Okay I'm a Protestant... but...

Okay. I’m new here, and I am Protestant. I’ve been reading/skimming through a lot of threads/posts, and it’s obvious to me I’m in a whole new ball park.

However, I wanted to put this out there - what I believe with all my heart. I hope not to offend anyone here.

I believe that Catholics and Protestants worship and serve the same God and believe in the same Savior, Jesus Christ. I believe we simply have different traditions; though I know I am over-simplifying things a bit. Catholicism is something I have never studied so a lot of things I read are a bit confusing to me. That said, I just wanted to make it clear that in my own personal private view; all who believe Jesus is the Son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary, gave his life on a cross for the sins of the world, and rose on the third day; having defeated death and the grave are brothers and sisters in Christ.

I hope that in this forum I might glean some profitable knowledge about the Catholic faith as well as share what I know of my own.

I hope you all will be patient with me as I crawl then hopefully walk at ease through the threads and posts here.

BTW, I have been a minister for 20 years. I hope I am able to be somewhat of an asset as I humbly seek your guidance in my learning more about the Catholic faith.

God bless you all and thank you again for allowing me to post here.

Welcome to the forums. I hope you enjoy your time here and learn something about Catholicism. We definitely worship the same God. :slight_smile:

Thank you asd72.

Thank you so much.:wink:

I’m a former Protestant myself (and atheist before that), so I’ve got some awareness of where you’re coming from, although my experience is Australian rather than American. We don’t have a Bible Belt like you do. A pity in one way, since I think Americans are more religious overall, whether Protestant or Catholic (or Orthodox presumably). You wouldn’t get an Australian politician in a blue fit putting his hand over his heart and saying at the tail end of a speech, “God bless Australia!”, sincere or otherwise.

If I were to sum up my attitude to the Catholic Church, it would simply be that I think it is “closest to the truth”, in the sense of having the most accurate understanding of Christian theology, sacraments, etc. Obviously we have the same Bible, except we have the additional seven apocryphal books (or deutero-canonical books as Catholics call them, since the term “apocryphal” includes connotations of meaning “questionable” or of “dubious value”), and of course we worship Christ.

However the earliest church didn’t even have the Bible, and as late as Easter 367 AD (from Wikipedia), “…In his Easter letter of 367, Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, gave a list of exactly the same books that would become the New Testament–27 book–proto-canon,[25] and he used the phrase “being canonized” (kanonizomena) in regard to them.[26] and it was in fact canonised by the Catholic Church”.

Since the Catholic Church decided which books would be included, we tend to roll our eyes when Protestants indicate we somehow suppressed the Bible. It’s no coincidence the Reformation didn’t happen till the printing press had become well established, since before that time every copy of every Bible had to be written out by hand, and they were extremely expensive, far beyond the reach of the average person.

It would seem for example the Apostles Creed, or an earlier version of it, was a baptismal statement of faith in the early church. It contains the dreaded words “catholic church”, but that simply means “universal church” (unless some better educated person puts me to rights), since at that time there was basically only one church (which is how it should be).

The trouble with getting into a debate between Catholicism and Protestantism is that the field is very wide, and you’d need to pick on specific topics eg. the office of the Pope and his authority and “infallibility” (a misunderstood concept at the best of times and the Papacy is an **office **- not some sort of individual benefice), apostolic authority, church councils, reconciliation and penance, sacraments (7 compared to the usual 2 for Protestants), Marianism, Deutero-Canonical books, Purgatory, canonised Saints and all the rest, rather than trying to cover all the bases in short order.

I’d suggest one starting point for you might be to get hold of a “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, and just read it through from start to finish. Since this is the official statement of faith, and not what might sometimes be inaccurate local understandings in poorly educated or catechised Catholic areas (mind you, there are some poorly catechised Protestant believers in some places as well, apart from the endless divisions), then this would give you a place to begin asking questions.

But read it first. And then ask the questions.

That’s my suggestion anyway.

If you’re a Protestant, what are you protesting?

