[quote=Chichebe]Recently I have been having a number of discussions with friends who are members of Pentacostal Churches. Through these discussions I have had the opportunity to address a number of misconceptions and common objections of the Catholic Church. I ask these questions purely for my education and to guide me in my discussions.
- Firstly, what were the things that drew you to the Pentacostal Church?
Well, my brothers and sister and I were brought into the Assemblies of God because my widowed mother got all excited about speaking tongues and claiming healings and that sort of thing. My brothers and sister left the sect as soon as they were old enough, but I stayed because of the Bible teaching, which I thought was wonderful. I know as much as I do about the Bible because I attended and graduated from one of their colleges with a B. A. in Bible and religious education.
2)If you have left what were your reasons and what things from your old church do you miss in the denomination you eventually joined?
My experience was rather oppressive, I’m afraid. It was like being married to the wrong man. For instance, I was constantly judged by others and had to prove my faith to them. I also felt like I was spinning my wheels, spiritually speaking. One can live on gratitude towards God just so long before it wears thin–it was about all they knew about when it came to the prayer life. That and “claiming” this and that in Jesus’ name. I didn’t know there was anything better because they kept telling us that liturgical churches were spiritually dead and the worst was the Catholic Church which was the Whore of Babylon. Reading C. S. Lewis convinced me they were wrong about the first thing and reading J. R. R. Tolkien told me they were wrong about the latter.
- If you did become Catholic, why, and what were the biggest hurdles?
I did become Catholic but it was a long process, so I could never tell it all here. Suffice it to say, I looked into the teachings of the Catholic Church and discovered that they were reasonable and believeable, and that my sect had been dead wrong about what Catholics believe and practice. My biggest obstacle, at first, was the Marian teachings, but once I understood that the Church was founded by Christ, I realized that it must be right about Mary, which prompted me to look into the teachings for myself. Once again, I found that the Church taught something altogether different about Mary than I had been led to believe in the AoG.
- How supportive were your friends in the church you left?
I didn’t have much to do with my former friends from the sect because I left it before I graduated from the AoG college. I had returned to the ECUSA at the time, which they accepted because my parish had a charismatic group to which I then belonged. And by the time I decided to become Catholic I’d married and moved on with my life.
I did have an experience with a former roommate who had married and had a set of twins and was expecting her second set of twins. Her AoG church gave her a baby shower and her sister in law, whom I also knew from the AoG college got my name and address and invited me. I was going through RCIA at the time. Mingling in again with that sect and seeing how it operated only further convinced me that I was doing the right thing by becoming Catholic. I could tell you why, but there is no need to go into the whole thing. What I particularly remember was how I thankfully kissed my statue of Mary when I got home. I was so happy to know that I would never have to submit myself to their brand of acting and believing ever again.
You’re very welcome!