I agree with tbtcom1213–I get to be with the Lord Jesus in Person, up close and personal. For an ex-evangelical Protestant, this is richness.
As many of you know, my husband and I were kicked out of our evangelical Protestant church. When I say “kicked out,” I mean that the church convened a tribunal of pastors, deacons, and laypeople, several of whom we had never met and who had never met us, and held a “trial,” laid false charges against us, and told us to leave the church. It was awful, nightmarish.
For a year after that night, I could not read the Bible because those people had used the Bible to justify their hideous treatment of us. They twisted verses and made us look like criminals, and it was all lies. As I ran out of the church after the tribunal pronounced their verdict, I saw a vision of a giant wall shearing apart and collapsing, and I KNEW that I was seeing the truth about sola Scriptura. This doctrine is Satanic, and using the Bible alone leads Christians to believe in lies and to believe in a fantasy Jesus that exists in their own heads and emotions.
So even though I had been evangelical Protestant all my life and had referred to the Bible as my sole authority, I could no longer read the Bible because I was afraid that I, too, would become like those cruel pastors and others who had treated us with such callousness. I was afraid of falling into a lie.
When I started looking into Catholicism, I had no trouble believing in the True Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament because I recognized Him. Then I learned about Adoration (our parish has a 24/7 Adoration Chapel). Eventually I worked up the nerve to visit the chapel and spend some time with Jesus.
And that’s when I started reading the Bible again, because I was in the Presence of Jesus Christ Himself, and I KNEW that I could trust Him to help me read the Bible and not fall into any false beliefs.
BTW, a year after we were kicked out of that evangelical church, one of the pastors, the woman who had been the prime instigator of the charges against us at the tribunal, was fired because she was caught in a lie, a bad lie. In spite of this, the church has never called us to apologize for what was obviously another one of her lies.
In case anyone wonders what the “charges” against us were, they had to do with authority issues. The woman accused us of undermining the authority of the pastors in the church. In reality, the church authority structure was fragmented and we had a very difficult time determining the “ladder of authority.” In every other evangelical church that we attended, this was very clear, and we knew exactly who was in charge of what. But not so in this church.
Here is an example of one of our “offenses.” The youth pastor forbade the girls and boys from sitting together. At the time, our daughter was dating a young man, and we approved of the relationship and wanted them to be able to sit together in church. So we went to the youth pastor and presented our case. We felt that it should be up to the parents to make decisions about children’s dating, not a church. We also felt that it was important for dating teenagers to learn how to worship and serve God together. Yes, we did tell the pastor that we would respect the “rule,” but we didn’t approve of it. (As it turned out, our daughter very seldom had time to attend the church, as she was a member of an elite skating team at that point. Also, her boyfriend was managing a McDonald’s and often worked on Sunday mornings.) At the tribunal, this incident was offered by our accusers as evidence that we did not respect church authority. (Our daughter eventually married the young man, BTW, after seven years of dating.)