Baptists and Catholics?

Hi. This is my first post on here, so I am sorry if it is in a wrong category. :smiley:

Anyways, I have a very complex story, so I will try to make it short.

When I was a baby, I was born in Guatemala. The common religion is the Catholic Church. However, there are more denominations.

Anyways, I was adopted as a baby, and so I came to the United States. I live here now… and I am a citizen here.

Around here, there are mainly Baptist churches. Everyone that I know is either Baptist or Pentecostal. However, there are rarely any Catholic Churches.

I want to go visit my birth mother and biological family. I want to live in Guatemala and become a citizen over there… mainly for the family search and many other reasons. (Which are personal)

The question really is:

I do want to attend church in Guatemala. However, I have talked to people who, I thought I could trust, but it turns out they got really aggravated with me. They are very religious, and they are Baptists… however, when I brought the subject up, they said I should not become Catholic and that I need to stay Baptist.

I want to attend a church in Guatemala though, but there are many things I would like to know… such as,

-Is it a form of Christianity? Well, the answer is Yes. But, my friend said it was not at a certain point.

-Is it ok to pray to Mary? My friend also said it was wrong to pray to Her… but I can see why Catholics do it, and I respect it.

-Would this be the right thing to do? Like, going from a Baptist Church… to a Catholic Church and then I become Catholic?

-Why are there other books in the Bible that are not in the Bible that the Baptists follow?

-How are views of Jesus and God different to a Baptist and to a Catholic?

There are probably many more questions, but these are the main ones that I would like to know. Thank you…

God Bless! :slight_smile:

I guess I’m a little confused. Are you assuming there are no baptist Churches in Guatemala?
Or are you truly considering becoming Catholic?
Just trying to get clear in my mind.

I want to attend a church in Guatemala though, but there are many things I would like to know… such as,

-Is it a form of Christianity? Well, the answer is Yes. But, my friend said it was not at a certain point.

Not only is the Catholic Church Christian, it is the oldest (along with the EO) of the Christian Churches. The first leader of the Church (pope) was Simon Peter appointed by Christ Himself.

-Is it ok to pray to Mary? My friend also said it was wrong to pray to Her… but I can see why Catholics do it, and I respect it.

Yes it is OK to pray to Mary. Your friend probably equates “pray” with “worship” - but the two words are not synonymous. To “pray” is to “ask”. We ask Mary to help us, just like you are asking us to help you.
Your Baptist friend likely has other issues with prayers to (and for) the dead…Mary is just a part of it.

-Would this be the right thing to do? Like, going from a Baptist Church… to a Catholic Church and then I become Catholic?

Of course it’s the right thing to do. When you are sure.

-Why are there other books in the Bible that are not in the Bible that the Baptists follow?

Because Protestants removed books that were previously in the Bible.
Every Bible produced by the Church before Reformation had the so called “extra books” in them. Martin Luther questioned them, but left them in - moving them to a place between the OT and NT. The first edition of the KJV also contained them. Only later, as a cost saving measure, did the printers remove them.

-How are views of Jesus and God different to a Baptist and to a Catholic?

This could be a thread all to itself.
Though really - in the basics I don’t think that there is much of a difference in our “views of Jesus”. Jesus came and died to save us from our sins. He taught us how we should live. He is our Lord and our King with whom we have a deep personal relationship.
Now - there are many differences between Catholics and Baptists on HOW this salvific mission is accomplished - - and that is where we can spend a great deal of time in discussion.

There are probably many more questions, but these are the main ones that I would like to know. Thank you…

Bring them on…:smiley:

Peace
James

Its great that you want to investigate your roots which most probably are Catholic. Just remember

Catholicism is Christianity at its fullest expression.
Catholicism is pre denominational . We are the originals.

The Christian identity is a belonging to the church because to find Jesus outside of the Church is not possible. Pope Francis.

The Catholic Church is 2000 years old .

If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1608.

Well… there probably are Baptist Churches in Guatemala. I am not sure what churches, other than Catholic, that they have. Even if they did have Baptist churches, I am not sure if I would go there.

So, to get to the actual answer, I am truly considering becoming a Catholic. Probably because of living in Guatemala, maybe the biological family is Catholic… I am not sure if they are or not though… but I am truly serious about this, because it would probably get me closer with the culture there, and because I feel like it would get me more closer with God… like a better relationship with Him.

I feel as if this is a chance to get a better connection with Him. So yes, I am truly considering becoming a Catholic.

There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.
Fulton J. Sheen

When your Baptist Church family hears you are looking into Catholicism they may tell you all kinds of things about what Catholics do wrong. Remember this quote of Archbishop Sheen’s and find out what the Catholic Church actually teaches and why. Don’t take what someone else tells you as factual. My husband is a Church of Christ member and even though he is not Catholic (yet, I’m still praying), he realizes a lot of what he used to believe about Catholics before he met me isn’t even close to the truth. God bless you on your journey and I’ll say a prayer for you.

