lvbaptist.org/gseltzer/

My name is Gerry Seltzer, and this is my story. When I think about my religious or spiritual experience during the first 45 years of my life, it would be most accurately described by words such as rituals, rules and regulations. From the time that I was baptized as an infant in the Catholic church, I virtually never missed mass. It was part of every weekend’s ritual. I took “holy communion” at most services and carefully avoided all “mortal” sins (according to Catholic teachings, these are the sins that will send a person to hell). Any “venial sins” (according to Catholic teachings, these are the minor sins) I committed, I would dutifully confess to a priest once every month or so, but these confessions never really changed the way I lived my life or provided me with any lasting victory over these sins.
Along with my three brothers, I attended Catholic school from kindergarten through the tenth grade. I vividly remember my “first communion” while I was in second grade in Catholic school. I was dressed in white—from my shirt and tie right down to my socks and shoes—to symbolize purity. My confirmation by the bishop of the diocese took place when I was in fourth grade in Parochial school.

Throughout my childhood and into my teen years, I tried to be a “good Catholic.” Even when I married my wife, who is an Episcopalian, we had a “con-celebrated” ceremony with priests from both churches participating. For the next several years, I went through all the right motions and almost never considered becoming inactive or dropping out. I was comfortable with the church that I had known all my life and had no desire to compare or change religions. I essentially never questioned or doubted what I was being taught...

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