Conversion

Um, I was wondering…

I’d like to understand more about Catholicism, and this probably isn’t the right forum, but still I’ll put it here unless someone corrects me.

I am from the UK, and I’ve always thought it would be good to be part of a religion. Now, simply from my brief delves into History and fiction and the like, I’ve decided that Christianity probably serves as the most believable.

Then, looking at some other things, I have decided that Catholicism as quite a lot of interesting factors - Confession, Rosary Beads, Politics. In fact, it seems to be the only church to get directly involved with politics - especially in America.

Now, I was wondering, what things would attract me to Catholicism? How would you go about ‘converting’ me? I would like to find a faith, and maybe it could be Catholicism.

I’m currently in the process of converting myself - I find this journey to be the most fulfilling of my life.

What convinced me from the beginning was knowing that the Catholic Church is the only church that goes directly back to Jesus Christ himself. This is His church.

And I do believe the tradition and formality of the sacraments really holds a lot of meaning, it’s not 'just going through the motions" you do these things for a purpose, and what you get out of it is immeasurable.

[quote=UKStudent]Now, I was wondering, what things would attract me to Catholicism? How would you go about ‘converting’ me? I would like to find a faith, and maybe it could be Catholicism.
[/quote]

FIrst let me say, we are not in the business of “conveting” anyone, nor will we try. “Converting” is God’s job.

Now let me ask you a question: What things attract you to Catholicism?

I can tell you what attracted me, but why are you here? What are you looking for?

We are here to help you.

Basically, what first attracted me to religion is the sense of unity - knowing you believe something that many other people do too. So I chose the religion that most seems to suit me, from my basic impression of it. (I don’t count religions as religions without Gods).

Unfortunately, I find it difficult to understand why smomeone would believe so fervently in a God. I was just hoping you’d help me do that.

[quote=UKStudent]Basically, what first attracted me to religion is the sense of unity - knowing you believe something that many other people do too. So I chose the religion that most seems to suit me, from my basic impression of it. (I don’t count religions as religions without Gods).

Unfortunately, I find it difficult to understand why smomeone would believe so fervently in a God. I was just hoping you’d help me do that.
[/quote]

If you study, you will find that few doubt the historicity of Jesus Christ. Once you accept that Jesus Christ was born and died, the progression to the Catholic Church is the only logical direction you can move in. This is the academic route. Spiritual awakening is something else, something you must hope and pray for. God is always there, you only need to open the door to him.

UKStudent,

I take it that you believe that in a Creator, a almighty and ever-living God? If not, we certainly could start there. That’s how I went about discerning the truth of the matter … a top down approach.

In many ways I find myself envying the converts. Their zeal comes from real struggle and real searching. They can’t just rest on assumption, and EVERYTHING is questioned. It makes for a strong, full faith. For cradle Catholics like me, it’s sometimes tough to see the beauty we’ve taken for granted.

But, I would say that it’s a religion of fullness. Theologically, philosophically, culturally. It’s a seamless whole that points directly to the Creator of the universe. It’s also a family–you don’t just get a Father in God, but you get a brother in Christ, a mother in Mary, and billions of brothers and sisters in the Communion of Saints who are all working hard to help get you home.

In broad strokes, that’s why I stay. I couldn’t go anywhere else. That, and nobody’s going to tell me I’m going to hell if I want to have a few beers with the buddies. :wink:

First of all, let me say, Hello and I look forward to talking with you. Feel free to post to me, PM, IM or e-mail.

I look at the universe and wonder if we are all alone in it. Look at the complexity of a single cell adn a strand of DNA and tell me there is no intelligent design. If you want to believe in the big bang theory, then great, but where did all the space dust come from?

Only when we acknowledge the existance of a Supreem being can we start to understand his part in the Universe. We are a created being. God created us and how can we not love the one who thought us into existance. God also gave us free will to love him. He did not build robots or slaves forced to love him. He gave us the choice to love him or not to love him. The greatest honor we can give God is to return the love he first gave us. Once you turn your life over to Him, not just a little but fully turn your life over to Him, you will understand why Christians are so passionate about loving God.

[quote=UKStudent]Um, I was wondering…

I’d like to understand more about Catholicism, and this probably isn’t the right forum, but still I’ll put it here unless someone corrects me.

I am from the UK, and I’ve always thought it would be good to be part of a religion. Now, simply from my brief delves into History and fiction and the like, I’ve decided that Christianity probably serves as the most believable.

Then, looking at some other things, I have decided that Catholicism as quite a lot of interesting factors - Confession, Rosary Beads, Politics. In fact, it seems to be the only church to get directly involved with politics - especially in America.

