This post is the second of four posts detailing my reasons for returning to the Catholic Church. You can read the first post here. I wrote “Journey Home” to explain my decision and give people the chance to ask me sincere questions about this decision. I will make every effort to answer all sincere questions.
For the first 9 years after I left high school, I did not attend any church. I did occasionally read my Bible, which I bought when I was 19 years old, but I wanted nothing to do with organized religion.
I was also offended by how I thought the church treated one of my close family members. The funny part was they had less of a problem with the Catholic Church than I did.
My wife, who grew up in a household of faith, led me back to the church. She did not do it by beating me over the head or telling me, “turn or burn”.
First, I never stopped believing the basic tenets of the Christian faith. I believe Jesus was the Son of God, born of a Virgin, crucified for our salvation and rose again on the third day. The Catholic Church taught me the basics of the faith.
Tam would talk to me about faith occasionally. I knew it was important to her that the kids be raised in the Christian faith. I’m sure she was concerned about my refusal to attend church on their spiritual development but she didn’t try to push me.
An educational development made her job much easier. Right after we were married, I had to take Western Civilization I for my history minor. Western Civilization I covers early church history.
Reading about the monasteries and early church peaked my interest in spiritual matters again. When we were on vacation, I read the Book of Matthew (my confirmation name). Tam and I started discussing our Christian faith more and I considered going back to church. However, I was still noncommittal.
Later in the class, we came across the writing of Martin Luther. Reading Luther’s writings rocked my world. I told my wife, “I was a Protestant all along. I just didn’t know it.” I began to read my Bible. I told Tam we would start going to her church for 90 days as a test. Soon, I was back to being “Sunday Go-to-Meeting Folk”.
While we attended evangelical churches, I was still heavily Lutheran in my theology. I read the Book of Concord and listened to the local Lutheran radio station. In 2005, we started attending the church we thought would be our home church for a long time. We were in relationship with a number of families and thought we found our home.
When the church switched direction, many of the people we were in relationship left and attended new churches. I was hesitant to leave but it was inevitable. I started pulling out of things in 2015. I was so shaken by this experience that I was back to being done with organized religion. However, I think we each carry a longing for God.
I read the Bible every year and continued to do so but something was missing. I started thinking about attending the local Lutheran church.
As I laid out in the first post, two events really shook my faith but the studying I was doing was leading me back to the Catholic Church not the Lutheran Church. The next post will discuss the theological reasons for my decision before I conclude with the final post I write about my faith. I will not write about my faith other than this series unless it is to talk about the churches I visit.
If you have questions, you can reach out to me in the comments below, on email or through social media.