Going to a Protestant service to Proselytize

Hey guys! So I have a very Protestant friend. He is definitely not mainline Protestant. He goes to an ecclessial community which has the type of service where someone stands in front and plays Christian music. They have some sort of “Lord’s Supper”, but I think it is all pretty casual. He definitely does not take Jesus at His word concerning the Eucharist (he thinks it is only a symbol).

We recently got in a Facebook debate, and it ended with him inviting me to his city to continue the debate. Based on how he has interacted with other friends of mine, I know he will probably invite to his Sunday service.

My question is, would it be acceptable to go in order to prostelitize? Traditionally in Catholic teaching, we are only supposed to attend a Protestant service for a grave reason (this sort of thought is very prevelant in older, pre-1960s examine of consciences). Would this be a grave reason? On the other hand, Scripture states that Paul would go to the Temple to tell others about Christ Jesus.

Of course, if he invited me and I decide that I would go, I would counter his offer with inviting him to a mass (either a really traditional Novus Ordo, an Anglican Ordinariate, Divine Liturgy, or a TLM, all four of which happen to be in this city thankfully. Only want to show him the best of our worship).

Perhaps to play it safe, I will just ask if we could meet on a Saturday. What are your guy’s thoughts?

I wouldn’t recommend it. How would you react if a friend started spouting anti-Catholic stuff while visiting your Catholic parish?

My older sister died 2 years ago this month. The memorial service was held at a fundamentalist Baptist church, where she had attended a few times. I purposely did not mention I was Catholic, not wanting to pick a fight. But I did get up during the time the pastor set aside to share memories of my sister, and I shared what I felt was an appropriate Bible verse.

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I appreciate the input.

I would not be prostelytizing at the service, not at all. I should have mentioned that I think his usual pattern is to hang out afterwards. Only then does he try to debate you (and in this case, I would try to debate him back).

I was simply asking if this seems like it could be a morally permissible reason to attend a Protestant service. Funerals I think are generally considered permissible reasons.

Speaking of which, I can’t imagine losing a sibling. I will say a prayer for your sister and any grief that may still be connected to the situation.

Thanks again for the input!:slight_smile:

I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable going to a Protestant community and debate a Protestant on his home ground. He’ll likely be supported by any passers by who happen to hear the debate.

I’d recommend going to a coffee shop or some other neutral place and talk; assuming he can have a reasonable and peaceable discussion on theology without going to war with you.

Plus, I think it’s only good manners to respect each other’s home ground as a refuge. Maybe you and him could visit each other’s home grounds and visit. Check out the sights.

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Don’t do it. Bottom line is that it would be bad manners. How would you feel if a protestant came into Mass and tried to proselytize you? It would cause a major disruption and you’d probably be removed from the premises.

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I agree with the others. It’s not a good idea and it will most likely come across as disrespectful. Go to learn more about your friend’s beliefs.

For what it’s worth, you can attend a Protestant service if you want to. You don’t need a reason, you don’t have to proselytise. That’s not what the Catholic Church teaches.

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@jesusaltight4me,

It’s a bad idea. I strongly suggest you don’t go. Not only that you won’t be able to proselytize to their community, you might even be the one who’d end up being sucked to his belief. And if you’re thinking that he is going to return the favor by coming to the Catholic church to attend the mass… Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but, fat chance. It’s really not worth debating with your friend or with anyone, for that matter, just to prove your point. The best way to proselytize is to set a good example as a Catholic Christian so that people can see the true Christ living in you, and surrender the rest to God. Shalom!

Are you suggesting that Protestants don’t have the ‘true Christ’ living in them?

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Have you guys met in person or is this a fb friend? Are you an adult or minor,
This is ringing red flag bells for me.

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  1. Evangelize, prostelitize

  2. attend protestant service what would that prove?

  3. Keep it authentic and simple. IMV one of the most devastating statements, because it’s so easy to prove, "to be deep in history is to cease being a protestant"

  4. As for me and what I would do, I’d stay put and not travel to see them. Instead, continue on line conversations. But that’s me. :slightly_smiling_face:

My intention is purely to suggest the OP, who happened to be my fellow Catholic brethren, on how to deal with his issue, that’s all. I didn’t even mention, nor speak ill, of any other Christian denominations. I’m sorry if you interpreted it that way. Rest assured, there’s no malice intended. Peace!

NB. My main focus in life is to spread the love of GOD to others by striving to be a good Catholic Christian. The rest is none of my concern.

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And peace to you, also. I apologise for the misunderstanding.

You are, of course, perfectly correct to say that the best way to proselytise is to set a good example: 'You will know them by their fruits.’ (Matthew: 7:16).

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God bless you, brother.

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That’s very kind of you, brother. May He continue to bless you also (and all those you love) and bring all to Himself.

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Reformed minister here.

From my point of view, it all depends of what you mean by “proselytizing”.

If you mean you’d go as a sign of goodwill and friendship to offer up a sincere, kind and heartfelt prayer for him and his congregation, and show a shining example of Catholic fellowship, by all means do. (I have a priest friend who attends the service in my parish from time to time for this exact reason. It does a world of good for mutual understanding, and encourages those of us who are considering crossing the Tiber to go a bit deeper into the water.)

If you mean you’d go to show him everything which is wrong about the service, the sermon and the general theology, I’d say you’d better not. Going to another’s worship place with the sole aim to criticize is plain rude, in my opinion.

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Now, we are genuinely reflecting the image Christ to one another, and to others as well. I can truly say that the Holy Spirit is indeed working within us. Praise GOD!

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‘Bless the Lord, oh my soul; let all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.’ (Psalm 103:1).

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I have included you as one my prayer intentions in my other thread: “Let’s complete the 20 decades of Rosary”. You may go check it out.

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I have done so, brother. Thank you for your kindness.

I’ve not replied to that particular post, since it would impose upon the thread. Instead, let me say, here, that I have offered a wee prayer for you, in return. This brief correspondence has made my day. So many good memories brought to mind. Thank you so much.

Paul.

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Thank you so much, Bro. Paul. I appreciate it indeed. That was so thoughtful of you.

In Christ,

Harvey

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