I need help


#1

my friend is orthodox… but has recently been going to a protestant church, he said he likes it there and likes the way they do things…but of course the church is feeding him misconceptions about catholics and he is questioning me about them…i spoke with him today, and he said, “i have a problem with how catholics pray to mary and consider her a god, and how confession is supposed to be only to god and not to a priest” i tried explaining these things to him but he keeps taking bible verses out of context…i was talking to him about the catholic church and he said he is open to hear about what we believe… his church teaches him that by the catholic church teaching that it is the real body and blood of christ, that its blasephmy, and he believes it…with your help i hope we can bring him to catholicism…so if you could help me i would really appreciate it


#2

That’s a lot of ground to cover. The tracts on www.Catholic.com cover most of the garden variety objections that your friend probably has. Also, either read or have your friend read Karl Keating’s Catholicism and Fundamentalism.

Keep in close contact with your friend, show him alot of charity and try not to get heated in any discussions. If you have any specific questions, ask away.


#3

If your friend just wants to pit you against his pastor, it may be a futile exercise. Instead, before engaging too deeply, it might make sense to establish why you’d even discuss these issues in the first place. Presumably, it is to find Truth. If your friend agrees this is the reason, then seek the truth with an open heart and open mind. (“Seek the Truth and it will set you free”)

Offer to look for the Truth together. I suggest taking one topic at a time, like the “worship” of Mary, and offer to explore it together. Hear out what his pastor has to say, then look together at a tract from Catholic Answers or pose the question to the forum.

If he elevates Sacred Scripture over Sacred Tradition, I recommend help from John Martignoni and the Bible Christian Society. The Bible came from the Church, not vice versa.

It is good your friend has questions. If he’s intellectually honest, they will lead him back to his baptism into the universal Church instituted by Christ and he’ll have more conviction than ever.Hopefully this is sooner than ever.

Bless you for wanting to help!


#4

Your friend is orthodox as in Eastern Orthodox, and he’s going to a Protestant congregation now? Or you mean he’s orthodox in the general sense in that he is Catholic?

If he’s Orthodox in the first sense, it is possible that he can become really confused, being “hit” from 3 different angles. Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Protestant at same time.

There’s plenty of information for you to get your hands on, Karl Keating’s book is good, but there’s several others.

It’s really best to get your friend to think about his top 3 or 4 problems and then take them one at a time. That way you and he can focus on one thing. But there will overlap, because there’s no such thing as an isolated doctrine.


#5

ya hes greek orthodox…he was going to a greek orthodox church, but then stopped ever since he met his girlfriend… she goes to a protestant church and now he goes with her…and they tell him at his youth meetings, hey did you know catholics do this and catholics do that…theyre feeding him all these lies and without knowing anything about the catholic church, he tries to attack it… he recently asked me, " why would there be a purgatory if jesus came down here and suffered for our sins, why do we still have to suffer ?" what should i tell him in response to that ?


#6

I think it is important to ask the question—

Q: On whose authority do they teach this?

The bible is their sole authority.

Q: Where in the bible does it say that it is the sole authority?

It doesn’t.

Q: What about 1 Tim 3:15?

**1 Timothy 3:15 **

15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

Q: Which “church”

Well their were no “Protestants” until after 1517.

Q; What about ?

**Matthew 16:18 **

18"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Q: Again which church?

And notice the church of Christ is built on Peter.Our first head bishop. Our first pope. (means pappa) The Catholic Church can trace each pope all the way back to Peter

newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm

And also that the “gates of Hades will not overcome it” that means the church Jesus built on Peter is still here!

Q: The bible is older then Martin Luther (1517) so where did it come from?

Ask him these questions


#7

Matthew 3:6
Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Mark 1:5
The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

The above is an example of public confession of sins to both God and to John the Baptist.

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

At the very least James 5:16 is teaching christians to confess our sins to each other, that is to other humans which creates accountablity.


#8

1st. Pray diligently for him. I suggest The Divine Mercy Chaplet novena.
2nd. Look around my blog, Apocalypsis where you may well find some good material that will help. Also the thread Alfie’s Assertion That Confession is Optional. here at CAF may very well be of some use.

As for his opposition to the Eucharist, he’s scripturally dead wrong. The Eucharist IS Scriptural

Please feel free to use whatever you need and PM me if I can help in any way.
Pax tecum,


#9

First, follow the recommended links already mentioned; you will find excellent resources for helping your friend.

Second, you might remind your friend that the Orthodox have just as strong a love of a devotion to the Blessed Mother as do the Catholics, and that they also receive the true Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord in the Eucharist. So when he hears accusations against Catholics, many of those same accusations would be applied to the Orthodox. Ask him how would he, as an Orthodox, have answered those accusations? (This will help you see how much he actually knew of his Orthodox faith.)


