This is going to sound like a strange question, but I want to know the best way I can tell some dear friends of mine that I have gone back to Mother Church. At the moment I have yet to find the right time to ‘out’ myself
Now, I owe these friends a great deal, as they were the one’s who initially guided me back to the Lord from a life of paganism. They are missionaries of the Pentecostal denomination, and strongly oppose the Catholic point of view. I have accompanied them to the Pentecostal church they go to on several occasions. Ironically, it was these services which led me back to the Catholic faith, and what I felt was a more spiritually inspiring and biblically consistent form of worship.
It is only decent to tell them that the Lord has guided me home to the Church. I know they will be disappointed with my decision. I told some other evangelistic friends last week and had a bit of a going over, shall we say! I don’t want a repeat of that, so I’m thinking I must put an argument to them that is both forceful (as somebody on here recently advised me - it is MY faith journey), objective and respectful.
I would write them a thoughtful letter (hand-write, not email), and tell them.
That way, you don’t have to worry about getting flustered. They can react privately (wringing hands, crying, getting angry, whatever) without upsetting you. And then they can calm down and probably contact you.
Whatever you do, remain calm, but not zombie-like. They will think you’ve been brainwashed and try even harder to get you out of the “cult.” They might even call in one of those “cult-busting” organizations to de-program you. So don’t act too calm and detached. Just make sure not to lose your temper or burst into tears.
And if they throw all kinds of Bible verses at you, I would tell them that there are answers for their questions, but that you don’t have all those answers on the tip of your tongue yet. You would like to do more studying.
Finally, as I mentioned in another post to you, make use of Tim Staples’ apologetics materials, which I believe are available through Catholic Answers. He came out of the Pentecostal tradition (Assemblies of God), so he can answer your friends’ objections quite well.
It will work out. I’ve often said that Pentecostals are the easiest people to convert, because they already believe in miracles and expect to see them. So the True Presence is not a huge barrier for them. Also, the Pentecostals have the same moral standards as the Catholic Church teaches (pro-life, marriage between man and woman, no co-habitation before marriage, etc.), and they are disillusioned by some of their pastors who teach a “wimpy” morality. Just keep praying and loving them… My parents-in-law were Assemblies of God, and even though they aren’t Catholic yet, they are very open. Just last weekend, my father-in-law made the statement that “he is more Catholic than Protestant” now.
I agree with the above poster that if you are truly worried about the emotional upset of telling your friends, especially in light of your recent experience with other friends - - Write a letter.
A letter permits you to lay out your case carefully and respectfully. A letter contains no emotion. It will be read through to the end without interruption. There can be no confusion about what is said etc…
Thank them for their ministry to you and the Joy you feel coming back to Christ and then go on to the reasons why you feel the call to the fullness of the Catholic Church.
You can invite them to conversation - so that they might learn more about why you are coming home to Rome, and also to correct misconceptions they have about the Church.
But make it clear that such conversations be respectful and that you will not tolerate an unchristian “church bashing” approach.