Catholic Journey Update!

🌺 Published by Brittany Ann

 Catholic Journey Update!PinIt’s hard to believe it’s been almost THREE years now since I first starting sharing my journey through Protestant and Catholic Belief with you!

At the time, I was just beginning to realize how much of the religion I was taught as a child was wrong, and I was just beginning to look into the claims of the Catholic Church to see how much merit they held, if any.

I did a LOT of research during this time, and I learned a TON.

And over the course of a few months, you journeyed with me as I really dove into Scripture to see what the Bible REALLY had to say about issues such as whether or not faith alone is enough, whether the church or the Bible has the ultimate authority and whether we should be baptized as infants or adults.

Not only did these posts really help me think through some very important issues, but I’ve heard from several of you that they’ve really helped you too!

In fact, my post on 10 Common Catholic Church Myths that Critics Believe is STILL one of the most highly trafficked posts on this site, and it continues to bring in new readers all the time!

Well, now that it’s been almost three years since I wrote the last article in the series, I thought it was high time that I give everyone who is curious an update — especially since so many of you have been emailing me asking for one.

Hopefully this post will answer your questions!

 

Did I End Up Converting to Catholicism? (And why not?)

 

No, I never ended up converting.

I went through almost all of RCIA* until the week when they wanted me to stand up in front of God and the entire church and say that I believe that 100% of everything the Catholic Church teaches is 100% correct.

And well… I can’t say that. 

 

*Note: For those of you who are unfamiliar, RCIA stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” — It’s a class taught by Catholic churches for anyone interested in Catholicism or considering converting.

 

I do believe that there is a “100% Truth” out there, but in order for me to be able to determine if the Catholic Church is 100% correct, I’d have to know what that 100% Truth is AND every single thing the Catholic Church teaches so that I can compare the two and see if they match up.

And seeing as how I’m not God… how could I possibly know for 100% sure what that 100% Truth is?

Honestly, it would feel pretty arrogant for me to say “I know the 100% Truth” — as if I were soo smart and could somehow figure it all out.

There are some seriously, seriously SMART Catholics, Protestants (and even Atheists!) out there who all debate and still can’t figure things out. They all have great arguments, and still land on every different side of the debate. If they can’t figure it out, how could I possibly?

 

And I know, I know. This is where my Catholic husband and the priest tell me “Well, you have to have faith.” And they’re right. We’ll never know for sure and there does need to be some measure of faith. BUT — I just don’t have that kind of faith in the Catholic Church (or any particular church, for that matter).

So… that’s where I’m stuck with that.

There’s nothing in particular that I really object to (though there are several things that aren’t my personal preference). I’m just not convinced. 

I do continue to pray and plan to do much more research though – especially into the early church fathers – so who knows… maybe there’s still hope for me yet 🙂

 

So… How Does That Work? If You and Your Husband Believe Different Things?

 

Well, what you have to understand is that despite my husband and I having different “labels” (he’s Catholic, I’m not) 98% of what we believe and the way we practice our faith is the same, and the parts that are different really don’t make a huge difference in day-to-day life.

We both pray, read our Bibles and attend church regularly. We both seek to live God-honoring lives and pretty much agree on what that looks like. We both care a great deal about raising our children in the faith.

 

And for the things we differ on, we tend to be pretty accepting of each other’s beliefs. We find ways to make it work and to incorporate the best of both worlds.

For example:

  • We go to Catholic Mass on Sundays. He tried my church for a while. Now we regularly attend his. It isn’t my first choice personally, but his church is important to him and going to church together is important to me.
  • Our kids go to a Protestant preschool and a Catholic elementary school. They’ve also attended Protestant Sunday School and Catholic Vacation Bible School. Not to keep things 50/50, but because we both felt those were the best schools/programs for our children in our area.
  • Our kids learn both Catholic and Protestant songs and prayers – just depending on whoever happens to be singing or praying with them at the time. I may not care to pray the rosary personally, but will it harm my children if they learn it? Hardly.

 

I’m totally supportive of my husband going to confession, praying the rosary or wanting to display a cross in our home – even though those aren’t the ways I typically worship. And he’s totally fine with me reading Protestant books, listening to Protestant music and teaching our kids all the songs and Bible stories I grew up learning.

My husband and I aren’t two enemies competing to get our own way. We’re two Christian adults each trying to grow in faith personally and do what’s best for our families as a whole. And when we disagree, we find a way to work together to find a solution we can all agree with.

