God Bringing People to Protestantism?


#1

This is a question which has been on my mind lately. I have read and heard about a lot of near death and out of body experiences. In nearly all the cases, the person who has supposedly died and then returned, turns to Christianity. I did notice, however, that a lot of these people didn’t turn towards the Catholic church, but rather protestant churches. I am curious as to why God would give these people special insight when it doesn’t even bring them to the Catholic Church.


#2

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:9)

“You cannot plumb the depths of the human heart, nor find out what a man is thinking; how do you expect to search out God, who made all these things, and find out his mind or comprehend his thought?..” (Judith 8:14)

God works in mysterious ways. Why do Orthodox icons work miracles? Why do Protestants receive dreams and visions or other supernatural experiences? Perhaps God seeks to draw people to Himself (and thus indirectly closer to the Catholic Church if we believe that She is indeed His Church) however they will best respond, or in whatever way is best at that time, which can only be known and understood by God Himself. Protestant affirm the Trinity, the Bible, baptize, etc. Perhaps imperfect communion with the Church is better than no communion at all, and for whatever reason that person wouldn’t be open to Catholicism at this point in their life, or for some reason God wants that person in a Protestant denomination? Maybe to eventually evangelize others?


#3

Its simply a matter of numbers. We Catholics are only 20 to 25% of the US population while Protestantism represents nearly the rest. So the vast majority of anything will be Protestant in nature. We are a Protestant country.


#4

Part of it is not just what is God calling them to, but where do they THINK He is calling them to.

God could be calling me to point A, but I hear point B.

It can also be a comfort issue. I met a couple this summer who left the Catholic Church because they never felt the peace and comfort of salvation in the Church. They wanted to know they were going to Heaven. They are still great Christians, but they left the Church because it did not bring them peace.

At the end of the day, we are selfishly going to choose the church that gives us what we want even if it’s not what we need or what God wants.

I’m Catholic because God called me to be part of His Church. He has called others to be witnesses in other ways. We can’t know His ways, but He has a plan and it will work out in spite of us.


#5

Just because they turned to protestantism does not mean they were led there by God. Perhaps God could be using the evil of becoming a protestant to bring a greater good ie later on becoming Catholic. If the person did not later become Catholic, I would question the whole thing, or else they are not following God’s Will when he prompts them to become Catholic. Just my take on it.


#6

I think it’s this. The majority of them grew up in a protestant church and fell away or else they have relatives who are protestant, therefore when they experience God calling them to Him in a near death experience, they go to Him by way of the only church they are familiar with, the protestant church. They hear God calling them to the Catholic church and they respond by going to the only church they know of, the protestant church. They see enough to know God is real and Heaven is real but since they think the protestant church is the real church that’s where they go. But I believe it could just be a stepping stone and that once they get serious about God in the protestant church their NDE can lead them eventually to the true church. A NDE can work on a person spiritually for the rest of their life eventually leading them maybe sometime down the line to the Catholic church. But right after a NDE their first instinct is to run to the same church their mom, or grandma or other relatives are members of. :shrug: They run to what they know. God leads them to go to the true church and they think the protestant church is the true church so that’s where they go. :shrug: It takes time to reveal the truth of the catholic church to someone who’s whole family has always been protestant especially when taught the Catholic church is evil etc. like a lot of protestant churches teach.


#7

A valid point, but a tricky one. :slight_smile:

Perhaps God could be using the evil of becoming a protestant to bring a greater good ie later on becoming Catholic. If the person did not later become Catholic, I would question the whole thing, or else they are not following God’s Will when he prompts them to become Catholic. Just my take on it.

Or perhaps a person’s response to a near-death experience is influenced by his own psychology, as well as local culture. :wink:


#8

Maybe God is not only in the Roman Church. :twocents:


#9

25 per cent certainly would be a dream where Im from, in my country we barely make 5 per cent or so:( with time we’ll grow bigger I hope.
So yes I support your view, it’s very likely that countries where Protestantism stands strong will be the “only” option so to say when people are thinking of Christianity.
Mostly people think of the Pentacostals when they first take a look at Christianity as they evangelise quite good, I think in countries where we are so small we need to be more visuable, most people in Norway aren’t even aware that there are a Catholic Church nearby.
It’s sad really, this was a Catholic country ones:(


#10

Near-death experiences may not have anything related to faith at all.

