Confusion implies atheism?

There are so many ‘versions’ of Christianity - Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Mehodist, Anglican, etc, etc, etc…it’s so confusing.
For every one step forward towards God, I seem to be taking two steps back because I don’t know which church to turn to.
If there is one true church, then surely it would be obvious which one it was. Instead of clarity I find arguments that rely on an almost encyclopeadic knowledge of history, philosophy and a mastery of at least two or three languages.
Perhaps this is why so many people are indifferent to religion. And I can’t say that I blame them.
So I guess I’m going to spend eternity in hell (if there really is one), and all because I can’t find faith, and a church to worship in.
I think this is pretty unfair of God (if there is one).
I don’t know what to do, or where to go.

Look at the Saints and see where that leads you.

Two years ago, I was a solid atheist. By the grace of our Lord, our Blessed Mother “talked” to my heart which led me to God.

Like you, I had the huge problem of knowing what to do next. Do I just believe and leave it at that? or do I try and find out where I need to go to worship Him.

To make a long story very short, I studied history ALOT. It was through history that I found the True and Right Church inwhich to worship Him in. Not one, NOT ONE SINGLE protestant denomination could trace its history back to Jesus Himself. NOT ONE protestant church could claim honestly to have Apostolic succession.

Please read history. Read the early church fathers. Do your own research, see what ya find.

Coming from an atheist background actually made the search easier. I had no pre-conceived ideas about faith/religion. Everything was new and I was starting out on the ground floor.

STUDY HISTORY…The Catholic Church can trace her roots back to around the year 33AD. Pretty cool knowing we are the church that Jesus Himself started.

Our protestant brothers and sisters are wonderful, God fearing people, who like us, have the love of Jesus in their heart. Jesus wanted ONE undivided-unified body of believers, not many fragmented bodies.

STUDY beliefs. Compare/contrast the various beliefs of different protestant faiths. That was the clincher for me. To many “RED” flags went up. So many Christian churchs all claiming to be inspired by the Holy Spirit but yet not all believing exactly the samething on every point of faith. Sound confusing?..I thought it was, but yet I knew that the Holy Spirit never contradicts or confuses.

There were many more reasons for me to be Catholic as apposed to protestant, but I chose just to hit the high lights.

Which ever road you take, may it lead you directly to God and the peace and love for which only He can give fully.

[quote=veryconfused]There are so many ‘versions’ of Christianity - Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Mehodist, Anglican, etc, etc, etc…it’s so confusing.
For every one step forward towards God, I seem to be taking two steps back because I don’t know which church to turn to.
If there is one true church, then surely it would be obvious which one it was. Instead of clarity I find arguments that rely on an almost encyclopeadic knowledge of history, philosophy and a mastery of at least two or three languages.
Perhaps this is why so many people are indifferent to religion. And I can’t say that I blame them.
So I guess I’m going to spend eternity in hell (if there really is one), and all because I can’t find faith, and a church to worship in.
I think this is pretty unfair of God (if there is one).
I don’t know what to do, or where to go.
[/quote]

The teachings of the Catholic Church come to us from the Apostles. The person who lived in the first century and knew Jesus and the Apostles personally has no advantage over me. When I kneel at the Mass, I am kneeling at Calvary. Jesus Christ comes to me as my spiritual food – Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. He abides in me and I in Him (John 6:56). The Catholic Church is God-made, founded by the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. It is the “household of God, the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” 1 Tm 3:15.

Every Protestant denomination is based on a different interpretation of the same 66-book cut version of the Bible. All Protestant churches are man-made. If you know the name of the Church, you can look in the historical record for the name of the founder and the date it was started. All Protestant churches were begun in or after the 16th century. Most were born in the 19th or 20th century

I’ll take a religion that’s God-made over any man-made religion any day! One is true, the other is derivitive and only partially true.

The True Church is the 2,000-year-old One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church built upon the Apostles and the Prophets (Ephesians 2:19-20) before the New Testament was ever written. The Catholic Church wrote the NT.

As Scott Hahn, former Presbyterian minister, biblical scholar, theologian, and convert to the Catholic Faith puts it: W*hile Protestants study the menu, Catholics enjoy the meal. *

Recommended reading:* TRIUMPH, The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church – a 2,000-Year History* by H.W. Crocker III,
Forum, Prima Publishing, Roseville, CA, 2001.

Crocker is a noted Civil War historian and convert to the Catholic Faith from Anglicanism.

We’re here to help. Let us know what we can do. Feel free to write to me privately at Katholikos1@aol.com.

Jay Damien
Ex-Southern Baptist, ex-agnostic, ex-atheist, ecstatic to be Catholic!

Greetings veryconfused!

Thanks for telling us about your search. Could you give us a few more details so we could be more of help? What have you done in the past and what are you doing now? Are you praying? Are you reading? Are you attending services somewhere?

How do you tend to see the world? What sort of lens are you used to looking through? For me, I lean towards history, and it was through history that I first began to believe that there was a God (I was a deist for awhile), then that Jesus is really God, and then that Catholicism contains within it the fullness of truth. This took about four or five years I think. Some people are convinced through philosophy or other areas. I think history though should be important with religious claims.

I can give two quick bits of advice that I hope will be of some help. I believed, and continue to believe all those things, not because it was proven to me absolutely (say in the sense that 2+2=4) but because they seemed to be to be more likely to be true than other things. I am open to the possibility that I could be wrong, and I try my best to listen to others who believe differently, and if they show me that what they believe is true and Catholicism is not completely true, then I will follow what they believe. So I would say try to find what appears to be the truest and give it a shot. Think, but also pray and discern. These things take time, but you can do it! It’s true that it takes a lot of time, but what could be better than loving the truth and loving means in part trying to gain in understanding of the beloved.

