Saturday, 25 August 2007

Children and the concentration of the mind Story Pt8

Someone once said to me that having children helps concentrate the mind. She pointed out how we seem to suddenly change once that fresh newborn is handed to us-the sheer amazement and shocking sense of responsibility falls on us.

We set into the pattern of attending the Baptist church one week and the Catholic church the following week. On some occasions when we went to stay with my husband's parents we attended the United Reformed church. It meant we attended three different churches with three different and quite contradictory views about what the Gospel taught.
Contraception was fine by the baptists (in the church we attended-I know that's not the case all over) and was fine by the URC but I knew the Catholic Church said it was not a good idea-although I didn't know why or that this was a real teaching not a take it or leave it teaching.

Infant baptism was fine with the Catholic Church and the URC-but not the baptists.
Once saved always saved-baptist but not Catholic and God knows what the URC taught on this it seemed a believe whatever you like point.

It was a mess and I wanted to know the truth because now I had a baby and he would need to know.
The biggest point of difference I faced was the matter of the Real Presence. God in His mercy continued to allow me to sense His Presence in the Tabernacle. The sheer emptyness of the Baptist church irritated me. They rarely had communion but when they did it was so obviously just a tiny bit of bread. It was meaningless-even the symbolism was mean in its tinyness.
Communion at both the baptist and URC was almost painful in its emptyness- but it was not something I could discuss with anyone.
So I just carried on.

Things at the baptist church began to deteriorate. There was a lot of tension and nastiness. The couple who had become our ministers were lovely people-but so out of their depth.
I faced a lot of anti-Catholic remarks that were ridiculous; you know the stuff, we worship statues and Mary and we don't know the Bible. A lot came from an ex-Catholic who was divorced and remarried.

In the end we left that church when things plummeted to the point that even church services were interrupted by people having tantrums and storming out.
I was already pregnant with another child and did not want my children exposed to what we saw there.
For a short time we only attended Mass until my husband found a local Methodist church.
I have always had a great respect for John Wesley. I thought this would be a good place to go.

The Catholic church we were attending was huge. I was quite 'liberal' and that was fine because it played to our beliefs-but I knew I needed to get my faith questions answered.

The Methodist Church was a very small community so I thought I would get some questions answered.
I was wrong.


gemoftheocean said...

Another cliffhanger. I must say I very much like your logical breaks. So often when we read conversion stories, "how are we going to raise the children" figures predominantly.

That's the neat thing about conversion stories. They're all the same. And they're all different.

Ttony said...

I wish you'd write longer articles! But then you want us to keep coming back.

Am I right in thinking that some of the URC are (or were) "liberal" Baptists, and that the Baptists who are still Baptists are proper Protestants (if you see what I mean)?