Catholics! Show me the fruit!


#1

How can it be that Catholics have all the grace of 7 sacraments, including Christ Himself in the Eucharist, but the fruit of evangelism is just not there in the vast majority of the local parishes? Why is it that at face value the local Protestant church and even the Mormons are doing a much better job of fulfilling Christ’s last instructions in Matthew 28:19 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…”

Here’s a few examples:

The homilies at mass tend to be vague and general and not challenging but the local protestant pastor is fired up and wants to challenge and convert you.

The praise and worhip music at the neighborhood church has everyone singing and often on their feet while at mass it often sounds like the choir of the living dead. How many catholic music radio stations have you heard?

The vacation bible school’s at the protestant church are packed and dynamic but the local parish can barely scrape together a few volunteers to run the catholic vacation bible school.

I can’t find a catholic bible study group but have several protestant bible study options all over the place.

The voting record of the average catholic is no different than the non-christian while the average evangelical voter is much more likely to vote along the lines of catholic moral teaching.

Where’s the catholic youth groups? There are several successful protestant youth programs - some of them huge.

I just don’t get it. How can the protestants and mormons do so much with just part of the truth and Catholics do so little with the whole truth. How can this be?


#2

[quote=jeffjuls]How can it be that Catholics have all the grace of 7 sacraments, including Christ Himself in the Eucharist, but the fruit of evangelism is just not there in the vast majority of the local parishes? Why is it that at face value the local Protestant church and even the Mormons are doing a much better job of fulfilling Christ’s last instructions in Matthew 28:19 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…”

Here’s a few examples:

The homilies at mass tend to be vague and general and not challenging but the local protestant pastor is fired up and wants to challenge and convert you.

The praise and worhip music at the neighborhood church has everyone singing and often on their feet while at mass it often sounds like the choir of the living dead. How many catholic music radio stations have you heard?

The vacation bible school’s at the protestant church are packed and dynamic but the local parish can barely scrape together a few volunteers to run the catholic vacation bible school.

I can’t find a catholic bible study group but have several protestant bible study options all over the place.

The voting record of the average catholic is no different than the non-christian while the average evangelical voter is much more likely to vote along the lines of catholic moral teaching.

Where’s the catholic youth groups? There are several successful protestant youth programs - some of them huge.

I just don’t get it. How can the protestants and mormons do so much with just part of the truth and Catholics do so little with the whole truth. How can this be?
[/quote]

I have just started going to mass but the bulletin that I recieved list several different community outreach programs. Our parish has bible studies every Monday night,is planning a one day project to help refurbish a neighborhood, has meetings for seniors, has a Faith Formation and Youth ministry, and an Adult faith formation enrichment.I personally like the music that I heard. I am not certain what type of Catholic Church you have been in, but, this soon to be ex prot, really enjoyed going to mass.


#3

[quote=jeffjuls]How can it be that Catholics have all the grace of 7 sacraments, including Christ Himself in the Eucharist, but the fruit of evangelism is just not there in the vast majority of the local parishes? Why is it that at face value the local Protestant church and even the Mormons are doing a much better job of fulfilling Christ’s last instructions in Matthew 28:19 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…”
[/quote]

hmm? I thought Catholicism is the number one religion embraced by the largest number of people (1.1 billion out of 6 billion people on earth) and spanse of cultures (turn on the news; see how Catholics from all walks of life and from all types of cultures mourn – from Poland to Indonesia, Africa to the Americas – the gravity of the it all brings out, to me at least, a new meaning to the word “catholic” i.e. “universal”

Here’s a few examples:

The homilies at mass tend to be vague and general and not challenging but the local protestant pastor is fired up and wants to challenge and convert you.

