How to talk to ex-Catholics


#1

I have run into a few ex-catholics over the past couple of days, and they have been trying to convert me to Fundamentalism (I guess that would be it I don’t think they said what affilitaion they are now) and they would tell me all these horror stories and tell me of various “Dogmas” and whenever I would say, “You know, I haven’t been in the Catholic Church (ok not I am not in it yet but, no point in telling them that.) but, I don’t think the Catholic Church teaches that” or “thats not exactly how it goes.” They would just be like… “Hey I was there. Confirmation, First Communion, First Conffesion…I know” and so forth and so on. I was thought that maybe some of ya’ll (I love that word) have run into people like that and could advice me on how to approach these people. How do I talk to these people? As annoying as they might be I don’t want them to go to hell.


#2

I like to tell them that if they can show me that the Catholic belief in the Eucharist isn’t Scriptural, I’ll leave today and never look back.

That usually gets their attention. :wink:

Then you might challenge them with the reverse - “If I can prove that it is Scriptural, will you come back today and never look back?”

Just make sure before you make the challenge that you’re ready to answer the “common objections”, with Scriptural citations at the ready (because if you can’t quote Scripture, they won’t listen to you).

God Bless,
RyanL


#3

If you don’t know the answer to their question don’t let them make the logical fallacy of assuming that there isn’t an answer

don’t be afraid to say you don’t know when you don’t and point them to a good source…you know like a web site or something :wink:


#4

Most of them just got a child’s explanation of the faith. They never really were catechized as adults. They say they know the faith, but then spout something sister X told them when they were 12 (or 7) and they’ve never stopped to think maybe that was an incomplete simplification for a child. Unfortunately, you will have to calmly and cogently go over what the church teaches. The lack of adult catechesis from 1970 to now is a scandal for which the hierarchy, in particular, bears a terrible burden. Good luck.


#5

[quote=Montie Claunch]I have run into a few ex-catholics over the past couple of days, and they have been trying to convert me to Fundamentalism (I guess that would be it I don’t think they said what affilitaion they are now) and they would tell me all these horror stories and tell me of various “Dogmas” and whenever I would say, “You know, I haven’t been in the Catholic Church (ok not I am not in it yet but, no point in telling them that.) but, I don’t think the Catholic Church teaches that” or “thats not exactly how it goes.” They would just be like… “Hey I was there. Confirmation, First Communion, First Conffesion…I know” and so forth and so on. I was thought that maybe some of ya’ll (I love that word) have run into people like that and could advice me on how to approach these people. How do I talk to these people? As annoying as they might be I don’t want them to go to hell.
[/quote]

I’m not trying to imply that fundamentalists are terrorists, but it’s like a former extremist Muslim trying to tell a normal, mainstream Muslim what Islam teaches. Just because they once belonged to the Church doesn’t mean that they weren’t misled by bad catechesis.

Also, it’s been my impression that a lot of former Catholics knew nothing about Catholicism while they were Catholics and now believe only what their fundamentalist preacher tells them about Catholicism. Ask them what they were actually taught in the Church, not what “impression” they got from passively going to Mass every now and then.

Use the catechism and documents from the Vatican to show them what the Church actually teaches. Unfortunately, though, some people would just rather believe in conspiracy theories than listen to reason. If that’s the case with these folks, you’re eventually just going to have to save your breath. Show them the truth with your life.


#6

Listen, first and foremost. It is in the telling of the tale that they reveal just what led them away from the Church and what keeps them away.

I basically don’t get into ‘talks’ with ex-Catholics…I work with 3 of them…and the occasion doesn’t come up very often, but when it does, the only time I speak up is when they say ‘the Church teaches’ followed by something wrong. Especially if they do so with conviction. I’ll just state that’s not what the Church teaches, though certainly it is what someone in the Church taught them. If they really want to know what she teaches, I’ve got the catechism in my car, and I offer to get it.

They usually backdown from there…confirming that they are talking from personal experience and not from any official Church writings. This is where they start sharing their stories and I’m able to see where they were led astray. I usually apologize for their experience and leave it at that. They are set and comfortable in their ‘new’ faith so I leave the rest up to the Spirit, keeping these people in my prayers specifically with regard to those issues they just revealed…


#7

My first question is usually, “How old were you when you left the Church.” If they were teenagers or young adults, that tells a huge story. Most people left with a juvenile faith.

The rest of the story is usually about a quibble with Catholic sexual ethics. I can look 'em in the eye and just KNOW which ones had a run-in with a confessor over that . . . But don’t go there with them.

If somebody is really aggressive and displays the usual ignorance, and if I know them well enough to be cheeky, I will say to them, "I wish you wouldn’t tell people you used to be Catholic, because if you really had been Catholic, you wouldn’t believe a lot of the stuff you say you believe about the Church.


#8

I have found that many ex-Catholics were “shown the Bible” and hence left the Church. Now that they left the Church, they are supposedly experts about the Catholic Church because they were once Catholics. But if they never even read the Bible when they were Catholics, what chance that they would know anything about the Catholic Church?


