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.

Monday, November 01, 2010

For Those Readers Who Despise Catholicism

Did you ever ask yourself why you hate Catholicism so much?
 Who taught me what I think I know about the Catholic Church? Is what I was taught true? Have I looked at what the Catholic Church has to say about itself, using official resources such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and papal encyclicals? Could my opinion of the Catholic Church possibly be based on bias, bigotry, bad history, propaganda from the secular media, or the bad priests who get publicity (i.e., the sick, and sickening, ephebophile priests or those certain heretical modernist priests the secular media love to give press to)? Is it fair to judge doctrine by such things? Is any group with human beings in it free from sin and scandal? If I am wrong about the Catholic Church, what does that mean?
Here are some common myths about the Catholic Church:

Because Catholics reject the tradition of "sola fide" ("faith alone"), they think they can work their way into Heaven and believe they are saved by works . WRONG
Catholics think the pope does not sin . WRONG
Catholics re-crucify Christ at their Masses (or at least think they do) WRONG
Catholics think Mary is part of the Godhead and is to be worshipped WRONG
Catholics worship statues WRONG (for the 150th time on this blog) WRONG
Catholics think they can't pray to God directly but have to go through saints WRONG
Catholics conjure the dead WRONG
Catholics believe people can be saved after they die WRONG
The Catholic Church teaches that one who isn't formally a Catholic is damned to Hell WRONG
The Crusades are an example of Catholic aggression WRONG
The Inquisition(s) killed hundreds of thousands of people and targeted Jews WRONG
Pope Pius XII was "Hitler's Pope" and didn't do a thing to help Jews during WWII WRONG
The Catholic Church wasn't around until the time of Constantine, a pagan who controlled the Church. WRONG
The Catholic Church did more than baptize pagan calendar days for the good of Christ, it is pagan in its very roots. WRONG

If you believe any of the above myths, I implore you to research. For doctrinal questions, ask the Church what it teaches; it's the only fair thing to do. For historical questions, look at balanced and objective scholarly research from a variety of sources (including Catholic ones). And as you research, keep in mind the common logical fallacies that are often used in attacks against Catholicism:
Generalization: "I knew a Catholic/ex-Catholic (or I was a Catholic) who was (mean, a drunk, not holy, didn't like the Church, was superstitious, didn't know the Bible, didn't have a deep relationship with Jesus, etc.), so therefore, the teachings of the Catholic Church are wrong." (Ignores the fact that bad catechesis, misunderstandings, or other shortcomings of a few Catholics do not reflect on what the Catholic Church teaches)

Bifurcation:"If the Catholic Church doesn't teach that it's faith alone that saves, then it must teach that men are saved by their own works." (Ignores that we teach that we are saved by Grace alone -- a Grace with which we must cooperate through "faith that works in love")

Cum hoc ergo propter hoc (with this, therefore because of this): "Winter Solstice is on 21 December; Christmas is 25 December. Therefore, Christmas is a pagan holiday. (Ignores that fact that there are only 365 days to choose from in a year and that the early Church Fathers had good reasons to choose the date they did. It also ignores that Protestants' "Reformation Day" is celebrated on 31 October, the pagan festival of Samhain.)

Post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this): "Constantine must have been the real source of the Catholic Church's teachings because after his reign the Church grew tremendously, and before his reign it wasn't as well-known" (Ignores the simple fact that Constantine merely stopped the persecution of Christians with the Edict of Milan and allowed Christianity to spread. It also ignores the writings of the Church Fathers who lived before Constantine -- and who were Catholic.)

Straw man: "You guys worship statues, and that's evil. Therefore, your religion is Satanic." (Ignores that fact that we don't worship statues)



Blogger Annie said...

Thank you... so very very much.. for this wonderful, detailed and well thought out blog! Awesome job!

November 01, 2010 10:04 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I hope this answers some people's questions, or at least fires them up so much that they have to ask that question again: why am I SO angry about this?

November 01, 2010 10:07 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks Annie!
I got that post from Fish eaters site an excellent source of information.

But I do wonder why people hate the Church so much. I too left it at a young age not knowing anything about it and accepting Pseudoknowledge about the Church from mis-informed protestant bible teachers and a unhealthy amount of Chick tracts.

thanks so much for visiting!

November 02, 2010 7:35 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Elizabeth, I really pray that non-Catholic Christians take this to heart. My fear though, is that when they see this, their eyes glaze over and the Chick tract theology just takes hold of their mind. However, the Holy Spirit broke through my deception and I came home, so others will too!

November 02, 2010 7:37 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

I have had several discussions with some "evangelical" friends about this in the past couple of years. I am always stunned at their passion in hating the Catholic Church. It unsettles me, it hurts me and it makes me angry. I'm a convert... I crossed the Tiber in 2008, and am still learning! That's why I so appreciate this blog, because it's clear, reasonable and concise and will be a huge help in future conversations!!!

I think that this "hate" is born out of ignorance and mis- information. They don't believe or realize that the Catholic Church is the One True Church. IN one debate about Peter being the first Pope, I was told I had "the wrong Peter". There was no convincing this person. After interludes like this, all I can do is walk away and pray...

November 02, 2010 10:25 AM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

"ephebophile priests"

Thanks for that distinction.

November 02, 2010 12:21 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

@Annie, I guess they have to "protest," otherwise, what are they doing? I understand they're uneasy about some of our teachings, but when you get all of your information through OTHER people's damnation of the Catholic Church, how can you expect to have a real understanding of what's going on?

When I get into these discussions with non-Catholic Christians, I have an answer for every question, which visibly frustrates them. Then they turn to "Well, you worship Mary!" or the petris, petra argument. Of course, I have answers to those too, but as you said, Tiber Jumper, they've already glazed over.

November 02, 2010 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just became Catholic in August (Russ was there!) and have already encountered resistance. I had an evangelical woman come to my office 2 days ago seeking to rake me over the coals for going into heresy! Ugh...


November 05, 2010 6:58 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

It was a joy to see you and your family enter the Church!
But I also knew it was no easy decision given all that was riding on it. The protestant ministers who are willing to cross the Tiber and risk losing all for the sake of the Truth
wil be especially blessed for their obedience to the call.
You guys are our heroes ! Hang in there!

November 05, 2010 9:38 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

Oh Tim, I can so relate. I was confirmed at Easter Vigil in 2008. I was so excited and thrilled and at a family gathering the next day, we were talking about it. One of my husband's cousins came into the room and asked what we were talking about. I proudly told him that I had become Catholic the night before. He looked me in the eye and said: "I'm so sorry to hear that you are no longer a Christian." That comment through me for a loop and I said "Oh but I am". My facial expression must have indicated that I was very sad by his comment. He laughed it off and said "just kidding" but we both knew he wasn't.

November 05, 2010 10:18 AM  

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