That at least, my brethren, I can agree. You’re not the only one frustrated. I have seen many dry homilies but I’ve also seen many “hit-the-spot” homilies rich of true teaching of the Church. But regarding “firing up”, it’s a matter of taste, really. I prefer the more composed, calm style, but heavy in matter. You don’t have to scream your sermon for people to accept it, you know…

The praise and worhip music at the neighborhood church has everyone singing and often on their feet while at mass it often sounds like the choir of the living dead. How many catholic music radio stations have you heard?

You can do that in discussion or charismatic prayer group, I guess, but the meaning of the Holy Mass is too important that a more reverent atmosphere is needed. We come to Mass to worship God, not to be entertained, ya?

The vacation bible school’s at the protestant church are packed and dynamic but the local parish can barely scrape together a few volunteers to run the catholic vacation bible school.

I can’t find a catholic bible study group but have several protestant bible study options all over the place.

Just because the Church is holy, doesn’t mean her children have to be perfect. We all have our shortcomings. That’s why the CHurch is in constant need of reformation. Precisely some of the fruits of JP II’s work is a reformation of the CHruch and what he called “new evangelisation”. Already I’ve seen many parishes and archdioceses having much more lively youth ministry and all those things you suggested.

The voting record of the average catholic is no different than the non-christian while the average evangelical voter is much more likely to vote along the lines of catholic moral teaching.

I don’t exactly get what you mean. The Church is not a “people church.” It’s a hierarchy, not a democracy. It ensures the purity of her teachings and her apostolicity.


#4

I will try to get at each issue here.

[quote=jeffjuls]How can it be that Catholics have all the grace of 7 sacraments, including Christ Himself in the Eucharist, but the fruit of evangelism is just not there in the vast majority of the local parishes? Why is it that at face value the local Protestant church and even the Mormons are doing a much better job of fulfilling Christ’s last instructions in Matthew 28:19 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…”

[/quote]

1)The Catholic Church is the largest population wise (1bil+)
2)Evangelizing isnt as easy as 1,2,3. You have to know what you are talking about first. Just because people are more jazzed up to “evangelize” doesnt mean:
a)They are preaching the truth
b)They have fully convinced people to join them
C)There is lots more to “evangelizing” than reading a verse to someone who has never heard of the Bible. Try starting out with charities, disaster relief, permanent missions, lots of devoted time, etc.
So in short “a much better job” is really a shallow interpretation of how the real world works. In the CC there is quantity AND quality like no other.

(my stuff in Blue)

Here’s a few examples:

The homilies at mass tend to be vague and general and not challenging but the local protestant pastor is fired up and wants to challenge and convert you.
It depends on what you mean by fired up. You know how hot steam is? You can get burned badly by it, but in the end it is just hot air. I agree in almost everything nowdays the sermons/homilies could use a fresh spark. So I agree with you on some parts, but on others we havent really gotten into the details.

The praise and worhip music at the neighborhood church has everyone singing and often on their feet while at mass it often sounds like the choir of the living dead. How many catholic music radio stations have you heard?
Go to a local bar, there is people on their feet half naked rocking out. Does that mean it is better just because its louder and more participation. Going to church is not about impressing others it is primarily a special place to worship God. As for the “living dead” stuff, Im not sure what you mean? The Responsorial Psalm?
And about the “radio” stations, we dont want to turn into Prots here. You know what they did? They turned Christianity into a music genre, its the same attitude, and sound as Z100, except they use the word “God” and “Jesus”. How many stations do you need? Im fine with the powerhouse EWTN.

The vacation bible school’s at the protestant church are packed and dynamic but the local parish can barely scrape together a few volunteers to run the catholic vacation bible school.
Again, I agree on some parts, other parts I dont. And another thing, there is so much to learn as a Catholic, at those other places there is a different song being sung. Just think, if a child went to 4 different vbs’s during the summer at different churches who were teaching different things and how confused thost kids would get.

I can’t find a catholic bible study group but have several protestant bible study options all over the place.
Again, groups can be good or bad. Just because there is a group doesnt mean that you will learn, or that what is being said is correct. On the other hand there are good groups, but in the end the real journey is to be done alone in your room.

