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Southern Baptist Pastor Leaves Everything for the Eucharist
Coming Home Network ^ | Jun 8th, 2007 | Andy

Posted on 05/01/2008 5:07:35 PM PDT by annalex

Southern Baptist Pastor Leaves Everything for the Eucharist

I grew up in a strong Christian home.  My parents were, and still are, two of the most devout Christians I have ever known.  They instilled in me not only the importance of knowing about Christ, but knowing Him personally.  When I was 10 years old, I pledged my life to Jesus and was baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  My teen years were filled with opportunities for spiritual growth thanks to the encouragement and example of my parents and youth leaders.  When I was seventeen I dedicated myself to full-time Christian service.  At that time, I assumed my future ministry would be that of a pastor.  Therefore, I felt I needed a four-year degree in Christian studies and graduate studies in ministry.  My family was not in a position to send me to a four-year private school, much less an expensive one, but my trust was in God.  If He wanted me to be there, I believed, He would provide the means for me to get there.  In what I can only describe as a miracle, I was awarded a four year presidential scholarship and found a job as a resident assistant, which payed for all of my expenses.

In college, I experienced a profound conversion of sorts.  Having the opportunity to study under some of the brightest minds in the Evangelical world, I discovered a deep love for learning, especially Scripture, History, and Theology.  I became so enamored in fact that I quickly gained a reputation for being a know-it-all.   Unfortunately, I had earned that reputation with a head full of pride and a heart lacking in charity when it came to dialogue.  I should explain at this point that I was discovering that because of the charism of knowledge, study came very easy to me.  Things just seemed to be absorbed as if my mind were a dry sponge.  There is nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that I was not tempering my newfound knowledge with humility and personal piety.  This flaw would prove to be a major factor in my conversion.

I was so wrapped up in ministry preparation, language studies, and reading that I wasn't even looking for a woman.  That's probably a good thing, because while I was distracted, God was preparing my wife over in the ladies' dorms.  We met the summer of my freshman year while we worked at a youth camp.  It was as close to "love at first site" as I can imagine.  We took things slow and filled our non-work time with long walks, talks and Bible studies.  I knew very quickly that this was the woman God had chosen to be my wife.  We would be married less than two years later and begin our lives together. 

Life wasn't super easy for us as we were new to married life, new to bills, and new to pretty much everything else.  However, God helped us through our first years with few, if any, major problems.  We also learned the importance of health insurance after my face was broken during a pickup mud football game.  One thing we had been convinced of as a couple was that God was to be in charge of blessing our lives with children.  As such, we did not use contraception, choosing instead to practice the billings ovulation method.  Oddly enough, we were not the only ones at our Baptist school who felt that way.  As I neared my graduation, God blessed us with the news that we were expecting our first child.  Now I would be a father as well as a husband.  Apparently, there were more lessons for me to learn outside of the classroom.  In spite of a tough course load, three part-time jobs, and school related ministry opportunities; I still managed to graduate on time with a BA in Christian Studies and minors in both Greek and History. 

Seminary life was exciting.  We were gaining the reputation of being a magnet for top scholarship and theological soundness, which was something many Baptist affiliated schools could not claim.  Once again, my desire for knowledge had me taking difficult courses and loving every minute.  My professors were challenging my heart as well as my mind, and I'm forever grateful.  In fact, their example, along with that of my college professors, led me to pursue a future in theological education.  I believed that it was in the classroom and lecture hall that I would be most useful to God as a minister.  While I was gaining all this knowledge and continually fueled by a desire to become a great teacher, I was also letting my growth in holiness decline.  Daily prayer and Bible study became to me opportunities for lesson planning and sermon writing.  I was looking at the Bible for its academic properties and neglecting much of my spiritual encounter with God in the Scriptures.  Busier than ever, with a new baby, a new job, and with school, I was beginning to substitute activity for piety.  But I didn't notice my mistake.

What I did notice was that my denominational "constituents", for the most part, were historically and theologically myopic.  I vowed to myself that a major portion of my ministry would be to take Baptists back to the practices and beliefs of the Baptist founders, which, I believed at the time, to be synonymous with the beliefs and practices of the early Christians.  In order to prove this, and to prove the historicity and rightness of Baptist theology and polity, I decided to study the earliest Christian writing I could find in addition to the Bible, namely the Church Fathers. 

