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Young Evangelicals Crossing The Tiber
Crossed the Tiber ^ | 8/6/2010

Posted on 08/06/2010 7:04:19 AM PDT by markomalley

Here's an interesting blog from a group of Wheaton College students and graduates who are becoming Catholic or have already converted. Wheaton College is the evangelical protestant "center of the universe" here in America. An interesting phenomenon for sure.


TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: freformed
An example from 30 July of this year.

GuestPost: The Hidden Option

By Jeremy Heuslein*

I am on my way back.

I still have questions. I still have concerns. I still, frankly, have qualms. But I see now there is a way.

Like many evangelicals, the Catholic Church was a mystery to me growing up, and I remember asking the question, “Are Catholics saved?” My parents gave an answer--if they happen to have faith in Jesus. But that was the extent of my exploration as a child into Mother Church. I had friends that were Catholic, but in my heart, I didn’t really believe they were Christians, that they knew God. Their lives were shrouded in mystery, in the unknown, and the unknown was bad.

Jump ahead to three years ago. I left home and went off to college - a nice, Midwest, evangelical one. There I encountered other theologies, outside my denomination’s self-named and appointed theology. My answers exploded. Was everyone’s opinion right? About everything? I swung into relativism--everybody had access to truth, even Truth, and whatever they drew from it was justified. In fact, why even go to church? Who needs a church? Isn’t there Life after Church?

My story is a singular happening, but there is a trend, a movement of an “emerging Christianity”. In the emerging Christianity, authority is cast off -- some go so far not even to have pastors or teachers -- and all beliefs are suspect. Feelings and whims are embraced, but this is not done to reject God, but live a life “of the Spirit”. Unfortunately, without grounding. There are many people attempting to find and live for God, find life and purpose and answers (albeit, troublesome philosophically, not to mention theologically--but then, whose theology?). Unfortunately, the choice to them is either this new, emerging way -- seeking truth outside a community, outside of a grounding tradition -- or a rejection of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Growing up, I drove past St. Stephen’s Catholic church everyday on my way to school. Never did it appear to me to be an option (or the option) of a community to which to belong. It was just there, mysteriously present with its high roof, big lawn, and complex annexes behind it. I’ve still never been inside. But I have been inside St. Michael’s, a Catholic church near my college. Most of it is still a mystery to me.  Like light passing through stained glass, there are bright and dark patches of illumination. But the fact is, where there had been none, there is now some illumination. As I begin to listen to the authorities speaking to me (which have always been speaking), as I find roots in the history, in the liturgy, and in the succession of the Church, my world is not darkened, I am not brainwashed -- I have been given new eyes to see and new ears to ears.


The Church, the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church, has been hidden in plain sight. I have learned that I do not need A New Kind of Christianity to fulfill what my heart has been longing for; I do not need a relevant, hip, cool, appealing to my consumer tastes “church experience”, but what I do need is Truth, a place of rest where I can receive instruction from authority and follow Jesus and live in the Spirit with grounding.

For all of us who are out there, wayward and outside the warmth of the Church, desperately trying to cling to something: there are old stones and Rock of the Church, strong throughout time, and an old home where we can rest. This is the hidden option, the option of Return.


*Jeremy Heuslein is beginning his senior year as a Philosophy and Ancient Languages major at Wheaton College (IL). He enjoys laughing, and consequently Improvisation Comedy, as well as dialoguing over Ethics, Theology, and Post-modernity. He comes from a family of six, with three brothers and a mother and father.


1 posted on 08/06/2010 7:04:20 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

For later


2 posted on 08/06/2010 7:15:30 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: markomalley
Sounds like he's using theological reasoning to justify his like of the premises.

You can do that.

I remember when the Catholic family began attending our church and sitting in front because there was enough activity during a service to keep the man who was head of household awake.

He had an unfortunate medical condition that caused him to fall asleep and fall over in the pews, but he liked to attend church services.

We were all appropriately kind to him and kept him awake.

The minister's sermons weren't far off the mark of that week's homily BTW ~ he used to keep up on that stuff because the RC lesson plans provided a link to the Scriptures so you didn't have to look it all up.

One guy likes the decor, another the noise, another the ceremonies, another the tall hats (of the Orthodox), someone else hangs on every word the preacher preaches, others find an opportunity to get some extra shut-eye out in the parking lot waiting on the kids ........... Ain't America great!

