Possible Soon to be ex-Catholic


#1

Let me start by saying that I was Baptised and Confirmed a Catholic. Please bear with me while I state what I have to say. By the time I got to college I was for all practical purposes an ambivalent Christian, I beleived God existed but thats about it. While in college I made friends with some “Born Again” Christians and listened to what they had to say. Needless to say that I had a :“Born Again” experience myself. I started attending an Assembly of God Church while in college. After graduation I ran into an old High School friend who was a member of a Reformed(Calvinist) Baptist Church. I started going there and I read a lot of Reformed Theology plus some Patristics. I became convinced that Baptist belief was not quite right when it came to Sacraments and some other things like liturgy. I then joined the Episcopal Church but after a while I got tired of the liberalism there. I relocated and found the Reformed Episcopal Church and it was Liturgical, Conservative and very Pro-Life. I moved back home and began reading some Catholic Apologetics and as there was no REC Church here I began attending a Catholic Church but no Communion as I was not Catholic at the time. Last May I figured why not? I asked the Priest, explained my situation and he told me all I need do is go to Confession and I could receive Comminion as a Catholic, so I became a “Revert”. Last summer I told my best friend what happened and he being a born and raised Evangelical Protestant tried changing my mind, I listened but said give me something convincing then. He gave me some easily refuted Evangelical Apologetics Lite. I asked him last month “haven’t you got anything more substantial?” He gave me some material by R.C. Sproul and Norm Geisler to read. I also have been reading “The Book of Concord” the Lutheran source of their theology. Now I don’t know if I did the right thing by reverting. I also have been reading St. Paul’s Epistles seriously and even looking up the words in the original Greek. So far I find myself agreeing with the Protestant view on Justification. I am at the poiint wher I toss and turn all night, am restless, I only sleep enough to get rest and then I hit the books again. This is really an important issue I have to to settle. Can any of you give me some meaty Catholic Theology beyond the Catechism or “pop Catholic Apologetics”? Because as of now the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod looks better for me to go to. In Christ, jurist12


#2

which part, exactly, don’t you agree with?

Also, have you asked God for guidance (i.e. pray a lot)? Try the Rosary! :thumbsup:


#3

If you are believing the protestant view of Justification I would suggest reading the epistle of James, especially chapter 2. I would also read Matthew 25.

As far as the Lutheran Church goes. I think they agreed with the Catholic Church on the issue of Justification. There was a meeting between the Catholics and the Lutherans and I think there was an agreement on Justification.


#4

It seems crazy to me that you could even consider apostasising from the Church Christ Himself founded and promised to be with until the end of time. Do you not realise that you are putting your eternal soul in peril? I think I’m right in saying that there are many ‘Lutheran’ churches or confessions with, I presume, so many differences and disagreements that they had to separate. No doubt they will splinter again and again, ad infinitum. I would say that you must pray for faith. Then study more and consult converts from Lutheranism, like Marcus Grodi on EWTN/ The Coming Home Network. Ultimately, we have to submit our will and intellect to the Divine authority of the Church. We do not and never will possess all knowledge. We have to try and ascertain which body can legitimately claim to be the Church Christ invested with His own authority, and then join ourselves to it. Faith seeking understanding.


#5

When the controversy arose in the early Church about Gentiles receiving circumcision a council was held to decide the issue. The resulting letter sent to the Gentiles included this:

The brethren, both the apostles and the elders, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greeting. Since we have heard that some persons from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, [emphasis mine] it has seemed good to us in assembly to choose men and send them to you . . . .(Acts 15:23-25)

In short, those who teach without being sent by proper authority, are not to be given regard. That authority was established by Christ and is passed on from generation to generation to certain men.

Now, these writings that you are reading were written by men who have no authority to teach. They are rebels from the true church. You can prove this to yourself by studying history. No matter whose account you read of history, whether Catholic or Protestant, one fact will always remain the same, the protestors did in fact break away from the Church that existed from the time of Christ. By virtue of this break, they have no authority to teach.

The way for you to save your faith, and your soul, is to stop reading the writings of these men, and to start reading the writings of those in Communion with Christ’s Church, the Catholic Church. Read the writings of the early fathers. Read the documents of the Councils and of the Popes. You will never be able to exhaust the writings of the Church before you die.

A good antidote to the stuff you have read so far is Karl Keating’s Catholicism and Fundamentalism. It will probably answer most of your questions.


