip, the keen interest in conversation on spiritual things I had come to love from contact with other born again Christians was not to be found in the Church I was attending.
Eventually, I just stopped going to mass and began spending time in the park on Sunday mornings studying my bible and praying. There was not any rebellion against the Pope or the Church, I just wasn’t having my spiritual needs met.
Only later, after I became more conversant in the teachings of Christianity that are plainly set out in the Scriptures did I come to the realization of serious doctrinal problems of the Catholic Church. But even today, I appreciate that in Christendom as a whole, the Catholic Church has taken a more firm stand against immoral trends than most protestant denominations. Most of my family are Catholic and I refuse to be critical of their faith. However, the main thing is that in all denominations, being in the church does not make one a true Christian any more than being in a garage makes one an automobile. It is a heart experience that matters, no matter what the denomination.
This somewhat introverted polemic about Christianity is a bit of a departure from the main tenor of these articles and I don’t intend to start off on a new emphasis for the series. But, I can’t leave unanswered the question of why I left the Church without omitting a key turning point of my life.