Now, I was wondering, what things would attract me to Catholicism? How would you go about ‘converting’ me? I would like to find a faith, and maybe it could be Catholicism.
[/quote]

Hello fellow Brit :slight_smile:
If you have satellite TV, you may have seen some of progs about Jesus recently like ‘The Real Jesus’ on Discovery, or ‘The Trial of Jesus’ on the history channel. They threw up some interesting questions about Jesus and Christianity.
So, do you believe in God? In the virgin birth? In Jesus? In the resurrection? In the infallabilty of the Pope? Have you read the Bible? Do you know what the Catechism is? What are your views on war/abortion/birth control?
Have you looked at other religions/faiths like Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, etc.
Why do you want ot find a faith?
You seem to be in a similar position to me in some ways.
I am far from convinced about the existence of a God, let alone the story of Jesus. But coming here and asking questions should help you.

You see, I seem to be very anti-catholic in my beliefs (abortion gay marriage etc) but I do like the brotherhood and family system.

I, unfortunately have some doubts about theexistance of a supreme being, and Dhgray, I have some troubles accepting both the big bang theory as well (hence the look elsewhere) but the fact is, where was God when he created everything?

I don’t know if I am able to be helped…

The fact that you are here means that you are looking. That 1/2 the battle. Yes there is always hope and help.

**When it comes to the possibility of God’s existence, the Bible says that there are people who have seen sufficient evidence, but they have suppressed the truth about God.(Romans 1:19-21) On the other hand, for those who want to know God if He is there, He says, “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.”(Jeremiah 29:13-14).
Before you look at the facts surrounding God’s existence, ask yourself, If God does exist, would I want to know Him? **

Here then, are some reasons to consider…

1. Does God exist? Throughout history, in all cultures of the world, people have been convinced there is a God.

2. Does God exist? The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.

3. Does God exist? Mere “chance” is not an adequate explanation of creation.

4. Does God exist? Humankind’s inherent sense of right and wrong cannot be biologically explained.

5. Does God exist? God not only has revealed Himself in what can be observed in nature, and in human life, but He has even more specifically shown Himself in the Bible.

6. Does God exist? Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God.

Full versoin of the above text:
everystudent.com/pdf/isthere.pdf

But there are a numebr of other Gods… It’s all confusing!

[quote=UKStudent]But there are a numebr of other Gods… It’s all confusing!
[/quote]

Actually there is not. There cannot be. God is omnipotent, have not potentiality within. This discounts more than one God. If two beings have no potentiality within, they would not be separated by their distinctiness. Thus, only one being can possibily be without potentiality.

There are many philosophical considerations to consider and discern when attempting to understand God and his perfection, his uniqueness, and all of his characteristics. It will be confusing if you want simple answers to very complex questions. However, if willing to works at it, to struggle at understanding that which is mysterious, then there are many compelling and converging clues which point toward theism and away from atheism, then converging towards monotheism and away from polytheism, then converging toward Christianity and away from other religions, then Catholicism and away from Protestantism and Orthodoxy.

See here for more: CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Nature and Attributes of God

Here’s some arguments for the existence of God for you to consider …

Arguments for God’s Existence

[list]
*]Can You Prove God Exists?
*]Argument from Design
*]Argument from First Cause
*]Argument from Conscience
*]Argument from History
*]Argument from Pascal’s Wager
*]Argument from Desire
*]The Divinity of Christ
[/list]

[quote=UKStudent]You see, I seem to be very anti-catholic in my beliefs (abortion gay marriage etc) but I do like the brotherhood and family system.
[/quote]

As far as I know, IF you become Catholic you MUST accept that things like abortion are wrong.
You might want to take a look here
vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm

Also, there is a process you must go through. Look here
ecatholic2000.com/rcia/rcia.shtml

I think there’s more to being Catholic than just going to church once a week. It seems more of a total lifestyle change in many ways. It carries serious responsibilities.

It carries serious responsibilities.

Does anything important enough to care about NOT carry serious responsibilities? Seems to me, if it’s something worth having in life, whatever it is, it necessarily carries serious responsibilities.

Being Catholic is to accept a membership within a family, or a citizenship within a Kingdom. Every honest citizen of any community knows that good citizenship includes serious responsibilities. As a member of the US Air Force, I understand that I am called to give my life for my country. I accepted that serious responsibility, and looking back to the day I made my initial Oath entering the military service of my country, I would not have done it any other way. So too with my Catholic oath.

Prior to any meaningful discussion as to the immorality of abortion or the Sacrament of Marriage, it’s probably important for one to consider which authority that they are going to accept as trustworthy. One ought to begin by considering that there is a King of kings to which we owe our uncondictional allegiance. The rest of faith and morals is related to that unconditional allegiance.

