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When Kevin was Baptist: I can't recall a single Catholic who condemned me!


Kevin Stacy: When I was a Baptist (anti-Catholic) I would debate Catholics all the time. Looking back, I cannot recall a single Catholic who condemned me because of my faith. They would disagree, ask questions, tell me what they believe, but never would they tell me I am going to burn in Hell. Now that I am on the opposite side of the debate, I have experienced so much anger and hatred from the Protestant side. I am not claiming all the Protestants I have debated are hateful or angry, but I have experienced more people telling me I am going to burn in Hell and insult not only me, but my faith continually. To sum up what I am saying (my opinion), I have experienced more insults and hate from Protestants than I ever did from Catholics. "And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved" (Mk 13:13).

Anonymous speaking in the face book group "Ask about the Coptic Orthodox Christian faith" says this: I’ve had people tell me the same thing upon converting to orthodoxy. Interesting that ... the more grounded one is in an apostolic faith, the more they’re condemned to hell, long before god’s judgement is declared.  It’s really sad. The worst one that really upsets me is “I used to be Catholic/orthodox, but now I’m a Christian”. It’s as if apostolic churches worship some other foreign deity. And if they go back to the birth of the reformation movement, I don’t think Martin Luther would have desired this to happen!

Leonard Alt: The reason that Catholics are not encouraged to judge the salvation of another is because the Catholic Bible forbids it. Paul says in Romans 10 not to judge who is saved (Going up to Heaven) and who is not saved (Down into the abyss). 

Do not say in your heart, 'Who will go up into heaven' (That is, to bring Christ down), or 'Who will go down into the abyss (Hell)' (That is, to bring Christ up from the dead) (Rm 10:6-7).

By saying, who is burning in Hell, we are following a man-made tradition strictly forbidden in Scripture because Paul says we are not to say who is going down to the abyss. It is better to follow Paul in Romans then to follow traditions that are in opposition to the Word of God.  

Bill Donahue: I love your stories... I was Protestant and married a Catholic girl and just couldn't believe how devout she was and is. I admired her actions and the way she carried herself so much and she has only gotten better as time goes on. I went to Mass with her for years and I think she noticed that I wasn't progressing much in becoming a really good Christian. She asked me to go on a retreat to EWTN in Alabama. That changed things forever. I was so impressed with everyone there and I made some major changes in my life after that. I notice that a lot of the Protestants are very hateful towards Catholics and I sort of feel sorry for them in many ways. One of the reasons Protestant churches were started is out of hatred for Catholicism and it still continues today. There isn't much that can be done so I just accept it. Here in the south it makes me feel a bit like a minority group member as there aren't many Catholics here. As I have gotten older my temperament can be a bit touchy so if I am offended face to face about being Catholic there could be some problems for the offender. But any way I still try to love everyone and try to behave as best I can. 

Mel Smith: I've had similar experiences since converting. Some got very angry. 

Emil Witten: This is so true, I had the same experience when I was protestant. Never was I condemned by a Catholic member in my 60 years of being an active Protestant. But since I converted to Catholicism I was insulted by many Protestants. I even lost some family and friends.

Ryan Paul Poly Carp: I was a Calvinist/Baptist and I also was an avid anti catholic very close to becoming a Baptist Preacher. I had grown up with a girl who was Catholic and always admired her chastity (throughout high school anyway). Never the less, I had a degree of respect for their convictions. I just didn’t understand why they didn’t read from the bible during service, prayed to Mary and recited prayers etc. Only after studying the apostolic Fathers did I come to the True Catholic Faith. My family and church Brothers hated it and I sacrificed a lot and I am so glad to be able to be slandered for Holy Mother Church and defend the Church that enlightened me with the fullness of the Christian Faith.  

Torquemada Tequila: Actually, up here in Canada, my experience over the past decade is that most Evangelical scholars and theologians go to painstaking measures to present Catholic teaching fairly and accurately. They do the same with Orthodox... I know that it is not uncommon in the United States for graduates from academically substandard and unaccredited fundamentalist Bible Colleges and seminaries to misrepresent Catholic teaching. However, up here in Canada, where all major Evangelical seminaries are ATS accredited, misrepresenting Catholic or Orthodox teaching is not tolerated by faculty in student work.  