#6

Hi Jurist,

The epistle of St. James is defenitely a good start. But let me ask you a question. What, in your view are the differences on Justification making you go for the Lutheran theology? There is a good possibility that you have not fully understood the teacching of the Catholic Faith.

That way we could offer you more help.

Blessings,
J.C.


#7

[quote=jurist12]Let me start by saying that I was Baptised and Confirmed a Catholic. Please bear with me while I state what I have to say. By the time I got to college I was for all practical purposes an ambivalent Christian, I beleived God existed but thats about it. While in college I made friends with some “Born Again” Christians and listened to what they had to say. Needless to say that I had a :“Born Again” experience myself. I started attending an Assembly of God Church while in college. After graduation I ran into an old High School friend who was a member of a Reformed(Calvinist) Baptist Church. I started going there and I read a lot of Reformed Theology plus some Patristics. I became convinced that Baptist belief was not quite right when it came to Sacraments and some other things like liturgy. I then joined the Episcopal Church but after a while I got tired of the liberalism there. I relocated and found the Reformed Episcopal Church and it was Liturgical, Conservative and very Pro-Life. I moved back home and began reading some Catholic Apologetics and as there was no REC Church here I began attending a Catholic Church but no Communion as I was not Catholic at the time. Last May I figured why not? I asked the Priest, explained my situation and he told me all I need do is go to Confession and I could receive Comminion as a Catholic, so I became a “Revert”. Last summer I told my best friend what happened and he being a born and raised Evangelical Protestant tried changing my mind, I listened but said give me something convincing then. He gave me some easily refuted Evangelical Apologetics Lite. I asked him last month “haven’t you got anything more substantial?” He gave me some material by R.C. Sproul and Norm Geisler to read. I also have been reading “The Book of Concord” the Lutheran source of their theology. Now I don’t know if I did the right thing by reverting. I also have been reading St. Paul’s Epistles seriously and even looking up the words in the original Greek. So far I find myself agreeing with the Protestant view on Justification. I am at the poiint wher I toss and turn all night, am restless, I only sleep enough to get rest and then I hit the books again. This is really an important issue I have to to settle. Can any of you give me some meaty Catholic Theology beyond the Catechism or “pop Catholic Apologetics”? Because as of now the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod looks better for me to go to. In Christ, jurist12
[/quote]

Hi jusist12,
Don’t allow doubt to rule your life. Believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. Doubt is sin as it is a lack of faith.
Notice the post of All4lifetoo, where he highlighted words. Does this prove that as early as this, Peter was not in control of the church in Jerusalem. He was leader but Paul returned because of the false teaching coming from Jersusalem. And these false teachers were amongst the elders and apostles because they stood up in the meeting and tried to have their will done. Peter had not been able to control them, if he tried, but Paul’s presence gave him the strength. As Paul was to do again regarding eating. I feel for Peter.
The earth has many churches. Can anyone say this is against God’s will? Who has this wisdom? The fact that the Roman Catholic church is without external mercy, claiming that all ( very minor exceptions) who dont belong will go to hell shows their lack of love; and faith in God’s wisdom. His church has those who believe and belief is a gift and belief is in degrees. No one can set the bar on belief.
If you ignore what is in your heart, you will be the one who has to answer to Christ for your disbelief. Don’t let fear make decisions. Find the denominational church Christ wants you in.
Christ be with you
walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif


#8

[quote=jurist12] Can any of you give me some meaty Catholic Theology beyond the Catechism or “pop Catholic Apologetics”? Because as of now the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod looks better for me to go to.
[/quote]

Here’s a link to the recent Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church mentioned in another post, www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html
It is my understanding that the Missouri Synod is not part of the Lutheran World Federation.

You may also find this book helpful: There We Stood, Here We Stand : Eleven Lutherans Rediscover Their Catholic Roots, edited by Timothy Drake, www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0759613206/104-1599127-0336767?v=glance


#9

[quote=edwinG]The earth has many churches. Can anyone say this is against God’s will? Who has this wisdom? The fact that the Roman Catholic church is without external mercy, claiming that all ( very minor exceptions) who dont belong will go to hell shows their lack of love; and faith in God’s wisdom.
[/quote]

This is not Roman Catholic doctrine. The Catholic Church does not teach that everyone outside the church is going to Hell. Your statement shows a lack of knowledge. I reccomend the catechism to read.


#10

The bible is a Catholic book. It was given to the Catholic Church. If you read anything in the bible that disagrees with the Catholic Church you are reading it in the wrong way. Yes I think I took this almost word for word from an EWTN commercial, but this has been my experience long before I started listening to EWTN.

