BaptistConversion Stories

How Being a Baptist Prepared Me to be a Good Catholic

By: Paul McCusker August 21, 2013 27 Comments

After joining the ranks of the Catholics, it was my hope to avoid the smug former-smoker arrogance that sometimes comes with such a dramatic change. You know what I mean: the I-used-to-be-so-stupid-and-now-I-see-the-Light attitude that is, in and of itself, irritating. (In my slow journey to the Church, I picked up a couple of well-meaning books written by former Evangelicals who exuded that very attitude. They were not helpful.) So, here’s my disclaimer: any comments I might make about Evangelicalism or Protestantism are meant to be good-natured and wry, or as close to an objective comparison as a non-academic can manage. You have my permission to call me on it if I sound otherwise.

Frankly, I doubt I would be much of a Catholic now without the benefit of all I’d been taught by Protestants as I travelled this way. I know that had I followed my father’s lead as a Catholic I wouldn’t be Catholic at all. (For him, it was a cultural identity, something handed down to him like an old coat he didn’t really want – if even that.) Any spark of faith in my life was fanned by my very-Protestant mother, faithful relatives and, in my formative years, the good people at Grace Baptist Church in my hometown.

Grace Baptist was founded in 1964 by Pastor Jack Dean who, with a group of dedicated Christians, sought to evangelize the new suburban development of Belair-At-Bowie (now just Bowie) 15 miles east of Washington, DC. The founding families were die-hard Baptists theologically and socially – gracious folks who brought the call to “accept Jesus into your heart” together with great Southern food and punch (no alcohol, ever).

I don’t remember ever hearing any hard-core anti-Catholic sermons. Catholics were simply that other group who were sort of Christians – but not really. It was our job to lead them to Jesus, given the chance.

I learned a lot of good things at Grace Baptist Church. So much that I remarked to someone from that church how my formative years as a Baptist actually prepared me to become a Catholic. I don’t think she was comforted by the thought at all. But it led me to reflect on how that happened.

One of the hallmarks of being a Baptist was the respect for the Bible I developed. We had Bible drills to learn its books and characters, timed competitions to see who could find a verse the quickest, we were told to do daily devotions and given memorization techniques to recall the most important passages (for evangelistic purposes). The Bible was proclaimed at every church occasion. Dog-eared, highlighted, annotated, and cherished – that’s what my Bible was. It was a fundamental part of being a Baptist. I never heard the phrase sola scriptura. We simply practiced it.

Now, as a Catholic, I marvel how Catholics seem to have surrendered the Bible to Protestants, as if it was their book. Yet I have found more Scriptural evidence to support Catholic theology than I ever found to prove Protestant theology. I’ve also noticed that all the verses in the New Testament we, as Baptists, found so troublesome are clearly resolved in Catholicism. The Bible truly is a Catholic book. I only wish more Catholics thought so.

This is only the start. With permission, I’d like to spend more time on my life as a Baptist and how it eased my way to Catholicism.

Part 2

I’ve been reminiscing about how my formative years as a Baptist actually helped me get to Catholicism – and continue to impact my Catholic life.

It may surprise some that being a Baptist taught me to respect the authority of the church. I don’t mean the Church with the capital “C”, but the little “c” church, meaning an autonomous and local assembly with a Pastor (or pastors), a group of deacons, and the congregation. That’s the church we thought the New Testament was talking about. No Bishops, no Pope, no monolithic hierarchy with men dressed in funny clothes and hats (not counting Baptist conventions with all the polyester and toupees).

We believed our church was what Jesus Himself intended churches to be. Fallen, not perfect, but a church, doing what true First-Century-type believers did. That our church bore no resemblance whatsoever to the historical First Century church was something we didn’t know. Not that it mattered. Actually history meant very little when we could simply bypass the 2000 years and go to the Bible directly. At least our hearts were certainly in the right places.

Of greater importance, I learned that the local church was essential to Christian living, not merely the “optional extra” it seems to be now. There was no living the Christian life without it. A good Christian needed the church to survive spiritually. The church fed my personal spiritual life, which would, in turn, feed the church. That’s what it meant to be part of the Bodyof Christ, as we understood it. Going to Sunday School and Sunday morning service – and Sunday evening and Wednesday evening – and Awana on Thursday – and youth group on Friday – wasn’t a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. If I wanted to grow in Christ, then I needed to take my place in the church and all its activities.

I remember, as a teenager, skipping a Sunday evening service once. The Pastor’s wife later asked me why I wasn’t there. I honestly admitted that I didn’t feel like going. She asked, in that very Baptist way: “What if Jesus didn’t feel like going to the cross? Where would we be?” To which I replied, “At home, since there wouldn’t be a church if He didn’t go to the cross.”

