WELS Lutheran Hesitant to Convert - help!

Hello All-

I’m a WELS Synod Lutheran, which you may remember as the branch which was in the news a few years back for a controversy with Michelle Bachman and the WELS referring to the office of the papacy as the anti-Christ (yeah, that synod).

I was born into this branch of Lutheranism 40 years ago, went to Lutheran High School, and my entire extended family is in this synod.

I began studying Catholicism four years ago because I wanted to know why our synod hated the Pope so much. I figured I had better learn about our reasons for being anti-Catholic, since it was in the news and I may be in a situation to explain myself to others. What happened was the opposite of what I intended - a deep appreciation for Catholic theology, scholarship, and a realization that it’s correct!

However, I haven’t converted yet. My reasons are not theological or really even reasonable. They are purely social. Yet, I cannot get over them. Perhaps some voices here could help?

Reason 1: My family has been in my current church for over 150 years. We were one of the founding families straight from Germany. That makes it really hard to leave.

Reason 2: My entire family would basically disown me and my family if we became Catholic. Basically, Catholicism is the worst thing I could covert to according to them. I certainly would not be “saved” if I converted to Catholicism.

Reason 3: We’re comfortable where we are. The kids like the church, the pastors know and respect my family (since it’s been there so long). Conversion would be starting over essentially.

Reason 4: My local Catholic church is very…weird. It’s very 60’s oriented. Guitars, very loose form of Mass, everybody’s wearing t-shirts, and a jokey priest who honestly doesn’t know the Bible very well. I’d have to do RCIA somewhere else, because they don’t offer it. I am very used to a traditional worship style in a traditional gothic style church.

Reason 5: Hymns! Could I ever give up my Lutheran hymns?! My understanding is that Catholics don’t sing much during Mass. Is that correct?

Sorry for the long initial post! But, any thoughts on these would be appreciated.

It may not be the most positive message ever given by Jesus, but if you feel Catholicism is the truth:

Matthew 10: 34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. 37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 16: 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? 27 For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done.

That said, this may expose your family to Catholicism, and over time they may open up.

I’m sorry to hear that your local parish is very untraditional. That may work for some, but I also love the smells and bells and reverence that comes with a more traditional mass. It’s not just a good time, but it truly feels holy. Sometimes its worth traveling for, but even a mass with more modern music does have a valid sacrament and participates in the heavenly worship.

Catholics tend to sing under their breath, unfortunately, but the ordinary form of the mass does typically have lots of singing. Usually there’s the entrance hymn, a song during the offering, a song during communion, and the recessional. The chosen hymns for these vary. However, Catholics also typically sing the Gloria, the Holy Holy Holy, the mystery of faith, and the agnus dei. (Unfortunately some parishes simply recite, but many do sing). High masses also offer opportunities to chant the prayers. So, there are plenty of opportunities to sing in the ordinary mass, and I’m sure that whatever parish you join could use some good enthusiasm in the singing.

The extraordinary form, which is the Latin Mass that was the norm before Vatican II, did not have lots of singing, if any, which may be where your impression that Catholics don’t sing is coming from.

Whatever action you take, may God bless you.

Edit: The intent of my quotes from Matthew were only to illustrate that Jesus expected his followers to face family divisions in following him and that they were expected to rise above it. I do not intend to make any comment on your current state of salvation or what would happen if you remained where you are.

Hold up. It seems like you’re succumbing to media shaming, just as Bachman did. If that’s your reason for considering conversion, I’d caution that you’ll get just as much ridicule from the media if you were to swim the Tiber. The Left is never friendly to those who hold religious convictions, whether their Lutheran or Catholic.

It is good to study other religions, especially our fellow Christians from other communions. As a fellow Confessional Lutheran from a different Synod, I agree that there is much we can learn from our Roman Catholic cousins. But you do a disservice to your Synod and to Lutheranism when you mischaracterize the spirit of your communion as one that “hate[s] the Pope so much.” Lutherans do not ‘hate’ any Pope. We have a theological disagreement with the Office of the Papacy. That is a significant difference. While people, especially today and especially in America, have a personal gut reaction to the word “anti-Christ,” it’s important to keep in mind that Lutherans use the term as an academic distinction, not as a personal insult. Practically anyone could act “anti-Christ,” including Lutheran pastors. Our confessions admit as much. Have you read and understood the three reasons Lutherans make the charge?

