Edited title: How can we put a stop to this? Protestant communities evangelizing in countries where the majority is Catholic


#1

I’m growing very concerned with the increase of Protestant communities evangelizing in countries where the majority is clearly Catholic. Also, with the increase in immigration they seem to “reach out to them” by bringing them away from the faith of their fathers. This is predominately with Hispanics.

Does this concern other Catholics as well? Many of our brothers and sisters are being lead astray into heresy. There, I said it. People are becoming too afraid to use the “h-word,” but that’s what these people are being lead into!

What can we do to stop this? Many of the main-line denominations have “Hispanic Ministries” to specifically target them and bring them into their community, and ultimately out of the Church.

Forgive me if I sound angry about this, but I’m so deeply saddened that this is going on. It kills me to see this going on. Some of the Protestants may be well-intentioned, but they are not helping these people by taking them out of Christ’s Church, this much we know.

Anyway, I’m disgusted and saddened. I have plans to put up resources on my website for Catholics to help counter-evangelize the Hispanics because I had taken Spanish for 5 years in high school, but I don’t think that’s enough.

What can the Church do apologetics-wise to stop this “sheep-stealing” as some have called it.

Al-Masih Qam!
Andrew


#2

I think there need to be more church activities. More of a sense of community. Activities that would have church-going catholics reaching out to non-practicing catholics to go to them. Bible studies, etc. etc. Or spiritual direction.

These people were probably led to the other denominations because of the personal interest that someone showed in them and their salvation.


#3

Well I have a quick and one possible reason. Maybe the Catholic
Church’s social teaching is at times too left politically. In the US
the Protestant churches have been historically more patriotic.
More individualistic,more personal responsibility,less reliance on
government.Urging better financial prosperity for people. Whereas
the CC talk more about option for the poor, keeping the Latinos
and others down dependent on government, etc. Not encouraging
to become US citizens,learn English,a love of this country,forming
a more perfect union,and other American virtues.
What does the CC say overtly and imply? They encourage “Multi-
culturalism” (as if they or us don’t know, we are nation of many
different cultures, etc.), thinking the Latinos are too stupid to learn
speak or understand English,that’s why Spanish is used more
often(I thought Mass was supposed to be done in the vernacular,
the language of the people. Which in the US is English). Making
them be 2nd class citizens,indentured servants,slave laborers.
Telling them and us that they can take only remedial,unskilled
low waged,dirteist,manual labor jobs.(Do we remember black slaves,Chinese railroad workers and other groups in the US?
I thought we were above that in this "enlightened,compassionate,
liberal"modern US society. Didn’t the US Catholic Church before
encouraged new immigrants to obtain citizenship and join labor
unions that help them to acheive better?
Also, the Catholic Church hierarchy AND the laity has done a poor
job in evangelizing and catechizing others. Some of the reasons:
especially for the laity. I don’t have the time,its Father’s or the
religious job,I don’t know how,I can’t speak in front of people,I don’t
want to force my religion on others, I’ll get someone mad,I might
offend someone,I don’t know enough about my faith,I don’t want to
be a hypocrite,We Catholics don’t do that,that’s a Protestant thing
and well as many other reasons or excuses. Anyway IMHO and
:twocents: worth.


#4

It’s important to realize that this is a problem that goes on in all circles of Catholics, not merely the immigrant Latino population and the predominantly Catholic countries. It’s going on right here in America, and it’s happening to American Catholics!

Having been for years part of the Evangelical camp, I can say from experience that they are much more outreach-oriented than we are. Part of this comes from a different philosophy about evangelization (they prefer to “ambush” folks with the “are you saved yet?” types of introductions, while we believe faith is a lifetime journey that begins with the urging of the Holy Spirit), and part of it is due to what seems to be a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the faithful.

In a recent meeting for all the adorers at our parish, we were talking about how to get more members to participate in adoration. Someone finally spoke up honestly and said, “We need some good Baptist spirit!” Amen, brother. If anybody ought to be rejoicing about the good news, it’s Catholics. Unfortunately, we’re not always the best at sharing the gospel. Sometimes we shy away from conversations with non-believers. Sometimes we are too afraid to invite a friend to Mass or to Bible study. If we are ever to turn the tide and start winning back our separated brethren (and keeping the ones we have!), we’re going to have to get past the lumps in our throats and start speaking up.

That’s my take, anyway.


#5

The best way to combat it is to invigorate the Church. What makes the Protestants successful? Modern Protestants have a sense of community. You (Protestants) go to church, you (including adults) attend Sunday School every week, they have fellowship after Church, weekday bible studies, Youth programs (everything from AWANA to teenage mission trips), Men‘s and Women‘s retreats, etc. In evangelical churches there is a strong sense of belief in the power of God and commitment to scriptural principles as they see them. These folks know the bible and communicate it.