She would have been within her rights to slap me.

I’ve mused that, considering the Baptist mantra of “Saved By Grace and not Works,” Baptists tend to be the hardest working people you’ll ever meet. It’s a funny thing. Catholics minimally have to go to Mass once a week and Confession once a year and they think they’re good to go. That’s pretty light stuff for a “Works-based” religion. Whereas Baptists could slide through Purgatory if only for the time they spent making chicken casseroles for the next fellowship, wedding or funeral. (If they believed in Purgatory. Which they don’t. Just to be clear about that.)

And the authority of the local church, as its leadership taught and acted according to Biblical principles, was rock-solid – at least at a corporate level. Our church would never presume to be tyrannical like that other group. As Baptists we were lovers of American democracy, which meant the authority of the church was never supposed to encroach on our personal convictions (so long as those convictions were Biblically supported). The Pastor never presumed to tell us what to do. But the Biblical authority behind his advice, as the Shepherd of the flock, was to be respected.

My sense of the place and authority of the church was so strong that, for years, I was wary of para-church organizations that tried to usurp the authority of local churches. Ironic, considering I’ve spent most of my working life with Evangelical para-church organizations.

Respect for the church was a key part of my Baptist experience and would stay with me in the many years to follow. Eventually it became a litmus test, one that led me to the pivotal question which guided me into the Catholic faith.

Most Baptists would be concerned, if not horrified, about how I went so wrong with their good teaching. But wait! There’s more.

Part 3

In my last post, I recalled how my time as a Baptist actually helped me to become a Catholic – though not in any way that would have foreshadowed such an anti-Baptist decision. But I learned to respect (even cherish) the Bible and to respect the authority of the church. Both are now vital to me as a Catholic.

Another lesson I learned had to do with personal spiritual discipline. Admittedly, few Baptists I knew had any clue about concepts like “spiritual direction” or meditation or contemplation – the last two would have sounded suspicious and practiced by The Beatles. But, as a Baptist, I knew we were supposed to have personal spiritual discipline. We were told to pray. A lot. Unceasingly, in fact.

Prayer was essential to personal spiritual health and the health of the church. We prayed for ourselves, we prayed for each other, we prayed for the world – at home and at least four times in church services (at the beginning, before the offering, before the sermon and after before, during and after the altar call). The only praying we didn’t do was to or for the dead. The other group did those kinds of things and they were clearly confused.

Personal spiritual discipline extended to our church-going and service as a priority of life. Being a Baptist taught me that faith really wasn’t about sentimental feelings – unless it was time for the altar-call and seventeen verses of “Just As I Am” – but about doing. The healthy pressure to attend church on Sunday morning for Sunday School and the worship service (and helping with Bus Ministry), Sunday evening, Wednesday evening prayer meeting (or the quarterly business meeting), Thursday night Awana, and whenever else the doors were open was ongoing. And it was a good thing for me. Apart from the value of the teaching, it taught me to resist the feelings of But I don’t want to go – and go anyway.

As a Baptist I truly believed faith without works really was dead. Fortunately, many of the “works” were done as part of “fellowship.” Few groups do “fellowship” as well as Baptists. They seemed to understand the importance of relationships to commitment and growth. After any service or event, the majority of people would hang around to “visit” for ages – adding a half-hour to an hour to the worship service experience. There was no rushing for the exit as soon as the final hymn ended or the last Amen said.

I have said in other contexts how it’s ironic that Catholicism is supposed to be about Community, but tends to be very individualistic (if one were to judge by the scramble to the parking lot even before Mass has truly ended), while Protestantism is supposed to be individualistic yet tends toward Community (if the crowds hanging out and talking in the lobby are an indicator).

Yes, I know: I’m being terribly unfair. No doubt it depends on the church.

So, to summarize: as a good Baptist, I learned how to be a good Catholic by going to church, reading my Bible, praying, working, and evangelizing –

Evangelizing! That was huge for me as a Baptist. And I’ll talk about that in the next post.

Part 4

In my last few posts I mentioned that love for the Bible, for the church, for prayer and chicken casseroles were a few things I learned as a Baptist, each playing an important part in my life as a Catholic.  Well, not so much the chicken casseroles. As Catholic, I think it’s been more about donuts and pizza.

The last thing I have to mention in this crazy series is the Baptist emphasis on evangelism. In the list of things a Baptist had to do, leading other people to Jesus – witnessingsharing the Gospel – was huge. It was so huge, in fact, that every church service presented an opportunity to do it. If the Catholic Mass was centered around the Eucharist, the Baptist worship service was centered around preaching the Word so people would ask Jesus into their hearts (or rededicate their lives to the Lord).