I had first met the Fathers in college as translation work in advanced Greek classes.  Translation of extrabiblical Greek texts honed our skills and eliminated our "crutch" of cheating on translations for which we had memorized the English scripture verses.  I first met Saint Polycarp and was so intrigued by him that I wanted to read more.  In seminary, I would read the writings of St. Polycarp, St. Clement, St. Ignatius, St. Irenaeus, and St. Justin Martyr.  My studies of the Fathers would reveal to me a sacramental Faith, a tangible Faith, a structured Faith, a faith that I was having trouble reconciling to my present denominational affiliation.  But my patristic studies would have to wait because shortly after the birth of our 2nd child, I had found a pastoral ministry opportunity to be an associate pastor of youth and education near my hometown. 

Church ministry was great because it helped force me back into the devotional practices I had been only weakly observing.  Aided by the forceful words of men like John Piper, Charles Spurgeon, and CS Lewis, I was challenged to adopt the principle of "incarnational" living.  I wanted the truth to be so ingrained in me that it permeated every portion of my life.  This proved to be my final undoing, but at the time, it was spurring me to make changes in my life.  Still, I held some things back from God, including my role as a father.  I was so busy studying and doing ministry work that I wasn't making time for the kids or my wife, so busy that I didn't even notice my neglect. 

In my studies, I continued to read the pre-Nicene Fathers of the Church.  The spiritual might I saw in these men showed me that I was lacking something in my life, but I couldn't place it.  What I was realizing, however, was that their Church and mine looked totally different.  They had an authority structure, bishops, priests, and deacons.  They had a liturgy that was rich in beauty and meaning.  They had sacraments, most especially the Eucharist.  It was the Eucharist that intrigued me most.  The more I read, the more I became convinced that Christ was not speaking figuratively in John 6 at Capernaum or in the Upper Room.  I was convinced of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, something we as Baptists did not have, but that I wanted.

What I saw in my future was a life as a Catholic, but that couldn't happen yet. I still had way too much ministry to accomplish.  I decided to shelve the "Catholic thing" so I could concentrate on finishing my work there.  I figured that after five or six years I could step down quietly and pursue my Catholic studies then.  I had no desire to cause a scandal.  In fact, to make sure no "papist" teaching came out in my ministry; I made a point to provide my senior pastor with copies of all my lessons and sermons before I taught them.  It was important enough for me to finish my ministry agenda before pursuing anything else.  In fact, I told no one about my desire to know more about the Catholic Church.  I studied on my own time, alone, to see if the ancient Church and the modern Catholic Church were one and the same. 

My search was very lonely.  There was no one I could talk to because if word got out that I was even considering the claims of the Church, I could easily have lost my job, putting my family in jeopardy.  I wasn't willing to risk that, even though I was becoming more and more convinced of the Catholic Faith.  After a while, I found myself going to Eucharistic Adoration at the Catholic Hospital during my hospital visitation rounds.  I set up appointments to talk with priests "under cover of darkness" because I had questions.  But I still had no one to share with.  I was alone and, quite frankly, terrified of what the future might hold.  

I stumbled upon the Coming Home Network almost by accident and was encouraged to find that there were other ministers like me who were asking questions.  I found two friends with whom I felt comfortable sharing my struggles.  One was a Baptist pastor, like myself.  The other was a recent convert from an Evangelical Free background.  They became my prayer partners and my sounding boards.  When I finally got the nerve to call CHN, I was encouraged by Jim Anderson, who not only talked with me, but also provided books and study materials to aid me in my search.  I thank God for the Coming Home Network.  I didn't feel quite so alone anymore.

Things continued smoothly, just as I had planned, until we had to travel to California for a wedding.  The wedding was beautiful and San Francisco was amazing, but something was not right with me.  God was pressing His thumb upon my heart and I noticed it.  The whole time we were there, I found myself in constant debate with Him over the state of my spiritual life.   The night before we were scheduled to leave, God had His final say with me in what I can only describe as an emotional confrontation.  He revealed to my heart, in no uncertain terms, that I was shipwrecking my life.  He clearly showed me that my heart was not with my wife or with my children, but with myself and my activities.  I was a shallow and selfish man who blamed his ministry for not having enough time to read to or play with his own kids or spend time conversing with his wife.  I was living my dream as a teacher, but I was failing to practice the very truths I taught.  I was living a lie and I had no excuses. 

I wept all night before finally asking God, "What am I supposed to do now?" 

