Skip to comments.From Calvinist to Catholic (another powerful conversion story)
Posted on 10/13/2007 7:02:02 AM PDT by NYer
I am a convert to the Catholic Faith from Calvinism. I loved Calvinism and owned a library full of Calvin, Luther, Warfield, Hodge, Murray, Owen, Machen, etc. as well as helped plant a local Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I knew Reformation Theology and how much hatred it generates for the Catholic Church. As a Calvinist, I could boast with the best of them. I even persecuted the Catholic Church and went after every one of them I found, beating them back with Scripture, upon Scripture, upon quotes of Luther, Calvin, etc. I found great pleasure in debating Catholics.
My one flaw was learning what the Early Church Fathers believed. A Catholic who had not fared well in a debate with me, mentioned I should read the Early Church Fathers to see just how Catholic they were. I honestly thought I would just gain more "ammo" to use in my battles.
I found Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp with my first visit to the University Library. I poured over them for months until finally I pounded the books on the table with my fists, tossed them from the fourth to the third level of the library and wept. It seemed these great martyrs for the Faith were Catholic. It had taken about 8 months of going over Clement, Augustine, Athanasius, etc. to see the Catholic Church was the Early Church. I kept coming back to Ignatius and Polycarp as I could not get them out of my mind.
Over the next two years, I read more and more on the Catholic Faith and became less and less convinced the Reformed Faith was correct. It became clear to me; it was nothing more than a novelty, spewing forth doctrines that had never been believed before. Christ promised the Holy Spirit to His Church and stated the gates of hell would not prevail against it. I thought that was a lie and for 1500 years, the Church had been without truth and the gates of hell had prevailed. It is very humbling to come to the conclusion you have been horribly wrong, even to the point of not trusting the words of our precious Lord and Saviour. Yet, I still was not ready to become a Catholic.
Then one day when I was reading the Scripture I read Paul talking about how he was the most religious Pharisee, the most upright, and you know my heart was pierced and I actually laughed about how I could claim I had been one of the best Calvinists around, but then it hit me. Was that even something to boast about? So I looked up one of the most wonderful examples of boasting the Lord mentioned. Luke 18:9-14 (Please read the Scripture as this is my paraphrase)
'Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Calvinist and the other a sinner. The Calvinist (that would be I) stood and was praying thus to himself, God, I thank thee that I am not like other people, sinners, Catholics, heretics, or even like this sinner beside me. I planted your church in this god-forsaken part of the country, I read the Scriptures and Calvin and Luther twice a week, and the rest of the week I read nothing but reformers and your Scriptures. But the sinner standing a little off to the side, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast saying, God, be merciful to me the sinner. I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled but he who humbles himself shall be exalted."
You know who the sinner was? I turned next to Luke 5:8 because I was then looking for others who admitted they were sinners for I knew I was once the boaster but now I was the sinner. "But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus' feet saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." Peter then was able to go on and follow Jesus. Peter came home, this home became the Church, and he was the Rock it was built upon, and he was justified.
At that moment, it finally became clear I could not stay a Calvinist or stay in the OPC. I had plans to attend Westminster Seminary and those were discarded. I lost friends and was informed I must have never been a Christian in the first place.
As I became least, Christ became more. I decided the only place I could go was the home where the Apostle Peter went. I was accepted into the Catholic Church in Easter 2002. I have never been happier and I wish and pray this joy for all. I will never be the same after taking the Body and Blood of our Lord.
Rodney's story is dated May 14, 2007. It's old news.
>’Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Calvinist and the other a sinner. The Calvinist (that would be I) stood and was praying thus to himself, God, I thank thee that I am not like other people, sinners, Catholics, heretics, or even like this sinner beside me. I planted your church in this god-forsaken part of the country, I read the Scriptures and Calvin and Luther twice a week, and the rest of the week I read nothing but reformers and your Scriptures. But the sinner standing a little off to the side, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast saying, God, be merciful to me the sinner. I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”
Interesting take on Scripture and calvinism. Sounds like this guy was a hyper-calvinist, (Only the elect are saved, AND once saved they can do no wrong, and indeed a pharisee as he describes.)
Calvinism teaches, as the Scripture does, we cannot boast on anything but Christ and the Gospel. The way he writes suggests he was not firmly knowledgeable in his own faith and or that his heart was not changed by the Gospel in his sojourn in the OPC.
Just hope he wanders into the Gospel in the Roman Church. I hear they still have some preaching that on the other side of the Tiber, occasionally.
This got hashed out earlier this year on FR, in a multi-hundred post thread. A little googling by one of the GRPL Borg revealed that Mr. Beason is a spiritual wanderer -- he's been a lot of different things.
