I'm really worried

My grandkids are teenagers now and have been well raised in the Catholic faith, but we live in the Buckle of the Bible Belt and I fear that they haven’t been sufficiently inoculated specifically against the wiles of fundamentalist protestantism. And the “ravenous wolves” are circling, in the form of other family members who are rabid devotees of the local “New Son-Rise Church” (name altered for anonymity).

The lure? Well, “aunt Pat and uncle Bob are such nice people, and everybody in their youth group has so much fun!” Not to mention that probably 80% of their flock are former Catholics – many of whom would probably describe themselves as “Co-Catholics.”

Yes, I know better, and the kids do too, down deep. But they’re up against it. How does a shy teenager handle a smiling, smarmy fundie who happens to be everybody’s favorite uncle Bob, and who thinks all Catholics are bound for eternal damnation?

I guess what I’m looking for is resources. Catholic Answers is great, as is BibleChristianSociety,com, which deals specifically with the protestant dilemma.

Anybody know of anything else? Thoughts, ideas more than welcome!

Are they willing to read books you give them?

Probably so, especially with their mother’s encouragement.

how about some catholic youth groups instead, that they could go to? does your parish have one?

are their any life teen things in your area?

I mean, if they are willing to listen to you as their grandparent though, you could always have the discussion with them also, just to see where they are standing

Anyone who teaches such anti-Christian hate should not be anyone’s favorite uncle, nor should they be allowed any unsupervised contact with children.

Gosh, it’s so tough out there. I left the Church when I went away to college, without my parents to make me go every Sunday. It took me 20+ years to come back. I can only speak from experience. A foundation of truth was laid, but I also grew up in an environment where there was a lot of arguing at family gatherings about the Pope, the Church, etc…we weren’t involved in our Church other than Mass every Sunday…we had been brought up with scary stories about nuns in Catholic schools (unfortunately, and too much negativity!)…of course the anti-Catholic sentiment among other religions…and we were discouraged from asking questions. (Example: “Why do I have to go to CCD all 12 years???” Answer: “Because if you don’t, your parents will go to hell”) Negative answers like that make for negative thinkers! I didn’t know much about God’s love and mercy until I voluntarily returned to Church so much later as an adult. So I would say…set an example by always staying positive about the faith, living the faith, always keep discussions open and respect the fact that the younger people may have questions and doubts and that it’s okay - that’s how we find our own way as learning, intelligent people. I would also stress the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which they won’t find in other Christian religions. If you have any influence at all over their activities, I’d encourage them to get involved in social groups or to volunteer in their parish, too. We have a lot of teen ushers on Sundays at our parish, and it’s kind of a neat position of authority for a younger person to have. It keeps them attentive and allows them to interact with adult ushers who are really happy to be there in Church! Best of luck to you all! They are lucky to have a wonderful grandmother to care for their souls!

I recommend the “You Cat”, Youth Catechism. Also, The Catholic Youth Bible which has interesting articles for teens.

Let them know you are willing to answer any questions they may have. God bless you!

Hi!
…I think you must start with prayer… then get into your Faith; sadly, fellowship in Catholic parishes are usually: “meet & greet” while at the parish–before, during and after Mass–just before the quick exit to “never meet, greet or speak with you till next Mass-meet.”

Get involved in your local parish (neighboring parishes) to promote youth groups (Bible, social, community).

Wake up! Your colorful descriptive language has a drawback: it sets you as an anti-whatever Pat & Bob are–guess what appeals to those seeking to leave the nest?

Finally, study those who leave the Church… from my experience, I’ve known a few–while “Catholics” they were the most lazy, anti-parish, anti-Bible, anti-anything Catholic, some would even be accepting of anything non-Catholic (both cultural and non-Catholic theology/ideology); yet, once they “converted” they became “devote Christians,” bordering on anti-Catholics (if not the ones holding the torches and pitch forks while leading the mobs) giving (while some clearly begrudgingly) both their time and moneys to all sorts of “activities” and “obligations.”

Interestingly enough, most who convert from Catholicism (especially Jehovah Witnesses) seem to be born of a new spirit: convert Catholics!

The more you know about your Faith and the more you live your Faith the more you can share with your grandchildren. So, live your Faith. Be that example to them that they need. Even if they are lured by the “fun” non-Catholics seek in fellowshipping (jumping from one faith base to another) the roots of Catholicism will eventually keep them from leaving the Faith or nurture their Catholic identity until they are ready to return to the Fullness of Faith!

Maran atha!

Angel

Hi, Allie!
Glad you came back Home! :extrahappy::extrahappy::extrahappy:

I encourage you to use your experience for the benefit of the Body. Become actively involved in the Church. It is necessary that the local parish Priests and their Bishops know people as yourself who have had very little catechesis and who have experienced such negativity (anti-Catholicism) from even your own home.

I believe that part of the reason why many leave the Church is because the catechesis that they receive is limited to the basics of Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation… once these three phases are completed… done deal!

