For those of you who don’t know, I have something to share with you about myself. But first…
If I told you my friend converted to Catholicism, who had been an Evangelical all her life, most of us would think something along these lines:
She must not have truly understood redemption and salvation; she must have been weak in her faith; maybe she never was saved; maybe she never read her Bible much; maybe she was brainwashed by someone. Apparently she didn’t care enough for the eternal security of her soul and/or her daily walk and relationship with Jesus Christ. I mean, some Catholics might be saved, but a Bible-believing-Evangelical should know better.
Most Evangelical’s I know automatically think that a Protestant who becomes Catholic must have been a weak Christian at best, and not saved at worst. Many will tell me my friend who converted must not have known the Bible very well. Her relationship with Christ must not have been her priority. Or maybe they will think that she had some bad church experience, was discontent, so she threw it all away for something so drastically different as the “ritualistic-stuffy-religion” of the Roman Catholic Church. They will probably tell me: throughout history, maybe those Catholics started out fine in the beginning, but they have seriously strayed from the simple truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (i.e. Thank you, Martin Luther and other Reformers, you brought us back to the simple ways of the New Testament Church).
Warning: in coming bomb…
This “friend” of mine is hypothetical. I am the friend who converted to Catholicism. Yes, you read that right. Abigail Grace Rasmussen, raised in a strong Evangelical home, who began memorizing Scripture before she could read, who read the Bible through at least half a dozen times, who loved her Protestant life… was confirmed in the Catholic Church a full year ago, on Easter 2016.
Now. Hold on. Wait. Before you go thinking any of the above thoughts, or any thing remotely like them, let me tell you a few things:
- I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and personal savior.
- I am trusting in Him alone for my salvation.
- I believe that I can’t earn my way to heaven.
- I still love the Bible and read it a lot.
- I still pray every day, in fact, more now than I ever did before.
- I still have a heart for sharing the love of God with the people around me.
But I thought you just said you’re a Catholic now? How can you be a Catholic and still believe all those things?? Well, let me tell you a surprise: True Catholics believe ALL those things!
Dear Evangelical friends and family, there are so many, many myths about the Catholic Church and its teachings that Protestants erroneously believe. In fact, Protestants believe many flat out LIES about the Catholic Church. Somehow, Protestants think they know what the Church teaches, I used to be one of them. But really, when was the last time you asked a Catholic what they believe? A Catholic who actually knows and understands what they believe, and why they believe it? Once I did learn from Catholics, the truth behind the lies was explained to me, and I realized I had no reason left to “protest” against the Catholic Church.
Here’s one myth, in meme form:
If the meme isn’t clear, let me be clear. No Catholic worships Mary, or any Saint. Catholics ONLY worship God, because worship is due to God alone.
Becoming Catholic has been the best decision of my entire life. I love being Catholic! If you want to read more about why I became Catholic, you’re in the right spot. You can read about my story of faith, my spiritual journey, on this blog I created just for this purpose.
While I was studying the differences between Protestants and Catholics, I read many stories and books of people who had converted from Protestantism to Catholicism. Each story was a little different, but I kept finding a common theme. Instead of being weak in their faith and not knowing the Bible very well, these “ex-Protestants” actually knew the Bible VERY well. They were perfectly happy and content with their Protestant life. They loved their church. Many of them very specifically did NOT want to become Catholic. A few of them were anti-Catholic. Most tried hard not to become Catholic. But in the end, for all the converts that I have read and heard about so far, the Bible is what leads people straight to the arms of the Catholic Church.
Yes, God’s Holy Word leads people straight to Rome. The truth is simply overwhelming. I can honestly say this about myself. I read my way into the Catholic Church; reading many Christian authors, but mostly reading the Bible.
When reading the writings of the 1st-4th century Early Church Fathers, I was, and still am, continually amazed at how much Protestants and Catholics actually do have in common. This meme is an example:
The Catholic Church believes we are saved by the grace of God alone. Nothing we do earns salvation. It is all a gift from God, even our faith is a gift from God.
There are still some big differences between us, for example, the pope, the Eucharist, the veneration of Mary and Saints. However, these things and others that Catholics believe, but Protestants don’t, are things that the Early Church Father’s all wrote about and believed to be true. This means that if the Catholic Church strayed from the truth, they did so right in the beginning. Those early Christians and Apostles must have strayed even before they had finished writing the New Testament (end of the 1st century), and compiling all of what is the canon of Scripture (end of the 4th century). That blew my mind.
Because, if Protestantism is true, and the Catholic Church’s teachings were wrong from the very beginning, how can I trust the Bible includes all the books that are inspired, not missing any, and with no extra books? We can trust the Bible is what it is supposed to be because the Holy Spirit was with the Catholic men of old and lead them to put it together infallibly. I firmly believed this as a Protestant, in the same way that I believed the authors of the books of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit and protected from error. If Protestantism is true, the question then becomes, when did the Holy Spirit leave the Catholic Church, and allow it to become corrupt?
Even still, how and why would God allow all of Christianity to be wrong for many, many centuries, until he finally raises up Martin Luther to correct the corruption? This does not make historical or theological sense. Especially given the fact that Jesus says, “…and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it [my Church].” (Matthew 16:18)
To read more of how and when I began learning about all of this, you can begin with my blog post: Spiritual Journey (part 1)
I also suggest you check the sources for yourself. Some of the Early Church Father’s I read are: Augustine of Hippo, Hippolytus of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Lyons, Justin Martyr, and many others.
- The Protestants Dilemma by Devin Rose
- The Salvation Controversy (now titled The Drama of Salvation) by Jimmy Akin
- Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic by David Currie
- Rome Sweet Home by Scott & Kimberly Hahn
- The Fathers Know Best compiled by Jimmy Akin
- The Faith of Our Fathers by James Cardinal Gibbons
- The Bible (being historically accurate: the New Testament was written and compiled by Catholics who were inspired by the Holy Spirit)
Here are a few of my favorite Catholic blogs/websites I enjoy:
- The Cordial Catholic by Albert K. Little, convert to the Catholic Church
- Catholic Answers
- Catholic Answers Live (podcast)
- Catholic Answers YouTube
- Catholic Convert Why I’m Catholic: Steve Ray’s blog
- Scott Hahn’s resources by Scott Hahn, convert to the Catholic Church
You are welcome to comment (or email me) with your questions and concerns. I truly enjoy talking about my faith now, more than I ever did before.