I am so conflicted

Hello,

I’ll make this as brief as possible. I am a young Baptist and my church just voted to allow me to attend Bible college in order to become a Southern Baptist minister. They are a genuine and holy congregation and have been very supportive of my call to ministry.

A while ago, I became very interested in becoming Catholic, but finally put those convictions to rest. However, I now find myself once again being drawn to the Roman Catholic Church. I think my dilemma is clear. I feel like I’m being pulled in two different directions. Part of me yearns to receive the sacraments and join the Church while part of me wants to hold on to my Protestant theology. A visit to the open house at the new Catholic church that was just built in walking distance from my house made me even more interested in Catholicism, partly because a sweet lady there thought like I acted like I wanted to join the Church.

I am in desperate need of some counsel. Is it unethical to attend a Baptist college while feeling this way? Am I endangering my salvation by not converting if I feel I should? I fear how my conversion would affect my life plans and relationships. I’m in an evangelical choir and drama team and my mother is very anti-Catholic. Do any of you have any advice or encouraging words? I’d very much appreciate it. God bless you all.

Gregorian,

If you’re looking for personal witness, in a situation similar to yours, you might consider reading Scott Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home, in which he and his wife detail their journey from their Christian upbringings, to their academic work and vocations as ministers, and their eventual conversion to the Catholic Church.

There’s no sugar-coating it: conversion from one faith tradition to another can be difficult, especially if the tradition you’re coming from is antagonistic to the tradition you’re going to; as you mention, the effects have quite a span: family relationships, career/vocation, daily activities. In the end, though, there’s only one question at stake: if the Catholic Church teaches the Truth – Jesus’ Truth – and it is comprised of the Church that Jesus Himself started, how can one say “no thanks, I’m more comfortable over here, where (parts of) that Truth are lacking?” :shrug:

I’ll be praying for you!!!

Blessings,
G.

If you aren’t sure that you believe one theology more than the other then I don’t see a problem with working towards becoming a Baptist minister. The big question is, do you find Catholic theology to be closer to the Truth? If so and you are staying put because of comfort then there would be an issue. If that’s not the case, pursue your current path while keeping an open mind about Catholicism.

I know how you feel. I’d say I’m in a similar position and have been in it for a looooonnnggg time. It sounds like you may be more convinced than me that the RCC is the one true church. I’ve had trouble accepting some doctrines and I also have very anti-catholic family and friends. This is why I am Anglican–I can partake in sacraments and still hold to certain protestant doctrines that I accept, all the while I am still searching. I hope you find peace in your decision. God bless

I can understand feeling conflicted! My prayers are with you.

I don’t know that I have much useful advice as this falls outside of my realm of experience. But you might consider contacting the Coming Home Network. That organization exists precisely to help people in your situation and it is filled with lots of great people who have gone through things similar to what you are going through. I would encourage you to reach out and get some feedback from them.

I will say a prayer for you! God bless!

Wow! I’m so impressed by your honesty here. I assume you are young? 20’s or 30’s? I can understand your feelings right now.
I really feel that if you are being drawn to the Catholic Church, you should follow your instincts. God is telling you what to do. It’s hard to listen sometimes. I have a suggestion. Have you ever been to a Eucharistic Adoration Chapel? Most Catholic Churches have one. It is a small chapel that has the blessed sacrament exposed. I find that I can really listen to God in front of Him in this chapel. Just go in there and pour your heart out to God. Let Him know your desires and fears. I guarantee that He will show you the way.

I bet your family will love you no matter what you choose! Why is your mother anti-Catholic? Maybe you could sit with her and explain some misconceptions she might think about the Catholic Church.
Also, you could check into starting an RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) in your local parish. They usually begin in August or September. Not to commit, but to investigate and learn more about the faith. I recommend any book by Scott Hahn as well. He is amazing! Rome Sweet Rome, or The Lamb’s Supper are my favorite.
Patrick Madrid and Tim Staples also have some interesting articles and books. Good Luck and I will be praying for you!!!:thumbsup:

I would suggest you talk to a priest soon before you make any final decisions. And I would also recommend reading a book by Patrick Madrid titled’ Surprised by Truth." The coming home network would also be a big help. You are torn between 2 paths. They can’'t both be right, at least not completely. One has to be the One, Holy, Catholic, (universal) and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. Don’t walk away from the Catholic Church you are being called to until you get to know her truthfully. Most converts have problems with family and friends but that is to be expected considering all the false things most protestants believe about the Catholic Church, that are NOT true. Learn for yourself. Don’t listen to the Churches ‘enemies’ about what she teaches. Prayers for you and your ‘journey’. God Bless, Memaw

What is it about Protestant theology that you want to hold onto it? Comfort of what you’ve always known? Something else?

