Skip to comments.Romeward Bound: Evaluating Why Protestants Convert to Catholicism
Posted on 05/31/2014 3:30:55 PM PDT by boatbums
The Wizard of Oz has fascinated adults and children for many years. You know the story: a farm girl from Kansas finds herself in the middle of an unwelcomed adventure in an attempt to find the fanciful wizard, who, she hopes, will help her return home. After many trials and tribulations, she, along with her newfound friends, ultimately arrives at the Emerald City only to discover, much to her chagrin, that the "wizard" was really no wizard at all. He wasn't much of anything. In modern parlance, he was a wimp.
Believe it or not, many-a-Protestant claims to have experienced a disenchantment similar to that of Dorothy. And like the disenchanted Dorothy who just wanted to go home, so too these disenchanted Protestants want to go home. The home these Protestants long for, however, is not the home they left behind. These Protestants are Romeward bound.
True, the number of Protestant converts to Catholicism is less than the other way around. And there are less actual converts to Rome today than during previous points in the history of Catholicism. Nevertheless, there is something unique about this modern conversion phenomenon, since "the kind of converts appears to be quite different, with fewer obligatory conversions for such reasons as marriage. A significant number of Protestant evangelicals...are among those moving to Rome...."
Many evangelical Protestants are converting to "Roman obedience." Or, in the words of one such convert, they are "getting churched" or "poping." Jocularity aside, it is important for Protestants to come to grips with the reasons why these Neocatholics have set their compasses toward Rome, only then will Protestants be able to see some of the shortcomings of their espoused faith. Only then will they be able to meet the needs of those who are "taking the plunge."
(Excerpt) Read more at reformed.org ...
As a former Roman Catholic, now Evangelical Christian, whatever reasons people have for leaving one faith tradition for another, it should be something well thought out and not done without ALL the facts and information being considered. Fortunately, our Lord God is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18) It is never too late to receive the truth of the Gospel and be saved.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9)
Link doesn’t seem to lead to the rest of the article...?
Because they don’t know any better...
Same old, same old (2002): http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/45/45-3/45-3-PP451-472_JETS.pdf
Yep, that link isn’t going to the article.
The Great and Powerful Jeff makes a prediction: This is going to be a mean, nasty thread.
This is the location:
Here’s a response to the original work: http://newchristendom.blogspot.com/2011/09/response-to-david-hagopians-romeward.html
Link not right.
More such works (Protestants trying to explain why Protestants leave Protestantism for the Catholic Faith):
My trek has gone from Methodist to Lutheran, but if I were to take the next step, why should I stop at Rome? Why not revert all the way and become Orthodox?
As a former Roman Catholic, now Evangelical Christian, whatever reasons people have for leaving one faith tradition for another, it should be something well thought out and not done without ALL the facts and information being considered.
It should be. RC-ism that I run into is an alien world.
I've only run into this once, in my personal circle of friends. My best friend in college, best man at my wedding, fell in among Jesuits in the Army, far from home and in a difficult period in his life. The Jesuits took up their reason for existing, and next thing I hear he's joined the Roman Catholic church. His reasons then (this was 20+ years ago, and I haven't seen him in over a decade), it was all about authority.
I always liked how Jason Stellman put it:
In a word, I fought the Church, and the Church won. And what it did was beat me, but it didnt draw me, entice me, or lure me by playing upon some deep, latent psychosis or desire on my part for something Protestantism just couldnt provide. Catholicism went from being so obviously ridiculous that it wasnt even worth bothering to oppose, to being something whose claims were so audacious that I couldnt help opposing them. But what it never was, was attractive, and in many ways it still isnt.
But what Catholicism is, I have come to discover, is true.
I think some culturally conservative Protestants are attracted to Rome’s stance on abortion and other social issues, plus they long to be part of something really huge.
What makes Orthodox all the way back? The Catholic Church came first, and the Orthodox split off.
I always liked how Jason Stellman put it:
Jason seems quite narcissistically obsessed.
“Jason seems quite narcissistically obsessed.”
No more so than Luther or Calvin. A personal conversion story for someone who is already a professed Christian is going to have to include a fair amount of “I” and “me” statements. How else could it be written?
Oh, now you’ve done it. You’ve made a historically accurate claim about Christianity in a thread filled with Protestants. Who knows what could happen now!
I would argue the correct word isn’t “huge” but rather “universal.” Whether there are 10 Catholics or 10 billion, whether they are in Africa, America, or Mars, the definitive, universal teachings remain the same.
Source does not link to the article.
I grew up in the Episcopal church, and even became the senior warden of a very old Tennessee church that had been established in 1832.
Unfortunately, the opulence of the Episcopal church attracted the homosexuals and other deviants, driving it to the dark side.
Since taking on an international life, I have attended only Catholic churches, first in Slovakia, and now in the Philippines, where there is really very little other choice.
