Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Background

Now for a little background on my life. I am the son of two Protestant theologians who both came to the Christian faith in their mid-20's. My father was brought up strictly Atheist and my mother was baptized as an infant but dabbled in all sorts of occult sects during her youth. In the Charismatic Movement within the Danish state (Lutheran) 'church' they both discovered the joy of knowing Jesus Christ. My mother especially, who only ever found weird, manipulative people in the sects, for the first time discovered religious people who were genuinely happy and loving. They married and moved to the Middle East to work, where I was brought up.

Although my parents' background was Charismatic and High Church Lutheran, they were very open-minded. We moved in Anglican, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Catholic, and non-denominational circles with great dexterity. Not that my parents were in any way wishy-washy, mind you - anything which had the slightest appearance of New Age or focus on one's own acheivement got the boot. It instilled in me a great understanding and respect for all Christian traditions as long as the message was Christocentric.

As a teenager, my faith was retained and strengthened by Bible study and many Christian acquaintances. I did have a major crisis of faith at age 20 when I tried to develop a more 'philosophical', 'intellectual' attitude towards faith, but thankfully my whole life just came crashing down and I realized how important it was to just focus on God, pray, and stay humble.

At one point, I became greatly interested in the cause of oecumenism, gathering all the sheep of Christ together in one happy family. I figured, somewhat naïvely, that if all Christian groupings sat themselves down and discussed things through, the Holy Spirit would surely lead them to agreement in all essentials. Then it occurred to me that this was what the early Church had tried, with varying success. As I read more about the early Church and the oecumenical councils I was confronted with the claim of the Catholic Church that it is promised in Scripture that the Church will never be led astray and that the one, true Church thus exists today as it did in the beginning, and is the Catholic Church, headed by the first Bishop of Christendom (Rome). I was especially convinced by the Catholic view of the Bible and Tradition - I had always had problems deciphering certain parts of the Bible and now I understood that Tradition, guided by right authority, was the key! It all became too compelling to ignore, and I was received into the true Church in June 2008.

Before that happened, I was convinced that in the Church I had found the truth Jesus speaks about. But my quest for the truth had really only begun. I had reservations about certain aspects of Catholic teaching; they are mostly dealt with but I still stand aghast at the enormity of things I need to learn and explore. This will be especially important in my work as a medical doctor.

The parish I was received into was rather Liberal, and I thought it singularly odd that I should have spent the best part of three years becoming convinced by Catholic doctrine when my Catholic Pastor spent much of his time repudiating half of it! Then I discovered some more orthodox Priests, and the Traditional Mass, and Conservative/Traditionalist Catholic bloggers, and I could finally begin to seriously build an authentic Catholic identity - which I am still working on.

No comments:

Post a comment