Evangelizing a Protestant?


#1

To put it simply, some of my closest friends are Protestant. I have recently decided to convert to RCC. My friends are currently under the same misconceptions I used to have about the Church. I want them to see the Catholic truth. However, many of them are vehemently opposed to the Catholic Church, as I once was as well (which is perhaps why I became friends with them).

One of my friends, a strong sola scriptura supporter, just doesn’t understand how the Catholic Church can just “add stuff to the Bible” for example. This friend thinks that the Bible alone is the basis for the faith. Of course, I know the arguments that I can use to refute sola scriptura, and it’s not hard. The thing is getting this friend to listen.

I know that I can’t force someone to listen. In order to find the truth, one must be willing to admit that they are wrong and that the truth might be something different than they think, and they have to be willing to accept something as the truth if they find enough evidence for it. So, if he is not willing, I know that I cannot do a thing for him. But, do you guys have any tips or advice for me? Are there things I could say to perhaps try to get him to listen? I really want this friend to come to the truth. I am praying about it (and I ask you to pray as well).


#2

I have been working 40 plus years on a fellow who just doesn’t want to listen. I’ve been praying for him and I’ll pray for your friend too!


#3

I think you have a good idea as what to do. Prayer and fasting for your friend is always good. The other thing, and you mentioned this, is that you cannot change anyone’s mind. They have to do that. One thing that I would recommend is not to worry about trying to convert him nor to win any discussion/argument that you gave with him - rather your job is to tell him the truth and allow God to guide him. I wish you well and I will keep you in my prayers.


#4

Certainly. May God grant you the grace of explanation and your friend the grace to understand. Amen!

To put it simply, some of my closest friends are Protestant. I have recently decided to convert to RCC. … I know that I can’t force someone to listen. In order to find the truth, one must be willing to admit that they are wrong and that the truth might be something different than they think, and they have to be willing to accept something as the truth if they find enough evidence for it. So, if he is not willing, I know that I cannot do a thing for him. But, do you guys have any tips or advice for me?

A bit of introspection might help. What were the things that tipped the scales for you?

Are there things I could say to perhaps try to get him to listen?

Just be ready to give an explanation and a reason for your hope.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

One of the things my friends have complimented me on is the fact that I don’t tell them what to believe. I tell them what I believe.

Many of my friends are Protestant, but very few of them are pastors or students of Scripture.

So, when they are discussing the Bible, I’ll interject with a question, like, “Where’s that in the Bible?” Then, when they either don’t know or can’t answer, I give them the answer.

For example. If they are discussing the Bible alone, I’ll ask, “Where’s that in the Bible?” The answer might be, “I can’t remember, I’ll tell you later.” So, I’ll say, "I don’t think it’s there, cause the Bible says, “hold the traditions by word and epistle” (2 Thess 2:15). So, if there’s anything about the Bible alone in Scripture, it would have to contradict that verse.

Usually, that’s the end of the discussion. However, I’ve had discussions with friends of mine who are Pastors. Those go on a bit longer. One particular one that I can mention because it will be less than 3200 words was this occasion when I got into a work truck with two Protestants. One of them a Pastor. I guess the Pastor knew that I was a Catholic and started asking me questions about what the Bible says about several things. I handled all his questions and then, when he gave me an opportunity, I asked him, “What does Scripture say is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth?” He grumbled and got upset and left the truck. The other Protestant who had merely been listening, looked confused and asked me, “What does it say?” I said, “Look up, 1 Tim 3:15”.

He pulled out his Bible and looked it up. After he found it, he gave me a glance. He was sitting in the driver’s seat and I was in the back. He gave me a glance and said nothing. We waited for the other guy to get over his peeve and went to work.


#5

I feel your pain. I am in the same situation. I entered the Church Easter 2015 and my closest and dearest friends are still Protestant. My desire is to know the faith and be able to explain it as well as some here. I keep a stack of Humanae Vitae booklets on hand, the one with the introduction by Dr. Janet Smith, and pass them out to Protestants. I ask them to consider that all of Christianity believed contraception to be sinful up until less than 100 years ago and ask that they consider what might have changed. And I also point out how all of Christianity believed in the Real Presence until the Reformation. John 6, John 6, John 6. I also point out the Resurrection appearance in John 20 and ask why would God give the apostles the power to forgive or not forgive sins if He didn’t intend for it to be used. And ask them to show Scripturally where this power was stopped or taken away. And of course as the poster above said: 1 Timothy 3:15. Which Church is it and how do you know?