Kelly Reeves-Dominguez: It isn't uncommon for them here in the US. They go to great efforts to bash the church, in their own ignorance. It happens especially in smaller churches and in the Deep South "Bible Belt" where I live. Truthfully, they just don't know the first thing about the Church. It's really sad. When I was in my conversion, I had called my old church (missionary Baptist I attended in my hometown as a child and teen) to get my baptismal certificate. I was told, "We don't give those out for other denominations." Uh okay. It's mine and belongs to me, not you. Then I was proceeded to be told by the pastor (who I actually grew up with), you need to drop out of your classes immediately and find a New Testament church. Really? Um, okay! I still laugh by butt off every time I think of that. I guess he was meaning New Testament like when their church was formed circa 1800's. I couldn't even be upset over that stupid comment, it's so sad.  

Truth! They literally despise Catholics. Never once have I heard in mass/church/talking with Catholic friends one thing about Protestants. There is a hate, I just can't understand. I have sympathy for them because through their anger and blindness they are missing out on something just so special. I'm the only catholic in my Baptist family. It's actually quite amazing how we get along. My 95-year-old grandmother thinks me being Catholic is just the most awesome thing in the whole world. She loves the sacraments. And my sister actually came to my defense with my baptismal record.  

Torquemeada Tequila: I won't deny that I have encountered some of that. In fact, I encountered that recently from a local pastor of a dying congregation composed mostly of his extended family. He was condemning me as a heretic for not believing in Young Earth Creationism. His theology degree is from an unaccredited college. And he doesn't dialogue; he goes into long rants threatening fire and brimstone whenever he is contradicted by facts… In contrast to that, the pastors of the three largest local Evangelical congregations are all friends of mine, are all very respectful toward Catholicism and Catholics, and all have MDiv's from ATS-accredited Evangelical Seminaries. We don't always agree, but we are always respectful when discussing our differences, taking pains to listen and insure we understood the other correctly. 

Kathleen Frank: I rode the school bus with the Protestant kids, this was 1958. All the Catholic kids had to sit at the back of the bus with 2 empty rows between us and them. One day I touched the drivers seat to keep my balance and the driver complained to the nun who met our bus. I was seven. Sister asked us to pray for them!

Diane Blagburn: Catholics have never been liked. I had all my instructions to turn R.C. when I was 15/16 and the Priest came to see my mother who said to him, "Well I certainly don't want her to be a Catholic - its always been a well known fact that Catholics are FUNNY." I am certainly glad I was not there when she said that to him. I am still Church of England on paper, but Catholic in my heart and just remember the words of the Hymn FAITH OF OUR FATHERS and I would not change anything for the world.

Paul Whitlow Jr: Yeah, I have to agree. Since I left the Baptist faith and become Catholic I've experienced more Protestant hatred and bigotry then I ever thought conceivable. Either I was never really saved, which flies in the face of Baptist doctrine, or now I'm damned to hell, which again flies in the face of Baptist doctrine. The amount or anti catholic bigotry and hate is just astonishing.

Robert Schoneman: I've noticed many Protestants practice a double standard when it comes to applying the term “Bible-Believing Christian.” You can be Assemblies of God, Baptist, Congregationalist, Dutch Reformed, or Episcopalian. You can be a member of the Church of God, Church of Christ, Church of God in Christ, or any other permutation thereof. You can be a Quaker, a Shaker, a Mary Baker (Eddy) or a Shake ‘n’ Baker, and that’d be just fine.

You can change your denominational affiliation as often as you change your underwear, and no one will question you. You can even start your own non-denominational denomination, and no one will bat an eyelash (the Shake ‘n’ Baker denomination I mentioned above doesn’t exist –as far as I know, but if you wanted to rent a storefront and hang out a shingle calling yourself the First Church of the Shake ‘n Bakers, you would be perfectly free to do so).

But, if you become Catholic, then all hope is lost. You are now a “slave of Rome,” you’ve “been led astray,” you obviously prefer to have someone think for you” (all things which Protestants have said to me). We are told that “we’d know the truth if only we’d read the Bible.” Never mind the fact that most of us became Catholic precisely BECAUSE we studied the Scriptures and found in the Catholic Church the fullness of the faith that was lacking in Protestantism. We have found a home where we are no longer “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).

I would like to end this with a quote from Paul Whitcomb (a Protestant minister who became a Catholic due to his intense study of the Scriptures).

"So, call me anything you want to. Call me a religious enigma, call me a slave of papal totalitarianism - call me anything. But while you are calling me these things please keep this in mind: I would not have it any other way. Before I would relinquish one little particle of my Catholic faith I would gladly face the scorn and derision of the entire world. For now, at last, I know real peace of soul, real oneness with Christ my Savior.

