Can anyone help me evangolize to a former Catholic gone Baptest?


#1

Hi everybody,
It seems that everyone around me are protestants and I feel like I should be doing a better job of evangolizing. I work at a grocery store as a cashier and the assistant store manager is a baptest who left the Cathlic church a while back because he said there wasn’t enough scripture reading there. (whatever!)

Anyway, I really like him a lot. He does a great job of reaching out to some of the lost teenagers and incourages them to read their bibles. Of course, one day he asks me if I’m saved and I answered “yes” because I am familiar with the protestant game and dicided that as far as he’s concearned I am. I told him that I believe Jesus Christ is truly God and all that. Boy, when he found out I was Catholic and an active Catholic at that, I thought he was going to FAINT! :eek:

He starts right off, “why don’t Cathlics talk about being saved?” I tried to explain that we just use different termonolgy, and that we believe going to heaven is a little more than simply “accepting Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior”. Well I told him about my Bible study. It’s a group of Cathlic woman and we discuss spiritual warfare and he was shocked that Catholics were allowed to read their Bibles. He now has this impression that my sisters in christ and I are rebelling against the church. He keeps asking me, “Isn’t that against Catholic teaching?” and I say no. but he doesn’t believe me!

Now, he keeps asking my husband and I to go to his Bible study one day to check it out. I REALLY do NOT want to go! I have this dreadful feeling that it would be a Cathlic Church bashing contest and I really don’t do well in those. But I know his heart is in the right place, he’s just been misled. (and now misleading others) some of the former Catholics are the worst about attacking the Church. So should I go? Should I be polite? Also, what kinds of things could I maybe give him in time to read? He’s mo bosses assistant (My boss is CAthlic :thumbsup: ) but I don’t want to step over the line and get myself in trouble at work. Has anyone been is a similar situation? what did you do?

My husband is not Cathlic, but I think he has more respect for the Cathlic church than he does for the baptests who throw verbal bombs at it. But since he’s not catholic, he really can’t help me much.

Any help would be appriciated :slight_smile:
thanks
Sue


#2

As one of those former Protestants that was always trying to get people “saved” I can tell you that his invitation to his Bible study would be exactly what you fear–a Catholic Church bashing session. You can decline graciously by reminding him that you already attend your own Bible study group, but thank him for his thoughtful invitation. Never let on to him that you see through his tactics aimed at getting you out of the Catholic Church and into his.

And do go right on correcting his misconceptions about the Church. Buy him a copy of the Catechism and tell him that if he, as a former Catholic, never read it, he really should, not to necessarily bring him back to the Church but so he can know what the Church actually teaches so he won’t go on spreading misinformation about it. Believe me that will set him back on his heels! :wink: And pray for him, of course, and be ever kind and gentle with him so that he can see the love of Christ in you. God bless your efforts with him and your husband. May God grant them both the grace to open their eyes and ears to the truth.


#3

if he is your friend, going is your choice to make…

if his heart is in the right place, he won’t bash your beliefs…

but, if it were me, and anyone ‘bashed’ the church, and i didn’t
feel i could defend my beliefs, i’d leave…

as for excatholics being the most anti-catholic… they are trying
to justify their leaving the church, so they will be more passionate
than a lot of people… but, just as your friend, most of them don’t
understand the teaching of the church, or they wouldn’t leave…

your friend was probably ‘born catholic’… but he obviously didn’t
’live catholic’…

as for bible reading… i was a baptist for 45 years… there is more
’bible reading’ in one sunday service in the catholic church
than i ever heard in one baptist sermon… with the first reading,
the psalms, the second reading and the gospel, that’s a lot
of bible reading in the service… baptist preachers usually hope
around from verse to verse… and end up actually reading very
little scripture… or, that’s the way it was in the churchs i
attended…

:slight_smile:


#4

[quote=SueKrum]Hi everybody,

…Now, he keeps asking my husband and I to go to his Bible study one day to check it out. I REALLY do NOT want to go! I have this dreadful feeling that it would be a Cathlic Church bashing contest and I really don’t do well in those. But I know his heart is in the right place, he’s just been misled. (and now misleading others) some of the former Catholics are the worst about attacking the Church. So should I go? Should I be polite? Also, what kinds of things could I maybe give him in time to read? He’s mo bosses assistant (My boss is CAthlic :thumbsup: ) but I don’t want to step over the line and get myself in trouble at work. Has anyone been is a similar situation? what did you do?