My young son was baptized in our 300 year old local church.
Orthodox split from the Catholic Church. Your next step after that would be to become Catholic.
How does one define “universal”?
It’s got too many topics to present a reasonable hope that any of them would be dealt with well.
And unfortunately both the original article and the response seem unable to resist taking gratuitous digs which shed no light but do raise the temperature.
Dear boatbums, tempted as I am (I would LOVE to go after the apostolic tradition question if only to see if we could do it without knives flying through the air,) I’m going to decline. People seem unable or unwilling to do the analysis necessary to have a productive disagreement.
It’s an interesting article, but it doesn’t raise any questions in my alleged mind.
I hope you are well.
“Show me a list of notable Catholics leaving to become Evangelicals? You will be hard pressed to come up with a list. But a list of notable Protestants converting to Catholicism is as long as your arm. People who think and research gravitate to the true Church. Americans dont, by and large, think”
How many deathbed “protestant” conversions can you come up with?
Worth taking a look —
“The “notable” have their weaknesses. And what is notable to man is not the same thing as what is notable to God. “Not many noble . . . .””
That’s nothing but a deflection. The simple fact is that when a “notable” Catholic becomes a Protestant it often is for less than the best reasons. Recently a South American priest I knew married in the Episcopal Church. He was having an affair BEFORE he was ousted from his parish by his bishop. Few people knew about it or even suspected it (and those who did know called the bishop. That story is all too common. Now think of the Protestant ministers who become Catholics. They lose their jobs, risk their families, receive scorn from their former parishioners - and all because they have discovered the truth rather than wanting to break a vow. That’s quite a difference - and very telling.
Hey, Mister BoatBums, where does this article continue on the link? Thanks.
This is like pointing out all the stars who are Scientologists. So what?
Is it being saved by Grace that is the gift of God, or is it faith that is the gift of God?
sorry, I had the link in my Favorites list and it worked to bring me there. This is the link to the full article.
Many of our local evangelical churches are more than 50% former Catholics. And the vast majority of them are divorced and remarried. And a sizable minority are divorced and remarried and divorced and remarried.
Cheap grace. That ain’t ‘conversion,’ its convenience.
Brian, you surely must be aware of the fact that Protestant biblical interpretation allows for certain scriptural justifications for divorce. But I’ll agree that many churches are reluctant to try to assess cases, and just wave them all through. It is a pity. But please don’t imply that this is the only reason people leave Rome.
“This is like pointing out all the stars who are Scientologists. So what?”
No. The “so what” is that these Protestant ministers know their Protestant faiths (despite other Protestants claiming otherwise) and they risk everything to become Catholics while there are few “notable” Catholics who become Protestants and those who do are either breaking a vow or are lay people who seem terribly catechized in the Catholic faith.
“That aint conversion, its convenience.”
It’s adultery - just like Protestantism itself.
Vlad, you’re a good case in point. Condemning all divorces and remarriages is just as mindless and unbiblical as the other extreme of condoning them all.
“Same old, same old (2002): http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/45/45-3/45-3-PP451-472_JETS.pdf"
My greatgrandfather was contemporary, ans well as a close friend of John Nelson Darby. Darby was a friend of Cardinal Newman. They had various discourse exchanges.
Darby also had a personal ministry to Queen Victoria. Darby was 20 years senior to my great grandfather. When Darby could no longer continue that ministry, it fell on my greatgrandfather to do so. He did so until her death.
A couple of things, in my experience Catholic converts can surely tell you why they converted and the stories don’t lend themselves to one-liners. It is usually a journey that took years.
The fact that most of them were enthusiastic, committed Protestants was surely a wonderful part of the journey.
Since I have become Catholic I know several people who have left the church and without fail they quit because they never heard the Bible in the Catholic Church and I just shake my head. We know that almost every word that is spoken comes directly from the Bible or we are doing what we told to do in the Bible.
It’s not the only one. But in 2014 America it’s definitely the most common one. The local mega church admits it and laughs about it. I went to Haiti with them so I heard it first hand.
As I indicated, the only proper response is to assess cases biblically. Rome is just as much at fault on this issue as your local megachurch, only for the opposite reason.
“Vlad, youre a good case in point. Condemning all divorces and remarriages is just as mindless and unbiblical as the other extreme of condoning them all.”
1) I CLEARLY am not a case in point for any case you’re making.
2) I NEVER condemned ALL “divorces and remarriages”.
Your post is a “case in point” of how Protestants make things up out of thin air.
Great question! According to the quoted passage, faith is the gift. Salvation is also a gift, but faith must come first - as the only pathway to salvation. Faith is not a natural part of our fallen nature, so it must be "gifted" to us by God - for there is no good thing within us...
Because the Catholic Church is older?