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Why shouldn't I convert from Evangelical Protestant to Catholic?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by RichRock View Post
    I have been Evangelical Protestant most of my life, even spending some time living in a fulltime religious community.

    The more I researched the origin of the bible and the history of my faith, the more I discovered the Catholic Church.

    I am taking steps towards joining the Catholic Church and my question is this....'Why shouldn't I?'

    I am not asking because I doubt my journey, I am asking because I haven't come across a good enough reason NOT to join.

    Each side, for and against may debate, I look forward to reading each side's responses.

    So, why shouldn't I convert to the Catholic Church?
    Catholics do not tend to be dogmatic about religious doctrine, especially in the U.S.,. So if you are a stickler for religious doctrine, and it sounds as if you may be, then you might be disappointed with the fellowship among Catholics.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Desert Reign View Post
      I went the other direction and I have not seen any reason to backtrack. Most of the clergy do not know Jesus in their hearts. Celibacy is an intolerable burden on them that leads to a lot of personal problems.

      I became a Christian because of Catholicism, which I grew up in. It was good for me. At the start. I maintain a lot of respect for Catholics. But most of them do not know Jesus. They assume that being born into a Catholic family, being baptised and doing all the sacraments makes them a Catholic and that being a Catholic makes them a Christian and that being a Christian makes them safe from God's judgement. All that is wrong. It is a substitute for faith. Having faith is painful - it requires self sacrifice every day, as Jesus said. The religion is a substitute for that faith.

      What I've said could apply equally to non-Catholics but there are two reasons why this is not a good argument to become a Catholic.

      1. You need to understand that the church you are joining is endemically full of non-Christians. Keeping the sacraments does not make you right with God. ONLY faith does this. You can rationalise this for example by telling yourself that it is not up to you to judge a person's standing with God but reality will get you in the end. When it comes to working together with others you will not fail to be astonished at the brazen lack of spirituality all around you. At times you will feel you are in no different a place than any other social club and at the best of times you will have a circle of a mere handful of loving faithful believers around you in a sea of secularism.
      2. If you think it will be your ministry to convert them from within then you will pay the price for that over the years in frustration. It will be no different to marrying someone who you know deep down is not suited to you and who you think will change as time goes on. They won't.

      I can also think of another reason not to become a Catholic now. It is based on personal experience of several Catholic posters here, being converts, and a few others I have known over the years. In my opinion they spend all their waking hours trying to justify their conversion, trying to uphold the authority of the Catholic church, defending difficult doctrines like the immaculate conception, purgatory, the authority of the pope. They seem to feel a need to do this kind of thing in a way that seems to me to be bordering on the pathological, in a way that no 'born' Catholic would ever do. To me, it is a waste of a life when you do a thing and then spend all your time defending your action instead of doing those things that your action entailed.

      And speaking of action, I would advise that you consider what will be different in the expression of your faith after you join the Catholic church: will it bring you closer to God? Will it give you more opportunities to serve Christ than you already have? Will it change your attitude to other believers? Will God think any better of you?
      Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts, I understand your views and actually wondered this myself at one point in the past. I know that some people do get sucked into ritual and just go through the motions.
      In my protestant community however, we had the same problems.Such is life. Some go through the motions, some are actively seeking the Lord. The parable of the seed comes to mind.

      Personally I must choose Christ's only true church, research has shown me that the Catholic Church is the way forward. I know I will be entering a new culture so to speak, and I know I will meet many who just go through the motions...However, I also know I will meet many deeply spiritual faithful followers of Christ.

      As for being surrounded by many who are 'unchristian' and being small island of spiritually faithful within the Catholic Church as you state, maybe this was your personal experience but mine has been the exact opposite so far.

      You mention a pathological defence of purgatory etc by protestant converts, you may be referring to apologists? In which case that is understandable?

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by PureX View Post
        Catholics do not tend to be dogmatic about religious doctrine, especially in the U.S.,. So if you are a stickler for religious doctrine, and it sounds as if you may be, then you might be disappointed with the fellowship among Catholics.
        Quite the opposite my dear friend. It was the Catholics who showed me how to open my mind to possibilities outside my own narrow belief system.

