Evangelical Churches

My 16yr old daughter wants to go to an Evangelical conference with friends at her school who are in a bible study with her. Should I worry about the influence from them on her own Catholic faith?

[quote=mommarhonda]My 16yr old daughter wants to go to an Evangelical conference with friends at her school who are in a bible study with her. Should I worry about the influence from them on her own Catholic faith?
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It depends on how well educated she is in her own faith.

Hi Mommarhonda,

That your 16 yrs would go to a Christian function is great. So I would encourage here to go on that account and also to show that her Catholic faith can withstand any scrutiny. That being said, I would ask her if she has any questioning of the Catholic faith to bring it up to you so it can be addressed. I highly recommend getting Karl Keating’s book “Catholicism and Fundamentalism”, it contains in a very readable fashion answers to most question she might be presented with. So encourage her to read it. Also, she should invite these friends to equivalent Catholic functions, you may have to search out these functions yourself.

Unfortunately my wife and I are childless, so experience is not on my side, but this is what I would do in your circumstance.

Good luck and God bless!

That depends on how FIRM you daughter is in her faith. If you disallow her to go, she might question why and what are you hiding. I would let my daughter go giving her the heads up that not all Christians worship and think the same so focus on the core values. Then discuss the issues aftwards.

[quote=dhgray]That depends on how FIRM you daughter is in her faith. If you disallow her to go, she might question why and what are you hiding. I would let my daughter go giving her the heads up that not all Christians worship and think the same so focus on the core values. Then discuss the issues aftwards.
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good advice dh. i would focus on the mass in particular and why catholics believe the way they do (especially that it is the fullness of worship, so much more than just singing songs and holding hands). i think the “style” of worship is what gets attacked in a practical sense so often with youth. she might enjoy the singing and the band (they are good), and she should enjoy that, but not at the expense of the participation in the one sacrifice. really discuss the beauty and importance of the mass so she doesn’t get swept up in the “experience” of it all when she attends this (what i’m sure will be a great time of fellowship and learning) conference.

Depends how well grounded your child is in the Faith. The fact that she appears to be in an “inter-denominational” bible study (which I don’t recommend for teenagers) indicates you have already made some kind of decision on this. Evangelical teaching usually pounds out the same consistent themes --sometimes explicitly but often subtle – that are at odds with the Catholic Faith. These are:
**
Soteriolgy -** Their concept of how we are saved and the whole faith versus works issue.

**Ecclesiolgy and Authority - ** The nature of the Church (including the Communion of Saints) and the Bible alone mentality. This includes the issue of who has the authority to interpret Scripture and to teach Christian authentic truth.

**Eschatology - ** The beliefs about the Last Things (heaven, hell, purgatory, etc) as opposed to some Evangelical notions about the “End Times” which include many anti-Catholic elements.

If your 16 year old does not have a conceptual knowledge about these things to be able to recognize error and, if not refute it, not be influenced by it, I would recommend she not go. It can only confuse her and give them erroneous information combined with peer pressure to go along. Also, if this is the case, you need to get busy making sure she does learn her faith. The book recommended above would be an excellent start. Also, anything by Amy Welborn (such as her “Prove It!” series for teens).

I’m not sure I’m doing this correctly…am trying to post to your post of my thread…but wanted to thank you for your info. That is what I was looking for and now with those things in tow, I can do some homework on my own to get her the answers and background. She is very grounded in being Catholic, however her CCD (and her Dad and I hold responsibilty here as well) classes have not addressed all these issues that you mention, especially with regard to the “differences” in different churches. These kids in her bible study (which, yes, my husband and I had some problems with but decided to allow) are with kids that are her best friends in her public school. In that they are at least Christian, I thought that was better than the alternative at least. My problem of course, has become the fact that they are all of other faiths and want her to join them in their activities…which worries me.

[quote=mommarhonda]My 16yr old daughter wants to go to an Evangelical conference with friends at her school who are in a bible study with her. Should I worry about the influence from them on her own Catholic faith?
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Hi Mom!

Personally I would not permit my daughter to attend an Evangelical conference for a number of reasons. Evangelicals tend to hold the opinion that Catholics are not Christians. I’d be concerned that an adult there might use the emotionally charged event along with peer pressure to get her to question the truth of Catholicism. If she is not well-versed in Scripture someone who appears to know Scripture well might be able to use a few carefully chosen verses to undermine her Catholic faith. Unfortunately there are Christians out there who consider it a calling from God to get people out of the Catholic Church. A teen Evangelical conference might be just the opportunity some of them are looking for. In fact, her friends might even have been encouraged specifically to invite Catholics.

I know I sound suspicious, but I’m familiar with too many stories of people who considered it a calling to evangelize to Catholics because they don’t consider them to be saved. Pray before you make your decision.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:

There is a strong possibility that your daughter will come home from the conference having “accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior” and therefore she will be “saved,” and you may be told that you are “not saved,” and that the Bible proves that the Catholic Church is wrong.

Unless, that is, you have Protestant-proofed her. Does she know the history of the Bible and the Church? That the Church wrote the NT? Know that the Church teaches what the Apostles taught? Know that there are ten jillion ways to interpret the Bible? Know that the Bible is not the sole rule of faith?

I was a Protestant. I know the drill. Someone will be assigned to “lead her to Christ.” They will tell her – in an emotional moment --that Catholics are not saved. That’s the purpose of inviting her.

I’d be scared to death to allow a child of mine to attend a Protestant Bible study unless I debriefed and deprogrammed him/her after every single session.

JMJ Jay

[quote=mommarhonda]My 16yr old daughter wants to go to an Evangelical conference with friends at her school who are in a bible study with her. Should I worry about the influence from them on her own Catholic faith?
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The question is: Is your daughter’s faith strong enough for her to adequately explain it to others? It is almost certain her faith would be questioned especially if those friends of hers knows that she is a Catholic.

