“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.” – Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Greetings and welcome to ‘From Protestant to Catholic- why the Bible and Early Church Fathers lead me to convert from Evangelical Protestant to Catholic.’ I hope you will find this site useful, regardless of where you find yourself in your faith journey. The quote above by Archbishop Sheen might initially seem to be a gross exaggeration. I can’t speak for the millions of others, but I know that it was true for me.
My name is Michael David and I am a young adult who works as a Registered Nurse and is blessed to be a husband and a father to two young children . However, aside from this introduction, this site is not meant to be about me, but rather about the information that ‘turned my world upside down’ about eight years ago.
Though my own Christian background was denominationally diverse (born Methodist, family later joined non-denominational Baptist style church, then I chose to attend a calvinist Presbyterian-PCA for a few years before joining the Lutheran-LCMS church halfway through college), there was one thing that didn’t change: I hated the Catholic Church as I understood it. I believed the Catholic Church was the prophetic ‘Whore of Babylon’ of Revelation that preached a false gospel, followed an ‘Antichrist pope’, was too ritualistic, too superstitious, too legalistic, and revered a ‘tradition of men’ that the Bible condemned. In researching the various claims of Catholicism to try to expose it to friends and acquaintances as a Satanic distortion of the true gospel, I found myself surprisingly exposed to the beauty, consistency, and truth of Catholicism as found within the Bible, the writings of the earliest Christians, the spirituality of the saints across the ages, and the official Catechism of the Catholic Church. I tried to convert others, but was myself converted (thanks be to God!)…
“To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.” -Cardinal John Henry Newman (famous 19th century Anglican convert)
Yes, a lot has changed in the Church’s 2,000 year lifespan, but I began to realize that almost all of these changes are like the organic growth and development that all living things experience without losing their essential identity, and many changes have been matters of ‘discipline’, not ‘doctrine,’ which is an important theological distinction. The most influential factor for me was definitely the testimony of the earliest Christian leaders known as the ‘Early Church Fathers,’ who often gave their lives for the sake of preserving the one faith, and held beliefs regarding eccliesiology (the Church), sacred Scripture/ holy Tradition, the sacraments, and soteriology (salvation), that I found to be astoundingly consistent with Catholicism and contradictory with Evangelicalism/Protestantism.
The scriptures themselves rapidly made more sense and ‘came alive’ as I learned more about how the early Church interpreted them. Passages which previously appeared to contradict each other and were therefore quietly ignored now harmonized beautifully and provided challenges for spiritual growth… After losing much sleep in a process of prayerful study that was exciting, but not always easy (especially considering a few tough teachings and the priestly sex abuse scandal that was occurring), and after a half-year courtship with Eastern Orthodoxy (which I still greatly respect in many ways, though I now disagree with their view of remarriage, contraception, and the papacy)… I was eventually received into full communion with the Catholic Church, and I can say that it is truly good to be home (well, as close to home as I can get this side of heaven)!
I have learned so much in my first years a Catholic and I can tell that the ‘spiritual well’ is so deep that I will have a lifetime of exploration and growth ahead of me. I am now blessed to enjoy attending daily mass when my responsibilities permit, reading catholic spiritual classics, praying some of the daily ‘liturgy of the hours’, finding time for short periods of ‘Lectio Divina’ (slow, meditative reading/praying of scripture), regular confession, seeking solitude and silence for mental/contemplative prayer, and praying the rosary with my family in the evening when possible. I am thankful to have discovered the ‘extraordinary form’ (traditional Latin) mass at the historic St. Alphonsus Church in downtown Baltimore and love to celebrate the major solemnities of the Church year there. I was blessed to go on a 3 day silent monastic retreat and hope to make this an annual practice. Grace, wisdom, mystery, beauty… despite her human failings, I have found all these and more in abundance in Christ’s Body- the Church.
Amidst the vast spiritual riches that I have discovered in the Catholic Church, I am learning that while ‘my head’ has intellectually converted entirely, ‘my heart’ is called to an ongoing life-long conversion that leads to the unspeakable glory of ‘partaking of the divine nature’ in a loving union with the Most Holy Trinity together with the full Communion of Saints… knowing and loving God fully as I am known and loved. Now this is something to live for! This is something to ‘give up everything’ and ‘die to self’ for!
Out of a desire to share what I have found, I’ve created this site to help protestants/evangelicals understand the Biblical and historical basis of the Catholic teachings which they protest (whether in knowledge or in ignorance as I once did). I aim not to belittle other Christians’ beliefs, but to share the paper-trail of evidence that I found to be a compelling witness to the truth of the Catholic faith. This material can be found here. As I am not a trained theologian or apologist, I attempt to minimize my own commentary when possible. I hope that Christians of all backgrounds will find the content respectful, informative, and engaging.
The Catholic Catechism states that sin and misunderstanding on all sides has tragically lead to the divisions that exist within Christianity today… By the grace of God, may this site be beneficial in some way to all who are seeking the unity which our Lord Jesus Christ prayed for in the Garden of Gethsemane… Amen.
Please email comments, questions, and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments left on pages of this site are also encouraged, though they will eventually be deleted. If you find this page helpful, please consider spreading the word by ‘liking’ the facebook page linked below.
Thanks for visiting and may the peace of Christ be with you,