Question for Catholics About Conversion from Evangelicalism

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isaachunter
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Question for Catholics About Conversion from Evangelicalism

Post #1

Post by isaachunter »

If a Protestant (Baptist maybe, or even a confused Reformed) decided they were needed to convert from Evangelicalism to Catholicism, mainly because of their perceived call to the solitary vocation (which is not accepted in Protestant/Evangelical Churches):

1. What would be the steps in this process of conversion? Are they automatically accepted or are there tests, etc?

2. What Catholic doctrines or theological/beliefs would be considered essential or non-negotiable to become Catholic (most specifically: transubstantiation, confession, veneration of Mary or the saints, acceptance of the pope as the final authority of the church, acceptance of Church tradition as the final authority of interpretation of the Bible, and can a Catholic convert still hold to Sola Fide)? Basically, could someone convert to Catholicism while still maintaining some or all of their protestant theology? Or would this be grounds for rejection or non-admittance?

3. Are there within Catholicism a diversity of beliefs held by members (i.e. on end times, types of gifts, evangelism), such as in Protestant denominations, or does everyone pretty much believe the same tenets across the board?

4. If there are any protestant to Catholic converts answering, how is being a Catholic different from being an evangelical? How has your life changed since conversion? What parts of Catholicism drew you and has post-conversion been what you'd hoped (Likewise, anyone who went from Catholicism to Protestantism, please provide the same answers to this question if you like)?

5. How important is the attendance of Mass for Catholics (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly)? Is it an essential (if you don't attend local mass you are not Catholic)? Is there a lot of interaction with others during Mass? Can non-Catholics attend Mass (to see what it's like)? If so, is there any particular protocol?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.

IH

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Re: Question for Catholics About Conversion from Evangelicalism

Post #2

Post by RightReason »

[Replying to isaachunter in post #1]
If a Protestant (Baptist maybe, or even a confused Reformed) decided they were needed to convert from Evangelicalism to Catholicism, mainly because of their perceived call to the solitary vocation (which is not accepted in Protestant/Evangelical Churches):
A solitary vocation is not accepted in Protestant/Evangelical churches? What could stop a person from being contemplative? Anyway, I will go on to respond to your questions . . .

1. What would be the steps in this process of conversion? Are they automatically accepted or are there tests, etc?
There aren’t written tests if that is what you mean. But there is a process of conversion to make sure the person understands what it is they are committing too, also to help answer any unanswered questions and to educate the person even further on what it is the Church teaches. The program is called RCIA (The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). It’s typically a year process.

I would also like to add it would be both weird and wrong for a person to become a Catholic if in fact he/she did not accept the teachings of the Church. So, a person shouldn’t become a Catholic simply because he/she likes the music or the Church offers some group or order the person thinks they would be happy in.

However, it is also important to point out a person need not wait until they fully and completely understand everything before becoming a Catholic. One’s understanding of the faith is a continual journey and we should be expecting to learn new and deeper truths our whole lives.

2. What Catholic doctrines or theological/beliefs would be considered essential or non-negotiable to become Catholic (most specifically: transubstantiation, confession, veneration of Mary or the saints, acceptance of the pope as the final authority of the church, acceptance of Church tradition as the final authority of interpretation of the Bible, and can a Catholic convert still hold to Sola Fide)? Basically, could someone convert to Catholicism while still maintaining some or all of their protestant theology? Or would this be grounds for rejection or non-admittance?
Depends what Protestant theology they want to hold onto. Some Protestant theology overlaps with Catholic theology. Protestants believe in Baptism as well as the Trinity. Someone joining the Catholic Church would not have to fully understand the mystery of transubstantiation, but he/she should accept the Church’s teaching regarding the Holy Eucharist and abide by the rules regarding proper reception of the Holy Eucharist. The same would be said of Confession. While a person joining the Church might not fully appreciate the truth of this beautiful sacrament, he/she would have to be willing to accept that the Church requires all Catholics to at least go to Confession once a year. If they are unable to agree to that, they should not become Catholic. And there have been many a Protestant turned Catholic convert who did not come to love our Mother Mary and full appreciate Marian doctrine until after they were Catholic. There is no requirement to pray the Rosary, but typically people come to see the beauty, wisdom, and efficacy in doing so.
3. Are there within Catholicism a diversity of beliefs held by members (i.e. on end times, types of gifts, evangelism), such as in Protestant denominations, or does everyone pretty much believe the same tenets across the board?
There is huge diversity within Catholicism regarding people having different gifts and being attracted to different styles/orders. Some are attracted to the charismatic movement. Some are attracted to more traditional or even Latin rites, some Catholics feel at home in Jesuit orders who seem to focus more on social justice, others prefer Benedictine, where education is emphasized. But all of these different groups believe in the same tenets of the faith. So, your example of differing views of end times wouldn’t cut it, unless the person admits he/she is speaking speculatively and not something the Church teaches. There is room for different theological views and dialogue as long as all parties admit their view is not necessarily confirmed by the Church. And it certainly couldn’t be condemned by the Church.

