Question on converting


#1

I have a question for those who are protestants before converting to the catholic faith. When you are a protestant, do you experience life changing experiences? For example, God changed you and do great things in your life? If yes, then why do you convert in the first place when God is real right where you are?

I’m asking this question because I’m seeking to convert but is placed this question by a friend of mine who brought me to Christ. She told me to think carefully about my decision to convert and asked me why I wanna do so when God is real right now in my life. I also do not know why all of a sudden I’m interested in the Catholic faith when I’m quite happy being a protestant. Everything was going on fine, God changed me to be a person who is much more happier. Before i accepted Jesus as my Saviour, I’m a bitter person, who is constantly moody and depressed. I greatly appreciate all the things the Lord has done in my life. Now, I’m just confused. I did lots of reading on the internet about the catholic faith and already have most of my doubts and questions answered. But, my parents who are Buddhist would not allow me to go to a Catholic Church and attend RCIA class although they allow me to attend church with limitations. They don’t like my church hopping around. They think I’m immatured or something. I really don’t know what to do. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thx!!


#2

Vivian,

Sounds like God is truely leading you and you are allowing Him to do so. Keep letting Him guide you!!!

Good luck on your journey and god bless you!
Rich


#3

I was a Protestant who had lots of ‘experiences’ and was changed for the better in Protestant churches. I was received into the Catholic Church this year. Why?

  1. The Catholic teaching is more true (I believe) than any other. That conclusion come too after, like yourself, much reading.

  2. God called me to be here. That’s probably THE most important one for me.

  3. Reading the early Church Fathers and re-reading and studying the Scriptures showed that Catholic/Orthodox teaching on the Eucharist was right. After that there was really no choice but to convert.

  4. There is a richness in Catholic (and Orthodox) spirituality that really surpasses anything in Protestantism. It’s a shame that the majority of UK Catholics don’t realise that and enter more deeply into it.

  5. Grace is certainly given in other churches but it’s nice to be in one that has a continuous existence back to the apostles.

  6. Much to my surprise I found I loved the mass service. That isn’t really a good reason to convert but it made it easier. As a baby Christian back in 1990 I left the first church I was in for another because I liked the service. Big mistake!

That’s a partial list.

It must be hard for Buddhist parents to understand “church hopping”. And yes, a lot of times, people church hop for the wrong reasons.

But converting to Catholicism is different (since you’ve done your studying and so have good reasons). It’s not like leaving Main Street Baptist and going to Main Street Free Baptist after getting grumpy with the pastor or something.

You might have to think hard. Write a list of ALL the reasons for becoming Catholic and prioritise them and consider what makes the Catholic church unique. If possible, (depending on how open your parents are to communication!) discuss these things with them, or just give them the list.

If all else fails with them you may have a sizable cross to bear for a while until either the see you are serious or until they don’t have a say in the matter. Hopefully not for too long.

In any case, I’ve said a prayer for you and for them.


#4

I was born Catholic and still am, but i hope this helps you out

Obviously youve found that there is Truth within the faith of the CC; many people have a hard time accepting any of it, especially if it means stepping out in faith at all. My girlfriend is looking at all things Catholic to see, and has many troubles both accepting, and being willing to make that first step simply as a speculation, is it not easier for someone to find the truth if a close friend or family member has already paved the way?

Youve taken the frist step by opening a book, and now you are slowly clearing a path through the wilderness… continue with your journey with prayer peace and patience, and understand that you are like John the Baptist, making roads straight, making hills flat, and filling valleys, that all who come after you may find the truth with far less troubles than you…


#5

i was a protestant… i received many blessings during my
years as a protestant… but, i always had problems with
every church i ever attended… not personal problems or
incompatability… but the feeling that there was more…

i found it in the Catholic church… and it only took me until
i was 49 years old… lol

:slight_smile:


#6

[quote=asteroid]3. Reading the early Church Fathers and re-reading and studying the Scriptures showed that Catholic/Orthodox teaching on the Eucharist was right. After that there was really no choice but to convert.
[/quote]

That’s really what did it for me. My wife really didn’t get it at first, I don’t think. But she always questioned the authority by which protestant churches taught.

I’m currently reading Hilaire Belloc’s The Great Herasies thanks to Karl’s CA catalog and it really puts things into perspective.


