On Giants' Shoulders

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Full Gospel Christian

Here I am ten years later. That's a thought I've had often this fall. It's been ten years since I started RCIA, ten years that I've been attending Christ the King. Ten years of liturgy and being in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament week by week.

I my religious life in a tiny little, not much more than house church, called Bethany Full Gospel Assembly. They called it full gospel because they believed in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and knew that most of the other Protestant churches in town thought those gifts were no longer valid. Yet somewhere in my forties I began to realize that they didn't have the full gospel after all. They didn't have the sacraments, they didn't have the Eucharistic presence of Jesus. In point of fact they tried to teach us how unChristian the Catholic Church was. It took years for me to unlearn some of what they taught me.

Yet they taught me many good things like being open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, like taking sacred Scripture seriously, like the fact that how you lived your life mattered. I won't ever throw away the positive messages, I appreciate every positive thing I received from my Grammy's Bible stories, to my high school pastor's encouragement to see communion as more than just a memorial, but as an encounter with Jesus. There were all kinds of influences that brought me to the Catholic Church and some of them were unintentional on the part of the people themselves.

So ten years later would I do it again, do I regret the decision? The only regret I have is that I didn't do it sooner, that I haven't lived it better, that I've often shared it ineffectively. The fullness of the faith, that's what they wanted me to have in the beginning, and joyfully that's what I've had for ten years. I understand all the reasons why people protested, sadly they've kept protesting even after the reasons for protest were gone. They threw out the baby with the bathwater and their descendants have been robbed of the family treasures as a result. Thankfully, the Church welcomes even the descendants of renegades. So here I am ten years later a full gospel Christian at last.


At 8:57 PM, Blogger Karen E. said...

So beautiful, Liz. So beautiful and so right.


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