The problem in many “Catholic countries” including churches here in the US is that Catholics go to Mass once a week and that is pretty much it. If they need to drop their kid off for catechism and so on (fine but otherwise) that is it. I have met Catholics who attend Mass and then head over to a Baptist Church for Bible study and fellowship. Guess what will happen to those folks eventually.

I have seen Catholic Churches where they imitate a Protestant approach to outreach and they have been some of the most successful (there you have on fire Catholics).

So, the Catholic Church needs more Father Corapi’s, more programs for families and more commitment from adults (e.g. attend Bible study, sponsor Youth groups, out reach to men and women in the form of Bible Studies, retreats). If more of the Catholic Churches took this approach and got on fire for God you would be an amazing and powerful force for Christianity here in the US. You might actually begin drawing in Protestants. As I say, I have seen dynamic Catholic parishes like this. You have the numbers, it is just the spark or spirit that is missing. Also, Catholics of all ages need to better understand their faith so they can witness to it and have an answer when a Protestant says doctrine X is wrong because the Bible says X.

Nothing will change until laity get out of the once a week ticket punching pew habit and get on fire for the Church. John Paul has helped produce a new generation of young Catholics so maybe this will happen. With your numbers in terms of churches and people there would be no telling what you could accomplish if this were to happen (a force to be reckoned with).


#6

Exactly, Neil_Anthony, there should more a sense of community,
but a total CATHOLIC community of a "ONE,holy,CATHOLIC…"
NOT your culture only,but a Catholic one.

Yes, for the most part we Catholics tend to be stone faced, cold,
don’t get into my personal holy space,unapproachable attitude.If
I went to a Catholic church for the first time,and I didn’t feel welcomed I might not go back. That’s sad, why should we be that
way? We should be better than other Christian churches in how
we treat newcomers. Don’t we have a lot to be joyful,happy,thank-
ful,for. Don’t we have a rich tradition? Don’t we have the Eucharist?
Don’t we have the Saints? the Bible?,the Pope?,the Sacraments?
Apostolic succession?,Jesus established his church?,the Rosary?,many ways to pray?,the Mass(Latin & New Mass)?,
many musical forms(chant to contemporary)? the Holy Spirit?
Mary?(whoops, sorry Holy Mother for being this far down).

Isn’t our God and church an awesome God and church? With all
this it shouldn’t be kept under a bushel basket! :amen:
:dancing: :extrahappy: :yup:


#7

I agree with a lot of what the other posters have said. While Rome has stayed the course our parishes have got struck with the liberal melaise. This is terrible when compounded by the fact the churches are in general slow to change their habbits.

Evangelicals have an advantage in that they are always looking for new things to do and new ways to get people. Their independant spirit while a detriment for doctrine is great for keeping people interested.

Now while I don’t think we need to just go with whatever way the wind is blowing like the “seeker” churches. We can take a note from their book in terms having regular activities. Church centered activities are good in that it starts to cause a family to view the Church as the center piece in their lives instead of a weekend thing. Also The Church’s social awareness only gives us more options for outreach and activities that give back to the community.


#8

Hope you don’t mind 2 cents from a non-catholic. I will ignore the heresy comment and say it is a waste of time to proselytize Catholics, as they are already Christian. We (Christians of all stripes) would do better to evangelize those who are unchurched.


#9

if the Catholic Church in those countries was doing its job, by that I mean everyone from the bishops down to faithful Catholics in the pews, and those so-called Catholic countries were actually Catholic in practice rather than in name only, there would be no scope for missionaries of any denomination, including secularism.


#10

Thank you! :thumbsup: That is exactly right! It is unfortunate that some non-Catholic Christian groups do not see it this way.

There was a great movie, The Keys to the Kingdom staring Gregory Peck. He plays a Catholic Priest who is a missionary in China before in early 20th century. At one point in the movie, another minister (Methodist?) comes to be a missionary in the village where Peck also is. Their relationship is very enlightening.

By the way, I really do recommend this movie. It is quite well done.


#11

Agreed.


#12

Yeah, I think you’re right. Sad Truth is that if all 1 billion plus Catholics in the world were on fire for Christ this world would a much different place. If all 2 billion Christians were united and filled with the love of Our God Hell would tremble.


#13

I’m not concerned. :shrug: If in this century Hispanics play Esau, God will find another people to play Jacob.

I applaud your use of the “h-word” (it’s technicaly correct) but *please *be careful not to scare off our seperated breatheren. It’s unfair to expect them to know the difference between a heretic (an unfaithful Catholic) and seperated breatheren (non-Catholic Christians).

Good luck on your website. I’d offer to help but Spanish is Greek to me!