No Lutheran church has ever taught this. The Lutheran view is that the church catholic exists most clearly in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, but not exclusively in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. This is why Catholic Baptism are “valid” in Lutheran Churches. It’s also why Lutherans respect Catholic priests as having a legitimate call to their congregations. Lutherans do teach that the Roman Catholic church has obscured the Gospel with extraneous teachings, while Roman Catholics teach that Lutherans have jettisoned necessary teachings and no longer hold the “fullness of the Truth.”

I know I couldn’t. :smiley:

Friend, it seems you misunderstand Lutheranism quite a bit of Lutheranism. Have you bothered meeting with your Lutheran pastor? Or any WELS pastor? I’m not saying this to necessarily dissuade you from conversion - I’m saying this because if you are so easily swayed, you could just as easily be swayed away from your new church home – or Christianity altogether. Please, at least talk with your pastor before doing anything rash.

Above all, please pray that the Holy Spirit would strengthen the faith you received at your Baptism, and that you would be led to firm conviction in the Truth - wherever that may be.

I am a recent convert who struggled with some of these same issues but for me they were not as strong as they seem to be for you. I started looking into the Catholic Church because my denomination was entering into ‘full communion’ agreements with other churches. This prompted me to want to better understand the divisions. What I found in early Protestant works was a lot closer to Catholicism than modern practice. This lead me to investigate Catholic teaching. I pretty quickly found the Catholic Church made so much more sense.

I’ll try to offer whatever insight I can.

I didn’t have the history with my particular local church you have. Consider this, someone in your family line was probably a Catholic who left the Catholic Church to become Lutheran. So from a historical standpoint you have a more ancient tie to the Catholic Church.

My parents weren’t exactly happy at my conversion. They aren’t strongly opposed. But there was in my conversion a rejection of their faith. And they aren’t strongly religious. There is no getting around the fact there is an element of rejection. People naturally don’t like rejection.

As Jesus says, ‘the father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law’. Family strife can be a result of Faith. This might just be something you have to accept.

Also consider that while their initial reaction may be negative. It is possible that over time they may in some way come to understand and moderate their position. But be prepared for that not to happen.

There is no getting around the difficulty you’ll face here. But if you participate in parish life outside of Mass you’ll get to know the priests and parishioners. You’ll be able to form new bonds that help support your faith.

This is a unfortunate. You’re going to find this in the Catholic Church. But you’ll also find great reverence. If you are considering conversion it obviously isn’t because of the local parish. That is good, because it shouldn’t be. The local parish could change over time. You could even be a part of that change. But meanwhile you’ll still have the opportunity to receive the sacraments and that is worth putting up with all sorts of less than optimal things.

I think one of the great things about being Catholic is that you aren’t so tied to the local parish. If you go on vacation you’ll experience Mass in different parishes. You are going to experience more outside of the local Church, good and bad. In my experience as a Protestant there was more of an association of the local church being ‘the Church’. As a Catholic while this will be your most common experience if the situation is not ideal take heart knowing the Church is so much bigger.

The church I left made singing a central part of worship. I really love the old hymns. I really enjoyed singing them. The Catholic world is varied. My parish does have hymns. Some are ones I know from my days as a Protestant some are more modern hymns favored by Catholics. Many Catholics don’t sing. But I also understand why. I’ve come to appreciate the silence of daily Mass. This is in part a matter of taste. But I don’t miss the old hymns so much as I would rather have silence or chant.

In summary I don’t see your reasons for not converting as being very compelling. I don’t say that to be harsh because I understand your position. I had some of these same reasons holding me back. I became convinced of the Catholic Faith but didn’t convert for a while. It is one thing to see the truth and another to fully embrace it when you have to give up so much, or what seems like so much. When you look at what you have to give up, or I did, it really isn’t a great sacrifice. There are Christians throughout the centuries that have truly suffered, especially and obviously the martyrs. Thinking about their lives helped motivate me to follow my conscience.

People think that just because the family has had the same beliefs for X number of years/generations that it must be right. That’s not even a good reason to remain Catholic–if that’s a primary reason, is it? Of course you family would see this as a reason for you remaining in your faith community. But is it actually a biblical reason? Does this make what they believe true? The answer is, of course, it doesn’t.

