This or that


#1

Out of curiosity I read the book “Surprised by Truth” about fifteen protestant ministers the converted to the catholic faith. For the same reason I read a book called “Far from Roman Nearer to God” the testimony of fifty Roman Catholic priests that converted to protestants. But the story is alway the same "God made me do it"
I must ask, is your god a fickled God that can not make up his mind? Does he like to play with peoples minds? Are we just his little toy to use and then throw away? Maybe it’s just all in your weak mind.


#2

What makes you think I have a weak mind?


#3

Very frequently you will find that when a Priest leaves the Church it is because he has been hurt. In other words, someone in the Church did something that hurt him, and he chooses to leave the Church over it. Sometimes, it is a higher ranking Church official who reprimands him for teaching something wrong. Sometimes, it is a Church teaching that might impact his family (for instance, his mother is unable to get remarried after she divorces his father). Whatever it may be, so very often we find out that these priests have left not over matters of faith, but over someone in the organization hurting them. The Church is not a Church of saints, it is a Church of sinners. We all do wrong things. He’s not going to find it any different in other churches.

With one exception in that as a Protestant, he can go to whichever church he feels like. If somebody in church x hurts him, he can go to church y. That’s not to say he will go church hopping, but the point is that it is an “advantage” in the Protestant world. This leads me to the second reason priests leave: they disagree with something. Often you will have a pro-life priest who decides he will go join some church that is also pro-life. A priest may be sick of teaching a certain thing that he personally disagrees with and so he will go to another church. It’s easy to do this with Protestants because there are so many different ones and all one needs to do is pick the one that suits his taste.

The third thing to consider is that many Protestants geuninely hate the Catholic Church. They think it is completely wrong. On the other hand, Catholics rarely grow up hating Protestant churches. They grow up looking at them as churches that have a lot right but have some things missing. They’re not hated, they’re just “there,” and not usually looked at either positively or negatively. This is especially true for for priests, who goes through seminary learning that Protestant churches do contain large pieces of truth but simply lack the full truth.

So when a Protestant minister becomes Catholic, he has had a total and complete turnaround, he has grown to love what he hated. When a priest becomes Protestant, it’s not nearly so drastic. For a Protestant becoming Catholic, it requires coming to the belief that so many new things you believed to be evil are in fact wonderful. For a Catholic becoming Protestant, it only requires coming to believe that a few of the things you’ve always considered true are just mistaken, or wrong, or unimportant. It’s much, much easier, especially when a person is hurt.

Also, a Protestant has to accept more stringent morality when he becomes Catholic. A Catholic may leave the Church because he does not want this morality. A lot of priests leave because they find the Church too “hard” to be in because the morals are tighter. Similarly, a priest may run in to some woman, and instead of sticking to his vows, he will instead take the easy way out and leave the Church. We ALL know how easy it is to convince ourselves that something is right when we really know in our hearts its not. Similarly, a person who may want to leave the Church for a woman or something can very easily convince himself that the Church is wrong or something so he can have a reason to leave.

When one looks at the tradeoffs between Protestantism and Catholicism, it is easy to see that becoming Catholic is the harder path, and the one that requires true commitment, whereas becoming Protestant is a path that is so often just the easy road. I’m not saying this to say one is better than the other, just to say that it’s more likely a Protestant becoming Catholic is doing it for a good reason, and is doing something hard because they think it is right, whereas a Catholic becoming Protestant is more likely to be doing it because it’s the easy way out.

Remember, not everyone who says they are doing something because God told them to is right. They may think He told them to, but that doesn’t mean He did. This happens all the time in life. So I wouldn’t take the idea that “God told me to” to mean much no matter who its coming from.


#4

Short Answer: Free Will


#5

Free will is right…

and remember you are dealing with people, not perfect beings…

i remember something that happened a long time ago. i was
a Baptist ( before my conversion ) and the church i was attending
was looking for a new minister… They invited some men to the
church to preach ( lets say 4 ) at different times to see who they
wanted to be the preacher…

well, after each one would give his sermon, he’d say something
like, ‘I want to thank you for inviting me here today, and i hope
that you will prayerfully consider asking me to be your pastor,
because i feel God is calling me to come here to preach’…

when they were discussing which minister to invite to be the
pastor, one of the older men said “Well, i can tell you one thing.
We need to be careful, cause 3 of 'em are liars. Cause the Lord
knows we only need one preacher.”

were they liars? no, i don’t think so, they all felt they were
being called… was some of this due to ‘human considerations’?
surely… afterall, like the man said, we only needed one…

in the case of ministers leaving one faith and going to another,
i’m sure the ‘human consideration’ of justifying your decision
has to be powerful… it is powerful in the case of lay people,
it was in my case…

:slight_smile:


#6

[quote=blackstone]Out of curiosity I read the book “Surprised by Truth” about fifteen protestant ministers the converted to the catholic faith. For the same reason I read a book called “Far from Roman Nearer to God” the testimony of fifty Roman Catholic priests that converted to protestants. But the story is alway the same "God made me do it"
I must ask, is your god a fickled God that can not make up his mind? Does he like to play with peoples minds? Are we just his little toy to use and then throw away? Maybe it’s just all in your weak mind.
[/quote]

It’s easy to detect bitterness in your post, blackstone. It makes me wonder if you have had a bad experience with Christian religion.

We believe that God is a loving, just and merciful God, who allows His people to make their own decisions based on free will. He will not interfere with that free will, even if it is not in our best interests. He can, and often does, however, find good out of our bad choices. Even though we often turn away from Him, He keeps showering us with the grace to return. It is up to us whether or not we heed that call.

Are you an atheist? Those who persist in denying the existense of God in spite of internal and external testimonies are victims of their own pride or anger.

