Rowina (26 Apr 2011)
"To John B.: why we are without a church"


 
Dear John B.:

Many of us are here on the internet seeking Christian fellowship
because we have no church institutions which we can attend.
We have a variety of reasons, as we have a variety of experiences,
but inability to support various church institutions is part of our
problem, and why we are often "alone" in our communities,
unchurched.

But to blame the Roman Catholic Church as uniquely anti-christ
is not right, in my own experience.

I left the R.C. church 20 years ago, and in the meanwhile tried to
find other "bodies" to be a part, but I found each one had lots of
"leaven".  The Roman church as a world-wide institution may have
largely failed, but the individuals who make it up are not failed any
more than the various Protestant individuals who make up the
Protestant institutions.

My own experience has been that there are R.C. parishes which are
good, which teach the gospel as Jesus would have wanted it done, in
fact, who do it VERY well.  I was a part of two such parishes in my life.

I have also been part of two R.C. dioceses which flunk my personal test
of what is a good church institution.  One of these dioceses was so given
over to paganism and/or secular humanism, with all of its phony psychologizing,
that I had to leave one day 20 years ago.  I got up from my pew and left, at the
end of the mass.  Along with this exit, however, I had the spiritual experience,
starting there in that pew, of being transported spiritually to the First Century A.D.
church, and I became aware that there were others there in that building who were
Christians neither better nor worse than I, neither more nor less connected to
Christ.   The Institution was failing badly; the individuals were not.  Christ was in
them.  This feeling of being in the First Century church persisted for hours, long
after I had taken my final leave of "the building".

Since then I have tried to be a part of various Protestant churches but always
circumstances kept me from remaining.  My closest fit was with a Calvary Chapel
in Carlsbad, CA, but finances and illness made it impossible to continue to live in
its vicinity.  Now, if I could go back, I probably wouldn't, because of its proximity
to prophesied earthchanges.  It was at sea level when I lived nearby; it is only a
few feet higher now, and still right on the coast, where houses already fall into the
sea from their crumbling cliffs.  I have tried to be a part of other church bodies, and
always they are imperfect, but I know God's will is to see the individuals in each of
these church bodies, and to see the good that they do as well as the mistakes they
are making, such as condemnation of Israel or boycotting of Israel, or rejecting the
value of prophecy study.

You rightly accuse the Roman Catholic church of atrocities.  Are you aware of the
atrocities committed by Protestants?  Surely you know enough of history to be aware
of these.  Did the R.C. Church commit more atrocities per capita than the Protestants?
Perhaps, but then the R.C. Church over the centuries had more people in it than the
Protestant churches, more capacity therefore to sin by committing atrocity.

When I was a Unitarian as a young girl, I was taught how John Calvin burned Michael
Servetus at the stake, and thought he was doing the right thing, because Calvin disagreed
with Servetus' unitarianism.  I too now believe in the Trinity, as did Calvin, but I would
not burn Servetus at the stake for disagreeing with me.  And I would not like to think that
John Calvin is a spiritual founder of my church institution.  Even though my devout
grandma was a Presbyterian, and it gave her a spiritual spine.  The Presbyterian Church
(one of the U.S. Presbyterian bodies, I think the ELCA) has boycotted Israel.  It commits
atrocities even today, right along with the other bodies.  My devout Scots grandma called
the Pope "the anti-christ" even in her generation.  Too bad that she never got to know some
Catholics who served Jesus, and that she even renounced her own blood sister because she
married a Catholic.  Because my grandma Jenny renounced her sister Jessie, I never got to
know my many cousins who descended from Jessie and her husband, even though they lived
in my town.  I did go to the funeral (at a Protestant church) of the last of my Delsman cousins
in Seattle, a man I never knew in life because of a disagreement among sisters who were
divided over the Catholic/Protestant issue.  I am so sorry I did not know this excellent family.
I am really sorry!  I never really had much of a family because of this.

Yes, Jenny had to follow her conscience, and she had a devout Christian conscience.  She is
no doubt in Heaven now, probably reunited with her sister Jessie and Jessie's children.  We are
told there are no tears in Heaven, but there sure are tears here over this "divide".

One could write a whole book of personal accounts like this.

My bottom line:  I do not know who the anti-christ is and I pray to be in Heaven before he is
revealed.  He could be a Pope, he could be a Muslim, he could be a secular monster.  I do
not believe we know at this time.

Mariel