A protestant seeking


#1

hi all,

i am a protestant missionary and a lover of many things about the church of rome.

i am an honest seeker, with honest questions. i look, not to start fights but to engage in honest dialogue re: where i am and the church of rome.

although i am a protestant, i am not a very good one… i have never embraced sola scriptura (simply because it isn’t lived out practically among protestants, especially in my charismatic/pentecostal circles where being “led by the Spirit” is so highly valued… no sarcasm intended).

so i begin with these questions: what articles from catholic.com or elsewhere would you reccomend to a genuinely honest protestant? what books? is this the right forum to engage in dialogue that is constructive re: my sencire questions (i do emphasis constructive, i have no patience with obnoxious, in-your-face fundys and that would apply to anyone of any faith i think)…

your help is appreciated… i can check this forum or i can be E-mailed at cosmicjiujitsu@yahoo.com

thanks,
j.b. stevens


#2

Make friends with a priest. Really, you want someone to talk to, not just some articles to read. It may seem paradoxical, but the more someone has learned about the faith, the more patient they are likely to be with all that you don’t know.

Otherwise, Karl Keating has written some excellent books that explain Catholicism to Protestants of every stripe. You’ll find them elsewhere on the Catholic Answers website.

God be with you, seeker.


#3

Your in the right place,

What are your questions? People here are happy to debate opinions but questions seem to just get answers.

-D


#4

the quickest way is to back to the CA home page, check out the tracts and articles on topics of interest to you, then go through back issues of This Rock, check contents and those articles. These will provide you with all kinds of references and books. the books sold by CA are designed specifically for the reasons you describe, to answer specific objections and questions raised most often by various non-Catholic denominations and apologists.


#5

Dave Armstrong - A convert and apologist’s excellent site
ic.net/~erasmus/RAZHOME.HTM

Want to know what the Church believes?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church
scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. May it serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the Kingdom!
The approval and publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church represent a service which the Successor of Peter wishes to offer to the Holy Catholic Church, to all the particular Churches in peace and communion with the Apostolic See: the service, that is, of supporting and confirming the faith of all the Lord Jesus’ disciples (cf. *Lk *22:32 as well as of strengthening the bonds of unity in the same apostolic faith. Therefore, I ask all the Church’s Pastors and the Christian faithful to receive this catechism in a spirit of communion and to use it assiduously in fulfilling their mission of proclaiming the faith and calling people to the Gospel life. This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms. It is also offered to all the faithful who wish to deepen their knowledge of the unfathomable riches of salvation (cf. *Eph *3:8). It is meant to support ecumenical efforts that are moved by the holy desire for the unity of all Christians, showing carefully the content and wondrous harmony of the catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, lastly, is offered to every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pt 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes.


#6

I agree you should make friends with a priest. Or at least a good Catholic. Ask here, but sometimes typing can be taken as rude. Whereas when you speak (inperson) to someone, you know if it’s truely rude or not.
Go to Inquiry at your local Catholic Church. Here they force nothing. They answer your questions. They expect nothing from you. They want you to ask, or if others are there aking then listen with an open heart. You do not have to become Catholic just because you go to Inquiry Class. It’s a time to ask and learn.


#7

[quote=AmberDale]I agree you should make friends with a priest. Or at least a good Catholic. Ask here, but sometimes typing can be taken as rude. Whereas when you speak (inperson) to someone, you know if it’s truely rude or not.
Go to Inquiry at your local Catholic Church. Here they force nothing. They answer your questions. They expect nothing from you. They want you to ask, or if others are there aking then listen with an open heart. You do not have to become Catholic just because you go to Inquiry Class. It’s a time to ask and learn.
[/quote]

Good points. RCIA (Rite for Christian Initiation for Adults) have just finished with the celebration of Easter. Some parishes start theirs pretty quickly, taking a year, others start Nov / Dec until Easter. In any event, the course takes you through the Catholic faith and are for both those simply enquiring of the faith or those more committed to entering the Church. You can go along without any commitment at all.


#8

Theoretically the full RCIA is for those who are not baptized, and baptized Christians are supposed to be received at a time other than Easter. But in practice this almost never seems to be followed.

