A Christian is Trying to Convert Me - Another Christian

I’ve known this couple for a few years now. They’re a very sweet couple and I see them almost every day at their workplace or mine.

A few weeks before Christmas Mrs. A. asked me if I was attending church still (I attended one of their church functions once) and I told her yes, I attended the Catholic Church. Her eyebrows rose but she didn’t say anything.

A week later I received a Christmas package from them that included a phamplet. It was one of those; Who is Jesus and how can he save you? Type phamplets. Clearly marketed towards struggling Christians, new Christians, or those with no faith. I laughed it off and took it as a gesture of their concern for my soul. Mildly offensive and sweet all at the same time!

A few weeks after that I saw Mr. A. at my workplace and I asked HIM if he was attending the same church. He said no and reluctantly admitted they’re not attending any church at the moment. So I cheerfully told him if he ever felt the urge I’d be more then happy to sit with him at Mass.

He stiffened up and informed me that he was raised Catholic (and in fact was studying to be a priest) and OH the stories he could tell me about how horrible that place is.

Now, yesterday he came in and presented me with a DVD. I didn’t have a chance to look at it until after he left, we were really busy at work. It’s a DVD for struggling and/or new Christians and its intent is to teach the Good News.

sigh

I’m unsure what action to take now. They clearly know I attend church and that I’m Christian but they seem to be convinced that I’m struggling and need to be saved.

What do you think? Should I just ignore their blatant attempts to save my soul from the Fires of the Catholic Church? How should I approach this? I’m really not sure and because I’m still just studying the Church I’m really hesitant to have a face to face debate/discussion. I’m just not firm enough in my knowledge to get into that (RCIA hasn’t quite taught me anything about the Catholic faith yet).

I’m praying about this, of course, but I like hearing input from others as well. Sometimes God speaks through the internet even. :wink:

Forgive me if I seem too blunt. But my conversion was very carefully orchestrated. I have successfully (in my own mind) denounced the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a cult, alongside the Seventh Day Adventists and Mormons. Although I do respect the moral code of most Mormons I have read about. However, for the most part, the Protestant tracts aimed at conversion are flimsy and, as you postulated, insulting. However, the non-Communion churches do have them. I’ve never really seen or heard of a lot of Catholic outreach. My suggestion to you would to be to study the historicity of the Church. There are two viable candidates for the Apostolic Church, the Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches. However, it was the Orthodoxy that split from Rome, in the end. Have you ever studied Protestantism? Much of Protestantism can be traced to Luther, and Calvin and the so-called Reformers. I respect Luther, but his doctrine includes cast amounts of assumption. The very fact that non-Catholic churches are based on assumptions make them very mortal. You are being led by a man. I myself am a Catechumen in the Catholic Church. By all means, I shouldn’t be, but, if you will forgive my presumption, I felt called to it. I then began to study Catholic Doctrine. Read your Bible too. The Old Testament gives glimpses into the Church’s authenticity. The concepts of the afterlife were radically different, but there’s a lot of multicultural evidence to support the accuracy of the Hebrew claims for She’ol. Yet, Christ preaches a radically different version of She’ol in the Gospels. I believe the Old Testament describes a sort of prelude to Purgatory. But there are many Apologists better equipped than I to help you. I would reccomend Peter Kreeft’s Fundamentals of The Faith. I’m reading it right now and it’s fantastic. It’s an easy read, the language is sufficiently engaging and the sense of humour is amazingly sardonic, if you’re into that sort of thing. Also, John Martignoni is an extreemly competent defender of the faith, I would listen to his tracts as well. Don’t lose heart. I never once doubted the authenticity of the Church, it’s doctrines and morality. And don’t let the surface fool you. Sometimes individual Catholics make for extremely bad public relations, especially if they happen to be the loudmouthed little princesses heckling at the back of your head in College. But the detractors aren’t the Church, Christ is the Church. If you’ve ever felt that the Church itself was corrupt, look to the people campaigning for it, look to the Pope, the Apologists and the Doctors, the Priests. Well, anyway, I’ve been rambling on long enough. I don’t want to make myself look like an idiot now.

