The Pearl-Clutching Confessions of a Baptist Catholic

I’m a godmother. And this is legitness:

I mean.

Caleb has indeed been walking around demanding we kiss his ring but no one really respects him without a twirly chair and a cat, so we are left without all the god-parenting bells and whistles to contemplate the actual spiritual guiding of a small child’s soul.

Already I am concerned on a number of levels for this kid because his parents chose us, of all people.

I know that just by saying that I’m a godparent to my Catholic nephew, I’m opening up a scandalous can of blasphemin’ worms among certain church folk. But here’s a fun thing that’s guaranteed to get me expelled from the fellowship hall forever: I don’t actually believe anything different about Jesus now than I did when I was 16 years old and eyeballs-deep in Roman Catholicism.

I loved Him then and I love Him today; I know He died for me and that apart from Him I am lost, no matter my good works and intentions. I do not know another true believer of any denomination that doesn’t grasp these basic concepts, though I do know plenty of posers in churches of all kinds.

This needs to be said: not all Christians are of the Oklahomus white evangelicalus variety.

Now, personally, I have been blessed to experience God’s undeniable power and presence within a Baptist community. For me, this environment has been spiritually conducive to the strengthening of my faith. I’ve learned so much more about the Bible, and the history of The Church, and the miracles of Jesus (both past and present), in the past ten years than I did in the first quarter of my life; I’ve been intentionally and lovingly discipled by some of the most faithful people I’ve ever had the blessing to know. I’ve been so, so grateful for the teaching and the mentorship I’ve received within the walls of my church. And I’m even more grateful for the way God continues to reveal Himself through the relationships that have developed there.

Can I admit, though, that I have attended, at times, both Catholic masses and Baptist services with the wrong heart? There have been so many Sundays where I have walked in the door of a church and walked out unchanged, or worse–hardened.

Because it is not Southern Baptist theology that saves me, any more than Catholicism did not. It isn’t any pastor or priest or Sunday school teacher or small groups’ leader that determines whether or not I am in right-standing with God; it is Jesus and Jesus alone that saves me, day in and day out, in this world and in the next.

Jesus, only Jesus.

At the end of the day, when all the books have been read and the verses have been memorized, the sacraments have been received and the people have prayed and the casseroles done been ate…I hope I am filled with a love for Jesus rather than a love for the comfort of what I’m used to.

I hope I am filled with an excitement for Jesus Himself rather than chasing a spiritual high through the next novel idea or latest book.

I hope I help people in my community to discover a love for Him and for His church (you know, the big fat bride of Christ that spans the globe, faithfully worshiping in their own unique but God-honoring, Christ-exalting way.)

I hope that I seek to see people as God sees them–I hope my heart breaks over their pain and leaps with their joy.

I hope I can communicate even a small fraction of how much He loves them.

I hope my sweet nephew grows up in the sort of faith-nurturing environment I’ve been able to experience. I hope we are both forever learning lessons of love. I hope God inspires him and guides him and builds him, and I hope I can be a worthy part of his journey.

Happy…Baptism(?) Little Easton. Here’s to the beginning of a life marked with the love of Christ. May God bless you and keep you.

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About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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