How to deal with fanatical Pentecosts?

Hi!

There are a few people at my gym who belong to the Pentecostal church and they are nothing short of fanatics. They keep telling me that I should renounce my Catholic faith and get “saved”. They have also added me to this WhatsApp group where they send messages condemning the Catholic faith and the Pope. Today, one of them crossed the line and told that our Pope is the anti-christ. She went on to tell that that was the sermon at her church last week. She called Catholics “Satanists” . She showed me pictures of the Pope with leaders from different faiths telling that he has renounced Christianity. I tried talking sense into her, but in vain. Can anyone please help me how to deal with such people? Any Bible verses which I could quote to them would be of help. I want to shut them up for good.

I doubt you can change their minds. They’re quite doubtless sincere and do want to help you recognize and be rescued from what they see as dangerous error.
It is likely that they will twist any scripture you might use to suit their purpose.You say they are fanatical, and fanatic-anyone is locked in their own beliefs system.

Maybe, while praying for them of course, perhaps the best you can do is to tell them to respect your beliefs and choices and to quit trying to convert you. It’s actually quite rude to try to force someone else’s beliefs, even from a simple social viewpoint.

You could tell them that as they trust God, they will pray for you instead of pressuring you, and hopefully their prayers for you will rebound on them to help soften their hearts and open their minds. Only God can give the necessary graces.

I would think…don’t engage with them as any discussion or argument feels to then as if they have a foothold in you. They will continue to try to crack you. Then you just get worn out and sometimes desperate.

You’re at the gym to exercise, and you have the right to do so peacefully!

A few bible verses are not going make people like that realize they are wrong. You will end up playing scriptural Ping-Pong and nothing will change. Read up on the catechism to defend the faith and be even more Catholic. When they finally get it that they are not going to change you, they will move on to another target. Try changing your gym time and avoiding them in the first place.

I’ve worked with one individual like this years ago. Essentially in the end he only shut up when i had to say much as I disliked telling tales coming into work every morning and been lambasted for a couple of hours about my faith was really getting on my wick was not pleasant and if he continued i would ask management to stop him. He stepped over a line when he told me that people who died in the Great Hunger in Ireland deserved the righteous punishment of the Lord, that was the moment where I took a long lunch break (and I rarely if ever take lunch breaks at work) and had a long walk around the park nearby as I was one step away from beating hell out of him as that kind of remark is akin to telling Jew something similar about the Shoah and I did ask him to quit and he wouldn’t stop it. In this case these are supposed friends or at least people you know outside work and the option of shutting them down that way is not possible. I’d suggest explaining to them politely you go to the gym to exercise not to converted If possible I’d use another gym, although dependent on your locale that may not be possible.This kind of thing is not needed at a gym but I totally agree that you should avoid getting into scriptural back and forth with them, it will not go anywhere.

You’re nicer than I would have been. Some people need “a good healthy beating”.

When you discontinue your membership there, tell the owners that you were leaving because you were harassed. But yeah, WALK AWAY.
Tell them firmly. I am a Catholic. Period. Then walk away.

My advice is along the lines that others have provided. Debating them is an ineffective strategy in your circumstance. Being overly kind or accommodating is only opening the door to allow them to bother you in a facility to which you have come for a specific purpose: your physical fitness.

You are better advised to state that you are not interested in their propaganda and that they are to leave you alone. If they will not comply, ask the management to intervene as you are being harassed.

When you are the victim of unwanted aggression, you have the right to react with firmness, demanding that their hostile actions cease.

Boy howdy…that’s a great reason to switch to a 24 hour gym so you don;t have to deal with such people. :smiley:

Probably the best thing that you might do is to tell them that you aren’t interested in their a-C propaganda and until and unless they can come up with some authentic evidence (photos of the Pope with other people do not count…point out that if that were an indictment of Christian faith then a photo of them talking to you would do the same for them!) they need to “step off” (as the saying goes).

CA has some excellent materials that you can use to shut them down. I have a few spare copies of that first source in small book for and can mail you one (or more) if you need it.:slight_smile:

[LIST]
*]The Nightmare World of Jack T. Chick
*]The Antichrist
*]Hunting the Whore of Babylon
*]The Whore of Babylon
[/LIST]
Don’t for get to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for them.

There are some good advice here - leave them alone or find another gym. However, it looks like you would not be taking that course of action anytime soon when you said, “I want to shut them up for good”.

I believe you will not able to do that, I mean shutting them up, especially as you said, they were fanatics (in their belief). However, if you are up to it and game enough, then why not? Take them on. Catholicism is able to stand on her own. We have been challenged for more than two millenniums and are still going on strong.

