Looking for Help with Discussion with Evangelicals

I am looking for help in being able to have respectful, loving and balanced discussions a couple of people (friend and family member), who abandoned the Catholic Church for Evangelical Churches. I am not very good at responding verbally and on faith matters am very slow (I like to think, read, pray and think again). Some of the problems are to do with language e.g. “Are you saved” and “Have you accepted the Lord Jesus as your Saviour” which I am getting the hang of (I can happily respond to these two). I am puzzled by the sudden onset of deafness when I respond to some of the accusations they make about Mary, Christmas and the Eucharist. The issues I struggle with are:

  1. Evangelicals don’t sin. If they think they made a mistake they just move on. The idea of full knowledge, remorse at offending God and repentance and wanting to restore the relationship with Him seemed an odd concept and irrelevant to a saved person.

  2. Once saved always saved but Heaven is graded, so if you are “saved” and become a serial killer you still get to Heaven but don’t have pots of gold.

  3. Jesus did talk about “”When I was naked you clothed me etc…” but that doesn’t apply to works carried out in faith and love as we just do them to feel good.

  4. Verily verily (or truly truly) I tell you when spoken by Jesus means let me give you an illustration.

  5. At least three chapters of the Bible have to be read each day and the surprise that anyone could be captivated by one verse, reread and ponder on it for days.

  6. Jesus died on the cross for all sins, once and for all, end of story.

I don’t want to start arguments or damage anyone’s faith journey, but equally I would like to express the rich fulsomeness of the Catholic Church, in an attractive manner.

Are there any simple good resources to help with some of the language barriers, deafness and common misunderstandings with Evangelicals?

PS. To demonstrate my speed, it has taken well over an hour to put this together (as it is 23:18 UK time and way past bedtime I will come back tomorrow). I think St Jerome would sympathies as I understand he was a fellow ox.

  1. Is very false. Many Christians, Evangelicals included, recognize 1 John 1:8-" If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."(KJV) Repent means “To turn away” The idea of sin, is we acknowledge what we did before God, with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and ask even beg God for forgiveness.

  2. O.S.A.S. is IMHO false doctrine, I’ll let an O.S.A.S. person tackle that. However, a true repentant person I’m sure can get into heaven.

  3. Works of righteousness done out of love do not account for salvation. Salvation is a free gift. Works of Righteousness are the Christian showing gratitude for Grace.

4.And, that’s bad because…?

  1. Yeah. Jesus’ death and resurrection was a one time only deal. Jesus forgives all sins. Anyone who says different is selling you something.

=Avila123;11535812]I am looking for help in being able to have respectful, loving and balanced discussions a couple of people (friend and family member), who abandoned the Catholic Church for Evangelical Churches. I am not very good at responding verbally and on faith matters am very slow (I like to think, read, pray and think again). Some of the problems are to do with language e.g. “Are you saved” and “Have you accepted the Lord Jesus as your Saviour” which I am getting the hang of (I can happily respond to these two). I am puzzled by the sudden onset of deafness when I respond to some of the accusations they make about Mary, Christmas and the Eucharist. The issues I struggle with are

SPACE IS RESTRICTED HERE ON CAF :slight_smile: sO I’ll be brief

Evangelicals don’t sin

READ: 1Jn.1:8-10; 1 Jn.5: 16-17 & Jn.20:19-23.

Once saved always saved but Heaven is graded, so if you are “saved” and become a serial killer you still get to Heaven but don’t have pots of gold.

Ties in w/ above BUT add Mt. 19:17

Jesus did talk about “”When I was naked you clothed me etc…” but that doesn’t apply to works carried out in faith and love as we just do them to feel good

.

READ James 2: 6-15

Verily verily (or truly truly) I tell you when spoken by Jesus means let me give you an illustration{/QUOTE]

Very good:thumbsup:.

[quote]
t.
Rom.10: 17 “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Chris “

2nd. Peter 1: 16-21 “You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.** First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”**

1 Peter 4: 17-18 "For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And “If the righteous man is scarcely saved, where will the impious and sinner appear?”

2 Cor. 4: 2 “We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing"

Jesus died on the cross for all sins, once and for all, end of story

Truth is singular:
Jesus Died for the REDEMPTION of all humanity [means made heaven once again open and accessible after being closed by Adam & Eve’s sin] SALVATION is not synonymous with redemption! And Salvation is Highly conditional.

Matthew 4:4 “Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God”

John 12: 48-49 He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.”

I don’t want to start arguments or damage anyone’s faith journey, but equally I would like to express the rich fulsomeness of the Catholic Church, in an attractive manner.

Are there any simple good resources to help with some of the language barriers, deafness and common misunderstandings with Evangelicals?

They ARE hearing Satan, not God:o

This is a tough task you’ve chosen and we MUST keep in mind that GOD and GOD ALONE is in charge of results. Faith is a Gift of God when accepted fully and rightly applied. So we can know, live and SHARE the truth and even prove it Biblically; BUT ONLY God can get them to accept and understand it. So be aware of this FACT going in.