I’d second Bob’s advice. Read through the catechism, and try tackling one issue at a time. I’m from a baptist background myself and the first in my family to be or become Catholic probably since the Reformation and Calvinism took over Scotland!

A great resource for the early church and its beliefs is “The Fathers Know Best”, and I’d also recommend a fantastic primer on a faith journey into the Church by a former Baptist minister “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic” by David Currie. God bless you and feel free to ask questions!

Hello and welcome! I, was also protestant all my life until recently.
May I suggest a fantastic book. Scott Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home. Written by a presbyterian minister about his journey of conversion to catholicism. He does a fantastic job of explaining all things!
This site also aided me with many questions. So glad you’re here.

Welcome to the forums. For the most part we try to be polite:D. I have gleaned much information from this forum myself…

Welcome to the forum!

I hope you enjoy your time here. This site has helped many, including myself, to understand the Catholic Church and her teachings. Some of us even felt called to join her!

May God Bless you,
Newsy

You are very welcome here, I hope it proves profitable for us all

I read Scott Hahn’s book also. It was a good read, biographical of that period of his life and family life at that time. What was not there was specific information about biblical references. Her referred to them, but did not include or explain them. I wonder if he has written a companion book that is more technically complete. Does anyone know?

At any rate, welcome to the forum. In our search for our own spirituality, my husband and I “sojourned” with some Presbyterians. They ministered to us in ways that were important to our growth as Christians. We did return to the Roman Catholic Church later, but we were left with a sure knowledge that indeed we worship the same God, and that our separated brethren really do have a large measure of the truth. We did find that the Catholic church provides a real blessing in the magisterium and teaching authority of the Church. Yes, there are squabbles, but these rarely cause actual schism. We see some of that going on in our Protestant brethren these days and pray that your faith is not disturbed.

One thing we found in our journey is that many of our protestant friends had a much better handle on being community. I am very hopeful that the discussion of the New Evangelization will lead to this in our churches also. In our local church, I see us reaching out more and more from the core community to those in need, the marginalized, the hungry, etc.

Welcome to CAF, Seems that you are genuinely searching for the truth and I hope that this forum can be of help to you.
As other have suggested I would highly recommend reading the Cathechism of the Catholic Church. There you can read what are the true teachings of the Church. You can access it for free at the Vatican site here:

vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

or at the USCCB site

usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/index.cfm

Of course you will find lively discussion of all things Catholic, other faiths and even physics, history etc.
I hope you have a good time here.

Peace :thumbsup:

Welcome Welcome Welcome. :thumbsup:
Yes indeed - looking into the Catholic Church can definitely feel like a “whole new ballpark”. So much so in fact that you will find that it can seem like a different language sometimes. Some terms that are commonly used by both Catholics and Protestants can have very different understandings and meanings.
That said…be patient and inquisitive and things will some become clear.

However, I wanted to put this out there - what I believe with all my heart. I hope not to offend anyone here.

OK - shoot…I mean - go ahead - most of us have pretty thick skins…Our armor is charity. :thumbsup:

I believe that Catholics and Protestants worship and serve the same God and believe in the same Savior, Jesus Christ. I believe we simply have different traditions; though I know I am over-simplifying things a bit.

Amen! Yes - oversimplified…but very Catholic in outlook.

Catholicism is something I have never studied so a lot of things I read are a bit confusing to me.

Yes - as i said above…it can seem like a whole new language sometimes. Just don’t be afraid to ask ANY question you have.

That said, I just wanted to make it clear that in my own personal private view; all who believe Jesus is the Son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary, gave his life on a cross for the sins of the world, and rose on the third day; having defeated death and the grave are brothers and sisters in Christ.

Again I say Amen brother. A very Catholic outlook.
I think that you might find THIS an informative read. It is the section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Unity…what I think is particularly interesting is the part about “wounds to unity”.

I hope that in this forum I might glean some profitable knowledge about the Catholic faith as well as share what I know of my own. I hope you all will be patient with me as I crawl then hopefully walk at ease through the threads and posts here.

Looking forward to it. :thumbsup:
I can already tell from your writing that the association has the potential of being very fruitful for both sides.