#7

[quote=Vivian]I have a question for those who are protestants before converting to the catholic faith. When you are a protestant, do you experience life changing experiences? For example, God changed you and do great things in your life? If yes, then why do you convert in the first place when God is real right where you are?
[/quote]

I converted, and I had really liked being Protestant! My whole family was Protestant, as well as all of my friends, as well as all of the people who gave me a sense of belonging in the world. I was perfectly happy where I was when I read Scott Hahn’s book which left the indelible question in my mind: What if its true? In spite of my efforts, the wretched question wouldn’t go away. I eventually had to find out.

I left the Evangelical Faith where God was really real to me and had given me life-changing experiences and had answered my prayers in very real ways to go to the same God in the Catholic faith. I went there because He called me. As He said, My sheep know my voice." I knew his voice, and I went where my shephard called.

When I asked the Holy Spirit to lead me to truth, I was shown that the Catholic faith is the fullness of truth. If I had not gone where the Holy Spirit had shown me to go, if I had decided that it was too inconveneint, then I would have been blaspheming the Holy Spirit. As in, “Thanks, but no thanks, HS. I know You are Truth, but I’d rather do it my way.”

But I do have to say, I was compelled to convert. I was conflicted, but I wanted to go to the Truth. When you seek truth, and find it, you want it! I knew God would help me in the hard parts, and He did. God gives you the strength you need to do his will.

[quote=Vivian]I’m asking this question because I’m seeking to convert but is placed this question by a friend of mine who brought me to Christ. She told me to think carefully about my decision to convert and asked me why I wanna do so when God is real right now in my life… But, my parents who are Buddhist would not allow me to go to a Catholic Church and attend RCIA class although they allow me to attend church with limitations. They don’t like my church hopping around. They think I’m immatured or something. I really don’t know what to do. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thx!!
[/quote]

You get the most pressure from your mentors! Brace yourself! They tend to feel territorial. If you don’t do it her way, she is likely to reject you quite “rightously”. And that is her choice, and you can’t change it if it is. She may be a sacrifice you have to make. Leave it in the Lord’s hands. If He allows this sacrifice, He will give you the strength to endure it. All you have to do is stand firm on the truth as it has been revealed to you.

God is leading you to the Cahtolic faith. He won’t abandon you on the way. He will be with you all the way, one step at a time.

Tell your Priest (or any trusted Priest) about the restrictions you are experiencing as far as RCIA and Church attendance. A good Priest can help you balance out your need to honor your parents while showing you how to protect what is exclusively yours, your relationship with God.


#8

As a revert to the Catholic faith, I had a saving grace moment in a Nazarene Church. That was when God grabbed ahold of my heart and my life.

Why would I change? Because the Holy Spirit led me to the revelation of the Real Presence of Christ. When you believe God wishes you to do something, do you do it or ignore His leading? If you ignore it, what do you think will happen?

The thing about the Catholic Church is this. depending on your age, you will be required to study for 6months to 2 years (I know of one girl who at age 14 was required to study for 2 years.) If your parents are right, and you are immature, you likely won’t last through a program to convert.

But I would ask you parents a question. Obviously they believe you have a right to choose your own path? So why won’t they let you choose the Catholic one?
God Bless,
Maria


#9

Vivian,

If you decide to follow your heart and it leads you to the Catholic faith, you will expierence something that you never had as a Protestant…You will be blessed with the Sacraments from the one true Holy Apostolic Catholic Church.:thumbsup:
Good luck on your journey.


#10

I was born into a Protestant family and raised as an Evangelical. At a fairly early age, I made a profession of faith and became “saved”. I attended an Evangelical Protestant college (Asbury), where my faith was strengthened and I learned Protestant theology from a Wesleyan/Armenian perspective. While in college, I met many truly holy men and women and made friendships that endure to this day (including my wife). I was perfectly happy as a Protestant and had no doubts about what I had been taught about the Catholic Church and the Reformation.