As a member of our Baptist church, I was expected to witness to anyone and everyone about Jesus every chance I had. And I often did. You can ask some of my friends about it. I preached, passed out “Chick Tracts” at school, went through the “Four Spiritual Laws” booklet with anyone who’d listen, and even went door-to-door with members of the Pastoral staff using a well-tuned program called “Evangelism Explosion” to tell people about Jesus. I’m astonished to think of it now. The sheer audacity would be completely unacceptable these days.

It’s a puzzler, now, that the Catholic Church has been called to the New Evangelization – and no one seems to know what to do.

I have a couple of theories about that. For one thing, my Baptist Church had a great set-up evangelistically. If I witnessed to someone about Jesus, I could always invite him to a church service. Since the service itself was geared to evangelism, the person I invited was given a chance there to become a Christian. And the offer to “ask Jesus into your heart” is so simple. Anyone can do that. Technically speaking, according to some Protestant teaching, a person can do it and never even go back to church.

Catholics don’t have that advantage. Invite someone to a Catholic Mass and that poor person would be so confused by the liturgy that there’d be no chance to “bring them to Jesus.”  They’d be out the door faster than most of the Catholics, if they use their elbows to get through the quickly-exiting crowd. The Catholic Mass is not evangelistically-friendly.

I’m not advocating that it should be, by the way. I’m not sure, historically, when Church went from a meeting of believers to being an evangelistic tool, and I’m not sure it should be. But it has in the Protestant realm – which gives Protestants an edge. That’s another conversation for another time.

Let’s admit the obvious: Catholicism isn’t as conducive to evangelism as Protestantism. A Protestant church – certainly my Baptist church – is focused on getting people to ask Jesus into their hearts, and all that stuff about discipleship and commitment could come later, if at all. When a person is “saved by Grace alone,” all those “works” aren’t really important, so why muddle things up be mentioning them? The important thing was to close the sale and worry about the fine-print some other time.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, puts all of the fine-print in front of people before they’re allowed to become Catholic. It’s like going through the detailed contract for a house before you ever let someone into the house. So, guess what? In this consumer-based, turn-it-around-quick society, the Catholic Church is going to lose a lot of people to other churches. As usual, the Catholic Church and its teaching is at odds with all the best marketing sensibilities. Come to think of it, so was Jesus. He repeatedly asked people to count the cost and pick up their crosses. That was a bad move evangelistically.

No wonder the average Catholic hears a phrase like “New Evangelization” and looks like they’d just read the terms and conditions for a Microsoft product. Bewilderment – panic – lethargy – what’s a Catholic to do? As a Baptist, a phrase like “New Evangelization” would have meant someone had published a new tract.

Now that I’m a Catholic, I am still passionate about evangelism. I’m simply not sure how to do it, except to make the effort to talk about my journey or correct the many misconceptions people have about the Church. That’s a form of evangelizing I’m excited about. And, for that, I can thank my Baptist church.

  • Lora

    I can see that there was much prayer involved in the writing of this series. We can always trust the Holy Spirit in every discernment. Our Heavenly Father always embraces and protects us. Jesus, Mary, the Holy Eucharist and Holy Rosary brought me home…

  • Kimberly Gail

    As a former southern baptist who entered the Catholic Church this year, I’ve got to admit that I chuckled all the way through this article, as well as jumped up and yelled a couple “amen!”s (just kidding.) I would love to hear the rest of Paul’s story, the part that explains what placed him on the road to Rome. Maybe a future article is in the making? 🙂

  • Jeanine Nicholson

    Great read and Paul you made me miss my Protestant past. You touched on many areas that I wish the Catholic culture could learn from the Protestant culture. I’m so happy to be home in the fullness of His Church…. But I sure do miss being around folks who can’t wait for the church doors to be open. We could all learn so much from each other… Being a Catholic going on four years and still do not have the Catholic culture figured out. Many cradle Catholics have told me their faith is personal and its between them and God… That’s fine…but I’m glad the early church did not feel that way…if it did nobody would have never heard the good news. God Bless, Julie N.

    • mary d

      re: “I sure do miss being around folks who can’t wait for the church doors to be open.”
      I wonder if the fact that for most of my life (cradle Catholic), the church doors were never closed, has something to do with the different perspectives on this? I grew up “making a visit” whenever it came to me, when I passed a Catholic church, when I felt a need to pray in thanksgiving, adoration, contrition, or supplication.
      I moved from the Northeast to the Bible Belt, and am now surrounded by churches which are only open Sundays, Wednesday evenings, and for weddings and funerals. I am so glad I can visit Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament any time, in my parish church. 🙂
      As to the Catholic culture – there are as many as there are communities (whether a family, a town, a region, a diocese. a K of C Council, a First Communion class, a parish, etc. ).
      My Faith is between me and God? Of course it is, but that doesn’t mean I’m supposed to hide that light under a bushel. Anyone who thinks that way is misled.

