for sometime I’v been thinking about converting to Catholicism from my Baptist background. But I have a few questions that I just want to throw out there. My doubts with protestantism started with sola scriptura, but couldn’t one argue that the books of the Bible were infabllible by their very nature and would eventually emerged as the canon without the church? I guess you could say that they Holy Spirit would guide individuals to know what books were right, and not need an infallible church to do so. How can I know for sure that the early Christians were Catholics? I never hear the infallibility of the Pope talked about in the New Testament. I’v read a lot of the little quotes from Early Church Fathers on this website and others, but whenever I see a small quotation to justify a huge doctrine such as Papal infallibilty I tend to think that the quote was taken out of context. To be fair I think protestants do this all the time when they use Augustine quotes in an attempt to prove that Augustine was a calvinist. I’v read some early Christian writings, but I don’t really have the time to consume every early Christian writing ever in order to conclude whether they protestant or Catholic. Any suggestions?
Another broad question. Why the neccesity of the sacraments and huge amount of theology that go along with them? When I read the New Testament it seems fairly straightforward, something along the lines of “repent and beleive in Jesus”, repent meaning changing your lifestyle to conform with the teachings of Jesus. So why do we have penances, indulgences, purgatory, assumption of Mary, and many other complex theological ideas that do not appear in what seems a fairly simple Gospel message found in the New Testament. One could even argue that these obscure the all-suffciency of Christ because they get in the way of you and and Jesus.
I really, really hope that I don’t sound anti-catholic, because I’m not. I really respect the Church and her members, I just really need to have questions answered. There days in my spiritual journey where I think I’m for sure going to convert to Catholicism, and there are other day when I think I’m going to remain protestant . I guess this is one of my more protestant days. Any help would be great. And of course prayers. God Bless.