Southern Bapt. looking for answers


#1

I am 62 yrs. old male in Dallas. Have recently been interested in Catholic belief. Have been wathching EWTN television. Sometimes become dissapointed with the protestants and all there bickering.One thing I like about the Catholic church seems to be that you have I belief and does not differ as the thousands of protestant churches do. Now I need to study how close you are to what I believe on salvation. Have questions about Mary, celebacy of priests, sacrements, traditions. Have you added works to salvation or is it faith alone? Thanks. Looking forward to learning. dcc


#2

I have a suggestion that worked well for me.
Catholic Home Study Service

[LEFT]Free Catholic courses …and they are ALL good!
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#3

Thanks for the great tip!:thumbsup:

Howdy! (from down I35) Welcome to CAF! We’re glad to have you here and would love to share our beliefs with you. Wish we had EWTN here in Austin, but we don’t. At least not on our plan.
I have a question for you… what does:
“Now I need to study how close you are to what I believe on salvation.” mean?


#4

Salvation is by faith and grace alone and not by works as does the Catholic believe. Is this correct?


#5

We believe both Faith and works. “works” is an interesting perspective. I mean, certainly “works” has to be taken less literally for the thief on the cross. He couldn’t actually get down off the cross and go “do” something. So his “works” happened while he was on the cross.

I’m no appologist but am working on that. I’m sure we can find a thread that discusses this. I’ll do a search and get back.

And pardon my ignorance. I really don’t understand why there is such an issue about this. Christ enabled our salvation. He did ask us to help others because in doing so, we are helping him. Faith must be assumed in either doctrine. Can you explain to me why some people think “faith” is all we need?


#6

Thanks, will be back later today or night. Have a business to run and employees to get to their jobs. dcc


#7

It would be better to see how close we are to what Christ actually teaches about salvation. :wink:

Have questions about Mary,

Everything we know about Mary helps us to better understand Christ - when we look at Mary, she only shows us Jesus.

celebacy of priests,

A discipline of the Latin Rite that allows priests to be fast on their feet and 100% dedicated to God and to their priestly vocation, without worldly distractions.

sacrements,

There are seven Sacraments - Baptism, Confirmation, First Holy Communion, Marriage, Ordination, Reconciliation (aka Confession) and Anointing of the Sick (formerly called Extreme Unction or Last Rites). A Sacrament is a symbol established by Christ that actually does the thing that it represents.

traditions.

We hold fast to the traditions of the Apostles just as St. Paul exhorts us to in II Thessalonians 2:15.

Have you added works to salvation or is it faith alone?

We cannot be saved by means of lip-service - faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Read the Epistle of James, and then take a look at Matthew 25:31-46.

Thanks. Looking forward to learning. dcc

Welcome!! :slight_smile:


#8

Here’s one thread on the topic.

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=3606983&postcount=2

I was sure there were more but I’m not a great thread searcher…:o The apologetics forum is where you can get a more lively discussion of this subject if you are interested.


#9

Hi dcc and welcome to CAF! :wave:

I was raised as a Southern Baptist, so I understand how you need to reconcile what you believe about salvation with the Church’s understanding. The best way that I know to explain it is that as Catholics, we still believe that Jesus’ death and resurrection paid the full price for our salvation… there is nothing we can “do” to gain entrance into heaven. The fundamental difference is that while Baptists believe that all you need to do to be “saved” is pray the sinner’s prayer once and accept Jesus as your savior, for Catholics it’s not just a one time thing. We are continually coming back to Jesus (through the sacrament of confession, specifically) and telling him that we are a sinner and that we are completely dependant on Him to make it to heaven.

I hope that helps at least a little. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me and I will be glad to help you any way I can. And be assured that you are in my prayers! May God bless you as you begin this journey! :slight_smile:


#10

Thanks for helping out, jmcrae amd manna!