I highly recommend the book; “Born Fundamentalist Born Again Catholic” by Currie. It will answer all these questions in great detail.

God bless you, and I am glad that you are researching Catholicism.

I came from a Protestant background but converted and became Catholic last year. It took a lot of hard work but was thrilling because I have always thirsted for knowledge.

One thing I wanted to ask of you, as an adoptive mother, is that you include your adoptive family in your journey to Guatemala and to the Catholic Church. I don’t need to know any of your reasons for doing so or not… Just consider keeping them informed if you can. During the process of conversion I alienated some of my friends and family along the way. Now that things are “done,” I attend mass weekly, I volunteer as a catechist and sacristan, my children are baptized and will receive their first eucharist in 2 weeks, most of those that I alienated by converting can see that the Catholic Church is not what they thought it was. My sister and I converted at the same time, actually. She had been curious about the Church for a long time but wouldn’t have done it alone. If I had stayed silent, and tried to do it alone, i wouldn’t be where I am now. Even my non-religious husband may eventually convert!

Stay away from arguments and disagreements with those who are not open to the truth. Visit a church nearby any time of day, any day of the week. Masses are held at least once daily and there are usually people there who will welcome you, want to hear your story, answer your questions, give you rosaries, books, and other printed information, and offer their prayers for you.

Thank you, everyone… I actually have another questions I have thought of.

Why is it, that when I ask people about Catholicism, they say they are not Christians, but instead they are a “separate” religion or that they are Christians until a certain point.

I always say they are Christians… other people that I have spoken to recently say they are not, others say they are until a certain point, and very rarely, there are people that I have talked to personally that say they are.

My Baptist friend, say they are until a certain point, and she kept telling me to not convert, she says I have to stay Baptist… and so she thinks we should just video chat online on Sunday’s when I move there and then have a Bible Study, which she thinks would be a good idea because that would, “supposedly”, keep me away from converting and becoming Catholic.

However, I am feeling as if I should convert and become Catholic, I just have that feeling and thought inside, that this is the right thing for me to do. :slight_smile:

She is practically the only person I can talk to about this topic in person, and even she does not like the idea of me converting.

The quick answer would be ignorance and misconception of the Church. That´s why we, as catholics, are asked to give testimony through our actions. That´s the most powerful way to bring people closer to the truth (specially those who are not willing to listen). Don´t rush anything and avoid confronting with your friend. Keep researching at your own pace and Im sure you will find many answers within the CC. God bless.

Thanks everyone. Also, how would I tell my adoptive parents that I am considering, and possibly will be a Catholic??

My adoptive father is strictly, and I mean strictly a Baptist.

Also, I am not sure if I would keep contact with them, it has been a tough life and not good connections, and since they are strictly like this, I know they won’t agree.

Another thing is… what is the Baptism like in Catholic? Like, in Baptist Church… they take your whole body and put it in water. What about Catholics?

I have not been baptized yet, and I have “supposedly” been saved, even though I was like 9 years old and didn’t understand a clue the guy was saying… I just went along with it. So, I really am not saved yet either.

It is probably a bad thing that I am not saved nor baptized yet… :frowning: :eek:

I am mad at myself about that as well… :frowning:

This is all because many people like you describe think you are only Christian if you believe exactly what they believe.

They erroneously hold their beliefs based on men who founded them instead God who founded the church.

They are basically ethnocentric (or religiocebtric perhaps) and prejudiced.

The way she was talking about it, I could tell and see the prejudice in her. She said the other denominations were “crazy” and I never replied back to her from that statement. I know she is strictly a Baptist and she told me she is always going to be that and nothing else.

I think you just tell him. Don’t argue or try to explain why the baptist church teachings feel wrong to you. Or, what exactly you feel that the Catholic Church has to offer in the way of truth.

I would choose perhaps a phone call or a neutral place (in public) and say, you know dad I’ve been thinking about xyz, and I know you may not agree with it. Please allow me to explore this without a fight from you. Pray for me. *If you don’t have all of your adoption information, I would recommend asking him for it when you’re at his home together. Invite him to attend mass. Invite him to delve into your adoption information and perhaps a trip to help you find and meet some of your birth family.

Maybe you’d rather wait until you are more sure. Maybe after starting RCIA (the official program that will help you learn all you need to know), and deciding to join the church after the first few meetings. They start at the end of summer and culminate with your baptism, first Eucharist, and confirmation at Easter. No need to worry about being unbaptized. Adults are baptized regularly at the Easter vigil mass. There was a lady the year I joined that was over 60 and not yet baptized. It might be a neat service for you to attend - ours starts at 9pm and ends at 12am, Saturday night before Easter. April 19 this year. Get there early or you may not have a place to sit!

