Catholic or Protestant: A Child of Two Worlds

By John Fulton

The Roman Catholic church was my mother. In her womb the seed of my faith found purchase. It grew and was born. From the breasts of her teaching and liturgy I grew strong and became a child. Under the nurture of her mass and instruction of her catechism, I grew up into a young man.

At that time, I told my mother, “I no longer need you,” and my God, “You are dead to me, for I have learned the ways of science and the world. I am sufficient on my own.” I believed wholeheartedly in this lie and deception, so He granted unto me my portion of the inheritance, and I set off to make my way in the world.

And make my way I did. I amassed for myself degrees, and accolades, and  accomplishments, and stuff aplenty. I had no want for physical things, and whatever pleasure I could want was mine.

Yet it did not satisfy.

So I sought more distractions, but they did not satisfy either.

Then, in a moment of exceeding trauma and grief, my world came crashing down. The foundation of my life, which had seemed of most solid rock, turned out to be mere sand when that earthquake shook my life.

I cried out to a God I’d long forgotten and abandoned, and to my surprise, He answered me in a most exceedingly, wonderful, miraculous way. I had been an idiot. There was a God.

Finding myself in great pain, I sought to return to my mother for succor and comfort. But God would not have it.

He sent me to my father, Protestantism. Here He disciplined me. He taught me to hear and obey His voice, he taught me how to work in the family business, he taught me how to teach and preach and study His Word. He taught me the history of my mother and father and the forces that shaped them.

And even though my mother and father are divorced and often fight, God taught me to love them both—to recognize the beauty both possess and the deep love of their children for the Almighty.

God taught me to long for their reconciliation, for their reunion in holy matrimony under His gentle care.

I have watched my father rage against my mother, calling her a whore who spreads her love open to the Saints and to Mary, as well as to the Lord. I have watched him vent his wrath at her, yelling and degrading her while telling her that her head is Satan. I have watched him beat her as a vile wretch for her adherence to tradition and solemn ritualized service, and for making the bread of the body a dry wafer.

I have watched my mother scream at my father, calling him a wild donkey, an ass, who submits himself to no authority but his own, and that self-appointed and not from God. I have watched my mother slap and punch my father for his wild energetic worship and tear him apart for his disrespect for the Lord’s earthly mother, Mary. I have watched my mother rage against my father as a man of false faith, a godless demoniac doomed for hell.

Am I a Catholic?

Yes, I am.

Am I a Protestant?

Yes, I am.

Son of my mother, offshoot of my father, I love both my parents. They do not see they both have a love for Yahweh God. They do not see they both long to serve His Son, their Lord, Jesus. They do not see the affection they both have to proclaim His gospel. They do not see the love they both have for the lost, the hurting, the orphan, and the widow.

They have forgotten why they were in love—the unity of adoration that made them one and the same child of The One.

I am the child of their oneness. I am both Catholic and Protestant, and yet, I am truly neither at the same time.

Born of the Catholics, sent to the Protestants by Yahweh, God of all who is all and all, and in all, blessed forever. Amen. Amen.

I am a child of both my parents, product of their union, of their joint and one faith, their first love before their dissolution over precepts contrived by men bent on their own gain and power and adoration and not love of God Most High.

Am I Catholic? Yes, I am.

Am I Protestant? Yes, I am.

My heart burns for their reconciliation. My heart burns that each would set aside their stubbornness and pride and need to be right and see in each other a child of The One. My heart burns for them to see they are branches of the same tree, attached to the same trunk, whose root is Jesse, father of David and the risen Lord Jesus—the trunk off which they both branch and from which they are both sustained.

God now prepares me to work in my father’s fields but comforts me that He will let me spend time with my mother now and again. I will labor for my father and be comforted by my mother.

Am I a Catholic? Yes, I am.

Am I a Protestant? Yes, I am.

I am a man of both worlds, hoping and praying I might help them re-marry and be one as our Heavenly Father is one.

It grieves my heart and rends my soul to see them separated, at war with each other. It leaves me without a home in which to lay my head, for they both are mad at me for loving and spending time with the other.

“How can you?” they say.

“Why don’t you?” they say.

I am a man without a home, never truly at peace or welcome in the house of my mother or my father. I am the son of both and yet stranger to both. They both are glad to see me; they both are angry I have relationship with the other. They both welcome me in their home; they both wish I would leave.

I am an orphan and yet both my parents live.

I am a man acquainted with sorrow.

I am a man through whom Yahweh pours out His grief over the state of His children.

I am a stranger in a foreign land longing to be with my Father in His house where I will be most welcome forevermore.

So for now, to the Catholic, I am a Catholic, and to the Protestant, I am a Protestant, in order that I may help many to know the One, the Almighty, the true and living God, better.

To God I am both, to whom it is pleasing for both to dwell in me in bodily form.  Living proof He loves them both and desires they reconcile and be one once more. One body, one faith, one Spirit, one Lord, one family, one head, one church, one love, children of one God.

Am I a Catholic? Yes, I am.

Am I a Protestant? Yes, I am.

Am I a son of God, a brother of His only begotten Son? Yes, I am!

* Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay and by Steve Watts from Pixabay

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