God bless you, and I pray you’ll stick to your guns and fight it out

Hello Nicky, Just continue to read and learn as much as you can about the Apostolic Church. The great resource is the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Next time the opportunity arises, tell your friends that you love them and understand where they are coming from,but however, you have discovered the whole Truth of Christ’s revelation and you think that, at the moment, it would be just best to leave things at that.
God’s blessings and peace to you, :)Carlan
PS,I am sure there will be others here to give you much more help and consideration in your need to respond well to your friends.

I’ve been in situations like this numerous times. I am a Catholic and will never leave the church, but yet people still try to ‘convert’ me because they think I’m going to hell all because I am Catholic…I tell you the truth: it will never end.

In these situations, you need to remain polite and just say thanks. Go ahead and listen to what they have to say, and then find answers to any questions they might come up with (usually their questions aren’t because they want to know, it’s to get you to stumble). You don’t have to go back and tell them about the answers you found, because God often puts these people in our lives to strengthen our own faith and understanding. Keep track of what they say, and seek out any lies or half-truths. If there is but one lie in a pile of truth, then it is not from God (remember, Satan uses the truth too-- see the temptation of Jesus in the desert for some fine examples).

Do not be surprised if these people start to distance themselves from you. You see, if the world rejected the Truth, and you abide in the Truth, the world is going to reject you too-- so get used to it. I have lost ‘friends’ all because I remain a Catholic…seriously, I have been snubbed and treated like trash by people who I became friends with, because they couldn’t pull me away from the church-- though I never tried to force my beliefs on them or tried to convert them.

The important thing is: remain firm, always be polite, do not argue with anyone, and politely listen to what they have to say. If you don’t have an answer for something, just say “I do not know, but I’ll find out.”

Don’t worry if they won’t listen to you. Nine times out of ten they want to be heard and they don’t want to listen (because if they did listen they’d hear the Truth). So just listen and when they followup with you, just say “Yes, I thought about it, but I don’t agree with you.”…if they want to know more then feel free to tell them, but usually they will get upset with you because you didn’t just believe their garbage. Eventually you’ll start hearing the same things over and over, and it will begin to amaze you that there are that many people in the world that just believe whatever someone tells them without ever checking into it.

Welcome to the life of being Catholic in today’s world.

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
Pro 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Let the Lord direct your actions. Pray about the situation and ask for wisdom and help. When Christ lives in you His light should shine for others to see. The couple seem to be making some assumptions based on their own experience.

Remember God knows your life from beginning to the end. He already knows the outcome. Relax, love God and be kind to your neighbors.

Some Christians are simply taught that Catholics aren’t really Christian and are just as much if not more in need of evangelization than someone with no church affiliation whatsoever. I’m sure this couple means well, even if their actions are a bit misdirected.

I would certainly try to avoid getting drawn into some sort of heated debate. As Jonathon suggested, you can use it as an opportunity to learn more about the Catholic faith. Share what you learn when the opportunity presents itself, but not in a confrontational way.

Really, the best “argument” is to remain steadfast in your Christian faith and continue to treat them with love and respect. Noticing that you are growing in holiness while learning more about the Catholic faith will speak volumes and hopefully dispel some of the misconceptions they have accepted about Catholics.

Thanks guys! All the advice given has been really helpful. I will definitely take this as an opportunity to grow.

Depending on how strong the friendship is, you could in turn give them a Catholic apologetics DVD and maybe a book on the saints and some material on Catholic contributions to Western civilization.

I find this phrase, spoken in love, helpful: “Your opinions/fears/scrupulosities don’t bind my conscience.” That is my gentle but firm way to state my rejection of someone else trying to impose their ungrounded authority on me. They can just stew in their anxieties over what I believe…I will journey on in peace and joy. By their fruits etc.

On that rare occasion when someone tells me I’m not saved, or damned, or whatever, I just say gently, “Only God judges souls and I wouldn’t presume to do His job for Him.”

Love, gentleness, service–always.

