Confessions of a Closet Catholic
Yes, folks, you read the title correctly. Very few of even my closest family and friends realize this, but I am, in fact, a member of the Catholic Church. All this time, people have been thinking I’m a solid Protestant or Evangelical or Non-Denominational Christian. The truth is, I was baptized and confirmed into the Catholic Church at around age 14. And the sad part is, tomorrow will be my first time EVER to participate in a Good Friday mass of the stations of the cross.
And the crazy part is, I haven’t been hiding my membership in the Catholic Church – it’s just that I didn’t even realize I was a member!
The word “catholic” simply means “universal.” So, the “Catholic Church” really means the “Universal Church.” When I declared my faith in Jesus, acknowledged his Lordship, and joined his family and body in the cleansing act of baptism, I became a member of the worldwide, universal church of Jesus Christ. And I have been so thankful for good friends and fellow disciples of Christ who have helped me increasingly appreciate the fullness and richness of this body of believers. Special thanks go to Eddie Parish, Len Sweet, Mike Cope, Richard Foster, and Dallas Willard (among others) for freeing me from a misguided view that had me overlooking many, many of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Perhaps chief among these overlooked family members were my brothers and sisters practicing their Christian faith within the Church of Rome, more commonly known as the Catholic Church.
And so it is with great delightful anticipation that I approach my time tomorrow afternoon at St. Jude the Apostle Church in Baton Rouge, where I intend to gratefully participate with my brothers and sisters in connecting with our risen Lord by walking through the stations of the cross in reverant worship. Thanks so much to my good friends, Chris and Danielle Mensman for graciously inviting us to come worship with them, as families should do.
May you receive and enjoy rich blessings of freedom, joy, and celebration with the Body of Christ throughout the remainder of Holy Week, as we collectively commemorate the suffering, death, burial, and resurrection of our Almighty King!
For more understanding and appreciation of the breadth and richness of the Kingdom of God expressed in many divergent ways by sincere Christ-followers around the world, I highly recommend checking out the website and books of Renovare.
For more on the stations of the cross, I recommend this article from the latest issue of Conversations. “In the House of My Invisible Lord: Making the Stations of the Cross” by Emilie Griffin