"You're going to have to resign."

"But I don't want to resign."

"If you don't step down on your own, I'll remove you myself."

"What am I supposed to do for a living?  How will I support my family?"

"Trust me."

That was all I remember before crying myself to sleep.  It was a deep cathartic cry because my hard heart was finally seeing the message God had been trying to get through my thick skull for almost eight years.  He was trying to help me get my life together, not just my personal life and my family, but my eternal life and the eternal lives of my wife and kids.  I had to obey.  Yet as scared as I was, I had a calm peace that kept reminding me to trust God.  I didn't say a word to anybody about this or my decision until I was in the car with my wife, driving from the Memphis airport to our home across the state.  We were able to have a seven hour discussion of all God had been showing me.  I asked for her forgiveness and for my kids’ forgiveness, and I made a commitment to earn their trust and win their hearts.

I still had to resign.  There were no flashing signs or helpful books to guide me into the unknown.  However, I did find strength from my friends at the Coming Home Network.  I also found a job.  God was reminding me again to trust Him.  The resignation itself wasn't that hard, because I had the confidence that I was being obedient.  I was determined to be the man God wanted me to be and not to occupy a leadership position until I demonstrated true leadership and not mere academic acumen.

To shorten this story a bit, after resigning and relocating for my new job, I was able to meet with a priest for instruction and formation as a Catholic.  I knew that the answer to my spiritual hunger was the Eucharist.  On Christmas Eve 2002, my wife and I were received into the Catholic Church.  Since then, I have been growing, sometimes by small steps, but sometimes by great leaps.  Most precious to me are the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation.  God has heaped His grace on me and I can see a change in my heart.  He has brought balance into my life.  He has saved my marriage.  He has reconciled me to my children.  He has also, a little at a time, allowed me to resume ministry, this time as a lay catechist and evangelist.  I still have my struggles, as we all do, but now I have something I did not have before, hope.  I have hope for the future and strength for today through the Eucharist.  God continues to teach me to trust in Him and to depend on Him.  Through the Sacraments, I continue to grow in my faith, hope, and charity. 

Believe it or not, folks, that was the short version.  God probably has reserved a crown for you in Heaven just for persevering through my tale.  I'm happy to discuss my journey with you, and I'd love the opportunity to pray for you as you search.  I'll leave this post with a closing comment. 

People have asked me, "Was it worth it?" 

Absolutely.

Last edited on Fri Jun 8th, 2007 10:32 am by Polycarp


TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism
KEYWORDS: baptist; catholic; chnetwork; pastor; southernbaptist
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1 posted on 05/01/2008 5:07:35 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Always Right; Antoninus; ArrogantBustard; CTK YKC; dan1123; DogwoodSouth; FourtySeven; HarleyD; ...
50 Days of Easter 2008 Celebration ping, dedicated to converts to the Catholic faith. If you want to be on the list but are not on it already, or if you are on it but do not want to be, let me know either publicly or privately.

Happy Easter and happy Ascension Thursday. Christ is risen!

Alex.


Previously posted conversion stories:

Anti-Catholicism, Hypocrisy and Double Standards
Hauled Aboard the Ark
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality
His Open Arms Welcomed Me
Catholic Conversion Stories & Resources
My Personal Conversion Story
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
Catholics Come Home
My Journey of Faith
LOGIC AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF PROTESTANTISM
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura
"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation
The Crisis of Authority in the Reformation
Our Journey Home
Our Lady’s Gentle Call to Peace
A story of conversion at the Lamb of God Shrine
Who is Mary of Nazareth?
Mary and the Problem of Christian Unity
Why I'm Catholic
A Convert's Response to Friends
My Story
Courage to Be Catholic
Finally Catholic! My Conversion to the Catholic Church

Also see:
Sheep That Go Astray
Pope Benedict Goes to Washington Ecumenical Meeting at St. Joseph's Church, New York
Orthodox and Catholic Churches are allies, (Orthodox) Bishop Hilarion says

2 posted on 05/01/2008 5:12:00 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
Of course, we don't hear of the Catholics who leave the Church for Protestantism.
3 posted on 05/01/2008 5:17:10 PM PDT by GAB-1955 (Kicking and Screaming into the Kingdom of Heaven!)
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To: GAB-1955

“Of course, we don’t hear of the Catholics who leave the Church for Protestantism.”

Well, if you are Protestant, then you can post your own threads. Feel free, but don’t expect Catholics to post about converts to Protestantism.


4 posted on 05/01/2008 5:23:19 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: OpusatFR

Yes, obviously. However, Catholicism and Protestantism aren’t enemies. We are all one Body under the Headship of Christ.


5 posted on 05/01/2008 5:35:50 PM PDT by GAB-1955 (Kicking and Screaming into the Kingdom of Heaven!)
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To: annalex
Annalex,

Can I please get on your ping list? I find myself reading an increasing number of your posts...

In case you are wondering, I'm Anglican, but attend a Catholic bible study with several friends, and (not surprisingly) find we agree on most issues.

Thanks,

Paridel

6 posted on 05/01/2008 5:52:05 PM PDT by Paridel
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To: GAB-1955
Of course, we don't hear of the Catholics who leave the Church for Protestantism.

We wouldn't want to hear stories of people who truly got saved.

7 posted on 05/01/2008 6:19:32 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: annalex
I was so busy studying and doing ministry work that I wasn't making time for the kids or my wife, so busy that I didn't even notice my neglect.

I'm not even interested in commenting on this guy's conversion to Catholicism, but I do think the quote above reveals the true nature of his problems - here he was in "ministry" and wholly out of synch with Scriptural qualifications for the same. The entire Christian church is full of just this kind of do-gooder impulse and the downstream consequences of self-driven religious practices. Frankly, I wouldn't have been surprised had the article concluded with the fellow converting to Buddhism or some other religion as a result of an internal collapse of values and self-willed pursuits. Just my $0.02.
8 posted on 05/01/2008 6:50:07 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Don't cheer for Obama too hard - the krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: GAB-1955

Post one.

From what I’ve seen, the template is entirely different, as you might expect from people moving from a highly demanding and countercultural early medieval institution to something simple, modern, and democratic.


9 posted on 05/01/2008 6:50:44 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: GAB-1955
Catholicism and Protestantism aren’t enemies.

Of course not. Incidentally, I hardly ever see hostility to the community of faith that Catholic converts left; invariably, conversion is seen as movement from some faith to a completeness of faith. I cannot say the same thing of the converts that move in the opposite direction.

10 posted on 05/01/2008 6:54:12 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Paridel
Can I please get on your ping list?

Certainly. Thank you for asking.

11 posted on 05/01/2008 6:56:08 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Paridel
Can I please get on your ping list?

Certainly. Thank you for asking.

12 posted on 05/01/2008 6:56:08 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
the true nature of his problems

Hard as I look, I don't see any "problems", -- what he describes is a trully blessed life as a family man and a Christian.

13 posted on 05/01/2008 6:58:46 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
The article puts forth the account of his simultaneous dissatisfaction with the SBC & the divorce between Scriptural qualification for ministry and his practice. In effect, the man was undergoing increasing dissonance in his public and private lives. He has a crisis and, behold, he's off on another track.

All I'm saying is that it doesn't surprise me. This kind of thing happens all the time with weird outcomes. If he's happy where he is, fine, it's between him and God. However, his basis for theological conversion seems to be one of his own failings - not the fallibility of his former faith.

14 posted on 05/01/2008 7:07:50 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Don't cheer for Obama too hard - the krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
However, his basis for theological conversion seems to be one of his own failings - not the fallibility of his former faith.

And of course there are more defections from the Catholic Church to Protestant Churches, so I am not sure what this series if postings is suppose to show.

15 posted on 05/01/2008 7:38:26 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: Always Right

I have known equal numbers of Catholics, who left the Catholic faith to become Protestants, and Protestants who have left their faith to become Catholics...so my real life experience does not agree at all with your statement....

So I would like to see some facts and evidence to back up your assertion that many more Catholics defect to Protestant churches, than there are Protestants who defect to Catholic churches....

Not that actual numbers mean anything...what does mean something, is who has got their interpretations from the Bible correctly...

However, thanks in advance for any evidence or facts that you can present to prove your point....I like to see such assertions, backed up with facts and evidence, rather than with anecdotal stories, which is frankly, all I have to go on, anecdotal stores from my own life....if I relied on my own anecdotal stories from my own life, I would have to say that defections from Catholic to Protestant, and Protestant to Catholic, are about even, but you seem to state as fact, something quite different...

Also one must take into account that the reasons that one goes from one religion to another, are often many and varied, and are not always based on a newer or different understanding of Scriptures...sometimes the reason for the defection, is actually something quite different...at least, that has been my real life experience, based of course, only on anecdotal stories...


16 posted on 05/01/2008 7:53:47 PM PDT by andysandmikesmom
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To: andysandmikesmom
It is hard to find statistics on this subject, but here is a couple of data points.  It is getting late, but I will look some more.

More Hispanics Leaving Catholicism for Evangelical Protestantism

SANTA MARIA (By Stan Oklobdzija, Santa Maria Times) February 20, 2006 — In immigrant communities across the United States, a battle is being waged for the souls of Hispanics - and a distinctly American style of worship is beginning to take hold. According to a landmark study, as many as 600,000 Hispanics in this country leave the Catholic Church every year in favor of Protestant evangelical churches.

Furthermore, of the approximately 30 percent of Hispanics nationwide who identify themselves as non-Catholic, the vast majority are affiliated with an evangelical or “born-again” church. Catholicism remains by far the largest religious denomination for U.S. Hispanics, but because Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, any shift in the way they worship promises to make a huge impact on America's religious landscape. Examples of this trend can be seen in the Santa Maria Valley as small storefront churches pop up in shopping centers and some Catholic priests report the loss of some members of their flocks.

 

And this site makes the claim, but I don't have access to the source:

Romeward Bound: Evaluating Why Protestants Convert to Catholicism

True, the number of Protestant converts to Catholicism is less than the other way around.[1] And there are less actual converts to Rome today than during previous points in the history of Catholicism.

[1] O'Neill, Dan, editor, "Introduction," The New Catholics: Contemporary Converts Tell Their Stories, (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1989), p. xi.

17 posted on 05/01/2008 8:21:29 PM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: annalex

Being a Baptist ... I have an immediate distrust for a former fellow Baptist who would essentially formulate his theological understanding of basic doctrine (especially in the area of ecclesiology) by translating from the church fathers instead of the Bible.


18 posted on 05/01/2008 8:43:22 PM PDT by dartuser ("If you torture the data long enough, it will confess, even to crimes it did not commit")
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To: dartuser

Agreed!


19 posted on 05/01/2008 8:49:19 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: annalex

Thank you for posting these testimonies. I enjoy reading them. They give me great joy. All of these people truly have a love and appreciation for their roots and the faith they left. Tying together Sacred Scripture with the Early Church Fathers brought them to the only logical conclusion. I sometimes envy these people. They had to search. Their knowledge is awesome. Being a cradle Catholic, I take my Faith for granted. We have Bible study at our church, but I wish we had studies of the Fathers as well. We teach the scripture, but ignore the Tradition. When you put them together, as these converts all did, then the picture becomes complete.


20 posted on 05/02/2008 3:17:07 AM PDT by sneakers (Liberty is the answer to the human condition.)
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To: GAB-1955

Every Catholic who questions the teachings of the Catholic Church and chooses to believe differently has left the Catholic Church for Protestantism. We hear about people like that all the time.

In response to the original post, I find it amazing how many people examine the writings of St. Polycarp, St. Clement, St. Ignatius, St. Irenaeus, and St. Justin Martyr, and are later drawn to the Catholic Church. Actually, I don’t find that amazing, but rather how often it happens.


21 posted on 05/02/2008 5:48:19 AM PDT by BaBaStooey ("Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:14)
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To: annalex
"...to something simple, modern, and democratic."

My, my---doesn't that sound just PRECIOUS. The only problem is that the Church Christ founded was (and is) none of those things, as the person in the article found out from studying the actual HISTORY involved.

22 posted on 05/02/2008 5:48:55 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: dartuser
"I have an immediate distrust for a former fellow Baptist who would essentially formulate his theological understanding of basic doctrine (especially in the area of ecclesiology) by translating from the church fathers instead of the Bible."

Which is typical of people who hold "sola scriptura" as their mantra. The only problem is that the "scriptura" can be interpreted many different ways (witness the many different understandings of same among different Protestant groups).

Reading the Church Fathers is a means of determining WHICH of the multiple possible interpretations best represents the understanding of those Christians who were closest in time to the actual teachings of the Apostles, as they are the ones most likely to "have got it right".

"Sola Scriptura" is "sola stupid".

23 posted on 05/02/2008 5:54:30 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: BaBaStooey
I have a friend who is very active in his local Catholic parrish, attends mass every Sunday, is attending to his children's spiritual education. When we discuss religion, I end up (half) joking that he's more of a Lutheran than I am.