Edwin


#9

[quote=Contarini]Theoretically the full RCIA is for those who are not baptized, and baptized Christians are supposed to be received at a time other than Easter. But in practice this almost never seems to be followed.

Edwin
[/quote]

I’ve never seen the guidelines, I do recall reading somewhere that the full RCIA is for the unbaptised and it is for the individual priest to decide what part / none / all of the course is appropriate for each individual, according to their needs, seeking full communion. I believe the same applies for the Catholic baptised as a baby who then never practised their faith and wishes to resume practising their faith.

As for reception to full communion with the Catholic Church the norm is at Easter. Do you have a reference for your assertion?

Regards

JGC


#10

The two books I would most highly reccomend are The Lamb’s Supper and Hail, Holy Queen by Scott Hahn.

Also (and this is very important) check out www.biblechristiansociety.com, and order the cds from this site (they’re free). Listen to all of them. By far, I’ve found these to be the best apologetics media available for “regular” folks.

Finally, I’m a “cradle” Catholic, but there was a time when my faith was severely shaken and I wasn’t sure that I was going to stay Catholic the rest of my life. The main thing that brought be back was actually sitting down and reading the Bible. I said on another thread this morning that the Bible is a thoroughly Catholic book. Read it as a whole *book *and I think you’ll find the same thing. You don’t even have to read the deuterocanonical books (although I think they’re important) - just read the protestant canon if you like (but a decent translation, mind you, not The Message). I’ve found that most of the time, when I am discussing something like Purgatory, which has its basis partially in Macabees, that I don’t even bring up the deuterocanonical books at all. That doctrine can be defended from the protestant canon.


#11

I am in a similar position as you. First, as a baptized christian you are correctly categorized as a “candidate” and may meet one on one with a Priest, or do RCIA, depending on your background. This may mean that you can enter the Church on a different timeline than the RCIA crowd.

Second, I was helped greatly by the following books:
David Currie, BORN FUNDAMENTALIST, BORN AGAIN CATHOLIC.
Thomas Howard, EVANGELICAL IS NOT ENOUGH.

Hope this helps.


#12

[quote=JGC]Good points. RCIA (Rite for Christian Initiation for Adults) have just finished with the celebration of Easter. Some parishes start theirs pretty quickly, taking a year, others start Nov / Dec until Easter. In any event, the course takes you through the Catholic faith and are for both those simply enquiring of the faith or those more committed to entering the Church. You can go along without any commitment at all.
[/quote]

I found this not to be true in the local Catholic Church in my area. I was not allowed to continue because I had no intention of joing the Catholic Church - I simply wanted to know what the RCC believes so I went to the source.

I was not allowed to continue.


#13

thanks for the replies all… most of my questions are fairly practicle which i am sure after searching through some of the articles and and books some of my questions will be answered…

what i don’t have problems with authority of the church, and many other doctrines of the roman church. my discomfort lies largly around mary… i do have much more of a profound respect for her, and i have even said a hail mary from time to time… but there is this sense of diafication (sp?) of her, in spite of what many catholics say… but i am not really judgemental towards it… just questioning…

also on a practical matter… i am very evangelistic, i am also in a very spiritual community (chairsms are practiced in a healthy way… mainly prophetic)… and there is just this awesome sense of open community. ultimately it boils down to that if i became catholic… it would come at a high cost for me. i am counting it.

blessings,
j.b.


#14

[quote=MasonsMommy]I found this not to be true in the local Catholic Church in my area. I was not allowed to continue because I had no intention of joing the Catholic Church - I simply wanted to know what the RCC believes so I went to the source.

I was not allowed to continue.
[/quote]

You say you were not allowed to continue, how long were you there? The first stage is inquirry for anyone wanting to learn more. The next stage is the rite of election, which I can see why they wouldn’t let you continue beyond that, because you are at that point entering into the steps of conversion, and if you weren’t converting, there wouldn’t be much point.

also for a post above someone said that RCIA was only for the unbaptised. We were told it was fore the unbaptised (catechumen), as well as those who were baptised in different faiths that were converting (candidates) We also had a few people who had been baptised catholic, and had received their first communion but were never confirmed. I don’t know what the ‘official’ documents for RCIA say, but it worked very well the way we did it. The church really encouraged even those who had fallen away and wanted to reconnect to their faith to join in.