Jesus said this of atheists:
Seeing they do not see and hearing they do not hear, neither do they understand. For the heart of this people has been hardened, and with their ears they have been hard of hearing. And their eyes they have closed. Lest at any time they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears and understand with their mind. And be converted and I heal them. (Matthew 13:13-15)


#7

All of the protestant ministers said that they converted to catholic because they came to believe that the catholic church had the real truth. But you must consider that ninty five percent of mainline protestant churches are ultra liberial churches and teach very little biblical truth.
None of the catholic priest said that they left the catholic church because someone hurt their feelings. They left the catholic church because they came to realize that the catholic church was not teaching the turth.
I wonder why a catholic priest who would have been required to as least read all the early church fathers which is what the catholic church bases most of it’s teachings on would leave the catholic church.


#8

[quote=blackstone]Out of curiosity I read the book “Surprised by Truth” about fifteen protestant ministers the converted to the catholic faith. For the same reason I read a book called “Far from Roman Nearer to God” the testimony of fifty Roman Catholic priests that converted to protestants. But the story is alway the same "God made me do it"
I must ask, is your god a fickled God that can not make up his mind? Does he like to play with peoples minds? Are we just his little toy to use and then throw away? Maybe it’s just all in your weak mind.
[/quote]

You may not share our faith or even have any faith but you could at least be polite in the forum. Your last sentence doesn’t say much for your character.


#9

Lazer,
Thanks for your post. You hit the nail on the head!


#10

[quote=blackstone]All of the protestant ministers said that they converted to catholic because they came to believe that the catholic church had the real truth. But you must consider that ninty five percent of mainline protestant churches are ultra liberial churches and teach very little biblical truth.
None of the catholic priest said that they left the catholic church because someone hurt their feelings. They left the catholic church because they came to realize that the catholic church was not teaching the turth.
I wonder why a catholic priest who would have been required to as least read all the early church fathers which is what the catholic church bases most of it’s teachings on would leave the catholic church.
[/quote]

But, not all Catholic priests read all the Church Fathers. Not all are good theologians, either. They aren’t training to be apologists or theologians or Bible scholars, but priests. And a priest isn’t expected to nor required to have read every Church document and be able to quote any Bible verse at any moment. I think you little understand what a priest is and does and is required to know. I didn’t understand all that either when I was received into the Church 16 years ago. It took me years to understand many things because no one can know it all or be taught it all in one life time. I suggest you read these articles from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It won’t tell you why some Catholic priests not only leave the priesthood but the Church but it will help you see what the priesthood is and what it isn’t.

I can tell you quite honestly that the Protestant ministers that left their denominations to enter the Catholic Church hold no animosity towards their former denominations nor do they distort what their former denominations teach and practice. This is not the case with most former Catholics, be they former priests or lay people. If you talk to any former Catholic you will find they have a lot of hatred for the Catholic Church. There are many reasons for this, but the most prominent one is they think the Church lied to them all their lives about who Jesus is and about salvation. That’s not the case, though, but it is their perception.

There is also a spiritual element to all this that isn’t readily discernible nor can it be reasoned with. Faith is a gift from God not a matter of just being shown the truth. And truth is often rejected because we don’t want to conform our hearts, minds, souls, and actions/behavior to it. It is so much easier to just declare oneself as justified by faith and then live as one pleases than it is to conform ourselves to the moral teachings of the Church or to accept the Church’s authority in matters of faith and morals.


#11

Yes. The Catholic who leaves the Church, **must **justify that it is **not **the true Church–otherwise, they have made a monumental error by leaving. However the former protestant who converts to Catholicism recognizes that they were raised as Christians with many truths, and now they are received into the fulness of truth. As my baptist friend (who desires to convert to Catholicism) once said to me: “Protestantism is like training wheels toward becoming Catholic”.

Peace,
Mickey


#12

I wonder which priests you read about. Could one of them have been Matthew Fox? Many disgruntled priests who leave the Church do so because they have been disciplined for not following Church teachings. Others leave because they find out they do not have a true vocation, after all. And some want to get married.


#13

The Book is not be Fox but the very words of the fifth priests.


#14

Without any specific argument that these ex-Catholic priests make to analyze, there is not much possibility of a fruitful answer. My mind already feels weakened reading the premise that takes the view of one book, then finds another from the opposite view and somehow concludes that neither is true.

Scott


#15

These priests came to realize that the Catholic Church was not teaching the truth but rather Protestantism was. It’s entirely likely that if you were to poll these 50 men about what they came to realize WAS the truth you’d get 50 different answers of varying degree. Of course, conflicting ideas can’t all be true at the same time, so at the very least you STILL have 49 men who don’t have the truth, even though this time around they are convinced they do.

I wonder why a catholic priest who would have been required to as least read all the early church fathers which is what the catholic church bases most of it’s teachings on would leave the catholic church.

The Catholic Church doesn’t not base any of her teachings on the writings of the early church fathers. Rather, the early church fathers based their writings on the teachings of the Catholic Church.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#16

Catholic4aReason has it right.

The converts to Catholicism now share 1 truth. The converts away from Catholicism can only agree on what they left and not on what they now believe.

Most converts to the Catholic church have a firm belief that they have discovered truth. Most converts away from the Catholic Church have a disobedience issue or an axe to grind. Im glad they left, even as I pray they return to the truth.

God Bless.


#17

I’m not sure about that. Many who leave the faith hold misconceptions about Catholic teaching. Chances are they wouldn’t even entirely agree upon what they left. In other words, they’d agree that what they left wasn’t the truth, but they’d disagree on exactly what wasn’t true about it.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#18

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