Greetings to all of you, in the name of Christ Jesus!
In my continuing journey, I have encountered another difficulty of sorts. This time, it’s not a matter of doctrine or discipline. It’s a matter of that biblical saying, “By their fruit, you shall know them.”
You see, in recent days, I have been reminded of all my friends from Campus Crusade for Christ back in my college days, and who are still my friends to this day. Sure, many of the people attending our meetings and such were probably nominal Christians, but those who were my best friends were all determined to serve Christ. They went on mission trips, took part in on-campus evangelism, spoke at our meetings, held Bible Studies, and earnestly sought the will of God.
These people were, so far as I know, all Protestants. I don’t know what their thoughts on Catholicism were, as the subject rarely came up. At any rate, I never heard any “The Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon” talk coming from any of them. They just wanted to see people come to Christ.
I can’t help but contrast these people with (almost all of) the Catholics I know. They seem to see nothing wrong with premarital sex, they don’t seem to have problems with divorce, and their overall morality seems to be no different from that of the world.
So, as I stand here on the fence, as it were, I see a love for God and a desire to do His will back on the Protestant side (where I came from), and I see a severe amount of wordliness on the Catholic side. I feel like if I come all the way across the fence, I’ll be leaving the company of the godly for the company of the wordly.
Now, I know I’m comparing good Protestants to bad Catholics, so this isn’t really a fair comparison. It’s just that, at this point, it’s the only comparison I can really make. When I get back to the States and start going to a Catholic Church, I’m sure I’ll meet some good Catholics. Right now, though, I’m in a very difficult position.
So far as I can tell, the idea on this board seems to be that a bad Catholic is better than a good Protestant (because they have the Eucharist, etc…). I’m not sure that’s true, though. Ultimately, it seems to me that God is more pleased by the Protestant who tries to serve Him than by the Catholic who does not. Of course, if Catholicism is true (and those of you who have read my posts know I’m just about convinced that it is), then obviously the Catholic who does the will of God would be in a superior position to either of the aforementioned two.
So, I guess the biggest obstacle for me is not Mary, the Communion of Saints, Purgatory, Papal Infallibility, Clerical Celibacy, Transubstantiation, or any of the usual objections (though I’ll be honest and say I’m still not quite confortable with all of these…getting there, though). It’s the fact that I see a greater love for God and a desire to serve Him back in the land of Protestantism, fragmented though it may be.
Any converts deal with this issue? I think what I really need to do is meet more practicing Catholics, not just “cultural Catholics.” As always, I ask for the prayers of everyone on this board as I make this journey. May God bless you all!