Same article, even: From Calvinist to Catholic. And as that thread revealed, a few years later Rodney Beason converted to that scourge of Catholicism, Freemasonry, a short five years later - and was fooling around with Hinduism at the same time. There's your "powerful conversion story right there" - Beason perfectly embodies Ephesians 4:14:
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
As Frumanchu stated on that earlier thread, "Any Reformed Protestant who believes there was no true church until the 16th century didn't pay much attention to the words of the Reformers and is likely letting their opposition to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church lead them to throw the baby out with the bath water."
In summary, I think a post on that thread summarized Mr. Beason's "powerful conversion story" best:
"Will Convert For Food"
Five months? Some of the stuff posted by you and others goes back almost a decade. Sometimes more.
Since when has "old news" ever been a problem for the Calvinist clique?
Welcome home, Rodney BTTT!
Bishop Steensons Statement to the House [of Bishops: Episcopal (TEC) to Catholic]
Bp. Steenson's Letter to his clergy on his conversion to the Catholic Church
Bishop Steenson Will Become a Roman Catholic
Married man considers turn as Catholic priest
Pavarotti returns to the Catholic faith before dying
Searching For Authority (A Methodist minister finds himself surprised by Truth!)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope(Al Kresta)
The Hail Mary of a Protestant (A true story)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar(Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts (Al Kresta)
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness(Al Kresta)
Conversion Story - Matt Enloe (former Baptist) [prepare to be amazed!]
THE ORTHODOX REVIVAL IN RUSSIA
Conversion Story - David Finkelstein (former Jew)
Conversion Story - John Weidner (former Evangelical)
12 Reasons I Joined the Catholic Church
Conversion Story - Tom Hunt
The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism: The Converts
John Calvin Made Me Catholic
Journey Home - May 21 - Neil Babcox (former Presbyterian) - A minister encounters Mary
Going Catholic - Six journeys to Rome
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
A Convert's Pilgrimage [Christopher Cuddy]
From Pastor to Parishioner: My Love for Christ Led Me Home (to the Catholic Church) [Drake McCalister]
Lutheran professor of philosophy prepares to enter Catholic Church
Patty Bonds (former Baptist and sister of Dr. James White) to appear on The Journey Home - May 7
Pastor and Flock Become Catholics
Why Converts Choose Catholicism
From Calvinist to Catholic
The journey back - Dr. Beckwith explains his reasons for returning to the Catholic Church
Famous Homosexual Italian Author Returned to the Church Before Dying of AIDS
Dr. Francis Beckwith Returns To Full Communion With The Church
Catholic Converts - Stephen K. Ray (former Evangelical)
Catholic Converts - Malcolm Muggeridge
Catholic Converts - Richard John Neuhaus
Catholic Converts - Avery Cardinal Dulles
Catholic Converts - Israel (Eugenio) Zolli - Chief Rabbi of Rome
Catholic Converts - Robert H. Bork , American Jurist (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Converts - Marcus Grodi
The Scott Hahn Conversion Story
Five months? Some of the stuff posted by you and others goes back almost a decade. Sometimes more.
The point I made wasn't that this is an old story. My point was that the last time this came up, this conversion story was shown to be questionable.
This "story" was posted last May. I guess they've run out of conversion "stories" and have to recycle them.
Al Gore would approve.
Well, I’m back! I finally have internet at home! Will start posting soonest!
Since when has "old news" ever been a problem for the Calvinist clique?
Smile when you say that. Post #10 had one of you posting some very old news. Malcom Muggeridge's conversion? How many years has he been dead? Is someone going to bring up Cardinal Newman short jump to RC-ism, lo these many decades ago?
Exactly correct. See post 12.
And WELCOME BACK, GAMECOCK!!! You were missed mightily.
Actually, if you read his conversion story all the way through, you will note that he was welcomed into the Catholic Church in 2002 - practically antiquity ;-)
When you're ready, send me your conversion story. I'll be sure to post it before it too is considered 'old news'. We're praying lots of Rosaries for you Alex.
Given the ignorance of your post, I would strongly suggest you join Salvation's ping list to the daily Mass readings. They conver the entire bible (Old and New Testaments) in the span of 3 years. You might actually learn something.
Welcome back. I was just going to ask what happened to you.
LOLOL!!! This is typical of those who say they are Calvinists and then have an "awakening". No true Calvinist in any type of fashion could accept the bowing down to statues of Mary. And I would like Rodney to show me in the Church fathers where they believed that! What nutty reasoning.
Truth is the church fathers wrote about some good things and then they had some goofy ideas as well. They were, after all, trying to put the pieces together. For anyone to lay claim that the early church fathers were actual Catholics as it exists today (or for that matter 500 years ago) is plain crazy. The Catholic Church is welcomed to him along with Dr. Hahn.
