A Plate Of Pleasing Doctrines
I'm Ed The Protestant. For now. Greg Smith (creator of Considering Catholicism) has invited me to not only consider the Catholic faith, but to record our (already ongoing) conversations for his podcast. You can follow my walk toward Catholicism on the podcast, and here on the blog.
One night a long time ago I dreamed a friend and I were walking along a grassy area in the back of our huge. two-story elementary school. We were coming up to a brick wall, and in this brick wall were two iron doors about 10 feet apart. One of them led to Heaven, and one led to Hell (not making this up). My friend was walking toward the door on the left, and I toward the one on the right. I was trying to convince him that he was choosing the wrong door--the door that led to Hell. He was laughing at me and saying there was no way I could know, that I was just guessing, and besides--he wasn't worried. I begged him to reconsider. He opened the left door and a huge flame roared out, sucking him in and slamming the door behind him, sealing him in. I can still see it. I remember being horrified, but also relieved--I'd chosen correctly.
When I woke up, I asked myself; how DID I know the door on the right was the door to Heaven? And I was not satisfied with my answer, which was this: I just knew. It wasn't good enough.
Here's the answer I have now learned, after all these years: Nobody, no one person has been given any special revelation. If I pay attention, listen to others who've wrestled with the same questions, seek God, I'll be rewarded.
And now my lifetime of seeking (imperfectly, sometimes selfishly) has moved me away from Protestantism. Greg and I have discussed this at length in the podcast (here and here for starters), but he and Cory tackled it again in Episode #68, The Eucharist vs. Guardian Angels.
Underneath that discussion is this: who gets to say what truth is? The short answer: The Church. Deciding to pick and choose which pieces of it you like and which pieces don't suit you always turns into doing only what pleases you. This seems to me to be a path that leads away from God.
And what, or who is The Church? The evidence now seems to me to be overwhelmingly in favor of The Catholic Church.