#11

Hi dcc, Welcome Brother, You are doing the right thing by watching EWTN. You will learn things on there,that many Catholics don;t even know.(I hope through no fault of there own)
Here is a little analogy;…This is absolutely incredible that so many Christians think ,once saved ,always saved!,You mean if you say the sinners prayer,and are baptized,and really believe in Jesus,then a week later ,your bringing the baby sitter home,and you get the urge to have sex with her,and she puts up a fight and you kill her. You then drive home. But on the way home you have an accident and get killed instantly. Do you say your going to Heaven?.. Jesus warns us to be vigilant,that he may come like a thief in the night ,when were not expecting him.That means being aware of having serious unforgiven sins on our soul, before we die. With that kind of belief, they think there saved without asking for forgiveness again. However,I do believe a murderer can be forgiven by God,but they will have to have, true contrition,true repentance,and a firm purpose of amendment,but what if you don’t have time to say how sorry you are? Also just read James,and there will be plenty of proof for your question,because you can’t have real faith without works,they go together.
dcc,May our Lord inspire you to keep up your pursuit of the True Body,Blood,Soul,and Divinity of our Lord in Holy Communion. Please keep listening to those humble Priests on EWTN,…Your Brother in Christ,Robert


#12

You might want to read Surprised by Truth by Patrick Madrid.:slight_smile:


#13

DCC - it is wonderful that the Holy Spirit is working in you to bring you back to The Church. The Baptists have what we call an partial or imperfect understanding of salvation and Christian teaching. Fundamentally the thing that separates Catholics from other faiths calling themselves “Christian” is a matter of authority - both teaching authority and the authority to administer Jesus’ ministries through proper sacraments recognized and honored by Him. There are some very unfortunate believes arising from “well meaning” but erroneous teachings that most Protestants have.

I recommend you continue watching EWTN - you will get amazing insight that will all just “gel” and wake you up to how profound the Catholic teaching makes perfect and consistent sense. The thing that most never quite get is that being a Christian is not a simple thing for those who are not really committed to the true faith. It is not easy to get into heaven for those who do not truly believe. Sin is such a huge part of our lives that we don’t even see much of it until we awaken to a deeper faith and insight - then its a shocking wakeup call when one does see the reality to the words ‘not everyone who calls me Lord Lord will enter into my kingdom’. But for those who truly believe it becomes much easier since God becomes a conscious part of our everyday life and thoughts.

The Catholic Church is the only apostolic based faith - one that can trace its authority all the way back through its bishops and popes to St. Peter and Christ. The key thing to understand about Catholicism is that one MUST sacramentally confess their sins AND partake of eating Christ’s Body as commanded (‘least you have no life in you’) by The Lord.

Good Luck,
James


#14

Welcome to CAF! You will find as you hang out here that there are lots of people (myself included) that came from some type of Baptist background and are now Catholic.

I would like to make a few recommendations for you.

Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic by David Currie
Crossing the Tiber by Stephen Ray
By What Authority by Mark Shea
Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating

If you’re more of a listener than a reader, you can download free MP3s (or order the CDs) from the Bible Christian Society. I usually recommend this listening order:

One Church
Apostolic Authority and the Pope
Which Came First, the Church or the Bible?
Catholics and the Bible
The Sacraments and the Bible
Mary and the Bible/Purgatory and the Bible
The Rapture and the Bible
Sola Fide - Saved By Faith Alone?
Sola Scriptura - The Bible Alone?
The Communion of Saints
My Conversion Story
Baptist Minister Becomes Priest

and then whatever else interests you! :smiley:


#15

Hi and welcome. I hope you find the answers you’re looking for here.

One comment that I’d like to make is that you said you’d like to see how close Catholicism is to what you believe on salvation. That only works if what you believe is what Christ taught the apostles, and what the apostles taught the Church. Are you 100% sure of that?

You might want to look at it from a different angle. Determine for yourself if the Catholic Church is what she claims to be, the Church founded by Christ. If she is then what she teaches on salvation is what Christ taught, even if it is not what you now believe.

