Why I Am Not Protestant

Smoke of Satan & the Open Windows of Vatican II

To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.
SAINT JOHN HENRY NEWMAN

Once upon a time, I was an atheist. It seems like ages ago that I was an atheist. But I am only eight years removed from that error. When I was an atheist, I was not halfway about it. I had embraced the militant form of the foolishness espoused by the New Atheists which made me vocal, loud, and proud about being an unbeliever. This provoked a great deal of prayers for my conversion from various Protestant Christians in my workplace. Those prayers were sincere, and they worked. I would flee atheism to become Roman Catholic. When that happened, those Protestants wished I had remained an atheist.

Before I was an atheist, I was a Protestant. This was not a halfway thing with me either. I was raised in the faith of the Southern Baptist…

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10 thoughts on “Why I Am Not Protestant

  1. What I find interesting is that Newman is an extraordinary scholar—who in many respects at one time was anti-papist. Although part of the Oxford movement, it was merely an attempt to move worship toward reverence. However, Lex Orandi and Lex Credendi are intimately connected. And what Newman would later conclude is that the Church Fathers and early Christians pointed to somewhere that wasn’t the Church of England.

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    1. Unlike Charlie’s, mine was more non-denominational though I wound up entering the Presbyterian camp as well . . . a preference that had nothing to do with religion but the pastor was the father of one my brother’s friends. With such shallow roots, it is hardly surprising that by the time I went off to college, I had given up on formalized Christianity at all and in time began to look into eastern religions. Tibetan Buddhism was the place that attracted me most. I loved the monastic lives of their monks etc. I always thought that if we really believed in God the way the Buddhist believed in their religions we would all be giving our entire lives in service to what we believed. I never saw that in Christianity until I found the Catholic Faith, the nuns and the monks and other assorted ascetics. I said to myself; at least they are serious about what they believe as much so and in fact more so than the buddhists . . . who are really more nihilistic in their nirvana cult and the ending of the wheel of life (and rebirth).

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      1. Nature, natural psychology and law always had me stuck in a place where a supreme being was necessary. How this supreme being dealt with his creation was the struggle and who seemed to reacting to the Supreme Being in a befitting way to the power, majesty and glory of a loving Creator God Who has no need of us and yet created man anyway.

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      2. Nicholas

        I became concerned at the absurdity certain forms of fundamentalism were requiring of us and the damage that was doing to outreach to atheists and agnostics.

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      3. And I always believed that creation and our all too common disobedience to any revelation about this God required of us an effort of our will and not just a simple, thank you, Jesus . . . which gives me a free ticket to eternal happiness. I either have to do something to appease God for my many faults before and after I find belief or else religion itself is next to worthless. Why save an atheist or agnostic or reach out to them if whatever they do in their ignorance is no worse than what people do in their knowledge of failing God and their neighbors? We are either like the wild horses that finally quit refusing to submit to fear or flight response and give in to surrender . . . accepting our Ruler’s Will as a better yardstick than our own or we remain wild horses forever; good for nothing but watching them do their own will day after day. There is no work that I can give them until they submit and become domesticated. It is the same with God who might be called a man whisperer. The horse whisperer has nothing on Him. God nudges us gently to accept his yoke which is easy and then can ride that man and have him do His Holy Will on earth.

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      4. What I have found odd is that fundamentalism is a rather new concept in biblical studies in reaction to the Bultmann type of the 19th century. The Church Fathers usually discussed matters in a more spiritual manner when it came to scripture. They also understood the analogous. And Augustine’s work On Genesis is revealing on it. I was listening to a podcast of Dominican Priest by the name of Fr. nicanor austriaco who is a microbiologist arguing against Humani Generis by Pope Pius XII. Austriaco asserted that Augustine was a young earth creationist—its clear the biologist never spent much time reading Augustine. Matt Fradd, it was Pints with Aquinas podcast, stumbled a bit around the point because he was even aware that Austriaco made a claim that didn’t seem to line with what people know about Augustine in the subject.

        I was listening to Issues etc. (Lutheran public radio LCMS) the other day. And they had a guest on their by the name of Dr. Christopher Mitchell. Mitchell said something that seemed rather odd to me that their position was that the Bible should be read literally. Now, that’s not the odd part because that seems like the normal LCMS position. Mitchell went on to explain that what reading the Bible literally meant was understanding the intent of the author and background. I said…wait a second…that’s historic criticism—in fact its historicism.

        Maybe, @armourofchrist understands it better but from what I’ve read on the LCMS website is that historic criticism of any sort is not their traditional position. Maybe there is the beginning of some debate.

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      5. I might have to relisten to the podcast to help answer your question. I would tell you that we read it with context in mind. It’s not necessarily criticism but more of a context, context, and context. More of a hermeneutical way of basic reading comprehension.  Immediate, and of the book, these contexts will include some historical information ect because that’s Exegesis.  I’ll listen this week to the podcast to see if I can give you any more information.

        This post saddens me.  I don’t know what I could say that would be helpful and yet non argumentative.  As a confessional Lutheran I can tell you we are not Protestant. It’s like being called a bad naughty word. Also, as a Confessional Lutheran the lack of Jesus mentioned in your post and the comfort you receive by your knowledge and works stands out.

        We could discuss how we see the 1500 years thing, but we would both disagree as to whether Catholicism started around 600AD (rough estimate, appologies) or with Peter. It might make a good chat over coffee but not in a thread.

        “I have found that the best argument I can make against Protestants is with my life. I am sincere about my Catholic faith, and I practice that faith. I love the Lord and our Lady. I make the sign of the Cross and say the blessing before every meal. I attend Mass every Sunday. I read the Bible daily and pray my rosary. In short, I live the life of devotion that I believed Catholics were incapable of having when I was a Protestant.”

        Scoop, Protestants like to point to their lives as proof as well. Lutherans, confessional ones, point to Christ because in the end, His verbs, his works, his merits, are what saves and sustains us in the faith. Perhaps you would be open for us to chat about that difference sometime.

        Thank you for your time gentleman. I must go because it’s the Lord’s day and I must be with my family. God’s blessings to you my brothers.

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      6. Thanks for the comment. I was perplexed by Mitchell’s expression, I thought that you could lend an analysis. He did speak of different books in the Bible being different genres, but there is disagreement on what genres are some books, so it wasn’t clearly explained from an outsiders stand point.

        Now, I will say this Douglas. I do think some Catholics can get carried away. I am a very heavy handed Augustinian Catholic, so there are no good works done by us. It is God through grace which is in line fully within the context of Galatians. I’m working on my theology degree currently and Catholicism does have some diversity in thought, so I’d caution generalizing it entirely. I’ve disagreed quite openly with my professors on the importance and emphasis on grace and the role of revelation in Sacred Scripture. So, I’m of the school of thought that is more Bonaventurian than Thomistic or Nouvelle Theologiae. I’m very Christological in my thinking.

        So, keep on pushing back on folks. I’ll shake your hand afterward. You may see a fellow on the street that throws you an objection and think I’ve seen this before…

        Anyway, I have many family members as LCMS. So, I do value hearing their testimonies. Jeffrey Hemmer’s Man Up is a fantastic text on the Incarnation and putting on the the new man as written in Ephesians.

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