Reason 2: My entire family would basically disown me and my family if we became Catholic. Basically, Catholicism is the worst thing I could covert to according to them. I certainly would not be “saved” if I converted to Catholicism.

It would be hard if this happened. And it is a huge sacrifice to make to be disowned. I suggest prayer for peace in this area of concern. Let the Lord give you his peace when other cannot/will not give it. You may want to read the life of St. Katherine Drexel. She came from an Episcopalian family and was disowned by her family, as well. Taking up our cross to follow Jesus is never easy, but the joy in having the fullness of the faith makes it all worthwhile. I’d add that oftentimes the things we fear most never actually happen. So, we can’t let fear make our decisions for us, no matter what area of our lives it may be.

Reason 3: We’re comfortable where we are. The kids like the church, the pastors know and respect my family (since it’s been there so long). Conversion would be starting over essentially.

It might be good to begin attending Mass apart from attending your Lutheran parish. Go Saturday evenings, perhaps or to daily Mass with your family when possible. Get to know the priest and others at the parish. Send the kids to their vacation Bible school or other such activities. This will ease everyone into going to another community of believers.

Reason 4: My local Catholic church is very…weird. It’s very 60’s oriented. Guitars, very loose form of Mass, everybody’s wearing t-shirts, and a jokey priest who honestly doesn’t know the Bible very well. I’d have to do RCIA somewhere else, because they don’t offer it. I am very used to a traditional worship style in a traditional gothic style church.

You don’t need to attend the parish closest to you if it isn’t helping you. You may go to any parish, although you would be considered parishoners of the nearest one (usually). If there is one that is more reverent/orthodox in belief and practice, go there.

Reason 5: Hymns! Could I ever give up my Lutheran hymns?! My understanding is that Catholics don’t sing much during Mass. Is that correct?

Most Catholic hymnals have hymns from various Christian traditions, Lutheran included. A lot of the music is a hold over from the 60’s/70’s, but not all of it is bad. My parish does sing, but I confess that there are times when my dh and I are the strongest voices in our pew. You can set a good example by singing. Others will have the courage to join in–that’s happened to us quite often.

Sorry for the long initial post! But, any thoughts on these would be appreciated.

We’re happy to help you all we can. Nor are we interested in pushing you into anything. Rather, pray, pray, pray and trust in God. You can’t go wrong if you do that. :slight_smile:

First, I’ll say I am Catholic and I think I am very lucky to be one. I would never tell someone not to become a Catholic. But conversion is a thing of the heart, not the mind, IMHO.

I am sure there are “extremist” Lutherans who disparage the Catholic Church not just abstractly, historically, but also exercise dislike or hostility toward real, everyday Catholics. This is shameful. But the Lutherans do not have a monopoly on inappropriate, hateful behavior towards other denominations. I can’t believe that all Lutherans act this way in any denomination.

Have you studied Luther? Read extensively - objectively - what happened at the time in the history in the Church? Both sides? Given your background, I would not leave the Lutheran Church until I had done that. That said, all of that was a long time ago. History does shape and inform our faith, and I don’t want to disregard the essential nature of truth or doctrine - and the need to adhere to it - but we live in a very, very different Christian world today.

Again, I would not choose to become Catholic just because you feel that the Lutheran attitude toward Catholics is in some cases unjust or extreme (which it may well be) or that Catholics are “right” theologically. That won’t hold you over time. I personally think you should practice your faith where you feel you can comfortably, sincerely worship God with the most integrity - as a Catholic or a Catholic-loving Lutheran - either way is fine. Follow your heart. To me it sounds like you know the answer. (If you decide to stay use your experience of Catholic inquiry to enlighten and enrich your brethren. It will always be with you and you can do a lot with it.) And, of course, if God wants you to become Catholic, it will happen.

We have a WELS Church near us, if one takes out that one little detail which is brought up, WELS views are very palatable. In fact, I like them if one were to ever look at another faith to join.

That one little detail I don’t really pay attention to, all of this is very embedded in hundreds of years of history and before the Americas were not even known.

