Stepping Out in Faith: Former Catholics Tell Their Stories is a short book edited by Mark Gilbert and published by Mathias Media, a Christian publisher located in Australia. It is an excellent book for Roman Catholics who are questioning their faith, perhaps disillusioned and wondering whether Protestantism represent the truth about life, God and salvation. It contains 11 testimonies of people who left their Catholic upbringing and came to understand and embrace the gospel message as revealed in the Bible.
There are several features about these testimonies that were common refrains.
1) Roman Catholics are not bashed as sometimes can happen among Bible believing Christians. Most of these people had strong ties to their Catholic upbringing and it was difficult for them to leave it.
2) Most of these testimonies uniformly affirmed that their Catholic upbringing led them to believe that their salvation depended on themselves instead of the finished work of Christ on their behalf. Salvation was achieved by good deeds and adherence to religious rituals and dogmas. Many were shocked to discover that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
3) Many report that their Catholic upbringing left a strong pall of guilt over them. As Angelo Porcu noted, the Catholic Church emphasized guilt instead of forgiveness. There was an oppressive spirit about many of their experiences in the church of Rome. Continue reading