I wanted to serve God as a priest

by Frank Eberhardt

In 1968 I left home to become a Roman Catholic priest. I thought

this was what God was calling me to do. I left home giving up

family and friends, and I thought I would be following the right

way of God.

To give you a little background - I attended a Roman Catholic

grammar school. In 6th grade I first felt that God was calling me. In

7th grade the feeling seemed to be confirmed. In the 8th grade I

finally made the decision to become a Roman Catholic priest. I chose

the Vincentian Order. This particular Order had a great devotion to

the "Blessed Mother." They prayed to her every Thursday evening in the

Miraculous Medal novenas. I liked this Order because they seemed to

have good unity and fellowship.

In my first year at the Seminary we learned a lot of bible history

from the Old Testament. We have very few studies in the New Testament.

This first year I believed everything I was taught as I reasoned,

"these are priests so they must know the right way. This is the

One True Church."

I found that as I listened to their teachings many of them did not

connect together. When the bible speaks of something, you can always

find it some other place in the bible confirmed and it relates to

something else. But when the priests taught some things, one doctrine

would contradict the other or add to the Word of God or subtract from

it. So I began to question some things. They taught us to question

deeply. They told us that the Protestants had perverted the Scriptures

and took Scriptures out of context in order to interpret to their own

way, and we were to listen and try to help them but not get hooked on

their errors.

Each year we were introduced to more doctrines and the priestly

life. In my second year I continued to go along with what the priests

were teaching, but in my third year I was really questioning what I was

being taught.

When I came home for my summer vacation after my third year I was

amazed to find that my parents were studying with the "Jehovah's

Witnesses." They asked me to listen in on their classes and I wasn't

sure if I should. However, I finally did and this was my first

introduction to a Bible study. Actually it was more of an argument

rather than a study since we were all Catholics. So I just sat back

and listened. This is characteristic of my personality. I don't make a

fast decision. I like to think things through before coming to any

conclusion. I studied with them for three months in the summer but

couldn't agree with their beliefs.

In September when I went back to the Seminary I just kept reading

the Bible for myself. I began to find that the catholic Church taught

many things that were contrary to the bible as: The Mass, confession,

purgatory, etc. At this time I wasn't sure in my own mind what to do

so I just kept reading and studying the Bible and questioning and


January 16th of 1972 I called home and said, "Mom I'm going to leave

the Seminary, I would like you to find me a good college that teaches

the Bible." And this is how my mother go in contact with Alex Dunlap

and the Conversion Center. She and my father were saved the next day

and I didn't really know anything about this until I returned home

about February 2 and found that arrangements had been made for my

sister and me to talk with Pastor Parr at Cedar Grove Church (the

Gospel preaching Church my parents were attending since they were


So I went and foe six hours I sat and listened as my sister (who had

been in a Convent) and Pastor Parr discussed Catholic doctrine and the

Word of God.

Every argument my sister would bring up, Pastor Parr would just show

her Bible verses that would answer her argument. He also presented the

whole message of salvation to us that evening. I listened to it and

tried to decide in my own mind who was right.

I spent Saturday really reading the Bible, and many of the

Scriptures {Pastor Parr gave us came back to mind. I looked up a

number of verses from the concordance on my own and it all seemed to

confirm what Pastor Parr had read, "All have sinned and come short to

of the glory of God." I hadn't really thought of myself in this way

because I thought I had been called of God to do something good for His

glory, so how could I be the sinner described in this verse? So I had

to go ever all this point by point realizing my own need before God and

how much of a sinner I really was and why I needed a Saviour. In

Romans 3:23 the word "ALL" showed me very strongly that I was a sinner

guilty before God. I went to Romans 5:12, 1 Timothy 3:16, Romans 6:23,

and James 2:10 and it was at this point that I wanted to accept Christ

as my own personal Saviour.

However, I went to more Scripture to be sure of what I was doing and

these verses said it all for me: Hebrews 2:10, John 3:3, Romans

10:9-10. I went down on my knees that Saturday and accepted Christ

into my heart as my only and all-sufficient Saviour and Lord.

I continued in the Scriptures hungering and wanted to know more of

God's Word and His plan for my life. I saw through Scripture that the

Catholic church follows man's traditions rather than the Word of God

and verses like 2 Corinthians 13:5, Acts 5:29, Proverbs 16:25, and

Matthew 7:21 showed me that I must obey God rather and man. The Lord

burdened my heart to tell others of His plan of salvation. 2

Corinthians 6:2

That Sunday I went forward in church and made a public confession of

my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I praise God for my salvation and

for the love of my parents for me and the help Pastor Parr gave me in

acquainting me with the Word of God and the plan of salvation.

After trusting in the Lord, I returned to the seminary to finished

two months of academic accreditation. While there, I attended a

funeral Mass where there were sixty priests con-celebrating the

sacrifice of the Mass together. For the first time, I really saw what

the Mass is. It all sounded like a group of witches standing around a

caldren, chanting an evil witches chant, as the priest profess, and

Roman Catholic doctrine states, to call Christ down into their wafer.

I couldn't get over why I had not realized this before. But while I

was a Roman Catholic, I was a natural man (1 Corinthians 2:14), not

having the mind of Christ, as true born again Christians (1

Corinthians 2:16).

Now I had the guidance of the Holy Spirit to show me the falseness

of the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass, as spoken in Hebrews 10:11,12,14.

How I praise the Lord for taking away the scales from my eyes and

ears and showing me I had to leave the church of Rome, 2 Corinthians

6:17, Revelation 18:4. "Come out from among them and be ye separate,

saith the Lord."

At first I thought that my four years in the Roman Catholic Seminary

were wasted, but I know the Lord had a purpose in this and I thank God

for the opportunity He has given to me to witness to my seminary

friends and to discuss with them the studies we had together and

compare them with the Word of God. The Lord taught me to speak, to

question, to understand, to reason and to go to the Scriptures for my

answers. So I see now that my experience can be used to help others

and for the glory of God. I believe very strongly in Romans 8:28,

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love

God, to them that are called according to His purpose."

Now instead of studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood, I have

been ordained an independent, fundamental preacher of the Gospel, at

bob Jones University.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for

doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in

righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect,

thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Gospel Outreach, Inc. P.O. Box 7078 Philadelphia, PA 19149

This file originated on the Salvation Online Network

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