#14

A couple of observations from a former avidly-enthusiastic evangelical Protestant who fervently supported missionary work:

  1. I believe the Catholic Church needs to denounce SIN and defeat Satan. When I was in the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church (Protestant), I knew many missionaries to various Hispanic countries, second and third generation missionaries who had lived in these countries all their lives and raised their children and grandchildren there.

In many of these countries, a kind of mixed religion is practiced by the people–“Catholic Animism.” The people go to Mass and then come home and pursue occult activities-ancestor worship, divination, spiritism, fortune-telling, voodoo (not the name used among the Hispanics), etc.

I can testify that THIS is the main reason why evangelical Christians try to reach out to these so-called Christians–the Bible makes it clear that those who pursue occult activities are NOT Christians. See both the Old and NEW Testament.

Catholic Churches need to weed out the occult among Hispanics by absolutely forbidding it. Occultism isn’t “culturalism”, it’s sin, and it has no place among Christians. No wonder our Catholic Churches are ineffectual in the Hispanic Countries–perhaps they are under the oppression of demons and Satan himself because they allow evil practices to continue.

  1. There are Catholics who truly believe that the only good Mass is a Latin Mass with no singing except chant, no talking to others except in the church parking lot, NO clapping or displays of human emotion other than tears of contrition (even though clapping is in the Bible all through the Psalms), and absolutely no human errors (e.g., cell phones going off, old people talking too loudly because they can’t hear). People who disagree with them are accused of being “liberal” or worse.

I certainly agree that the Holy Mass should not be changed without the approval of the Holy Mother Church.

The problem is, the Holy Mother Church HAS approved Mass in the vernacular, use of different musical styles of the location and culture, fellowship and expressions of love among the faithful (e.g., the Sign of Peace), and clapping and other musical “instruments.”

Above all, the Holy Mass is about “mercy”–the kind of practical mercy that forgives people who accidently leave their cell phones on or who forget to adjust their hearing aids. Our Lord says that the measure that we use with others will be used for US at our judgement.

The people who advocate rebelling against the Holy Mother Church should stop their sin. Christ has declared that the living Church on earth is our authority, as She speaks for Him. In Her wisdom, the Church has allowed all kinds of cultural variation within the Holy Mass in order to reach out to a world of souls who need Jesus. **What the Church has made holy, humans should not reject. **


#15

Am I right in saying that Mother Teresa didn’t verbally try to convert anyone? I’m not saying she wasn’t an agent in anyone’s conversion, I’m sure she was! But she was a missionary in her actions and the life she lived!


#16

If only you guys would apply the same standard to Russia and the rest of the former communist bloc we wouldn’t have a lot of the issues we do today.

You can’t complain about Protestant “sheep-stealing” in predominantly Catholic countries when Catholics are doing the same thing in Russia.

Although in the case of Russia I do believe the Protestants are worse. :wink:

Yours in Christ
Joe


#17

I think the answer is better catechesis. No Catholic would ever leave if they understood their faith.


#18

Fr Corapi was saying on Catholic radio the other day, that in his experience, Catholics don’t leave the Church for theological reasons. It’s for reasons below the belt.

[LIST]
*]Divorce and remarriage (without annulment),
*]Artificial Birth control
*]abortion
*]living together without marriage
*]other sexual sins[/LIST]To go to the Eucharist, one must change these things and change immediately…

Not easy to do for those who don’t want to change.


#19

Joe,
[LIST]
*]Catholics aren’t sheep stealing in Russia. It WOULD however, be nice if the Orthodox would return Catholic Churches taken during the communist era and given to the Orthodox. JPII wanted to visit Alexii over this matter but Alexii wouldn’t meet with him.
*]Re: problems Russia is seeing, Russia has negative growth among Russian people. The average age of Russian men in Russia, is 58 years old. All you have to do is look up the reasons why. Demographers predict Russia by 2050 will be Muslim. And you want to blame the Catholic Church?[/LIST]


#20

Boy, is this ever the truth!! I am so annoyed by people who are so busy trying to steal Christians from other Christian churches, that they have no time to bother with the people in this world, who have never heard the whole message of Christianity. There are so many folks out there like that, and it makes me :mad: when, instead of trying to reach them, somebody takes the easy way–converting the [Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc] around the block.
It reminds me of the story a former pastor of mine told, about having the new Fundamental Baptist preacher stop in to:eek: “convert you from Methodism to Christianity”. Say:mad: what??!!??

We all need to weed out this sort of thing! The whole new-age/woo-woo bit is taking an enormous bite out of all Christian churches…It all looks so “innocent”…until people are:( trapped in it!!
A couple nearby “dollar” stores carry an appalling variety of materials in their “Hispanic” goods section, which are oriented to this kind of thing. It is all mixed in with the Catholic items–you can buy a candle with a picture of St Michael the Archangel off the same shelf as a candle with a:eek: spell to some pagan goddess! How bizarre & scary is that?


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