How do I deal with this Protestant?

I know this boy, and he calls himself a “Baptist-Evangelical”, and I try to convince him why he should convert to the Catholic Church, but he only says “Our prayers don’t need to go through priests, not the Pope, only to Jesus.” He is also a Bible-literalist, and he is incredibly stubborn. He says purgatory doesn’t exist, and even when presented with Biblical evidence supporting the Papacy, he ignores it. He also says “Catholics aren’t Christians…Christian’s don’t have mass.” He defines a Christian as “Someone who has a personal relationship with Jesus.” When I ask him what that means he, is vague and doesn’t really describe it. He n’y says “Someone who knows they are going to heaven”. He is exhausting! How do I convert him and explain the doctrine of the true Church?

This topic should probably have been under Traditional Catholisism rather than non- catholic I guess.
Anyway, I think your intentions to convert this individual are noble, but don’t get your hopes up to much. Usually Protestants (at least the hardcores) especially Pentecostals are quite locked on their own view on the world.
Some people wouldn’t change their mind even if Mama Mary appared to them and told them to do so.
If he is only throwing out arguments and accusations I don’t see this as any other than a huge waste of time for you unfortunately.
If he asks sincere questions on the other hand I think you should strive to answer him.

Yours in Mary and Christ

  • MarianCatholic

It is great to be on fire for the Lord, and its obvious you want your friend to have what you have. I would recommend caution in discussing the faith. If you go in with The mentality, I’m right you’re wrong, it could be detrimental to your friendship and push him further away from our most holy faith. He is probably just regurgitating what his preacher is telling him. If you do discuss our faith, try to focus on one issue at a time. Be calm, answer his questions lovingly and patiently, and ask questions of your own. Above all, pray. Only the holy spirit can bring him home. In the meantime, continue to love him and be the best Catholic you can be.

You need a class in strategy. I suggest visiting John Martignoni’s website and giving several listens to his talk “Apologetics for the Scripturally Challenged.” Despite the title, it is a talk about strategy when discussing the faith with non-Catholic Christians.

Here is a link:

think what would Pope Francis do.

do you think he would try to convert him like that? by winning an argument?

This. :thumbsup:

Also, I wouldn’t really try to beat him over the head with any issues, or even be the one to start up a conversation of trying to “convert” him. But if he’s the one that starts it and asks questions, just gently (in a non-argumentative way) answer them to the best of your knowledge of what Catholics believe.

When it comes down to it, one really ought to just let your actions (not words), with the joy that u have in your heart from your own loving relationship with the Lord, do the talking. :slight_smile:

I made this same sort of mistake a number of times.

Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have said to the Church that she does not grow by proselytization, but by attraction to a heroic mode of life. One in service to the poor, sacrifice in the penance of the cross, a fully frequented sacramental life, with intense prayer and study onto due discretion.

I suggest going to and do a search with the word proselytism or proselytization, there you could assent to a papal walk in service to those who are ignorant.

Pope Francis even went so far to say to an Italian media reporter who was an atheist -that proselytization, or the attempt to convert someone is “ridiculous”. I agree with the Pope. I am sure you do as well.

My regards.

well -i know your social situation-i make three comments, so that you can review with your own perceptions and inner truth and ability for reflection:
1-love the sinner-hate the sin
2. there is a catholic hymnal book available -i remember singing, something like-“they will know we are christians -by our love- by our love”
3. i might share a quote, not my words-from another thread (by Tom-)
“Sad to say, but it seems that quite a few want God’s Justice, or what they consider God’s Justice to be, for others and God’s Mercy for themself.”

The title of this thread makes me smile. :wink:

One suggestion; talk about things you have in common, esp. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Is he your friend, classmate, etc…? If so, make sure that you both aren’t always just talking about why you are each wrong, God doesn’t want us tearing each other apart. That doesn’t mean you have to deny anything you hold true, but rather speak of things out of love and in true friendship.

“Conversion” and guiding believers is the Holy Spirit’s job, and while we are called to share our faith (as are Catholics), it is always going to be God at work in that person’s life and their response to that work that will determine if they “convert” or not.

Yes. Definitely. :thumbsup:

First of all, you cannot convert him…That is not your job. That is the job of the Holy Spirit.
Second, Your job is to simply share the truth of the Catholic Church. If he makes an erroneous statement about the Church, you may gently correct him.
For instance…
He seems to think that Catholics must pray “through priests”…That is not true. We pray directly to the Father and to Jesus.
He says that "Christians don’t have mass. Maybe you should ask him if he thinks that Lutherans and Anglicans are Christian. They in fact have “mass”.
Likewise, Catholics do have a personal relationship with Jesus - we pray to Him, Love Him wish to be near Him and we have the opportunity to receive Him body blood soul and divinity every Sunday (actually every day).

Don’t belabor these points. Just share them if and when they come up in conversation. Don’t turn it into an argument - or even a heated debate. And if he will not listen…well… you’ve done you job. Just turn him over to the Holy Spirit.

Now - beyond simply offering gentle conversation to correct any of his misconceptions about the Church, you are best served by simply LOVING HIM to the best of your ability. Live out your Christian faith in joy and confidence that our Lord will guide both you and your friend closer to Himself.


Just adding on to what others have said…instead of trying to convince him…ask him probing questions he does not expect to try to get him to think or ponder…like if he says he is correct in his interpretation of a certain biblical passage…ask him how he knows he is correct? Also, how does he know purgatory does not exist? How did he come to that conclusion? More likely, someone told him…so he believes that someone…why?

