Full of Little Dave Hunts
I grew up in a community with people having an identical spiritual mentality as Dave Hunt, a less-than-genuine response to God. I lived in a house full of little Dave Hunts, all saved. I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 27, a decision I don't regret, but in becoming a Catholic I discovered God intends more for his people than the familiar (I have it/you don't) Protestant dichotomy. It is the exclusivity of Dave Hunt's conservative Protestantism I have abandoned for the inclusiveness found in the Catholic Church.
I found the Church about the same time Scott Hahn did, although I knew nothing about him or others like him. Two questions always seemed to nag at me for which I could never get a satisfactory answer from my pastor. The entire Old Testament is almost nothing but history, so why does history suddenly get weird when we begin at Jesus and try to trace his Church and the story of his people from his era until now? Why does the telling of New Testament history always skip 1,500 years of Christian history as though it never happened?
When you ask people about this they hang their heads, mumbling something about Catholic deception and having to pay money to have your sins forgiven, but the truth is they don't know. Dave Hunt believes all these Catholics were lost and went to hell, something that has always struck me as preposterous. How could Jesus allow these people to go to hell merely because they lacked Luther's perspective? The thought is absurd.
My decision to join the Catholic Church was the result of carefully examining the thinking of the Protestant Reformers to see if I was able to agree with their positions. Did their arguments, however sound, justify the break-up of the Catholic Church into 20,000 splinter churches, each divisive and quarrelsome? It became an issue with me. I didn't want to ride on the theological coat-tails of the Reformers any longer.
During this period I studied Hus, Wycliffe, Zwingli, Bucer, Simons, Melancthon, Bullinger, Knox, Calvin, von Zinzendorf, and Wesley. When it became obvious that their arguments were not defensible, I was left with no option but to return to the Church they had abandoned. I went to a priest and told him I believed the Protestant Reformation had been a mistake, and he agreed. I asked to become a Catholic. The priest introduced me to the RCIA process, and I received baptism into the Church one year ago this past Easter.
Something strange happened to me about six months after becoming a Catholic. I was hit by a panic, and all of a sudden feared I had made a horrible blunder in renouncing the Protestant Reformation. I was afraid I had walked away from God's simple plan of salvation, betrayed my forefathers, and joined the false church.
This is very difficult for cradle Catholics to comprehend, but the experience was very real, and I left the Church and ran right back to Dave Hunt. I re-read his frightful little corpus and for some time lamented sorely the fateful detour I'd taken to Rome. This Rock printed a short letter I wrotein which I extolled Hunt as a faithful brother in Christ and the Catholic Church as false. I wrote all my relatives and told the priest I knew that I had left Rome.
But God works in mysterious ways, and he would not let me go that easily. I slowly realized how much I really missed the Catholic Church and the Mass, and tears filled my eyes.
Shortly thereafter I made an appointment with a priest to talk about this and to give my confession. Praise God for the sacrament of reconciliation. How sad and miserable the feelings of denying Jesus and his Church!
The depths of misunderstanding surrounding conservative Protestantism's opinions about the Catholic Church are monumental, but if there is room for me, maybe Dave Hunt will be so moved one day and will return to the Church his ancestors left so many years ago.
You guys need money? Don't tell me you are broke. Call on your modern liberal apostate Novus Ordo American bishops to financially bail you out of your crises. That is if they have any money left after paying the large pedophile fines. Liberal Bishop Wuerl permitted you to lecture in his diocese. After closing 38 churches, he should have bookoo $$$.
Before you heretics enter our SSPX chapels, confess, repent, and amend your liberal ways. Ladies to wear proper, modest attire with head covering. Leave the dancing shoes and kissing salts at home. Ain't no shaking going on here.
I Refused to Read It
My husband subscribed to your magazine about a year ago, and, I must be honest, I assumed it would be another one of those negative "the Latin Mass is the only Mass" and "to hell with anyone who agrees with Vatican II" magazines, and I refused to read it. But I couldn't have been more wrong. I made a decision three weeks ago to renounce television for the sake of preserving the faith and purity of my family. In order to fill the void, I began reading This Rock (skeptically) and found myself completely engrossed in your articles and often laughing out loud when you would flatten the arguments presented by Protestants, liberals, femi-nazis, etc.
Therefore, I must apologize to you for making such an erroneous assumption. Because my husband has saved every issue since June of 1994, I have had plenty of time to critique your stance on Catholicism, and I have found that you are completely centered on the faith, positive, hopeful, and trustworthy. My knowledge of the Catholic faith has advanced by leaps and bounds just through reading your magazine and also the book titled Surprised by Truth. It has helped tremendously in defending my faith against the barrage of Liberty University graduates I encounter daily.
I was particularly struck by one of your most recent articles entitled "Angry Is as Angry Does" [March 1995]. There seem to be so many well-intentioned defenders of the faith these days who act like the New Mass is worthless and everything before Vatican II was perfect.
Now, I wasn't born until 1970, but in my opinion the Church must have needed changes or changes wouldn't have been made. If we believe in the magisterium of the Church and in the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the bishops' decision -- making, then how can some believe that they are so -- Catholic but not have faith in the magisterium of the Church?
It seems that they are missing all the joy in our faith. They are so busy complaining about this abuse or that abuse instead of putting that energy toward a more effectual means. I understand the importance of defending our faith--it is required of us. But there is also a time to let go of the anger and negativity.
There are also those Catholics who have gone overboard with Mary and apparitions to the exclusion of Christ. What in the heck is wrong with Catholics these days? How come we can't find balance? Is it so hard to love Jesus Christ, the Mass, our Lady, and the Holy Father all at the same time? I have found great joy and peace when I pray at night for those who have strayed. I know that the abuses will all be taken care of as long as I am doing my part -- following the Pope, using the sacraments, attending Mass, praying the rosary and living a Christian life -- and leaving the rest to Jesus.