From Roman Catholicism – the Pope, Celibacy and Communion – to Christianity!
this testimony is about how God saved me from Pope worship, celibacy and the Roman Catholic church, and how I became a Christian.
I was born in Hildesheim, North Germany, was sprinkled with water as a baby (i.e. ‘christened’) and through this became a member or the Roman Catholic Church. As I grew up, I picked up things here and there that got me worried, e.g. the supposed infallibility of the Pope, priests and bishops struggling with their celibacy / sexual desires or alcohol, and the history of the catholic church, especially the Inquisition.
At University I had many discussions with my fellow students about religion and faith, and I got to know believers from Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism, Catholicism, Protestantism and so on. In terms of my own beliefs, I considered myself to be a scientist. Though I appreciated the many charitable and good works of people in the Catholic Church, I concluded that I could not agree with their faith because of the worries outlined above, and consequently left the church.
...the practice of celibacy is not biblical...
About seven years later a guy called Markus witnessed to me during a lunch break. He mentioned that he was a Christian, and when I talked to him about my concerns about the Catholic Church and why I left, he answered that the practice of celibacy is not biblical. To prove it he pulled out a Bible of his pocket and confronted me with the following scripture:
1 TIMOTHY 3:1-5
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
This scripture made sense to me and even explains why a bishop should be married. It seemed as if a veil had been taken from my eyes and somehow I felt pricked in my heart. This guy Markus had answers from the Bible and when I met him again a couple of days later he provided more answers which made a lot of sense. Just to mention two examples here:
Answers from the Bible
Peter had a mother in law – so he was married! This exposes many popish claims as nonsense: MATTHEW 8:14
And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.
The meaning of life:
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.”
We do not need big church buildings with ornaments of gold and silver to find God. He is not far from us and can be found! The Bible has the answers – you just need to know where to find them.
I was shown...we need to be born again...
I was shown the way of salvation and how we need to be born again:
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
The baptism is by full immersion, not a sprinkling with water as a baby. Being born again by the Spirit happened for the first time on the day of Pentecost:
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
That is what happened to me on the day I turned to God: I was baptised and then received the Holy Spirit. It is a joy to pray in this new tongue, to be with God and to experience Him and His miracles. He started living withing me - this is what true Chistianity is all about: Christ in you!.
Things started to happen in my life which are described in the Bible, and I was healed of internal bleeding:
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Get to know God – it is exciting!