4. If there are any protestant to Catholic converts answering, how is being a Catholic different from being an evangelical? How has your life changed since conversion? What parts of Catholicism drew you and has post-conversion been what you'd hoped (Likewise, anyone who went from Catholicism to Protestantism, please provide the same answers to this question if you like)?
I am not a Catholic convert, rather I consider myself a Catholic re-vert. I was born into the faith, but wasn’t properly catechized and did not understand the faith until after college. At that time, I came back to the Church and it completely changed my life. It changed how I see myself and how I see others. The Sacraments of regular Confession and reception of the Holy Eucharist have given me greater peace and joy than I ever thought possible. To this day I find myself still discovering and learning new things and saying to myself, “How did I never know this before?”, “How does everyone not know this!”, “This stuff is incredible!”

If you are contemplating looking further into the Catholic Church, I strongly encourage you to do so. I truly believe it is the Church established by Jesus Christ Himself. History itself reveals this. Only the Catholic Church can trace her roots back to Jesus Christ Himself and the appointing of the first Pope, Peter, and an unbroken chain of Apostolic Succession ever since. Christ promised to remain with His Church and Peter was given the keys to the kingdom. Only Catholic priests have been given the power to forgive sins on Christ’s behalf and to change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. It is the Catholic Church who gave us the Bible. If you trusted her to do that, then you should trust her to have the authority to interpret it. Nothing else makes sense.

5. How important is the attendance of Mass for Catholics (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly)?
The mass is essential as it is where we receive the Word of God as well as His literal Body & Blood. Every mass has readings from the OT and NT as well as proverbs and psalms. If you attend the mass for 3 years, you will have received the Bible in its entirety. Nothing is left out. Unlike, attending Baptists or Lutheran or Methodist churches where Pastor Paul can pretty much choose whatever Bible passages he may personally feel like emphasizing and leave out those he doesn’t.

The beginning of every mass starts with the parishioners asking for forgiveness for their sins. The mass has entire sections on just giving glory and praise to God. There is also a part of the mass to ask God for our needs and concerns and parts to pray for others. There are parts to hear Him speaking directly to us through Scripture, as well as a priest offering practical advice and understanding in a homily. The mass of course includes the perfect prayer, The Our Father, and culminates with the re-presentation of Christ on calvary, where He as the ultimate sacrificial lamb, dies for us and gives us His Body. He tells us in Scripture, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you have no life in you.” Catholics take Him at His word!

Is it an essential (if you don't attend local mass you are not Catholic)?
A Catholic is expected to attend mass every Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. Daily mass is encouraged but not required.

Is there a lot of interaction with others during Mass?
Only in the sense that we are all coming together as a community to give glory and honor to God. The mass is not meant to be like a BBQ or pot luck. It is a time to give our attention to God. There are many activities/social things after mass where Catholics can go to converse with others, but the mass is not the place for that.

Can non-Catholics attend Mass (to see what it's like)? If so, is there any particular protocol?
Of course! Come. All are welcome. Come and soak it all in. You can participate in every aspect of the mass except reception of Holy Communion. Because reception of Holy Communion means you are part of the Catholic Community and accept and believe her teachings. Catholics also teach that the Holy Eucharist is the actual Body and Blood of Christ, so if you like other Christian denominations believe, it is merely symbolic, we ask that you not receive. Scripture tells us this as well . . .

“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.”

“For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.” -1 Corinthians 11


Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.
Thank you for your awesome questions. Hope they mean you are looking into the Catholic Church 😊

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Re: Question for Catholics About Conversion from Evangelicalism

Post #3

Post by hodges7 »

RightReason wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:43 am [Replying to isaachunter in post #1]
If a Protestant (Baptist maybe, or even a confused Reformed) decided they were needed to convert from Evangelicalism to Catholicism, mainly because of their perceived call to the solitary vocation (which is not accepted in Protestant/Evangelical Churches):
A solitary vocation is not accepted in Protestant/Evangelical churches? What could stop a person from being contemplative? Anyway, I will go on to respond to your questions . . .

