I've found myself at a previously unforseen crossroad, where I'm uncertain as to wether or not I should continue with and complete (be confirmed) the RCIA program.
I've grown up Protestant, but upon feeling lost among all the many churches, chose to seek out Catholicism and learn about it. There are many things I like, certain things I don't, however, I understand the church's authority (historically speaking), the value of tradition, etc. At the same time, however, there are certain concepts that I cannot, no matter how hard I've tried, accept as truth, replacing my previous beliefs.
A few of these concepts are:
A) Mary's divinity. We assume she was a perfect being, because had she of not been, Jesus would have been a victim of original sin. The logic sounds great, however, it seems like an assumption. Why could God not make an exception, in Christ's birth, sparing him (without any involvement of Mary) from sin?
B) Mary's death (or not). We assume that she never died, but was taken up into heaven. We believe this because we believe she was a perfect being (see above), but also, because there appears to be no records of her death. We assume, then, that she never died, and thus, is a very special person, not simply a virgin.
C) Eucharist. We assume/interpret/whatever that when Jesus said "This is my body, given up for you..." "...do this in rememberence of me", that he was literally saying, we were to believe we were consuming the real flesh and blood of Christ. I've spoken to some who believe in a physical transformation (e.g., the wine becomes blood, the cracker becomes flesh), despite this obviously not happening, while others believe, without actually saying it, there's a certain amount of symbolism involved (as I've always believed, Jesus's blood is represented by wine, juice, whatever).
D) Mass. We believe that Mass is a mandatory thing. Though I believe regular attendance is good, I think to blindly show up, if not focused on God, misses the point. It's like people who just go to church on Sundays, because it makes them feel like a good person, however, they sleep, talk, play on their phones, etc, instead of focusing on the materials. Though ritual attendance can be good, it becomes a pointless endeavor if the individuals do not seek anything from it. With this in mind, I've always believed that God is more concerned about the individual, and having a relationship with Him. I've always believed that God doesn't care WHEN you go to Church, or WHERE you go to Church, as long as you attempt to seek spiritual growth through fellowship with others whom are God's children. I enjoy the flexibility that God has always given me, and have yet to feel convicted that my going to Mass, on say, a Tuesday, as opposed to going Sunday morning, is some horrible, awful thing, that seperates me from God.
E) Saints. We assume (as it was explained to me, so if I'm incorrect, please re-explain), that because the dead go to Heaven, and are "alive" in Christ, that we can communicate them through prayer, including prayers of intercession, to Mary, or other Saints. There is nothing which backs this idea in the Bible, to my knowledge, however, we feel good in thinking that the dead are not truly gone, until we see them again, and can utilize their services, and receive aid from them.
There are probably some others, but those are the main ones that come to mind.
With that said, I'm obviously unable to accept all of the Church's teachings as accurate, but rather, I interpret them as theories, ideas, etc, just as other churches have them. Though the Catholi Church is the original church, the church founded by Jesus Christ, I do not believe this enables the Church to be completely correct in terms of doctrine and theology. I believe, that someday, when Christ returns, He will likely clarify some of the things that were misunderstood, misinterpretated, etc.
I had hoped to become a Catholic, and have some divine experience (as is often heard "I was once lost, but then found Jesus!"), but thus far, have felt no divine presence, outside of my normal relationship with God. I do not feel any more certain with the Catholic church, than I did with other churches, however, given that I believe in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I believe that relationship is more important than what particular church and doctrines I subscribe to.
I've explained this to my sponsor, whom was quick to tell me that I should not be confirmed, because it would go against the requirements in doing so. I had thought that, perhaps, by being confirmed, it would positively influence my spiritual life (as sampling different churches, having talks with many people, etc) has had for the better. I thought that by, being confirmed Catholic, while still holding on to some of my Protestant roots, I would have a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, with the Father, the Holy Spirit, and with all of those around me.
What should I do? Do I proceed with becoming a Catholic, thus making me into a Catholic/Protestant mix, (essentially, just a "Christian"), or should I stay being Protestant. Hell, (pardon my language), I don't even consider myself Protestant. To be protestant, is to PROTEST something. I do not protest anything, but rather, am open to many different things, and believe in those little things (doctrines, theologies, etc) as building blocks for a personal and unique faith with my maker.
Please advise. I need guidance as to how to proceed with this.