Evangelicals Return to Catholic Traditions

by Steve Ray on March 15, 2008

Fundamentlists and Evangelicals are rightfully feeling adrift. Protestantism is blowing itself apart (even though many of the little factions think THEY are in the right). Splitting, fragmenting, and drifting. Many feel like lost souls looking for a real home. They have been shopping for a church like they've been searching for a restaurant — one that satisfies their palates — "Meet my needs" and "feed me" have  become mantras.

Those of us who were on the same quest and have found the answer offer an invitation — we Catholics invite them to come home.

In a recent article published by the Washington Post, it is apparent that Protestants are beginning to feel the strain of their wandering from the Church Jesus founded. They are beginning to yearn for their roots and are returning back to the Bible, the early Church and to Catholic tradition.

This increasing connection with Christianity's classical traditions [read: Catholic roots] goes beyond Lent. Some evangelical churches offer confession and weekly communion. They distribute ashes on Ash Wednesday and light Advent calendars at Christmastime. Others have formed monastic communities, such as Casa Chirilagua in Alexandria, modeled on the monasteries that arose in Christianity's early years.

For the whole Washington Post article, click here. I for one welcome this interest in ancient tradition and welcome those who have strayed to return to the ancient Church. Join the thousands who are returning to the Catholic Church, the Church of the martyrs, the confessors, and the Fathers of the Church.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

David L. March 16, 2008 at 3:58 PM

Well said Steve! Why settle for Macdonalds when you get a Steak!

MarkC March 17, 2008 at 3:05 PM

Francis Bethwith made an interesting comment on his blog about how some evangelicals are experimenting with traditional Christianity:

“First, you seem to see the recovery of liturgy, symbol, and sacrament as under the choice of communities and individuals. But this is a very modernist view of religion. If you really want to recover these things, then you must abandon the idea that you get to recover them. They are not under your control. You must place yourself under them. For to treat them as if they are instruments of your choice is to diminish their significance. In the body of Christ, no one part gets to choose what it is. To think that, is to place yourself at the head, which is a part that’s already taken.”

“Second, I agree with your suggestion that we should be careful and humble regarding doctrine. But I don’t think that we formulate it. It’s already been done for us. This is one of the reasons why I became Catholic last year. I was just tired of my own autonomy, and I thought it best to fall at the foot of the cross and be taught by wiser souls than me–Augustine, Aquinas, Newman. The liturgy, the sacraments, the apostolic office have ancient roots, far older than the Reformation. You are certainly free to incorporate the best of these in your low church congregations. But as long as they are under your control, they cannot rise higher than mere symbols. I know that some of my WWTW colleagues will disagree. So, I will leave at that. My point is to try to communicate to you that even your apparent rejection of Evangelicalism is driven by the categories of Evangelicalism itself. The key is to break out of the circle entirely and entertain the possibility that the traditions and liturgy you find so attractive may very well be correct, but like flowers dependent on soil, cannot be torn from their roots without eventually killing them. ”


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