For years, the Catholic Television Network (EWTN) has had a show called The Journey Home. My parents used to watch this show when I was a child, for the few years that we had a dish before we tore the roof off the house. To the best of my recollection, the purpose of the show is to display how Catholicism is an awesome religion because so many people convert to it. When I found out that all the episodes are available online, I decided to watch them and review them. It’s undeniable that people convert to Catholicism; my question is, do they have good reasons? How many of them started as some form of Christian in the first place? How many came from other religions? How many were atheists or skeptics? Why did they convert, and would the answer to that question be a convincing reason for a skeptic?
If you decide to watch these episodes with me, you may notice that I ignore a lot of things I could respond to. The target audience is Catholics, and this is clear from the very first minute that Marcus Grodi begins speaking. These stories aren’t necessarily meant to convince a skeptic, but to strengthen the faith of a Catholic, or possibly convince a non-Catholic Christian to convert, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. Nonetheless, I’d like to see if this collection of conversion stories contains any compelling reasons for a skeptic to convert.
The eleventh episode is titled “Curtis Martin: A Non-denominational Evangelical Who Returned To The Catholic Faith – The Journey Home Program” and aired November 14, 1997. It can be viewed online here.
Curtis was raised Catholic, but drifted away around high school age. When in college, he began reading his Bible. Because of Evangelical friends of his, he became an Evangelical; he was unable to defend Catholic teachings using the Bible and stopped believing them since he took the Bible so seriously. Eventually, when he learned that he could find Catholic teachings (like the Eucharist) in the Bible (John chapter 6), he returned to Catholicism.
It hardly bears repeating at this point that nothing in that story speaks to me, because I don’t have any reason to believe in the Bible, and several reasons not to.
So far, our breakdown of the guests’ religious state before conversion to Catholicism looks like this.
- Serious Christian: 7
- Always Catholic: 2
- Lax Christian: 0
- Non-Christian, but religious: 2
- Non-believer, but not very skeptical: 0
- Skeptic: 0