No, I would not have it any other way, and if you, dear reader, should ever become a Catholic, I am sure that you would not have it any other way either."

When I was active on the Catholic Answers Forum many years ago, there was a fellow on there by the screen name of Bob Catholic who had what he called "His Four Fatal Questions" for Bible-only Christians. He would ask them, using only the Bible, to answer the following questions:

1. How we know how many books should be in the Bible?      
2. Which books should be in the Bible?                                     
3. Which version of which books should be in the Bible?
4. How we know our translation of the Bible is accurate?

I've asked these questions of non-Catholics myself many times, and will find they either get angry, or try to dodge the questions all together.

Ronda Bricker: You feel at Home, because it is your Home. I come from a Jewish family, through my mother Leah. I converted to the Church and then my mother died two years later. What you seek is right in front of you.

Leonard Alt: I believe in many cases, people have been unwittingly taught hatred towards the Church and don't realize it. They believe they are doing the right thing. I find it interesting that when someone becomes Evangelical, who was previously Catholic, they tend to trash their previous Catholic faith, claiming it was a cult or even Pagan.

And when Evangelicals become Catholic, they affirm their Evangelical past seeing it as real Christianity. 

I believe it has to do with what converts have been taught when becoming Catholic and what converts are taught when becoming Evangelical. One of the things I always liked about being Catholic is that I wasn’t encouraged to trash anybody’s faith even if they were trashing mine. And it really didn’t matter if they were sending me to Hell. They obviously did not know that their Bible speaks against judging the salvation of another.

On rare occasions, I will find a Catholic who comes down hard on non-Catholics. I find that I am more tolerant of the short comings of Protestants then with the short comings of Catholics because I believe somehow that Catholics should know better. We are taught to see Protestants as separated brothers with much truth, but not the fullness of truth.

There was a discussion between three of us on Facebook. The Evangelical said that the Catholic Church was Satanic. A Catholic responded by saying that the Evangelical's Church was Satanic. I got after the Catholic. I explained to him that he, as a Catholic, does not have the right to call another Christian Church Satanic. The Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to them as separated brothers. I further explained to him that the Evangelical was taught in his tradition to hate the Catholic Church and so he has an excuse.  We as Catholics are not taught that way; we have no excuse. The Catholic then apologized.

One of the first anti-Catholics, in Christianity, was the Apostle Paul (Saul) who went around persecuting and imprisoning Christians. He was involved with the murder of the first Christian martyr "The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul" (Acts 7:58). In his anti-Catholic fervor "he was trying to destroy the whole church" (Acts 8:3). Saul in his spiritual blindness did not see that he was persecuting Jesus by persecuting His Church. And so, he was given the infirmity of physical blindness so that eventually he may see his spiritual blindness (Acts 9:8). Saul did not see the evil he was doing, never-the-less, Jesus must have seen something good in Saul and he was later converted.  

The anti-Catholics of today are like Saul in his blindness. They are persecuting the very Catholic Church that Jesus founded "Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me" (Acts 9:4). If God can see something good in one of the first anti-Catholics, then I can see something good in today’s anti-Catholics. And eventually, when the scales (Acts 9:18) fall from their eyes, many of them will see clearly as well.  

It is interesting to note that some of the more extreme anti-Catholics are actually vulnerable to becoming Catholic. This is because they believe that virtually all things taught in Catholicism are false. Once they come to a realize that one or more things are right in the Catholic faith, they are initially shaken, and then their walls begin to fall. They find themselves falling in love with the very Church they were taught to hate.  

Emil Alfred Witten: Who is going to Heaven? My dear Protestant (non- Catholic) friends, please don’t regard this post as boasting the way man defines the word ‘boast’ – for this is also what Saint Paul was accused of, as scripture says: “If anyone wants to boast, let him boast of the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:31)

Of my sixty years of being Protestant, I’ve spent 47 years as a missionary doing my utmost to gain souls for the Lord. I’ve been a Protestant deacon for 7 years and a fully ordained Priest for 34 years before my conversion to Catholicism, so I understand your reasoning. I understand when your comments to my posts or messages are negative, disagreeing, and full of doubt and even hate. I was there! I fell in love with our Lord Jesus very early in life, and at age 13, I started Evangelizing with groups of grown men and women.

I used to be where you are; looking from the outside into the Catholic faith, bashing the Pope, the Bishops and criticizing their beliefs!

I was also encouraged (not by my previous religion, but through the media, articles, books and others etc.) to believe that Catholics were not Christians, and from my previous religion that Christians from other denominations were on the ‘broad way’ and had to be brought to the ‘narrow way’ where I was.