1. What would be the steps in this process of conversion? Are they automatically accepted or are there tests, etc?
There aren’t written tests if that is what you mean. But there is a process of conversion to make sure the person understands what it is they are committing too, also to help answer any unanswered questions and to educate the person even further on what it is the Church teaches. The program is called RCIA (The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). It’s typically a year process.

I would also like to add it would be both weird and wrong for a person to become a Catholic if in fact he/she did not accept the teachings of the Church. So, a person shouldn’t become a Catholic simply because he/she likes the music or the Church offers some group or order the person thinks they would be happy in.

However, it is also important to point out a person need not wait until they fully and completely understand everything before becoming a Catholic. One’s understanding of the faith is a continual journey and we should be expecting to learn new and deeper truths our whole lives.

2. What Catholic doctrines or theological/beliefs would be considered essential or non-negotiable to become Catholic (most specifically: transubstantiation, confession, veneration of Mary or the saints, acceptance of the pope as the final authority of the church, acceptance of Church tradition as the final authority of interpretation of the Bible, and can a Catholic convert still hold to Sola Fide)? Basically, could someone convert to Catholicism while still maintaining some or all of their protestant theology? Or would this be grounds for rejection or non-admittance?
Depends what Protestant theology they want to hold onto. Some Protestant theology overlaps with Catholic theology. Protestants believe in Baptism as well as the Trinity. Someone joining the Catholic Church would not have to fully understand the mystery of transubstantiation, but he/she should accept the Church’s teaching regarding the Holy Eucharist and abide by the rules regarding proper reception of the Holy Eucharist. The same would be said of Confession. While a person joining the Church might not fully appreciate the truth of this beautiful sacrament, he/she would have to be willing to accept that the Church requires all Catholics to at least go to Confession once a year. If they are unable to agree to that, they should not become Catholic. And there have been many a Protestant turned Catholic convert who did not come to love our Mother Mary and full appreciate Marian doctrine until after they were Catholic. There is no requirement to pray the Rosary, but typically people come to see the beauty, wisdom, and efficacy in doing so.
3. Are there within Catholicism a diversity of beliefs held by members (i.e. on end times, types of gifts, evangelism), such as in Protestant denominations, or does everyone pretty much believe the same tenets across the board?
There is huge diversity within Catholicism regarding people having different gifts and being attracted to different styles/orders. Some are attracted to the charismatic movement. Some are attracted to more traditional or even Latin rites, some Catholics feel at home in Jesuit orders who seem to focus more on social justice, others prefer Benedictine, where education is emphasized. But all of these different groups believe in the same tenets of the faith. So, your example of differing views of end times wouldn’t cut it, unless the person admits he/she is speaking speculatively and not something the Church teaches. There is room for different theological views and dialogue as long as all parties admit their view is not necessarily confirmed by the Church. And it certainly couldn’t be condemned by the Church.

4. If there are any protestant to Catholic converts answering, how is being a Catholic different from being an evangelical? How has your life changed since conversion? What parts of Catholicism drew you and has post-conversion been what you'd hoped (Likewise, anyone who went from Catholicism to Protestantism, please provide the same answers to this question if you like)?
I am not a Catholic convert, rather I consider myself a Catholic re-vert. I was born into the faith, but wasn’t properly catechized and did not understand the faith until after college. At that time, I came back to the Church and it completely changed my life. It changed how I see myself and how I see others. The Sacraments of regular Confession and reception of the Holy Eucharist have given me greater peace and joy than I ever thought possible. To this day I find myself still discovering and learning new things and saying to myself, “How did I never know this before?”, “How does everyone not know this!”, “This stuff is incredible!”

If you are contemplating looking further into the Catholic Church, I strongly encourage you to do so. I truly believe it is the Church established by Jesus Christ Himself. History itself reveals this. Only the Catholic Church can trace her roots back to Jesus Christ Himself and the appointing of the first Pope, Peter, and an unbroken chain of Apostolic Succession ever since. Christ promised to remain with His Church and Peter was given the keys to the kingdom. Only Catholic priests have been given the power to forgive sins on Christ’s behalf and to change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. It is the Catholic Church who gave us the Bible. If you trusted her to do that, then you should trust her to have the authority to interpret it. Nothing else makes sense.

5. How important is the attendance of Mass for Catholics (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly)?
The mass is essential as it is where we receive the Word of God as well as His literal Body & Blood. Every mass has readings from the OT and NT as well as proverbs and psalms. If you attend the mass for 3 years, you will have received the Bible in its entirety. Nothing is left out. Unlike, attending Baptists or Lutheran or Methodist churches where Pastor Paul can pretty much choose whatever Bible passages he may personally feel like emphasizing and leave out those he doesn’t.

