Four years ago I became Catholic from an Evangelical Protestant background. Last year I had the privilege of seeing both my parents come into full communion with the Catholic Church! Last month I shared my mom’s reasons for becoming Catholic, and today I share my dad’s reasons. If you would like to hear his full story you can check out my podcast, Polycarp’s Paradigm. Below are seven things that helped my dad into the Catholic Church:
1. Original worship of the original church
My desire to please the Lord by worshipping him in the way he wants us to and with the faith of the early Christians drew me to Catholicism. I came to believe that the Catholic Church is the closest thing to the original Church that Jesus started and I realized that the Catholic Church has the authority that was given by Christ to his Apostles and their successors to determine Christian doctrine and I wanted to be obedient to Christ and submit to that authority.
2. Keys of authority
I realized that Jesus really did give Peter and the other apostles authority to build his Church by giving them the Keys to the Kingdom and the authority to forgive sins, which was passed down from them.
3. Body & blood
I learned that Jesus meant what he said when he commanded us to eat his flesh and drink his blood in a sacramental way. This has been central to Christianity from the beginning and the Catholic Church still believes and practices this centrality of the Eucharist. Christ is truly present with us today in the Eucharist!
4. Table of contents in the Bible
As a Protestant, I highly valued the Scriptures, but never really questioned where the table of contents had come from and how the canon was put together. Come to find out that the Catholic Church gave us the New Testament through councils guided by the Holy Spirit that determined what books should be included.
5. Entertainment vs. reverence
I was tired of being entertained at Evangelical churches and not experiencing a holiness that I was looking for. Every service at each non-denominational church we went to seemed to be a rock concert that got louder and louder, and the sermon had to make our family laugh for it to be good. The reverence shown in the Mass is what my heart had been longing for.
6. Pro-Life & Pro-Marriage
The Catholic Church has a strong pro-life and pro-marriage stance. Marriage is between one man and one woman and children are valued as a gift from the moment of conception. That continuity of teaching is very important to me and many others!
7. Stories that inspire
I became convinced that smarter people than me, including many pastors, had given up much to convert to Catholicism. Stories like that of Steve Ray, Scott Hahn, Tim Staples, and many others were encouraging to hear and inspired me to take the leap over the Tiber to Rome.
Big thanks to my dad for providing the reasons why he became Catholic! I’m amazed at how God can “turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6) by uniting us in the same faith, the faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).