[quote="Giacomo222, post:9, topic:256134"]
CAT, you say it quite well!
Don't forget too the issue of sola fide...faith alone. Many Baptists believe that a person is saved by God's grace through faith alone but Catholics believe that we are saved by the Grace of God through faith + works.
Yes, I agree that Baptists and many other evangelical Protestant denominations teach salvation by faith alone.
However, what the OP and others who convert will eventually discover is that the evangelical Protestant denominations (including Baptist) have an "unwritten list of works" that they expect their members to follow. It's not apparent at first, and most denominations will vehemently deny that they have any such list. But they do.
Those who do not follow these rules are often shunned, because the belief is that if they don't follow these rules, then they never really accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, and therefore, they aren't really Christians, and therefore we should have nothing to do with them unless we are striving to evangelize them into asking Jesus into their heart as personal Lord and Savior.
Always remember that most evangelical Protestant denominations, especially Baptists, do NOT believe that a person can lose their salvation, therefore anyone who doesn't "live like a Christian" was never really a Christian. A Christian does not practice sin (although they may occasionally sin). Therefore someone who transgresses "the list" is practicing sin, and therefore, can't be a real Christian.
The "list" varies from denomination to denomination and even with denominations, from congregation to congregation. Some of the rules are more obvious, e.g., no drinking, no smoking.
In some churches, it's very obvious--no slacks, no tracks, no blacks is a saying that I was familiar with. It wasn't followed in my Baptist church, but it was very real in other Baptist and Pentecostal churches that we associated with. (For younger people, "tracks" refers to "8 tracks," and that means "rock music" or other popular music.)
In some churches, it can be even more restrictive--no movies, no theater, no secular newspapers, magazines, or television. Certain styles of dress are taboo. Certain makeup is taboo, while other makeup is expected.
And in recent years, many evangelical Protestant denominations have dropped many of these restrictive rules, but they still maintain an unwritten list of expectations; e.g., you will homeschool any children or at the very least, send them to Christian schools. You will maintain a daily devotional time of Bible reading and prayer. You will not become too involved with non-church activities, including sports and arts. You WILL eat sparingly and maintain a healthy weight. You will be a Republican.
It's often very hard to get a feeling for "the list" if you are new to the denomination or congregation, but believe me, if you transgress "the list," you will feel a definite "chill" in the air. You will notice that your "friends" don't sit with you anymore, and you aren't greeted with hugs anymore in the church lobby. You will be excluded from certain activities.
Of course, a convert from Catholicism will be watched carefully for any signs of "papism."
I think it's at this point that many converts to evangelical Protestantism get discouraged and eventually angry and leave their church. Some end up in the megachurches because these are good places to hide out and be anonymous and hopefully, heal. Some head back to their childhood liturgical churches, but many of the Protestant liturgical churches are theologically and politically liberal, especially when it comes to abortion and homosexuality, and many have female pastors, which makes it hard for those who have been part of evangelical Protestant fellowships to feel comfortable.
This is where the Catholic Church needs to stand ready to welcome these confused Christians. All Catholics teachings are in writing, so there can be no mistake about what Catholics believe (in spite of the confusion that sometimes is apparent on CAF!). And there is a lot of room in the Catholic Church for variation in everyday behavior (unless you join a religious community, of course). There are Catholics who drink alcohol, and there are Catholics who are teetotallers (me, me!). There are Catholics who devour studying and prayer, and there are Catholics who never crack the Bible open but are content to listen to the readings at Mass. Ah, freedom!
I often feel that I should write a book, or at least a scholarly article, about "The List." I think it would create a huge controversy, but I also think that many Protestants would step up and say, "YES! This book is true." And I think it would be helpful for Catholics and others who think that evangelical Protestant churches are so much more open and loving than their Catholic parishes.