I was asked on another thread if I would be willing to share why I am becoming Catholic with people on this board. I was brought up in a Baptist family, came to Christ (repented of my sins and trusted Christ as my Savior and Lord) at the age of eleven and was taught that if something is Catholic it has to be wrong. Liturgy is definately part of Catholic worship and so it was to be rejected as ritualistic and repetitive praying. As an evangelical I thought the symbolism and ritual of Catholicism, Anglicanism, Lutheran or any high church as devoid of meaning, empty, rote, and mindless. Of course there have been cases or even tendencies at times for people to lose track of the meanings of their religious practices, and to do them without thinking about why they do them– but Baptists do this too– sometimes even with their prayers, devotions, church-going, etc. To say that all symbolic ritual in the Catholic church is rote and thoughtless ritualism is as uncharitable as someone saying that evangelicalism is legalistic unthoughtful literalism which practices bibliolatry with no concern for making a concrete difference in this world. But I digress! I began a bible study in my church of the book of Hebrews and I saw just how important liturgy was for the covenant and that became increasingly evident to me as I studied the book of Hebrews. Also I found that overwhelming historical evidence exists proving it was important to the Early Church. I came to believe that liturgy represents the way God fathered his covenant people and He renewed that on a regular basis. It became evident to me as to what the relationship of the Old Testament was to the New and how the New Testament Church became a fulfillment and not an abandonment of the Old. These ideas were confirmed by the writings of the Early Church Fathers. Reading the ECF's, I began to believe that the Catholic Church might most accurately reflect the intentions of the Early Church Fathers and found other evangelicals seeking a church whose roots run deeper than the Reformation. However, I had always believed that people only leave the Catholic Church for 'True Christianity' and not the other way around. But, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s 2007 Religious Landscape Survey, roughly 8 percent of Catholics were raised in other churches as evangelicals. This compares with 9 percent of evangelical Christians who were raised Catholic. Not much difference. As I continued to study I became aware that the one only place where Jesus used the word 'covenant' was when He instituted 'The Lord's Supper'. Yet, we only observed communion four times a year. I began to study the Gospel of John and became aware that the Gospel was chock full of sacramental imagery. I was raised to believe that liturgy and sacraments were to be rejected and certainly not to be studied. These things I was programed not to be open to. But going through Hebrews I noticed the writer made me see that liturgy and sacraments were an essential part of God's family life. Then in John six, I came to realize that Jesus could not have been talking metaphorically when He taught us to eat His flesh and drink His blood. The Jews in His audience would not have been outraged and scandalized by a mere symbol. Besides, if the Jews had merely misunderstood Jesus to be speaking literally and He meant His words to be taken figuratively, why would he not simply clarify them? But He never did! Nor did any other Christian for over a thousand years! All this and the fact that my Aunt, a Baptist missionary, had announced to her family that she was becoming a Catholic and this started me looking deeper into a Church I had long considered heretical and even the Great Whore of Babylon (I had read David Hunt's book). Then I began to read some of the writings of the recent popes. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have been highly regarded in the evangelical community. Their writings are very focused on the person of Jesus Christ and very attentive to scripture. That was certainly important to us evangelicals. Of course there were the questions about supposed 'Mary worship' (Catholics place Mary and the saints above Christ and Catholics bow to idols, don't they?) and I was taught in my Baptist church that Catholics believe Purgatory is place where people are given a 'Second Chance' at salvation. Of course, I knew that was un-biblical. And wasn't Catholicism a 'works-rigteousness' based religion? The list went on and on so I began to read and see for myself what the Catholics had to say to my objections to their 'un-biblical' doctrines. My first book was 'Born Fundamentalist, Born-Again Catholic' by David Currie. This answered most of the nagging questions I had had as to whether or not the Catholic Church was biblical or not. I then read 'Crossing The Tiber: Evangelicals Discover The Ancient Faith' by Steve Ray, a former Baptist. Then came books by other evangelical converts such as Scott Hahn and books by Karl Keating. There are many other reasons why I and other former evangelicals convert to Catholicism. One reason is: Certainty To have certainty and knowledge of truth leads many evangelicals to look elsewhere beyond all the doctrinal differences and “choose-your-own-church syndrome” within evangelical churches. I had the desire for certain knowledge, this is something I could not find within evangelical churches. If I were to ask ten evangelicals what their churches teach about marriage and divorce, how many different answers might I get? Another reason for conversion is that I wanted to be connected to the ENTIRE history of the Christian Church and not just from the Reformation forward. I do not buy into Baptist successionism as their is a lack of historical evidence for it. Baptists trying to connect themselves to various groups that split from Catholicism prior to the Reformation falls short. Their beliefs and practices were closer to Catholicism than present day Baptists. The Waldenses are an example. Also, I have issue with the "interpretive diversity” that occurs in evangelicalism, I prefer to accept the authority of the Catholic Church instead of trying to sort through the numerous interpretations of evangelical pastors and theologians. The authority that is found in the Catholic Church’s Magisterium has been consistant for two thousand years. The non-ending threads on the BB pitting Christian against Christian over doctrine many times resulting in either board members directly or indirectly questioning each others salvation and the myriad of denominations created because of such squabbling is evidence enough of the dangers of 'interpretive diversity' or 'individual interpretation' of scripture. I will be entering the Catholic Church at the end of Lent at the Easter Vigil. It has been a long journey as I have had to overcome much mis-information I was given as a Baptist plus I wanted to be sure my decision was made prayerfully and that Catholic teaching did not contradict scripture. I have had to face judgement and even some shunning from family which has been particularly painful. For the most part, my family (mostly Baptist) has not been willing to discuss this with me and has concluded that I 'must not have ever been really saved to begin with'. I hope this changes over time. Since my decision to worship and practice the Catholic Faith I have grown in my prayer life and have gained victory over some of the habitual sins of my life. I can certainly say that I've come a long way spiritually in the past year. Anyway, I will try to visit the board daily and respond to the best of my ability and with Christian charity to questions or concerns by other board members. To my knowledge, there are only two other Catholics allowed on this board but hopefully they will join in the discussion.