The beginning of every mass starts with the parishioners asking for forgiveness for their sins. The mass has entire sections on just giving glory and praise to God. There is also a part of the mass to ask God for our needs and concerns and parts to pray for others. There are parts to hear Him speaking directly to us through Scripture, as well as a priest offering practical advice and understanding in a homily. The mass of course includes the perfect prayer, The Our Father, and culminates with the re-presentation of Christ on calvary, where He as the ultimate sacrificial lamb, dies for us and gives us His Body. He tells us in Scripture, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you have no life in you.” Catholics take Him at His word!

Is it an essential (if you don't attend local mass you are not Catholic)?
A Catholic is expected to attend mass every Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. Daily mass is encouraged but not required.

Is there a lot of interaction with others during Mass?
Only in the sense that we are all coming together as a community to give glory and honor to God. The mass is not meant to be like a BBQ or pot luck. It is a time to give our attention to God. There are many activities/social things after mass where Catholics can go to converse with others, but the mass is not the place for that.

Can non-Catholics attend Mass (to see what it's like)? If so, is there any particular protocol?
Of course! Come. All are welcome. Come and soak it all in. You can participate in every aspect of the mass except reception of Holy Communion. Because reception of Holy Communion means you are part of the Catholic Community and accept and believe her teachings. Catholics also teach that the Holy Eucharist is the actual Body and Blood of Christ, so if you like other Christian denominations believe, it is merely symbolic, we ask that you not receive. Scripture tells us this as well . . .

“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.”

“For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.” -1 Corinthians 11


Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.
Thank you for your awesome questions. Hope they mean you are looking into the Catholic Church 😊
Very informative! I got lots of insights and fresh ideas about this. I am new on this group and I really appreciate this. Miramar Web Design

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Re: Question for Catholics About Conversion from Evangelicalism

Post #4

Post by isaachunter »

RightReason wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:43 am A solitary vocation is not accepted in Protestant/Evangelical churches? What could stop a person from being contemplative?
Yes, this is correct. There is nothing to stop an individual from pursuing a contemplative lifestyle as a protestant unless that individuals wants to be part of the protestant church in good standing.

In most protestant churches, if the leadership were to find out that an individual were reading about or pursuing a solitary vocation, or if I were to approach a pastor and tell them I feel called to monasticism, they would tell me that I this is not a call from God, that I’m being selfish for wanting to hide myself away from the world, and that I should instead join the evangelism team, the worship team (or some kind of team). Protestantism is overtly and instinctively extroverted. It makes no room for contemplative “ministry” or lifestyle or profession or vocation.
RightReason wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:43 am I would also like to add it would be both weird and wrong for a person to become a Catholic if in fact he/she did not accept the teachings of the Church. So, a person shouldn’t become a Catholic simply because he/she likes the music or the Church offers some group or order the person thinks they would be happy in.
What if the sole reason to convert was to fulfill the requirement of admission into a Catholic monastery?
RightReason wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:43 am However, it is also important to point out a person need not wait until they fully and completely understand everything before becoming a Catholic. One’s understanding of the faith is a continual journey and we should be expecting to learn new and deeper truths our whole lives.
I think this is dangerous. How am I to know if the group I’m interested in joining isn’t some kind of Roman Cult worshipping a sun god? No matter the religious organization, I think it best to get all the information up front so you can make an informed decision. I studied with the JWs for a year before committing to anything or even going to their meeting. I actually never went or ultimately joined because in that year of weekly study I discovered some important heresies they said were required.
RightReason wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:43 am Depends what Protestant theology they want to hold onto. Baptism, Trinity, Transubstantiation. Confession. Mary.
I would have issue with all of these I think. I doubt the Catholic Church would accept my baptism from a Baptist Church. I know Baptists would not accept a Catholic Baptism. I disagree on transusbantiation. I cannot accept veneration of Mary or the saints. I do not accept purgatory. This is the heart of what I’m trying to get at here. Would the Catholic Church accept an individual if they did not accept, believe, or participate in these activities, beliefs, doctrines?
RightReason wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:43 am all of these different groups believe in the same tenets of the faith. So, your example of differing views of end times wouldn’t cut it, unless the person admits he/she is speaking speculatively and not something the Church teaches. There is room for different theological views and dialogue as long as all parties admit their view is not necessarily confirmed by the Church. And it certainly couldn’t be condemned by the Church.
So an individual who has a pre-millennial, mid-tribulational view would have to abandon these doctrinal beliefs to convert? Further, all Catholics hold to the official a-millennial, post-tribulation view of the Church, or are there differences within the members?
RightReason wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:43 am If you are contemplating looking further into the Catholic Church, I strongly encourage you to do so. I truly believe it is the Church established by Jesus Christ Himself. History itself reveals this. Only the Catholic Church can trace her roots back to Jesus Christ Himself and the appointing of the first Pope, Peter, and an unbroken chain of Apostolic Succession ever since.
I certainly would disagree with you here (on everything you’ve said in this section). Which is really the problem at it’s core. Because of this, my investigation into conversion to the Catholicism has stalled. I cannot justify converting simply to qualify to enter a monastery or to just begin the process of testing. If Catholic monasteries do not want other-than Catholics then I have to respect their wishes, since a conversion on my part would be in name only.

