Hi all Lifelong Catholic here. Married with four kids. I have always considered myself a Christian first and a Catholic second. Always. When someone asks me what I am I say, "Christian" Then if they ask further I will say Catholic. I have been met with mixed reactions when I say that I am Catholic. Most of the attacks I have received if not all have come from Baptists. My husband is Methodist but we have raised all of our children Catholic. Let's be honest about that though, the Catholic church made us sign a document pledging that our children would be raised catholic and we did that and were married in the catholic church. It wasn't a problem for my husband at all because while we loves Jesus he isn't the religious sort so he had zero problem with that and at the time I was 100% catholic anyway and my own father was also Methodist and my Mother the devout Catholic so the family I grew up in were all raised catholic as well. In other words this was normal to me. I did opt to have the typical Mass taken out of my marriage though because I didn't want half of our guests who weren't catholic to feel left out. Married twenty-five years last June and I am forty-seven years old now. About fifteen years ago I had a "Bride of Christ" dream but I had no idea what it meant back then to be the bride of christ. I know now what it meant and that the true church of Christ is the bride and he the bridegroom, but aside from telling my husband about this AMAZING dream where I was picked out of a crowd by Jesus and how unworthy I felt at the beginning until he told me why I was worthy, I have not told anyone else for fear of being told that I'm crazy or having delusions of grandeur. At the time i had the dream I worried about just that because having a dream that Jesus is picking you as his bride from a crowd of women and men does sound crazy...Until you read your Bible and understand that he is coming back for his bride. Makes total sense now and there are a LOT of others who have had this same dream, just personalized for them just like mine was. Maybe someday I will feel open to talking about it but I know it was just for me because I often have a very hard time forgiving myself, so I won't be going into that here. That isn't why I am here anyway... Why am I here then? I need help. I feel like I've been born again. I feel it, I know it. I started listening to a Baptist preacher online because while I love Mass and remembering the Last Supper and love the tradition of the catholic church, I really needed HELP in understanding the scriptures. I have a very hard time reading the Bible and understanding it. I love the KJV bible and I wouldn't change bibles for anything as I know this is the bible I am meant to have. So I found this minister and I've been listening to him and I really, truly feel that he has the right interpretation of most scriptures, so much so I was ready to convert! Then it happened...He said that all Catholics were going to hell. He bashed the Jewish faith too and Islam, which I sort of agreed with him on that though I would never use the words he used to describe their false prophet, but that isn't why I am here. It felt mean and wrong and actually pretty worldly and hate filled. Love thy neighbor right? I then started worrying like OMG Baptists will hate me for being Catholic even though I don't worship Mary, I don't even like the Pope and he's never had influence over me, I don't worship idols, I only went to confession twice once when I made my first Holy Communion and once when I was confirmed. It never felt right for me and I preferred to talk to God and to confess to Jesus, yet Baptists still might hate me. Why???? I am hoping I am wrong. I had a very, very close friend who was /is Southern Baptist and he never said such things to me at all though he was super polite and while he didn't say it I know he thought my religion was weird or "different" which is how I think he put it once after he attended a Mass once. I am now back to thinking nope I'm still catholic but why can't I be both? If one church gives me the Mass which I love and the tradition and the worship experience that I NEED (the Catholic church does this for me) and one gives me the in-depth interpretation of the scriptures (Baptist) then why can't I just be both? I feel like both. I need both. How is that wrong? Isn't the whole idea to grow in faith? I've actually thought that I also might start taking part or at least trying some Jewish customs all in order to grow in faith. I want and need an ongoing, growth inspired, living and breathing relationship with Jesus Christ, my savior, my king. I don't want to stray into the world of falseness though, but I do feel like I have a pretty solid footing so far as what is right and what is wrong. Up until the Baptist preacher proclaimed that all Catholics were going to hell, he had me. People don't really believe that do they?? I mean, most of the ideas I have read in regards to Catholics are not fact at all. The stereotypes I mean, they really include probably 2% of Catholics. I don't know anyone who is Catholic who goes to confession or even believes in it. I know 0 Catholics who go to confession. I know 0 Catholics who worship Mary over Jesus and I've been in the church for 47 years. I know they are out there though, especially in Latin countries and other places where Mary worship is real. Do I hold her in esteem? Absolutely. Do I think she was forever a virgin, no I don't. I thought she and Joseph had many kids? Is it on the top of my list of things to care about or wonder about who is right and who is wrong? Not even close, I don't really care honestly. So yeah, the doctrine I believe is probably 50/50. Any thoughts I would appreciate them. I am actually scared to post this here because I have been bashed by Baptists before and told that I am going to hell, but I KNOW I am not and that I am saved by the blood of the lamb that he shed for me and for you.