- Over the last few weeks while I’ve been recovering from surgery and posting a lot on this Forum, I’ve become aware of a sinful attitude in my life.
I think ?? it might be a special weakness of evangelical converts. It certainly is a weakness of mine.
Evangelical Protestants are highly successful when it comes to growing big churches, sending missionaries, writing books, creating entertainment (CCM), influencing politics, and reaching out charitably (e.g. Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, etc.)
When it comes to the Bible, evangelicals are among the most Biblically literate Christians. From babyhood, evangelicals are taught the Bible.
Many evangelicals “look down” on fundamentalists and Pentecostal denominations as “not as scholarly as evangelicals.” Evangelicals look down on Mainline Protestants as “too liberal.”
To put it bluntly, evangelicals think they “know it all” and have “the real Gospel” in its most accurate and complete form.
THEN we convert, for whatever reason. And we, or at least, I, still think we know it all.
One thing you have probably noticed about evangelical converts to Catholicism is that we all study our buns off learning EVERYTHING about Catholicism. Most of us read through the Catechism and the Bible and a plethora of Catholic books. Cradle Catholics always tells us that we are so “enthusiastic!”
BUT–even though we think we know a lot, we have not been around for 2000 years, and we have just scraped the surface of this wonderful church, the Catholic Church, the Church that Jesus Christ founded.
I made a Holy Hour yesterday evening in our Adoration Chapel. I was joined in the chapel by a “trad” couple in the Church.
It occurred to me as we were adoring the Lord that THESE people have been around the Church since they were babies, and they know not only the facts, but also the “feelings” and ups and downs and all-arounds of being Catholic. They’ve been through long years of it, and they still demonstrate their faith.
So the thought occurred to me that I really need to be careful not to be arrogant in my soul. Yes, I know a lot compared to some Catholics, but I know NOTHING compared to many Catholics.
- Another thing that I have noticed about myself is that I have an extreme devotion to AUTHORITY in the Church.
I believe this is because I came from the evangelical Protestant world where there often is no authority other than the individual.
I grew up in a church with a strong authority, but as the numbers of churches have increased and non-denominational fellowships, especially the megachurches, have lured a lot of evangelicals away from their churches, I think that the evangelical churches have become quite hesitant to use “authority” out of fear of offending people and driving them away.
I also think that evangelicals, because of the Bible knowledge, realize that their “church” really DOESN’T have any authority. They’re not really sure who does. So they preach that each individual should subject him/her self to the church unless that church starts doing or teaching something that is contrary to the Bible.
Of course, if you get mad enough at a church, or if you really would prefer to attend the cool new megachurch in town, you can probably find something that is contrary to the Bible and use it as an excuse to leave your church and go to another church.
One of the things I love about being Catholic is that I’m NOT IN CHARGE. The Church is.
So I tend to use this a lot in my posts. Someone has a gripe, I say, “Take it to the Church.” Then they say, “Well, if the Church is wrong…”
And I feel like I’m back in Protestant-land again!
So I’m wondering if my fixation on the Authority of the Church is just a natural phenomena of evangelical converts?
Does any other evangelical convert have these same tendencies? Have any Catholics noticed these tendencies in their evangelical convert friends (online and real life)?