 

What Advice Do You Have for Couples Who…?

 

Of course, this is just what has worked best for MY marriage. Your marriage might need something different.

If you and your spouse are also trying to navigate a marriage in which you believe two different things (or one or both of you is considering changing beliefs), you might find one of these articles helpful instead:

 

 What to Do When You and Your Husband Have Differing BeliefsPin

What to Do When You And Your Husband Have Differing Beliefs (For differing denominations)

 

 Unequally Yoked Marriage? Here's What to Do When Your Spouse isn't a BelieverPin

Unequally Yoked Marriage? What to Do When Your Spouse Isn’t a Believer

 

So hopefully that answers some of your questions…

 

Still have more questions for me about my journey or how my husband and I make it work? Leave them in the comment section below!

 

Brittany Ann

Brittany Ann is an author, speaker, and founder of EquippingGodlyWomen.com, a popular Christian-living website dedicated to helping women be “all in” in faith and family.

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  1. Interesting article. I am struggling in that my husband and I cannot agree about several options within the same denomination. We have been attending Church A for 12 years. It was a great church but lately our Pastor seems to be focusing more on himself and less on God. My husband still loves this church because of relationships we have there, even though he agrees with me about the pastor. Church B is a church closer to our house, and I would choose it in a heartbeat but they have fewer services and I can’t find time to attend both. So then there is Church C. It is a very large church 45 miles from here. I watch it online and love its teaching so much more than Church A’s. I just would like to be able to patlrticipate in some of the activities it has closer to here, like a midweek small group. So far though due to schedule conflicts that has not worked out.

    1. What does your husband think about the idea of switching? (And did you ever go to your pastor with love and respect to politely express your concerns and ask for clarification or are you just jumping ship?)

      If you are both willing and wanting to switch, you might consider sitting down with a piece of paper and listing out: “What are THE most important things we need in a church?” That can be very revealing. Just because a church has a lot of good things going for it doesn’t mean it is the most important things going for it.

  2. Thanks for your follow up! I joined the Catholic Church 13 years ago and my husband has not and we are doing fine. Our children are grown. He loves his church and goes there but will go to Mass with me when we travel. I think the problem is-and I had that problem too-the profession of faith they ask you to make is not clear-it can be taken two ways-that you have to believe everything the church speaks on 100 percent, or that you believe the Church when she teaches regarding things revealed by God. It’s still unclear to me. You may want to talk to a couple priests to find out if it’s really what you think it is. God bless you on your journey! ( you can always join the Church at any time. Ask if you even have to go through RCIA again. )

    1. That is actually a really good question. I should clarify. Either way — it’s still a commitment. I’ve definitely committed my life to Jesus, but I’ve never committed to a church before. We church hopped a lot so we just always came and went to a lot of different churches.

      And they did tell me that if I change my mind, I can just jump right back in where I left off.

      1. Hi Brittany,

        I have just discovered your blog and I am really enjoying it. I know these posts are old but they are very interesting to me. I was baptised Catholic as a baby and grew up in a practising family, but during my early adult years strayed completely away. Some life events happened to me that drew me back to the church. But it was when there where so many abuse scandals coming out, that horrified, I decided to try an anglican, then baptist, then pentecostal church, and finally back to catholic church over the last 5 years.

        I think that is way too harsh to make converts say they 100% believe everything the church teaches, not many cradle catholics would, even the church it self has been known to change a few things in the last 2000 odd years. I would really struggle with that.

        My belief in Christ in the Eucharist was what bought me back. I don’t understand how anyone could read the gospels and come to a different conclusion. I also like the quiet, reverent prayer, that seemed missing in so many of the other church services I went to. Also being a mum, I totally am both in awe and can relate and Love Mary. Imagine having the Christ baby inside your womb and caring and worrying for Him like any other human child; seeing him grow and watching in wonder all He did during his time on earth. Then imagine how Mary suffered watching Christ during the crucifixion. In a way she has suffered due to our sins as well. Mary is not what makes Christ Divine, but she certainly is the Mother of God and deserves our deepest honour, which is different to worship.

        But I still struggle with a number of other teachings.