I commend you pouring over books night and day trying to settle this, if this is your approach try more books, especially Catholic books. It seems you’re giving all kinds of attention to denominational books. Give the Church more chances to explain because I’ve realized the truth isn’t always simple. Too many people today think the truth is simple, but we forget we’ve had thousands of years of evil and men with bad ideas to make everything confusing. It seems since the fall of man the truth has never been and might not ever be simple. The Catholic Church is really all I’ve seen that has ever presented truth after truth. I admit I was born Catholic, raised mostly Catholic, but always educated Catholic from age 5 to 22, but I too sometimes have heard charges against the Catholic Church. I hear what sounds like such a strong argument, and said wow the Church must be wrong here. I might even have believed in some heresies with or without even realizing it for some time. But every single time, when I have sought out the Church’s answer, allowed it to explain her teaching, I’ve always felt rather silly for ever questioning it in the first place. In fact I’ve given up doubting. Seek the truth from men and you might go in circles your whole life, but seek the truth through Christ and you will know it. Christ is most active through His Church. You should also ask yourself about authority.

  I am not certain all the books you have read, but aside from looking at the bible, (wow do you read Greek?) one thing that has also strengthened my faith is reading, even just a little bit, about Church history.  If I ever had a question about which church I should belong to even after reading the bible, it was certainly answered by learning about the history of my Church. There are many areas of history to focus on, and besides the text books I read in school I’m new to this area so I don’t have a whole lot of recommendations, but maybe I could get you started on something.   I think reading about the start of the Church is always good, for example the founding fathers who wrote very very early on, though in this case I don’t know if I would start here.  Maybe down the line a bit I would recommend Faith of the Early Fathers by Jurgens if you like to read as much as it seems! This depends on your interests.  *Continued next post.  *

#11

However, I might recommend two books I have not yet read but are on my list about the Catholic Mass. I can’t imagine anything more important when trying to figure out which church you should belong to than considering what really happens during their service. Is Christ present in the same way he is in the Catholic Mass? Does their service have roots in the bible? Did early Christians celebrate the Mass in a similar way to the Mass you go to today? Maybe someone who has read more on this topic than I have could better recommend, but I have heard good things about ***Worthy is the Lamb, The Biblical Roots of the Mass. ***** **Perhaps it might help you to read how much of our Mass is in the bible despite charges of the opposite from so many people.

And back to history, The Mass of the Early Christians by Mike Aquilna. I can’t imagine wanting to do anything *fundamentally *different from the early Christians, and people have told me that Aquilna has done a good job demonstrating how the Catholic Mass is much the same then as it is today. Perhaps these books are quite similar, has anyone read them? I’m not a professional student and by no means a theologian, and again I haven’t read these books but to me it seems a good place to start.

 Now I’ll recommend books I have read regarding later Church history.  Reading about the heresies against the Catholic Church is interesting also; you can kind of start to see that the Church has been attacked wave after wave of some bad idea that has almost destroyed the Church time after time century after century again. However the Church has always been right, and eventually has won.  This heresy category includes the reformation, and therefore you might especially enjoy reading about the reformation.  However I’ve noticed that all history books seem to like the reformation, no doubt history writers are mostly protestant.  I’ve found much more truthful accounts however from different authors.  I can’t quite think of some titles for you now, except I know that Hilaire Belloc has written much, I think maybe The Reformation, and The Great Heresies are good to read regarding attacks on the Church.  I know G.K. Chesterton also writes about more modern heresies.  I would recommend no matter what your situation to everyone *Orthodoxy* by the same author.  This book is great.  It might also help you to see the truth of the Church. Continued third post.  Sorry I had trouble getting it on two even though it should have fit.  

#12

I do think that good accounts of history are excellent in demonstrating Christ’s true Church throughout the centuries. Also, I remember reading a long time ago a book called Where we Got the Bible, our debt to the Catholic Church. It was far from perfect as a book I think, but even after going to Catholic school all my life I was surprised to learn how much the Church had always loved the bible, and without a doubt any bible loving Christian really owes everything to the Catholic Church. If you ever thought that Catholics hate the bible while Protestants love the bible, reading this book might make you lean more towards the opposite.