You should indeed be concerned. Catholics, especially the young, are often targeted for proselytization.

Gerry :slight_smile:

You are getting very good advice here that I agree with. My experience (as a Catholic and parent of a teen) is that evangelicals always invite Catholics to their events but only reluctantly (if ever) agree to attend or learn more about our Catholic faith. And that is the warning sign to me–that they are not interested in sharing but in evangelizing and proselytizing. If the experience is not reciprocal but rather one-sided, then you should be concerned.

Another area of concern is the fun factor–evangelical youth groups tend to emphasize songs, games, skits, trips, fellowship. All these things are fun and in comparision, Catholic youth activities (which almost always incorporate education, sacraments, and service) are not as much fun. As a result, Catholic youth exposed to evangelical Protestant youth activities tend to judge Catholic activities negatively because they are not as fun. I call this the “Pied Piper effect” and I believe Catholic parents should be concerned.

Only you can make the decision about this conference. But if your daughter only is enthusiastic about her friends, their Bible study, their churches and services, then you may need to re-assess her non-Catholic religious activities. Ideally, she should be grounded enough in our Catholic faith that she can see through the fun and be able to articulate the differences and why Catholics believe what we believe. God bless. I feel for you. It is hard as a parent to know when such activities are harmless and when they threaten our children’s Catholic faith.

Can your child answer the question are you saved?

If you die tonight you know if you would go to heaven?

WOuld you like to know Jesu Christ as your persoal Lord and saviour?
Why do you worship Mary?
Why do you pray to dead people?
Where is the pope in the Bible?
Where is purgatory in the Bible?
Have you seen the left behing movie or read the book?
etc etc
She’s going to have to know the evangelical drill and how to answer them. She will inevitably get the catholic attack.
While I am sure her evangelical friends mean well and just might want to fellowship. They are going to get the evangelical itch to get her saved. Gotta know that in advance.

Your daughter is being evangelized. Pure and simple. Most evangelicals do not think Catholics are saved. Since you have already allowed her to do Bible study, I agree with the poster that your daughter would wonder what you were hiding.

Go with her. That way you can hear EXACTLY what is being said and “debrief” her after each teaching that does not square up with Catholic teaching. Will she want you there? No, probably not. But if you do not think your daughter is being led away from the Catholic Church and Her teachings, you both are in trouble.

And when you introduce yourself to people, say “I am a Catholic Christian” not just a Catholic. Lay down the line and make them cross it.

I had a girl in youth group whose mother did the same thing. She now rarely attends Mass. She doesn’t understand what “the big deal is” She does not think asking Mary to Pray for you is okay. She is Evangelical in every way now. If you don’t mind that your daughter is “just” Christian or at least they are Christian, you have no problems. If you want your daughter to continue to be Catholic, you have a big problem. Bigger than you may realize already.

Do whatever you need to in order to attend with her. If the leaders will not allow it, (Your daughter should have no choice), then that should tell you not to let her attend and to suspend Bible studies immediately. (In my opinion, you should be going to them also, taking notes, to “debrief” your daughter afterwards. )

The question for you is Christian enough or is Catholic Christian your goal? The question is being decided now. Do you want a chance for input or will you leave it in the hands of our separated Brethren?

God Bless,
Maria

I think only good things can come from this experience to be honest. Remember, Evangelical tradition is very much Catholic. She will likely find it amazing that other friends of hers, that aren’t catholic, are doing very catholic things.

[quote=Maccabees]Can your child answer the question are you saved?

If you die tonight you know if you would go to heaven?

WOuld you like to know Jesu Christ as your persoal Lord and saviour?
Why do you worship Mary?
Why do you pray to dead people?
Where is the pope in the Bible?
Where is purgatory in the Bible?
Have you seen the left behing movie or read the book?
etc etc
She’s going to have to know the evangelical drill and how to answer them. She will inevitably get the catholic attack.
While I am sure her evangelical friends mean well and just might want to fellowship. They are going to get the evangelical itch to get her saved. Gotta know that in advance.
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Mom,

This is the best post. These are exactly the issues she will have to fact and must have the answeres to each one.

Yours in Christ.

[quote=Bryan]I think only good things can come from this.
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Notice folks, Bryan is not Catholic.

[quote=Bryan]I think only good things can come from this experience to be honest. Remember, Evangelical tradition is very much Catholic. She will likely find it amazing that other friends of hers, that aren’t catholic, are doing very catholic things.
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As you are a non-Catholic, that’s about what I think you’d say. :slight_smile:

Tough question mom:
I have a 14 yr old son and I’d never let him go to either the bible study or the conference.
He’s still a child in alot of ways, and Evangelicals conferences like this can be very inticing.
Jeanette

posted by Bryan
I think only good things can come from this experience to be honest. Remember, Evangelical tradition is very much Catholic. She will likely find it amazing that other friends of hers, that aren’t catholic, are doing very catholic things.

The difference between Catholics and Evangelicals is that Catholics are supposed to believe that Evangelicals are our separated Brethren. Evangelicals have no such thing. Over half of my Evangelical Brethren think I am now headed straight to Hell unless I see the error of my ways and come out of the Whore of Babylon. They may be doing Catholic things, but that does not change the fact that many of those there will not understand that. All they will see is an unsaved person who needs to hear the real Gospel of the Lord.

Make sure that if you answer the questions in post #12 you are very honest about it. When I placed my concerns in front of the mother who allowed the Bible studies with another church, I asked her many of the same things. She was POSITIVE that her daughter understood these things. In hindsight, that was not true.

God Bless,
Maria

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