I recently spoke to my friend whom I parted ways with after high school which was about 5 years ago. I will call her Valentine although this is not her real name. The normal catching up was all done and the as the conversation was ending she mentioned to me that she had gotten saved. I did not give it much thought because anyway most of us had gotten saved after 3 years of being out here in the world. I did not even bother asking her many questions because getting saved meant exactly that. However, before I said good night she invited me to join her in her now new church where she felt her heart was. This caught my attention and I asked her which church.
I had earlier converted from Protestantism to Catholicism in the Easter of this year, 2015. All along my journey to becoming a catholic I grew a strong conviction that the Catholic Church was the mother church and that while in it seeing God would be easier. Valentine on the other hand had been a Catholic since we knew each other in primary school and if I am not wrong she was once a leader in YCS, a Christian Union version of Catholic students. I think it meant Young Catholics Society. Never mind. Valentine had converted to Protestantism and she was neither sorry about it. It was not the PCEA, Anglican, Methodist or Pentecostal kind of Protestantism. It was one of these newly incorporated churches that have names similar to ‘Butterfly to heaven’ or ‘Christ is here ministries’. I will call them ministerial Protestantism.
I honestly got very concerned about the whole thing. First, I, Nelly who had vowed to never leave my born-with Methodist faith for the Catholic faith at whatever cost and then a Valentine who had not just left the catholic faith but had left it big. Not to belittle or undermine the ministerial Protestantism but hey, they just started sprouting the other day and they do not have a much solid foundation for their history except the normal testimonies that their founders (senior pastors or bishops so to say) keep testifying of how a burning spear appeared to them at night and they knew that was a call to apostolate. If it were the four mentioned above I’d not have much of a concern.
I was cautious on the questions I asked her next and I had to all act up how happy I was for her that she had found a new faith that she knew would lead her to seeing God. This is the sole purpose of our Christian living. Her reason for leaving the faith was quite astounding and to paraphrase it, “I did not feel my heart being in there. I had a big quench of something bigger, a quench of true worship of God which I did not get in the Catholic Church but got it here.” The thing is I could not argue with her about anything nor question her. It was clear her heart and mind were made up and she was seeking her God the best way she knew. I wish you the best Valentine.
But is it really about the church you go to or about the faith you have or is it about something greater than all these that none of us understand? At the end of our lives here on earth will God judge us according to our respective faith or how will it be done? If all of us will be judged differently, won’t it be unfair to those who kept on reading more about the last days and fair to those who knew nothing about morality and living right except by virtue of their practical reason? I ponder. As I think about all this though, I keep thinking about the spiritual decision that I made. Everything in the Catholic faith I can tell you for free is not a walk in the park. If you commit a sin it is advised that you make a confession to a priest and perform the penance given. Elsewhere, this is news. You sin and pray to your God to forgive you your sins. Does it in any way mean that one (catholic) cannot pray for forgiveness about their sins and receive forgiveness?
Considering these are the last days, I cannot say this or that is right or wrong. God knew such a time would come and in His right time He has brought us these puzzles to us to make decisions on what is right and what is wrong. Even then though, let us not be foolish to be fooled that going to church naked is the pathway to heaven. One thing, the pure in heart shall see God and the poor in spirit and those persecuted for righteousness sake shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.