Dear Mr. Owen;
I left the Catholic Church in my late teens. I was doing things that made me feel guilty and going to Mass made it worse so instead of repenting, seeking God's forgiveness and the Grace to change, I went my own way. (The song we used at my 8th grade Catholic school graduation was Sinatra's "I Did it My Way"!)
During my 20+ years away from the Church I became enamored of the Eastern philosophies of Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu, Buddhism, Baghwan Shree Rashneesh. To recover from a serious compulsive drinking problem I joined a twelve-step program and began to seek God more systematically in 1988. I read a fair amount of Buddhist literature but also attended Unity church services, First Metaphysical Church of Flint services, read all kinds of pop-psych and new age literature, read some Catholic materials sent by my sister Linda, investigated alternative healing methods, trained in a TM offshoot called Silent Sharing, and studied massage therapy. I went to a Church of the Nazarene service once and attended Mass for a few months while dating a Catholic woman. No conversion yet.
In 1998, while working with my sister Linda in a network marketing business, a good friend of my sister’s made a deal with me that he would buy some of the stuff we were selling if I would agree to pray the Rosary daily for two weeks and ask Mary to reveal her Son to me. Being open-minded and wanting to make the sale; I agreed. A series of events followed that in hindsight seem to have been marvelously orchestrated.
A couple months later I took a part time job in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I wanted sunshine and mountains and got that plus a whole lot more. Next, I met Jennifer (my future wife) who was also a twelve-step group member. We began to date. Jenny was an atheist convert to evangelical protestant Christianity. I would not listen to any of her talk about Jesus being the only way. I firmly believed there were "many spokes to the wheel" that led to God at the center. One of the things that interested me in Jenny's collection was a variety of Creation Science videos and books.
I remember watching a debate between Phillip E. Johnson and William B. Provine first. Then in quick succession I watched a series of videos from Answers in Genesis by Ken Ham and Gary Parker. I pulled out a Bible and starting reading it at Genesis. I read Darwin on Trial by Johnson and Bones of Contention by Lubenow, Creation: Facts of Life by Parker and Genesis and the Decay of the Nations by Ham. In the meantime my sister Linda was sending me Catholic materials to read and audio tapes. Also, I was attending Mass with Jenny and her three girls every other week. She wasn't even Catholic but that's where she was going to church. The long and the short of it is that things started to make sense to me—Creation, the Bible, morality. In talking to my sister during this time I remember her saying "The Holy Spirit is opening up your heart." It seemed to be true.
Dinosaurs were my favorite topic in second and third grade. I knew the names of the geologic eras and the supposed sequence of events. It was amazing to discover all the holes in the evolutionary scheme of things—to discover the inaccuracies in carbon and radiometric dating, the lack of fossil record of any transitional species, the genetic evidence for common parents to all mankind, the frauds perpetuated in the so-called human evolutionary line, and the way micro-evolution (genetic variation, variety within species) has been palmed off for proof of macro-evolution (one species turning into another species).
After about ten months of investigation it became clear that I needed to become a Christian and return to the sacraments. That was in the fall of the Jubilee Year 2000. Since then I have continued to study Creation Science. The Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation has been a great help with many excellent resources. I now teach catechism to 7th, 8th and 9th graders and always present some of this evidence for creation. I am eternally grateful to my wife Jenny and to all the wonderful people I have known who had the courage to honestly explore the evidence for themselves instead of accepting the pseudo-science about macro-evolution that most of us get spoon-fed all our lives.
Santa Fe, New Mexico