Given the current decline of monasticism in the west, my age, and my own circumstances, I’ve concluded it would be best to pursue my monastic calling individually rather than communally, for any potential community’s sake as much as mine. There is a history (albeit sparsely recorded) of “solitaries” who entered no monastery and joined no order but embraced the vocation through private vows and an individual rule. There is also the examples in the Eastern Church of idiorrhythmic monks who held property, retained wealth, and provided their own means of support, and lived out their testing through their own rule of life. And, of course, we cannot forget the Desert Fathers (who started monasticism), though they are not spoken of AT ALL in protestant circles.

I have my own home, my own means of support, and I’m attempting to build a hermitage in the wilderness (where I own property). Granted, I am not Catholic enough for Catholicism, and I’m certainly too monastic for Protestants. But being on the outside of the church has been, for whatever reason, the lot in life I’ve been given. At this point I’m pretty used to it.

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Re: Question for Catholics About Conversion from Evangelicalism

Post #5

Post by benchwarmer »

RightReason wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:43 am If you attend the mass for 3 years, you will have received the Bible in its entirety. Nothing is left out.
Umm, no. Not likely. Perhaps you attend mass somewhere that has a lectionary that covers 100% of the Bible, but I never saw that in my many years of attending weekly mass.

I found this site which gives some interesting data:

https://www.stefanavey.com/r/2018/10/27 ... ary-part-1

If one wants to receive the entire Bible, just read the entire thing. Cover to cover. I think every Christian should be required to do this or they can't really call themselves a Christian, but obviously that's just my opinion. Don't expect sitting in mass every Sunday is going to get you through the entire Bible. Even if that were true somewhere, they jump all over the place.

It's actually quite astonishing how many Christians have not personally read the entire volume of documents that fully describes the basis of their faith. Many rely on their pastors and priests to feed it to them from the pulpit. I say go to the source and read the entire thing yourself. It's quite eye opening.

As for the OP, grab yourself a Catechism of the Catholic Church and read that too. You will find all the details therein.

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Re: Question for Catholics About Conversion from Evangelicalism

Post #6

Post by RightReason »

[Replying to isaachunter in post #4]

Greetings, I haven't posted on this website since back in April, but thank you for your responses.
RightReason wrote: ↑Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:43 amA solitary vocation is not accepted in Protestant/Evangelical churches? What could stop a person from being contemplative?
Yes, this is correct. There is nothing to stop an individual from pursuing a contemplative lifestyle as a protestant unless that individuals wants to be part of the protestant church in good standing.

In most protestant churches, if the leadership were to find out that an individual were reading about or pursuing a solitary vocation, or if I were to approach a pastor and tell them I feel called to monasticism, they would tell me that I this is not a call from God, that I’m being selfish for wanting to hide myself away from the world, and that I should instead join the evangelism team, the worship team (or some kind of team). Protestantism is overtly and instinctively extroverted. It makes no room for contemplative “ministry” or lifestyle or profession or vocation.