Did the Church add works to faith alone? Well, she must have “added” something to faith alone, because the bible clearly states that faith alone is dead, and the Church preaches a living, saving faith, not a dead faith. What she has “added” (that is, what the apostles learned from Christ) is that one must respond to God’s grace through faith lived out in love and obedience. That is what the Church “added”, that one must live the Christian life in love and obedience. But that’s probably what you believe already, right?

Sometimes Protestants like to ask the “trick” question, how many works do you need to do to be saved? How much obedience do you need to be saved? Well, the answer to that question is another question: how much faith do you need to be saved? In reality, of course, one cannot and should not put a number on either. One should just run the race, seeking to conform one’s will to God’s will, seeking to respond to his grace, and then have joyful trust and hope in his promises. And that’s the Catholic teaching on salvation.

I find that it is Protestants who are obsessed with this question of works, not Catholics. Catholics simply believe we are saved by God’s grace, but only if we allow ourselves to be saved by responding to that grace.


#16

Hi dcc,

As a Southern Baptist myself who is in a similar position to you, I would highly recommend Crossing the Tiber by Stephen Ray.

Ray is a former Southern Baptist (was a Sunday school teacher and I believe became a SB Deacon as well). His book has truly opened my eyes to the early Church Fathers and how they were carrying on the oral tradition of the Apostles before the written tradition (Holy Scripture) was available. There are tons of other books too that will help you, but I recommend this one especially because it is written by someone with our background. God bless you and may the Holy Spirit guide you as He has guided me thus far.

~Josh


#17

Greetings, fair brother DCC! How nice to meet you and learn of your inquiry into the Catholic church.

My story sounds similar to yours, only replace your 62-yr-old male Baptist with my 36-yr-old female Methodist. :slight_smile:

The Blessed Mother was one of my biggest hurdles (and I had lots of them, and the prejudices therein against Catholics, unfortunately :frowning: ) but my mentor said, “The Blessed Mother will NEVER force herself on you to believe; Jesus isn’t that way, why should she?” And that really made sense to me. I gave up the struggle, and my mentor was right! Praying the Rosary brought me so much closer in my walk with Jesus, and it’s so true about why Catholics venerate and honor the Blessed Mother. :thumbsup:

There’s so much more I could type, but my ILs are visiting this weekend and twosweetgirls are needing naps. :slight_smile: Feel free to PM me with anything you have on your mind, and I’ll answer as best I can.

And I know it may be early but. . . . WELCOME HOME!!! :heart: :heart:


#18

Recently converting myself, allow me to encourage you to really study church history. Have an open mind, seeking to understand what Christ and the disiples really tought, rather than being against everything that is different to protestantisim. I would certainly start with history. I saw a quote on here that said “to know history is to be Catholic.” So true.
Also, this forum is a true blessing from God, many have helped me on here and one in particular has been very helpfull. Reach out to those that have more knowledge. Use the search function from time to time as well. You will find topics on most everything. Peace with you on your journey home.


#19

Welcome and God bless you and yours.

Two points:

  1. Catholics bicker all the time. We simply bicker as members of the same family, rather than as strangers to one another. I’m afraid harmony is not always our strong suit!

  2. I’d suggest seeing for yourself by checking out the Catechism. An online, searchable link is here; you can get a hardcopy for $10 or so online.

The short paraphrase is justifying grace + faith + sanctifying grace + works = salvation. Matthew 25 is a good indicator, read Jude, Peter, James etc in addition to Paul in light of this formulation and see if it doesn’t make sense. I suspect that you engage in good works today—tithing, volunteering, supporting your church, etc. Why do you do these things now if they’re unnecessary?

Many times, Baptists rely heavily on excerpts from St Paul to insinuate that works not only do not save, but damn. St Paul clearly did not hold this belief, for he had Timothy circumcised, a “work of the law” if ever there were one:

Acts 16:

1: Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
2: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
3: Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

But don’t take our word for it—check out the Catechism, cross-reference it to Scripture, and seek out a deacon or priest in your area who’ll be more than willing to answer your questions.

And by all means, stick around—you may even see some good ol’ Catholic bickering!


#20

Another good forum is the Coming Home Network
chnetwork.org/forums/


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