David Hall maintains a blog and has recently posted about his journey from the Brethren of Christ to the Catholic Church. Like all convert stories, it is absorbing and fascinating. Each convert comes in from a different personal history, but also, here in USA there are a multitude of different Protestant traditions. Brethren of Christ was an extremely conservative, almost Amish sort of Plymouth Brethren group. It’s a reminder of Chesterton’s idea that there are a thousand ways to fall, but only one way to stand. David is one of the examples of Evangelical Christians coming to the Catholic Church at great personal sacrifice and humility.
There are some Catholics out there who pick on these men and women. Weirdly, they are usually the ones that demand that all Christians bow the knee to the Supreme Pontiff without reservation. Then when some of us do, and presume to get involved in the Church we’re attacked for making the Church Protestant. It’s hard enough being persecuted by family and friends for becoming Catholic, but then when the members of your new family pick on you it sort of hurts.
Because David has family here in South Carolina I’ve met with him and his wife several times. They have joined the Catholic Church without reservation in the midst of family rejection and hardship, and with much misunderstanding from the conservative Evangelical family and friends.
They’ve done so with joy and gratitude. They’ve brought with them wisdom, intelligence, vast Bible knowledge and a willingness to minister and share with others.
They’re not the only ones. At last weekend’s Chesterton Conference I asked for a show of hands to see how many in the crowd of over 600 were converts. I’d say two thirds to three quarter of the audience were converts.
A convert myself, I know that most Catholics have welcomed us with warmth, humor, admiration and genuine love.
Check out David’s blog. Follow his story and be encouraged. He is developing an apostolate of teaching Scripture, spiritual direction and counseling. Support it if you can. Give it a mention on your blogs. Think of him if you need a good Bible scholar or speaker.