  • BWS

    As a former catholic who went the other way, Catholicism to protestantism, I believe that all of us, if we are sincere in our relationship with Jesus Christ, are Christians who are going to heaven. The catholic church I attended was dead. Barely anybody read the bible and just about everybody(not all) acted just like people who were not Christians at all.They just went to mass, and when they left church they acted like everyone else who was not a christian. Like what was said in this article, if I followed my parents version of Catholicism, I am not sure where I would be now..

    • JoAnn Turner

      I left the Church for many years because of what you said. I left because of people. I didn’t go find another church, I KNEW in my heart the Catholic Church was the place I was supposed to be but I could not abide the changes of Vatican II or the changes in the people. I came back for many reasons, but still could not find what I was searching for – a way to get closer to God. I stopped sitting in the pew and got up and did something about it. Because I didn’t want others to do what I had done, I took the time to LEARN my faith, what it truly means. I taught ccd, I became involved in Adult Faith studies and now lead the classes. I went on retreats, to conferences, etc. I FOUND the people who felt like I do. I now have friends who are strong in their faith, we grow together and we invite and include all who want to join us. Am I glad I came home? Oh absolutely. Everytime I receive the body and blood of Christ I pray for those who can’t receive the miracle. Everytime I go to Confession I rejoice that I can hear the words of forgiveness directly from the Priest who IS Christ – in persona Christi – in the person of Christ! I believe it was G.K. Chesterton when asked what was wrong with Christianity promptly replied – Christians. It took me many years to learn one important lesson. The ONLY important thing in my life is the miracle that happens on the altar EVERY DAY and it is up to ME to take that word to those who don’t have it or don’t see it. If they choose not to listen or act contrary to God’s word, I pray for them and when I can gently guide them. The Catholic Church isn’t dead. It is the life blood of the world. I hope – and will pray – that you come home, we are waiting for you with open arms.

      • Njenga wa ikonya

        Its absolutely true that the Catholic church is not the problem, but Catholics are. Its absolutely true that many Catholics live like non-Christians in all aspects of life, but an absolute lie that the Catholic church is dead. It is, yes, the life blood of the world.

    • mary d

      “Barely anybody read the bible ” –
      if one follows along at Mass, one cannot avoid reading, praying, singing, proclaiming the Bible. MOST prayers in the Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Concluding Rites are Scripture quotes or Scripture-based. In a Sunday Mass, we begin with a Hymn which is based on Scripture, most often one of the Psalms, Epistles, or Gospels. After a confession of our sinfulness, and a prayer for mercy, we sing the Gloria, part of which is taken from the Nativity story and part from various parts of the Gospels.
      During the Liturgy of the Word, a selection from the Old Testament (the Scripture Paul spoke about when he taught that all Scripture is beneficial for teaching) is proclaimed; a selection from the Book of Psalms is sung by a Cantor (& the congregation responds in song with a line from the same Psalm); a selection from the New Testament (but not the Gospel) is proclaimed; then a Gospel selection is proclaimed by the Priest or Deacon. It is generally preferred that each person LISTEN to the readings, as was done in the early church, but one may READ along in the Missal. The Homily explores these readings, explains them, and helps us to apply them to our own daily lives. We proceed to our Profession of Faith, which, while not a Biblical quote, IS Scripture-based, giving a summary of Salvation History.
      After praying communally for our needs and those of the world, we proceed to the Liturgy of the Eucharist, which begins with a Scriptural Hymn appropriate to the collection of the gifts (monetary support for the poor, the parish, and the entire Church) and presentation of all the gifts, including the bread and wine for Communion. Prayers from the Old Testament (and echoing the prayers of Jewish Liturgies) are mixed with contemporary prayer as well as quotes from various New Testament books during the Eucharistic Prayer / Consecration. Next, we pray the Lord’s Prayer, and, quoting Jesus “I leave you peace, My peace I give to you…” we prayer for peace and unity, and we pray that He will make us clean, and fitting for Him to enter, before we take Communion.
      We sing another Scriptural Hymn while the initiated members of the congregation receive Christ’s Body and Blood, then fall silent for private prayer, which is followed by a contemporary prayer, then a blessing and dismissal, which may be more or less contemporary or may be taken from Scripture. Lastly, the Scripture-based recessional Hymn is sung as we process out of the Sanctuary.
      My point? Simply that Catholics may or may not read the Bible on their own, but they are always hearing and praying it, if they go to Mass. A person who has attended Mass daily for at least 2 years, and on Sunday for 3 years, has heard readings from almost every book of the Bible, due to the cycle of readings the Church uses. As a matter of fact, if one doesn’t attend Mass on a given day, one can easily look up the readings of the day, which are being proclaimed across the world in every Catholic Mass said that day.