        I had become very weary of extreme literalism and fundamentalist ideology and enjoy the fact the church does not have an opinion on numerous things...such as the 7 day creation for example. I personally believe it took 13.7 billion years and not 7 days...and that is absolutely fine with them.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by RichRock View Post
          Quite the opposite my dear friend. It was the Catholics who showed me how to open my mind to possibilities outside my own narrow belief system.

          I had become very weary of extreme literalism and fundamentalist ideology.
          Ah! Well in that case. You may well find yourself a new and welcoming home.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by fishrovmen View Post
            What is it that attracts you to Catholicism Rich?
            And what has changed your mind about Evangelical Protestantism?
            Omniscience limited
            Prophetic guesses
            Election by observation
            No future yet

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by PureX View Post
              Ah! Well in that case. You may well find yourself a new and welcoming home.
              Thanks

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by fishrovmen View Post
                And what has changed your mind about Evangelical Protestantism?
                The shallowness, superficiality and lack of oneness. (Just for a start)
                Last edited by RichRock; May 6th, 2014, 10:30 AM.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by RichRock View Post
                  The shallowness.
                  What do you see as being shallow?

                  How do you feel about venerating Mary as Queen of Heaven?
                  Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)

                  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

                  What are my fruits today?

                  Cityboy With Horses A blog about what happens when you say, "I Promise"

                  "Moral standards" are a lot like lighthouses: they exist to help us stay on course as we sail through life. But we have to steer BY them, but not directly AT them. Lest we end up marooned on the shoals of perpetual self-righteousness.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by RichRock View Post
                    I have been Evangelical Protestant most of my life, even spending some time living in a fulltime religious community.



                    The more I researched the origin of the bible and the history of my faith, the more I discovered the Catholic Church.



                    I am taking steps towards joining the Catholic Church and my question is this....'Why shouldn't I?'



                    I am not asking because I doubt my journey, I am asking because I haven't come across a good enough reason NOT to join.



                    Each side, for and against may debate, I look forward to reading each side's responses.



                    So, why shouldn't I convert to the Catholic Church?

                    You need salvation

                    Period

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by CabinetMaker View Post
                      What do you see as being shallow?
                      Judging by your response...you?

                      How do you feel about venerating Mary as Queen of Heaven?
                      Fine thanks. You should try it.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by intojoy View Post
                        You need salvation

                        Period
                        I shouldn't join the Catholic Church because I need salvation?

                        Interesting response.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by RichRock View Post

                          So, why shouldn't I convert to the Catholic Church?
                          For these reasons and more:

                          The Historical Church

                          Swimming the Tiber a Mistake

                          Spoiler

                          Over thirty years ago while a Romanist, I used to believe:Creation "participates in Being," which is God. Grace perfects nature. Creation per se is in need of grace.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          Humans are only analogues to God. Grace renews fallen nature. Creation per se is good and was corrupted only by sin.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Authority means God is the source through the church by her living tradition and Scripture.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          God is the source through the Scripture to the church so that the Scripture is read in and with the church but it alone is the norm for life and doctrine.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Hermeneutically, Scripture is old law (Moses) and new law (Christ).

                          Since then, I believe:
                          All Scripture contains law ("do") and gospel ("done"). I express the law-gospel dichotomy in the covenants of works (law) and grace (gospel).