        Part of me actually thinks maybe everyone can be right, and we could really learn a lot from each other. The sense of love and community at some of the other denominations seemed much more pronounced then what I see at the catholic church, the baptist taught me that reading my bible every day at home would change me and it really has, and I loved the emphasis on the holy spirit in the Pentecostal church, which I have now found among the charismatic Catholics. I hope one day we will become united again.

        Happy Easter!

      2. Thank you so much, Anita. I really love how you said, “Part of me actually thinks everyone can be right, and we could really learn a lot from each other.” I am going to soak that in a little bit today.

  3. I’m having trouble giving in on difficult issues too, but there’s a certain comfort in knowing it’s ok to have difficulties. If the Holy Spirit protects the Catholic faith, I can just accept doctrines and figure the Lord will show me their truth in His own time. This frees us from the frantic search to always have to research an answer. It hasn’t been easy-my emotions go up and down and I can get fixated on the sins in the Church. Bear in mind too, that if you convert, you may get blowback you never expected. Be sure in your heart you aren’t just protecting your internet presence-not saying you are-but could that be a factor is all I’m saying.

    1. That’s a pretty big IF though. (“If the Holy Spirit protects the Catholic faith”). I absolutely believe He can, and I believe that’d be awesome. But is the Catholic church the one He’s protecting, or a different one? I don’t know.

      And I’m truly not concerned about my Internet presence (though I certainly don’t mind you bringing it up for question!). I’ve thought about it, but I honestly don’t think it will make a huge difference. (And if it did – that’s fine). But the majority of what I write is (and always will be) very denominationally friendly, and meant to spark open debate. So I tend to draw smart, open-minded, loving people who are interested into looking into matters thoroughly, rather than just yelling their opinions. That’s not really what I care to ever do, and my readers don’t either. (You guys are all seriously the best!) 🙂

      1. Brittany, I find your blog refreshing! In my quiet times I believe I have been impressed that out journey is not about a denomination, but a relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. It is not about a place, a physical church, but the people who make up the church lead by Our Heavenly Father. I have considered myself nondenominational whether I attend a Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, etc. church, and I have attended many different denominations. God means us to come together not tear each other down. We are not to judge one another, and how God moves one person, may not be the same way he moves another person. That is why it is called a personal relationship with Christ! Everyone must find their place through that personal relationship, and seeking truth. The Holy Spirit can lead us, but we are human, and I can only speak for myself, even if I listen, trust, and do the best I can to obey, I don’t always get it right! I have attended many different denominational churches, and am now attending a Catholic Church, off and on for the past 10 years. I don’t agree with everything, but they are Christians and follow the teaching of Jesus Christ, as you know. I am now getting more involved, getting ready to attend a Bible study, and continue to work on my personal relationship with the Lord. I haven’t found any church that has it “all” correct, but I do believe we are to be connected to a body of believers. I am continuing my relationship with Christ, praying that I will keep a nonjudgmental spirit, and continue seeking truth!

      2. Hi Brittany,. I too find your blog refreshing. I think it’s so important to respect another’s sincere beliefs while at the same time not be afraid to engage in intellectually honest debate about our differences.
        I recently spent time with a dear friend who is a strong Bible Christian who believes I am in serious error by being Catholic. I wanted to ask her to consider John 6, the Bread Life discourse, and approach it as a critical tenet of faith that most be either accepted or rejected. Just as C.S. Lewis said the incredible claim of Jesus to be God cannot be fluffed over : He was either a Liar, a Lunatic, or Lord; likewise I feel Jesus’ claim that “Unless you eat of the Flesh of tbe Son of Man, and drink His Blood you shall not have life within you” is in the same category. Either all Catholics adoring Jesus in the Eucharist are following a blasphemous lie or the Church is a Lunatic or else Jesus meant exactly what He said and the Eucharist is not a mere symbol but His Body and Bloid, worthy of our adoration. And if the Church is right about this, how can any believer want to live separated from receiving His Body and Blood? Either all the Eucharistic Miracles throughout the ages are true, or else they are from the Devil. There’s no other explanation for them. This requires a leap of faith just like Peter did when he chose not to leave Jesus after this Bread if Life discourse where many of His disciples left Him. It is a question that begs to be answered, if we are to be truly intellectually honest. I don’t believe the Eucharistic Miracles are tricks from the Devil. Please look them up. I also don’t believe Fatima and Lourdes are deceptions from. Devil either. They are either true and from God or they are lies or worse. God bless you on your faith journey.