Any help would be appriciated :slight_smile:
thanks
Sue
[/quote]

Sue-

When you say that you “don’t do well” in debates defending the Catholic faith, what does that mean? Do you not know enough or do you easily get intimidated or are you afraid of offending someone or are you just afraid of being rejected for your faith?
This particular situation you are contemplating may not be the right time for you, but at the very least it should serve as a motivation to strengthen your knowledge of history and your faith so that the next time a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY like this to proclaim the Truth and defend His Church falls in your lap you will be better prepared, no? I’m no genius, but Im quite confident we’re not up against any great intellects here. I’d be happy to help. You need to read a few books. Two I will recommend are: Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic by David Currie; another is Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating. I here that Evangelical is Not Enough by Dave Armstrong is also excellent.
Even just reading the Library tracts in the CatholicAnswers Homepage is plenty to set the record straight in defense of the faith.
As a tactical recommendation, you should begin first and foremost with Sola Scriptura. It is a weak link. Hard to imagine you can claim Scripture Alone without a definitive means of defining what Scripture is, no?

Be not afraid-

Phil


#5

Sue – God love you, you are undertaking a wonderful thing.

First of all, you can say to this guy: If you were Catholic, then you should know that reading Scripture is not only encouraged by the Church but we are promised special blessings for doing it (don’t use the word “indulgence” at this stage)?


#6

phil,
thanks for your advice. I do know a little bit. I am a “radio active” catholic and I try to read a lot. But I am just not a good debator. I freeze up and break out into a cold sweat when I debate something. I remember talking about purgatory with my beloved husband who will love me no matter what and I thought I was going to pass out from being so scared. I guess I just need to pray more about it. but I may check out the books you mentioned. I live accross the street from a catholic book store :thumbsup:


#7

[quote=SueKrum]Any help would be appriciated :slight_smile:
thanks
Sue
[/quote]

The best advice I ever got was from an old priest who told me not to waste time arguing about all the things that Protestants don’t like about the Church - Mary, purgatory, praying to the Saints, etc., etc. He said to offer them a gift - stick to talking about the Eucharist. He said to become intimately familiar with the Biblical support for the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist and understand all the Protestant objections and be prepared to answer them.

But, in the end, we are only called to be faithful sowers of seeds. It is the Lord’s job to bring the harvest. The best way you can evangelize is to be a good witness to Christ in the way you live as a Catholic.


#8

[quote=SueKrum]phil,
thanks for your advice. I do know a little bit. I am a “radio active” catholic and I try to read a lot. But I am just not a good debator. I freeze up and break out into a cold sweat when I debate something. I remember talking about purgatory with my beloved husband who will love me no matter what and I thought I was going to pass out from being so scared. I guess I just need to pray more about it. but I may check out the books you mentioned. I live accross the street from a catholic book store :thumbsup:
[/quote]

If face-to-face debate is difficult for you, then I would use the printed word instead. Catholic.com has numerous short articles that address the objections he has. I would suggest giving them the articles instead. If he comes back to you with more debate, simply be honest: “I’m just not very good at debate. Let me find some material that addresses your objections.” Some people will maintain that the inability to debate effectively is a sign that you don’t know your agruments, but to be honest, some people just naturally “choke up” at those moments, regardless of how much they might know—so don’t let him dodge the material that way.


#9

[quote=SueKrum]phil,
thanks for your advice. I do know a little bit. I am a “radio active” catholic and I try to read a lot. But I am just not a good debator. I freeze up and break out into a cold sweat when I debate something. I remember talking about purgatory with my beloved husband who will love me no matter what and I thought I was going to pass out from being so scared. I guess I just need to pray more about it. but I may check out the books you mentioned. I live accross the street from a catholic book store :thumbsup:
[/quote]