Every Catholic who questions the teachings of the Catholic Church and chooses to believe differently has left the Catholic Church for Protestantism.

24 posted on 05/02/2008 5:55:54 AM PDT by DManA
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To: DManA

The interesting thing about leaving the Catholic Church for something else is that even if they have left, they haven’t really left. Does that make sense?

My uncle married a Methodist over 20 years ago, and they started attending her church. They tried our church, but I guess she didn’t like it or something. I was either very young or not yet born at the time, so I don’t know the story. A few years ago, my uncle became a Methodist minister. However, if tomorrow he wanted to come back to the Catholic Church, all he would need to do is go to confession and he’d be back. So in a sense, he is still Catholic.

The same is true for prominent people like Nancy Pelosi, Rudy Giuliani, Mario Cuomo, etc. The reason why they aren’t supposed to receive the Eucharist is as much in my mind the fact that they don’t accept the teaching of the Catholic Church, be it the text of Humane Vitae, or whatever it is they don’t agree with, as the fact that they may be in a state of mortal sin for their actions regarding the culture of abortion in this country.

In my church, we have a name for those people who do not agree with the Church. Protestants.

So while it is easy to leave the Church, someone really doesn’t ever leave the church, because they can go to confession, repent and sin no more, and all is well. Unless, I guess, they are excommunicated, like Luther. However, excommunications can be lifted, and I’d like to believe that option was available even for someone like Luther or Henry VIII.


25 posted on 05/02/2008 6:17:35 AM PDT by BaBaStooey ("Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:14)
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To: BaBaStooey

From my experience, there are a lot of protestants in your pews.


26 posted on 05/02/2008 6:22:46 AM PDT by DManA
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To: DManA

I hear that.


27 posted on 05/02/2008 6:29:44 AM PDT by BaBaStooey ("Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:14)
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To: annalex
I should explain at this point that I was discovering that because of the charism of knowledge, study came very easy to me. Things just seemed to be absorbed as if my mind were a dry sponge. There is nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that I was not tempering my newfound knowledge with humility and personal piety.

I have that problem, too. If religious study made one a saint, I'd be one!

28 posted on 05/02/2008 6:40:41 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Es cual rosa que floresce entre cardos de un jardin. Es doncella, virgen pura, del lingaje de David.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
He has a crisis and, behold, he's off on another track.

His crisis was spiritual and has to do with the lack of devotional life:

While I was gaining all this knowledge and continually fueled by a desire to become a great teacher, I was also letting my growth in holiness decline

His ministry work was commendable; who would disagree with this objective:

to take Baptists back to the practices and beliefs of the Baptist founders, which, I believed at the time, to be synonymous with the beliefs and practices of the early Christians.
Absorbed in this struggle, he admits to a neglect of his marital life. It is a consequence of the Baptist faith's deficiencies, not the cause of his leaving it. He had two children by then. Further, whatever that neglect was, the family obligations were a factor in keeping him in the Baptist ministry, as he needed a job.

I think, you are simply unprepared to face the fact that reasonable, academically gifted, devoted to the ministry people would discover the Christ in the Eucharist and the veracity of Catholic historical root, and so you try to find fault in this man.

29 posted on 05/02/2008 7:17:03 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Always Right
what this series if postings is suppose to show.

I want to show the reasons people come home to the Catholic Church and various paths of conversion. I do not dispute that conversions in the opposite direction also happen; in fact, I would be happy to contrast the two patterns because from what I've seen, they are very different.

30 posted on 05/02/2008 7:19:32 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: dartuser; LiteKeeper
translating from the church fathers instead of the Bible.

I'd like to see where does the Bible support Baptist ecclesiology. I can show you where it supports Catholic ecclesiology. However, when the claim is historical, such as that the practices and theologies of the Early Church were similar to Baptist, then the answer has to be historical also, and the Church Fathers provide it directly, in the negative.

31 posted on 05/02/2008 7:23:38 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: sneakers
I take my Faith for granted.

We must not let the anti-Catholic calumnies define our faith. Many earn the faith like this man did, with great effort and pain. This is why I am posting these, as we should be ready for very serious persecution from the secular world, and need modern examples of steadfastness.

32 posted on 05/02/2008 7:28:15 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Wonder Warthog
the Church Christ founded was (and is) none of those things

Yes. When people leave the Church, it is because it is an ancient institution, and when they come to the Church, it is for the exact same reason.