PS. To demonstrate my speed, it has taken well over an hour to put this together (as it is 23:18 UK time and way past bedtime I will come back tomorrow). I think St Jerome would sympathies as I understand he was a fellow ox.

Please look for the private message I sent you.:thumbsup:

God Bless and guide you!
Patrick [PJM]
[/quote]

Well no. 5 is going on false presumptions. It is all about the Mass where a lot of Evangelicals have the strange and false idea that we think that we kill Jesus yet again everytime we have Mass.

False, at Mass we re-present the once only sacrifice of Jesus.

I think it is hard speaking with Evangelicals because we speak different theological languages. I don’t know what they mean when they say, ‘accept Jesus into your heart to be your PERSONAL Saviour.’ What does that even mean?

Well, I’m an evangelical Christian, and I find what you are describing to be quite troubling. It’s not just troubling, but it is bad doctrine and harmful to spiritual formation. This is not Evangelical theology. It’s just bad theology.

Bad theology.

Hmm . . . some of this stuff just sounds petty. I hope you don’t think all evangelicals are like this.

Yes, this is typically evangelical and Protestant teaching. This is why it will be very difficult to justify to your family members the sacrificial view of the Catholic Mass.

As an evangelical, I too am troubled by the lack of basic Christian knowledge and charity displayed by your loved ones. I don’t have any resources to help you present a Catholic apologetic, but if I were in your situation I would definitely be looking for biblically informed and well reasoned educational material. I’d also suggest they attend another church that did not teach such serious errors about sin and how we reconcile ourselves to God.

I am a convert to the Catholic Church from an Evangelical type Church. I have never heard an evangelical claim to not sin, so I am not sure where you got that from.

Avila,

I’m an Evangelical. Just starting with your number 1–Are you sure this is actually what your friends and family members believe? No Evangelical of any sort whatsoever should believe they don’t sin and don’t need to repent…Period. Can you find out what kind of Evangelicals they are, and post something written from them explaining this idea in their own words? I’m thinking it’s likely that there’s some mutual misunderstanding going on between both parties.

Edit…I’m a member of the pokey poster’s club, too, Avila :slight_smile: (I write a little, squish my sleeping dog, think things over, write a little more, squish dog again…meanwhile three other posts come in since the last post I read. :o) I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but, as another poster said, sometimes we use words differently, and that can easily lead to misunderstanding all around.

I have a one man answer for you: John Martignoni. He can be found at the Bible Christian Society. He sends me a daily email of some of his apologetic and he’s really good. I like his style myself. He is also on Queen of Peace radio which you can listen to over the Internet. I bet if you downloaded some of his stuff into your MP3 player and listened to him on your rides to and from work, within a very short time you’d have more than one answer for your evangelical relatives. He really is worth your time.

Glenda

Keep your bible and catechism handy. Look things up and talk with others at church or here on CAF and learn better and simpler arguments for Truth. On the Born Again and Being Saved issue, check out the context of things through a good Catholic Bible Study. There is a lot of scriptural support missing in some selective “Evangelical” ideas (I do not like the term “Evangelicals” used to define what is probably a fundamentalist sect. A Catholic can be evangelical).

Always a good idea to ask others where they learned something, which bible translation, which church leader. Many sects have had leaders who speak, or spoke, with very incomplete knowledge.

Learning good Catholic Christian apologetics can only help enrich your faith and help you shine the light on Truth for others.

Haven’t you learned yet that saying anything pro-Catholic Church to an Evangelical is like talking to a stone?
I suggest that you abandon any efforts at proselytize Evangels, no matter how closely they may be related to you. You will either lose any religious argument with them or make an enemy of them. That is their nature.

I’ve noticed the exact same thing from the Roman Catholics here…It must not just be a protestant thing.:shrug:

Now that is just rude. And untrue. Although it may appear that religious discussions, especially on the internet, are unfruitful, ultimately we have everything to gain from speaking about our faith with every group of people and discussing with them.

What nature do you mean? The only nature they have is the human nature, just like everyone else.

There are lots of evangelicals that have become Catholic, and vice versa. Maybe you should stop worrying about arguing for a while and seek some common ground with fellow Christians.

I assume they bring up the Bible as the only reliable source, and regard tradition/the Magisterium unreliable as merely human source. You need to show biblical support for Catholicism when asked, but my experience is that they look at your verse, and say that verse doesn’t apply to the point you are making. When I have talked to evangelicals, they already have identified some other verse that applies to the question at hand, and some other meaning to the verse you pick out to defend Catholicism.

Bring up the canon of the New Testament. Of course God chose the canon, but by what visible human authority was God’s choice communicated? If they say we know we have the 27 books because scholars used criteria, ask where’d those criteria come from? Scholars were divided, who decided which scholars were credible? Who decided (by what authority) to open the canon (adding a sequel to the OT), who later decided the NT canon must be closed? Who keeps it closed right now?

The canon argument is becoming more powerful, as new bibles are now being published with certain books or chapters omitted, and other books, like the Gospel of Thomas, being added. It may plant the seed in mind of Sola Scriptura people that Tradition and the living Magisterium might need to be taken seriously - and that Sola Scriptura might lead to unforeseen consequences.