#9

[quote=Atreyu]I have found that many ex-Catholics were “shown the Bible” and hence left the Church. Now that they left the Church, they are supposedly experts about the Catholic Church because they were once Catholics. But if they never even read the Bible when they were Catholics, what chance that they would know anything about the Catholic Church?
[/quote]

I come from a big family. Most of my Brothers and sisters have left.
One brother has been trying to get me out of the RCC since 1998 with the help of one or two others.
They have exhausted all their “evangelical ammunition” against Catholicism and they have asked me;
"Why do you stay in that stupid church, after all we have shown you ?

I told my brother; …"For me to set aside my Catholic Baptism and take up your “church” …is equivalent to me
trading straight across my newly inherited 560SEL Mercedes for a 1972 Ford Pinto…
at “Jimmy Brown Keeps Prices Down used car lot”

I mostly LISTEN.
and as I listen, I quietly compare what they offer to what I have.
I always seem to gravitate back to The Body and Blood of Christ
Reminding them that when they threw away the Altar and all that goes with it…
They threw away The New Covenant.
Every scripture they mis-interpret to me points to This one Truth.

I ablolutely love for Ex-Catholics to “evangelize” me. :smiley:
Armed with a GOOD knowledge of the Scripture and CLEAR VISION of The New Covenant…
it is like using “Spiritual Ju-Jitsu” on them.
Gently, Lovingly, of course.

:slight_smile:

gusano


#10

Part of the problem, is the lack of a Catechesis after confirmation. These kids forget tenets of the faith especially if its not being re-inforced at home. They go to mass, often not understanding the origin of the parts of the mass, or exactly what is happening during mass. Then it becomes boring to them. They forget that they get scripture read to them every day at mass, and that the Catholic Church is actually Bible Christianity par excellence.

So along comes the bible thumping Christian showing all the “errors” of the Catholic Church, and the unsuspecting person I mentioned above, gets convinced that he needs to be saved, start a personal relationship, etc.

It’s important, that the learning of the faith starts in the home. That the kids are raised knowledgable, and able to defend the authentic deposit of faith. I have a book, “How NOT to share your faith”, which I haven’t read yet, but I have heard great things about it. I think that the best way to talk to an ex-Catholic, is to let them see God in you, let them see your joy at recieving the Lord in the Eucharist, correct their misconceptions about what the Lord teaches, and invite them to e-mail you any concerns they have so that you can address them properly with some thought and research.

At the end of the day, it’s the Holy SPirit that will do the work.


#11

What would be the best way to correct some their errs on the Catholic Faith? I mean without it seems to them like I am telling them they are idiot and never really knowing their Catholic Faith. I don’t want to come off mean. Any suggestions? And what would be the best way to tell them that some of the things they think are Catholic beleifs arn’t? I mean as far as I know there isn’t thing in the ccc that tells us what we don’t beleive, just what we do (that I know of, granted I haven’t read the whole thing yet).


#12

[quote=Montie Claunch]What would be the best way to correct some their errs on the Catholic Faith? I mean without it seems to them like I am telling them they are idiot and never really knowing their Catholic Faith. I don’t want to come off mean. Any suggestions? And what would be the best way to tell them that some of the things they think are Catholic beleifs arn’t? I mean as far as I know there isn’t thing in the ccc that tells us what we don’t beleive, just what we do (that I know of, granted I haven’t read the whole thing yet).
[/quote]

When you hear something wrong, ask them to show you where the found that information, so that you could correct it


#13

[quote=Montie Claunch]I have run into a few ex-catholics over the past couple of days, and they have been trying to convert me to Fundamentalism (I guess that would be it I don’t think they said what affilitaion they are now) and they would tell me all these horror stories and tell me of various “Dogmas” and whenever I would say, “You know, I haven’t been in the Catholic Church (ok not I am not in it yet but, no point in telling them that.) but, I don’t think the Catholic Church teaches that” or “thats not exactly how it goes.” They would just be like… “Hey I was there. Confirmation, First Communion, First Conffesion…I know” and so forth and so on. I was thought that maybe some of ya’ll (I love that word) have run into people like that and could advice me on how to approach these people. How do I talk to these people? As annoying as they might be I don’t want them to go to hell.
[/quote]

I have looking for a reason to repost this resource. I just love it.

How Do Catholic hear the Gospel?

This was originally posted by MGEISING, then reposted by me here.

I have yet to actually put the whole thing into action, but I frequently get to use “sound bites” that I just pray are planting seeds.

God Bless,
Maria

ps. I also ask them, how many times they actually picked up a Bible to read while in the Catholic Church? How many times now? And whose fault is that?


