I converted precisely for the reasons that I have explained in my four or five different accounts. It wasn’t because I was ignorant of evangelical Protestantism. It wasn’t because I despised or hated same or came to regard it as worthless. It wasn’t because I was disenchanted with where I was.
My journey began out of simple intellectual curiosity about why Catholic believed certain things that I thought were exceedingly strange and puzzling (particularly, the ban on contraception, and infallibility).
Many of the things I hold very dear now (love of the Bible, interest in Christian worldview, pro-life, opposing cults and atheists, evangelism, fighting cultural sexual immorality, apologetics in general, strong family values, political conservatism, concern for the poor, love for great Christian authors and thinkers. Bible studies, prayer groups) were cultivated during those days. That’s where I initially learned all that stuff. It was the air I breathed.
I’ll always be thankful for that and remember those times with the utmost fondness. Ironically, many Protestants (often of the anti-Catholic / fundamentalist variety) appear to view many of their evangelical brothers and sisters far, far more negatively than I would ever dream of characterizing my own past.
Those of us who were evangelical and loved it, who later become Catholics, don’t have to reject our past and regard it as an evil, bad thing. We simply think that we have come to understand in faith some additional elements of Christianity that were lacking in our previous Christian circles (a sense of history, sacramentalism, ecclesiology, the saints, greater emphasis on the incarnation and actual sanctification, etc.).
Conversion from evangelicalism to Catholicism isn’t “evil vs. good”. Rather, it is a matter (as we see it, with all due and sincere respect) of “very good” and “better” or “a great deal of truth” and “the fullness of truth” or “excellent” and “best.”
Photo credit: Yours truly, back in my evangelical campus evangelist days (August 1988; just turned 30).