Edited to add: baptisms in the Catholic Church are generally performed by pouring/dripping holy water on the forehead 3 times. Some may have larger baptismal pools where the person can be partially or fully immersed.

Would you want to become Catholic if you end up not finding your birth family? If you decide that living in Guatamala is not for you? These are questions your RCIA sponsor, or parish priest, should ask you. Think about your answers.

Well, the things I mentioned were, what were her opinions and how would she feel about, etc. When she mentioned that Baptist was the right choice, I never started to trying to argue, since she gets offended really easily.

Well, I would probably still think about and consider becoming Catholic because inside of me feels that this is a good choice and that this will help me receive a better connection with God. I have been questioning and I have considered becoming Catholic for a while, I just haven’t told anybody. But I would still consider and want to be Catholic. :slight_smile:

To the OP:
Matthew 18:20.
:slight_smile:

Here is a clip of why one Baptist minister left the Baptist church and became a Catholic priest.

youtube.com/watch?v=OPpzA7OGDFk

I also want to mention to you that John Smyth who founded the Baptist church left them and became a Mennonite.

The founder of the Baptist church in America - Roger Williams - also left the Baptist church.

If you leave you will be in good company.

Mostly this is done out of ignorance. Many people have erroneous ideas about the Catholic Church and what she teaches.

I always say they are Christians… other people that I have spoken to recently say they are not, others say they are until a certain point, and very rarely, there are people that I have talked to personally that say they are.

For right now - I would just let the point pass when people say this. Take the time to study the faith and make your own decision.

My Baptist friend, say they are until a certain point, and she kept telling me to not convert, she says I have to stay Baptist… and so she thinks we should just video chat online on Sunday’s when I move there and then have a Bible Study, which she thinks would be a good idea because that would, “supposedly”, keep me away from converting and becoming Catholic.

Undoubtedly she has your best interests at heart - - but she probably suffers from the same problems I mention above…having misconceptions about what the Church teaches.

As video chatting and bible study with her…this is fine…as time goes on you may have some interesting viewpoints to offer her on scripture AND some thought provoking questions for her.

However, I am feeling as if I should convert and become Catholic, I just have that feeling and thought inside, that this is the right thing for me to do. :slight_smile:

Amen - be patient - and keep studying.

She is practically the only person I can talk to about this topic in person, and even she does not like the idea of me converting.

It’s wonderful that you have such a friend. It sounds like a relationship that can be very enlightening for both of you.

Peace
James

Can’t really answer this one. Best if you pray on the matter and then just act on what you believe to be the best.

Another thing is… what is the Baptism like in Catholic? Like, in Baptist Church… they take your whole body and put it in water. What about Catholics?

I believe that most parishes will do it either as full immersion or by pouring water over the head.

I have not been baptized yet, and I have “supposedly” been saved, even though I was like 9 years old and didn’t understand a clue the guy was saying… I just went along with it. So, I really am not saved yet either.

It is probably a bad thing that I am not saved nor baptized yet… :frowning: :eek:

I am mad at myself about that as well… :frowning:

God knows your heart. Do not be afraid. God loves you and will do what is best. Keep seeking the Kingdom.

You responded wisely by not responding at all. :thumbsup:
“The other denominations are crazy” is just not a good start to any kind of meaningful conversation.

Keep asking questions here and we will keep answering them.

Peace
James

Good to hear. I did it pretty much alone and have just trusted God to help me make new friends and connections. I didn’t even know for a few weeks after my epiphany, that I HAD to join the Church, that my current church existed. The other church is more visible to those driving by, and my current church is tucked away. It’s also much closer. I have continued to run into neighbors at church that I had never seen there before. I have become so close with so many new people as well as neighbors I rarely saw. RCIA and CRHP (a non coed parish retreat) have been incredible experiences and burst open doors and forged lifelong friendships faster than I thought possible. I also had several months of the same confessor even when I went out of my way to find someone who didn’t know me!

My husband and children softened quickly to the idea of church when they began to enjoy some of the new and improved me. I’m still not perfect of course. Getting better with time. My mom has not yet returned to the Church (attending a baptist church I think), and I’m hoping I can get my dad to come to his grandkids’ first communion mass. I don’t know if he’s ever been to a mass! Other family members are glad we’re attending church. Maybe they don’t agree with Catholic teachings or the history of the Church but I am determined to at least soften their views and stop hatin’. All in good time though.

Thank you! I enjoyed it very much! :slight_smile:

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