Thursday, July 20, 2006

The question was asked on Her bad Mother "How do you find your way when the path is dark?" She is struggling with faith and what to teach her child , having been disillusioned by the Church.

Go and check out her post and then weigh in here, there, or on your own space it you have much to say (like me!)

I am a saved Catholic - I was raised in the Church - and HATED it. I turned from God - ran from the Church. Until I joined my friend's youth group - I was in a group of kids that were my peers who were able to talk openly about God - with adults that were excited about God and what He does for us. That put my feet back on the path for a while.The youth group was Methodist. And that is where I accepted Christ as my savior.

Then I became a teenager. And the youth group was not enough. I did not have a church to fall back on and I went down the wrong paths. Even when I did GOD STILL LOVED ME. I just didn't know it. It took many years and 2 children (and a car being THROWN at me) to get my sorry behind back in a church. And for me finding my current church was a BLESSING for my entire family.

We have to remember that there is more than One Church, and this is my personal belief - the Catholic Church is not necessarily the True church - I am not saying that Catholics don't know and love Christ and that they are not saved - I am saying I don't believe the ORGANIZATION of the Church as a whole is not pure. Not that any one church is. My church is part of a larger organization that I don't always agree with, but my church takes a more open and forgiving approach to some aspects. The message of our church is clear. JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SIN. IF WE LOVE AND BELIEVE IN HIM WE WILL BE SAVED. There NOTHING we can do that is unforgivable - GRACE (unconditional and undeserved love of God) coves us all.

I guess what I am saying is - explore other churches, we found our home in a Presbyterian church - My hubby and I talked about going and hemmed and hawed about it for so long - but finally I just WENT and visited a church nearby -I was looking for something DIFFERENT that The Church and I found it. OUR church is inclusive and exciting and excited about what Christ has done for us. It is ALL about how we have been given Grace -unconditional and undeserved love by God and that NO SIN is too big for God. Once you have been SAVED BY GRACE there is NO LOSING that grace. Just like when we get upset with our children - we don't stop loving them! God does not stop loving us - even when we turn from him.

"As a Father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him" Psalms 103:13

Study the BIBLE for yourself - don't concentrate on the man made rituals of a church if that is your objection. We cannot possible conceive of his Grace filled love for us except to like it to our love for our children.
Visit churches - find one that resonates with you. And as for influencing your children with your own "prejudicial experiences" why shouldn't you? If you say have had bad experiences in a certain religion why shouldn't you tell your children about it (when old enough to understand) and explain WHY that was a problem for you, explain WHAT you believe and WHY you believe what you do. We do it all the time - Don't go to the car guy down the street honey - he's crooked, don't date the boy who is in all kinds of trouble, we train our children with our own experiences all the time - why would teaching our children about the pitfalls of organized religion be ANY different? Please note I said ORGANIZED RELIGION not GOD and His love for us.

I know I have repeated myself in a couple places. But it bears repeating.

NOTHING we can do that is unforgivable - GRACE (unconditional and undeserved love of God) covers us all.


me said...

i fell out of church after HS, i was born and raised Roman Catholic. i started going to church again a few years ago, but i don't force it on my kids. they go on the big days and they go to Catholic HS (because it is a way better HS than the public one here). i will never say i am anything other than catholic,but i do not agree with alot of what they preach.. i do however find peace in going to mass on Sunday and and i find it comforting that no matter how long i was away, it has remained the same.
i belive as long as you live your life in a good moral way you will be rewarded. thanks for working my brain

pkzcass said...

Wow "me," you ARE me! I agree with everything you said.

I fell away from Catholic church in HS and college but went through the motions to get married there (pretty pictures and all). Registered with the parish where we bought our house, and promptly stopped attending mass.

When son 1 was born, I went through the motions again to have him baptized and make first communion. Son 2 is coming up on that this year. I'll go through the motions again for him.

Why am I doing this if I'm not really a strong practicing Catholic? Because I still believe there is a God and want them to believe too, if only to give them an answer right now in their childhood years to questions that no one has an answer too. I think it's comforting to them to think there is a greater power looking out for them. I don't know much about other religions, and I really don't care enough to learn about them. I'm fine with the anonymity of the Catholic church. I like the hymns and, like you, find mass to be peaceful. I figure, I'll just give them a foundation on which to base any beliefs they might have. I will, however, make sure that I discuss the things I don't agree with in the Church's teachings when the boys are confronted with them. As they get older, they can sort their religious beliefs out for themselves.

janjanmom said...

Heather~ I love your passion and compassion!! God will use you mightily if you allow it!! Been catching up with your posts...glad God is sending you clear signs about homeschooling!! Careful with those homeschool learning materials at Yard Sales or you will end up with a housefull!! They are at that yard sale for a reason-someone bought more than they needed. I totally have too much curriculum stuff and it is soooo hard to part with cause it all seems like a good idea!!