#15

Welcome, j.b. Feel free to ask any questions you have; I am sure there are many many people who can give you informed answers. In re: your above quote, I would suggest reading Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s book Rome, Sweet Home. They speak of their own pain and sense of loss at leaving the faith of their upbringing, and the high price that they, too, paid in their journey home. Of course, they also tell of the tremendous rewards and blessings they ultimately have received for following where the Holy Spirit led.


#16

Hello, j.b.,

“…my discomfort lies largly around mary… i do have much more of a profound respect for her, and i have even said a hail mary from time to time… but there is this sense of diafication (sp?) of her, in spite of what many catholics say… but i am not really judgemental towards it… just questioning…” quote, cosmicjiujitsu

Would you be willing to say if you have a difficulty with
asking prayers from those whom the Church calls “saints” ?

If you have no problem there, then I’m in the hope
that you will see that the same idea applies to Mary,
the mother of Jesus.

If you are alarmed at what sometimes appears to you as a
"sense of diafication" in terms of the mother of Jesus,
I don’t blame you! But that *mis-emphasis *is on the
part of an individual Catholic, and certainly not a
part of the teaching of the Church itself.

Some of the other posters to this thread suggested
reading material. I’d find a book on Mary, written
by a former Protestant, now Catholic, and walk with
that person through how they came to understand
Mary and her role in salvation history.

Just a thought. God bless you, j.b.

reen12


#17

A Lutheran friend recently asked for prayers for his wife who is ill.

We’ve had numerous spirited debates about the differences in our faiths. Without knowing it, I think, he just demonstrated one of the strengths of Catholicism.

We have, if you will, friends in high places. It’s nice to be able to turn to the Blessed Mother and the Communion of Saints, for their intercession. We aren’t worshipping them, any more than my friend was worshipping the people from whom he was seeking prayers for his bride.


#18

A good site…

scripturecatholic.com/

Don’t be afraid of Mary…there is no way anyone could love her more than Jesus does.


#19

thanks for the great replies…

re: (seeming diafication of mary… btw, forgive me if i keep misspelling the word). i have concluded that if there is a mis-placed emphasis, it isn’t a result of the Church’s teaching… and i understand asking saints to pray for you… the argument is the body of christ can’t be put assunder and so asking a saint to pray for you is no different than asking my godly friend to pray for me now.
i really don’t have a problem with it… many protestants would… but i don’t. i jut haven’t experienced enteracting with saints that has been very profound. my stuggles with mary are more along the lines of immaculate conception, and no kids after jesus. i know that it is a common issue and i do think protestants are to quick to point to the whole “who is my mother, who is my brother thing” as a proof text… but none the less, the scripture is there and, while certianly not an iron clad proof against the no kids argument but worth examining… also i am a bit disturbed by the co-redemer language surrounding the blessed mother. perhaps i just need to understand the arguement better.

re: hahn… i must say he is very impressive. i have seen him a good bit while watching ewtn… and he is skilled. i hope that the seeming thrust of equipping catholics with knowledge of the faith continues… if what i am seeing come out of ewtn and catholic.com is any indication then the future is bright.

okay another thought, i guess this will come as i read more… the material is piling up… why should i become catholic? aren’t i already in? i see the fruit of the spirit in my life, i have had a genuine conversion experience where i once lived one way but now i live another. i interact with God, hear His voice… etc. why change rooms in the house? (i am a bit optimistic in that i see devoted protestants, catholics, and orthodox all part of the Body). that is my burning question… but that is why i am on the quest i suppose.

blessings,
j.b.


#20

okay another thought, i guess this will come as i read more… the material is piling up… why should i become catholic?

Because you want to live in the fullness of Christ’s Truth

aren’t i already in?

you are not in full communion with the Church

i see the fruit of the spirit in my life, i have had a genuine conversion experience where i once lived one way but now i live another. i interact with God, hear His voice… etc. why change rooms in the house?

Cause right now you’re in a dimly lit tent in the back yard. Sure, you’re on the same property, but you need to come all the way home.

(i am a bit optimistic in that i see devoted protestants, catholics, and orthodox all part of the Body).

Actually, protestants and the orthodox are separated in various degrees from the Body.

that is my burning question… but that is why i am on the quest i suppose.

I hope you find in the Catholic Church what you are seeking:)


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