  4. What brought me in and keeps me in is the Eucharist-the true body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus under the appearances of bread and wine-a miracle, not a symbol. This keeps me in the Church and brings me into intimacy with my Lord. I have had major struggles over other issues-big time-but always come back because of this.

  5. the biggest issue in the Catholic church that I don’t find in the Bible is, praying to Mary and the Saints and believing that works will get you to heaven. i once went back and forth with friend extensively because she kept stating that faith without works is dead. but to me that means, when you are convicted, it shows. John 3:16 would be false if we believed that our goodness in some way, let’s us enter heaven. what are your thoughts on those? and your husbands.

    i’m nosy. no, curious. well, more nosy.

    1. Sounds like you believe a few misconceptions 🙂

      Catholics absolutely do NOT believe that works get people into Heaven (in fact – they specifically state it does NOT work like that). They simply don’t throw out works altogether, like Protestants do. Because the truth is, the Bible doesn’t throw out works either. The Bible is VERY clear that we do have an obligation to do certain things — not to earn salvation, but because as Christians, we are expected to.

      Anyways, I have a bunch of really good research and explanation on faith vs works here: https://equippinggodlywomen.com/faith/faith-alone-enough/

      And an article about praying to Mary/Saints here: https://equippinggodlywomen.com/faith/what-do-catholics-really-believe-about-mary-saints-and-statues/. I’m personally not a huge fan of it myself, but I at least explain their perspective and where they are coming from.

      I hope you’ll check out both! 🙂

      1. it’s not a matter of me believing some misconceptions, as much as it is what i have seen in my Catholic friends. I believe our salvation is wholly thru the Grace of God and they do not. They believe it is coupled with works.

        I truly don’t think praying to Mary is biblical at all. I did read your article but my opinion on that is the same because it isn’t in the Holy Bible and that is all I believe, nothing taken away. nothing added.

        thank you!

      2. What The Church holds true should never be left to what her members tell you, sad but true.

        The Church in union with other non-Catholic denominations professes justification by faith.

        My good works don’t get me into heaven, but by the grace of God I’m given gifts and talents that enable me to perform them and I pray by the grave of God that I act in accordance with His will.

        The Catechism of the Catholic Church says among other things…

        2028 “All Christians . . . are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity” (LG 40 § 2). “Christian perfection has but one limit, that of having none” (St. Gregory of Nyssa, De vita Mos.:PG 44, 300D).

        2029 “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24).

        There is a lot of room for personal revelation (interpretations) and semantics often gets in the way.

  6. Hi Brittany. I really like what you said about why you go to Catholic Mass on Sunday. I think this kind of problem solving is really important in relationships. Figuring out what’s most important to each person and then looking for a way in which both people win a little.

  7. Thank you for sharing Brittany. Your faith is encouraging and your walk with God is a great witness to many as you share your growth through the barriers life has put up. Your commitment to your husband and marriage is an honour to God in choosing to worship with him and work together in the growth of your children and their lives with Christ. God Bless you and thank you for sharing your heart.

  8. Hello Brittany, I enjoyed reading your article tonight. My wife used to be a very hardcore anti-Catholic when we first met and got married. I wasn’t a practicing Catholic at the time. But as time went on I felt called back. I just didn’t know how to bring this up to my wife. Very long story short, she opened her heart and mind to letting go to the years of lies she had been fed by her church she went to growing up and listened and looked at what the Catholic Church really taught rather than what she was told they they taught. I can understand what you and your husband have been through and God bless you for that.

    I do have a question though, if you can’t with 100% certainty make the profession of faith in entering the Catholic Church because you say you can’t know anything with 100%, how could you believe with any certainty that the Bible is the inspired inerrant Word of God? How could you know with 100% certainty there is an afterlife? Or God? Are there not things in our lives that we do have to take on faith? I applaud you for not making that profession of faith when you were not ready and had doubts. I have seen many simply go through the motions over the years.

    God Bless

    1. Wow, that is a fantastic question. I guess I have to say that I believe in them based on faith – BUT that it’s a faith that has been grounded in reason throughout the years.

      Sure, when I was 5, I believed because my parents said so, but then I went on to do research for myself (especially into the Bible — I have a whole different series on that here: https://equippinggodlywomen.com/faith/christianity-fact-or-fiction-examining-the-evidence-you-need-to-know/) and meet with God and know Him personally. And I found good evidence that only strengthened what I believed.

