In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s talk about Catholicism.
I don’t know about you, but growing up as a Protestant, I was under the impression that all Catholics went to hell.Looking back, I feel really ashamed of this assumption.
The most common accusations directed at the Catholic Church were that its adherents were trying to earn their way to heaven through good works, that they worshipped Mary, and that they relied on the Pope/priests for salvation from sins. It took me a long time to realize that not only did these assumptions misrepresented the teachings of the Catholic Church, but they contributed to that common narrative that plagues much of evangelicalism—that people are damned for having the “wrong” doctrine (and by “wrong,” I mean “not evangelical.”)
However, I get the idea that things have changed dramatically for my generation. Not only do I sense a higher level of respect for Catholics among my evangelical friends, I’ve known some to consider (and even convert) to Catholicism.
Although I still have enough differences with the Catholic Church to remain decidedly Protestant, I now operate under the assumption that Catholics are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I just wish it hadn’t taken me so long!
So here’s my question: How have your attitudes toward Catholicism changed over the years? What do you find appealing/not appealing about Catholic tradition?
Happy St. Patrick's Day!