My closest and dearest friend had a crisis in her marriage this past summer (still working through it) and I pray she realizes one day why it is she comes exclusively to me for help (spiritually and emotionally) instead of her Protestant mentor/friend of 20 years. I pray for her conversion every day and especially at every Mass. Oh and a few weeks before her crisis I hid a blessed green scapular under her mattress and hid a St. Benedict medal in her house.


#6

Others have given good ideas.

What I have found from my personal experience is that I emphasize everything that I do share in common with my non-Catholic Christian friends (and I point out that common beliefs are taught by my Church.) It helps if you don’t come across as abandoning your previous beliefs but rather as bringing those beliefs with me as I embrace greater Truth.

As much as possible I use biblical reasons for Catholic beliefs. The Catechism and Catholic Answers can help you find biblical based arguments for most beliefs.

Understand that it may take years before your friends are ready to look at Catholicism in a new light. Sometimes it takes lifetimes for the Holy Spirit to do His work.


#7

If I’m not being too nosy…what do you mean by not listening? What happens when you try to talk to him about these things?


#8

AWESOME POST:smiley:

Welcome Home

Here are a few “tips”

1st as you clearly noted; none of US are in the conversion business, which is exclusively God’s domain,. I share this to limit our expectations.

Still there are a few things that might [GW] have some desired effect.

Know well what we Catholics Believe and practice and be able to explain why factually and with charity: there are bible verses for a GREAT MANY of our Catholic beliefs

Be able to explain clearly and with charity WHY Sola Scriptura is illogical [the bible was not fully authored until the end of the 1st Century, or assembled fully until the 4th Century] and not biblically supportable [the last 2 passages in John 20 & 21]

Do live your Catholicism publically and not be afraid of being challenged [pray before meals publically with the sign of the cross, have religious pictures in evidence at you domicile of Jesus AND Mary, talk freely about our beliefs

Be sure your friends know that YOU go to Mass [at least every Sunday & Holiday] and that do believe in the “Real Presence” [and why [I can help you here if you need a n assist]

And MOST importantly pray veirty much for them

Let US here at CAF know if we can be of any further assist.

May God Bless and guide your path,
Patrick


#9

Certainly, as the Lord tells us, one can become a source from which rivers of living water flow (cf. Jn 7:37-38). Yet to become such a source, one must constantly drink anew from the original source, which is Jesus Christ, from whose pierced heart flows the love of God (cf. Jn 19:34). (Deus Cartias Est, 7)

“The saints—consider the example of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta—constantly renewed their capacity for love of neighbour from their encounter with the Eucharistic Lord, and conversely this encounter acquired its real- ism and depth in their service to others.” (Ibid., 18)

“Faith by its specific nature is an encounter with the living God—an encounter opening up new horizons extending beyond the sphere of reason. But it is also a purifying force for reason itself.” (Ibid., 28)

The reasons that bound your old friends are no longer shared. There is a need to purify your old reason in the new true ecclesial body. You will not find this reason in their community. Look ahead, look toward your own salvation in our Church with “fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). Discover for what reason you are to do penance (Lk 13:3, Job 42:6, Sir 2:22, vulg., Jer 31:19, Lam 2:14, Ez 18:21, Mt 3:8, 11:20, Rom 2:4, Rev 2:5) For this life is a time, the potential to do penance (cf. Saint Basil, Morals, Ch. 1) and discover mercy (St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul). If implemented, reward and beatific vision in pure actuality after the judgment.

Go forward robust in a Catholic life, and God will show your friends and associates that you are indeed illustrious and awe inspiring for the proclaimation of the truth.

https://epicpew.com/early-church-fathers-said-fasting/


#10

All these responses are great. I would only add one thing: Let your still-Protestant friends direct the conversation. Scratch where they have an itch.


#11

Ask yourself what signs and wonders following .will be obvious to your friends. Mark 16-16-20 .or math 10-1-10.
Or as saint Paul Said in 1 cor 2. I come with the power of the holy spirit. Not with the wisdom of theology.

Just raise some body from the dead. Or prophecy. What God has for them.

Tell them why you pray to Mary. And the saints. Or why if you miss mass it might be a mortal sin.
Yes your conversation will be different.


#12

Another Brittany Thread, LOL

Protestants! Love 'em all! Surrounded by them, family, friends, co-workers, they’re everywhere! It’s almost like America is a Protestant Nation (just joking around the truth)

What I have found to work best to connect with Protestants.