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Sin is a fall from original grace and the result of the concupiscence natural to creatures. Sin created the need for more grace. The effects of sin do not prevent our cooperation with grace toward final justification.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          Sin is a free, unnatural act of willful disobedience to God's law. Sin results in depravity and inability to cooperate with grace.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Salvation is a grace given through the church enabling us to overcoming finitude and consequent sin.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          Salvation is deliverance from sin, death, and the devil.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Condign merit is wrought within sinners by the Spirit and congruent merit is imputed graciously to sinners in view of their best efforts.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          The condign merit of Christ's obedience is imputed to sinners who have no intrinsic merits. There is no congruent merit.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Grace is a gift from the Holy Spirit, by which "he shares his divine life," that is infused into sinners sanctifying them.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          Grace is free, unmerited or demerited divine favor toward sinners.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Justification is the process of being made intrinsically righteous through grace and cooperation with grace, occurring in two stages, initial and final. Initial justification is received at baptism. Final justification recognizes intrinsic righteousness which is the result of grace and cooperation with grace and occurs at the judgment.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          Justification is a definitive divine declaration of forgiveness of sins and righteousness on the basis of Christ's righteous obedience and death imputed to sinners. There is no distinction between initial and final justification.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Faith is a measure of sanctity, one of three virtues (the others being hope and love) created within the righteous. With hope and love it is gradually infused into the soul and exists partially in this life as the sinner cooperates with grace.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          Faith is a grace whereby sinners are granted true knowledge of and trust in Christ the Savior, and are righteous, accepted, and saved by God for Christ's sake. Faith's virtue is not intrinsic but rests in Christ and his alien righteousness. Faith is the only instrument of justification.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Good works are necessary for justification.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          Good works are logically and morally necessary as fruit and evidence of justification, but not as the ground or instrument of justification.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Free will is essential to salvation. Humans cannot be righteous without the exercise of free will in cooperation with grace. It is presumptuous to say with certainty that one is elect.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          God foreknows and predestines everything. In Christ, the elect are chosen for salvation but the reprobate are passed over. The grace of election is irresistible and produces true faith that trusts God's promises in Christ.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Baptism provides initial justification and regeneration. By its act, grace necessarily operates on the sinner.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          Baptism is a sacrament (sign and seal) of inclusion in the covenant of grace whereby God promises salvation to those who believe.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          As to the Lord's Supper, by "transubstantiation" the elements become the body and blood of Christ. The
                          transubstantiated victim is ritually and memorially sacrificed to turn away divine wrath for sin.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          As to the Lord's Supper, Christ is bodily at the right hand of the Father but, by the work of the Holy Spirit, truly and really communicates himself to believers through the Supper so that they receive the body and blood of Christ through faith.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          Mary was redeemed at her sinless (immaculate) conception, was without sin and was assumed bodily, without death, into heaven where she reigns as queen of heaven, a recipient of prayer and adoration, interceding on behalf of believers.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          Mary was blessed above all women, bore the God-Man in her womb, but was not conceived immaculately, nor assumed into heaven at death. Christ is our only priest and Mediator.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          The saints are intermediaries whose righteousness is stored in a treasury of merit accessible to sinners through the church and the proper recipients of prayer.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          The saints are fellow believers and valuable examples but neither intermediaries nor contributors to a treasury of merit.

                          Over thirty years ago, I used to believe:
                          At death, the elect enter a state of purification (purgatory) before glorification. Therefore, prayers on their behalf are proper.

                          Since then, I believe:
                          At death, believers go to be with their Savior. Glorification is immediate, but they with believers and unbelievers on earth await the resurrection and judgment.


                          The Roman Catholic Treadmill

                          Study these things carefully before you make any decisions.

                          AMR
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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by RichRock View Post
                            Judging by your response...you?
                            So you have no meaningful answer, just a cutesy quip. All this tells me is that you have have some vague feeling that the protestant church is lacking something, though you really have no idea what, and that you find the weight of the history of the Catholic church appealing.



                            Fine thanks. You should try it.
                            Born and raised Catholic so I did try it. It is a large part of the reason I am no longer Catholic.
                            Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)

                            But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

                            What are my fruits today?

                            Cityboy With Horses A blog about what happens when you say, "I Promise"

                            "Moral standards" are a lot like lighthouses: they exist to help us stay on course as we sail through life. But we have to steer BY them, but not directly AT them. Lest we end up marooned on the shoals of perpetual self-righteousness.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              I don't know much about the Catholic church, but I grew up in a Lutheran church.I did not like the repetition of the liturgical format, it is just too easy to say things from memory without thinking about what your actually saying or confessing.The structure of the church was not biblical, the pastor basically had the final say, there was no eldership. The synod was studying homosexuality and looking into ordination of homosexual clergy. There was no real Bible study, more like study of worldly topics and current world events. Some books of the Bible were not covered at all in worship "readings" and some books were questioned as to their being truly inspired and innerent, I could go on and on.
                              The main thing for me leaving was the teaching of infant baptismal regeneration; I would not confess that every infant baptised was automatically "born of God".
                              Omniscience limited
                              Prophetic guesses
                              Election by observation
                              No future yet

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by CabinetMaker View Post
                                ... All this tells me is that you have have some vague feeling that the protestant church is lacking something, though you really have no idea what, and that you find the weight of the history of the Catholic church appealing.
                                Wow, what an interpretation. I can see why there are 40, 000 denominations now.

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