33 posted on 05/02/2008 7:29:57 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Tax-chick
If religious study made one a saint, I'd be one!

My first exposure to a Protestant church was late in life, and I was struck how much it looked like a school.

34 posted on 05/02/2008 7:39:00 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

Good Christian parents raising good Christian men.

I often thank God for the parents I was given. It’s a prize worth more than we ever realize.

Also, as a Catholic, I want to praise other Christians who infuse a love of Jesus Christ into their children’s lives. All to often parents neglect to take the time to introduce Jesus to their children in a personal way. I’m writing about both Catholics and Protestants who neglect the spiritual upbringing of their kids. It’s a scandal.


35 posted on 05/02/2008 8:16:24 AM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: annalex

Of course many Catholics have left the faith—they do nt understand the ongoing miracle of the Real Presence of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, present in the most Holy Eucharist. If they did, and if they truly love Our Lord, they could never ever leave!

But teachings in many places have been almost non-existant and heresies rampant such that many Catholics do tno know their faith.

The early Catholic Christians of the first 300 years of the Church had to be willing to give thier lives. What for? The Bible had yet to be compiled. It is the Holy Eucharist that is worth living and DYING for!!!

When you read the Didache or the early Church Fathers, one can see that they assisted at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. For 2000 years Catholics have followed Our Lord who said—Do THIS (offer Holy Mass) in remembrance of Me.

I had the great privilege of attending Holy Mass this very morning and Our Blessed Lord came to me in Holy Communion.
Ahhh—the wonder of it all!

Ave Maria!


36 posted on 05/02/2008 8:19:14 AM PDT by magdalen
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To: annalex

It has been common in history, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, for Protestant churches and schools to meet in the same facility. For one thing, in rural or frontier communities, people often had only one public meeting space.

I always admire Protestant churches’ classroom and nursery facilities! Their usually higher level of contributions from the congregation means they often have much more spacious buildings for the number of attendees.


37 posted on 05/02/2008 8:43:32 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Es cual rosa que floresce entre cardos de un jardin. Es doncella, virgen pura, del lingaje de David.)
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To: annalex

It has been common in history, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, for Protestant churches and schools to meet in the same facility. For one thing, in rural or frontier communities, people often had only one public meeting space.

I always admire Protestant churches’ classroom and nursery facilities! Their usually higher level of contributions from the congregation means they often have much more spacious buildings for the number of attendees.


38 posted on 05/02/2008 8:43:32 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Es cual rosa que floresce entre cardos de un jardin. Es doncella, virgen pura, del lingaje de David.)
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To: GAB-1955
Of course, we don't hear of the Catholics who leave the Church for Protestantism.

Sure we do. It generally involves individuals who are either horribly catechised or who are looking for a church that will conform to their lifestyle choices. Or both.
39 posted on 05/02/2008 8:57:48 AM PDT by Antoninus (Just a typical white guy.)
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To: Gumdrop

Statistics point out that it is the faith of the fathers especially that is predictive of the children staying in the Church. It is no accident that priesthood is a male-only vocation.

For the same reason we should choose the godfathers of our children very, very carefully.


40 posted on 05/02/2008 9:28:06 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: magdalen
Of course many Catholics have left the faith—they do nt understand the ongoing miracle of the Real Presence of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, present in the most Holy Eucharist. If they did, and if they truly love Our Lord, they could never ever leave!

You know, many times people leave the Catholic Church out of curiosuity, experiment a bit with Protestant theologies and come back to the Lord, strengthened.

41 posted on 05/02/2008 9:31:14 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Tax-chick

Yes. Also the social cohesion fostered, especially, by Baptist churches is truly remarkable. We have much to learn from them.

It is, perhaps, an American trend, as English speaking Catholics grew out of relentless persecution by the British, and Mexicans still have the scars from their masonic revolution in the early 1900’s. In England, Mass had to be celebrated in secret for centuries: no wonder Catholics are not used to socialize in church.


42 posted on 05/02/2008 9:37:47 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
What I want to know, guy, is how you reconciled your longing for the Eucharist with also having to pray to Mary and saints.

How did you intellectually make the leap into ignoring the total lack of scriptural evidence, traditional evidence, or the use of simple reason and honest rationale to believe in things like the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary when it is clearly tradition that was made up whole cloth by the Church?