Then, a year after I graduated, I read a most remarkable book: A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken. I was so impressed I wrote to the author. This began a correspondence and a friendship that lasted until his death in 1996. When I first met him, in 1981, he was on the verge of becoming a Catholic. Over the next few years, we discussed the Catholic Church, and the arguments he put forth for Her validity were very powerful. I finally had to admit that the Catholic Church might be valid. But that is a deadly error if you are a Protestant, because once you admit the Catholic Church is valid, then you have to ask yourself why you are separated from Her. To make a long story short, in 1985 I became a Catholic, with Sheldon Vanauken as my godfather.

So the primary reason I converted is that I came to believe that the Catholic Church was, indeed, the one, true Church founded by Jesus on the rock that was Peter. Once I believed that, I had no choice, as a Christian, but to submit to her.

Under the Mercy,
Phaedrus


#11

You are reaching the age when you are capable of making decisions for yourself, and your parents should respect that in you. A child often leads parents into the Catholic Church. I led my mother, and my father is on the verge.

God has blessed you with the gift of faith … and now the fullness comes.


#12

Vivian:

I like the imagery of a shot glass, an 8 oz. glass, a mug, a pitcher and a whole reservoir…you can fill it up with water to the brim and call each one of them “full”. As you are now expanding your knowledge, your capacity for grace is also getting bigger…you will find that the more you find out about the Catholic Faith, your universe and frames of reference will also get bigger and bigger…as a lifelong catholic and seriously studying the doctrines, lives of the saints, history, theology, it just keeps getting deeper and deeper and truer and truer. There will come a point in which the whole thing just makes complete sense and you will notice BEAUTY!

On the other hand, as you accept the faith and understand more, you will realize that this privelege of knowing is a prompt to act and change and form yourself closer and closer to Christ. This only means one thing: COMPLICATIONS. Not trying to scare you but think of the apostles…Peter would have been happy as a father and a fisherman for the rest of his life, instead, he had to give up those comforts and suffered all sorts of setbacks and persecutions. For the most part we will not go through that but personal, quiet sacrifices are part of the journey that brings us in a more intimate way with Jesus. But the joy and peace at the other end is priceless.

Lastly, read like there’s no tomorrow. Many good books abound and waiting for you to discover. Feel free to ask what you’re interested and I’m sure we’ll be able to recommend good material.

Welcome and hope to see more of you here.

in XT.


#13

[quote=Phaedrus]…IThen, a year after I graduated, I read a most remarkable book: A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken. I was so impressed I wrote to the author. This began a correspondence and a friendship that lasted until his death in 1996. When I first met him, in 1981, he was on the verge of becoming a Catholic. Over the next few years, we discussed the Catholic Church, and the arguments he put forth for Her validity were very powerful. I finally had to admit that the Catholic Church might be valid. But that is a deadly error if you are a Protestant, because once you admit the Catholic Church is valid, then you have to ask yourself why you are separated from Her. To make a long story short, in 1985 I became a Catholic, with Sheldon Vanauken as my godfather. …
Under the Mercy,
Phaedrus
[/quote]

I hope the OP doesn’t mind me sidetracking to respoond to this.

I loved A Severe Mercy! What a great book! It is at the top of my favorites list. I love it. I read it first around 1984, and have reread it two or three times since, like a visit with an old friend. Besides the great story, he describes places so well - I feel like those places are a part my own memory bank now. It was only a couple years ago that I read Under the Mercy, and that was nice to pull the ends together a bit with that “sequel”, and find out what my “friend” was doing now. I mean that you do feel he is your friend when you read his book. How really special that he was truly your friend!


#14

Thanks a lot people, for all the advice given…truly helped me… :slight_smile:

I feel like God is leading me to the Catholic faith.
I started to search about the Catholic faith after a thought went through my head asking me to do so. It never even cross my mind
to be a Catholic before.

I was thinking through certain things about the worship service in my pentecostal church where I feel like I’m attending a rock concert or something. People are jumping up and down…There are also concerts held in order to bring people to Christ…although it was fun…I feel quite like I’m not worshiping Him at all…There are also certain doubts about the salvation theory where when you’re saved you’re not gonna lose your salvation…Although all of this I’ve thought of before…it never really brought me to re-examine my faith.

Right now I’m praying that the Lord may open up a way for me…because I really don’t know what to do…I’ve called up a priest before and also talked on the phone to a RCIA leader…she asked me to wait for the time being while she talk to the priest about it…

btw, can I pray the Rosary even though I’m unbaptized?

