7 years, 10 months ago #14964
Is it me, or has anyone else noticed that those who convert TO Catholicism generally say positive things about their background and about how they are thankful for what they learned in their protestant upbringings, while those who convert FROM Catholicism tend to not be able to say anything good about the Church?
Personally, I know that I am thankful that my parents taught me about the Lord from an early age and encouraged me to seek truth. I know that my parents, as pastors for the last 50 odd years have and continue to seek to follow God's will for their lives. If I had not had their upbringing, I doubt I would be entering the Church this year. Yet, I remember meeting many who came from Catholicism, and I rarely heard anything good about the Church from them.
I just wonder why it is that this phenomena seems to hold true (as an academic, I would LOVE to see some sort of study on the hard data….although, if anyone is interested, a good book about conversions from a secular standpoint is a book called “amazing conversions” http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Amazing-Conversions/Bob-Altemeyer/e/9781573921473/?itm=1&USRI=amazing+conversions I got it for my nook, and it intrigued me, although I hated that they didn't seem to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit was at work)
Anyway, If anyone has any insight, I would love to hear it.7 years, 10 months ago #14982
David W. EmeryKeymaster@David W. Emery
I think your observation corresponds with the experience of most people. It certainly does with mine. There are, of course, exceptions on both sides of the issue, but there does seem to be a certain amount of correlation.
David7 years, 10 months ago #14981
While I am no scholar I think the difference is that Protestant converts are seeking the one true church set up by Christ and the Catholics converting to Protestantism are leaving the one true church and need to justify this movement away from truth so they trash the Church and its teaching. It is like trashing an ex-spouse, ex-boy or girl friend to make yourself look better. When I was going through RCIA in 1985 the priest told me and my wife that converts make better Catholics because they choose to be Catholic while most born Catholics just go through the motions because that is all they know. Protestants that come into the Church know that each part of any journey is as important as either the starting or the ending point. Like I say I am just a lay convert who loves the Catholic faith and defends that faith as much as I can.
Doug7 years, 10 months ago #14980
David W. EmeryKeymaster@David W. Emery
You make a definite point, Doug. When someone, in a religious conversion, is following through on an insight into the truth, there is a tendency to value everything along the way that contributes to his immersion in truth and meaning when he reaches his goal. But someone who, for whatever reason, flees the truth he was brought up in, wherever he goes finds no greater meaning or value, and so has to denigrate what he left in order to justify what he now embraces.
I do not say that every Catholic who leaves the Catholic Church is a moral degenerate; many, through the fault of those around them, leave behind in ignorance the pearl they possess, in order to search for wealth elsewhere. They may encounter something of worth, perhaps a form of Christianity elsewhere, but we believe that it can never equal the pearl that the Lord gave them from the outset.
David7 years, 10 months ago #14979
This is definitely a tendency. I think it stems in large part because of the self-understanding of Protestantism as a “protest” against Catholicism. Protestantism is always trying to justify itself as superior, by comparing itself with Catholicism (often, unfortunately, a straw man or caricature of the Catholic Church; not the real thing). But we don't compare ourselves to anyone.
Luther and Calvin were essentially anti-Catholics. So those who follow that strain of thought today, and leave the Catholic Church, will continue bashing it in order to justify their leaving. But most Protestants are not anti-Catholic.
When someone (as in my own case, and that of many here) goes from Protestantism to Catholicism, on the other hand, we tend to see the latter as a greater fullness of the former, and emphasize the truthfulness of many things in Protestantism. We don't have to look down upon anything in our past that was indeed true and pious. We don't have to pit each against each other, as if one is not even Christian.7 years, 10 months ago #14978
. . . RCIA in 1985 . . . I am just a lay convert who loves the Catholic faith and defends that faith as much as I can.
Doug, welcome to the CHNI forum. 🙂
I hope you enjoy participating. We're glad to have you.
Grace and peace,
Becky7 years, 10 months ago #14977
Steven BarrettParticipant@Steven Barrett
;D Dave, if you gave Luther and Calvin failing marks for their want of “ecumenical communication skills” would I love to hear your take on John Knox. We know what Queen Mary of Scots had to say about his sermons. Bring on Europe's armies before another one of those gems! On the other hand, Jonathan Edwards' slow and droll delivery of his famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God” … especially the spidery souls getting toasted over Hell's BBQ pit did wonders to keep this country's better grounded and more sensible Protestants from following Europe's 18th Century rapid descent into Deism and the debacles that followed once that bacillus went wild among Europe's “intellectual” crowd. Some OLDE Protestant ministers have indeed been ;D our biggest helpers, though they'd be gyrating in their graves to hear one of us say so. 😉 They'd be smilin' while spinn' though!7 years, 10 months ago #14976
My experience has been the same as all the others . I have rarely heard an ex Catholic say anything even fair about the church . Tho you know ? I have to wonder how many ex Catholics there are that just did not talk about it ? I am with ktchnofdngr I would love to see a study done .
btw what is dangerous about your kitchen ktchnofdngr ? what a fun moniker ! lol Debbie7 years, 10 months ago #14975
John Knox was about as anti-Catholic as anyone can get. He makes Martin Luther look as Catholic as St. Thomas Aquinas. 🙂
Welcome to Doug, also. I didn't notice at first that it was your first post. Hope you like it here.7 years, 10 months ago #14974
Evangelical Presbyterian scholar Mark Noll made a similar observation. I noted this in my post, Presbyterian Church Historian Mark Noll on Differences in Converts.7 years, 10 months ago #14973
btw what is dangerous about your kitchen ktchnofdngr ? what a fun moniker ! lol Debbie
I was given this “nickname,” if you will, by an old boyfriend in college because I added *gasp* carrots to spaghetti sauce (he was a real meat and potatoes kind of guy). I thought it was funny and the name stuck. In reality, I can make just about anything from a recipe, and most of my experiments in modifying have turned out well. Having said that, DH is actually the better cook, since he can create from scratch what I have to follow directions for!
Ruth7 years, 10 months ago #14972
lolol thats funny Ruth , my husband objected to the very same thing on the grounds that he is Italian and no self respecting Italian would put carrots or celery in a red sauce period LOL he too is a meat and potatoes kind of guy . thanks for filling me in . Debbie7 years, 10 months ago #14971
Oh dear! Has he never heard of Giada De Laurentis who taught me to put carrots in tomato sauce? And I'm as Italian as she is!7 years, 10 months ago #14970
lolol Estelle you are no doubt MORE so then he since he is something on the order of one sixteenth lol and it was just his excuse ! lol it so made me laugh ;D7 years, 10 months ago #14969
Howard HampsonKeymaster@Howard the Pilgrim
I think most of the Catholic converts to evangelical Protestantism were relatively untaught, unevangelized and unconverted while in the Catholic Church. They were “awakened” by Protestants. Also, I personally see a positive difference in the Catholic Church in America today versus the Catholic Church in America when I was a kid prior to Vatican II. I tell people, especially ex-Catholics of my vintage, that from what I can see there has been a continuous, on-going revival since Vatican II.
I could be wrong but I see the first half of the 20th century as somewhat of a dark age in both mainline Protestantism and American Catholicism suffering from the ravages of liberalism and biblical illiteracy.
In the Archdiocese of Denver, I am very impressed with the average Catholics I have met so far and their level of devotion and knowledge. Opportunities for instruction, community and service abound.
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