Darn it. I wrote a long post and then lost it because of expiring my log-in time accidentally :mad:.
I’ll summarize. Protestants have a lot of good heart, but Catholicism has in it the source of all that heart. All that is good in Protestantism has its completeness in Catholicism. That’s what I found while a Protestant investigating Catholicism. It includes everything good and beautiful that can be found in Protestantism, only far deeper and more profound. It cannot be abandoned. It is the heart of Christianity, and it has been since Christ first instituted this Church. Look at the Early Church Fathers and you’ll see that this faith is the same faith believed in from the time Christ first instituted His Church to today.
There are lots of great Protestants. There are also a lot of bad ones. You just happen to be listening to the good ones and meeting a lot of Catholics that don’t seem to have strong devotional lives. If your geography was different, that could be reversed- you could be listening to lots of great Catholics and your only examples of Protestants could be lousy. Geography makes a big difference.
The system of belief in Protestantism tends to be that you listen to your own private feeling of how the Holy Spirit is guiding you and you read the Bible, and use your intellect to come up with your own interpretation of it. That’s Sola Scriptura. That’s their answer of how to know God’s will. The problem is people come to millions of radically contradictory conclusions based on this “system” (which, by the way, has no basis in either the Bible or the Early Church Fathers. It’s a 16th century invention). There are thousands of denominations, and the “wave of the future” in Protestantism is non-denominationalism, where believers are even less connected with one another. Looking at Protestantism historically, one can see that what they hold as the “essential doctrines” have been shrinking steadily for centuries and the number of denominations and schisms multiplying. This diversity of doctrine cannot be more total in the non-denominational setting, which is growing rapidly within Protestantism. Also, liberalism and relativism are causing the deterioration of even holding to Sola Scriptura- really, it’s becoming more of a “follow your heart” or “follow what you feel the Spirit is telling you- the words in the Bible have been translated and retranslated and there are many other equally good ways of knowing truth.” These terrible ideas are destroying Protestantism. Protestantism has been disintegrating for centuries- many of its greatest founders would have put to death any and all the Protestants of today, if modern Protestants were transported back to the time of the Reformation. Protestant beliefs have been breaking apart for centuries and we are in the midst of one of this natural process’s greatest accelerations right now. We have a front row seat. I have doubts that Protestantism will be able to survive another century, with its breakdown so incredibly accelerated.
But you’re right, in spite of the endless and incessantly compounding heresies and schisms in Protestantism, that many Protestants really do have a heart for Christ and are seeking him. Many of them are great, Spirit filled people and I’m convinced many of them will be in Heaven.
There are lots of Catholics also with a real heart for Christ. You simply have to look in the right places. Try Daily Mass, for instance, or some of the local Catholic ministries. There are lots of pro-family and pro-life, strongly conservative, loving and wise Catholics. Catholics in ministry are often great. Once, there were only a few thousand Catholics in the world (back in the beginning of the Early Church). Today, there are millions of Catholics full of zeal for the Lord.
If you find yourself still tempted by Protestantism, I invite you to send me a PM and I’d be glad to keep discussing it with you.