This is a quick introduction to the story of how I became Catholic.
This is a quick (ish) story of how I became Catholic. Raised in the Church of Christ from birth, I never questioned the teachings that were taught. And this is not to say that I have huge fault with the C of C - to the contrary I find that the Catholic Church is the C of C “on steroids” and much is in line with each other. But many of the C of C mainstream topics of sermons, classes, and bible studies seemed to “miss'' certain aspects of the bible that I never knew until I really read it for myself with a clear lens. Once I really committed to self study, I felt as if my knowledge grew 100x of what it was. And also, this is a story of how I was determined to prove the Catholic Church wrong, and how the opposite happened.
I have an engineering background with a Bachelor's degree in chemistry and a Master’s degree in management, both from mainstream Church of Christ Universities. This leads to the first disclaimer that I did average at best in English and writing. I urge you, dear reader, to forgive any grammatical errors or other writing errors. This will also be bulleted and condensed where possible. The entire journey I took was painful, tedious, and full of research on details and specifics.
Going back to how C of C and Catholics are “much in line with each other”, let's get the similarities out in the open. Regarding Jesus, Catholics believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and is God incarnate, died on the cross for the salvation of mankind, was bodily resurrected three days later, is the second person of the Trinity, was there from the beginning, and is coming back to judge all people. This is 100% in line with C of C theology and likely mostly in line with Protestantism as a whole.
The Bible is the inspired word of God, and the same books are followed (except there are seven more books in the original Bible and Martin Luther removed them during the reformation, more on that later). Catholics believe and have faith in Jesus Christ, that he is the only mediator to God, and that he was born of a Virgin. Catholics believe in the Holy Spirit - perhaps even more so than protestants. They believe that baptism is critical to salvation and that faith justifies a man.
There are many more points that Catholics agree with my core beliefs so for me, converting was accepting that there was MUCH more to Christianity. Again, Catholicism was C of C on steroids, so much extra to investigate and explore, and eventually made my faith and path to the Lord 10x stronger.
What is and is not the Catholic Church? It will be very important to ACTUALLY know what the Catholic Church says and believes. There were so many misconceptions during my journey that I thought I knew what the Catholics believed but it turns out I was ignorant. There was an important quote that put this in perspective for me after my studies:
“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
Once I realized how ignorant I truly was about what the actual church believes, then a fair comparison could commence. The best source of information about the belief of the Church is the Catechism. It is a large book as big as the bible itself and serves as the source for all teaching and tradition. References will be made to the Catechism as needed to merely point to the consistent and universally regarded source for true Catholic teaching. Think of it as the dictionary of universal Catholic thought.
With that background information, the following is intended to be a more or less high level logical and legalistic outline of how I was convinced that the Catholic church is the one true and united body of Christ, all from an engineer’s perspective and reasoning.