I have been having a dialogue with Brandon E, and am addressing some of the objections he has been making to the truths I am proclaiming on these blogs.
What I write here about my spiritual journey can be added to what I have previously written in About and To My Pastor and Minister Friends and other posts (most, if not all, of which are linked at these two posts).
I was born, baptized, and raised as a Roman Catholic. My first six years of education were at the parochial school of my parish. I was an altar boy. In the 7th grade I was moved to a public school and began my drift away from the church. I was a lapsed Catholic by the middle of my teenage years and a committed agnostic by the time I was married at age 20.
When I was 27, I ran into a friend whom I had not seen since high school. He had become a born-again Christian. I was appalled at his “poor judgment,” but eventually managed to flip through the C.S. Lewis book he had loaned me, Mere Christianity. What I read there provoked me to read the Bible, and in a matter of weeks I was hooked on that “book above all books.”
My friend was a Presbyterian, but he did not strongly push me that direction. He did, however, push me strongly toward the truth that Jesus was Lord and the Bible was the word of God. In other words, his perspective was typical of Evangelicalism and traditional Protestantism. This brought me into circles of others who thought similarly. The essentials of Bible study, prayer, fellowship with believers, and witnessing were emphasized by all who guided me – and I was responsive to their lead. So much so, that within a year I had enrolled in a respected evangelical seminary, and moved my wife and two children almost a thousand miles to attend it.
From the fundamental truths – Jesus is Lord and the Bible is the word of God – I have never wandered. I did learn, however, that there are lots of other views held by Christians on which there is a great deal of diversity and disagreement. In every case, I would study the Scriptures and follow the direction it was leading, regardless of what others thought of me. I had to made such a decision – that is, one with significant negative social implications – when I first confessed Jesus as Lord. Therefore, to make subsequent decisions based on that same framework was the only course to follow.
If I was going to risk alienation from my earthly family by declaring Jesus as Lord, how could I fail to act on any derivative truth God would reveal to me by assuming social cohesion was more important than the pursuit of truth?