Converts can’t let it go

It seems that often when Protestants convert to becoming Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox they do the following:
– Convert their blogs into a constant stream of Patristic quotes. You’ll see a fine example of this here. Do they think no one has ever read these quotes before? Do they think people are hanging on these words and converting themselves due to reading them? Or does it merely feed their own self-narrative of being part of the new, most correct church? How is it that a brand new convert is best qualified to teach the world about his newfound Church?
– Turn all of their energy to attacking their previous, woefully mistaken ways as Protestants. Protestants had this, that and the other wrong. Augustine was bad, preaching was over-emphasized, art was neglected, Tradition ignored, Authority not thought through, etc.
These attempts at converting other Protestants who have not made whatever leap these individuals have made are puzzling. Do they need the justification of others making the same choice that they have made in order to feel better? Why is it that you never (in my experience) see these bold new converts out in the world evangelizing the lost? Where is the Great Commission in their new life? So let’s just say to them:
“Hey, you converted, that’s great. Now why don’t you go fulfill our Lord’s command and evangelize the lost world? Get back to us and tell us how that goes. Until then, lay off the constant attempts at proselytization of Protestants.”
It seems that often when Protestants convert to becoming Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox they do the following:
– Convert their blogs into a constant stream of Patristic quotes. You’ll see a fine example of this here. Do they think no one has ever read these quotes before? Do they think people are hanging on these words and converting themselves due to reading them? Or does it merely feed their own self-narrative of being part of the new, most correct church? How is it that a brand new convert is best qualified to teach the world about his newfound Church?
– Turn all of their energy to attacking their previous, woefully mistaken ways as Protestants. Protestants had this, that and the other wrong. Augustine was bad, preaching was over-emphasized, art was neglected, Tradition ignored, Authority not thought through, etc.
These attempts at converting other Protestants who have not made whatever leap these individuals have made are puzzling. Do they need the justification of others making the same choice that they have made in order to feel better? Why is it that you never (in my experience) see these bold new converts out in the world evangelizing the lost? Where is the Great Commission in their new life? So let’s just say to them:
“Hey, you converted, that’s great. Now why don’t you go fulfill our Lord’s command and evangelize the lost world? Get back to us and tell us how that goes. Until then, lay off the constant attempts at proselytization of Protestants.”

11 thoughts on “Converts can’t let it go”

  1. Hi Joel,

    I think this shoe wears on both “feet.” Why is it that when Catholics convert to being a Protestant, they tell other Catholics they are “going to hell” all the time? (See my post on “I Was Told I Worship a Catholic Jesus)

    Why is it they use the term “born again” and now they are saved since becoming a Protestant, like they have stumbled onto to something the rest of us do not know about? (Born again actually means to “be delivered by) and we have all been delivered by Jesus. We must also be born of the “water and the Spirit” so this is nothing new.

    Why is it all of a sudden, Catholics worship a “Catholic Jesus” when they worshipped the same Jesus for years?

    Why is it when a Catholic converts all of a sudden they become the great authority on Scripture and will take one verse and shove and shove it down your throat?

    There are many other things I can say but I think you get the picture? I am a convert to the Catholic Church. I lost a 15 year friendship when I did, and was told, “I will never step foot in that Church.” I was told this when I asked them to come the night I was going to be confirmed. If this person had of asked me to go into the middle of the ocean for them, I would have. We were best friends for 15 years.

    So this shoe wears on both feet.

    God Bless, Sandy

  2. Hey there!

    I noticed you linked to my blog, of course, in this post. First, let me apologize if something I’ve written has offended you or hurt you in any way. That is certainly not my intention, but I can’t possibly anticipate who might read my blog and how it might affect them. Please forgive me for any offense, brother (if applicable).

    Also, I would encourage you to read others in a more charitable light. I’m the chief of sinners and unworthy to criticize, but it seems that you assume the worst about me, specifically when it comes to quoting Church Fathers. All of your “reasons” for doing such were negative, and that seems to leave no other option but that I’m out to do bad. That is an uncharitable reading of my intentions, and of course intentions are impossible to discern. I might be wrong about this, and if that is the case and I’m reading you poorly, please accept my sincerest apology.