#10

He needs to go talk to his priest, fast!

very typical, and very sad. He should try bringing her to the Divine Liturgy.

Does he understand he isn’t a Catholic?

Does he still consider himself to be Greek Orthodox? Many of the things this Protestant group are bringing up are beliefs held in common with the Orthodox Church.

He seems to have had very poor catechesis in his own church. How sad.

Again, urge him to take these issues to his priest!

Unfortunately, the allure of a young, pretty girl is probably way too strong for him since he is not well grounded in his own faith. The Greeks I know who do know their faith don’t date outside it.


#11

I agree with that other poster. The protestants probably don’t have a clue what background he comes from. Orthodox might as well be Roman Catholic to them.

Anyways, the guy’s best defense should be talking to his own Orthodox priest. They are usually pretty good from my own experience. But the priest may not be as attractive as the girlfriend. :slight_smile:

But that would put you in a triangle of protestant, catholic, orthodox and it would perhaps be weird for him. Or it could be so exciting that he may end up becoming Catholic as a result of it all!


#12

<<Your friend is orthodox as in Eastern Orthodox, and he’s going to a Protestant congregation now?>>

It’s been my misfortune to meet many people who say such inaninties as “We are members of First Baptist, but we’re Greek Orthodox.”


#13

thank you all for your help, i will check out the links and ask him questions you have given me…just yesterday i gave him a copy of pillar of fire, pillar of truth…hopefully he reads it and becomes interested and starts doing research about the church on his own…i have told him that at the greek orthodox church they believe in the real presence in the eucharist and show honor to mary, he said he knows, but still listens to what the protestants are teaching him about the two subjects…all he tells me is what theyre teaching him makes sense…and even tried to say that on our chalice we use at mass, theres pagan symbols on it…its actually becoming ridiculous on what theyre teaching him…and to make matters worse, i found out his girlfriend doesnt like me, just because im catholic. one of my other best friends stopped talking to me because his girlfriend hates catholics and now he does too…(his girlfriend is protestant but hes coptic orthodox) im losing all my friends just because im catholic… but ill keep trying to defend the faith as best i can, no matter what


#14

Sometimes, I believe the best defense can be a strong offense, provided it is done with love, charity, and a genuine goal of leading your friend to the Truth. You need to point out to him that the particular protestant youth group he is now attending is NOT OF GOD! (Please note, that I am NOT trying to level this allegation against all protestant youth groups.) Look at this:

Ephesians 4:29 “Never let evil talk pass your lips; say only the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them.”

Ask your friend if his protestant youth group’s hateful lies and slander against the Catholic Church fall under the category of “the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them,” or if they fall under the category of “evil talk.” Ask him if hearing the Catholic Church spoken of that way makes him want to be more loving and draws him closer to God, or if instead, it just fills him with disdain towards people that he otherwise would have felt positively or indifferently towards.

1 John 4:20 “If anyone says, ‘My love is fixed on God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. One who has no love for the brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen.”

Ask your friend what he sees in terms of “love” that his protestant youth group shows toward their Catholic brothers, and realize what this verse is saying.

As for the Eucharist being the Real Presense, show him what the early Church Fathers believed. I think you can find that information on this website. If not, go to staycatholic.com and read what the early Church Fathers said about the Real Presense. Also, be sure that he realizes that it is through the Power of The Holy Spirit that the priests concecrate the Eucharist, and NOT through their own power. Remind him also, that it was through The Holy Spirit that Jesus performed miracles. Furthermore, point out how Jesus reacted when the Pharisees tried to claim that he was acting under an evil authority. If your friend’s youth group is associating the Catholic Eucharist with paganism, does that in some way differ from the Pharisee’s attitudes towards the miracles of Jesus? Refer him to Matthew 12:22-37, and tell him to think of that before he ever considers associating the work of The Holy Spirit with paganism, again.

Now, the big issue to overcome is the girlfriend. The fact that he would change his religion over her suggests that he is placing her over God, which is very dangerous territory. When young men are warned of the dangers of placing their lustful desires toward women ahead of trust and obedience to God, they need to see examples of what happened to other men who made the mistake of placing women ahead of God. Examples would include Eve’s manipulation of Adam (Genesis 3:6) which led to the fall of man; Sarah’s manipulation of Abraham (Genesis 16:2) Some people may disagree with me that by listening to Sarah here, Abraham was not fully trusting God, but either way, we can’t even begin to fathom the extremity of the consequences of Abraham having taken Sarah’s advice, here; Delilah’s seduction of Samson (Judges 16:4-21) which led to his capture that included his eyes being gouged out and ultimately his death; Bathsheba’s seduction of David (2 Samuel 11) which led to a murder, a miscarriage, and hurt his relationship with God; Solomon and his foreign wives (1 Kings 11:4) which led to idolatry and a division among God’s people; Jezebel’s seduction of Ahab (1 Kings 16:21) which led to the murder of prophets and Ahab disgracing Israel; and Sapphira’s coaxing of Ananias (Acts 5:1-10) which spelled instant death for them both. I heard a rumor that Yoko Ono brought John Lennon away from Christ, too.
Finally, I’d recommend the book By What Authority by Mark Shea. It is excellent.
I hope this helps.


