Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Michael Hager’s Conversion Story

by Steve Ray on October 23, 2019

Here is a conversion story you will probably both enjoy. You can also visit Michael’s apologetics website at TheBibleCatholic.com. His whole conversion story is here.

The Beginning: I was born to, and raised in, a protestant family. My mother was a Southern Baptist, my father a Presbyterian. We mostly attended the Presbyterian Church, but I suspect that was because of the close proximity to our house more than anything.

As many mothers do to their children, mine forced me to attend our church youth group. I didn’t really kick and scream about it but I remember as many teenagers do, I didn’t want to go. Turns out it wasn’t so bad. There were a couple of people that I knew and I made new friends fairly quickly. And besides, there were girls there!

One evening as we gathered waiting for “Fellowship” night to start, one of the regular girls brought a visitor, a Catholic friend of hers. It was one of those moments with birds, spring, music, or maybe it was just teen male hormones but I remember meeting my future wife as clearly today as if it had happened last night.

God gifted me with artistic and musical talent. In High school, I was a rock and roll drummer and it’s one of the things that helped attract my future wife to me. When we graduated High School, I sold my drums, bought a twelve-string guitar and began to teach myself to play.

God set the seeds of music ministry in me when I got involved with a Baptist youth choir and band. I played drums, or guitar and sang. I became proficient enough that eventually, I played guitar and sang to my bride as she walked down the aisle at our wedding.

We raised a family with a daughter between two boys and I confess that we did not do a good job of raising them in the church. We attended both Catholic and Presbyterian churches on weekends when it was convenient. I sat patiently through the mystical mumbo jumbo of the Catholic Mass only because I knew it was important to my wife, not because I understood a word of it. All of our children eventually accepted confirmation into the Catholic Church but they grew, went off to college, married and had kids of their own and all of them pretty much carried the lazy attitude about church-going that we had taught them. It’s not their fault, it is mine alone.

God gave me a gentle nudge in 1998. At least that’s the next time I listened to Him, although I didn’t realize it was Him yet. He sent me an offer of a new job in Florida. The closest church to our new home was a Catholic Church just a mile from our house. We began to attend regularly and I even joined the Choir and sang at two masses every Sunday. In the four years we lived there, the priest who we loved and befriended asked me only once if I had ever thought of converting, but when I told him of my misgivings of being unwelcome at communion, he failed to offer me a reasonable rebuttal and I continued along as usual, the only Non-Catholic in the group. (more on that below)

A correction in my training: I used to have a flaring temper problem. A seriously out of control temper that would flare up at anything that disturbed me to the point of embarrassment to my family. I will tell you now that God has His plan and He doesn’t work exclusively inside the Church. He hits you with anything that might get your attention and during a Franklin Planner training session (required by my new employer), the instructor, of no particular relation to the lesson plan said: “The only person in the world who can make you angry or upset is yourself.” I won’t preach on that idea, I’ll let you mull it over for yourself, but it washed over me like a warm ocean wave and I have seriously never been out of control angry at anyone since that day. God knew I needed that to prepare myself for accepting the peace and love of His teaching. He knew that I could not preach His word with that anger built up inside of me. I needed the peace of Christ, but first I needed the peace in my soul to accept His peace.

For the whole story, click here.

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