Finally I can say that sometimes I stick my nose in books too much at the expense of prayer. Someone suggested praying the rosary. Maybe this seems like over given advice, a Catholic’s solution to everything. My mom died, pray the rosary. The world is going to hell, pray the rosary. My toe hurts, pray the rosary. At any rate, the answer is YES!!! MOST DEFINETLY PRAY THE ROSARY. If you don’t understand why you are praying the rosary, or if it seems dry to you, pray about praying the rosary. I also can’t imagine anything more powerful than sitting in front of Christ Himself in Eucharistic Adoration. Even if you’re like me with a short attention span, which is why I think I have traditionally spent more time with my nose in three or four books at once rather than simply praying, you cannot even begin to understand the grace that is poured on you from prayer, even if you don’t feel it at the time. But if you do want to read, really do try reading about Church History from Catholic authors. Or books on conversion by Catholic authors. Or books on the bible by Catholic authors.

Really do give the Church a chance to explain rather than reading and looking for anyone who has a theory against the Church. Perhaps this is the best thing you could get from reading about Church history, that just about everyone these days has a theory against the Church but they in every single case they are proven wrong.

And a second final note, just as I’m writing this on the EWTN network there is a show, I think it is The Journey Home, about a pastor from the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church who converted to Catholicism. I checked on the website and it is not yet posted on the archives. I can tell you it originally aired on November 8, and the guest is Father Kazimierz Kowalski. Maybe in the next few days you’ll be able to find it on their website and listen to this guy speak about why he joined the Catholic Church. Perhaps someone else has listened to this show and can tell you more. I’ll be sure to keep you in my prayers.


#13

I notice you took a shot at “pop-apologetics.” I couldn’t agree more. So I am advising you to sink your teeth into something substantial, do this:

Please read the collected works of John Henry Newman before making your decision.

I warn you, most of it will be over the heads of those trying to lead you astray. They will recoil like demons when Cardinal Newman’s name is mentioned. You must ask yourself why this is so, since Cardinal Newman is a brilliant man; his stature is unmatched.

If you want a title for starters, read An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. But I warn you, this is a man who was an eminent Protestant scholar, who came to realize that the reformation was a tragic mistake, and who spent his life explaining in scholarly detail - with irrefutable facts - why it was a mistake.

After you finish Cardinal Newman, you must study the works of St. Thomas Aquinas until you understand them thoroughly, particularly his views on justification. This might take years of serious study, as I recommend using several sources including the original latin text.

In short, you have a big job ahead of you before you defect.

Best to you.


#14

hope you stay… :thumbsup:


#15

[quote=edwinG]The earth has many churches. Can anyone say this is against God’s will? Who has this wisdom? The fact that the Roman Catholic church is without external mercy, claiming that all ( very minor exceptions) who dont belong will go to hell shows their lack of love; and faith in God’s wisdom. His church has those who believe and belief is a gift and belief is in degrees. No one can set the bar on belief.
If you ignore what is in your heart, you will be the one who has to answer to Christ for your disbelief. Don’t let fear make decisions. Find the denominational church Christ wants you in.
Christ be with you
walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
[/quote]

I couldn’t disagree more with edwinG. This is a person speaking out of ignorance. Read the Catholic Church document *Dominus Jesus * vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000806_dominus-iesus_en.html Continue seeking truth. It will show itself to you and the deposit of that truth is the Catholic Church. God Bless.


#16

[quote=Origen]I notice you took a shot at “pop-apologetics.” I couldn’t agree more. So I am advising you to sink your teeth into something substantial, do this:

Please read the collected works of John Henry Newman before making your decision.

I warn you, most of it will be over the heads of those trying to lead you astray. They will recoil like demons when Cardinal Newman’s name is mentioned. You must ask yourself why this is so, since Cardinal Newman is a brilliant man; his stature is unmatched.

If you want a title for starters, read An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. But I warn you, this is a man who was an eminent Protestant scholar, who came to realize that the reformation was a tragic mistake, and who spent his life explaining in scholarly detail - with irrefutable facts - why it was a mistake.

After you finish Cardinal Newman, you must study the works of St. Thomas Aquinas until you understand them thoroughly, particularly his views on justification. This might take years of serious study, as I recommend using several sources including the original latin text.

In short, you have a big job ahead of you before you defect.

Best to you.
[/quote]

Origen makes a great suggestion. As well as his Essay on the Development of Doctrine, read his Apologia Sua Pro Vita. Personally (as a convert to RC in my college years who was first trained at a rather whimpy Newman center), Newman’s Apologia was the first book that utterly convinced me of the importance of the issue of authority. I know the “authority issue” isn’t your immediate concern; rather, as stated, the theology of justification is; still, the authority issue is at the heart of all other issues.