Hi BirdLives!
And Welcome! I am very close to where you are except #1 does not apply so much.(dh and I have been studying RCC for about 10 years) My Family are LCMS Lutheran and we’ve attended a WELS Church for 25 years as I was an ELCA Lutheran during my single adult years and left that church when it slid to far to the left, especially socially, and even with interpretation of Scripture. My husband and I chose the WELS when we married as I wanted to remain Lutheran and it was the only conservatice Lutheran Church within 30 miles of our home. My boys now grown are very devout Protestants, and we stayed in that Church due to the strong conservative stance and excellent Christian education including Church elementary school. No family members attend our church they live too far away and we are the only WELS.
Our pastor considers Catholics to be fellow Christians,albeit in error. I never hear the Pope is Antichrist in our church, or in the LCMS, though it is on the WELS website, although it means the office, not the person. (Although I don’t believe even that)
#2 Doesn’t really apply anymore, either. The ones that would have freaked out (DH’s parents and older sibling) who were strict Baptist are now deceased.
remaining family would be disappointed but I think they’d still love and accept whatever we felt we should do.
#3 Kids are grown but they have strong ties to our church, and we have friends like family there so yes it would be very difficult to start over but I have prayed about doing it. if we need anything our church family is there,would be hard to start all over again with a new church.
#4 I hear ya on that one. Same problem here. We would have to travel at least a half hour to get a traditional service and good RCIA. Some of my olders son’s friends were raised in devout Catholic homes and knew nothing seemingly about the Bible or who notable Bible Characters were which is why I wanted to keep my kids in WELS Christian education at least around here.

5 Yes same here. I love a traditional service no contempory worship please. Again we would have to travel for that.

One big reason we have as well is my husband would have to get a former marriage annulled and that is somewhat of a roadblock but one I hope we could overcome.
That would be a problem with certain family members, especially since we would have to use mostly family for witnesses.
I have read that Catechism of the Catholic church and was so very impressed which is what started dh and I thinking about converting that and strong seamless pro-life witness that can’t really be found in any other denomination.
I’m still waiting for Catholic/Lutheran unity.

If you’re Catholic and really want to sing, the choir is the best option.

The Holy Spirit is calling you into the Catholic Church. You must pick up your cross and follow Him wherever He leads you, denying your very self and the bad opinion of yourself by your family and others. They, of course, will be in shock and disbelief and try to talk and reason you out of your decision, but this is your free will choice to make You can go to any Catholic parish for RCIA; it might not be too late to join if you can find one soon and speak to the pastor. You will not be loosing Lutheran Hymns, you will be gaining new, Catholic ones; some are centuries old and the heartbeat of the liturgy. Do not be afraid and pray, pray, pray; all will be well. :slight_smile:

If you know Roman Catholicism is the true church it is a mortal sin to freely and deliberately in full knowledge try to achieve salvation down a path you know is not the true church.

How about going to RCIA quietly and saying nothing to family members in the meantime.
ask God to open doors for you and He will,

What if your conversion might convert one of them in the long term?

Wow, thank you for all of your thoughtful answers! A lot to consider here.

I really appreciate your personal stories and it’s good to here similar stories to mine. I also appreciate the encouragement from those that are Catholic!

First of all, LOVE the Packers symbol! Although, Sunday’s game was a huge disappointment.

Thanks for your thoughtful answer.

I understand Lutheranism more than most. I went to WELS grade school, high school, and our college for teachers. So, I’ve been studying it seriously for many years. I have a firm grasp on Lutheran theology.

It’s interesting that you have that different perspective and maybe it comes from us being in different synods. Because, although it might not profess it in it’s documentation, our branch of Lutheranism (at least in my church) regularly speaks against the current Pope. In fact, what prompted this post was the unbelievable anti-Catholic rhetoric I experienced this past reformation Sunday. It was sort of the last straw.

Also, I just wanted to add that my discontent with Lutheranism has nothing to do with the media and Michelle Bachman, I was simply using that as an identifier for the synod, since it is small and some on the forum may not be familiar with it.

Thank you for this post and your story, exnihilo! I was truly a help to me.

=BirdLives;13423722]Hello All-

I’m a WELS Synod Lutheran, which you may remember as the branch which was in the news a few years back for a controversy with Michelle Bachman and the WELS referring to the office of the papacy as the anti-Christ (yeah, that synod).

I was born into this branch of Lutheranism 40 years ago, went to Lutheran High School, and my entire extended family is in this synod.