It is a matter of how determined you are to defend your faith and being unafraid of embarrassment if the argument gets too heated up. They would listen to what you have to say even if they appear to ignore your argument. It is good that they hear it from a Catholic. They may not agree with you but you’ve got to say your part and believe me, what you say will stay (in their mind). Hopefully it may get them thinking.

God bless.

I would report them to the gym management as harassing fellow customers.

The owners need to know they will lose money if they do not curb this behavior. If they are doing this to other customers, perhaps you should try to speak to the owners as a group. Faced with the possibility of loss revenue, the owners should take care of the situation.

Do not waste your time arguing or debating with these people. They want to ruffle your feathers and any type of rebuke will only confirm in their eyes they are right. Don’t give them the satisfaction.

I would also resign from the gym.

If they were engaging in racial harassment their memberships would be revoked. What they ARE doing is religious harassment. You shouldn’t have to change your gym; they should be reported to management and their memberships revoked.

Well, I have read all the other posts hoping to find on target advice because I have been dealing with such a person for over 30 years and they haven’t budged in their fanaticism. My m-i-l.

So, the advice of switching gyms, or times you attend so as to avoid the harassers seems like the best solution, and telling management. You can just ignore them, cross yourself and tell them you will ask Mary to pray for them (then do it right there and then, ALOUD). That will give them the proof you are serious about your faith.

Darkangel

I remember a homily from a few years back in which the priest addressed this question. One thing he stressed is that we mustn’t forget that Pentecostalists are Christians, too. The fact that they have drifted away from the Church shows that the Church has failed to do something it ought to have done, and it’s not their fault alone. We shouldn’t be too harsh on them.

If you ask one of the apologists here at CAF, phrasing the question just as you have done here, I’m sure you will get a very clear and helpful answer.

OK - I’m new to smart phones & don’t understand apps, but how did they put an app on your phone? Or did you do it? Or do you mean they are sending stuff to you? If the latter, block the number.

People with agendas can be very pushy. I simply wouldn’t talk with people like them. They are not friends - they are looking for scalps. They want to say to the people in their church, “See what great Christians we are! We just converted another Catholic!”

I don’t know what I would do if anyone ever said such a thing to me.

Good for you for keeping your composure.

What if you completely disarm them by saying “Hey, I love Jesus too and would love to talk about it another time. Right now I am going to exercise. Maybe we could meet for coffee later.”

Tell them you began to be saved on the day you were baptized. You are being saved now, especially through the purgatory they are putting you through. And that you will be fully saved when cross into the next world.

They have also added me to this WhatsApp group where they send messages condemning the Catholic faith and the Pope. Today, one of them crossed the line and told that our Pope is the anti-christ. She went on to tell that that was the sermon at her church last week. She called Catholics “Satanists” .

Clearly she has a screw loose.

She showed me pictures of the Pope with leaders from different faiths telling that he has renounced Christianity. I tried talking sense into her, but in vain. Can anyone please help me how to deal with such people? Any Bible verses which I could quote to them would be of help. I want to shut them up for good.

Send them a picture of this meeting the Pope had with Pentecostal Leaders but don’t tell her what it is. Then when she denounces all of them, inform her that they are all pentecostal pastors from around the world: d2jkk5z9de9jwi.cloudfront.net/content/uploads/2015/07/P20-Francis-small-800x500.jpg

After that, ask her which pentecostal leader she considers righteous enough to follow. I am sure one or the other is affiliated somehow with one of these people in the picture…

Oh, and to really get her wound, ask her how many books in the Bible and how she came to that understanding.

I would tell them you’re not interested in having this discussion and if they press it, stare at them intently and start saying Hail Marys to them until they get flustered and leave.

Exorcism is an area in which Catholic priests can learn from Pentecostal preachers, says one prominent Brazilian priest in the Charismatic wing of the Church:*

Since the late 1980s, competition with Pentecostalism has led to the formation of a cadre of Latin American priests affiliated to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR), which specialises in “liberation” or exorcism ministries. Such is the current demand for release from demonic possession that some priests, such as the Brazilian Charismatic superstar Fr Marcelo Rossi, even celebrate “liberation Masses” on a weekly basis.

Acknowledging his pastoral debt to Brazilian Pentecostal leader Bishop Edir Macedo, whose Universal Church of the Kingdom of God brought exorcism to the fore of spirit-centred Christianity in Latin America, Fr Rossi stated in an interview that “it was Bishop Edir Macedo who woke us up. He got us up.”*

catholicherald.co.uk/issues/november-6th-2015/the-great-exorcism-boom/

Best reaction I’ve read in this thread. It would completely befuddle them I think.

That said, I’m glad I don’t live in a place where this type of thing has ever come up. Where I’ve lived people tend to live by the old common sense proverb, “keep thy religion to thy self.”

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