    I don’t know you personally, but I pray that you’d receive this comment positively and as nothing more than an attempt to seek peace and request that you not presume things about those you don’t know, or read intentions or motives into another’s actions. I’m sure you wouldn’t want the same done to you, nor should anyone! We should always see the best — truly, see Christ — in others, as Christians. Again, I’m guilty of this on numerous occasions, so I don’t write this out of self-righteousness or condemnation, but as a humble reminder to us all. I pray these words find you well, whoever you are.

    Peace be with you,
    GVM

  3. You did not offend me at all. I just wanted to point out some of what we go through also with Catholic Converts to the Protestant Religions.

    If you are a “chief of sinners and unworhty to criticize” then quit doing it.

    As far as assuming anything about you I do not.

    “Uncharitable reading of your intentions” Your intentions were to say by your own words, “Converts, convert their blogs into a constant stream Patristic quotes.” “Do they think no one has ever heard these quotes before, etc..” This is simply not true as I am a convert and have done no such thing.

    As far as the “negativity” it began with your blog, and your statements regarding Converts, and presuming that we do not “fullfill the Lord’s commands and evangalize to the world.” That is a presumption which you made regarding us, against others “that you do not know.”

    You commented yourself “I read intentions and motives into your actions” when you did the same by telling me I have “assumed things about you” which nothing could be further from the truth. I simply posted a comment showing that it is not only “Catholics” which do things such as this, it is also those who Convert to becoming Protestant. In fact I do not re-call saying anything or presuming anything about you at all.

    Peace be with you, Sandy (And I am not your brother, and am a female) Hint the name: Sandy

    1. Sandy,

      I was responding to joelmartin, the author of this blog. I did not intend to respond to your comment at all. Sorry for the confusion.

      Peace,
      GVM

  4. Maybe they just post quotes because they like those quotes.
    The extent to which a blog is something for public consumption rather than just an act of self expression is very fuzzy…

  5. Latecomer to this post, sent me by a dear sister in Christ, I have had the same thoughts as you have expressed in your post, Joel.

    I “became Orthodox” 22 years ago, before the days of blogging, and it’s cause had nothing to do with rejecting one, espousing the other. I had always thought I was Orthodox, even as a member of the Episcopal Church, and I still define Orthodoxy by what I know is true, and do not let “Orthodoxy” define me.

    When I started my blog, Cost of Discipleship, it was to show other Christians how easy it is to witness for Jesus Christ. I used to read the gospels aloud, cover to cover, in public in downtown Portland, Oregon, with a much younger friend and co-worker who was a Baptist.

    My church did not endorse me, but individual Orthodox including one of our priests, congratulated me on being willing to do this. It didn’t matter that I shared this witnessing ministry with a Baptist; they never questioned it.

    On the other hand, my friend’s church made him very unwelcome, and finally expelled him, for teaming up with an unbeliever, and for doing unprofitable “work”, reading the gospels aloud in public, since it didn’t build up their church.

    In my blog, I do sometimes quote the ancient Church fathers, but also those of later times right up to the present, but even the title of my blog is drawn from the “evangelical tradition.” I put that in quotes because I don’t accept “traditions”. Christians are Christians, and that’s that! Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a hiero-martyr (a priest martyr) even though institutional Orthodoxy doesn’t recognize him.

    I may just be that one Orthodox convert whom you’ve never met, one of those “bold new converts out in the world evangelizing the lost,” who has “the Great Commission in [his] new life,” and I am “getting back to you” to tell you “how that goes.”

    I witness for Jesus Christ, and He witnesses for the Church. Truth is Truth, no matter where I find it, and the Church has never been divided. Denominations are at best imaginary lines, at worst, simply put, our common sin. As a Greek Orthodox, my faith is no better than yours, whoever you are, if you confess Christ, and I don’t want to “convert” you or anyone to Orthodoxy. I want you to simply follow Jesus. If He leads you to institutional Orthodoxy, great! If not, the same!

    Greetings, brother, in the name of the Lord!
    Now, to the great adventure of reading through your blog!

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