Why I Left The Catholic Church After 30 Years Never To Return
“Why I Left The Catholic Church After 30 Years Never To Return”
by RM Kane, former Roman Catholic
Before I say anything else, I wish to address those Catholics who would dare to tell me that I don’t know Catholicism. What I am sharing here is a REAL LIFE experience based on REAL LIFE teachings and practices of the Catholic Church that I was born into. NOTHING I am sharing here is just my personal opinion. I am sharing real facts of life, of a person who grew up Catholic in the United States. If your experience growing up as a Catholic was different, that has NO BEARING on what I was taught by the Church of Rome. I went to Catholic CCD classes, went through their holy communion process, their confirmation process, went to many Catholic masses, weddings and funerals, spanning several decades of my life.
The purpose of this article is to inform Catholics as to why someone would leave the Catholic Church after being born into that Church and being raised in that religion for 3 decades. And I hope and pray that there would be some Catholics reading this article who would be encouraged to start reading the Bible for themselves to learn more about the God of the Bible, including many things that the Catholic Church does not teach their members or erroneously teaches them. The first and foremost teaching that the Catholic Church gets wrong is that TRUE salvation is by the merits of Jesus Christ alone, apart from any sacraments, or treasury of merit or anything else outside of the finished work of Christ at the cross of Calvary.
My Catholic Family History
My parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends and neighbors were all Catholics with only a few exceptions. I couldn’t even tell you who the exceptions were at this point in time since many of them have already been long gone from this world. Our ancestors were all of European heritage and from typical Catholic countries in Europe such as Ireland, Poland, Italy, etc.
Most Catholics NEVER leave the Catholic Church. They are born into it and they die in it. And many Catholics will even tell you: “I was born Catholic and I am going to die Catholic!”. However, even Catholics with such a perspective cannot overpower the will of Almighty God. In my case, I was actually quite content as a Catholic. The Catholic Church had a set of rules (do and don’ts) that I could easily handle, especially with the various loopholes for sin, that are built into Catholicism… You know the ones, like, if you sin, well, you just go to confession, tell the priest that you sinned and he gives you the “penance” assignment. You then do the assignment (pray certain “canned” prayers a certain number of times – and then, “presto!” your sins are gone and you continue on your way in life, sinning and confessing to your local priest, going to mass, receiving communion (the eucharist wafer) and you then qualify as a “good Catholic” who never has to really worry about God’s eternal wrath in Hell. You just might have to burn off some sins in Purgatory before entering the pearly gates of Heaven. In reality, Purgatory does not exist, Hell is a real likely destination for most, if not all Catholics, and sins cannot be removed by doing any penance assignment nor by the proclamation of absolution by a Catholic priest.
My Conversion Story
OK. So why would someone who was content with Catholicism, suddenly want to leave and leave for good, forever? That is where God comes into the picture. Yes, I know that God was in the picture from before the foundation of the world, but the God of the Bible, who I now know and worship, was not a major part of my life at that time. I was almost 30 years old and I was dealing with a lot of important issues in life including the recent suicide death of a cousin of mine, which got me thinking about my own mortality, and God definitely uses those kinds of experiences in life to get a person’s attention. Also, I was at a major decision point in my life, regarding marrying someone. And I was – for some reason, unknown to me – starting to become interested in the Bible and Bible preachers, including several on television who were talking about some very serious and frightening subjects regarding the end of the world and that place that I really needed to worry about and that most people end up in after leaving this world… You know the name of it. Its that place that most people think God would never send them to because they were never “that bad”. Of course, I am talking about Hell.
What we ALL fail to grasp, UNTIL God shows us, is that we all deserve to spend eternity in Hell for our lifetime of sin. Also, we are not at all FIT for Heaven, for fellowshipping with a very holy God for ALL eternity. In fact, without GOD making us fit for Heaven, we would HATE being there. The preoccupation of all of Heaven’s residents with holiness and with their HOLY sin-hating Savior would make unsaved sinners want to run out of there. ONLY GOD can make a person fit for Heaven, and not by putting them in a place of purging after death. The ONLY way that sin AND the sin nature can be purged from a sinner is by a supernatural work of God. That work of God is done by the Holy Spirit and it is called “regeneration”. And that happens IN THIS LIFETIME. It is what the Bible calls being “born again” and also known as “the second birth” or “the new birth” or being “born from above”. And with that being said, we can see why this statement made by the Lord Jesus Christ is one of the most crucial statements ever uttered by man or God:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – John 3:3
Contrary to the claim of the Catholic Church, a person is NOT “born again” when they, as a Catholic, are water baptized by a Catholic priest. Salvation doesn’t work that way. Salvation works by way of a preacher (including by way of reading the Bible or reading a gospel tract), preaches the Word of God to a lost sinner. That lost sinner then, after hearing the Word of God, becomes convicted of their sin by the Holy Spirit, and then finally, gets converted (i.e. regenerated) by the Holy Spirit, becoming a child of God, right then and there, in this life and for all eternity remaining.
