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Friday, September 14, 2012


Many of you have read my conversion story. But a friend of mine on Facebook, Gina Hense Newlon, was asked today by a Baptist, "What influenced you to convert?"  This was Gina's off-the-cuff response:

Gina and her husband Ryan

There were several things that led me to the Catholic Church. The first would be when I learned the truth about contraception...well, the lies actually. I learned about the Theology of the Body and started to understand God's plan for our bodies, sexuality, and marriage, and was forever changed. Then I realized that all Christian faiths believed that contraception was immoral (Calvin, Wesley and Luther had quite a bit to say on the subject) until about 1930, and the only one that still hasn't reversed its position is the Catholic Church. But still, I DEFINITELY didn't want to become a "sit, stand, kneeler"!

I was raised Baptist but when I really started to ask questions, I realized that I was never going to get a consistent answer. That was troublesome to me. Each denomination claims to be led by the Holy Spirit and each one also interprets sacred Scripture for themselves (no authority). The Holy Spirit is not confused, and there cannot be contradicting interpretations of the Bible...ONE HAS to be correct. There has to be ONE truth. My mom asked me what was the pillar and foundation of truth one day, and I answered, "The Bible." She said no. I then said, "The Church," and she asked, "What Church?" I said, "The Christian church as a whole, the body of believers." She said, "No, that can't be correct because that body of believers all believe different things, things as big as 'once saved, always saved,' the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, etc...big things and big differences." She was right.

First Timothy 3:15 says that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth. But WHICH church? It couldn't mean the body of believers as a whole because we are so terribly divided, not even close to being one. At last count, there were 30,000 denominations...all believing different things. Okay, so now I realized that it was time to study EARLY church history and see how this all happened. Did Christ establish a church before he "left"? After all, He said He would not leave us orphans. What did the EARLIEST Christians believe and does anything we have nowadays resemble that?

Some of Gina's artwork
Much to my dismay, I got my answer. I prayerfully researched all I could, even trying to lie to myself at times in order not to reach the conclusion that I knew was coming. Once I realized that everything I believed about the Catholic Church was all myth, it got easier. Then there was sacred Scripture to back up their claims. That helped. History was crucial. More than anything, though, was the gift of faith that I received from the Holy Spirit...one that I often wonder why I was given it before my loving husband. With my husband's blessing, I became Catholic on Easter of 2005.

The Catholic Church is not perfect; it is run by man after all...but it is guided by the Holy Spirit, so I am at peace. The Catholic Church has had an unbroken line of successors since Jesus first handed the keys over to Peter and gave His priests permission to do things that really only Christ had the power to do. And then there's good ol' Pentacost! And despite Satan's attempts to prevail against Her, the Church has stood for the same truths for over 2,000 years.

"And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." - Matthew 16:18-19

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  1. Great story, Dale. Converts often seem to know the Faith better than some of us raised in the Catholic Church.

  2. Wayne: your observation makes a great deal of sense. Persons "raised" in the Church are there because they were told to be there. Converts are there because they studied hard to find the reason(s) whether they should go there, and became convinced that they should do so. This difference is self-evident, right?