      But with the Catholic Church… I don’t have that foundation. If I had grown up believing it, I probably still would. But having not grown up believing it, I just don’t have enough reason or evidence to compel me to put my total faith and trust in it.

      Is that a terrible answer? lol. I don’t know. But it’s the truth at least.

  9. I grew up Protestant, but became Catholic and I’m certain I made the right choice. Although I was never baptized until I became Catholic, I always believed that Jesus died for our sins, and I never doubted the existence of God. I prayed often while growing up and throughout the years before becoming Catholic; my prayers, were much like a conversation with a very, very close friend and I knew I needed to always try to get closer to God. I chose the Catholic Church after marrying a Catholic man and raising our children in the Catholic Church, mostly because I finally understood that I needed to be baptized and I wanted to do it at the church that I believed was the one Jesus established. I came to the conclusion that the Catholic Church was the church Jesus was talking about, when He said to Simon Peter, “I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”. Another reason was that after much thought, some research, a lot of exposure to the Sunday Mass, a number of episodes of EWTN Live and other EWTN programs, and a few, very long talks with Jesus, I was ready to make that decision. I was and still am 100% certain I made the right decision. I believe we are all on a journey in this life. I know that every person must make his own journey, and decide for himself what he believes, but I know that it helps to hear or read the stories of others.

    There are a number of reasons for my confidence. For one thing, I don’t believe that any other Christian Church can claim to have existed at the time of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, albeit at the beginning it was not unorganized. The Catholic Church lists Peter as the first Pope, and maintains a list of popes from the time of Peter all the way to the present. Secondly, the origin of the Canon of the Holy Scriptures cannot be claimed as put together by any Protestant denomination. It’s origin can be traced back to Catholic Bishops at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage. Thirdly, Catholic teaching about the Holy Eucharist is most in line with the teaching of Jesus in John 6:51 and elsewhere, including the Last Supper. There is no other Christian Church as rich in history, literature, authority, doctrine, dogma and tradition. A close review of the Catechism of the Catholic Church illuminates some of this (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM). I have many more reasons why I believe the Roman Catholic Church is the fullness of truth, but it is late and I must say Good Night. God Bless!

    1. I totally under the Catholic Church view on that — that they are the original and that everyone else branched off. For me, the question is — yes, they WERE the original, but did the 100% Truth stay with them or did it follow some other denomination that branched off somewhere along the line? Who is still holding on to the original teachings, and are they holding on to the RIGHT teachings? So I guess I need to study the early church fathers more.

      1. Yes, it might be very helpful to read about the early church fathers. It is my understanding that Catholic Doctrine & Dogma cannot be changed and has not changed from the beginning. Some things can change, for example, Church discipline or government, but truth never changes. This online article points that out: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2015/10/the-catholic-church-never-changing-and-ever-changing.html

        Regarding original Christian teachings, you may want to take a look at these two websites. They each have links to actual writings of the early fathers on crucial matters. I think the first one (Catholicbible101) is easier to view and to read: http://www.catholicbible101.com/theearlychurchfathers.htm https://staycatholic.com/early-church-fathers/

        When I mentioned earlier that “I knew I needed to always try to get closer to God”, the fact was that I wanted the truth. The many Christian denominations and ways of worshiping God confused me. They each claim to have the truth but some of them teach very different things, and so, I thought, someone must have the actual truth. I wanted the actual truth. “Maybe” or “very likely” would not do! I believe now with all of my being that the universal church—i.e., the Roman Catholic Church—is the true church that Jesus talked about building. May God guide and protect you.

  10. I am confused about who you are and what you believe.(James 1:8), in regards to the Catholic church, please research the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther why he left the Catholic church, (Revelation 17:1 -20

    We must put GOD first, it is not about pleasing “man”. IT IS ABOUT Honoring the LORD in Spirit and Truth.

    1. Hi, Barbara. This post is a follow-up to an entire series I did on Protestant and Catholic beliefs a few years ago. Basically, I grew up Protestant, married into a Catholic family, and then did a ton of research. After receiving multiple emails asking which one I eventually went with, I decided to write an update for anyone who was curious.

      If you’d like to check out the series (it’s a good one! Very informative) – you can find it here: https://equippinggodlywomen.com/my-journey

      As for your comment, I did research this matter quite a bit. The Catholic church does NOT put man above God — that is a myth. And I explain everything in the series.

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