For over a year now, I’ve been studying the history of the church and I am now at the crossroads of where to go from here and have some questions that still linger.
At this point, DH is quite content staying in Protestantism, even though he recognizes that the whole Reformation may have begun under less than licit circumstances. IF he were ever to leave Protestantism, I believe Orthodoxy would be where he would turn since one of his good friends has given us compelling “food for thought”. Further, he states that since the RCC even claims in Vatican II that Protestants can receive salvation, he has no real motive to cross that river yet :rolleyes:
His main objections to RCC are the papacy (which gets alleviated by Orthodoxy) and confession. Specifically, he feels repelled by the whole “Pope mobile” and extravagance that he sees portrayed on TV.
I am the one who is standing at a crossroads feeling a HUGE burden and I have no idea which way to turn. If I had to rate my stance right now, I’m probably at a 50% RCC/40% EO/10% Protestant position.
Some of my lingering questions are:
a) Confession and mortal sins - According to some so-called “lists” of mortal sins floating around on the web, I’ve possibly been guilty of some in my past. I’ve always asked for forgiveness (directly to God, of course, through Jesus). Is the RCC position that I’m still guilty/unforgiven of those sins since I haven’t confessed them to a priest?
b) On that note, can a Protestant (especially once in a place of indecision/uncertainty) go to confession? (Trying to cover my bases here!)
c) Further, on that note, I’ve read a book by Bruce Sullivan, a former Protestant minister who converted to RCC several years ago and the impression I got from him regarding confession (and what I’ve read concerning the whole past perfect participle in Greek of “binding and loosing in heaven” in that it means that “it has already occurred”) is that the priest is making a declaration of what God/Jesus has ALREADY done (i.e., forgiven our sins). I’m not sure if that is exactly what he meant nor am I sure what the RCC specifically teaches regarding this.
d) I definitely feel that family unity is very vital in the spiritual upbringing of children and supposing that my husband never reaches a point of conversion, would it be better that we attend church together with our children as Protestants vs. one parent heading to Mass and the other to church service? I do feel that I should honor my husband’s spiritual headship in our family and therefore, my children would likely attend with him if we were to go separately.
e) If my husband would agree to convert to Orthodoxy, in the eyes of the RCC, is that a better alternative than remaining Protestant?
f) In regards to purgatory, Scott Hahn seems to describe it as a process vs. a place. In his description, he says that the consuming fire of God will burn away the chaff (i.e., our impurities) as He draws us closer to Himself (and obviously, the more chaff you have the longer that process may be). However, on this forum, it seems that others see purgatory as more of a “place”, which I’m having a hard time digesting. Which description would you endorse more?
Thank you so much! Please forgive, in advance, for any “ignorance” I still possess!