So, that brings us back to why – and how – I ended up leaving the Catholic Church for good. After 3 decades in the Catholic Church, I finally heard the truth of the Bible being preached, preached OUTSIDE the Catholic Church by non-Catholics. I heard from those preachers that I was a hell-deserving sinner (and a hell-bound sinner without Christ as my Savior). This is what you could call the “bad news” of the Gospel. God then convicted me of my sin and my sinner-ship and my hell-deserving status. I then heard the “good news” of the Gospel, that I could throw myself at the mercy court of God, trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ to intervene on my behalf, and save my LOST SOUL, by applying HIS RANSOM PAYMENT to my account (which the Bible refers to as a propitiatory sacrifice). And my wonderful Savior did indeed come to my rescue at that point in time. I then became indwelt by the Holy Spirit, which I realized had happened once I realized that all of a sudden, I now had an interest in the Bible and in fellowshipping with other TRUE twice-born Christians, which I never had any desire for in my entire life. In fact, when I was a pre-teen, I would make fun of Billy Graham when my Catholic mother (who was a Rosary society member) would watch his crusades on TV. I have since come to learn that Mr Graham was very ecumenical and had ties to the Catholic Church which enabled him to have massive crusades across America without any major protests from the Catholic Church. In fact, the Catholic Church was actually involved in Mr Grahams crusades. I know this for a fact, as I had a key role in a Billy Graham crusade in 1991.
The Fruits And Signs Of My Conversion To Christ
Besides having a strange new interest in the Bible and in Christian fellowship, I also had a new found desire to warn my friends and relatives about Hell and tell them about the remedy, the Lord Jesus Christ. I also started to be much more aware of sin in my own life and started to be more concerned about sinning against God, than I had ever been in my entire life. This “new me” ended up being the cause for my marriage plans to evaporate and for that long term relationship ending with the woman I had previously thought I was going to marry.
My life was never the same after that conversion experience, that new birth. It forever changed my relationship to my friends and family. It definitely caused a lot of friction for me with the staunch Catholics in my family, including with my parents, with my Catholic god-father and with a cousin who had been like a brother to me up until that point in time that God saved my soul, and made me a new creature in Christ. And that is all to be expected by the new birth. Jesus said so!. And when God SUPERNATURALLY adopts you into His family and into the TRUE Church, there is no going back. There is no going back to your old unregenerate self and no going back to a religious system that is NOT the true Church of twice-born believers in Christ. And that is what I learned when God saved my soul. I then – and only then – understood that I had had a RELIGION but I had not had a RELATIONSHIP with the Living and True God. Only the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit can make such a relationship possible. No amount of sacraments or religious rituals can create that supernatural relationship. It is ALL OF GOD! Praise the Lord, for He alone gets ALL the glory.
1. Romans 9:19 – “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?”
2. Mark 2:7 – “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?”
3. Romans 10:14-15 – “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”
4. 1 John 4:10 – “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
5. Luke 12:53 – “The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”
6. Titus 3:5 – “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
7. Jonah 2:9 – “Salvation is of the Lord.”
SEE ALSO: Why I Am No Longer A Roman Catholic
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Christ Died For The Ungodly
by Horatius Bonar
The divine testimony concerning man is, that he is a sinner. God bears witness against him, not for him; and testifies that "there is none righteous, no, not one"; that there is "none that doeth good"; none "that understandeth"; none that even seeks after God, and, still more, none that loves Him (Psa. 14:1-3; Rom. 3:10-12). God speaks of man kindly, but severely; as one yearning over a lost child, yet as one who will make no terms with sin, and will "by no means clear the guilty." <continued>