Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Keeps You Out Of The Church?

I have had many great responses to my blog post on What Brought You Back to the Church.
Now I'm going to turn the tables and ask my non-Catholic and ex Catholic friends:

What is it that keeps you Out of the Catholic Church?

some thoughts:

  • theological issues?
  • family issues?
  • bad Catholics?
In your response, please try to be charitable. Comments that include words that rhyme with "prostate" and/or have the suffix "phile" won't be posted.

11 Comments:

Blogger Terrence said...

The biggest thing that I see is that the Catholic Church (big C's) is little or no different then the Jewish church in Jesus' time. They have created rules and regulations, a litany of requirements for the sacraments, etc! They have become as I see it, no different then the Scribe's and Pharisees of Jesus time. To me church is not a denomination, it is a core group of people, coming together for one reason only, to worship Jesus and Him alone! To me church (little c) is what happened after the day of pentecost where people met together outside of the synagog in homes and in the streets, etc. Formalization of meeting in buildings, is so westernized/modernized, that it almost bastardizes the whole idea of having church. Church, means body of Christ, so whenever 2 or more are gathered, He is in the midst!
Love you Russ.

August 18, 2010 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This site is looking for some Catholic comment and apologetics
http://anglicandownunder.blogspot.com/2010/08/there-is-one-gospel-only-one-because.html
If you cannot respond, maybe you know who can.

August 18, 2010 7:25 PM  
Blogger Magister Christianus said...

I commented on your previous post to say what is leading me toward Catholicism, but this question is much more difficult and painful. I have challenged myself by asking it many times. If I believe, as I think I do, then when do I not run to the nearest RCIA class?

I am married, and my wife feels no pull to consider Catholicism. On top of that, we have two children, ages 9 and 5, who love the church we attend and are growing deeply in the faith.

I can hear the voices now. If I care so much about my family and believe that Catholicism is right, then why do I not work harder to lead them into it?

I know that nothing compares with living and following the truth, yet I feel the pain of pulling our family from the church it has known and loved. I fear the disruption for our children. On top of that, my wife is not in any way inclined to make such a change, and I cannot split our family by my worshiping elsewhere. This is a deeply painful thing for me.

August 19, 2010 10:33 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Magister:
I had a feeling that was the issue even before you posted. There's no easy answers but i know that people who pushed the issue and insisted on converting against their spousal approval regretted it later.
My wife wanted to convert for years before I did and it was very difficult because I made it clear to her I wanted nothing to do with Catholicism. it was 2000-2002, at the height of the abuse scandals and I just kept telling her Christ was not the head of a "church of pedophiles." I so regret the things I said to her now.
At any rate, she quietly prayed, not that i would want to convert but God would move my heart to let her convert! And look what happened! So, I have a feeling that someday your wife may turn to you and say, let me check out the mass this sunday. Stranger things have happened.
That being said, I will keep you in prayer as will my other readers
Thanks for all your kind comments on this blog.

here's a book my wife found helpful, which she read of course without telling me!

http://www.amazon.com/When-Only-Converts-Lynn-Nordhagen/dp/0879733152

August 19, 2010 5:54 PM  
Blogger Magister Christianus said...

Tiber, thank you for the prayers, first and foremost. I cannot tell you how much your words and the thought of your prayers mean to me. Interestingly enough, we just had a deep discussion last night that did not, to put it gently, go well.

Thank you, too, for the book link. It looks like a must-read.

August 22, 2010 8:58 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

You are very welcome.
Will be praying.

August 22, 2010 10:59 AM  
Blogger Magister Christianus said...

I am not sure if the comment box is the best place to continue an ongoing discussion, but I have to add that after my last comment, my wife and I had a wonderful discussion today. A chief point of concern for her was that I, and the Catholic Church, are saying that Protestants do not enjoy salvation. I read her the relevant sections of the Catechism, which, as I understand it, says that those who live in the faith of Christ, having been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, do indeed look forward to salvation in Christ. Am I correct on this?

August 22, 2010 5:22 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Well there's an answered prayer already!

Yes you are right, our Protestant brethren share the unity in the body of Christ based on their Trinitarian baptism, assuming correct form and matter (Being baptised with water, immersion or sprinkled, using the formulae in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit)

here is a post on did on this very issue I wrote to clear it up. Hope this can help your wife.

August 22, 2010 7:38 PM  
Blogger mchrisman said...

Terrence:
The Catholic Church is different and similar to the Jewish faith in the fact that it is the fulfillment of it, "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:17-19). Jesus did not seek to do away with rules and regulations, only the wrong ones. You are correct in saying that the Church is not a denomination. True, indeed, the Church established on earth by Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago (that being the Catholic Church) is not, but every Christian church outside of it is break-off, each containing fragments of the Truth which the Catholic Church contains in full. So, the first Christians of the Church never met in the synagogue? But it was somehow ok for them to meet in the temple? "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers...And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts" (Acts 2:42,46). And take note that the beginning of ch. 2 is Pentcost, so the aforementioned verses are afterward. Now, why would these newly converted Christians still be going to the temple before attending their Christian worship privately in their homes? Were they wishy-washy and couldn't decide which religion to follow? No. Private worship might have had something to do with the fact that the local authorities (i.e. Jewish and/or Roman) were not taking to kindly to this new Christian following that was emerging. Designating a formal meeting place for a specific organization of people is a pretty normal and human function. I imagine it can also be quite liberating after nearly 4 centuries of it being violently prohibited. Lastly, I encourage you to carefully and prayerfully read all of Matthew Chapter 18 from whence you borrowed the last words of your comment, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt 18:20). Especially focus on vv. 15-17.
Peace and blessings,
mchrisman

September 08, 2010 4:09 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Why I am not a Catholic (with all due respect, these are my sincerely held convictions at this point in time)

Doctrine: The Council of Trent anathaematized the Biblical gospel of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Rome confuses the biblical concept of justification (as legal declaration of the imputed righteousness of Christ to the believer) with sanctification.

The idea of a pope is unscriptural and without historical support.

Rome adds to the gospel with dogmas such as the assumption of Mary - not only does this have no scriptural warrant but was unknown to the early fathers.

The doctrine of transubstantiation is the importation of (alien) Aristotelian philosophy to Biblical revelation.

Mary is not a mediator - only Christ is.

The representation of the Mass denies the once for all sufficiency of Christ's death on the cross.

Purgatory is a fiction.

Indulgences are a money-making device.

There is no priest/laity distinction and celibacy is not obligatory for a pastor since Peter etc. were married.

History - many Bible-believing, Christ-loving Christians were killed by Rome in the middle ages and Reformation times (Waldenses, Latimer, Ridley etc.) Hardly the mark of the one true church.

Rome seems to breed superstition - the relics, the prayers to 'saints', holy water etc.

I don't want to sound as if I am on a sort of anti-Catholic tirade - I'm not, I'm simply answering your question and would welcome a similar and frank reply to the question why you are not a Reformed Christian.

PS I agree with you about seeker-churches - as you rightly point out, not all protestants go down that route - I am confessional and I hope apostolic in doctrine.

September 21, 2010 3:56 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Jim,
You put up a lot of straw men in your "tirade" there. I disagree with you that you are not anti-Catholic, but that is between you and God.


If you can tell me what keeps you out of the Church after you have read what the Church teaches about itself, then I think your comments would be received as much more credible.

God bless you in your pursuit of Truth.

September 21, 2010 4:48 PM  

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