  • Lucy

    Change some of the details of this post pretty much describe what I grew up in a profoundly Catholic home, including many potluck suppers and usually being the among the people who locked the doors an hour after Mass was over. Our faith was about community and caring for the less fortunate, praying constantly, receiving the Eucharist weekly, if not daily. We evangelized more quietly but with much conviction. Not all Catholics grow up in homes that are Catholic in culture only. Our churches would be much emptier than they are if that were so.
    I too am wondering what placed you on the road, not to Rome, but to the church that Jesus founded. I enjoyed your style of writing and would love to hear the rest of the story

  • sarah renaud

    I get the sense that this author , even though he calls himself Catholic, doesn’t like the Church very much. There is plenty of bible reading at mass, and every parish I have ever been in holds bible study classes during the week.
    And all you people who complain about the other people at mass, you aren’t there for them. You are there for God. And how many of you whiners check out the small groups at your parish, who meet during the week ? They are listed in every bulliten or your parish website.
    Do you give an hour for adoration? You probably think it’s too boring to sit quietly and spend an hour with the Lord. Get to know your faith -that’s the problem with most dissatisfied Catholics.They never research to learn their own faith. Do you own a copy of the Catechism of the Church? Do you read Catholic authors? If not, then you are as much to blame for the apathy you see in church as the people you judge.You really have no clue as to what people do outside of church because you don’t see them.
    Get involved in your parish, and invite the people you think aren’t involved to join you.
    Catholicism is a vibrant, living faith that deserves your time and effort. The rewards are astronomical.
    Protestants since refomation can’t figure out what to believe, that’s why there are hundreds of different denominations, and only one holy,catholic and apostolic church for the last 2000 years.

    • JonXavier

      Actually, Catholics are very diverse in their beliefs as well. It’s just that the hierarchy plays it down. Ever read about even orders quarlling about minutiae? Also, it’s just simply the case that Catholics are not as passionate about spiritual growth, evangelism, or bible study on average as Protestants. And Italy itself is probably the best example – 99% Catholic, mostly traditional, but only about 7% on average at Mass. In fact, most devout or “practicing” Catholics (a Protestant couldn’t dream of accepting such a compromising term) are likely so due to Protestant influence. Indeed, the whole idea of not only bible studies, but even lay people reading the bible is due to Protestantism, as is using a language people actually understand!

    • Leah Edwards

      This is a beautiful article of a brother who has come to the fullness of his faith. In no way is he belittling Catholics. My goodness, he went through the process of becoming a Catholic after pointing out it’s not a quick process (which I can see, as a born and forever Catholic). He converted! He loves it! As him, I am grateful for the times when God called me back from when I wandered away from the Catholic faith. I too appreciate the evangelical passion my protestant brothers and sisters in Christ have. We could use some of that passion. When James spoke of “Faith without works” he was referring also to the reality that those of the world, many won’t come to believe unless they see the radicalness of the church – that God still does miracles, healing, and can concretely change lives that were so broken, that love and truth and meaning for living can be found. So evangelical’s market the faith so many will “buy” faith in Christ — accept him = be saved. The author is still growing, I’m still growing, you are. Catholicism is Deep, it’s the fullness if the faith. Fullness of God is overwhelming which can be confusing because we realize how imperfect we are and how much he loves us. God is smiling down on his servant, the author, because the Holy Spirit is allowing him to heal a division in denominations (division is never a spirit of God) with respect to those who love Christ Jesus. I rejoice because I can now reach out better to my Baptist brothers and sisters and evangelize with greater sincerity and understanding for helping reach the fullness of God’s truth. God’s blessings.

    • Catalina Rosales

      thank you! your answer is perfect!!

  • M. Reyes

    would there be a continuation to this story, cause so far I didn’t see the actual story of conversion. I find it confusing that you said converts would often act like I-used-to-be-so-stupid-and-now-I-see-the-Light. But now it looks like you are saying you feel-stupid to be in the Catholic Church. I hope to read more. At some point I could relate to your witnessing about Catholics who could not wait to go out of the Church during mass. That may be true, however, we must always remember that that does not change what the Catholic Church is. Because if you really are listening and participating in the Holy Mass…you will be provided with a complete package ..that is the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. Scripture reading, praying, charity plus receiving the body of Christ. Now which church does this? Even though you worship night and day, if you don’t have the eucharist, it still is incomplete. I am a cradle Catholic, I admit I did not realize how blessed I am to belong to this Church but now as an adult, I see the beauty and the meaning to the Catholic Church’s teaching. This is indeed the true Church. From the apostles to the holy fathers to the sacraments and the saints…this is such a complete way to experience Jesus and follow his way.