As the body’s various systems shut down, the mind can play tricks, just like it can play tricks when we dream.

One shouldn’t read too much into those experiences.


#11

This one made me chuckle, as well as reflect upon my own experience.

aidanbradypop, you are stating the obvious here…:thumbsup:.

In my experience, I have felt the Holy Spirit in the UCC that I dabbled in when I was a child, albiet a VERY RARE occaision. As a young adult and middle aged non-practicing Christian, I experienced “God” in many of my experiences as a police officer. You see, I have the ability to sense the supernatural, not always, but I can feel them. Sometimes the sensory I receive is Good, sometimes Bad.

Many times in my life, I’ve come in contact with people that I had a deep desire to get away from them as quickly as possible, only to find out that very soon after my contact with them they die from a horrible violent death. Car accidents, suicide, and accidental deaths.

I’ve also sensed good spirits, I on occaision can feel evil in my own home, I am smart enough now to call out in the name of Jesus for the evil to leave. Guess what, it does nearly immediately. I also pray for Michael the Archangel to come pray for permission from God to do battle against the evils that I feel, and he does.

Which brings me to my point, since I’ve come to the RCC, I’ve had the attitude that God doesn’t exist in protastant churches, as my Pentacostal father says that his parents always referred to other churches as “pretend church”. I’ve felt rather strongly about this, as I really feel a strong presence of God in Mass, many times.

About two years ago, I was invited to a small country Methodist church to participate in my sister’s and nephew’s baptism. I was conflicted about even attending, as I did not want to give the impression that I condoned the ills of protastantism. I eventually decided to go, as I logically deduced that the RCC understands that anyone CAN baptise, as long as it’s done with water, in the trinitarian form of baptism.

The service was just as I expected. It was unorganized, the female minister was obviously unsure of herself and nervous. Her homily was uneducated. Example she stated, (paraphrasing) “Jesus did not tell us WHY we are to baptise, he just told us to DO it.” I nearly laughed out loud. The service reminded me of young children presenting a school play of the mass.

Oddly enough, the moment that the minister baptised my sister, I felt the Holy Spirit descend upon that little country church and infuse his glory upon her. I was amazed, he was actually there.

What’s really amazing about this incident. About a month later, my father and I were walking through Lowe’s and I was telling him about this experience that I had… Guess what, he said that he actually felt “something” at the exact moment that I did.

God Bless all.


#12

:thumbsup:

The bolded is what we, as Christians, should move away from.

I enjoy Chip Ingram (Evangelical pastor) as much as I enjoy Bishop Gene Robinson (retired Episcopal Bishop) and Fr. Mitch on EWTN.

I feel God in all three pastors and their talks. It comes down to are we willing to look for God sighting in our daily lives. :slight_smile:


#13

I’m with ya 100% on that one…With a Caveat, I do know for a fact that God is everywhere, and meets everyone “where their at”, but if one REALLY wants to do God’s will, he will naturally seek out the truth and the WHOLE TRUTH does only exist in the RCC.

I’ve studied many protastant faiths and can clearly identify the “holes” in their theology that one has to leap over to believe what their selling. The RCC has never NOT been able to logically explain the theology. When I was resistant to the Church, I kept trying to find the chink in their armor, so to speak. Only to realize that Jesus has been playing “three card monte with me”, just as he did with the pharasies, until I’ve since come to the point that when I don’t understand someting about the RCC teaching, I have stopped looking to find the wrong in it’s teaching, but rather I realize that I’m either wrong, or ignorant.

I’ve since gained the wisdom to be able to change my emotions to align them with the TRUTH.

I pray for all to eventually reunite in the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church”.

God bless you in your journey.


#14

With the bolded…naturally we will disagree. :wink:

However, I am glad you seeking the truth!

Thank you and God blessing be upon you as well.