BTW, I have been a minister for 20 years. I hope I am able to be somewhat of an asset as I humbly seek your guidance in my learning more about the Catholic faith.

Oh - this is wonderful.
If I may ask…since “protestant” is such a large term with many variations…could you share a bit of your theological background? I mean - are you Lutheran - Methodist - Presbyterian - Calvinst - Arminian - etc. As we get to know each other such information can help in communication

God bless you all and thank you again for allowing me to post here.

God bless you too my friend.
And we thank you for choosing to join us here.

OK - now that I buttered you up…;):smiley:

While I agree with your idea that we are all brothers in Christ but with different traditions…I must in all honesty say that the issues run a bit deeper than just “tradition”. When different communions teach different things on matters that touch upon salvation - that is much more problematic than just different traditions.

Jesus prayed for unity - Paul exhorted the faithful to unity as did Peter. And not some loose ethereal unity, but a deep and profound unity.
Jesus described it as being one as He and the Father are one.
Peter and Paul used terms like “be of one mind” and "praise with one voice’ and “avoid dissension”…

The goal of every Christian should be to have this kind of unity with his brothers and sisters in Christ - but alas this is not possible when -** just in the “protestant community”** and not including the RC or EO - one group says Jesus is truly present in the bread and wine and another groups says it’s only symbolic…or when one groups says that water baptism is necessary for salvation while another group says no it is not…

All of these issues come down to one question. The question of “authority”. Who did Christ give it to and how did Christ intend that authority to be preserved and exercised?

I don’t say the above to attack - but rather to share and to suggest that, as you explore our faith and share yours, the differences - the truly significant differences - will eventually come down to this question…According to Scripture - who has the authority to determine which view (or portion thereof) is correct and which view (or portion thereof) is incorrect.

I hope I don’t come off sounding harsh…Not my intent…but I thought you might find this idea worth considering, praying on and perhaps even discussing…

Peace
James

As welcoming as your statement sounds to this newcomer :rolleyes:, you should be aware that those to whom we refer to as “Protestants” today are protesting nothing. As you heard in the OP this person is unfamiliar with the Catholic faith and therefore has nothing to protest against. The title “Protestant” can only properly be applied to those who knew the faith and rejected, or protested against it. Those who have been raised in a non-Catholic faith tradition and are ignorant of the Catholic faith are simply non-Catholic Christians. No, they do not have the fullness of truth present in the Catholic Church but they worship Jesus Christ with what they do have. In any event, they should be treated with respect and dignity as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Welcome to the forum. I hope you find it is a great resource in your spiritual journey and that you find kindness and charity in those you speak with.

Welcome to Catholic Answers I hope we can help. Would you mind telling us what faith group or groups you have been a minister? It would give me at lest some idea where you are coming from. I am a convert from a nondenomination bible church, but that has been over 35 years ago. I will be praying for you.

Why don’t you start with what you find the most confusing about the Catholic faith. Be frank and don’t worry we have heard it all.

Welcome to CAF!

Search the truth and it will lead you to Catholicsm. Thanks to this site i am now a true Catholic, i hope you will one day be a Catholic too.

Good luck in finding the truth.

Welcome to CAF. You can learn much here, from Catholics and non-Catholics alike. I would suggest that you purchase the Catechism for the simple reason that everything we believe is contained in it and you are getting the official Catholic doctrine rather than opinion. There are many fantastic books out there, but the Catechism will answer just about any question you could have concerning Catholic doctrine.

Again, welcome.

I welcome you also to this forum. I consider it the best move one could ever make. I to am former Baptist. I too believed that we all believed in the same God. I believed that it didn´t matter which faith you embraced, just that you embraced the Christian faith. I was just curious, out of all the different denominations, which one did Christ found. I found my answer. I pray that you´ll find yours. Jesus said seek and you will find. But you have to seek. God bless:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Welcome…as everyone has done.

I would offer this link as a starting point…these Journals were written by former protestants now catholic…who give both the protestant and catholic view:

chnetwork.org/resources/coming-home-journals/

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