For ex-catholics

Dear Ex-Catholics,

Why did you leave our Church? Was it because of the treatment you received from fellow Christians? Was it because of the Pastor or another priest? Was it because of abuse? Was it because of family pressure to leave the Church of Christ? Was it because you began to have doubts about our Traditions- which as said in the epistles (Look them up yourself, please. I only have New International Version- Student Bible. I don’t always find it reliable and I am in great need of a Catholic Bible. However I am familiar with some well-known verses, in the new testament as well as several stories)
Let me tell you about a guy named Jordan,

Like myself, he is a Catholic, and like me, he is not a very good one either. (I am addicted to porn and struggling to get away from it).
I told him my story, which I will post on some other new thread. Then, he told me his story:
He was born out of wedlock and addicted to cocaine. His parents never married, I don’t think. Of course, he has some issues with some teachings as well, and is loving Pope Francis, while Francis really did say nothing new in the History of the Church, except for his acts.
I told Jordan mutliple times that Jesus Christ would always take him back if he (Jordan) wanted to come back. But Jordan had a… defeatist and depressed outlook on where he was going in the afterlife. He was unrepentant.
Jordan: Dude, I’ve always known where I was going. (Hell)

I’ve also met some fervent ex-catholics as well. One woman, I met at work, was a ‘born again’ christian. Of course, I told her I used to lean toward atheism until I read Tim Keller (who is a godsend, even though he is a Presbyterian!) and then I started reading Catholic books. Then, she started talking about how she had tried to commit suicide, had an argument with Jesus, but woke up the next morning loving everything about him.
Unfortunately, while all this was good, I tried to tell her about one of the doctrines she was preaching to me: Christian Indifferentism (at least that was what I was thinking)- it’s when you believe that no matter what denomination you are, if you are good and you love Christ, then you go to Heaven. There is a problem with that according to Catholic teaching, however, there are two doctrines for those outside of the Faith: Baptism by Blood, and Baptism by Desire. Baptism by blood is for those who die unconfirmed and/or unbaptized, but want to become Chrstians by being Martyrs. Baptism by Desire is when you die desiring the ultimate truth and goodness of the Faith, while being in another faith.
That, and she preached the ‘Jesus and Me’. I had a talk with my priest about this and he said that ‘Yes, that is true. But you have to remember, it’s not just you and the Lord, it’s with everyone in His Church’.
Another Christian I met was at jiffylube, who also believed in Christian Indifferentism, gave me a Jehovah’s Witnesses pamphlet after I told her about my great grandmother being in the hospital.
There are my examples and stories on this particular topic. I am not an apologist, though I do have an interest in Church history and want to explain some things.
Just a recap of my argument: If you are ex-catholic, you WILL ALWAYS have a place here in the true One, Holy Catholic, and Apostolic Church should you ever wish to come back.

God bless you and may you find your way home.

thestudentAD

I’m not sure I qualify as an ex in the CC’s eyes but maybe on this forum I do since I don’t practice. Treatment, some priests, play a role. Though like Jordan, I welcome the gentler tone of Francis. But the main reasons I don’t practice I suppose come down to I don’t need everything black and white. I’m fine with some gray in matters of faith. I can’t place complete faith in any human teaching authority. And no before anyone says it, I can’t place complete faith in myself to be certain I get everything right either. But I’m okay with that. I’m human and God knows that. I believe God created me. So I don’t believe in some teachings and am not even certain I can rely on the human early fathers or in how the CC interprets them. I need space to think for myself even if it means I don’t always walk in lockstep and to breathe and to doubt and the CC does not allow me to do that and remain in good standing. Jesus said he would turn no one away who comes to him. I discern Christ gave up his body for us. Yet the CC denies me the opportunity to approach him as I am. With human warts and all. I hope that helps. Thank you for the wish for blessings and may God bless you as well on your faith walk in the CC.

well i guess my older sister was the first to – start attending a penecostal church-- and as she said – they actually tought the bible and how to be a believer-- and how the and what the authority of a beliver is---- then she could pray in tongues-- and prophecy correctly- with the interperation-- and said the Lord said this and the Lord said that-- this as she said – was what being born again by the Holy Spirit is all about–

and She would pray for some one – and then tell them what – the Lord showed her- of their situation–

this got my attention-- so i deceided to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior-- and i got the Baptism of the Holy Spirit–