Thank you for your answers, I will go through all of them carefully as they all require much thought.

By way of background one person is my brother who brought me to his Evangelic Church when I was young (it was the right thing for me at the time) and my sudden return to the Catholic Church was a shock. He coped very well and respectfully leaving me room to grow in faith. I think he is struggling with his little sister questioning some of his points. The other is an old school friend, poorly catechized who loves God but was not strong in faith, easily led and puts too much faith in people. The Evangelical Church is able to help her in a lot of respects and I would not wish to undermine the benefits she is receiving. Whenever she says anything, my other 3 friends (2 are fallen away Catholics) tend to look at me expectantly, whilst I frantically pray for help.

I love these people dearly and all I want to be able to do is defend (gently and reasonably) the Catholic faith when they move into areas of differences. If we all didn’t love God so much, we wouldn’t talk so much about Him and move off common ground. Although I do wonder why they initiate the topics and whenever I meet them I am on tenterhooks wondering what is going to come up next (maybe God is prodding me to spend more time studying?).

God bless you.

Just thought I would pick up on that one as I knocked out some words to cut the post. For me it wasn’t so good because I got the impression that it was read 3 chapters full stop and they were a bit startled when a usually quick and avid reader admitted they could only read the Bible very slowly, sometimes meditating on a short phrase for days on end. The downside to Lectio Divina is that one can delight in the detail and lose the bigger picture (hence my sign up to Bible Study). It just puzzled me as I find it difficult to believe any Christian simply religiously reads 3 chapters a day or that they don’t fall into Lectio Divina. My sister in law found it intriguing (she called it prayerfully reading) and seemed a bit wistful. If she hadn’t shut my brother up quickly, I had the feeling that I was going to be accused of heresy.

They started to go to a local independent Christian Fellowship Church and when they moved, they joined a Citygate Church which seems to have strong links with the Bethel Church Redding, California. They also now go to an Evangelical Anglican Church.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder whether the real issue is that he is hurt and does not understand why I reverted to Catholicism and did not rejoin the Evangelicals. And to add to his confusion, I am thoroughly enjoying the whole experience (even learning painful lessons).

One of the denominations that teaches this is the Church of God.

I was raised in the Conference Baptist denomination–very Evangelical. OP, John Ortberg was in my youth group at my church, and Steve Douglass was (and still is, as far as I know) a member of my church. That should give you an idea of how “Evangelical” my church was/is! :slight_smile:

We knew and admitted that we sinned, but we believed all our sins, past, present, and future, were forgiven once we asked Jesus into our heart to be our Savior. We didn’t need to ask for forgiveness for each and every sin because we were already forgiven and to believe that we needed “more” forgiveness was an insult to Jesus’ finished work on the cross of Calvary.

What we did was confess our sin to God and accept the forgiveness that was already ours.

The reason we did this was not to be forgiven (we already were), but to keep our hearts in an open, soft, repentant state and to keep the channels of communication open between us and Jesus.

If we sinned, yes, we were forgiven already, but the sin would come between us and Jesus and strain the personal relationship between the two of us (just like a sin will come between two human beings). Sin in our lives also made it difficult for us to hear the Holy Spirit’s promptings in our lives.

So we kept those communication lines open by talking to Jesus about our sin and accepting in faith the forgiveness that we already had, and asking Him to help us not sin again and to be totally sold-out and committed to Him.

I hope this is helpful.

I agree with TRH1292.

The very very best way to relate to Evangelicals is to demonstrate through your loving actions and good works and simple, steadfast faith that you love Jesus and are His determined follower. When you stumble and mess up, be quick to apologize and make amends. Be humble. And never, ever give up or abandon your hopes and prayers for your Evangelical friends and relatives. George Stegmeier’s advice is wrong–ignore it.

When it comes to apologetics, I would say that rather than arguing, point them to the works of Thomas Howard, a man with impeccable Evangelical credentials. The best book that I have ever found for Evangelicals is his book Evangelical Is Not Enough, amazon.com/Evangelical-Not-Enough-Worship-Sacrament/dp/0898702216

Howard’s book is filled with respect and love for Evangelicalism, and isn’t so much about “dropping” all Evangelical tendencies and practices, but rather, completing your Evangelical Christianity by becoming Catholic.

Sounds like what they are describing is antinomianism (had to Google the word to make sure of the spelling). A theological term that basically means “no law”.
Back in the 90s, a Christian talk show host and author, Bob George used to push this. The basic premise was, you never need to confess your sins to God, because they are already forgiven. And if you do confess, you are calling God a liar.
George thought he was coming up with something new, but it’s an old heresy. In fact, I think it was Luther who coined the term “antinomianism”.
If that’s what they are into, they’ll burn out quickly and do one of two things, and this is based on observation of people who do this:

  1. They will stop going to church completely.
  2. They will join a more legalistic church with rules upon rules (fundamentalist Baptist usually).
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