The Church (beginning with the local parishes) must implement a more rigorous catechesis; one where both the parents and children are catechized to become active members of the Church–beginning with the home Church. Too many times, it seems that all that matters is that we have “x” amount of children/people Baptized, etc. per year.

The resources that you can offer (through witnessing) can be the determining factor in enhancing the catechesis given to all Catholics.

We must be active members of the Faith!

Maran atha!

Angel

This book is a bit of a harder read, but if you think your grandkids are up for it, Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating is a good book that refutes a lot of the anti-Catholic arguments made by Protestant fundamentalists in an intelligent way. And although I personally have never read it, Rome Sweet Home by Scott Hahn is a really good one too from what I’ve heard.

I can think of several good suggestions.
The Nightmare World of Jack T. Chick if you can find it. Apparently out of print. PM me with your address and I can send you a copy that I stockpiled.
**
The Protestant’s Dilemma**

By: ** Devin Rose


Is an outstanding book that won’t be hard for them to get into and understand.

**


Also I can suggest Beginning Apologetics Volume 1: How to Explain and Defend the Catholic Faith


This is simple concise and a terrific value for cost. Every kid could have one and I suggest that you include a highlighter so they can mark up their copies because they probably will want to. :slight_smile:


Another favorite of mine is
Compendium To The Catechism Of The Catholic Church

								 						**By: ** **United States Conference of Catholic Bishops**						
						 							                  				                                                                                                        	     Availability: In stock
                                  	                    							  
                 	                                                                                                                                             $14.95

This interview on The Journey Home:

youtu.be/R5NT32Y-Mrk

The interviewee has an apologetics radio show, posted on YouTube, named Called to Communion.

You think the biggest threat to their spiritual welfare is from other Christian denominations? LOL
Are they planning on going to university?

Please also remember to focus on the common ground. This will allow you to be included in all family gatherings, etc. so that you can be present and accepting of them. Then when needed, you can point out the Catholic truths and they will be received in a spirit of Christian fellowship by your example. Hopefully, they will accept what you say if you don’t try to hit them over the head with it. And it may be your role here to help educate them a bit. We all learn from each other.

Kids are natural truth seekers. Make sure they know, by your example, that things can be questioned. They will deduce that much truth lies within the Catholic church and that this truth is derived from the same place as the other Christians.

Just always let folks know that your church has the same bible and words of Christ as the other Christian church. But then focus in on who gets to interpret the meaning? Pose these things as questions. Find out what bible versus are being used and make sure they have access to the Catholic interpretation from a legit source.

Trust in the web of truth that is your church and let it speak for itself. But you may need to be the voice sometimes. Eventually your kids can be that voice too.

As a southern Protestant on my way to Catholicism I have to ask, do you realize Protestants say the same thing when their kids go to college in the north?

In any case, the answer is the same for both. 1. Know the Bible. 2. Know what they believe. 3. Know why they believe it. 4. Know where to look when they have questions. 5. Have good critical thinking skills.

If they have been reared in that manner, then you leave the rest up to God.

You mention something I’ve written about, “The Fallacy of Niceness”. This has to be countered in how they were raised. Everything in our culture teaches that if people are “nice”, then their morality does not matter. If people are “nice”, not only are they virtuous, then they must possess the truth. That kind of thinking has to be countered when kids are growing up. They must be taught critical thinking.

Unfortunately, my experience is that many young Catholics do not meet those five criteria. My experience is that Protestants have a better grasp of the Bible and theology in general. So Catholics are going in as the underdogs. Maybe it’s because Catholics do not have the same type of “Sunday School” as Protestants. Maybe it’s because many Catholics do not emphasize the importance of knowing the Bible thoroughly.

In any case, nothing will replace doing these things right for 18 years.

I think this is going to be a trust thing for you, you are going to have to trust your kids to do what is right. You can also pray, and have others pray for them as well.

I grew up in a protestant household (with my mom full time evangelical, dad part time Calvinist/reformed). My mom and step-dad didn’t go to church regularly when I was really young. I really started getting involved around the 4th grade when my cousin invited me to our church’s Awana program. Those Protestants know how to make everything about church seem fun and appealing. Since then I went to youth group in Jr.high and High school, and even checked out the youth groups of other local Protestant churches. All of them played games, and were big on “recruiting” other kids to their youth groups. They had their sermon time and small groups too, but they made sure to do “fun” activities to keep people coming back. We also had many former or non-practicing Catholics that attended our church. Many would tell others all the “false teachings” taught by the Catholic Church.

So, I would say, even if your kids have a strong theological foundation, the Protestants can be very persuasive and seem appealing to kids. Especially when they claim to be “strongly rooted in scripture” and things like that. So it would seem that they must be okay, because they know so much about the Bible. I have since been drawn into the Catholic Church by some friends, by the fact that it is one church rather than several denominations, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and more. However, this has been after many years of believing the Catholic Church was theologically misguided, was legalistic and too worried about rules, could confess away all sins, worshiped Mary and saints, and a lot more. I now know all of this is wrong, and understand the truth that was distorted behind what I was taught.