My second point is that in the search you can be built into what God wants you to be. The suffering, praying, and sincere study you put into this will make you a better person and more equipped to understand these things. If you have a chance, take a look at Saint Augustine’s Confessions. I think that his sufferings really helped him to understand things and helped make him such a great man.

My email access is very sporadic now, so when I next check, this thread may be over, but good luck and if you can, tell the other people here more about where you have looked and what you have done and are presently doing to find the truth. The answers you have been given are good I think, and deserve further study! We’ll be praying for you!
peace in Christ,
Frank

My dear friend,

I understand where you’re coming from. Just a few years ago I was in a similar position. May I ask that you take a step back. Dilligently seek God in prayer, talk to him as a friend, bring your concerns to him, bring him your questions! You may not immediately be “blasted with divine knowledge” but our Lord has miraculous ways of answering prayer! thumbsup:

While I’m NOT Roman-Catholic, I don’t want to lead you into any direction other than to God.

I’m going to highly suggest you pick up the book called Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Its a fantastic book going over the “basics” of Christianity and how all of the major Christian denominations whether they be Angelican, Baptist, Methodist, Prysbeterian, or Roman Catholic have such a similar faith that we should all consider ourselves brothers and sisters in Christ.

You wouldn’t have this burden on your heart if you didn’t believe in God! If you’d like, I’d happily send you my copy of that book I mentioned. If you’d just like to talk, please feel free to pm me.

For more than a thousand years there was one True Church, founded by Jesus Christ and instructed by the Apostles (and outside of the Church the heresies raged, of course). Then came the schism between East and West, and there were two Churches for about another 500 years. Then came the Protestant Revolt and during the last 487years, thousands of denominations that call themselves “Christian” have developed.

The confusion came with the Protestant Revolt. Each conflicting and competing denomination claims that it teaches the truth and nothing but the truth, and they’re all based on the same 66-book incomplete version of the Bible. Protestantism remains a massive source of confusion in Christedom. It pushed me into agnosticism; then I drifted into atheism.

Only the logic of Catholicism could reach me and pull me out of the black and bottomless pit of atheism where I had sunk.

Recommended reading: * Logic and the Foundations of Protestantism *by Brian W. Harrison at chnetwork.org
At the home page, click on “conversion stories.” Then scroll down to Father Harrison’s name. (He became a priest after his conversion.)

JMJ Jay
Ex-Southern Baptist, ex-agnostic, ex-atheist, ecstatic to be Catholic!

To all who have replied I can only say how much I appreciate you comments and advice.
I do not attend Church yet as I would not know which one to go to (there are many near my home).
I would not even say that I am Christian, although the more I read and learn, the more I feel that there IS truth in the Bible. Hopefully, in time, I will come to KNOW that truth and believe with all my heart.
I will closely examine history as well, since so many of you suggest it.
It feels like it will be a long, and at times, difficult journey. But I have become very dissatisfied with who I am, and am determined to do all I can to change - and that means doing some hard work :slight_smile: .
And I will pray - everyday! I’m sure it will feel a bit weird at first, but new things always take some getting used to.
Of course I will continue to read these forums and ask questions myself.
Didn’t someone once say something like ‘even the longest journey begins with a single step’? I think I have finally taken that first step.
God bless you all!

I would also suggest reading GK Chesterton - especially Orthodoxy

[quote=GKB Protasius]Greetings veryconfused!

Thanks for telling us about your search. Could you give us a few more details so we could be more of help? What have you done in the past and what are you doing now? Are you praying? Are you reading? Are you attending services somewhere?

How do you tend to see the world? What sort of lens are you used to looking through? For me, I lean towards history, and it was through history that I first began to believe that there was a God (I was a deist for awhile), then that Jesus is really God, and then that Catholicism contains within it the fullness of truth. This took about four or five years I think. Some people are convinced through philosophy or other areas. I think history though should be important with religious claims.We’ll be praying for you!
peace in Christ,
Frank
[/quote]

I wasn’t raised in a religious environment. I only wwent to church for family weddings/funerals and with school (we had no choice!).
I have never ruled out the existence of God, but I just never really cared much for religion one way or another. Like alot of people I only had concern for the tangible - the ‘here and now’. However, I now have an appreciation for the abstract and untangible (maybe studying for a maths degree has hepled there).
I think laziness has always been the millstone round my neck. But I now feel an overwhelming urge to seek the truth.
Many thanks for your reply and questions Frank. I will thank God that there are people like you who are willing to help people like me.

C.S. Lewis’ *Mere Christianity * was recommended by someone.

Did you know that C.S. Lewis was an atheist before he was a Christian?

One of the great influences on his conversion was the reading of G.K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man. Talk about getting some history thrown in with apologetics and the most soaring prose ever written!

It brought me back to the Church after a long absence.

Originally it was written to counter H.G. Wells Outline of History, which virtually ignored the place of Christ in the Western World. Chesterton returned Christ to the center of history, and then history began to make sense!

Thanks for your kind words Veryconfused! My wife and I have been keeping you in our prayers! Please feel free to come back if you have any questions and we will do our best to be of help!

You said that you studied math. One thing that might be helpful then is to look at Blaise Pascal’s Pensees (I think the spelling is write). He was a mathematician and a philosopher, so that may be more natural to your way of looking at things. I only understood some of the things he said, but what I understood seemed really cool and helpful to me:). Good luck! Oh, if you order that book (well it’s not really a book, it’s a collection of his notes for a book I think), just make sure you don’t accidentally get the French version!
peace in Christ,
Frank

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