I should say first that I was raised a Roman Catholic in the 1950’s. My first six years of formal education were at parochial school. I was an altar boy, and, later, a lay reader at Mass. As a child, I collected holy cards, prayed the rosary, and wore a scapular. I was at the church six days a week, and was as Catholic as one could be. The Roman Catholics indeed taught me their religion, but I learned hardly anything about God. By the time I was in my mid-teens in the mid-1960’s, I had fallen away from church and God seemed distant and inscrutable, if I was conscious of Him at all.
Over a decade after this, in the late 1970’s, the Evangelicals taught me about Jesus and the Bible. They found me an agnostic in my late 20’s and took pains to tell me about Jesus Christ and His relevance to my life. They showed me His claims, and the claims about Him, in the Bible. They proclaimed without reservation that the Bible was the word of God and its central message was Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. By personal testimony and books, the Evangelicals conveyed to me the importance of taking these truths seriously and personally. I will always be grateful to them, for I hold these truths dear – even to today.
Immediately after, or almost at the same time, the Evangelical were convincing me about Jesus and the Bible, the Charismatics and Pentecostals taught me the Holy Spirit. They, too, believed Jesus was Lord and Savior and that the Bible was the word of God, but they also believed that God was still active in the world today. They took seriously the claims of Holy Spirit activity in the name of Jesus found in the New Testament. By a variety of means – personal testimony, books, cassette tapes, and television – the Charismatics and Evangelicals exhorted me to consider God not only true and reliable, but also active and present. I will always be grateful to them, for I hold these truths dear – even to today.
Though I hold these particular truths dear, I no longer make any claim to being an Evangelical or Charismatic. I only want to follow Christ.
For more about my background, see the About section of this blog.