Today I am starting the Catholic Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This is the several month long rite that ensures those of us seeking to join the Roman Catholic Church actually know what we are getting into. Whether or not I will complete the rite and and join the RCC I do not know. However, this has been several months in the making and it's something that I have to do.
I was raised Baptist, and most of my friends are some flavor of Protestant. I know how most Protestants view the Roman Catholic Cult. I mean Church. (Sorry, old habits die hard.) Growing up I was taught how Catholics prayed to Mary, worshipped statues, believed in a works based salvation, and could only pray through priests. The RCC was clearly the "whore of Babylon" described in Revelation 17. I was even taught how to witness to Catholics at one point!
So why do I seek to join the Catholic Church?
The reasons are many and somewhat hard to articulate. Suffice to say my decision was not an easy one. It was a slow, deliberate and difficult decision. Converting is likely to cost me a lot. I fully expect my friends and family to not understand. Possibly they'll even to try to save me from my backslidden ways!
So why do it?
Because I am, if nothing else, a Truth seeker. It is my quest for Truth that has pulled me closer and closer to the Roman Church. I cannot stop at the waters of the Tiber because of what they might cost me. I must see if Truth is to be found on the other side.
But that still leaves the problem of people not understanding, of strained relationships. I can't change what you believe about the Roman Catholic Church, but I can take you along for the ride.
So that is what I'll be blogging about for the next several months. RCIA started on September 2nd and runs through April 21st. Should I complete it and decide to join the Church I'll be welcomed as a new Catholic on Easter Sunday. Between now and then I'll be blogging about the classes, the discussions and the Catholic Catechism.
I don't expect you to agree with the RCC, or with me, and I don't even expect you to understand. I will do what I have to do regardless. But I do want to offer you this opportunity to experience the RCIA with me, to dispel common rumors about the RCC, to compare and contrast doctrine, to seek common ground and to articulate differences clearly.
I'm inviting you to take a swim with me, or at least watch from the shore.