Thx once again!!


#15

#16

[quote=Vivian]Thanks a lot people, for all the advice given…truly helped me… :slight_smile:

I feel like God is leading me to the Catholic faith.
I started to search about the Catholic faith after a thought went through my head asking me to do so. It never even cross my mind
to be a Catholic before.

I was thinking through certain things about the worship service in my pentecostal church where I feel like I’m attending a rock concert or something. People are jumping up and down…There are also concerts held in order to bring people to Christ…although it was fun…I feel quite like I’m not worshiping Him at all…There are also certain doubts about the salvation theory where when you’re saved you’re not gonna lose your salvation…Although all of this I’ve thought of before…it never really brought me to re-examine my faith.

Right now I’m praying that the Lord may open up a way for me…because I really don’t know what to do…I’ve called up a priest before and also talked on the phone to a RCIA leader…she asked me to wait for the time being while she talk to the priest about it…

btw, can I pray the Rosary even though I’m unbaptized?

Thx once again!!
[/quote]

Heh, you’re the same age as me! Go teens going into young adulthood! :slight_smile: I literally can feel every piece of my body slowly aging…

Anyways, on a serious level, you have encountered the same faults that I did when I was a Pentecostal years ago (which was only 2003-2004). Now don’t get me wrong, I still am a Charismatic Catholic and worship as thus, but I had so many problems with their doctrines and the way. I had a big problem with the Divine Health doctrine, meaning (according to the Pentecostal Church here anyways) that if one has true faith in Jesus Christ, they can never get sick, and when one get’s sick, it means that they did not have enough faith in the first place.

What Protestants seem to be lacking is the reverence, and their churches are starting to become more ‘non-denominational’ with their large ‘megachurches’ and seeker-sensitive attitude to attract the crowds with a ‘miracle-seeking’ faith. Nothing wrong with looking for miracles, but they should never take over the place of God-worship.

In my humble opinion, I also saw overdependency of the charismata, and they should be treated with respect and not forced upon as a ‘testimony’ of one’s faith.

The closer I got to Catholicism by looking at Anglican, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches, their methods of worship became more apparent to me as using gestures as a means of reverence. The unique richesse of the Signum Crucis (sign of the Cross) itself is a small testimony to the richness of symbolism found in Catholicism and Orthodoxy. The Genuflection silently preaches how ‘every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord.’ The Rosary is classic Christian contemplation of Christ’s life in meditative prayer through the eyes of Mama Mary. The various Novenas and Lectio Divina testifies of a fulfilling prayer life and zen-like contemplation. It’s regard to all life as sacred and sacramental awareness is Catholic zen ;). (I’m planning to read on Zen philosophy and how Catholicism already fits with it in comparison to other Eastern philosophical ideas :D)

Strong ethics, openness to Christian mysticism, the many miracles, belief in the Church Suffering, Church Militant, and Church Triumphant, the woman’s practice of veiling before the Holy Eucharist, and Jesus’ promise to never leave His true Church is truly awe-inspiring.

It has changed, and moulded itself, full of history of a few bad apples as well as delicious ones. Catholicism (and maybe Orthodoxy) is the fullness of Christianity, the beacon and the very manifestation of Christ’s teachings into an institution founded on the New Covenant that Yahweh God wanted for us.

I bear this testimony of my faith, and in the name of Jesus, I truly believe that this is the Church Jesus instituted and truly sacrificed for, so that souls can be saved by the sanctifying grace of Yahweh God.

Although God brought me to Pentecostalism to fire up my faith in His Saving Power, He eventually lead me to Mother Church for the fulness of Truth. The teleological factor cannot be more obvious; without these two things, my own life would not be enriched and I would be another faith-seeker, looking to satisfy my own desires instead of that which God wants. Yes, the Church may need some Evangelical attitude with the youth, but let it be in God’s hands, because I have total faith in Him.

But if any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men abundantly, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5 (Douay-Rheims)


#17

[quote=Vivian]I have a question for those who are protestants before converting to the catholic faith. When you are a protestant, do you experience life changing experiences? For example, God changed you and do great things in your life? If yes, then why do you convert in the first place when God is real right where you are?

