Is it better to be a committed evangelical or an apathetic Catholic?

I hope this question isn’t offensive. It isn’t meant to be…

I was watching Fox News’ “Special Report with Brit Hume”. They had a story about the evangelical Protestant culture at the U.S. Air Force Academy out in Colorado. Apparently one chaplain advised cadets to tell their friends that “Unless you are born again you will burn in the fires of Hell”.

(Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, that’s not too far from what Jesus Christ Himself said John 3:3].)

Anyway, I was just thinking, am I offended by the evangelical culture at the USAF Academy? If the alternative is a secular culture, I think I’d prefer the evangelical. What harm could it do from a Catholic perspective? An apathetic or ignorant Catholic could go to the Academy and convert to evangelical Protestantism, I suppose.

But then I thought, well maybe I’d rather have them be committed evangelicals than apathetic, nominal “Catholics”.

But *then *I thought, but even if they’re bad Catholics, they still (presumably) receive the sacraments, and presumably receive some measure of grace from that?

I don’t know. So I’ll ask you good people … is it better to be a committed evangelical or an apathetic, ignorant Catholic; and why?

Committed Prot, if for no other reason,

15"'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

Rev. 3:15-16.

Evangelicals, while falling short of the full Truth, are still committed to Christ and his message to the world. An apathetic Catholic is hardly anything. I would go so far as to say that he disqualifies himself. We are all called to care.

well, committed evangelical provided it’s NOT one of those self rightgeous, facist, right wing, nutcases :whacky: who distort Catholic beliefs and claim all Catholics and everyone else not of their particular persuasion are toast. In that case I would prefer a New Age pagan atheist or agnostic or maybe even a psychopathic homicidal maniac… :smiley: :whacky:

Presuming the committed evangelical is in a state of “invincible ignorance”, I’d say he’s in a better situation since it would appear that he is seeking out the Lord, moved by grace and trying to serve the Lord as he understands Him.

Anyone, Catholic or non-Catholic alike, who is “luke warm” will be “spit out” on the last day - as someone else stated already.

Invincible ignorance, however, is a dangerous tight rope I wouldn’t wish anyone to walk on, and it is certainly no “guarantee” that one is going to be saved. Where “invincible ignorance” meets “willful rejection” is for the Lord to judge. We don’t know, and so we have no choice but to do as the Lord commanded and continue to invite everyone home to the fullness of truth in the Church he built and sustains.

DustinsDad

This is a difficult question to ask as I come from a background of being with and still close to many committed evangelicals. I really had to think about answering and to be honest I did check ahead to see what other people thought by reading the responses and the poll results to decide.

I feel though it makes sense to vote for the commited evangelical choice it still is difficult as I have know many many commited evangelicals. There is a high percentage of them who come from a Catholic background and once they leave then believe that it is the fault of the Catholic faith they were lukewarm.

I just met one evangelical Sunday who came to my house to evangelize me as he is a former Catholic. As the majority of former Catholics he now has studied Catholicism from non-catholics such as Dave Hunt, James White and others. He is a missionary who misrepresented Catholicism to convince me of it’s wrongness. I have spent enough time around evangelicals to be able to explain the faith and in the end give him Rome Sweet Home and another book to read. Hopefully he reads these books with an open heart.

Anyways I will qualify my answer with this, it is better to be a commited evangelical as long as this brings them closer to Christ and truly seeking the truth. In willing to follow Christ anywhere this would eventually lead them back to His Church which many people have done. This is the good in being a commited evangelical as long as they commit themselves to Christ and are willing to do God’s will.
A superficial faith hopefully doesn’t occur where they just enjoy the friendships and the atmosphere. This then makes the person want to go to Church because of the music, the pastor, the good school, the business relationships, the friends, or whatever.

As I have said before, an apathetic Catholic easily becomes a commited evangelical, as usually they cannot defend the faith nor explain it. 2 weeks after becoming evangelical they then know everything about the Catholic faith.

God Bless
Scylla

Is someone who is apathetic and ignorant really Catholic?

I voted for the Evangelical.

I asked my preist a similar question for I was planning to give someone similar advice. He said it was better to stay with the Catholic Church as a bad Catholic than to leave. The poll talks of someone moving from lukewarm to commitment. The grace is already flowing.

st julie

Is it better to be a devout, loving muslim or an apathetic catholic? This can be a misleading question as you can draw extreme conclusions from it.

Scylla

Scylla

I think you are right, one can draw extreme misleading conclusions, from the question posed.

A lot of thought needs to go into the proper answer.

Trick

[quote=justbeinfrank]I hope this question isn’t offensive. It isn’t meant to be…

I was watching Fox News’ “Special Report with Brit Hume”. They had a story about the evangelical Protestant culture at the U.S. Air Force Academy out in Colorado. Apparently one chaplain advised cadets to tell their friends that “Unless you are born again you will burn in the fires of Hell”.

(Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, that’s not too far from what Jesus Christ Himself said John 3:3].)

Anyway, I was just thinking, am I offended by the evangelical culture at the USAF Academy? If the alternative is a secular culture, I think I’d prefer the evangelical. What harm could it do from a Catholic perspective? An apathetic or ignorant Catholic could go to the Academy and convert to evangelical Protestantism, I suppose.