The voting record of the average catholic is no different than the non-christian while the average evangelical voter is much more likely to vote along the lines of catholic moral teaching.
There is truth to this. At the same time, has voting really changed anything for any of us. I guess we didnt get stuck with Kerry, so thats good.

Where’s the catholic youth groups? There are several successful protestant youth programs - some of them huge.
Same thoughts as what I have been saying. Also I know of many “successful” protestant programs, but the message is so watered down it becomes merely a social get together.

I just don’t get it. How can the protestants and mormons do so much with just part of the truth and Catholics do so little with the whole truth. How can this be?
I wish we were doing better on some issues. But at the same time, think about how “successful” something can seem if what they are seeing is half the picture.


#5

one thing struck me…if showing you the fruit is about evangelization, and the mormons are good at it, what does that tell you?

Mormonism is a cult, same with JW, and they evangelize like there is no tomorrow…means nothing at all.

I must say though, it is rather frustrating to see the lack of Evangelization in Catholics, myself included (although that is changing the more I learn and am capable of dealing with objection in a civilized way :wink:


#6

Hello Jeff,

I am no expert on the issue. However, for close to two thousand years Church leaders preferred, quite intensly, that average Catholics not be out teaching about God for fear thier untrained efforts would create and spread heresies. Martin Luther, the Protestant heritic, on the other hand, was not so worried about such a problem. I think it is very hard for the Church to shift gears and put the average Catholic on the offensive when it comes to getting average Catholics out there spreading the word of God rather than protectively relying on trained priests to do the job.

Just my thoughts.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#7

Jeff,

as a Catholic, I do understand some of your concerns. But (i assume you’re protestant, forgive me if i’m wrong), you should look at the protestant “church” (as if it can be pinned down) with the same degree of ciritism.

Where are the protestants when it comes to the sanctity of marriage?? i bet your pastor allows divorce and remarriage.

Where are the protestants when it comes to the sanctity of human life? I went to the march for like in DC this year and let me tell you: it was a good 90% catholic! And birth control? No telling how many chemical abortions take place by means of christian women on the pill, and not a single protestant church will speak out against it. . .

Where were the protestants during the evil of slavery and racial discrimination? My deacon (a black man) said the reason he joined the Catholic Church was because the catholics were the ONLY ONES out of all the Christians who were active in the civil rights movement and stood side by side with our persecuted brothers.

What Church is universally known for helping the poor and running social programs to help the marginalized? Catholic.

What Church obeys Jesus’ commands to be unified in everything, and recongnizes that EVERY law of Jesus is important and theres no such thing as “non-essential” doctrine? Catholic.

The Catholic Church . . . producing fruit since 33AD.


#8

I think it tells us that we need to take the advice that says “Physician heal thyself”. There are terrific resources out there and I generally feel that if the need is there and I see it then it means God has placed me there to do something about it.

As for the homilies…ours ROCK…our lifeteen Masses are full and so is the church. I’m no big fan of modern church hymns, but oh well.

Having wasted over 34 years as a prot where there was all that other stuff…I just think they do a lot of stuff to make up for the fact they have only part of the truth. Most don’t do the works of mercy…but they’ll preach to you like crazy. My own experience is that "talk is cheap."
Pax vobiscum,


#9

One thing to consider is that evangelicals do a lot of evangelization from an emotion based type evangelization while this can bring in a lot of converts initially especiially in a youth group based environment. Studies tell us that young evangelicals loose their faith when they go to college and more than half of those never return to their evangelicals roots. When you base your evangelical techniques on such things you really don’t get converts but people passing through a fad. Many prots jump from church to church theology to theology emotion to emotion and many just plain quit. On the surface the catholic church does not appear to convert as many people but in reality if she converts people for a lifetime and not just for a youth program of a few years then maybe they are doing a better job. Only God knows a true conversation of the heart. County bodies in a youth group is not a real good way of determining real Christian commitment.


