First I want to state that this is my first post and I am glad to be a member of this board. My wife and I have been studying Catholicism for 6-8 months now and are becoming very convinced that it is Christ’s true Church. This investigation has been a lot simpler for me, because I became a Christian when I was 17 and didn’t have an upbringing full of indoctrination into a certain way of thinking about Christianity. I have been on my own, and have always been very interested in theology and church history. When I converted, I went with friends to a pentecostal church. Later, when I began to study theology, I became seriously Reformed (because I just assumed that the Protestants were right). My wife and I are now Anglicans, but standing on the banks of the Tiber. It has been a more difficult journey for her because her family used to be Catholics, but left the Church when they “got saved” and became Pentecostals. So she grew up just thinking that the Catholic church was bad news, and on top of that, she never once met a devout Catholic believer. All of her Catholic friends were hypocrites who lived in sin with no true faith or repentance, and just went to Mass because they had to, and thought they could do whatever they want and just go to confession.
Anyway, this is probably still the biggest issue for both of us, because although we can assent to the intellectual arguments for Catholicism, we are still in an environment where most of the Catholics are not really trying to live for God. We feel like we have to choose between joining the “true Church” and being surrounded by hypocrites who will probably spurn us for trying to be real Catholics, or being in a Protestant church full of people who are there because they really want to be, and who love God and are seeking to follow Him.
What is your advice to us?