Hi I asked a protestant (more specifically a “non-denominational” Filipino) church pastor why he left the Catholic church. He answered me from what I gathered is that he truly accepted Christ and now his focus is on Christ and not the church. I need a little help with how to reply. Any ideas? I’ve placed his quote below.
"First of all, thank you so much for your question. The moment a person truly receives the Lord in his life and surrenders himself to Him by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), something wonderful would have happened. There would be a spiritual shift from focus on the sheep-pen to the Great Shepherd. Remember, that the One crucified on the cross is neither the church nor any human personality, but Christ Himself. No churches could ever say that “come to our church and you will be saved”. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) Obviously, Jesus is the only Source of salvation. With the salvation we receive, Jesus becomes greater than the church. That’s why He said in the Gospel of John, the sheep listen to His voice. (Honestly, some people know more about the church than Jesus Himself that when He finally passes by, He would be unrecognizable) Church has its important place, of course, she can be an instrument for Christ’s salvation and a nurturing place after salvation, but is never the Source such as an appliance is plugged into the power source.
Customarily, the shepherd in old times brings out the sheep one by one and check on the condition. Once he discovers the condition, he assigns a sheep pen to where you could become healthier and stronger and will not bring you back to your former sheep pen for fear that the sheep pen the sheep came from is no longer suitable for its health. Apply this truth in our spiritual life. The Great Shepherd makes the decision to which sheep pen each of us is assigned based on the spiritual condition we are all in. His goal is to make us all spiritually healthy, strong, growing, and fulfilled in life.
So to answer your question “why people leave?”, we don’t leave because of our own accord. No sheep-pen owns the sheep, the Great Shepherd is. It would be a divine calling based on the relationship established between the two of you. So this is very personal and special and is never a case of force and brainwashing. He calls you out and you are simply responding to the call. Nothing personal…but simply a spiritual hunger that causes you to follow Him wherever He leads us. This is your spiritual decision, not anyone else. Your spiritual needs are met, your hunger satisfied, and your thirst quenched in the sheep-pen that Jesus has led you."