  1. Pray with them, the only catholic prayer that we can use at the start is the Lord’s Prayer, ask for the Holy Spirit to join the two of you as you talk about Christ.

  2. Identify that your family/friend is a … “Member of the Mystical Body of Christ” … use those exact words, it throws them off, then you get to explain

use 1 COR 12:12, 1 COR 12:26, ROM 12:5 … and tons more describing how one part of the body needs the other.

  1. Go over the basics, share in what you do believe, there is not one “Protestant Church”, it’s filled with many different folks with many different views, you may be surprised to find a very catholic notion stuck in the middle of their protestant world view.

  2. Ask the question, “when do you feel the closest to Christ?” Listen. After this conversation, tell them when you feel closes to Christ … I’m guessing it’s when the Eucharist is in hand/tongue and we go back to our seat in quiet contemplation.

  3. There’s tons more, too much!

get Devin Rose’s or Steve Ray’s book on “crossing the tiber”

Tell the friend that you will continue to pray for the Advocate (use that word, Advocate because it links to Scripture and the words like Holy Spirit sort of confuse the “average” protestant)

During the conversation, find the absurdity of the theology.

John 6 - So Jesus said, I am “wonder” bread. The disciples like to eat “oro wheat”. The disciples leave because Jesus says to eat “wonder” bread and turns to his apostles and asks, “what brand of bread do you like?” Peter replies, we like “wonder” bread because you said so, we never liked “oro wheat”

This is to show that if the body of Christ were actually a symbol, then those many disciples that left because they did not want to rend the flesh of mankind, that the symbol is absurd, who would leave the Christ because they liked a different brand of bread?

How about the American Flag? Can it touch the ground? Do you have to fold it a certain way? Is there a time of day that you raise and lower the flag? Are we to play a bugle or something? When a flag is ripped, can we just toss it in the trash can?

Show that the Protestant show much more reverence to a national flag than they do for the body of Christ … oh, at least those Protestants who believe in the limited presence of Christ in the Eucharist, think consubstantiation.


#13

How absurd would it be to think that the 2nd Baptist Church on Maple Street is the entirety of the flock of all of Christianity? Read through John 21:15-16 and get a background as to what Christ was telling Peter about the church. So, if the 2nd Baptist Church on Maple Street is the only church that has a full understanding of God and Salvation, then all the other Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Church of Christs, and even Catholics are in the wrong flock! Who is the Shepard of the Flock of Christ? Oh, that’s Bob Beardon, the Pastor of the 2nd Baptist Church on Maple Street.

Also can flip the tables and make them actually defend their own faith. "suppose I have doubts about the Catholic Church, which church offers the fullness and truth about Christ? Talk about the different theologies in each and every different Protestant church … Baptists with once-saved-always-saved, Methodists and Lutherans with consubstantiation, Presbyterians who love the idea that the state and church should be one (very opposite of the Baptists) and need Grace, Lutherans who believe in the sovereignty of God and Justification.

There is lots more, it’s one of my favorites, learning about the protestants.

Oh, of course, easy one, the Catholics didn’t ADD books to the bible, just have a bit of historical evidence that Luther REMOVED books from the bible … just goes to show that most protestants teach what they’ve been taught instead of teaching what Jesus wants them to teach.

Stay away from JW’s and LDS and Islam until you get a good enough understanding of those religions so that you can get a better defense, because they ask different questions than protestants. And, the charity that we need for these that are so much further away from the protestants, actually takes a lot of practice. At least with the protestants, when it all goes south and everyone’s yelling and screaming and feeling bad, we can always come back to center and focus on the Christ. With the others, the common bond to Catholics are very few, if not barely existent in the case of Islam.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, there’s so much more that we can do, say, use to be an instrument of God’s Will.

First, you can not convert, only the Advocate can do that, you’re just the messenger, the gopher, in reality, you are the disciple.

Be nice! Be friendly!

If there’s anything I’ve learned in my life, it’s this … people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

I live by that one, you’d be amazed as to what a small smile, a genuine interest in their lives, and a moment taken out of your life just for them … very effective. Don’t even have to mention God or Catholic or anything to get them to look at you and go “wow, what a nice person”

Finish with a prayer!

Pray for the Advocate to move within them during your own personal prayer time and to give you the strength, wisdom, and charity to be God’s instrument in sharing His will.

Blessings,
Kevin


#14

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