Better news than the apostasy of any alleged Calvinist.
A conversion is never an old story... just the beginning of many. We are all growing, learning to love the Lord and strengthening our faith. This story was on the work of the holy spirit... and we know, it never comes back empty.
Someone has read this, dropped to their knees and finally asked the Lord to show them... if he’s there. I don’t have to see it, I know.
Do the scriptures mean the same to you as when you were a child?
When you see a lady take care of her huge, end stage Alzheimer’s husband... alone, for years... does it grow your faith? Do you ask if you would be able to have that strength if tested? If you see a kid praying as he’s taken out of his house by the social worker because of drunkeness and fighting of his parents... does it talk to your soul? Do you silently pray for the family as well then?
When you see the homeless ask for change, do you invite them to eat at your home... or spend the night?
Have you seen a butcher or grocer that gives food to a hungry family, knowing they couldn’t get the money to pay them back? And they’re not religious at all? Would you ask how he could survive doing that or offer the family money?
All of these grow your faith, at least are opportunities to practice it; These are also conversions. Not just realizing God has blessed you and why some suffer more than others... our Lord suffered himself, but why we don’t do more.
And my comment was addressed to another poster.
I wasn't complaining about the posting of old news.
Someone else was.
My point was that this is a widespread practice. Especially among those now complaining about it.
Strange that the gentlemen in the story was converted(?) to Catholicism form reading a book of Desert Fathers writings and not by a personal testimony of a current Serious Catholic.
>Given the ignorance of your post, I would strongly suggest you join Salvation’s ping list to the daily Mass readings. They conver the entire bible (Old and New Testaments) in the span of 3 years. You might actually learn something.
Given the ignorance of the article I would strongly suggest reading some of the sermons of John Piper, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, James White, Al Mohler or any other Calvinist. This self named ex-pharisee does not present his old faith honestly, or he did not understand it.
As for reading RCC, I had enough of that when I was one. Funny, the priest never spoke of the Gospel, and I had to hear it from a Lutheran pastor. Oh, I heard plenty of Mary and the saints, but naught of the Gospel. My Grandmother, a life-long Catholic, said she never knew the Gospel, and thankfully was given it in the last days of her life, when she accepted Jesus Christ as her savior. Until then she was unsure that she was saved. She was taught by the nuns and priests that assurance was arrogance.
As for reading the Bible, how can you suggest this? Has it been infallibly interpreted yet? If not, do you not risk interpreting something wrong, and wander off the reservation? It used to be something which was not recommended without the guidance of a priest. Has that changed?
I myself, read the bible constantly, thanks. Currently in Judges for personal study, being preached James in church, and Exodus in church bible study, as well as whatever chapter Biblegateway.com is using for its verse of the day to start the day.
I AM a Calvinist. The Scripture is the center and authority of our spiritual lives. I understand that I am no better than any other sinner, and no matter what I do cannot make myself less offensive to God, but only God can do this within me.
The only thing I can boast about is Christ and His Resurrection. In challenging Roman traditions I am defending the Gospel, as written in the Scriptures, not attempting to put myself above anyone else, no matter what you think.
Well you're certainly putting yourself above the Catholic Church.
You've just spent several paragraphs trashing it.
Preaching "Christ and His Resurrection" need not even mention the Catholic Church. It should be a stand alone issue, I believe. If you want to preach the Gospel, then preach it. There's no need for that to include a negative message about other churches.
The above post makes you sound very little like an evangelist and more like a man who just wants to vent.
>Well you’re certainly putting yourself above the Catholic Church.
No, I am putting the Roman Church down to my level, as a fallible as I am, and refuse to be cowed by its propaganda.
>Preaching “Christ and His Resurrection” need not even mention the Catholic Church. It should be a stand alone issue, I believe. If you want to preach the Gospel, then preach it. There’s no need for that to include a negative message about other churches.
If Jesus walked into Benny Hinn’s crusade, do you think He would just say “Whatever...” and walk out? Does Peter and Paul say we must not say anything to those that preach a false gospel? Do you not feel righteous anger when Madonna straps herself on a cross? When someone claims your church is not a real church and just a ecumenical community? How about when someone that claims to have been of your faith misrepresents it like this clown in the article did so he can get accolades from his new faith?
>The above post makes you sound very little like an evangelist and more like a man who just wants to vent.
To me your post makes you sound like someone that cannot accept criticism to something which is so sacred to you it cannot be questioned, only meekly followed. If you cannot stand to criticism, your faith is weak. Stand or wilt, it is your choice. I refuse to let people slander the Christ, or His Gospel.