  • Neal B

    Thank you all for sharing your experiences and faith lessons. I was born into a Catholic family. I was baptized and made my first communion. One year after my first communion, my aunt, accepted Christ into her heart and converted to Southern Baptist. As a child she would bring me to church with her family and I loved it – so much more fun than the Catholic church. Because I was so interested as a child and through my aunt’s evangelism, the rest of my entire family asked Christ into their hearts, walked the isle and now were all STRICT SOUTHERN BAPTISTS. No need to explain our lives, they were just as the author explained. In an effort to shorten my comment I’ll get to where I am now. I am married and have one child. My wife is from a Catholic Family, we were married in the Catholic Church. We have one child who now attends the Catholic school where my wife attended. Actually, my daughter is the fifth generation to attend this school. We did not baptize my daughter because we were attending a local Baptist church, one that you really could not tell was Baptist, we did not want to lie about our intentions. Now- I am seaching. We attend Mass most weekends and the Baptist church every once in a while. As we are getting closer to my daughters 1st communion time, we are praying about baptizing her, having her make her first communion and me recommiting to the Catholic church. Your blogs are great and Paul the author writes very well. I too laughed and completely knew exactly what he is talking about in every instance. Several of the bloggers below seemed aggitated with some of Pauls comments, most are life long Catholics. I completely see Pauls point and he is not to be taken negatively, its kinda like the saying – guess you had to be there. Because I get exactly what he is saying. Thank you for writing.

  • Zei

    Im a Baptist, and honestly, I feel bad that you have to convert to Catholicism. However, reading your article and knowing that you have learned a lot just did the trick. As what they say, it doesn’t matter what your religion is, what matters is that you know the truth.

  • tiredwasp

    I went to “fast track conversion” classes the catholics are offering now, and was appalled. They seemed very open about having “taken over the supreme court,” (a catholic majority that created and upholds abortion, at least until the u.s. demographic can be “changed” from a northwest european protestant and baptist majority to their own people. They were open about enjoying the “demographic changes” their group forced on the u.s. in the 1960s, mostly via Philip Hart. (That era was the “pope’s” first visit to the U.s. for “Vatican II,” where he oversaw the demise of JFK; the introduction of the catholic-led “Hart-Celler Act” which stated it was to changed the demographic of the u.s., away from the historical population, i.e. Genocide. The previous majority who actually created a constitutional country, so that they would no longer be persecuted by catholics (as in Europe), attempting “separation of church and state,” to protect themselves. Their preamble of constitution stated the country was, “For Us and our Posterity,” and Policy Oriented Replacement of populations would be called Genocide, right?

    Vatican II oversaw demise of JFK, the new “laws” to “replace” the American population (Hart-Cellar Act, reprinting all American documents in a latin language, etc.), the creation of “501c3” so in its new “hegemony” in the u.s., it would be tax exempt, and more.

    It was clear, in the “catechism” classes that the catholics saw themselves as “In power,” and that the “conversions” seemed more like in Croatia. (In Croatia 200,000 were converted to romanism at gunpoint, under threat, but others just converted, due to fear, or wanting to “get ahead” materially in the establishment. Also, Genocide is seen as “good.” A bit part of the classes was about “Putting Down Heresies,” but in real terms this mean Genociding MANY MANY people who were really more christian than most “catholics” today. There was no apology for any Genocide. Nor discussion of the contradictions about murdering people like Joan of Arc, that was just swept under the rug. She was popular, so even though they, themselves, had killed her, they made her a “saint.”

    Many seem to be converting now, b/c of worldly power. Commonweal Magazine, last year, ran an article, on Dec. 19, “The Catholic Takeover of America is Almost Complete.” Many Generational Americans have seen their own history destroyed, the catholic people in government pretending to be against abortion, but pushing it in the schools, and much more, while they use taxes to “home school” or send to “parochial school.” Many catholics do not even know that this “Nation of Immigrants” and “Melting Pot,” is VERY RECENT, within only 100 years of their immigrations, nor do they care at all about the real history of the country they are in.