#10

successful evangelization is based on personal experience as much as on the message itself. Many Catholics have never opened themselves up to that experience, have never gone beyond the required learning minimum requirements for sacramental preparation, never read a bible outside Mass, and never allow Catholic moral teacher to interfere with their daily lives. Many Catholics in the pews have never themselves been evangelized because they have closed themselves off to the gospel message by their life choices. Many Catholics are partaking in the sacraments, but deriving no benefit because they do so sacriligeously, in a persistent state of mortal sin, for which the refuse to seek the remedy of confession, absolution and conversion.


#11

[quote=jeffjuls]I just don’t get it. How can the protestants and mormons do so much with just part of the truth and Catholics do so little with the whole truth. How can this be?
[/quote]

Because they do not. No other denomination is larger. Being more emotional is irrelevant. You point at specifics which only have relevance in a limited way. I could point to Mother Theresa of Calcutta, World Youth Day or my own home church. We are busting at the seems and often have a SRO crowd. This is after a reconstruction and increasing from 4 to 5 masses.


#12

#13

[quote=jeffjuls]The homilies at mass tend to be vague and general and not challenging but the local protestant pastor is fired up and wants to challenge and convert you.

Where’s the catholic youth groups? There are several successful protestant youth programs - some of them huge.

[/quote]

If you say that protestant pastors speak more passionately during homilies I’ll point out that pastors can choose the bits of the bible they like most and have thought about most and preach on them again and again. Whereas at Mass, about the ENTIRE BIBLE gets read in the space of 3 years; it’s not so easy to have a a lot of interesting things to say.

As for Catholic young groups, they are strong and easy to find here in England. Not only does my parish have it’s own group but there is another group called Couples for Christ and a HUGE group called Youth 2000, who hold regular retreats and prayer groups throughout the country.


#14

It should be noted that while the Church in the U.S. and Europe is expereincing a decline at the present time, the church in the third world is booming. One should not base their judgement on just the local experience but look at the big picture. Even to this day i hear the pasto of the local mega-church having to compete with the NFL for an audience.


#15

I am a new Catholic. I used to go to a Protestant church, where the Pastor was all ‘evangelical’. LOUD! Pointing fingers. But when you turned around and looked at his life it wasn’t any better…

Anyway about my Parish in America. We have a wonderful Youth progrm. We do LIFE TEEN and EDGE it’s a wonderful outreach for the youth. They no longer just sit in a classroom and get read the cathechism (or however else it used to be).
We 2 bible studies every week, rosary prayer groups, prison ministries, hospital ministries, soup kitchen, and I could go on and on about the different things in the church. I’m in Mystagogy right now and we are learning all the ways we can do good in our community and church.
We have VBS every year. It is hard to find people to help, but it happens with God’s help.
Homilies…Okay let me take a minut here. Our Priest is wonderful! His homilies are very good. But I do agree that they aren’t as hyped up as a Protestants sermons. Is it because they don’t need to be? That because the Holy Spirit is there working the Priest doesn’t need to ‘scare’ us into believing anything?

I do think we need the American’s Priests to stop being frightened though. Many Priests are scared to speak what the Church teaches as not to offend Americans. Can you imagine if they didn’t care what American’s thought any more and taught the TRUTH! and taught what God has taught the Church?
Don’t be Afraid! Whats the media going to do? talk about us GREAT! Get the word out. Catholics are coming back and we won’t be scared of American Propaganda any longer…
Don’t Be Afraid!


