I married a catholic and after many hours of research I’ve converted. My family has never been very religious but lately have been attending a non denominational christian mega church. Should I be telling them not to go there or should I be happy they are going to church? They really like going and I am very happy to see they have found jesus.
I would suggest you don’t say anything directly to them about your reservations. Pray for them and when they seek dialogue with you about the faith you can engage them. In the meantime learn more about your faith so you can defend it scripturally and historically.
You probably will not have to say anything about your family’s discovery of religion. More than liekly they will start telling you about why you need to get saved and have a personal relationship with Jesus.
Why should you be telling them not to go there? If they were Catholic, I would have some reservations but otherwise it’s good that they go to church at all.
Of course you can pray for them that one day they will become Catholics, if you happen to discuss religion you might have a chance to tell them why you are Catholic and why the Catholic Church believes what it does, and in the meantime let your life be a testimony to them.
What you should do is to speak to them about your faith and not try to hide it because of being polite. Our Lord Jesus Christ was never like that plus the Bible tells us always to be prepared to give a reason for our faith,however before going in to big debates make sure you know the faith well and can explain it .If they are attending a protestant church make sure you do not go there with them at all on Sundays or weak days unless there is a funeral or a wedding beewteen two protestants or two people who are not Catholics(but even if it is a funeral or a wedding on a Sunday you still have to go to mass at a Catholic church).Also it may seem good that they are on fire for Jesus but in the end if they don’t become Catholic they can never get to heaven or recive Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.Lastly I would Strongly recomend talking to a good Catholic Priest on this(a Catholic Priest from the FSSP would be the best).God bless
Make sure you are informed enough to answer their questions when they arise. I’m sure they will. As a Catholic, it is up to you to be educated in the faith so you are able to live the faith authentically and be able to evangelize. I’m sure there will be future discussions on faith. Be happy that they have begun their journey. Through careful guidance from you, their journey may end in their coming home.
I wouldn’t say anything about what church they attend, but I would talk with them about Scripture, Jesus, etc. Since you were protestant yourself, you can see where they’re coming from, which will be helpful in your discussions. I’m so happy for you, you must be filled with joy and relief. I pray that they would come to know God, love God and serve him wholly. I hope so much my family comes to believe before they die.
Oh? I thought the Catholic Church considered Protestants to be seperated brethren and that they too will end up in heaven. At least that is what I have gathered from reading various posts on this forum. Am I wrong?
During the teaching on The Creed that our priest did he reinforced to us that Protestant believers are our separated brothers and sisters and that they are other eclesial bodies. Also that there is 1 church and that they are part of that church.
They too can end up in Heaven, but no one for sure ‘will.’ But yes, they are still baptized into the body of Christ. While we in the church have the ‘normative’ means of grace, we also believe that God is infinitly beyond and above anything we can imagine, and we don’t try to limit him and tell him who can’t go to Heaven. We simply believe that through revelation we have found the most ‘sure’ path to walk on.
Someone posted an analogy earlier about rain and thirst. We believe the Catholic church is full of grace, it’s like a water fountain that everytime we are thirsty we go to it. The other churches too might have water coming through them, we see some good truths in their teachings and fruit in their lives. But if you know you can go to the water fountain, the source for unlimited supply, why would you stand outside with your mouth turned to the sky and wait for rain?
Thank you all for your replies so far. They are very helpful.
Baptism is the sacrament of initiation for all Christians. As all sacraments it is a means of grace. It also establishes a communion among all the validly baptized making them brethren in a sense. There is no assurance that individual Protestants will end up in heaven, or Catholics, so in thgat sense you are wrong.
We pray and hope for all souls, for mercy and everlasting beatitude, but for most we do not know their eternal fate.
I think this is what Anglicans believe also.
Blessed Pope Pius IX declared " By Faith it is to be firmly held that outside the Apostolic Roman Church none can achieve salvation. This is the only ark of salvation. He who does not enter into it, will perish in the flood. Nevertheless equally certainly it is to be helpd that those who suffer from invincible ignorance of the true religion, are not for this reason guilty in the eyes of the Lord"
I suggest to read this link its by Catholic answers
Don’t tell them that they shouldn’t go there. At least they are going to church.
I read your answer and I thought it was good Catholic advice until I stumbled upon this statement.
They can never get to heaven? Where would you find that within Catholic teachings?
Let them be!
Did you read the declartion of Blessed POPE Pius IX if thats not enough I can give you more, this is what the fourth Lateran Council Declared “The universal Church of the faithful is one outside of which none is saved”. That was an offical Ecumenical council of the Catholic Church.
