I should mention that there were other factors contributing to my journey as well. First, there was a desire to study worship. As Pentecostals we were known for worship. That is, we had exciting times of singing and preaching. But I knew worship needed to be much more than that. My discovery of early Christianity gave me some insight into early Christian worship. I quickly found that it was not the "free church" model that I had always experienced. It was liturgical. I had always thought that the Church began with free, spontaneous, Spirit-led worship like we had only to degenerate into liturgy by the end of the first century or so. But second century worship shed a lot of light on New Testament worship. It was clearly liturgical. Suddenly a lot of passages of Scripture came alive as I realized they were liturgical references (this is especially true of books like Hebrews or Revelation).
A second influence was the Catholic Catechism. I lived in a very Catholic city. I felt that in order to reach the people I would need to "expose the errors" of Catholicism. To do that I wanted to use Catholic material. So I purchased a book by Pope John Paul II and the Catechism.
I remember one afternoon reading through an extended portion of the Catechism on the Creed. Everything flowed together so beautifully. I read for about 2 hours. When I was finished I sat back and thought, "That's the most beautiful thing I've ever read." I was shocked by my own reaction. It wasn't supposed to go that way. But I couldn't help it. Everything was so well thought out and explained so clearly. We had nothing that profound. I wanted something like that.
All of these things were coming together to create in me a longing for something far beyond myself and my experience. I began to study much more. I got more books and read a lot on-line as well.
During this time we had an occasion to visit a Catholic Church for their Vigil Mass on Saturday evening. I had mixed feelings about going. I thought the worship would be dead and I almost wondered if we would somehow be sinning by going. But I also wanted to see what it was all about.
As the Mass began I quickly realized that these people were acting out what Justin Martyr had written about in his First Apology. I was seeing second century worship unfold before my eyes. I thought to myself, "Oh my goodness, they're still doing it!" I had no idea. I was enthralled. But as I looked around, most of the home folk didn't seem as thrilled about it as I was. I thought to myself, "They don't know what they're doing- they don't realize what they have!" But I was hooked. I had seen something that I thought was lost. Now I wanted to know how I could have a part in it.