I would think this would depend on the branch of Protestantism. Monasticism is not hiding or selfish, but you’re right I think the culture today does not understand the contemplative calling or its significance. I think that popular movie from years ago, Sister Act, demonstrated this. The world can’t understand the power of prayer or the efficacy in the contemplative life. In that movie the nuns were mocked and rendered meaningless until they “hit the streets”. Until they performed for people. <sigh> That movie was a perfect example of the watering down of the Christian faith. Too many people think we ought to be judged according to the world’s standards and the world says you must be busy producing results we can measure. They see only this earthly world and do not have a supernatural mindset.
RightReason wrote: ↑Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:43 amI would also like to add it would be both weird and wrong for a person to become a Catholic if in fact he/she did not accept the teachings of the Church. So, a person shouldn’t become a Catholic simply because he/she likes the music or the Church offers some group or order the person thinks they would be happy in.
What if the sole reason to convert was to fulfill the requirement of admission into a Catholic monastery?
Well, if it is a Catholic monastic order one wishes to join, that person should accept and believe in what that order believes in, which would be the precepts of the Catholic Church. I do not think the person would be happy otherwise. Do you think a Catholic monastic order does not live according to the teachings of the Church? I have a pretty good feeling their daily lives revolve around praying for the Pope and the Church. I’m sure they pray the Rosary daily and frequent the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Eucharist. If you did not believe in those things, you would not like this way of life.
RightReason wrote: ↑Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:43 amHowever, it is also important to point out a person need not wait until they fully and completely understand everything before becoming a Catholic. One’s understanding of the faith is a continual journey and we should be expecting to learn new and deeper truths our whole lives.
I think this is dangerous. How am I to know if the group I’m interested in joining isn’t some kind of Roman Cult worshipping a sun god?
You misunderstand. Of course you should know the major teachings of the organization you wish to join. However, like I said, our faith is a continual journey – Thanks be to God! And we ought to expect to grow and change and deepen our faith as we go along. The Church is so rich and deep, we can’t even scratch the surface in our lifetime. So it is important for a person to realize they don’t have to know everything right now. Some things require time and prayer to fully understand. We need to allow ourselves to be open to the Holy Spirit and what He wants to reveal to us when.
No matter the religious organization, I think it best to get all the information up front so you can make an informed decision. I studied with the JWs for a year before committing to anything or even going to their meeting. I actually never went or ultimately joined because in that year of weekly study I discovered some important heresies they said were required.
Yes, JW’s are full of heresies but that is because they aren’t Christ’s established Church. How could they be? Weren’t they founded in the 1900’s? And by whose authority? I don’t remember Jesus Christ telling Charles Taze Russel to create a new translation of the Word of God, whereupon he changed and added words in order to fit JW erroneous theology.

As Protestant convert to Catholicism John Henry Newman said, "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." “To Be Deep in History Is to Cease to Be Protestant.”
All other Christian denominations are off shoots of Christ’s established Church (the Catholic Church). They all at some point (and some of them not even until the 20th century!) broke off from the Church and chose to follow or emphasize what they determined.
RightReason wrote: ↑Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:43 amDepends what Protestant theology they want to hold onto. Baptism, Trinity, Transubstantiation. Confession. Mary.
I would have issue with all of these I think.
Well, they are all Scriptural and the Trinity is the crux of Christianity.

I doubt the Catholic Church would accept my baptism from a Baptist Church.
Then you would be wrong. The Catholic Church accepts Christian Baptisms. If you ever wanted to join the Catholic Church you would not need to be Baptized again.

I know Baptists would not accept a Catholic Baptism.

Really?
I disagree on transusbantiation.
Too bad. It is both beautiful and Scriptural. We’re really just taking Jesus at His word when He says, “This is my body”.

I cannot accept veneration of Mary or the saints.
Are you ok with asking other people to pray for you? We are told in Scripture the prayers of a righteous man avail much. Can’t get much more righteous than Mary and the Saints.
I do not accept purgatory.
Again, it’s Biblical, also taught by Christ’s Church, and also pretty darn awesome (as well as the only thing that makes sense). But all of these things are topics for other threads to go into detail.

This is the heart of what I’m trying to get at here. Would the Catholic Church accept an individual if they did not accept, believe, or participate in these activities, beliefs, doctrines?
We would accept you if you were sincere and had a genuine desire to follow the teachings of Jesus and hope that in your search for truth you would come to recognize these awesome teachings. And we could respect that you have never been properly taught them or have some misinformation about these things that need to be corrected. So, we would say if you love God and want to do His will then you are ready to become a member of His Church, even if you do not yet fully understand some of these things. Of course, if you are hostile to the Church or plan on fighting her or mocking her or teaching others false things about her, then it would not be a good idea for you to join.

RightReason wrote: ↑Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:43 amall of these different groups believe in the same tenets of the faith. So, your example of differing views of end times wouldn’t cut it, unless the person admits he/she is speaking speculatively and not something the Church teaches. There is room for different theological views and dialogue as long as all parties admit their view is not necessarily confirmed by the Church. And it certainly couldn’t be condemned by the Church.
So an individual who has a pre-millennial, mid-tribulational view would have to abandon these doctrinal beliefs to convert?
I don’t know what pre-millenial, mid-tribulational view means.
Further, all Catholics hold to the official a-millennial, post-tribulation view of the Church, or are there differences within the members?
Again, I am unclear on your terms.
RightReason wrote: ↑Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:43 amIf you are contemplating looking further into the Catholic Church, I strongly encourage you to do so. I truly believe it is the Church established by Jesus Christ Himself. History itself reveals this. Only the Catholic Church can trace her roots back to Jesus Christ Himself and the appointing of the first Pope, Peter, and an unbroken chain of Apostolic Succession ever since.
I certainly would disagree with you here (on everything you’ve said in this section).
Ok, but all I have really stated in this section is the historical facts.