Hi Birdlives, and welcome to CAF. :thumbsup:
Some of my remarks may repeat what others have said.

I began studying Catholicism four years ago because I wanted to know why our synod hated the Pope so much. I figured I had better learn about our reasons for being anti-Catholic, since it was in the news and I may be in a situation to explain myself to others. What happened was the opposite of what I intended - a deep appreciation for Catholic theology, scholarship, and a realization that it’s correct!

I think Don has mentioned that, if you have been taught to hate the pope, that isn’t particularly good Lutheran catechesis. One need only read Luther’s commentary on the 8th Commandment to recognize that.
With that in mind, over the years here at CAF, I have had a number of Catholics contact me about becoming Lutheran. My approach is always the same: start by talking to your priest. Before leaving the Catholic Church, I tell them, make sure you know what it is she teaches. IOW, it is at least as important knowing what you are leaving as it is what you are moving to.
The same in reverse.

However, I haven’t converted yet. My reasons are not theological or really even reasonable. They are purely social. Yet, I cannot get over them. Perhaps some voices here could help?

It seems to me that, for a confessional Lutheran, particularly one who sees him/herself as Evangelical Catholic, the social, cultural, emotional issues may be harder than the theological ones.

Reason 1: My family has been in my current church for over 150 years. We were one of the founding families straight from Germany. That makes it really hard to leave.

Indeed! I often say that I am acculturated Lutheran: Lutheran pastor father, Lutheran college grad, Lutheran wife, daughter teaching in a Lutheran school. This is, as I said, a much harder issue, in many ways, than theology.

Reason 2: My entire family would basically disown me and my family if we became Catholic. Basically, Catholicism is the worst thing I could covert to according to them. I certainly would not be “saved” if I converted to Catholicism.

That is a very unLutheran attitude, it seems to me. Triumphalism by any tradition within the Church is, in my opinion, the least attractive, indeed one of the least Christian, positions to take. “He that believes and is Baptized, shall be saved”. Not, “he that is Lutheran and is baptized…”
But more than that, Lutheranism is, among so-called protestant communions, the most tied to the sacraments. It would be far worse, in my view for a Lutheran to convert to a church that rejects the means of grace in the sacraments, baptiosmal regeneration, the real presence in the Supper, the announcement of Holy Absolution in confession. Far better to be Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, than the others, if one is to leave Lutheranism.

Reason 3: We’re comfortable where we are. The kids like the church, the pastors know and respect my family (since it’s been there so long). Conversion would be starting over essentially.

I don’t even like the term “conversion”. Think of it as a transfer of membership within His One Holy Church. Its a continuation, not a starting over. You are not going to be re-baptized after all.

Reason 4: My local Catholic church is very…weird. It’s very 60’s oriented. Guitars, very loose form of Mass, everybody’s wearing t-shirts, and a jokey priest who honestly doesn’t know the Bible very well. I’d have to do RCIA somewhere else, because they don’t offer it. I am very used to a traditional worship style in a traditional gothic style church.

Sounds like some LCMS parishes I’ve become familiar with. :o
Not much to say here. Any other parishes near by?

Reason 5: Hymns! Could I ever give up my Lutheran hymns?! My understanding is that Catholics don’t sing much during Mass. Is that correct?

Last I heard, Catholic parishes actually sing, “A Mighty Fortress”. :eek: :smiley:
I know what you mean, but again, probably not the deciding factor in whether you stay, or transfer membership.

Sorry for the long initial post! But, any thoughts on these would be appreciated.

Hope that helps, but keep reading, there are some fabulous posters here, Catholic, Lutheran, and others. In the end, however, talk to your pastor, and talk to a priest. Find out what you’re leaving, and what you’re going to.

May the Spirit lead you.
Jon

I was born in the “Holy City” and try to make a pilgrimage at least yearly. :smiley: With regard to that game, the French originally called the area La Baie des Puants, or “The Stinking Bay.” Prophetic.

You’re welcome. It sounds like you have a serious foundation in Lutheran life, piety and culture. But even that is no substitute for actually meeting with your spiritual shepherd and confessor – your pastor. I know it might be uncomfortable to meet one-on-one with him, but I strongly advise you to share your thoughts with him. From a fellow layperson who knows. :wink:

Perhaps it is the difference between our Synods – I don’t know. The LCMS has always been comparatively more cooperative with Catholics, as can be seen by the inexplicably high number of LCMS members on this forum (Seriously, are we taking over? :shrug:) and by the example of LCMS leaders.

