John 6:68 "Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life;"
That was Peter's answer to Jesus from the verse before in John 6:67 "Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”
The words "Lord, to whom shall we go?" have been in my thoughts a lot recently and will likely be words that I continue to come back to based on my own walk with Christ. Take a look below to see why I now say "Lord, to whom shall we ( I ) go?"
I was a Pentecostal because that's how my parents raised me and because there were many family members on my dad's side who were Pentecostal. In my early 20's, I chose not to become Church of Christ ( my wife's background ) because it was too different from Pentecostalism. My wife chose not to become Pentecostal because it was too different from Church of Christ. So in our 20's, my wife and I both chose to become Baptist because of what we considered middle ground between Pentecostalism and Church of Christ. And although we had a short stint back in the Pentecostal Church after a split that happened, we have considered ourselves Baptist for most of our married life until we became CATHOLIC.
All of my adult life, I never believed 100% of any of the church teachings of the churches above which is part of the reason my wife and I ended up not going to any "organized religion" churches for just shy of 7 years straight before beginning our Catholic journey. FYI, the just shy of 7 years also includes NO Christmas and NO Easter services.
We had come to the point that it seems many protestant Christians come to: 1) We didn't need a church. 2) We believed in Jesus, had repented of our sins and had been baptized. 3) We knew the key parts of the Bible well. 4) As long as we had Jesus, our Bible, prayed and repented if we really messed up, we had NO desire to attend a church because we were all set. The go to verse for many who give excuses for not going to church or being a part of "organized religion" is Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” So my wife and are two people which means we didn't really need any other Christians to fellowship with because where TWO are gathered in Christ name, he's there in the midst of them.
Depending on where you have been, where you are now or where you are headed, the above paragraph may sound familiar in your own life or you may recognize it in the life of another Christian you know. But is it Biblical? Is it TRULY what Christ wants from those who are called to take up their cross and follow him? I think the answers are NO and NO. However, rather than get into a very long article about that, I'm going to share where I'm at now and why I have come to "Lord, to whom shall we go?"
Catholic Journey..."Lord, to whom shall we ( I ) go?"
My serious Catholic journey started just after I turned 50 and I just turned 52 about 5 weeks ago. It's the first time in my life that I truly searched for the TRUTH and actually made a well thought out decision in my faith journey.
It was a decision that did not look like this. 1) I'm Pentecostal because it's how I was raised. 2) I'm not Church of Christ because it was too different from how I was raised. 3) I'm now Baptist because it's middle ground. 4) It's time to reject organized religion because I'm tired of "That's not what it means" when it comes to scripture interpretation and I'll just do my own thing with me and my wife and Jesus.
Catholic Discoveries..."Lord, to whom shall we ( I ) go?"
I discovered that the Catholic Church taught it is the Church founded by Jesus Christ which I didn't blindly accept. I discovered that the Catholic Church taught the real presence of Christ body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist which I did't blindly accept. I discovered an understanding of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition which caused the confusion of private Biblical interpretation and all the "that's not what it means" of protestantism to make a lot of sense.
Coming To A Conclusion..."Lord, to whom shall we ( I ) go?"
I came to the conclusion that there has to be ONE TRUTH. There had to be ONE WAY Christ set this all up. There had to be an authority still here on earth to speak for Christ. The confusion of protestantism made sense like never before. The Catholic position made things come to life like never before. After 50 years, it was all coming together and I was coming home to the Catholic Church: The fullness of the Christian faith.
No one knocked on my door to convince me. No one sat down with me for hours and hours trying to convince me. I discovered all of this on my own in search of the TRUTH.
At Home In The Catholic..."Lord, to whom shall we ( I ) go?"
The reason that I keep coming back to "Lord, to whom shall we ( I ) go?" is because I'm (we're) at home in the Catholic Church. I cannot walk away from the Church Christ founded and the REAL PRESENCE of the Eucharist. I cannot walk away from the TRUTH that I have discovered. I cannot walk away from the fullness of the Christian faith to sit at home doing my own thing again because I have NO desire to be a part of any other Church.
Although there was a lot of good that came out of my first 50 year faith journey and I'm thankful for it, I'm not returning that side of my Christian walk. I have no where else to go. I have found Christ like never before in a place that many may think is not possible: The Catholic Church. Yes, I'm home at last on this side of heaven.
An old hymn from my youth comes to mind, "Oh, I Want To See Him."
Here's the Chorus:
"Oh, I want to see Him, look upon His face,
There to sing forever of His saving grace;
On the streets of glory let me lift my voice,
Cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice."
1) As I journey through the land, singing as I go,
Pointing souls to Calvary—to the crimson flow,
Many arrows pierce my soul from without, within;
But my Lord leads me on, through Him I must win.
2) When in service for my Lord dark may be the night,
But I’ll cling more close to Him, He will give me light;
Satan’s snares may vex my soul, turn my thoughts aside;
But my Lord goes ahead, leads whate’er betide.
3) When in valleys low I look toward the mountain height,
And behold my Savior there, leading in the fight,
With a tender hand outstretched toward the valley low,
Guiding me, I can see, as I onward go.
4) When before me billows rise from the mighty deep,
Then my Lord directs my bark; He doth safely keep,
And He leads me gently on through this world below;
He’s a real Friend to me, oh, I love Him so.