Given the current decline of monasticism in the west, my age, and my own circumstances, I’ve concluded it would be best to pursue my monastic calling individually rather than communally, for any potential community’s sake as much as mine.
Well, that is certainly an option. I think you would be missing out, not in not living in community – that is neither here nor there, but in being outside Christ’s Church – the means He intended for our salvation.
But being on the outside of the church has been, for whatever reason, the lot in life I’ve been given. At this point I’m pretty used to it.
Why would anyone want to be on the outside of the Church? Scripture refers to the Church as ‘the pillar and foundation of truth’. Jesus Christ said to His Church, “He who hears you, hears me”, and “Whatever you bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven”. Not to mention all the beautiful treasures of Christ’s Church, including Mary and the Saints and her words of wisdom. But the most tragic part of being separated from Christ’s Church is to not be receiving the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist! Our supernatural food that was intended to nourish us and keep us continually united to Him.

Perhaps God is calling you home right now. No one should be on the outside. The Church is ready to welcome you home with open arms. I encourage you to no settle for anything less than that which God desires for you. Peace.

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Re: Question for Catholics About Conversion from Evangelicalism

Post #7

Post by RightReason »

If you attend the mass for 3 years, you will have received the Bible in its entirety. Nothing is left out.

Umm, no. Not likely. Perhaps you attend mass somewhere that has a lectionary that covers 100% of the Bible, but I never saw that in my many years of attending weekly mass.
I am referring to attending daily mass, not simply mass on Sundays. I also am referring to receiving a full array of the Bible -- readings from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, and Revelation. And the Church's wisdom in relating OT to NT, which is key. I was also referring to the fact that those who attend a Christian service fall to the personal preference of Pastor Pete in choosing what to talk about. The liturgy of the Catholic Church is based on a a 3 year cycle to insure we hear all that God wanted us to hear. There are more stories out there than the story of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal son.
If one wants to receive the entire Bible, just read the entire thing. Cover to cover. I think every Christian should be required to do this or they can't really call themselves a Christian, but obviously that's just my opinion. Don't expect sitting in mass every Sunday is going to get you through the entire Bible. Even if that were true somewhere, they jump all over the place.
Of course read Scripture! Or listen to it! Right now I am listening to Fr. Mike Schmidt's Bible in a year. In 20-30 minute daily podcast he takes you through the entire Bible in 365 days. It is awesome. I highly encourage. But yes, if one pays attention while at mass Scripture is everywhere and we can be confident we are being fed the Word of God as He intended.
It's actually quite astonishing how many Christians have not personally read the entire volume of documents that fully describes the basis of their faith. Many rely on their pastors and priests to feed it to them from the pulpit. I say go to the source and read the entire thing yourself. It's quite eye opening.
Yes, so true!
As for the OP, grab yourself a Catechism of the Catholic Church and read that too. You will find all the details therein.
Yes! The Catechism is beautiful and so helpful. It too is also full of lots of Scripture!

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Re: Question for Catholics About Conversion from Evangelicalism

Post #8

Post by isaachunter »

benchwarmer wrote: Thu Nov 11, 2021 10:13 pm
If one wants to receive the entire Bible, just read the entire thing. Cover to cover. I think every Christian should be required to do this or they can't really call themselves a Christian, but obviously that's just my opinion. Don't expect sitting in mass every Sunday is going to get you through the entire Bible. Even if that were true somewhere, they jump all over the place.

It's actually quite astonishing how many Christians have not personally read the entire volume of documents that fully describes the basis of their faith. Many rely on their pastors and priests to feed it to them from the pulpit. I say go to the source and read the entire thing yourself. It's quite eye opening.
I completely agree. This is how my faith in Christ was founded. I was in the military overseas and after each day of work I would go to my barracks by myself, close the door, and spend the rest of the evening reading the Bible, book by book, until I had finished reading all of it. Then I went through it again, this time with 3 highlighters. I would highlight what I agreed with, what I didn't agree with or didn't agree with and what I didn't understand. Each week I would write questions out and give my list of questions to an elder in the church and I would get his responses written out the next week. Those two years were really like a monastic or seminary experience for me and really grounded my faith solidly on the text. Over the years I've been very grateful for it.

