Calvary Chapel

My nephew is a member of Calvary Chapel and has been told some incorrect things about the Catholic Church.

He visited recently and stated that Catholics put Mary above Jesus. I said no we don’t. He said yes they do.

I said, I’m a Catholic, we don’t do that.

There are former Catholics in his congregation and I guess they just spew whatever inaccuracies they wish.

I’m glad he’s found Jesus but I do have an issue with what he has been told by former Catholics and by what they seem to teach in general.

My understanding is that they teach the Bible, book by book, verse by verse. Basically they don’t have a worship service, they have a Bible study.

I’m guessing they are confusing that with worship. I didn’t say that we worship God and leave Bible study for other times but I will in the future.

Guess my question is: How do I gently teach him without antagonizing him? I am an excitable person and need to be calmer when discussing these issues. So any prayers would be appreciated.

One thing to remember is what it was like when you were seeking to enter the Church. If it had been an excitable, in-your-face Catholic, chances are you would have walked.

Give him copies of Scott Hahn’s (Maryfoundation) Conversion CD or Tim Staples’ “The Bible made me do it” CD from Lighthouse Catholic Media. There is no harm in telling him that they can explain it more calmly than you can.

Also, when you sit down to discuss faith, limit yourself at the beginning to two topics. Let him pick the topics. And let him know that this is to keep you both on track. Your discussions will be more productive.

Don’t try to win. Just explain your position calmly. The more you try to win the more he will try to win, and it’s just going to devolve into an argument. And no one was ever converted by arguing.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, "There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing. "

I know quite a few people who go to Calvary. Most have never heard of Orthodoxy, although I’m sure if they did they would present complaints similar to those that they present to Catholics (Mary and the saints, salvation through “works,” Confession, etc.).

I avoid talking about my faith with people who are looking to tear it down. I would advise you do the same. If your relative sees you living the Christian life, that will be more than enough evidence should they be open to changing their mind.

Only give out books if you think your relative will be receptive.

Set the ground rules. No debating, no arguing. Tell him if he has a question about the Catholic Faith you will be happy to answer and if you don’t know you will find out. Then if you like you can ask him a question (like does he know where we got the Bible? :))

Search online for the Beginning Apologetics books. They are a good resource.

From what I have heard the protestant community that he is in is pretty anti Catholic to the point that I don’t think they look at Catholics as Christians so I would inform him that once he starts throwing out accusations the conversation ends.

Actually, I was converted by arguing! I met some Catholics who wouldn’t back down! :smiley:

I have a friend at work who attends Calvary and he had a lot of misconceptions about Catholicism. I was speaking to him one day and he asked if I was Christian because I was giving him some advice about something. I said yes I am, I’m Catholic and he was blown out of the water and said I thought you were Christian, so I explained that I am and gave him the normal clarifications. He asked if he could ask me about some of the things we do and I said please do, so he voiced concerns about things, such as Marian worship and not reading the bible. So I explained all that and then he asked about rapture so I explained the Catholic understanding of the end times, a best I could and believe or not his personal belief was more on par with what Catholics believe and he told me that was what his church taught and I said no it’s not and then explained to him what his church taught and he didn’t believe they would teach that and I said yes they do. We talked about the bible and religion for hours while working and he told me one day there are a lot of ex Catholics at his church and they are the ones who told me all this stuff and so I told him to ask them if they knew the bible very well when they were Catholics, so he asked them and they said no they didn’t know anything about God or the bible and never bothered to learn in the Catholic faith. So I told him well then they don’t know what they believed as Catholics do they and he laughed and said I guess not. He is surprised that I read the bible daily and we talk a lot about faith and I have explained a lot of what and why we do as Catholics and have told him if he ever has questions about Catholicism to ask me and not some anti Catholic. I told him i don’tt know it all but I’ll find out if I don’t know. I told him it’s better to hear our story from us. I also explained I’m sure if you would have asked the Nazis about the Jewish people they would have had a lot to say and you would have learned some things but it would have all been skewed and tainted. Maybe not a good comparison but got the point across. So now one day he was at a bible study and the ex Catholic pastor said some things about what Catholics believe and my friend corrected him and the pastor told him I should know I used to be catholic and my friend said well you’re wrong I have a friend who is catholic and he explained such and such. The pastor said your friend probably doesn’t even know the bible, my friend said yes he does and better than me. He told the pastor I’ll ask him at work tomorrow but I’m sure you’re wrong and so he came to work and told me and I explained you are right about what we believe not the pastor and I thanked him for defending us and he said no problem. Will he convert some day I don’t think so, I don’t know, it’s not my job but I’d like to think I did my small part in my dialogue with him. So after all that writing I guess all I want to say is keep talking, explaining, be kind but insist on what we believe and to do that we must know the what and why. At least he 'll learn the Catholic story from a catholic.

:thumbsup: That’s a good point because all too often we hear that we need only to live our Faith. It’s not an either/or as in protestantism. It’s both/and. Dialogue is key.

Welcome Home!

Thanks to all for your responses, I’m not on my computer right now, so this is a quickie on my phone.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit