Above: Me at age 34, the year I had revival

Coming Out of the Catholic Church

I was born again at the age of 14, believing that Jesus Christ died for my sins, and the Spirit of God came and indwelt my heart and life. No preacher ever visited me in my mother's apartment, no Bible was kept there or read, no prayers were said. But God got a hold of me anyway because even though I was raised Catholic, I had a very faint curiosity about the one subject my mother would never speak of in public-- religion, or more specifically, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I saw God, in my immature mind, as Someone who was big and scary. I was clueless about Him. Because of my mother's silence, I grew afraid of the unknown, and I would push it from my mind as soon as I saw or heard something that reminded me of this great mystery. When I passed by a church, I would avoid looking at it or cross the street to stay far from it. I was terrified of those awful statues in the churches, thinking they were staring into my very soul. In short, I was afraid of God, but had no clue how to do anything about it.

After I was saved, I still knew nothing about the new life in Christ which He had freely given me, so I went backwards into the only thing I knew-- Catholicism. I asked my mother if I could go to a Catholic school. I didn't know the difference. She saw no harm in that, and she was able to afford the tuition, so I went for four years and graduated. It was all for nought, though. Catholicism is as vain as it is dangerous, I know that now. I went backward because I never knew what a King James Bible was, or what Sunday School was, or being a bus kid, or Bible study, or what a pastor is, or youth group activities. Looking back, I feel like I've missed out on so much, but God still had a plan for me.

20 years went by and I still had no idea how to live the Christian life or grow in my estranged faith. Thank the Lord He never gave up on me, but in all those years He was protecting me and keeping me safe, because He knew what He had in store for my life. That's when I had revival in the AOL chatroom. God saw fit to reawaken my dormant faith, and it was then that I began to make real changes at the age of 34.

The Lord put three Godly people in my life: Pastor Wayne, Donna, and Gary. They were in the chatroom and we began to instant message one another, respectfully in order of their appearance in my life. Pastor Wayne was the one who taught me to go to a "Calvary church"-- in other words, a church that believes the Bible and preaches the Gospel. Donna was a good friend whom I got to meet in person, and God allowed her to teach me some things, like showing others God's love first and foremost. Gary was my chatroom witness, actually seeing me have revival the moment it happened. These three folks were a true blessing to me, and though they're gone from my life now, I will always remember them fondly and with much love. They took the time, each one in his or her own time spent with me, to mentor me and help me expand my faith and feed me spiritually. I'll never forget them for that. I know I'll see them in Heaven one glad day.

I remember when I bought my first Bible. I looked up in the Yellow Pages (this was before the internet) for a place that would sell them. I found a Fraser's Gift Shop (it's amazing how I still remember some names from back then), and I took the bus to where it was. I remember walking inside, feeling like it was a dream. I looked around, and the Holy Spirit directed me to the section where Bibles were sold. I took one off the shelf. It had a red cover, and red letters where Jesus spoke. It was also, praise the Lord but I didn't know the difference, a King James Bible. I took it to the cashier, paid for it, and as I was going out the door, my foot tripped on something. It was as if the Devil was mad at me for buying a Bible, so he tripped me up. Thankfully I didn't fall down. Embarrassed, I left and took the bus back home.

I had that Bible for many years, until it was so worn I couldn't use it. I kept it in the drawer of my nightstand beside my bed, and I would occasionally pull it out when I grew curious. I never let my mother know I had it. I read the red letters of Christ, the verse standing out most powerfully being Matthew 6:6--

"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

Such Old English was captivating, yet foreign to me, but God the Holy Ghost spoke to my heart, and Matthew 6:6 became my life verse.

I remember clearly the first time I went to a Christian church, called "Calvary Memorial." People had Bibles on their laps, following and reading along with the passages that the pastor was preaching about. So I started bringing my red Bible to church. I NEVER saw that in Catholic church. Catholics don't allow people to read or study the Bible for themselves; it's all what the priests, the nuns and the Pope say. Talk about confused! I didn't know what to think. I just knew I felt warm and welcome in this new environment, and that somehow these folks really cared about me. What a polar opposite of what I grew up in.

I clearly remember my first time in the "Calvary" church-- it was literally named after Calvary (the hill outside Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified), which I thought was what Pastor Wayne had meant when he told me about it. I was walking down a long hall, and I heard singing coming from one of the rooms. The Holy Ghost gave me a command-- to sing for the Lord. I always enjoyed singing. I followed the sound, and listened at a door. I opened it a crack, and asked if this is where I go for choir practice. The choir director looked up and said yes, and to see him after rehearsal. I saw a poster on the wall which said, "Singing is praying twice." I thought that had a nice ring to it. So I joined the choir, knowing in my heart that singing would be a ministry I would always love. To this day, I am still an alto choir member in my church.

When my red Bible was so worn it had to be replaced, a kind older couple bought me a brand new one with a black cover and large lettering and footnotes. That Bible was huge! It had the same red letters that my red Bible had. I thought that was the nicest thing anyone could do for me. Their names were Georgine (sp?) and Gayle. I also remember Elsie and Virginia, two sweet older women who missed me after I left and started going to my current church. I suppose they're in Heaven now, beholding the Master's face and enjoying the fruits of their labors.

Also, the pastor didn't wear a clerical collar or those goofy robes-- he wore a nice new suit and tie, with shiny black shoes! Amazing! No smoke from incense filled the air. No candles with those greedy collection boxes underneath. No stained glass windows. No kneelers under the pews. No monstrances, no gold, no marble pillars, no high vaults that make you dizzy when you look up. No crackers or wine. NO STARING STATUES!! And most of all-- no more fear of the unknown.

About the Catholic church-- I never dreamed it could be as awful as it was. They brainwashed me into thinking I was pleasing God, but in reality it was all cold ritual and vain tradition. I remember clearly how to recite the Rosary, to go to confession once a month, and stand up and sit down a hundred times during morning Mass. I didn't know the Eucharist was nothing but a glorified cracker. (I remember having to be ever so careful about not spilling the grape juice during the Lord's Supper after I started going to REAL church. I was totally brainwashed, but I was HEART-washed too! There ARE saved people in Catholic churches, they just haven't separated themselves yet!) Even the songs we sang in Catholic school were completely foreign to the hymns of the faith that I grew to love afterwards. The Lord understood, though, and never rebuked me for it, because I was doing it in ignorance. He knew everything, and does still.

I am so thankful that my grown children never had to deal with this horrible cult called the Catholic church. My husband was an unbeliever and he didn't like me going to church, but at least he let me take my kids to church and even Christian school for a time, their teachers telling them about the Gospel and how Jesus died for them. They were blessed to have that in their lives. But they never dealt with Catholic stuff, so they never carried that burden. I pray they would come back to their first love before it's too late.

To you I say, I wouldn't recommend going to Catholic school or church at all, because if you do, you are following a false religion and God hates falsehoods and lies, especially when they affect the lives of billions. I'll never go back to that cult, so help me God. I'm so GLAD and THANKFUL that the Lord JESUS CHRIST took me out of that pit of dead men's bones. I spit on their whited sepuchres and damnable heresies. God will do away with all religions one glad day, and I pray that I will be able to see it.

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