    That is fine, but probably a very different kind of society… a “nation of immigrants” is sort of like a “refugee camp,” right? What is the real difference? Now… with the “latinization” of the u.s. there are daily stories of violence, and escalations of violence, “DE-industrialization,” the DRUGGING of one-fourth of the american women on “mood changers,” and the DRUGGING of young children, majority shelves of “food” in the stores have no nutrition in them, whatsoever. The emergence of Warfare paychecks and Welfare paychecks, int he “left-right paradigm” or “Warfare-Welfare” tax collections statist centralization.

    To me, they seemed a people who find “charity” to be possible in a Welfare state. But really, in Welfare states, the creative and productive citizens usually just want THEIR OWN MONEY back, so they can use their God-given resources to have families, rather than have to pay for latin people. People taking money under those circumstances cannot really do “charity,” can they? If you are just tossing out tax money you collected against people’s will (stealing), then you have nothing of your own to give.

    The people in my class seemed extremely ignorant of much about history. They were more arrogant and wanted just to be in a club where they were told they were they “best,” or “the CHOSEN” or “true path to God.”

    Also, they were really teaching Arminianism (which used to be a heresy) anyway. The idea of doing tasks to “GET’ THEIR “salvation” was very clear (the sacraments.) The Bible was not read at all. You could totally “convert” without reading the Bible at all. If it was mentioned the passages were WAY OUT OF CONTEXT.

    I would say be very careful and search your own motivations very very carefully.

  • tiredwasp

    Oh… and “evangelical protestantism” was catholic political activists in americans churches, anyway. You don’t really need to convert from it, lol. And how is the pope a “church” not a COUNTRY, also? Japan, like the Vatican, has VAST PALACES and vast wealth appropriated from peasants, (serfs, oppressed, etc, like in the catholic “clearances” in south america). Japan has archives of documents and treasures taken from the world’s peoples during wars (just like the vatican). Japan ALSO has territories it conquered by violence, like the vatican did in europe, especially south europe. Japan also has hierarchy, secrecy, spies, orders of spies, Political Embassies all over the world, like the vatican (he got one in the u.s. in the 80s using Reagan who was raised catholic and who gave him another embassy in DC). Japan has sex scandal and its own bank, just like the roman catholics. BUT JAPAN would never call itself a “church.’ The roman monarch is simply a monarch, just ilke the king of spain, so what is the justification of calling itself a ‘church,’ when it is a worldly monarchy, and everyone knows it?

  • Christen

    I’m not Catholic, it I have a lot of Catholic friends. I find it really interesting that those who were born Catholic, every one of them, sure does not seem to live it. One is a divorced chain smoker who lives with her 3x divorced boyfriend, but they make the sign of the cross at meals and go to mass, I think. Another two think there is nothing wrong with birth control or homosexuality. Then, my friends who converted to Catholicism are all in love with their faith and living it to the best of their ability. One was also an evangelical Baptist/Pentecostal and others were non-denominational. I must admit that, to me, it sure seems better to first “get saved” and “on fire for God” in a protestant church and then later convert to Catholism. Besides, lots of protestants, including Baptists believe in “once saved always saved” right? Which begs the question, why do they get worried when one of their own converts to Catholicism??

    • Christen

      Sorry for any typos…I’m typing on my phone…in the balcony at a Presbyterian church…lol!

  • Beverly Stevens

    SHARING on Regina Magazine

  • Arian0027 .

    My teenage son was born and raised Catholic. We moved to an area in the south that has a large Southern Baptist population.

    My son started dating a really sweet girl who is a Southern Baptist. He recently attended a large Easter play at her church. He went to the play and ended up leaving with a great story.

    During the play there were lots of scare tactics which my son didn’t like. Certain people were let into heaven, others were not let into heaven and burned in hell. A mother was denied into heaven with her children because she did not go to church. (In my opinion judging others such as Baptists do should be a sin). But that’s ONLY my opinion.

    So after a bunch of loud yelling and many scare tactics the play was over. The pastor said for everyone to bow their heads and pray. My son did so. He then asked if anyone wanted him to pray for them and if so raise your hand. Well my dumb Catholic son thought this was the right thing to do and thought everyone would raise their hand too. Well the Baptist people didn’t raise their hand.

    So the pasture told everyone to sit down and then said whoever raised their hand to stand up. Well my son didn’t understand he was being baiting, and stood up.

    Next they made him come to the front with the other group of hand raisers. They were separated and led back stage to another area of the church.

    My son was with two other guys. They asked the first guy what religion was he and what church he went to. The guy replied Baptist and said the church name. When they finally got to my son, he understood that he was not in good shape being a Catholic. But he proudly smiled and said I am a Catholic and this is my church.

    Awe Jesus he shouldn’t have said this as the red lights started flashing, the guy stood up and said he needed to get someone else to come talk to my son.

