Why I went back to the Catholic Church
Author Chris Haw on his journey back from protestant evangelicalism
- Duration 8:04
- Date Nov 9, 2012
Author Chris Haw on his journey back from protestant evangelicalism
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And welcome back when people leave the church of their youth to find -- faith with -- better fit.
Chris -- made such a journey and leaving catholicism for -- Protestant mega church only to return to his religious roots later.
He writes about it in his book from willow creek too sacred heart.
And Chris joins me now from Philadelphia welcome.
Hi thanks for having me that's great to have his son Chris what.
Do you away from the Catholic Church.
Well let you know a lot of the things that.
Drew draw people away from it today a sense of having lost the meaningful -- the liturgy in the ritual.
Having felt like it doesn't mean much to them anymore and so our family you know kind of drifted like many people that today.
Yes so -- then want you to something like willow -- because willow creek is a huge mega church.
That they're like 101000 members of 120000 members.
Huge mega church evangelical Protestant -- -- -- there.
Willow creek is emphasizing a lot of the things that have been lost in many of the liturgical churches and and -- it's largely about redirecting people's minds towards the message.
The -- of the gospels reading a very closely studying it deeply.
So it's it's largely about trying to get into the meaningful -- christianity for us today.
And something obviously was missing what was that.
You know I found that willow creek one of the things that.
Really appealing to me when I started you know leaving that -- and going out of places like Camden was I ran into Catholic church and it was in the middle of a very violent and dangerous city and and I began to see -- rituals and liturgy is of the Catholic mass.
In light of their commentary on -- -- getting communities together and kind of transform our relationships of violence on the streets so that was one of the things that certainly is not emphasize that places like willow lake.
The U rituals and -- -- that are kind of ancient in the church.
You the -- -- you know he felt a calling for the liturgy for the sort of ritual but.
That tell you had been missing and -- and that was important do you.
Well it was kind of like -- two.
Two way path for -- -- to rail pass like a train because largely actually I wanted to move into Camden, New Jersey.
You know revitalize a very hurting its it's very violent dangerous city and and actually willow creek propelled me to have enough faith and hope and love to go to a place like that.
And helped transform it and moving there I found.
A small little Catholic Church that.
Was right in the middle of very abandon and hurting neighborhood and so I struck up a partnership with them and began to -- -- my connection with this church that I had basically given up -- You know -- isn't -- -- and candid about what Bernanke may not realize and -- part of the country's campaign has one of the highest murder a crime rates in the country it is.
Is very very very dangerous place.
And how is it for you living there.
Well it's it's very difficult at times I I moved into an abandoned crack house and renovated that I learned how to become a carpenter by moving into a place that.
Needed the skills of you know renovations so.
It can be very difficult there is you know gunshots down the street there's kids that have been.
Caught by passing stray bullets and it's it's a very difficult places a lot of drug dealing and prostitution but.
I think you know it sometimes in order to improve places like that we have to.
Sort of challenge are fearful -- That sense of needing to disengage for -- safety but maybe to move forward in as sort of sacrificial way.
You know the community is Incredibles -- the other we have a photo you.
Carrying -- cross in the -- in Camden.
What is this about you carrying his cross.
Right well and many Christians are familiar with the ritual known as the stations of the cross and in knows it through the many different steps and events during jesus' crucifixion.
People walk around and and remember and read those passages and say prayers but.
With sacred heart having a special connection with a very hurting neighborhoods they actually do the stations of the cross on Good Friday.
That all of the places where somebody has been murdered in the neighborhood.
And so we connect -- the the sense of ongoing cycle of violence that's been alive for far too long on our planet -- you know killed Jesus senate.
And it's a cycle that's still alive today and so the stations of the cross is a way for us to -- with.
And be sympathetic with those who have been hurt by this you know terrible cycle.
You know what really was the turning point for you in going to sacred heart he's going to catholicism and -- Why does this offer you so much more than let's say a Protestant church.
Well it took me a few years to realize that.
When a priest fans you this way curve rather call -- host.
And actually in Latin and means the victim.
Starting to learn about the ritual of the mass as.
As a race.
As a convergence upon and worshipping the victim.
It made so much more sense being in the context of Camden for myself because we're always surrounded by the troubles and and in the laments.
People that have been victimized.
And so to me the mass takes on this holy shape when it has this Sacramento physical.
Connection with the victims of this world.
And so I also found it very profound.
You know that so many of the rituals of the Catholic -- -- -- so much of humanity all throughout history even before catholicism.
Have been appreciated the celebration of the seasons.
Like the fall time now we celebrate all the saints who have gone before us and I really love those kinds of patterns and rituals and rhythms of life.
Chris there's comment from JD.
-- points and he says does that didn't do you foresee the day -- Catholic and Protestant churches might one day -- we unify.
Under one banner under the name of Christian and you certainly have tasted both worlds.
And some what do you think.
Well it's very encouraging to know that actually over the last forty years groups like lutherans and Catholics have.
Been meeting to try to -- address.
The divisions of the reformation.
Era and actually Catholics and lutherans have declared that.
One of the biggest issues over faith and works is actually no longer a working point of division between the two parties.
And I also think it's one of the temptations today -- to say.
Well let's give up a Protestant Catholic and go into this neutral party of just mere -- yeah.
But -- that would be kind of like pretending like you don't have an accent.
Everybody has a history at an angle that they view it from the -- one of the challenges that found at willow creek cause they call themselves.
Which in effect really means that they're Protestant evangelical.
So I don't I think there's a lot of hope for people reuniting their Christian tradition.
But I think it'll be very difficult if not possible to do it through this.
Lens of being nearly neutral.
Yeah I want to thank you so much the book is called.
From willow creek to sacred heart -- Chris -- thank you so much for for joining us they don't spirited debate what to think about thank you for -- already.