Until later a series of supernatural experiences occurred in my life (Angelic encounters) which led me to the Catholic Faith. Luckily it was Angelic encounters and not the Lord Jesus himself as it was in the case with Saint Paul when he was struck blind, as is recorded in Acts 9. I shudder to think what could have happened then. I never dreamt of becoming Catholic – that would be a crazy thought. After my Heavenly encounters I accepted, and combined with fervent prayer my understanding opened.

The Holy Spirit was at work. It took me 4 years of studying Catholicism, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Church Fathers etc. to be totally convinced of the One True Church founded by Christ Himself. When I was a member of the New Apostolic Church, and anti-Catholic by far; I would debate Catholics at any given opportunity. Now, looking back, I cannot recall a single Catholic who condemned me because of my faith. They disagreed on some points, questioned me and told me what they believe, but never would they tell me that I am anti-Christ or from the Devil, or going to burn in hell – which are common remarks from Protestants to Catholics.

Since my conversion to Catholicism, I’m experiencing so much anger and hatred from the Protestant side. I am not claiming that all Protestants I have debated are hateful or angry, but I am experiencing more people telling me that the Pope is the anti-Christ and that I’m going to burn in hell etc., and insult, not only me, but my Catholic faith continually. I’m experiencing insults and hate from Protestants, but never from Catholics when I was Protestant.

"And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved" (Mark 13:13).

Shortly before my conversion; while speaking to a Catholic Priest, he said; “All Christian religions are Catholic, but they don’t know it; we’re just waiting for them to come home. Keep praying for them to come home, they are our brothers and sisters.” This reminds me of the parable of the ‘Prodigal son.’ The reason that Catholics are not encouraged to judge the salvation of others is because the Bible forbids it. Paul says in Romans 10 not to judge who is saved and who is not saved.”

Do not say in your heart, 'Who will go up into heaven' (That is, to bring Christ down), or 'Who will go down into the abyss (Hell)' (That is, to bring Christ up from the dead) (Rom. 10:6-7).

Judging unrighteous is strictly forbidden in Scripture because Paul says we are not to say who is going down to the abyss (Hell). It is better to follow Paul in Romans than to follow traditions that are in opposition to the Word of God.

Now I look from the inside out; it’s my mission to proclaim the truth of the Catholic faith – truths which are deliberately; or through ignorance or unknowingly withheld from millions of Christians who put their trust in Jesus. Honesty and truth will always be under attack by the prince of this world. 

Becki Phelps: Becki and 22 others manage the membership and posts for Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic Discourse. I will say, pre-internet, I never heard anyone speak in a derogatory way of any protestant group. I was always confused by the fact that going to a Lutheran, Baptist, Nazarene, or Methodist church was totally fine by everyone in all of those places. No Baptist in our Awana group ever said I should not go to the Pathfinders group at the Nazarene church; it was just to steer clear of Catholicism. I was almost 30 the first time I heard of Orthodoxy.

My Mom was raised Nazarene and she was not allowed to spend time with Catholics. Total no-no. They were going to hell and this is what she taught us and worked to convert every Catholic she met. Uhm... yeah, she's now Catholic, too. God has a funny way of dealing with those kinds of things. 

Laura Goggins: This has been my experience too. I cycled through the Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic Churches before choosing Catholicism. In person, face to face, Protestants (usually Evangelicals) would impugn Catholicism without mercy. Orthodox would rip my head off in online forums—Jews too. Catholics were much less angry as a group, and more accepting. That said, the all-sung Divine Liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church is gloriously beautiful, transcending the Novus Ordo Mass. I wish we Catholics had something as beautiful as that.

Timothy John: As someone who grew up very ant-Catholic, the RCs in this group [Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic Discourse] have been the kindest in disagreement. I still can't get with everything in RC theology, but you shall know them by their fruit, I suppose.

Sandra Fedler: That Kevin in the article and picture is my son and he led me to the Catholic faith. I was received into the Church on November 19, 2017, which incidentally was my birthday and a great birthday present. I'm so grateful that our Lord led him to the true Catholic Faith.

Magdalen Hewitt: Quoting Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Peace of Soul): “A man can join any other movement, group, or cult without provoking hostile comment from his neighbors and friends; he can even found some esoteric sun cult of his own and be tolerated as a citizen exercising his legitimate freedom and satisfying his own religious needs. But as soon as anyone joins the Catholic Church, hatred, opposition appear.”

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