At this point in time it might be prudential to postpone for a period of time your attendance at the Bible college. Your church is supportive of you, but probably expects that their investment will be “repaid” in some manner of service to the church, which is not an unreasonable expectation. You don’t have to go into all the details on your postponement, and simply mention that you wish for a brief period of reflection, study, and prayer. I would also encourage finding a job if you don’t have one and saving up some money. (Idle hands and all that).

As to what decision you should make. All I can offer you is to spend some time in prayer and reflection during Eucharistic Adoration at the Catholc Church near you. Times available should be posted in their bulletin. There you can spend reflective time in prayer and meditation with the Creator of the universe, and speak your mind with Him. Put your questions and troubles to Him, and then be quiet and listen. He will send the Holy Spirit to guide you.

*Luke 14:25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.*

I think you are also expressing a feeling of guilt at taking the college place if your heart isn’t completely set on being a Baptist Minister? I can understand that, you are being honest.

My advice, FWIW would be to think about deferring that college place whilst you are unsure of your convictions regarding the right church for you. However, if that would be too difficult to do right now, go to college with an open heart and do your very best. God will guide you, if you are truly seeking. :slight_smile:

I agree with Joe above, the CHN is a good resource and they do work closely with clergy becoming Catholic through a special ministry also.

Peace and prayers!!!

Sorry to disappoint you but the Anglican denomination does not have all the true sacraments. They do not have the Apostolic Succession. So their communion is not valid. Why settle for a half way place. Please read some of the books recommended on here. God Bless, Memaw

I do not recommend that organization if you have sincere thoughts of becoming Catholic. I was given no concrete assistance and assume you have to pay for membership. I do heartily recommend you go back to that parish and talk to the priest about what you are experiencing. I have known and know wonderful Baptists. It was that church that welcomed me as a young adult in college and kept and nurtured my faith in God and His word during those difficult years.

Talk to the priest.

That’s funny, cause so many others have said just the opposite of what your saying. God Bless. Memaw

What a difficult time this must be for you. If you have these feelings I think that you need to spend some time trying to sort through them before you move forward in any specific direction. Once you start down the path of the seminary it will become more and more difficult to stop if it comes to that. You hopefully have time to discuss this with the pastor of your church and a priest and you will be praying for your path to become clear to you. I will pray for you.

Well stated.

No, I have never been to an adoration chapel unfortunately. As to my mother, one of the reasons that she’s so anti-catholic is because she thinks Catholics worship Mary and believe that Jesus needs her help to save us.

I have a good maxim to live by:
“When GOD is working, everybody benefits,
when the Devil is winning, NOBODY wins,
because his victory is empty.” (Rev 20:10)

Make sure that you follow your conscience to
DO THE RIGHT thing! Never compromise due
to fear of other’s opinion or inconvenience as
a result of doing God’s will. Bl. John Henry
Newman was an leading Anglican Clergyman
who sought the TRUTH, altho suspicion from
both Anglicans AND Catholics about his
conversion to Catholicism plagued him his
whole life, he,was made a Cardinal
before his death and he emerged as an
“absent Council Father” to Vatican II.

How did that interest start?

The dilema is, they contradict eachother…which of course takes more than a statement but an explanation

How did you as a Baptist even want to learn about the Catholic sacraments?

If your mom is open to discussion, discuss this with her. #[FONT=Arial]34 [/FONT]See where it goes. All those internal links are functional. If any don’t work for you let me know.

Blessings

I understand that is what the RCC believes. However, I don’t. This is one of the reason why I am not Catholic. I do believe that I partake in the most precious body and blood of our savior Jesus Christ and that my baptism at birth was valid. I very much respect the RCC and have thought about joining for a while but there are some things that I cannot accept. So it’s ok, you haven’t disappointed me one bit.

Hey, I would highly recommend the book published by the Dynamic Catholic program, “Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor”. It’s the same vein as Rome Sweet Home. You can get one from the Dynamic Catholic website for shipping only. I hope your journey goes smoothly, my girlfriend is a convert and what a journey it was :slight_smile:

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