    Some head guy led my son elsewhere to talk. Luckily my son had his academy school shirt on and the guy recognized him from playing football and knew his coach. They talked for a little bit and soon my son was released without any prison time and went back to his group of friends.

    Moral of the story… Catholics don’t raise your hand in a Baptist church.

    However the experience must not have been too traumatic, the next day he went to an Easter egg hunt at the same church with his same little Baptist girlfriend.

  • Michael

    You may have been a part of a Baptist church, but you clearly never understood Baptist doctrine. First of all, Baptist are NOT Protestants. All the Protestant denominations can be pointed to as having a human founder and there is no historic basis for the Catholic Church until Gregory the Great. Baptists, however, have existed as bodies of local, baptized believers since the apostles. The Bible is NOT a “Catholic” book and the Bible is NOT a “Protestant” book for many reasons, but one specific reason being that the Catholics and Protestants believe in some form or another in a “universal” church. There is no universal church, as the Greek word “ecclesia” for “church” carries both locality and organization. The church that Jesus said He would build in Matthew 16 was NOT a universal church, but many LOCAL churches operating independently of each other. The word “ecclesia” occurs about 106 times in the New Testament and 95 of those times, it refers to a local body of believers. The other times, it is used in either an abstract or generic sense, but still refers to a local congregation, an example being Matthew 16:18, “I will build My church.” Here, Jesus speaks of the INSTITUTION of the church, and can be likened to a statesman saying, “On this rock our nation will build her jury, and the power of tyranny shall not prevail against her.” The term “jury” is used in the abstract sense, but whenever it finds concrete expression, it is always a particular jury of 12 members, not an aggregate of all juries into one big jury. Jesus’ disciples would have already been familiar with the word “ecclesia,” so for Him to use the word in an entirely different sense without a word of explanation or for us to force a “universal” idea of the church into the word “ecclesia” is to use the word in purely arbitrary sense. I suggest you read the two following books, “The Church That Jesus Built” by Roy Mason, and “Why I Am A Baptist” by Clarence Larkin.

  • Brad Carter

    Thanks for all of this info. I have thought about joining the Catholic church for a few years now. Basically my way of believing is more in line with the church and I found the ways I was teaching my children more along the teachings of the Catholic church. I was raised a Baptist and I respect the people of my former church more than anyone will ever know and most of them will call me crazy for becoming part of the Catholic church. I can’t explain my reasoning other than it was placed in my heart. Not by any person but just something that is there and it’s nice knowing I’m not the only person to leave the ‘traditional’ southern baptist roots for the church.

    • Matt Swaim

      You’re not crazy. If there’s a reason the Coming Home Network exists, it’s to let you know that. I think you’ll be encouraged to find how many people with Baptist backgrounds see Catholicism as fulfilling all the things they were taught to love from their childhood. We actually have a forum that’s specifically for Baptists with questions about Catholicism, and many of the participants are Catholics with Baptist backgrounds:

  • We could really use someone like you and the Legion of Mary! Personally I love talking to people about Jesus and I love to go to evangelizing. I think the problem is is that a lot of folks some of the Baptist at least not all of them prostalytise instead of evangelise.

  • Dawn Marie

    I would first like to say, I respect my parents and the foundation I was raised on. However, after walking the early years of my life (birth to 17) maped by a very strong southern Baptist mother. I am 38,,, She has passed, what I speak is of my heart and not of any ill words nor any invain behavior. While I was born, raised, saved, baptised, and lived the Southern Baptist Church ways, I didn’t live the typical Baptist life, I was on system overload. I attended church and or church related gaterings or practices no less then 7-8 times a week. There’s only 7 days in a week, let’s do math. Monday evening we made visitation dinner then we spred gods word, Tuesday we would do anything that was needed by any group, Wednesday dinner, at first it was GA’s then it became Powerlife for teens, Thursday sign language practice my mother taught my (youth choir) to sign the hymes, Friday was some maped out group meeting, Sunday, am sunday school and big church, then afternoon choir sign language practice, then choir practice, then evening service. That was a light week, without contada or some type of extra extra practice. This schedule I kept as I played sports, stayed to my studies, and did gods work with my mom. That’s a whole book in its own. I have always felt the pull of the cross and it’s studies in another direction, I needed more. Not proof of anything. Just more of what my heart was feeling empty from. I found myself at a young age watching midnight mass on Christmas. Years later I found myself automatically replying to the direction of the congregation. I am seeking Catholicism. God is always teaching us and I pray I’ve been taught and prepared to be a strong Catholic, not by faith alone but devotion as well. My story is brief here, yet however complicated,,, God knows everything.

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