3 posted on 08/06/2010 7:15:51 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: markomalley
"Wheaton College is the evangelical protestant "center of the universe" here in America.

This must come to a great surprise to millions of Protestants.

4 posted on 08/06/2010 7:24:06 AM PDT by TommyDale (Independent - I already left the GOP because they were too liberal)
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To: muawiyah

After many years in ministry working with almost all believing types of Christians, I observed and concluded that most people align themselves and choose sects/denominations/groups that have doctrines/teachings that affirm their individual temperament, likes and dislikes.

They then have doctrines to “confirm” their view of things and their life choices as being “correct”, along with the select groupings of scripture to support their views.

Few seek Truth (not a thing, but a Person, Jesus Christ - one of His “I AM’s”) through unbiased lenses, letting the consequences fall where they may, and adjusting their lives accordingly. Myself included.

But I have that as my desire.

In the same way, unbelievers mostly reject the claims of the gospel/scripture because of moral choices they are unwilling to make if same were true.

IMHO

arlis


5 posted on 08/06/2010 7:31:28 AM PDT by Arlis (- Virginia loghome/woods-dweller/Jesus lovin'/Bible-totin'/"gun-clinger")
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To: Arlis

In other words..... pretty much the case everywhere ~


6 posted on 08/06/2010 7:33:36 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: TommyDale

No longer...they have compromised in too many areas.


7 posted on 08/06/2010 10:22:54 AM PDT by LiteKeeper ("It's the peoples' seat!")
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To: markomalley
Ping to read later.

"Popeing" isn't the only way to avoid shallow jargon laden evangelicalism.

8 posted on 08/06/2010 10:53:10 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("You fool! Don't you know every Taurus purchased brings us closer to TEOTWAWKI?")
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To: Lee N. Field
"Popeing" isn't the only way to avoid shallow jargon laden evangelicalism.

I agree.

I, as a Catholic, am always thrilled when somebody wants to come back home to the Catholic Church.

however...

I think a mature decision is far superior than an emotional one or one made out of ignorance of one's own faith. I would be concerned that many college-age kids may not have the emotional and academic maturity to make such a decision properly. And I would be concerned that after a few years they might end up right back where they came from....without having adequate time or interest to become fully catechized in the Catholic faith either.

We have some pretty good speed bumps in our process to be received into the Church (so that somebody won't do it in a pique of emotion), but it isn't that thorough.

Hopefully these folks are making their decision on a mature, intellectual basis rather than on youthful emotionalism.

But, let me ask you...does your church have the same issues with poor catechesis of the young as the Catholic Church does?

9 posted on 08/06/2010 4:57:13 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: markomalley

What they really need to do is ‘cross the Kidron’ (Acts 2:37-39).


10 posted on 08/06/2010 6:36:25 PM PDT by Zuriel (Acts 2:38,39....nearly 2,000 years and still working today!)
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To: muawiyah

Yup. Man is man, the same ever since Adam. Fallen, corrupt, self-centered, selfish, and in desperate need of a Savior. How wonderful we have One who not only redeems us completely - and all of our sins - but places His very life within us, gives us a new heart, and transforms us - gradually - into His image.

All religion says, “I can do it myself....”, including most “Christian” religion that supplants His work with the flesh.

Blessings, bro.


11 posted on 08/06/2010 7:06:49 PM PDT by Arlis (- Virginia loghome/woods-dweller/Jesus lovin'/Bible-totin'/"gun-clinger")
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To: markomalley
But, let me ask you...does your church have the same issues with poor catechesis of the young as the Catholic Church does?

Without having talked to them, based on what I see and based on what the adult fare is, I'll say "probably".

"Youth Sunday" is a painful thing.

12 posted on 08/06/2010 7:08:20 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("You fool! Don't you know every Taurus purchased brings us closer to TEOTWAWKI?")
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To: Lee N. Field
"Youth Sunday" is a painful thing.

In our church, we call it "Life Teen"

It is likely no less painful.

Pray for us as I will pray for y'all

13 posted on 08/06/2010 7:10:44 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: Arlis
They then have doctrines to “confirm” their view of things and their life choices as being “correct”, along with the select groupings of scripture to support their views.

Very few men seek the Sovereign God of the Bible.. men seek a god of their liking ..

14 posted on 08/07/2010 9:09:59 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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