It is interesting that when you pray for people=-- you can tell them what the Lord said-

and as Saint Paul said-- we see in part and we prophecy in part-- becasue ther is 1 Lord and 1 baptism-- and the baptism he was talking about was not – water baptism-- which is the baptism of repentendence and the baptism of idenification–

but the 1 baptism is the fellowship-- with the Holy Spirit–

I left the church because, even after years of study, Christianity never really made sense to me and, the older I get, the more incomprehensible it becomes. I’m not even a Christian anymore, much less a Catholic.

I left for lots or reasons all amounting to I didn’t believe any of the distinctive Catholic dogmas anymore. I was raised non religious but became Christian and Catholic in college. I was drawn to its history and intellectual tradition. There were a few things I couldn’t quite accept but on direction from my spiritual advisor he told me to practice the faith and those things would fall into place. They never did. Ten years later I was trying to practice my faith that was getting more dead and moribund by the day. I was going through the motions and getting more and more resentful of the church. Yet my resentment was making me terrified of my salvation. I laid awake at night terrified that my contrition was not perfect or if I even had it at all. I did confession because it was an obligation. It gave me no comfort. I went to mass because I was obligated and it gave me no comfort. I bought every book Catholic Answers put out and read all their tracts. I went and crossed swords with Protestants in real life and online. I was not trying to convince them, I was trying to convince myself. I realized all my “answers” were pathetic.

I started to hate all the obligations of the church. I hated going to mass. I hated going to confession. I pretended to be on the same page as everyone else. Even though they looked as miserable as me. They all ran out of the church so fast after mass that you would think the building was on fire. My dismal and dead faith offered me no peace, no comfort. It became a source of pain in my life. I was in a state of spiritual torture and agony, I had to make it stop.

All this coupled with some very negative experiences at my local parish, where I was a lector and my wife a Eucharistic minister. I finally told her on the way home from church that I wanted to check out somewhere else. I related all this to a coworker who was feeling very bad about his Reformed baptist church. We both decided to check out a local tiny confessional Lutheran parish in my town. The pastor told me the Lutheran Law Gospel distinction. He offered to baptize my daughter free of charge with no strings attached. Folks actually stayed after church and enjoyed each other’s company. It was like coming up for air. I recently moved and found a new small confessional lutheran parish similar to the first. I was confirmed in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod late last year.

Working with my pastor I have let go of my anger towards my former church. Turns out I may have something called scrupulosity. Something that my hero Luther also may have had. His writings on the issue felt so close to home. I can relate. Now I actually respect my former church more now than a year ago and half ago. I believe that the Catholic Church preaches the word and administers the sacraments, I believe it is a legitimate coequal, co blessed by God, beloved Christian Church home to many Christians. But its simply not for me.

Yes, scrupulosity is a terrible affliction. I suffered from it when I first came back to the Catholic Church. My pastor counseled me not to judge myself more harshly than Jesus would judge me. Jesus said “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way and sin no more.” I took great comfort from that. Of course I continued to judge myself harshly, but also continued to harken back to the Savior’s words. After a few months, I learned to forgive myself as Jesus forgives me.

What a comfort that is!

Paul (formerly LDS, now happily Catholic)

I read the Bible. I spent about 3 years reading books, both Catholic and science books. I saw horrible things that are talked about in the Bible, things that I refuse to accept as being anything other than wicked. I began to question why Christianity spread to where it is now, why people think Christianity is right when there is millions of religions. I had horrible things in my life happen, such as a little brother die, and I never once saw anything other than anguish and pain. I came to the conclusion that God did not care about what happened on earth of to us, that he was gonna let everything play out.

I did not become an atheist overnight. I went from devout Catholic to just Catholic to non-practicing to Christian, to Deist, to atheist. In my times of doubt I joined Christian chat groups, joined this website, went to mass regularly, the whole shabang. I eventually came to terms that I do not believe in a god.

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