#17

Jurist…

Just don’t…I just came home from over 30 years as a Protestant & the truth is they taught me wrong. The Church really is the real thing & the answers she gives are the same ones that the early church did. I have to stifle a laugh when some Prot (God love 'em) tells me he’s part of a New Testament church because he doesn’t really know what the early church believed and did.

Please share with us your serious questions & let us help you find the beauty of the truth. This is definately the right site for it.

We love ya & don’t wanna lose ya. Stick around, the best is yet to come.

Pax tecum.

Michael


#18

Your problem may be that you have only reading Protestant books that tell one side of the story. Here are some recommendations:

The Salvation Controversy
by Jimmy Akin
shop.catholic.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/online-store/scstore/p-CB258.html?L+scstore+pytg8701ff2a942a+1111161126

How Can I Get To Heaven, and
Not By Faith Alone
by Robert Sungenis
catholicintl.com/products/books/heaven.htm

Also visit the apologetics page run by Dave Armstrong, Biblical Evidence For Catholicism
ic.net/~erasmus/ERASMUS7.HTM


#19

jurist12: you’ve been around the block. And so have I. Two differences:

(1) I wasn’t a cradle Catholic. I was in the Catholic Chapel Choir in college, but that was as close as I got to Catholicism. Until late late June 2004 (this year), I was against praying to Mary and other Catholic things.

(2) I am now in RCIA – on the way towards Roman Catholicism and not on the way away from it.

I am finding this helpful at this time:

(a) Matthew 13:24-30 and 13:37-43. The enemy has been very busy in the Catholic Church in order to lead many away – or to keep many away. There are a lot of weeds. But that doesn’t invalidate the Church. Look at and dwell on how the best Christians have lived their lives. Decide for yourself who you think the best Christians are (or were).

(b) You may need to re-learn what Catholics really believe. You might be mis-informed on that. Lately, I am listening to a series of talks that Archbishop Fulton Sheen made in the mid-1960’s. It is on the Internet at bishop-sheen.org/Talks.html
So far, I have heard the first 16 of the 50 talks. And I haven’t heard anything that I disagree with yet. In fact, if anything I am greatly impressed with how much Fulton Sheen knew. It seems to be better teaching than I’ve heard elsewhere. Since 19 June 2004, I have also read a few books that Fulton Sheen wrote – “Life is Worth Living”, “Treasure in Clay” and “Characters of the Passion”.

I am starting to read Sheen’s “Life of Christ”. And so far I am convinced that “Life of Christ” may be the most important theological book written by any Christian – perhaps in at least 100 years. And it isn’t a small book. I almost wonder if Josh McDowell got some of his “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” by reading Fulton Sheen’s older books. However, to be fair to other Catholic authors I must admit that I haven’t read too many Catholic books.

© If you find that you like Fulton Sheen and think he is a really good teacher, then I think it is too late for you and you must stay. Because Fulton Sheen really always quickly and plainly gave as his primary inspiration and motivation this – his daily Holy Hour. He always drew so much strength from Adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. If the Blessed Sacrament is only a piece of bread, then how do you explain that? All of Christianity knows full well that idol worshippers don’t get very far in their spiritual understanding. If Fulton Sheen was busy worshipping a piece of bread, then how did he learn to speak such wisdom? To me, Fulton Sheen (not yet canonized, but already a Saint in my eyes) and other Roman Catholic Saints prove the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.

After settling the primary issue (transubstantiation or is the Eucharist always only symbolic), I only had a few choices left. And to me, Isaiah chapter 22 seems to plainly back up the Roman Catholic claim to St. Peter being the Pope. And my further investigation didn’t allow me to discredit the Roman Catholic Church (for preaching something clearly unacceptable).


#20

[quote=edwinG]The earth has many churches. Can anyone say this is against God’s will? Who has this wisdom?
[/quote]

St. Paul does. One body, and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. (Eph. 4:4-5). The many churches that exist do not have the same faith. Since there is only one faith it must be against God’s will that there are many churches.

Jesus did not tell Peter that He (Jesus) was going to build His Churches (plural) but that He (Jesus) was going to build His Church (singular). see Matt. 16:18. The new testament is full of witness that there is to be one, united Church.

The fact that the Roman Catholic church is without external mercy, claiming that all ( very minor exceptions) who dont belong will go to hell shows their lack of love; and faith in God’s wisdom.

Please don’t preach what the Church teaches until you learn what the Church teaches. Your above claim is totally false. It is true that outside the Church there is no salvation, but one must understand what the Church means by this statement. One can learn what she means by reading her Catechism.


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