Oh and I have the Catechism imported into my Logos program so any time I run a search on resources I get any hits automatically.

Isaac

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Re: Question for Catholics About Conversion from Evangelicalism

Post #9

Post by isaachunter »

RightReason wrote: Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:19 am Greetings, I haven't posted on this website since back in April, but thank you for your responses.
I too have not posted here in a long time. I got an email yesterday that someone had replied to one of my posts. I do love how asynchronous communication continues on, sometimes for years.
RightReason wrote: Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:19 am Then you would be wrong. The Catholic Church accepts Christian Baptisms. If you ever wanted to join the Catholic Church you would not need to be Baptized again.
I have a hard time accepting this. If the Catholic Church believes they are the only true and historical Church and any other denomination or cult-like organization is an offshoot of that one and true church (and thus cannot be saved), how could the Catholic Church accept a baptism that is not in by conscience a baptism into the "one true religion?" Or does the Catholic Church recognize that Baptists are also part of the Church (universal) and protestants will be saved as well as Catholics?
RightReason wrote: Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:19 am
I know Baptists would not accept a Catholic Baptism.[/quote

Really?
I could not imagine a baptist church ever accepting a Catholic baptism or a JW baptism or Mormon baptism. They might accept a Church of Christ, Methodist, Lutheran baptism. There is, of course, a sliding scale on the Baptist spectrum. The further conservative you go (toward fundamentalist baptist) the less any other baptism from another group would be accepted. I'm speaking in generalities of course. I'm sure there are very liberal pastors or baptist churches that would accept anyone, even someone who wasn't baptized. But in general this is not the case (or was not the case when I was involved with the baptists).
RightReason wrote: Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:19 am I don’t know what pre-millenial, mid-tribulational view means.
You're blowing my mind! This is all baptists like to talk about at their potlucks (other than football).

Pre-millennial is the view that Christ will return before the millennial reign or the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth. There is also post-millennial which refers to Christ coming after the 1000 years (and he doesn't reign on earth but it's more spiritual). A-millennial means there is no 1000 years and Christ is reigning spiritually.

Tribulational refers to the timing of the rapture of the church. Pre, Mid, Post. Pre-trib means it will be before the tribulation. Mid-trib = during the middle. Post-trip = after the tribulation.

I know the Catholic Church officially states they are A-millennial and post-tribulational (though I've read they would not necessarily use these terms).

In the end, this whole topic is about when the church will be raptured, because pre-mil-pre-trib states the church was not made for and cannot experience the wrath of God, so God will take the church before the tribulation begins.
RightReason wrote: Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:19 am Why would anyone want to be on the outside of the Church? Scripture refers to the Church as ‘the pillar and foundation of truth’.
Perhaps God is calling you home right now. No one should be on the outside. The Church is ready to welcome you home with open arms. I encourage you to no settle for anything less than that which God desires for you. Peace.
I in no way "want" to be outside of the church. And when I speak of being outside, I do not mean literally, as if I am not part of the church Jesus is building (I think we have different definitions of this church). But, I've never been accepted by protestant churches because of my beliefs, convictions, or positions. I trace this back to being grounded in the faith in my barracks room and reading the Bible from cover to cover instead of "being saved" at a church or through a sermon or tract that immediately "plugged me into" a particular denomination and their indoctrinations. I was not born into a religion or inherited a particular faith from my parents. They are both non-religious.

But, during my 20's I spent a great deal of time in various denominations, serving churches, starting bible studies, etc. It all felt fake, as if I were putting on a show. It was only after I embraced the solitary vocation that I felt truly at home. All churches say they are welcoming, but they really are not. You have to swallow their doctrines of men and tradition along with sound doctrine. If you don't you are shunned. I've tried regular churches. I've tried house churches. I've tried online churches. I haven't tried the Catholic Church simply because there are so many glaring doctrinal issue right out of the gate there is no point in going further. I had an open mind with the JWs (albeit very skeptical) and studied with them coming to my home for an entire year, but their religion is filled with heretical doctrines (heretical I mean extra-biblical. I do not accept tradition as authoritative and all denominations have their sacred cow traditions that are found nowhere in the Bible).

If God desires for me to participate in a local church or the Catholic Church either he is having difficulty communicating that to me or I'm am severely stubborn and hard of hearing. I've prayed frequently, and especially over the last year, for a local church, if it is his will. But still nothing. I personally think God is keeping me from the church (i.e. other people) either to protect me from them or to protect them from me.

Isaac

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