#14

I hope this post continues because I live close to three friends who are ex-catholics. We are very neighborly and having lived in the neighborhood with them just a short time, I know the subject of leaving the church will come up. I have been preparing for that and have plenty of ammo to volley back at remarks. One said he left because the church he attends now has a good youth program. While youth activities are important, I said it’s no reason to abandon your church and raise your kids outside the catholic church. I found it pretty lame. Another neighbor makes light of alot of our traditions undoubtedly shading over some of the guilt associated with leaving. He likes to take the summer off from his new church to garden all weekend. I said I wonder what would happen if God decided to take a summer off and garden instead of tending to him spiritually.
These occasional discussions are very cordial among friends, but I know they’ll grow deeper. I welcome the challenge.
The most fun I have is besting the Latter Day Saints guys. They are warm and friendly, but wait breathlessly for me to trip on scripture and teaching. My kids giggle when they come to the door because “Dad’s going to have a little fun”. We trade ideas and discussions as they try to get an achilles heel type jab and find a hole in my catholic faith. I mean NO disrespect to their beliefs and wish them well. I remain faithful and confident. My faith is unshakable.


#15

[quote=GomezU]I hope this post continues because I live close to three friends who are ex-catholics. We are very neighborly and having lived in the neighborhood with them just a short time, I know the subject of leaving the church will come up. I have been preparing for that and have plenty of ammo to volley back at remarks. One said he left because the church he attends now has a good youth program. While youth activities are important, I said it’s no reason to abandon your church and raise your kids outside the catholic church. I found it pretty lame. Another neighbor makes light of alot of our traditions undoubtedly shading over some of the guilt associated with leaving. He likes to take the summer off from his new church to garden all weekend. I said I wonder what would happen if God decided to take a summer off and garden instead of tending to him spiritually.
These occasional discussions are very cordial among friends, but I know they’ll grow deeper. I welcome the challenge.
The most fun I have is besting the Latter Day Saints guys. They are warm and friendly, but wait breathlessly for me to trip on scripture and teaching. My kids giggle when they come to the door because “Dad’s going to have a little fun”. We trade ideas and discussions as they try to get an achilles heel type jab and find a hole in my catholic faith. I mean NO disrespect to their beliefs and wish them well. I remain faithful and confident. My faith is unshakable.
[/quote]

I just want to comment on this, because in Europe, where I live, there are very few Evangelicals. While I think that the Roman Catholic Church is the true home for all humanity, I have a lot more time for the fundamentalists, than the unbelievers. I guess Atheism is the fastest growing “religion” here. I am reminded by Christs comments when his disciples complained about others doing things in His name, but without his express consent, and he told them to leave them alone:

 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.” 

—Mark 9:38-41, NIV

So thats my attitude to the protestants, and you would do well to remind them of their Scriptural duty to respect our tradition as well.


#16

Yep, they have been coming to see me for the past few weeks, trying to “Save Me” from their long path.

Well, now that I have my passages ready, they have not showed up yet.

Bring up History! They usually do not remeber or have been taught to forget. They want to push Wycliffe, but his theoires were not around until just before the Reformation in 1500. So for 1500 years the Church was wrong? Give them the following passages

Galatians 1:6-10 - this is about being on guard for those who tamper or alter the gospels and changing things to make it more pallitable for man.

Hebrew 4:1 about being fearful of losing your "chance of eternity"
or
Paul’s Philippians 3:11-16 - when he tells them that he is not assured of his own salvation but keeps his eyes on the prize.

And the Ultimate for the arguement of works James 2:17-26 - “Faith without works is dead as a body without breath.”

There are so many more, but use this as a motivation to dive more into your faith, or soon to be faith. Read Karl Keatings Romanism verses Fundamentalism. This is excellent to see both sides of the coin and what exactly we do believe, not what they think we believe.

Pray for them for if they really knew their faith, they would not have left it.

Oh, Mary is a big point with them, but save this for another day because if they can not get past the Sola Scriptura or Solas Fide, then they will never get the rest.

Remember satan tries hardest at the last point in which he thinks he can pull you away! The Catholic Church is the fullness of truth, and if satan can pull you away from the RC, then he will work on you some more later when doubt about many dogmas has set in. Be on Guard!


#17

When I went to Lutheran and Baptist churches you couldn’t turn around without bumping an ex-Catholic! Myself included in those days. Some sects were almost all ex-Catholic. I even had one ex-Catholic that thought she recieved the Eucharist in the Luhteran church and bragged about it to the other members. I guess nobody wanted to burst her bubble.

Every ex-Catholic I met over a 26 year period had no idea what Catholics believed. They miss-stated Church dogma, believed things like Foxes Book of Myths - oops I mean Martyrs. They had no Idea there was a Bible before the KJV. They NEVER heard Scripture in a Catholic Church. They think James missunderstod salvation by faith alone and so his book isn’t that important. Need I go on?

Just pick one or two topics and explian what the Catholic Church Dogma is by using the Catechism and the references it uses. Explain to them where the Bible came from too. Of course, most of them will turn you off and leave since they know you are just lying to them. Good luck.


#18

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