#16

[size=3]Place this on your Online Search

Catholic Charities

Years ago before I found the Apostolic faith I belonged to a multi level marketing plan that was supposed to make me rich. They would bring in motivational speakers to fire us up, …and they did fire us up! Shy people learned to talk to others with passion, there were also lots of hugs for everyone. It seemed as though there was so much love between us all, I have never seen anything like it sense. Now I am Catholic, because of the Mass that I am afraid to miss just once I pray that I will never go back to where I was. Love in the Mass is about as real as it can get here on earth. At the Mass there is no one to please accept Christ, spending some quality time with him, we all do this together as a family. It is actually nice to be able to walk out when it is done and go about your day, or if you like stay for awhile and spend some time with those of the body of Christ. No one should feel obligated to smile or to stay. It’s just time with Christ, being with others in Him. It’s so real, it is so freeing.
I did not get rich in that multi marketing program , God had other plans for me and my family. I found a Treasure buried in a field and I purchased that field five years ago in baptism with all my heart. It keeps my feet to the fire because it reminds me of my earthy desires and helps to put them in the right place when I begin to wander.
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www.catholic-rcia.com


#17

How’s this, or were you looking for something more tropical?

http://www.buckden-village.co.uk/topbanana/fresh-fruit-baskets-uk/fruit-basket-15c-240x197.jpg


#18

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]How’s this, or were you looking for something more tropical?

http://www.buckden-village.co.uk/topbanana/fresh-fruit-baskets-uk/fruit-basket-15c-240x197.jpg
[/quote]

Is it 2 or 3 servings per day?


#19

[quote=jeffjuls]Why is it that at face value the local Protestant church and even the Mormons are doing a much better job of fulfilling Christ’s last instructions in Matthew 28:19 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…”
[/quote]

I’ve come across many of these protestant evangalists that you are speaking of. They rarely approach the people they are trying to reach with kindness, instead they try to reach people with fear. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve been told that I was going to burn in hell and have been judged without them even knowing anything about me. Then they find out I’m catholic and become even more rude. I remember this one specific time, I was on the beach enjoying a day in the sun with my family and a bunch of guys came out and started screaming to the top of their lungs and waving their bibles in the air and basically condemning everyone on the beach to hell. When I approached one of them he actually called me a “slut” and said that I was commiting adultery with every man who saw me and had a bad thought. He defended his words by saying that “Jesus called women sluts in the bible”. I can tell you that these “evangelists” didn’t convert anybody that day. I sometimes feel that these people really don’t want to convert people. They just love the powerfull feeling that they get when they put themselves above everybody else and judge those who they feel are lower than them. They are convinced that they are going to heaven and they somehow feel that they have a right to say who is going to hell. I personally would rather not have these types of evangelists representing the Catholic Church.

The praise and worhip music at the neighborhood church has everyone singing and often on their feet while at mass it often sounds like the choir of the living dead. How many catholic music radio stations have you heard?

We have really good music at our church. But I don’t think the music really should make a difference. Church is for God, not for our entertainment.

Where’s the catholic youth groups? There are several successful protestant youth programs - some of them huge.

A lot of the Catholic churches in my town have big youth groups and they annually have retreats out of town to meet up with other youth groups and it always turns out to be a huge event.


#20

[quote=jeffjuls]The praise and worhip music at the neighborhood church has everyone singing and often on their feet while at mass it often sounds like the choir of the living dead. How many catholic music radio stations have you heard?
[/quote]

Well I can tell you that our church (and several others around here) have upbeat music with lots of people singing.

I can’t find a catholic bible study group but have several protestant bible study options all over the place.

We’ve got them at my parish.

Where’s the catholic youth groups? There are several successful protestant youth programs - some of them huge.

Have you never heard of Life Teen? Or any of the other big Catholic youth programs? We don’t use any of them, but our high school group is 25 kids solid and the junior high is 28.

I just don’t get it. How can the protestants and mormons do so much with just part of the truth and Catholics do so little with the whole truth. How can this be?

Our parish has more that 42 different committees that work and serve in numerous different ways. And by the way…the Catholic church is still the largest denomination in North America and had a more than 1% growth last year. With Catholicism accounting for approximate 65 million people in North America, a 1% increase means they added approximately 650,000 people…just in North America. When you look at Third World countries, the Catholic church is having a HUGE boom.


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