Dear. Mr. Owen,
Thank you for your website. I stumbled across it at just the right time in my life. You see, I have been an ordained youth pastor in two mainline Protestant denominations for the past decade. When I was encouraged by my local church to pursue a Master of Divinity degree, I began my studies and fell in love with the Church Fathers. While I began to see the truth of the Catholic Faith through my study of Patristics, and then by reading modern Catholic apologists, I knew that the only right course for me was to enter the Catholic Church in full fellowship. As you can imagine, it has been a hard and painful road for someone with a young family, walking away from a career with a family to support.
My wife and I met our real test of faith when we began our RCIA class this past fall. We found what we perceived to be a low view of Scripture and Tradition. Scripture was interpreted with what I would call a “hyper-allegorical” hermeneutical approach. The teachings of the Fathers were also reduced to a subjective experience for their time not ours. Within this framework, the priest began to teach us evolution. We couldn’t believe it. He basically reduced the Bible to myths and fables. It was not difficult to see the root of his error. If the foundation of the Bible—which is the first eleven chapters of Genesis—is reduced to a “religious allegory,” then why shouldn’t the rest of the Bible be reduced to “religious allegory” as well? At least he was being consistent. But I remember thinking to myself when he got to teaching about Moses’ parting the Red Sea, “He doesn’t believe that God parted the Red Sea as the Bible teaches, believing instead that the Hebrews merely crossed a small stream of water. But which is harder to believe—that God parted the Red Sea as the Bible clearly teaches, or that Pharaoh’s vast army drowned in a few inches of water?”
Regretfully, I came to the conclusion that all Catholics believed these things. I felt I might have made a terrible mistake by seeking to enter the Catholic Church. I told myself that 2000 years of evidence for the truth of the claims of the Catholic Church might only exist on paper. How could a Church take God at His Word when He said “This is My Body and Blood,” but not take the rest of His Word on faith? I was about to quit the RCIA process for further reflection and study when I stumbled upon your website the night I came home from class.
What a great resource I found in this website! Growing up Protestant I had just taken for granted great teaching on creation. I had been enrolled in a Protestant private school and blessed with a science teacher who had a real passion for creationism. She would arrange for students to take exciting field trips. Some of our trips involved listening to debates between brilliant evolutionist and creationist scientists. Youth wants to be challenged and this was an exciting environment to be raised in. In this Christian environment, we learned how evolutionary thought and abortion went hand in hand, and we actively opposed them both. So you can imagine my shock, Mr. Owen, when I sought to enter the one true Church built upon the “rock” of Peter and the Apostles only to be spoon fed the lie of evolution!
Catholics share so much that is good and true with our separated brethren, and we find ourselves in the “trenches” on many of the same issues in our post-modern society. But teaching evolution in the Catholic Church hurts true ecumenism by eroding or destroying the very foundations of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic faith.
God bless you in your work. I know God used your work to keep me on track to enter the Catholic Church. I also pray that God uses you to help other people outside the Church for whom evolution has become a stumbling block to their conversion.
To God alone be the glory!