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Matt Read wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a Baptist and have been one since 2001. I am dug in to my beliefs however many Christian men I have great respect for are moving to the Catholic faith. Please sell me on the attractiveness of Catholicism.

  • What is the most attractive principles about your faith that would move an evangelical mind such as mine to convert?
  • In other words If I were to let you try to convert me, what is the greatest appeal to the Catholic faith?

Matt Read

  { Because many respected Christian men have moved to the Catholic faith, why should I? }

Mike replied:

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the question.

Before answering your question, it would be negligent if I did not share a set of pre-written answers to your specific question under my favorite’s category.

As the Church has grown over the years, you will probably get different answers to your question from:

  • Cradle Catholics, (like me)
  • Converts to the faith, and
  • Reverts, (cradle Catholics who left the faith and later returned to the Church)

In addition to what I have said in my favorite’s section:

You should seriously consider becoming Catholic because it is the only Church Jesus founded on St. Peter and his successors in 33 A.D.

This can be historically proven as well. Men who came after Jesus founded other man-made congregations, One of these men was John Smyth who founded the Baptist faith in 1609 A.D.

Now some will say:

  • But none of the Apostles were called Catholic?

We would echo the following comment by St. Pacian of Barcelona who lived from 310-375 A.D.

"But, under the Apostles, you will say, "no one was called a Catholic".
Grant this to have been the fact; or suppose it to have been so.

  • When heresies, after the Apostles days, arose, and, under divers names, strove to tear and scatter piecemeal the dove of God, and His queen, did not the apostolic people require a peculiar name whereby to distinguish the unity of the people that had not been corrupted, for fear lest the error of a few might tear limb by limb the unstained virgin of God?
  • Was it not beseeming that the principal head should be designated by a suitable title?

Suppose I entered, this very day, into a populous city, and found there Marcionites, Apollinarists, Cataphrygians, Novatians, and others of the same sort, all calling themselves Christians.

  • By what name should I be able to recognize the congregation of my own people, were it not from its being called Catholic?

Come, tell me, you who bestowed so many names on the other peoples!

  • Why have so many cities, so many nations, each their own description?
  • The very man who calls in question the name Catholic, will he be ignorant of the cause of his own name, if I shall inquire its origin?
  • Whence was it delivered to me?

Assuredly, that which has stood during so many ages was not borrowed from man.

This name Catholic sounds not of Marcion, nor of Apelles, nor of Montanus, nor does it take heretics as its authors. . . . . Christian is my name, but Catholic my surname. That names me, this describes me; by this I am approved; by that designated. And if at last we must give an account of the word Catholic, and express it, from the Greek, by a Latin interpretation, Catholic is "everywhere one", or, as the more learned think, obedience in all the commandments of God. . . . Therefore he who is a Catholic, the same is obedient to what is right. He who is obedient, the same is a Christian, and thus the Catholic is a Christian.

Wherefore when our people are named Catholic, they are separated by this appellation from the [other] heretical names.

St. Pacian of Barcelona, (c.310-375 A.D.), bishop of Barcelona, Jerome praises his eloquence, learning, chastity, and holiness of life.

 

Paraphrasing from the Catechism: The word Catholic means universal, in the sense that it is the Christian Faith according to its totality or in keeping with the whole.
The Church is Catholic in a double sense:

First, the Church is Catholic because Christ is present in her.

"Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church."
— St. Ignatius of Antioch, In 107 A.D.

From the Catechism: In her subsists the fullness of Christ's body united with its head; this implies that she receives from Him the fullness of the means of salvation which He has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession. The Church was, in this fundamental sense, Catholic on the day of Pentecost and will always be so until the day of the Parousia.

.

.

As my colleague, John has said in the past, many of the differences between Catholic and Protestant teachings are due to two good, but different, questions we ask.

Protestant theology is based on the question:

  • What must I do to be saved?

Catholic theology is based on the question:

  • Who is Jesus Christ?

Many previous fellow Separated Brethren who I have dialogued with have been amazed when I share with them what the Early Church Fathers said on various Christian teachings.

The Early Church Fathers were the very first Christians who lived from 100 A.D. to 850 A.D. We call this period the Patristic Era and I created a web site dedicated to this exact topic. I highly recommend you read both the the home page and the About this Site pages so you know how to navigate the site to your benefit:

BibleBeltCatholics.com

and again, check out my favorites section.

If you are interested, you can read the Catechism of the Catholic Church on-line. This is the version I use when answering questions.

Sadly, some elderly Catholics were never catechized as well as they should have been and went to religious services just because they had to. There appeared to be no respect for their intellectual curiosity. They were just told to believe.

While believing is good, when possible good reasons should be given for why we believe what we believe. This is one of the primary purposes of this web site.

My view of the Church is a group of (sinners and saints) with broken bodies, striving to pass the Gospel Message of Jesus from generation to generation to the Second Coming.

We need more Evangelists and Apologists! I invite you to join us!

I hope this helps,

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.