I was thinking about this last night and this idea came to me. Why not return the DVD to him and when you do say something like, “This is a good resource for struggling Christians out there. It is really important that we help struggling Christians to a greater relationship with Christ.” (Whether it was or wasnt isnt really important for now)

Dont let him assume you are not Christian, but constantly assert your Christian identity with him (when these situations come up, dont shove it in his face)

Also now that he gave you a DVD you have the oppertunity to return the favor with a Catholic Apologetics DVD (maybe Why be Catholic)

Two questions… how do those people come to such a conclusion and how as a Catholic should that it be handled?

To the OP, I think you did very well in your handling of the situation. I have to admit I’d have a hard time not calling shenanigans on someone questioning my faith when they don’t even currently attend church.

From experience, I believe they think this because they believe that the Catholic Church is the ‘whore of Babylon’ in the Apocalypse.

But whenever someone claims that I’m going to hell, I ask them why they feel that way. If they say it’s because I’m Catholic. I ask them this:

“Exactly what part of being a Catholic automatically condemns me to hell? What things do we Catholics do that are guaranteed to send us all to hell?”

Once the person identifies what they believe, then I can address each issue individually if the person is open to discussion. If they seem like they are combative and not going to listen, I just walk away from the conversation.

my response always has been, and I even do this with the pamphlets left on our cars outside Mass on Sunday when the local church prints their info, is to return the material in person, and promise never to insult their own faith if they promise not to insult mine.

But why do they think that? Sorry, lots I don’t know.

As far as asking them that it’s been my experience when you ask someone a question like that in response to such a bold claim they’re unable to provide sound reasoning.

Hi Nicky they mean well, in fairness you should send them some books too.

As for face to face, develop a 30 second testimony about what Jesus means to you and share it here for suggestions. pratice it in the mirror and time it. Next time they ask about church say it is not all about church it is about Jesus and share your testimony.

Also, you may want to start a thread on the dvd itself, maybe someone has dealt with it already and can tell you where it is off the mark.

After two nights of prayer I’ve decided to send the DVD back along with a book that explores the churches the Apostles started (it was written by a Catholic Priest and is aimed at Protestants and Catholics). It’s a very informative book and not aimed at struggling Christians, new Christians or those with no faith. It’s for Christians who wish to know more about the history of Christianity. :slight_smile: I thought it was a little more respectful then some of the stuff they’ve been sending me.

Along with the DVD and book I’ve included a short letter which says:

Thank you for your thoughtfulness and concern, however I feel this DVD is aimed at a struggling or new Christian, something which I am not. Please keep the DVD and save it for someone who truly needs it.

If you ever have any questions about my faith please don’t hesitate to ask me.

I have included a book for you that I thought you might find interesting.


I wrapped it all up like a present. Haha.

Really I just woke up this morning knowing exactly what to write and what to give so I’m feeling pretty confident about this course of action.

Part of me is really nervous that they WILL take me up on that offer. But I trust the Holy Spirit will guide my words when and if the time comes (just as I’m sure they’re trusting the Holy Spirit will guide them! Bizarre!). It’s SO strange to be in this position.

I’m used to those of other faiths trying to convert me, not other Christians. :\ Sure wish they’d been around when I was actually struggling with my faith… :shrug:

Whats the book called?

Nicky, I think you did the right thing :slight_smile: and I think you worded the letter well. (since you were praying probably the Holy Spirit helped you ;))

I’ve had Protestants try to convert me… I agree with other posters, try to let this be a growing opportunity, and learn as much as you can about the Catholic faith :slight_smile: (from Catholic sources because other sources often contain misunderstandings of Catholic doctrines, quotes taken out of context, etc)

God bless :slight_smile:

The book is called: The Churches the Apostles Left Behind.

I forget the author’s name.

I haven’t heard anything back yet… and probably wont’ for a few weeks but I have a sneaky suspicion this isn’t over. Seems lots of people are coming out of the wood works to talk me out of Catholicism!

The closer it gets to Easter the more opposition I’m facing. Where WERE these people when I was completely devoid of spirituality? Really!

Ah yes, someone doesn’t want you to join… We call it spiritual warfare :wink:

Excellent letter you sent them. They are now probably planning a new strategy. If/when you get tricky questions just come back here or to the apologetics section and you’ll get help.

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