Sue-

Trust me, I understand. Prayer is always beneficial- don’t overlook, however, the “great teacher”: experience! You need to slowly wade into the topics you are more comfortable with (Mary Indulgences and Purgatory are OFF LIMITS for now!) and develop the peace of mind that comes from knowing what to expect.
Also, be patient. Generally people who are ignorant of the Catholic faith are ignorant of their ignorance (“He who knows not and knows not that he knows not - he is a fool, shun him” ancient chinese proverb extraction). Let them reveal their unjustified bias such as,“he was shocked that Catholics were allowed to read their Bibles”. And then you can say something like,"Well Dave, I thought you said you were Catholic once, right? Then you must know that during the Liturgy of the Word that we read a section of the OT, something from the NT, a Gospel chapter AND several verses from Psalms during the Responsorial Psalm at each MASS, right? And that doesn’t cover the recitation of The Lords Prayer - which is pure Scripture, nor does it include the recitation of the Last Supper prior to Communion - which is pure Scripture, nor does it include other parts of Scripture that are woven into the prayers such as the Nicene Creed all said at each Mass. I guess Im a little confused by what you mean when you say your surprised that Catholics are allowed to read their bibles - where did you get such an idea?"
And there is much more to be said in how far the Church has gone to promote Scripture reading, but the point is that you need to start simple and build upon it. You already know how much Scripture is in the Mass and there are daily readings as well. I dont know, I think you have a lot of untapped potential and you OWE it to our Lord to bring it out - for His sake!

Blabbermouth Phil


#10

[quote=JimO]But, in the end, we are only called to be faithful sowers of seeds. It is the Lord’s job to bring the harvest. The best way you can evangelize is to be a good witness to Christ in the way you live as a Catholic.
[/quote]

This is exactly right.

Preach the Gospel faithfully.

You can’t “argue anyone into the Church”.

Blessings,
Richard


#11

I’m no great apologist, but here’s my thoughts to what’s been said so far:

1) Try not to be defensive. There is much good in acknowledging someone’s feelings, as a way of letting them know you understand where they are coming from. For example, when I am told someone is surprised Catholics read their Bibles, I can acknowlege that this is a reputation or opinion that is commonly held…and it is not completely unfounded. In fact, I may give a story like: When we started some apologetics classes at my parish I invited the folks to “bring your Bibles”. It was so cute to see grandparents arrive with those big display full color picture Bibles that you see on coffee tables.

Once you acknowlege what they are saying (if there is any truth to it) you will have eased their defenses.

Another example would be regarding the merit of works. I’ve found it very helpful to confirm understanding of their position “Why do Catholics think they can somehow earn their way into Heaven…for us to think we have to do ANYTHING takes away from the Glory of what Jesus did for us” You will see heads nod, as they see that you understand what they’re saying. Now you have their attention because they are not defensive.

2) Try to take an approach that you will be discovering with him, the Church’s reasons for beliefs. It is easy to feel inadequate if you think you need to have all the answers (i.e. in that Bible study). But if you go in with the attitude like “hmmm. great question. I’ll look into it and let’s see why the Church teaches that”, not only does it take the pressure off you, but they will be even less defensive because you are not defensive.

**3) ** I tend to make the following statement of belief, “I believe the vast majority of people who have left the Church, have left not understanding properly what or why the Church teaches what it does”. Make sure this isn’t an accusation though, or condemnation of his leaving.

But this may well open doors to specific issue that he has a problem with when looking at Catholicism. And if he asks a question you don’t know the answer to, say "you know, that is a great point…I can see what you’re saying (confirm you understand his objection)…I’ll do some digging and get back to you.

**4) ** Many people resent what they perceive as Catholic arrogance. So I try to be real careful to avoid the default “infallibilty” arguement. In most cases, you can use their own Bible to prove the case, which is MUCH more effective.

**5) ** I consentrate on Sola Scriptura, but not as a direct argument. Let a topic arise, pose a few verses to rebut the verses they give to you, and let it continue for a short while until you both agree it comes down to interpretation. Then the real question arises which I pose to them “Well, it seems we interpret it differently…how can a person decide with certainty which interpretation is correct?”

Don’t give your answer, but rather let them pose every possible solution they can come up with to answer that question and show how they fail to arrive at certainty. Then make the case for a truth verifying source external to the pages of the Bible.

Good Luck, Let us know how it goes.


#12

Thanks guys, I’ll take all these points into consideration. I see him about every other day and when it’s not busy, he’ll come up and talk with me and I’ll pray that I keep my witts about me and ask my garudian angel to talk to his :slight_smile:
I’m so glad I found this discussion forum and I’ve been telling my friends at church about it. there are so many smart folks on here :slight_smile:


#13

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