#15

thank you for all your help…i will go over all the info you have given me… my friend says at his old orthodox church all the priest was after was money…thats why he went to the protestant church… he believes they could be the real faith because he says he witnesses the holy spirit entering people bodies, that people start speaking in tongues and break down and start to cry from the power of the holy spirit…personally im not too sure of all this speaking in tongues they do at protestant chruches…i think alot of it is fake or very rarely maybe its demonic possession…he said the youth group plays games and goes out…i think thats one of the reasons he likes it there too…but he knows nothing about the catholic faith only misconceptions… he told me some of the problems he has with catholics is confession to a priest, and the papacy… he thinks we worship the pope… he also doesnt believe peter had authority over the other apostles … i try to discuss these things with him, but then he will just tell his youth pastor what i told him, and i guess they tell him im lying or something.


#16

thank you for all your help…i will go over all the info you have given me… my friend says at his old orthodox church all the priest was after was money…thats why he went to the protestant church… he believes they could be the real faith because he says he witnesses the holy spirit entering people bodies, that people start speaking in tongues and break down and start to cry from the power of the holy spirit…personally im not too sure of all this speaking in tongues they do at protestant chruches…i think alot of it is fake or very rarely maybe its demonic possession…he said the youth group plays games and goes out…i think thats one of the reasons he likes it there too…but he knows nothing about the catholic faith only misconceptions… he told me some of the problems he has with catholics is confession to a priest, and the papacy… he thinks we worship the pope… he also doesnt believe peter had authority over the other apostles … i try to discuss these things with him, but then he will just tell his youth pastor what i told him, and i guess they tell him im lying or something.


#17

Just to clarify with my own above post, especially when discussing how his protestant youth group’s attitude towards the concecration of the Eucharist resembles the Pharisees’ attitude towards the miracles of Jesus, it is important to never outright accuse your friend or his youth group of sin, especially not the unpardonable sin, as all such judgment is reserved for God.


#18

That’s the spirit! Don’t let it get you down. It’s perfectly allright to feel distressed about the whole situation, but keep your joy in your faith and stay strong.


#19

Hey, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been flooded with all these misunderstandings and criticisms of Catholicism. I have a few books to recommend to your friend, if he’s interested in reading them. I think a great place to start would be “Catholic and Christian” by Alan Schreck. It explains common misconceptions held about Catholics by some Protestants in a very clear and charitable manner. It was one of the first books that really helped me begin to consider Catholicism seriously (I’m in RCIA right now). Another great one is “By What Authority?” by Mark Shea. He was an evangelical Protestant who converted to Catholicism, and this book mainly describes how he came to recognize church authority. I think books written with Protestant ideologies and interpretations of scripture in mind are great, because they will directly address the perspectives being fed into your friend. If your friend is not big on reading, I would recommend the Coming Home Network website (www.chnetwork.org/)). I don’t know if you’ve seen the show on EWTN, but the Coming Home Network provides support to Protestant ministers journeying towards Catholicism. If you click on “The Journey Home” link, they have literally thousands of radio shows where former Protestant ministers of every denomination imaginable share their testimonies about how they became Catholic. They usually address their former Protestant framework, and explain how they came to recognize the the truths that led them to adopt Catholicism. The shows are usually really interesting. Anyway, I hope some of these resources help. Hang in there and we will pray for you as you’re facing this challenge!


#20

I have had a number of conversations with Protestants over the last few years and for the most part what you quote above repeats itself over and over again. We worship Mary, the Pope, a piece of bread and statues. I tell them that if we did that I’d run away faster than they could! These folks really don’t think for themselves. Again, I want to avoid making blanket statements as this only makes my assertions match theirs. But for the most part they are fed these misconceptions and, let’s face it, many Catholics cannot defend their positions on many of our beliefs. But when they speak with me (not that I’m some great apologist) they come to a better understanding of what exactly it is that we do. Many have retreated because they are cornered and I consider that planting seeds. We need to catechize ourselves first and then those around us. It is so important that we can "give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame." (cf. 1 Peter 3:15)


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