I’m asking this question because I’m seeking to convert but is placed this question by a friend of mine who brought me to Christ. She told me to think carefully about my decision to convert and asked me why I wanna do so when God is real right now in my life. I also do not know why all of a sudden I’m interested in the Catholic faith when I’m quite happy being a protestant. Everything was going on fine, God changed me to be a person who is much more happier. Before i accepted Jesus as my Saviour, I’m a bitter person, who is constantly moody and depressed. I greatly appreciate all the things the Lord has done in my life. Now, I’m just confused. I did lots of reading on the internet about the catholic faith and already have most of my doubts and questions answered. But, my parents who are Buddhist would not allow me to go to a Catholic Church and attend RCIA class although they allow me to attend church with limitations. They don’t like my church hopping around. They think I’m immatured or something. I really don’t know what to do. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thx!!
[/quote]

Hi Vivian,

As a Protestant, I had many deeply intimate experiences with the Lord. I also went through some very difficult and dry times as a Protestant. Scriptures indicate that we can expect both kinds of experiences as a Christian–rapturous joy and difficult trials. But He always guided me in a very personal way. Eventually, He led me to the Catholic Church. He had been preparing me my entire life for my Catholic conversion. Now I have the fullness of the Christian faith and can receive Jesus in even a more intimate way through the Eucharist.

The fact that you had such a life-changing experience as a Protestant is an indication that you are a Christian! Christ does that–he changes us. The Catholic Church totally recognizes that Protestants are Christians. It’s just that Protestant theology has discarded some of the deposit of faith left to the apostles. The Catholic Church has faithfully preserved this deposit of faith and so becoming united in this fullness of faith is God’s will for us. There is no down side to becoming Catholic. He will continue to change you and give you joy. You’ll continue, on occasion, to have trials, because God tells us that all Christians will have trials. But one thing I have noticed is receiving the Eucharist gives me strength that I never had before in dealing with trials.

Regarding your parents, I’m not sure what advice to offer. I’ll defer to the wisdom of parents on this discussion board. But I’ll pray for you that God would soften your parents’ hearts and allow you to attend Mass regularly and go to RCIA.

Bless you!

petra


#18

Silverwings:

Many philosophers have said this and I agree: the goal of eastern philosophies( e.g. Zen Buddhism-which I studied) is the beginning of Christian Mysticism. Let me know if you come to this same conclusion.

When I studied eastern thought, it seemed so much more appealing because it’s more streamlined (or so I thought) than Catholic thought which seemed messy. This is prior to St. Thomas. He straightened me out with the realistic philosophy. Ergo my name here.

But as GKC explained close to 100years ago, he said that catholic doctrine can keep growing and not lose its dogma because it is grounded on truth. You can only build on top of truth. True enough, JPII comes up with the Theology of the Body utilizing phenomenology. This in my opinion is so magnanimous that it surpasses Einstein’s discovery of E=mc2!!!

Anyway, I’ve digressed from the topic of the thread. Sorry for the hijack.

in XT.


#19

I recently converted to Catholicism over the last year. I used to be protestant as well, but it just seemed as if my eyes were slightly open to everything I knew about Christ. Then after my conversion, I was like WOW!!! My eyes are wide open, I understand things better than ever before and my love for Jesus is so powerful and strong that whenever I think of all the blessings I have received, I cannot help but shed a few tears of joy. I have never felt so enriched in my life! The day that I was baptized, had my first communion, confirmed, and married in the church was so beautiful! Everything was so bright and seemed to be so much more vivid to me. I have to admit, I listen more carefully to what God is trying to tell me and take what happens in my life as a lesson he is trying to teach me.

God Bless and I hope this message helps you in your decision. :slight_smile:


#20

I think the most important thing is to allow God to lead my life. Although experiences are really great, I couldn’t close my heart to the truth once I’ve known about it…Now i know how to answer that friend of mine…She thinks I’m making a big mistake…and she also gave me a book about this once atheist person who converted ( to the protestant faith) and experiences changes in his life…

Pray for me that I may have the patience and perseverance as well as faith to go through this and hopefully I wouldn’t need to wait for too long…it can get pretty frustrating sometimes… :o

Thanks once again to everyone…you guys are truly helpful!!

:wink:


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