I was listening to a certain Catholic radio station on the way home from work today. I like it because it plays harder music and not just praise and worship. This station has a local priest that comes on twice a day for a segment called, “Ask Father Gary.” His theme music is the tune of Macarena and they’re singing, “Hey, Father Gary” instead of “Hey, Macarena.” He answers questions for people that write in.
Today’s question was about a woman, who had married a Catholic man at a young age, had kids, and then divorced. She “fell away from the church” and remarried. Now she wants to come back to the church and baptize her kids. This is a good question, if you’re a Catholic. Hearing the answer made me realize why Catholics fall away from the Catholic Church as well as the Christian faith.
Father Gary said that she was welcome to come back, attend services, and get her kids baptized. BUT, he said that she couldn’t receive communion or be a full-fledged member of the church until she filed a request for an annulment! REALLY? He mentions how people don’t like to do that because it dreges up all the bad feelings for the divorce in the first place; all the foolish mistakes make as a youth. Like I say to my in-laws about purgatory, I ask Father Gary, “Where is it in the Bible? Show me!” That is a bunch of poop! No wonder the Catholic Church loses it’s younger members. They can’t measure up! None of us can measure up.
I offer you another option. Those that feel the loss of the church, the pull of God on your heartstrings calling you home. There are fabulous churches out there. Personally, I have walked away from a denomination church and won’t look back. There are too many politics going on. One has only to look at the debate going on in any mainstream church to see that it’s just too much to handle.
My family and I left the Episcopal Church in 2006 because we felt they had taken their eyes off of the Word of God and turned to a politically correct, all-inclusive teaching. We made a short list of churches that we wanted to visit. The first church we had on the list was Countryside Christian Center in Clearwater, FL. My husband drove by that church every day, twice a day for a little over two years and he said that there were always cars in the lot. We knew that this meant that it was an active church. We needed an active church. We walked in that first Sunday and were greeted by a lovely lady, who has since died, and felt the love that was offered to us and to everyone else. We vowed that day that all six of us had found our new church home. The teaching was straight from the Bible and it changed our lives that day. We haven’t been the same since.
I tell you that to tell you this. CCC has caused me to take a new look at my life. I am not the person I was four years ago. I have made a radical change. I’ve been saved since I was nine years old. I’ve been a missionary to the United States and Haiti. I got complacent. I’m still complacent, but I am not the person I was. I don’t measure up any more now than I did 4 years ago. I can’t measure up on my own anyway. I am no one without God. He has changed me and is changing me. I see changes in my family. Our church is an accepting church. We accept all sinners without judgment. We still call sin sin, but we don’t define people by their sin. We are all children of God.
I suggest you find a good place to worship. One that offers great music. One that offers teaching straight from the Bible. One that encourages you to not only bring your Bible to church, but to read it at home. How can you get to know “a friend that sticks closer than a brother” unless you spend time with Him?