Keep praying. If they do get pulled in, they will come back, trust this! Just remind them to not listen to the very biased Protestants when they claim to “know more about Catholicism” than their parents do.

Ugh…I live in what some refer to as the Buckle of the Bible Belt so I know all too well what you are referring to and I was there in it [the lively Protestant church] until a couple of years ago.

Can you please clarify what you mean in the bolded above? What does “raised well in the Catholic faith” mean to you?

I ask this because some will say that they have raised their children well in the faith by attending Mass frequently, praying the rosary often, etc. but what is often lacking is the REASON behind their faith. In other words, they don’t give their children the proper apologetic tools to understand and truly KNOW their faith and why we Catholics do what we do. I am absolutely convinced that is the reason why so many leave and/or why so many feel the pull of Protestantism.

It is my deep conviction that if a person truly understands Church history and truly believes in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, he/she will never leave the Catholic faith. There’s no way that some lively youth group will even compare in their mind to the beauty of the Eucharist.

The lure? Well, “aunt Pat and uncle Bob are such nice people, and everybody in their youth group has so much fun!” Not to mention that probably 80% of their flock are former Catholics – many of whom would probably describe themselves as “Co-Catholics.”

Yes, I know better, and the kids do too, down deep. But they’re up against it. ** How does a shy teenager handle a smiling, smarmy fundie who happens to be everybody’s favorite uncle Bob, and who thinks all Catholics are bound for eternal damnation?**

Simple. Shy teenager should not be allowed to interact unsupervised with Uncle Bob until said teenager can properly defend their faith. This needs to stop immediately. My 13yo son has listened to enough Scott Hahn and Steve Ray to be able to squelch non-denominational Grandma’s jabs at the Catholic Church so he is able to spend time with her without parental supervision. Grandma has also learned the hard way that if she has a question, that she is to NEVER ask my 8yo daughters. She is to come to us, case closed.

I guess what I’m looking for is resources. Catholic Answers is great, as is BibleChristianSociety,com, which deals specifically with the protestant dilemma.

Anybody know of anything else? Thoughts, ideas more than welcome!

Resources:
The Eucharist
“Understanding the Eucharist” by Scott Hahn, YouTube
“The Fourth Cup” by Scott Hahn, YouTube
“Dr. Scott Hahn talks about the Early Church and the Eucharist” Scott Hahn, YouTube
“Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist” by Dr. Brant Pitre, YouTube
“The Eucharist” by Steve Ray, YouTube

The Papacy
“Peter, the Rock, the Keys, and the Chair” by Steve Ray (YouTube)
“Why Do We Have a Pope?” by Scott Hahn (YouTube)

Sacraments
“Signs of Life: Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots” by Scott Hahn

Other Books/Resources
Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn
Crossing the Tiber by Steve Ray
Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic by David Currie
The Protestant Dilemma by Devin Rose
Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating
“The Early Church Fathers I Never Saw” by Marcus Grodi (YouTube)
“Abraham: Revealing the Historical Roots of Our Faith” by Steve Ray
“Born Again, Faith Alone” by Steve Ray ****very good one, especially for Baptists!!
“Finding the Fullness of Faith” by Steve Ray
“Ten Bible Verses I Never Saw” by Marcus Grodi (YouTube)
Finding the Fullness of Faith in the Catholic Church by Bruce Sullivan
“Unlocking the Book of Revelation” by Dr. Michael Barber

Hope this helps!

First thing I would ask if someone says all Catholics are damned to hell (or lost or can’t be saved, etc.) is “Please quote the scriptural book, chapter and verse to support that statement”. Wish him luck on that one as there is none, the word Catholic is not even in the bible.

Then I would point to Mk 16:15-16 where Jesus says only those who hear the Gospel can be saved (saved = liberated from the slavery of sin). Ask a non-Catholic where is this Gospel in scripture? It isn’t. There is no chapter(s) and verse(s) claiming to explain and define what this Gospel is. Therefore it is a spoken word of God that the Apostles learned directly from Jesus as they were preaching it on Pentecost Sunday, years before the first book of the New Testament was written and centuries before all of the inspired books of the bible were authoritatively named.
So if someone wants to be saved he has to hear the Gospel preached, believe this Gospel and then be baptized for salvation. Only the Catholic Church has this Gospel in unwritten form (called Holy Tradition).

Notice Jesus did not say to read the bible, memorize bible verses or to use one’s personal guesswork on bible verses to determine what Christianity is. He said to listen to the Church (Mt 18:17) as He gave authority to the Apostles (Lk 10:16) to preach in His name. If you refuse to listen to the Apostles and their successors than you run the risk of losing your salvation.

A belated but heart-felt thanks to all who responded.

I talked with my daughter and showed her this thread. She’s home-schooling the kids, btw, and now plans to spend some instruction time on this issue, specifically incorporating the resources you generously provided.

The kids are going to be fine.

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