As I am being called further into the mysteries of the Catholic Church, I understand why some Catholics do not recommend ingesting Protestant information. In my independent searching into the faith, I believed I had a Protestant mind and a Catholic heart. The majority of the podcasts and videos I would go to for learning and edification were Protestant, most of them “born again” Christians, zealous for salvation and the Bible.
But after I watched a YouTube Protestant interview yesterday, and shortly after that partook in the sacrament of Reconciliation, I was ripe to realize a deep schism between the two faiths that are truly incompatible. I used to think that Christian was Christian, and that ultimately, they were the same faith, but now that I am truly maturing in my relationship with Christ and his Church, and truly feel like I have a role to play in the advancement of the kingdom of God, I realize that a Catholic must be very discerning of who they listen to outside of the Church.
Points of real theological dissention, such as purgatory and faith alone, make the two groups at complete odds with each other: deal-breaking disagreements that I glossed over until now, because I hadn’t fully comprehended what it meant to be saved.
For me personally this is tricky, because Protestants are great at evangelizing and bringing the faith back to the Bible, whereas I don’t know too many Catholic media personalities out there; this means if I am to use outside sources for my faith, such as YouTube or podcasts, I must be so vigilant. Now going to Protestant resources feels as dangerous to the strongholds of my mind as new age or occult are, which is powerful and a little shocking for me to say, because it was Protestant born-again Christians who helped me rid my home of all new age items.
Because media is filled mostly with Protestant content, I thought that my faith was not up to par, or that I maybe made a mistake to be baptized into the Catholic Church instead of a Protestant denomination. But through God’s grace which encouraged works on my part, I can now rightly perceive that I am on the right path for my soul, and finally my mind as well: this is one of the first fruits I have borne after not running away or jumping to something else. I have listened to Protestants call the Catholic Church a false church, and I have listened to them call the Catholic faith idolatrous with its veneration of the Virgin Mary. I never thought I would be slinging back accusations of heresy, but here I am.
Ultimately, Jesus came to give us peace, a peace that is not of this world’s understanding (John 14.27). Protestants and Catholics alike can always come back to this conviction, and that will obliterate all proud theological differences; in the last analysis, we all just want the same thing – freedom and peace. I think it’s when we forget our common hurt and the compassion that Jesus commands of us that we get off-track, arguing matters of the mind (ego) instead of concentrating on matters of the heart.
I love my Protestant and non-denominational/Pentecostal brothers and sisters. They are on fire for God. But now I see how our common hurt can cause us to venture away from sound doctrine in a fear state, and I believe that has been the case for some of the top commentators I have been following. My own hurt and fear state kept me small, quiet, and agreeable; my faith has been so put down by some of these fellow believers, that I had wondered time to time if they were right. Now I know they are not only not (always) right, they are (sometimes) so deep in error, and I am grateful for having discernment today to feel confident in my faith.