But then I thought, well maybe I’d rather have them be committed evangelicals than apathetic, nominal “Catholics”.

But *then *I thought, but even if they’re bad Catholics, they still (presumably) receive the sacraments, and presumably receive some measure of grace from that?

I don’t know. So I’ll ask you good people … is it better to be a committed evangelical or an apathetic, ignorant Catholic; and why?
[/quote]

I don’t know any Christians who try the tactic of scaring people into having faith - and it’s a pretty stupid one.

I think it is far better to be an energetic Evangelical, than to be a more or less lifeless Catholic. At least such an evangelical is living some kind of Christian life: “not bothering”, is too close to losing what little Christian life one has already. As the parable says: “To him that has, shall more be given - and from him who has not, even what he has shall be taken away”. A marriage without love will die - and a Christian life without love, is also going to die.

IMHO, a blazing & venomous hatred of God would be less dangerous than apathy - it may be far more damnable than apathy, but at least someone capable of venomous and incandescent hatred for God is also capable, if converted, of an equally burning love of God. ##

[quote=scylla]Is it better to be a devout, loving muslim or an apathetic catholic? This can be a misleading question as you can draw extreme conclusions from it.

Scylla
[/quote]

I think this is a different situation because the Muslim doesn’t love Jesus. A committed Evangelical Christians loves Christ & serves
Him to the best of his knowledge. They also are very good at leading others to Christ. And, an evangelical Christian may, in time become Catholic. That’s not as likely with the Muslim - nor are they leading anyone to Christ.

I think the Apathetic Catholic - one who truly doesn’t care about the Church or God is in deep weeds. They, of all people should know better. Isn’t there something about “to those who have been given much, much will be expected??”

It is better to be a committed, evangelical Catholic.

[quote=scylla]Is it better to be a devout, loving muslim or an apathetic catholic? This can be a misleading question as you can draw extreme conclusions from it.

Scylla
[/quote]

I don’t understand your point. Isn’t it better to be a devout, loving *anything *than an apathetic, carefree Catholic?

If he thinks he is following the will of God, then isn’t this hypothetical Muslim convert’s actions pleasing to God?

It’s probably one of those situations where there’s an “objective” answer and a “pastoral” answer.

Objectively, it is better to be a practicing Catholic, because even if you are lukewarm or apathetic, at least you are receiving the sacraments, which are channels of grace and may help you to become less lukewarm and apathetic over time. An evangelical non-Catholic, no matter how sincere and committed to Christ, does not have those ordinary channels of grace.

Subjectively, if you honestly do not understand that the Catholic Church is the true Church that Christ founded, and you are doing the best you know how to serve Him, it is better to be a committed evangelical, because even though you don’t receive the sacramental graces, you may very well receive other kinds of graces which an apathetic Catholic may not even know about!

For example, how many Catholics take advantage of the fact that you can gain an indulgence for reading the Scriptures half an hour each day? Perhaps God, in His kindness and mercy, will apply that indulgence to those non-Catholics who love His word so much, even though they so often misinterpret its meaning.

This is my choice? Without any qualifiers? I think it is better to be a committed evangelical which indicates that the person is a disciple (committed) of Jesus Christ (evangelical). An “apathetic Catholic” suggests someone who merely holds a membership.

I once said to some Lutherans: “I’d rather be a good Catholic than a poor Lutheran any day. I’d rather be
a good Jew than a poor Christian any day.” Boy, did that bring the house down!

My point really is this, to just draw conclusions off this question can be dangerous.

A person might be inclined to believe that all religions are ok as long as you have a good relationship with God.

I voted that it would be better to be a commited evangelical, but I think the question poses problems as it is very narrow. Kinda like the questions a lawyer would as a person in a courtroom to prove a point to their own benefit or point of view.

I might have been a little extreme in my example. But my example was to illustrate how it can cause debate,


If he thinks he is following the will of God, then isn’t this hypothetical Muslim convert’s actions pleasing to God?

I believe so

God Bless
Scylla

:crying:Nobody ever :nope: gives me the answer that I :crying:want!!!

OK, (now that I’m through :wink: drumming my heels on the floor), I think that it is always better to be a committed Christian than an apathetic one. In fact, I would argue that an apathetic [Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Greek Orthodox, etc,etc, ad nauseum] is hardly a Christian at all, except when filling out forms. (Country of origin, USA; Color hair, blonde; Religion, Christian; Favorite candy, Reese’s peanut butter cups; Window seat or aisle, window seat).

However, I really wish there had been more choices. Because there is the danger that someone will indeed come away with the impression that it is better to be, say, a committed member of a cult where you all end up drinking poisoned koolaid, than to be a nominal[let’s say], Presbyterian. Which is obvious nonsense…

Novemeber election . … George Bush is more of a catholic than John Kerry.

[quote=ElizabethAnne]Is someone who is apathetic and ignorant really Catholic?

I voted for the Evangelical.
[/quote]

Yes, we call them cultural Catholics; they also go by the name “CE” Catholics - Christmas and Easter…

[quote=Joseph Bilodeau]It is better to be a committed, evangelical Catholic.
[/quote]

Right on:D . I would have to vote for neither of the choices above. Thanks and God Bless.

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