But if that were the case, how could we fulfill Jesus’ directive to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4)? Why did He say the Holy Spirit would lead the Apostles into all truth? He must have meant it. And He must have made it possible.
But who then was protected from error by God? The Baptists didn’t claim that, nor did any Protestants. Only the Mormons, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox claimed such a thing with any credibility.
I began to study and pray and think. The elephant in the room was the Catholic Church. I feared it like I feared few other things. It surely must be wrong on so many issues: contraception, Mary, the pope, the saints, purgatory. How could such things be defended?
I was ready to continue my rejection of Catholicism as I started reading about these issues. All that was needed was to see how flimsy the Catholic arguments were, and that would be that.
But the arguments weren’t flimsy. They were pretty good. And some were quite solid. And the counter-arguments made by Catholicism were strong too. How did I know which books God had inspired in the Bible? Hmm, good question. I started exploring that. My mind almost tied itself in a knot trying to figure out how Protestantism could successfully bootstrap its way up to sola Scriptura.
I read more. Surely some Protestant has found an ironclad line of reasoning on this issue. I searched and searched, and found nothing that satisfied. Oh, I read many theories and proposed explanations of how a Protestant could know the canon of Scripture with certainty, but even as a Protestant wanting to remain Protestant I saw the weaknesses of the arguments I was reading.
Go Where the Truth Is
I wanted few things less than to become Catholic. Even saying the word "Catholic" made me internally shudder in revulsion. But God had brought me from atheism to faith; He wasn’t going to lead me astray now. I confidently told Him that if I was going to do something evil or wrong, He could kindly smite me dead or show me that it was the wrong thing. He did neither.
Thirteen years later I am still Catholic, and I have never regretted it. Not to say that the Church doesn’t have problems–she does–but by God’s grace what she teaches is true. She is the only safe haven against the confusion of the world. God has safeguarded her; it was the only way it could ever be possible. And I am and will be eternally grateful to our Lord for His great mercy on me, a sinner.
Devin Rose is a professional software developer by day and a lay apologist by night. He lives on a farm outside of Austin with wife and two children. He blogs at St. Joseph’s Vanguard and is the author of The Protestant’s Dilemma: How the Reformation’s Shocking Consequences Point to the Truth of Catholicism.