"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Former Reformer is Coming Home

My old friend Andre has decided to swim the Tiber. Any Catholic readers here please go ahead and subscribe to his new blog Former Reformer and give him some encouragement and advice in this strange and exciting time for him and his family. On a personal note, it is nice to have a local Reformed friend here in the Twin Cities on the Catholic side of the river now.

On a recent post he compared the Reformed and Catholic liturgies/theologies and said that unlike the Reformed system:
 "...the true work and involvement is done at the Mass, where we meet Christ at Calvary and pray on our knees to break the power of the enemy. The fact that I was weary in my faith because I didn't feel like I was living up to the "Reformed theology standard of living" was because I was without the Eucharist. God's word did not return void,..."

I replied:

I just have to comment again! This past weekend, I went to confession and was totally renewed. I had some sins weighing on my mind and I let them go in the confessional, and Christ absolved me in the person of His priest. I then walked out of the confessional and kneeled down. It was the middle of the consecration, and as I joined my prayer with that of the silent group of people around me, I had a tangible sense of the "other-worldly" nature of what I was experiencing.
This was not about a sermon. It was not about tithing. It was not about being chummy with my buddies at church. It was about meeting God and destroying evil in myself and in the world. As RC Sproul would say, it was about being "coram deo". Before the face of God. When I looked up at the altar and saw Christ offering His body and blood to the Father, and thought of my former experience in Reformed churches, I thought how starved I had really been. Going from Reformed to Catholic is like going from an intravenous drip to thanksgiving dinner.


  1. Thank you for the shout out! I hope that this post will draw more people in the Twin Cities! I will still refrain in my blog from mentioning specific names and congregations (the OPC online reputation management is in full force - this is worth a blog post later), but if someone really wanted to do some digging, they could find out who I am and where I went to church and rat me off to the session. What are they gonna do, discipline me? I could get nastier but I don't want to make an already ugly situation worse. It's like pouring gasoline on the fire and rubbing salt in the wound. I just want to go quietly, but in a TINY congregation, these things make the news front and center.

    By far, the largest Reformed congregation in the TC is BBC, headed by Piper. We have poached a few of their members because they like the liturgical/covenantal style of the OPC. If they really wanted a liturgical feel, they should just swim with me! I've had a chance to talk to some of these former Reformed Baptist and the thing they miss the most is "preaching". They're disappointed to find less of it at a Presbyterian church. What were they expecting? Charles Spurgeon in the pulpit?

    Another former Reformed Baptist is now a member at the local OPC, but he still regards his favorite preacher of all time to be the Reformed Baptist retired pastor Albert N. Martin. He's actually stayed at the Rev. Martin's home and Rev. Martin himself told my church mate, "if it weren't for infant baptism, I'd be Presbyterian in a heartbeat." Sad that the denominational divisions don't bother my former church mate right now. But whether it's Reformed Baptist or Reformed Presbyterian, the focus of the service centers around the sermon (interpretation of scripture).

    And to those who don't buy my or David's arguments -- these Christian communities will be glad to have you. In all fairness, church ought to be the center of your life, but you will really feel like a second class citizen if you are not involved beyond the service. Be ready to devote Sundays to Sunday School, first and second service and a potluck. On top of that, there are other activities to do during the week. Believe it or not, there are people who attend every single event. You're graded on a curve.

    As yes, the tithe applies as they say. The argument is something like this. Tithing was required for Israel. Jesus did not abolish that law. Therefore, tithing is for today and incumbent on every believer. (Plus, we need your money to sustain ourselves in the fight against these Romanists!)

  2. Hello, I have been checking out your site and reading some of your blogs. You are a Catholic, and you were in the reformed denomination before. However, both those denominations have many false teachings. Please visit my blog site and read Catholic Influence Demolished, and Catholic Influence Demolished Part 2 Pictures. I also have a blogs about Calvinism beliefs of the reformed groups. God bless.