Don’t worry about winning an argument or converting him, just focus on the Bible and it will make him open his eyes. Conversion comes from the heart and wanting to know the truth. :thumbsup:

Give him a copy of “Rome Sweet Home” and tell him that through The Sacrifice of the Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament he can truly have a relationship with Jesus.

I believe Paul says it best in 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 "I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas**”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power."

Another good point is that the Protestant Church branched off of the Catholic Church (Protestant Reformation, 1517) Since Christ’s death in 33 AD the Catholic Church has been the only until 1091 with the split of Eastern and Western Catholics. So yes, we are Christians, we are the original Christians. We have as Christians (Catholics and Protestants alike) strayed from the 4 marks of the Church stated in the Nicene Creed “I believe in ONE holy CATHOLIC and Apostolic church.” We are (as Catholics) not a denomination but the original Christians with a direct line to the 12 apostles of Christ. The Papacy is the line of St. Peter.**

How old is the boy in question? The reason I ask is because you present information differently to kids or teens or adults.

His arguments show that he’s learned the dogma of his church well. However, younger people in evangelical communities may not have a lot of exposure to people who are different and don’t realize that other people on Earth think a lot differently than they do. (As a former Baptist/evangelical, I’ve seen this way too often).

  1. Pray and let the Holy Spirit work through you in your discussions with the boy.

  2. Tackle one issue at a time. If you really want to give him something to be upset about, then point out that our (the Catholic) Bible is the Original Bible, not the edited version. This was the book that all Christians followed until Martin Luther. Pointing out church history would be a good tactic to use because a lot of Protestants think they know about the church - (which of course, started with Luther because those wacky Catholics…ugh) , but they’ve never seen a Mass. They have no idea where our traditions come from and why we do it. Apparently, there are some videos of Mass on You Tube. (There was a CAF member who was talking about these videos in another thread.)

You have the unenviable job of having to educate this gentleman before you can destroy his arguments. It’s hard to argue with someone who is talking a completely different religious language that you are.

  1. Understand that evangelicals tend to be very emotion-based, so they may not respond well to logic.

  2. There is no definite answer to the “personal relationship” question because everyone sees Jesus differently. Some see his as a “self-help” guru, a personal counselor, a BFF (best friends forever). It’s a phrase you learn to say, but mostly, you are never asked to provide an explanation for what it means. So, most people will give the statement, but not know how to answer your question. That is so typical.

Catholics have the best answer for this because we get to have the ultimate ‘personal relationship’ with him through the Eucharist. :sunglasses:

  1. Deal w/this person w/love and patience. Pray a lot. Answer his questions and don’t back down from the truth. My husband was a lot like this guy you are describing - asking questions, being stubborn and arrogant about what he thought he knew. My husband’s BFF/conversion sponsor was the one guy who could actually answer his questions and was willing to put up with “bad” attitude. (Miracles do happen!)

Bless you. Good luck.

You already have the answer.

Be joyful, knowing that the most amazing relationship you could ever have while still on Earth, is with Jesus, present in the most Blessed Sacrament.

They shall know them by their love…

When I was a “seeker” (not attached to any particular religion) **authentic **joy always attracted me. Think about how many people in India were attracted to Mother Teresa by her love.

Sometimes, when I was in a street ministry, and a Protestant would be angry with us and yell and scream about how we weren’t real Christians, my only answer was slowly reciting the Creed to them, as what I believed, and then ask them to pray for me, right then and there… Pray over me! and I’ll pray over you! How can you pray and preach angrily at the same time ! Pure Love and Charity casts out anger.

Hopefully this simple answer helps. God bless you in all that you do for the Kingdom.

One of the greatest miracles of all is that there is someone who can help lead me to Christ. If we as Catholics and Orthodox only did what most protestants do there would be hardly any miracles to speak about. How does one explain all the miracles that Catholics receive when they received direct healings and many of these healings were come by when these Catholics or Orthodox would ask a certain person (a saint) for help. There is great power for sure when we pray together and there is great power that is in our saints but to think to only to go to Jesus without the help of anyone else tends to reveal a certain pride within such a person. It is good to go to Jesus but it is also better to bend down to allow others to help. When one time St. Theresa of Avila made a resolution to do penance for the whole 40 days of Lent she went to bed and she stayed there for the whole Lent because she was so sick. She complained and had to let the other sisters to care for her. When she complained to her Lord about this He said “this is My penance for you.”

Just a few questions, How old is this boy? Is he a minor (younger than eighteen) Are his parents also Baptist? Are they active in their church?
If the answer is YES then by trying to convert this boy you are only meddling in another families affairs and may even cause division in this family. So be smart and butt out

I don’t think you can make your boyfriend give up on his personal relationship with Jesus. You’re right, we (Baptists) don’t need priests and popes to act as mediators in our relationship with God. We do have pastors but they act more like translators interpreting the Bible for those among us who aren’t very good with learning God’s vocabulary. We encourage everyone to become a self-sufficient Pastor in his own right.

What’s wrong with being a Bible literalist? I think it’s an honor to agree with and follow every word in the Bible. The Bible is supposed to be God’s word, and we follow each and every word of God, what’s so difficult to understand? You can’t really pick and choose portions from the Bible as per your liking.

The only Bible we follow is the KJV and there is no support for Papacy in our Bible. Not a single verse out of the 66 holy books from Genesis to Revelation. We don’t consider Mary holy, she was just a receptacle for Christ, a normal human being.

If you want to get along with your boyfriend, either convert to Protestant faith or just leave religious matters aside. Do not discuss your religious beliefs, yes it’s possible to do so.

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