I often ask critics of the Bible to learn before they speak. Take a few years to be less skeptical. Not so often do they take me up on it. I believe that is shortsighted and that they are missing out on a life changing love story that can be felt, as well as read. If you are looking here to find the true meaning of Easter and the true meaning and truth behind Jesus, I humbly confess that I cannot sum it up in one blog, story or any one conversation, and the journey to find answers is a personal one.
I was raised Catholic by a raging Catholic, Italian mother. I remember as a boy I used to question why I had to go to confession on Saturday, only to be told on Sunday that God hears all, knows all and sees all. The answer I got was never satisfying. I couldn’t understand why if we were asked to go and grow the Church and that the Church was a family place, why a priest couldn’t marry. Another murky answer followed. It was all so confusing and as I got older and was free to make my own choices, I started a life long search for truth and meaning and a church I could call home.
I spent a lot of my “formative” years chasing fun, and religion took a backseat to anything that offered me instant gratification. Many years later, getting a divorce from my two daughters kind of woke me up and re-fired the search for happiness, realizing my maturity level was showing, and it was time to get myself on some kind of clear path. I tried the Catholic church again. I owe a lot to my mother for forcing me to go every weekend and that my childhood had found the love of Jesus, but after a few services I remembered why I had grown tired of a Catholic mass. For one thing I still knew all the words and responses which to me is boring, and the all too familiar guilt and sadness was unbearable. As this point I will say I have nothing against Catholics and know that any church that preaches the gospel of the Lord is good in my book. And I believe my mother sits somewhere in heaven waiting to see me again. It just wasn’t scratching my itch.
Next I tried  a UU church. It was much lighter and happy there, and the pastor was married, and he or his wife preached on any given Sunday. I made a lot of friends there and actually looked forward to going each week. That church offered classes and I signed up for a Buddhist Lo-Jung mind training class that turned out to be very beneficial to me, turning around a problem I had with renumeration and vituperation. (look it up, again). I was very grateful for the church and the progress it had helped me make in my life. To be honest I quit going when a Lesbian couple took over as Pastors (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and I have enough tolerance for that kind of activity, but soon the church body was nothing but gay people, and I lost interest. In my opinion they were looking for themselves more than salvation, but I am not going to go there in this conversation.
I met a guy at work and told him that I was looking for a new church. He suggested I try Bethany Church, which was an Evangelical Christian church.
About a week later I met a woman and asked her out. Her suggestion was to meet me at Bethany Church the next Sunday, as a first date. I figured it must be a sign to hear the same church named by two people in the same week. So I went. I was never really sure what “Evangelical Christian” meant, but soon found out. Not only did I like it, a year later I was a full-time employee. Five years later I began working full-time in Florida in another “Evangelical Christian” church. The name of this church is Calvary Chapel and when I learned who the founder was, a lot of memories flooded back. When I was about 18, Calvary Chapel was just starting in Costa Mesa, California. I was sitting on Huntington Beach one day and some hippie dudes, with guitars in hand, spoke to me and some of my friends about joining their church. I quite possibly was stoned at the time and I won’t guess if they were, but I agreed to check it out. Back then they were known as “Jesus Freaks”. It was great for a while but my devilish days were ahead of me and I guess I wasn’t quite ready to turn my life over to Jesus. Forty years later it is the best decision I ever made. I still have a side of me that questions things, but now I know where to turn for the answers. A non-denominational Bible teaching church is the church I choose, but I recommend any church that teaches the love of God and the words in the Bible. I pray everyday for my Mormon sister and her husband, my friends at the Catholic church, my friends at my church, and everyone on earth. We are all God’s children.
You can’t go wrong in any Bible teaching church. The Bible remains the #1 best seller in the world for a reason, and the more you learn the more your faith, love and understanding grows. It is a non-fiction history book written by witnesses and followers over a period of 100 years. Some that had no knowledge of each other, yet echo each others words. Questioning it’s authenticity is a cop-out. The Bible teaches that Jesus was crucified and on the third day he arose from the dead. I believe it with all my heart. It was prophesied and came true, and the magnitude of the acts that unfolded are mind-boggling to say the least. I can only speak for myself and everyone’s relationship with God is theirs and theirs alone, and the most sacred right on earth is your privilege to worship as you please. I have decided to follow Jesus and there is no turning back. He is risen! Love and peace 🙂
Happy Easter.

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