#15

With the growing numbers of Latino immigrants into the USA Catholicism at some stage in the future will overtake the combined Protestant groups.


#16

Assuming all Latinos are Roman Catholic.


#17

God is indeed present in all Christian churches.

As someone here said earlier, better to have imperfect communion with the Church than no communion at all. God calls us to what He thinks is best for us.

My parents are evangelicals who have a deep love and devotion to God. Does Our Lord not listen to them, does He not answer them? The Church is not limited to Catholics alone. I’m not advocating pluralism here and trying to say every denomination is correct. I’ll say now that I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that the Catholic Church holds the Truth, and is the true Church.

However, we must remember that everyone with a valid baptism is in some sort of communion with the Church. All of us make up the Body of Christ. Some are a little less mature in their spiritual understanding and development, while others moreso. That does not mean we should ever try to exclude or belittle those who do not fully understand the Truth as others do, and we shouldn’t ever try to suggest that we can access God and they cannot. All of us are brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter how imperfect the communion or the theological differences. God looks into our hearts and minds, and He looks upon our love for Him.

Can we be so bold as to say that Protestants do not love God as much as Catholics do? And if they do, how do we think God responds to that?

Believe it or not, but the days of Martin Luther are long gone. People are brought up in Protestantism, oftentimes they don’t choose it. And yet they love God, and oftentimes make far better Christians than many Catholics! God does not see us separated by little denominations. He looks at our love, our relationship with Him, our devotion, how much we seek Him. He sees us as One Body. Sure, the Catholics hold the fullness of the Truth, that’s great, but we are nevertheless ONE Body, and it’s time we started acting like one.


#18

Yeah, I get that quite a lot, when having denomonational discussions.

I usually state to my “opponent”, that we probably agree on much more than we disagree with, and that we SHOULD look first at what we do agree upon, before even discussing what we disagree with. I always get an agreement that stance would be a good way to begin our discussion.

I then suggest that we swap our respective written “statements of faith” or “church doctorine”, that we read each, and if we agree with a particular statement to just place a checkmark by that portion, but if we disagree, highlight it, so that when we meet again, we can begin to evaluate and discuss the different opinions/beliefs. I usually receive a resounding positive from such a statement, then when I hand them a Catechism, they immediately turn into the “Bible Alone” montra, so common among protastants. Then they refuse to move any further in the discussion, claiming that no document other than the bible is worthy of reading.

I find that really a perplexing cognative dissonance among protastant radio personalities, such as you have articulated earlier. They all preach bible alone, that YOU need to read the bible, and YOU need to interpret it for yourself, then they turn right around and try to hauk some book that THEY are trying to sell, to tell YOU what to believe in.

I call that “schizophrenic logic”.


#19

I think if the person grew up Jewish, he would turn to Judaism and become more devout. A Moslem would turn to Islam. As someone said, we are 25%, so 25% will turn to the Catholic church.


#20

Always a great place to start!

I then suggest that we swap our respective written “statements of faith” or “church doctorine”, that we read each, and if we agree with a particular statement to just place a checkmark by that portion, but if we disagree, highlight it, so that when we meet again, we can begin to evaluate and discuss the different opinions/beliefs. I usually receive a resounding positive from such a statement, then when I hand them a Catechism, they immediately turn into the “Bible Alone” montra, so common among protastants. Then they refuse to move any further in the discussion, claiming that no document other than the bible is worthy of reading.

You have some that are not able or willing to look past the “front door” into the house. I tend to keep my mind open as I enjoy to learn things everyday. :slight_smile:

I find that really a perplexing cognative dissonance among protastant radio personalities, such as you have articulated earlier. They all preach bible alone, that YOU need to read the bible, and YOU need to interpret it for yourself, then they turn right around and try to hauk some book that THEY are trying to sell, to tell YOU what to believe in.

Yeah that kind of gets old lol. I enjoy Chip because he offers a wonderful message about everyday things we go through. He also offers a lot of his stuff for free or almost right at it. Not in it for the money. :thumbsup:

I call that “schizophrenic logic”.

See we are already agreeing lol :eek:


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