Hi former Baptists, I would like to know what it was that brought you to the catholic faith, whether it was a single thing or a longer process. You can be as brief or specific as you like. I hope this will help me better understand the mind of Baptists and what might interest them about the Catholic church. Also to see if there is anything in particular that is similar between the catholic converts from Baptist churches. This might help me when talking with Baptists in the future. Your help is greatly appreciated.
I was raised Southern Baptist from infant to 16. All was well until we got a new pastor when i was about 10 or so who stood at the pulpit telling us all the people that were going to Hell. All but pretty much us. He really was against the Jews and was so happy to preach how there may be a few lucky Jews that made it to Heaven, but most wouldnt. I remember asking my mom why the Jews wouldnt go to Heaven since Jesus was a Jew and she slapped me and said “we dont question God”. That was the answer i got most of the time with my questions. So i guess you could say i always questioned the things that were preached at that church but always felt something was wrong. On top of that i remember even as a kid walking to school being drawn to the Catholic Church i walked past everyday. Thankfully i finally answered that call, that feeling of where i truly belong. And i found out something i never knew as a kid with an abusive single mother…I had a Holy Mother that was there, that i could talk to, that loved me as much as Christ loved me. I still get teary thinking how she was there all along and i didnt know it. Since then she has intervened so many times for me.
Only half Baptist here, and not really that: my mom converted to Methodism, quite reluctantly.
Generally speaking, the following statement drove me crazy:
“It ain’t about religion, it’s about a personal relationship with Jesus”.
That drove me absolutely bananas, What does that even mean?
Oh, and you can’t be baptized (at least in that particular variety of the Baptist faith) until you have this personal relationship.
The story of my conversion is much, much longer. But the tl;dr version is that you don’t have to work yourself up into a required emotional state to be a Catholic. You simply have to affirm belief in what the Catholic Church Teaches.
You don’t have to twist and turn wondering what someone meant when they said “Brother UbaldusPray4Us, I have grave concern you’re backslidin’ and slipping through the cracks.”
You do an examination of conscience. You go to confession. You receive the one who can keep you from backslidin’ as REAL food and REAL drink.
Not as a mental abstraction, or a character in some ongoing psychodrama.
Many things contributed. The first was dispelling sola scriptura, as the issue of authority is absolutely the first question that must be answered. I remember John MacArthur was a lot of help. He was an exacting as any evangelical when it comes to scripture and he had to depart logic and twist evidence to defend sola scriptura from scripture. It cannot be done as the whole concept of sola scriptura is self-contradictory. That leaves a vacuum in authority.
Next, once one gets past the who petra/petros issue and remembers that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and that Peter was called Cephas, the issue of petrine primacy becomes clear.
Finally, when one studies the earliest history available, starting with the book of Acts, this primacy and apostolic succession led to the Catholic Church.
One of my big issues was the belief that communion was only a symbol, nothing more. The Bible makes clear that receiving unworthily makes a person guilty of the body and blood of Our Lord. It also has a story of people walking away when told “Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.” In my mind, that makes it clear that the Eucharist is far from a mere symbol.
We had prayers before communion in which we were urged to get right with God before receiving a symbolic ordinance. I could not understand how I could be guilty of something that was only symbolic.
I grew up in an agnostic home but I had a grandmother that took me to church (Church of Christ) frequently when I was 6-7 years old. She died from cancer when I was 9.
I always knew God existed and that Jesus was His Son. In the year or so after my beloved grandmother’s death, I tried to make sense of this horrible loss but my parents could not provide me with answers because their life was contradictory to any comforting answer they could give me regarding God, Jesus, heaven, etc.
A year or so later, I became friends with a Missionary Baptist girl and we spent many evenings at her house at sleepovers talking about God, Jesus, Heaven, Hell, salvation, etc. What she told me at this impressionable age impacted me for MANY years. She had always been taught that one had to be “saved”. However, to be “saved”, basically, one had to plead with God to choose them and once they’d been chosen, they’d have this very emotional, supernatural experience. For instance, she knew she’d been saved at a revival because when she had this “feeling”, she prayed that if she was truly saved, that the congregation would sing “Amazing Grace” before the service was over and sure enough, at the last minute, an elderly lady asked if they could sing this exact song. My friend then knew it was true and went forward during the “altar call”.
For YEARS, I would read my Bible and pray (beg, really) that God would save me and finally, at the age of 16, at a Baptist revival I’d attending with another friend, I had this overwhelming emotional reaction during the service and therefore, I believed I’d been saved. I was baptized a month or so later. I now realize that this faulty theology has greatly affected the way in which I viewed God for many years. It has also been very damaging to my self-esteem because I can vividly remember my SBC pastor saying, in defense of OSAS, that if a person sinned greatly that maybe they’d never really been saved to begin with. Therefore, anytime I “sinned greatly”, I questioned my salvation and whether or not I really had been saved. I would constantly beg and plead for God to forgive me, not truly knowing whether He had or not
A couple of years after I was “saved”, I met and fell in love with a good ole’ Church of Christ boy and as that relationship grew, we both realized that both of our traditions had major faults/discrepancies in their theology and so we’ve just floated around in churches since we married 16 years ago believing that no tradition/denomination contained all the truth, until yet another friend opened our eyes to Catholicism about two years ago.
We are still on this journey, but I can say that our eyes have truly been opened to so much truth by studying Catholicism. Now, we can see that there is a church that has ALL the truth and that God did not leave us all out here to flounder around. We had never even heard of the Early Church Fathers and by reading them, we are absolutely floored and feel so cheated of this great heritage.
I had always had a problem with the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture that is taught in many Evangrlical and Baptist churches. When I pointed out in a bible study on Revelations that this was 1. Mainly a western idea 2. Was less than 200 years old and never was widely accepted until less than 100 years ago and finally 3 Would Christians in Syria, Iraq China etc believe that Jesus would come back before they suffered persecution? They wouldn’t buy into that. The assistant pastor stated “We aren’t going to discuss that.”
That made me start to investigate what the early church believed. They didn’t believe in a pre-trib rapture and btw They were CATHOLIC!! What else had I been misled on? Became Catholic soon after. Best decision of my life. I can truly say each day I am happier to be Catholic than I was the day before.
Thanks to all of you for sharing! If there’s anymore on here please share what it was that brought you home. God bless
My mother was raised Baptist. She (almost) converted (she became an Episcopalian) because the Baptist Church simply did not make sense.
For example, she was told it was sinful to “play cards” on Sunday. To most Baptists, this probably means gambling. But why is it sinful on Sunday but not on any other day? When she asked this, she was told she was “questioning” (ie, doubting) God, and she ought not do this. Don’t ask questions.
But, in her family, “playing cards” extended to ANY use of cards, including (for example) Monopoly, which uses - not one but TWO "decks of cards (three, if you count property “cards”). Even solitaire was forbidden. But only on Sunday.
For any Baptists or anyone ministering to Baptists in particular, I highly recommend anything by Catholic apologist (and Baptist convert) Stephen Ray, especially Crossing the Tiber.