I Am A New England Protestant/Catholic “Mutt”


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I am an official Protestant/Catholic “mutt”. My Grandfather Edward on my Dad’s side was an eighth-grade educated hill-jack that grew up on a dirt floor farm in a now unmapped town in northern Kentucky. My Grandmother Mary on my Dad’s side grew up staunch Catholic, and almost went into the convent to become a nun after high-school until she ran into Edward and fell deeply in love. She then not only rejected Catholicism outright, but with her husband, joined the Church of Christ. That particular Church of Christ was at that time a fundamental, King James Bible teaching fire and brimstone church that taught strongly against Catholicism, labeling their teachings and doctrines to be false.
My Grandparents on my Mother’s side, both of whom I never knew well because they had my mother well into their forties, were staunch Vatican I Catholics. My mother was raised in Catholic school and still accepts most of the teachings of the Catholic Church. I am writing this mostly with her in mind, because I want to be able to understand her heritage (which is part of my heritage as well), and be able to dialogue with her intelligently. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve made many ignorant, uninformed comments about Catholicism, and the greatest gift of this paper has been to have greater understanding of this tradition within Christianity and how it both coincides and differentiates from the convictions I hold dearly. Mom, may we both see Christ more clearly together than we ever did separately!
And I now write this introduction to my Mom from afar. After growing up in Ohio and living the better part of my thirty years on the earth there, my wife and I have now moved to New Hampshire to be a part of a church re-plant in the New England mountain town of Conway. It’s no surprise to me that God in all His sovereign foresight would place us in a region where Catholicism has had a huge influence. And go figure, the relations between Protestants and Catholics have not been the best in New England either! So just as I’ve desired my parents to come to a collective knowledge of who Christ is outside of any religious paradigm, so I wish the same for the many people I know and will come to know up here in the White Mountains of New England.


5 thoughts on “I Am A New England Protestant/Catholic “Mutt”

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