[quote=UKStudent]But there are a numebr of other Gods… It’s all confusing!
[/quote]

You are asking questions at several levels. Is there a God? Is He a personal God? Are there more than one God? Is Christianity valid? Is the Catholic faith right for you? Each of these could take volumes to comment on, so I’ll stick primarily with the first two for the simple reason that if you cannot believe in a God who loves you personally, you won’t find answers to the subsequent questions.

Is there a God? Well, when one looks at the universe, only three possibilities for its existence come to mind. It was created by an intelligent Being(s). Matter and/or energy have always existed with no beginning. Matter and/or energy came from nothing. All three possibilities require a form of “faith” in something beyond our understanding. Therefore, we cannot rely entirely on our intellect for even the basis of our belief system, because all are based on some kind of “faith.”

I find it rather funny that we attribute so much significance to our own “belief” in something, as though my believing something makes it so. If God does not exist, then all my fervent desiring will not create Him and I will simply die and cease to exist. However, if God does exist, then all the disbelief in the world will not make Him go away and those who die in unbelief will have to face the consequences, whatever those may be. This alone is reason enough to give the possibility a fair trial. I give you credit for your openness and that of looking4truth. This desire, I believe, is a gift from God Himself and evidence to support an affirmative answer to the second question.

A fellow countryman and former atheist/Oxford professor who became one of the greatest Christian apologists (forgive my presumptions if you are familiar with him and his writings) made many superior points relative to the existence of God and His being a personal God. You should read Lewis’ books “Mere Christianity” and “The Problem of Pain”, among others.

One of my favorite arguments that Lewis put forth as evidence of God as an Almightly, Loving Father is that we have deep desires and needs, or appetites, such as hunger, thirst, sexual drive, and emotional needs for belonging, companionship and security. All of these “appetites” correspond to something that will satisfy them, which makes sense from a purely scientific and non-theistic perspective.

However, we also have this deep need or desire for eternity and even for God (though some might not recognize God as the object of this need at first). This deep desire would certainly not be satisfied by us simply living forever here on earth. Most people would not take much comfort in that.

So, simple immortality would not satisfy this need. Then, why does it exist if God does not exist? Why would we have a need that has no hope of fulfillment? It has no evolutionary purpose. In fact, from an evolutionary point of view, it would be more useful for us to willingly succomb to death as a natural part of our existance.

But, what if there is a Creator who not only created all the universe, but created you, just like you are, and placed inside you a seed of desire for Him so that you would seek Him out? What if this Creator is a loving Father who was willing to do anything, except violate your free will, to convince you to seek Him and choose Him? What if He came here Himself in the Person of His Son to show you the way?

I propose that this is such Good News that it is worth considering, seriously considering. Don’t worry about how you currently think on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, etc. Opinions are of little consequence and should not prevent you from moving towards God. Besides, opinions change and if what we Catholics believe is all true, and you come to believe it yourself, then you will likely be glad to change something as simple as an opinion to have Eternity.

There is hope.

Blessings

[quote=UKStudent]But there are a numebr of other Gods… It’s all confusing!
[/quote]

LET’S start again. What do you believe?

[quote=itsjustdave1988]Here’s some arguments for the existence of God for you to consider …

Arguments for God’s Existence
[list]
*]Can You Prove God Exists?
*]Argument from Design
*]Argument from First Cause
*]Argument from Conscience
*]Argument from History
*]Argument from Pascal’s Wager
*]Argument from Desire
*]The Divinity of Christ
[/list]
[/quote]

And here, for the sake of completeness…

infidels.org/news/atheism/arguments.html

[quote=looking4truth]And here, for the sake of completeness…

infidels.org/news/atheism/arguments.html
[/quote]

The problem that remains with the atheist view is that man is simply lucky. I studied science in college and I don’t find such a view compatible with mathematical probability.

Man is an extreme outlier in the grand scheme of things, with respect to his ability to master his environement. If man is simply the luckiest animal on the planet, why hasn’t the second luckiest at least harnessed fire by now? Man has been to the moon, one would think that second best would have done something like navigated the Atlantic by now.

No, mathematicians have evaluated the biological claims dependent upon random chance and they find them lacking. So do I. All of creation may certainly be influence heavily by random chance, yet it seems the extreme outlier called “man” must be an extreme outlier for reasons other than random chance. The laws of probability demand it. Check every probability distribution where only random chance is the governing process. There’s never an extreme outlier. Never. Random chance fails to explain the extreme outlier called ‘man.’ Atheism is, therefore, mathematically improbable. One ought to look to theism, then, to better understand reality and one’s place within it.

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