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.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Evangelicals and Tradition

Some of the scriptures that Catholics use to reinforce the view that Sacred Tradition is part of the "rule of faith" come from St. Paul. These are scriptures that I read a "hundred times" as an evangelical but the import of which was completely lost on me.

“Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us” (2 Tim. 1:13–14).

“And what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).

“To this he called you through our Gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thess. 2:14–15).

Instead, I read and remembered the gospel passage where Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their wrongful use of tradition. I completely miss-interpreted this and read into it to refer to "the evil traditions of men, particularly of that Roman Catholic Church with all its traditions." Little did I see that Jesus wasn't trashing tradition, but the inappropriate use of it. 1500 years later this scripture was used against the very Church he started.

An interesting article written from by an evangelical was forwarded to me today. It's a bit long but worth the time reading. God bless the author, Rich Wade, for his desire to explain Tradition for our Protestant brothers. Thanks Dan for the tip. Check it out here.


Blogger ~Joseph the Worker said...

Actually a very funny thing was that when I left my Protestant denomination, they sent me a letter (their form of excommunication) that they could not associate with me and I must repent (along with my wife, who was mentioned as a side point). They quoted 2 Thess. 2:14–15 and that was the first time it struck me how plain Sacred Tradition is in that passage. I think that was a mistake for them to use :)

July 02, 2008 4:56 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Wow Joseph, did they really do that? I came from the same denomination as you and still from time to time, talk to my old pastor. He knows where I am now. Not questioning what your church did just surprised I guess.

July 03, 2008 5:20 PM  
Blogger ~Joseph the Worker said...

Yes, jp, we were probably the first to leave who actually got a letter of "marking" from that particular CoC. Most of it was because we were one of the few families who weren't related to everyone else there, I believe. If you ever have time to read a 150 page journey I wrote, it's up on my blog. It's lengthy though, but it does include the entire text of their excommunication.

July 04, 2008 1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great article, but, knowing all that, *how* can the author still be where he is? he's just not following what he's learned to its logical conclusion: the Catholic Church. further, what can *we* do to help him connect the rest of the dots..?


July 12, 2008 11:23 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

I think the jump across the tiber is made for many different reasons. sometimes it's just from the heart, sometimes just from the head and sometimes both!
My guess is that the story is not over for the author and we shall see.
Pray for him. If he understands tradition that well as the article seems to show, there are probably many other things about Catholicism he has looked at. He is one of those that Chesterton says has stopped railing against the Church and perhaps it will lead to that love affair that GK describes.

July 12, 2008 12:05 PM  

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