They are “separated” bretheren, but bretheren nonetheless. And if bretheren then joint heirs to the Kingdom right along with those in the Catholic church.
It is kind of like Jews thinking they are God’s chosen people. They are. God revealed Himself to Jews, or through them, in particular. Salvation is of the Jews, but for everyone.
Jesus the Jew told his apostles to go to all the nations of the world and preach the good news of repentance for forgivness of sins. God’s mercy is for all. It comes through the revelation of God given through the Jews.
Who is the God of the Jews? He reveals Himself to them as existance itself. I am that I am. That is who He is. When Moses asked God who was sending him to the Egyptians to release the Jews from slavery, Moses asked who he should tell the Egyptians was giving them this command. God told Him who He is. I am.
But apart from who God is, what is He like? He revealed things about His nature to the Jews throughout salvation history, not all at once, but from time to time, more and more.
Why are Jews hated? The Jews are responsible for bringing salvation to mankind. The hatred and attempt to destroy them did not begin in the 1930s in Germany. Read about Queen Esther.
Look at the secular world today. Why are Christians hated by the world? Jesus says of His Church that we would be a sign of contradiction to the world. We would be hated, because He was hated. Sounds familiar.
Jews are resented. Those Jews think they are so special and better than everyone else, because they think they are God’s chosen. But it is true. They are. Their religion is true. Others are false. God revealed Himself to this people set apart for His purpose.
Now the Catholic Church thinks it has a monopoly on docttinal truth. That might offend some people. But what if it is true?
Would that mean that only Catholics can attain heaven, eternal union with God? It seems that there would need to be some connection to divinely revealed truth to find God. But what is it?
Can you be connected and not know and acknowledge it? Maybe!
God revealed Himself in the Old Testament as existance. In the New Testament He revealed Himself as love. Is this a one or the other proposition? Or, are existance and love two perfections of the same Being?
Saint John the Evangelist tells us in His epistle that God is love and everyone who loves is of God. He was a cousin of Jesus, another Jew.
The human intellect does not figure this stuff out. The Jews did not discover God. He revealed Himself to them.
The Book of Genesis, of the Jews, tells us that God made mankind in His image and likeness. It does not say God made Jews or Catholics in His image and likeness. If beings are alike, like one another, they do the same things, they share by their natures in some likeness, some like qualities or attributes.
God is love. God loves. If you love you are of God and share or participate in the divine nature, by likeness.
Do Catholics have a monopoly on love? They do proclaim that it is divinely revealed truth and that you can not get to heaven, your eternal destiny, unless you love.
So I guess that is the question for all, Jew and Greek and African and all, each one of us.
Do you love?
Whatever love is, it is always directed to the other, its object. Love gives love to love. There is a trinity there. Existance gives existance. You are given existance. You received it. You do not have a choice in the matter. You do have a choice in whether or not to love.
In order for us to love (get to heaven) we have to know how, know the way. Someone has to show me. A child grows up in a family and belongs to the family, but is also taught how to be part of the family, behave in the family.
This is what the truths of the Church teach us, but we do not always do it whatever religion we have.
I can see that you are new here, so let me bring you up to speed…
The same argument has been presented here over and over again both by overzealous Catholics and by somewhat masochistic Protestants (who probably wanted to prove Catholics to be bigots).
Neither did succeed because according to Catholic theology the baptism of someone who is baptised outside of the Catholic Church, but with the correct formula is valid.
That means that they might not have it all correct, but that salvation is not beyond the possible. They may be saved too as they are part of the invisible Church.
“Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” doesn’t therefore mean that everybody outside of the Catholic Church is lost. It just means that those outside the visible and invisible Church are lost, though there is always the concept of invincible ignorance that Catholic theology presents for those who never heard (Singulari Quadam, Singulari Quidem, Quanto Conficiamur Moerore) or who heard, but because of their upbringing would never even dare to believe and become Christians.
The declaration Dominus Iesus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also speaks of those who are outside of the Church and doesn’t assign them a place in hell.
“Ad gentes” asserts that “those cannot be saved, who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded through Jesus Christ, by God, as something necessary, still refuse to enter it, or to remain in it.” It further states this: “So, although in ways known only to Himself, God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel to that faith without which it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11.6), the Church nevertheless, still has the obligation and sacred right to evangelize.”
That doesn’t exclude salvation for those outside the Church that don’t know any better or don’t believe that the Church is founded by Christ.