Until the day comes that I can chuck my conscience and reason out the window, I cannot cross the Tiber. This has been the single biggest stumbling block to ever becoming Catholic. I can't accept things that aren't based in Scripture or some real, definable, documented tradition of the very early Church fathers who had the closest ties to the apostles. Things that were made up centuries later, by men...sorry, that just doesn't wash.

43 posted on 05/02/2008 10:00:00 AM PDT by Boagenes (I'm your huckleberry, that's just my game.)
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To: annalex
I found myself going to Eucharistic Adoration at the Catholic Hospital during my hospital visitation rounds.

Dear Annalex,thanks for posting this wonderful article! Inviting our protestant brothers and sisters to attend Eucharistic Adoration is the key to conversion.

After all,Our blessed Lord is fully present right there on the alter in the monstrance.

I wish you a Blessed day!

44 posted on 05/02/2008 10:14:26 AM PDT by stfassisi ( ("Above all gifts that Christ gives his beloved is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi))
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To: Boagenes
the total lack of scriptural evidence, traditional evidence, or the use of simple reason and honest rationale to believe in things like the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary

First, if Christ is there in the Eucharist and you know it, then the rest should not really matter. Your question is like Nathaniel being surprised that the Christ came from the unlikely place of Nazareth. If that's where Christ is, and you are a Christian, that's where you go.

Second, what lack of evidence? "Hail full of grace" implies the Immaculate Conception very strongly; Apocalypse 12 describes Mary in her body as a queen in heaven. These are all ancient beliefs of the Church. The Orthodox do not have a problem with them (they have a problem with papal infallibility and with Catholic way of refining dogmas, but not with these Marian beliefs themselves).

45 posted on 05/02/2008 10:40:50 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: stfassisi

Thnak you for the kind words, God bless.


46 posted on 05/02/2008 10:41:40 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
First, "full of grace" isn't the correct translation. It's "full of favor" or "who God has highly favored" or something along those lines.

Second, others in the Bible are also called "favored" or "highly favored" of God, too. It doesn't imply anything more than one on whom God has shown his favor. It doesn't mean they aren't sinners or any less sinful.

Only Catholics believe that the woman in Revelation 12 is Mary. There are counter (and better argued) arguments that the woman represents Israel (as Protestants have long agreed). There is nothing in Revleation 12 that argues the woman is supposed to be Mary, this is just how Catholics choose to interpret it.

47 posted on 05/02/2008 11:37:22 AM PDT by Boagenes (I'm your huckleberry, that's just my game.)
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To: GAB-1955

I once asked if anyone could name a prominent Protestant who had once been a Catholic. Got doznes of responses and thousands of reads. No good responses. Since then, Glen Beck certainly has become prominent, but most people don’t count Mormons as Protestants.


48 posted on 05/02/2008 11:44:57 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Boagenes

On Luke 1:28, you rely on obfuscatory Protestant translations, designed to propagate mariophobic falsehoods.

The original says “Kecharitomeneh”, a unique to Luke word formation from “charis”, “grace”. It is true that “charis” is sometimes translated “favor”, but never in theological context. The same Protestant translations that have “favored” in Luke 1:28 always translate “charis” as “grace” everywhere else. It is simply a dishonest attempt to trivialize the manner of the angel’s salutation, even though St. Luke makes a special effort to underscore its uniqueness in the following verse.

Further, “kecharitomeneh” is past tense, — something English translation cannot properly convey. This points to the fact that Mary is not filled with grace at the time of the Annunciation, but that she had been filled with it all along, hence Immaculate Conception.

St. Stephen is also described as “full of grace”, but the context is clear that he experiences a surge of grace and fortitude as he speaks, and the origional uses a different verbiage.

The woman in Apocalypse (Revelation of St. John) is described as mother of Christ (Apoc. 12:5, 10). The interpretation that she is somehow Israel is just plain silly.


49 posted on 05/02/2008 12:01:37 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: GAB-1955

“Yes, obviously. However, Catholicism and Protestantism aren’t enemies. We are all one Body under the Headship of Christ.”

****************

Not exactly true. Only those Catholics and Protestants and others who have been authentically born again of the Spirit of God are part of the Body of Christ.

Denominational and traditional affiliations, Catholicism, Protestantism and etc. will get you nowhere with God.

“You must be born again.”


50 posted on 05/02/2008 12:09:12 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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