If that offends, I just need to remind you that the Gospel IS offensive. Paul did not get marshmallows thrown at him.
As for me, I am a fool. Do not look to me for infallibility. Look to the Scripture, and the guidance of the Spirit. Anyone else that says they are the infallible source is selling something.
Not quite correct. If you have left the Catholic Church for another then you have indicated a preference. You have placed the Catholic Church and its teachings on salvation, Scripture etc., below your own personal interpretations, not on a par.
Spin it any way you want but at the heart of that decision is pride.
Does Peter and Paul say we must not say anything to those that preach a false gospel?
In the case of the Catholic Church, you'd be better served by taking the "Gamaliel option", as described in Acts. The Sanhedrin was debating what to do about the preaching of the apostles and Gamaliel told them (and I'm paraphrasing here); don't mess with the apostles. If they're not doing God's work it will all come to nothing. If, on the other hand, it is God's work that they're doing, you'll end up fighting a battle you can't win.
Pride likewise convinces people to believe that they're somehow unique in salvation history in being the only ones to ever have taken up cudgels againts the Catholic Church. It's all been tried before to no lasting effect. From Nero and Diocletian to Calvin and Jack Chick.
Learn a lesson from history. The Church is Divine.
The reading from the Gospel occurs at every mass and is the culmination of the liturgy of the word, the first half of the service. This was true as much before the Vatican II reform as after, and indeed back to apostolic times. To say that you never heard the Gospel in a Catholic Church is just an out and out lie, unless you stopped up your ears with wax.
Irving's Law has just been invoked. Ottofire wins the round by default.
Default may be the only way.
“....when I was one”
That explains everything.
So what is drawing you toward the Catholic faith that you are resisting?
Every action requires a reaction. You wouldn’t resist something so fiercely if it wasn’t acting on you in some way.
It’s never too late to come back, Ottofire. If you truly trust the Lord Jesus Christ, open your heart and ask Him for a sign. There’s no shame in coming home.
Well, as dated as the post (via news here on FR) may be, it’s still another conversion. Until and unless this person “reconverts” to another faith, it’s a conversion, yes?
It’s interesting how so many on this thread want to disparage the convert, rather than listen to the conversion message. Oh well, it’s nothing new; they did it with Beckwith too.
That was the point of my post #32.
In my long experience, I have learned that when a person converts to Catholicism, they almost never disparage what they came from and very frequently honor the beginnings of their Christian life in another profession of faith—as I have done myself.
But when one leaves the Catholic church, they so frequently turn on it fiercely.
There has to be be an explanation for that kind of animosity, which, as a general rule, isn’t manifested in the Protestant who has become Catholic. Such a person may want to explain why they have made their choice to become Catholic, but rarely make it a point of battle and a mission to disparage their Protestant beginnings.
There has to be be an explanation for that kind of animosity, which, as a general rule, isnt manifested in the Protestant who has become Catholic.
They see it for what it is.
So—animosity is grace-filled?
Good to see you back among the jacked in :D
I’m connecting through a cell phone. It’s not DSL, but a heck of a lot faster than dial-up.
I must admit I do not convert for food albeit I am sure that is humorous at another’s expense. Sadly, this has taught me to never publish any type of views on the internet. Truly they are not your own, even this one will be thrashed and trashed at some point.
Have I fooled around with Hinduism? Yes, I have and I have studied many eastern religions. I am in search of something and everything else I have tried has not brought me to where I wish to be. So, quote scriptures, talk about how I am a boat tossed about on the waters to and fro. Talk about how I will convert for food.
The difference is I view you all as human beings and will refrain from applying labels to those of you who find the critical side of my journey. Actually it is those who acted like this that actually caused me to leave the Calvinist Church, whether I understood it or not, because of the spite and hate that spewed from them as well.
Congratulations to all. I am glad I was good folly.
We all change our clothes every day.
But if we wake up one morning and decide to get dressed in public, we shouldn't be too surprised to hear a few comments about the color of our socks.
I am in search of something and everything else I have tried has not brought me to where I wish to be.
I do find it interesting this ‘powerful conversion story’ of all places has ended up on a ‘garage sale’ website. You know, where your thoughts are posted for free because the thoughts are all marked down for free. No educated opinion, no site of any repute or discussion. Just the run of the mill lets throw out our two cents worth since we have nothing better to do than Google a person’s name to the 9th screen to find a way to bash them and have the Lord smile down on us as we do it in the name of religion. Sounds like the folks who go on myspace and try to see how far they can push someone.
I will not stay much longer, I actually have a life, albeit not a Catholic or Calvinist one.
bump for later