Originally I came from a big, very conservative Roman Catholic family. When I was [younger] I felt the calling of the Lord. I discussed a lot with the Catholic priests at the church where I was serving as acolyte (person assisting priest). But the celibacy gave me no alternative at that moment to choose other ways. On my quest to God I came in contact with a lot of ‘churches’. From my childhood onwards I also had problems with the Trinity and with the infallibility of the Pope or an organisation (comp. Moon people & Watchtower Society). In the early seventies I had a lot of problems about my choice of profession: ballet, and the thinking of my father, considering this art as a big sin. All the problems resulted also in my questioning God and religion. Though I kept looking for the meaning and the source of life. In 1974-75 I thought to have found the Church closest to God’s Word: a Baptist Church of the non-Trinitarian tendency.
About the Trinity, which I couldn't cope with when I was 6, I am convinced that there is only One God (Jehovah or Yahweh) the Almighty Father. Next to Him His Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah. On my way to God I still had to go a lot of steps. On my quest I came to the answers slowly. The 144 000, the situation of Jesus before His coming on earth, and a few minor details (not so important to faith, but more as theological questions out of further interest), were subjects not totally clear yet.
Later in life we were blessed with a child. When it had to go to the primary, we had to consider the doctrine of faith for the compulsory religious education. The family pressed for the Catholic faith and a lot of discussions went on. They also pointed out that the Catholic faith was the biggest and therefore also the right faith. I wondered if I was really so wrong in my thinking. That year I started doubting my faith, everything you can imagine went wrong. Machinery not working any more. A metal piece falling from a truck and damaging five cars. The replacement car not being delivered on time. Then there were problems with noises in the new car. Eight days later a woman who was not insured pushed me from the motorway, in a hit and run case. I had previously been dreaming of this accident. Two days we had to wait to see if I was going to continue to live. My brain, breastbone, vertebra, pelvic and feet were damaged.
In 1999 I had a serious car accident. At that moment I asked the Lord to be able to stay here in this world to take care off my family. Though I had asked for a priest or a vicar when taken into the intensive care, I saw none of them. The only people who could give me certain answers were Jehovah's Witnesses. I do then agree that a lot of things they say seem to be things which can be justified by the Bible. But the big problem for me is their submission to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. More conscious of my duties and respect our ONE and Only God, I got back on the road, this time to be sure to find the right track to His blessings.
More and more non-Trinitarians are being pushed into the corner. In Europe a lot of Baptists changed denomination and went as their American Brothers over to the Jehovah Witnesses. But when I think of the thousands of people who died for the right cause of choosing for the only One God…I keep referring to the murders, which happened in Brussels in the 16th century. But I am convinced, that in case I should give a wrong idea to other people, I would better denounce the present Baptist denomination. I do hope to be strong enough to swim up the mainstream. After going through the Bible thoroughly again, I started getting different viewpoints than the Baptists. I began to see the importance of the ordinary carpenter’s son Jesus from another perspective. I found no proof of His pre-existence and found more similarities in the Abrahamic faith, Bible Students and Christadelphian thinking and my faith.
I will not give up. Thanks to the Lord our Heavenly Father, I am able to find those who are blessed to serve Him. I do pray that I shall find the knowledge to (fully) understand His Word, that He will bless those who are willing to serve Him, and that He will accept me as one of His slaves to spread the Good News.
Bro. Marcus Ampe (Brussels, Belgium)