I am sorry that you suffered through an anti-Catholic service. I’ve never once heard a pastor utter something anti-Catholic, not even on Reformation Day. Sometimes they’ll explain the difference over justification, but that’s rare. This past Reformation Day, pastor didn’t even acknowledge the day. If it weren’t for the red paraments and Luther hymns, you wouldn’t have even known.

Ah, I see. Well, you’re among some good company now; most posters here understand not just that there are different types of Lutherans, but also what separates confessional synods like WELS, LCMS, ELS, etc. from groups like the ELCA.

My parish has an outstanding music ministry. The congregation is expected to sing and sing joyfully. My husband and I are both musicians, so we consider ourselves fortunate to have found our parish. Music was on the list of must-haves for us!

I am a convert from the RC to Lutheranism, specifically the WELS. I hope you find what your looking for on your journey

=BirdLives;13423722]Hello All-

I’m a WELS Synod Lutheran, which you may remember as the branch which was in the news a few years back for a controversy with Michelle Bachman and the WELS referring to the office of the papacy as the anti-Christ (yeah, that synod).

I was born into this branch of Lutheranism 40 years ago, went to Lutheran High School, and my entire extended family is in this synod.

I began studying Catholicism four years ago because I wanted to know why our synod hated the Pope so much. I figured I had better learn about our reasons for being anti-Catholic, since it was in the news and I may be in a situation to explain myself to others. What happened was the opposite of what I intended - a deep appreciation for Catholic theology, scholarship, and a realization that it’s correct!

However, I haven’t converted yet. My reasons are not theological or really even reasonable. They are purely social. Yet, I cannot get over them. Perhaps some voices here could help?

Reason 1: My family has been in my current church for over 150 years. We were one of the founding families straight from Germany. That makes it really hard to leave.

Reason 2: My entire family would basically disown me and my family if we became Catholic. Basically, Catholicism is the worst thing I could covert to according to them. I certainly would not be “saved” if I converted to Catholicism.

Reason 3: We’re comfortable where we are. The kids like the church, the pastors know and respect my family (since it’s been there so long). Conversion would be starting over essentially.

Reason 4: My local Catholic church is very…weird. It’s very 60’s oriented. Guitars, very loose form of Mass, everybody’s wearing t-shirts, and a jokey priest who honestly doesn’t know the Bible very well. I’d have to do RCIA somewhere else, because they don’t offer it. I am very used to a traditional worship style in a traditional gothic style church.

Reason 5: Hymns! Could I ever give up my Lutheran hymns?! My understanding is that Catholics don’t sing much during Mass. Is that correct?

Sorry for the long initial post! But, any thoughts on these would be appreciated.

My dear friend in Christ!

I DO sympathize with you; TRULY I do.

But life is a “God Test” and we can pass it and attain heaven or fail it and go the other option.:eek:

It is the Holy Spirit who has led you to where you are today.:slight_smile: That same Holy Spirit is eager to lead you and help you take the next step.

Because their can be and is just one true God

That God has with complete consistency holds just ONE set of faith beliefs [even God can’t do more than that]

And that sane One God; the same in both the Old and the New Testament choose just ONE “chosen people”; only Jesus choose to call it MY CHURCH [singular too’

Mt. 10:1-4"And having called his twelve disciples together, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities**. And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, [3] James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus,Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.These twelve Jesus sent: commanding them, saying:

Mt. 16: 18-19 “And I say to YOU;That thou art Peter; and upon [YOU] this rock I will build my church [singular], **and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. **And I will give to YOU [all of] the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven”.

Mt. 28: 18-20 "And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach YOU all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded YOU: and behold I am with YOU all days, even to the consummation of the world."

There is my friend just one RIGHT choice: Pray much God will assist you.

Mt 5: 11-17 [parts of] "Blessed are YOU when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:** Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven**. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid.**** Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. ** So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven**

Take Up your Cross and Follow Me
Phil.2: 8 “And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross Luke.9 :23 And he said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.Mark.8: 34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, ***"If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. ***

You’ll be in my prayers!

God Bless you,

Patrick

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