Should the Catholic Church "steal" other Christians?


#1

Should we be encouraging non-Catholics to leave their own church for the Catholic Church?

It’s one thing to defend our beliefs, but actually encouraging someone who has a spiritual home to leave it seems somehow wrong to me.


#2

Do we believe that the Catholic Church is the one true church instituted by Jesus Christ?

Do we believe that non-Catholic Christian churches have some of the truth, but not all?

Then, why on earth would be NOT encourage everyone to join the Catholic Church?

If someone “has found a spiritual home” with part of the truth, won’t they be be even happier when they reach their true home?


#3

I agree with Joan, and want to add that there is a huge difference between evangelizing and proselytizing.

Evangelizing is sharing the truth of the Gospel with others and proselytizing is forcing your faith on others, at least as I see it.

The dictionary calls them the same thing, but I can’t agree. When someone coerces or threatens or makes another feel that s/he has been lied to, then that is proselytizing. I’ve had that done to me and to my shame I used to do it to others before I was a Catholic. :o

We Catholics are to share the truths of the faith with others and encourage them in their faith in Christ, not make they feel like idiots or like they are bound for hell simply for not knowing the fullness of the truth. Let other Christian bodies use those despicable tactics, if they want to, but let Catholics tell the truth with love in season and out.


#4

Also, targeting just a specific sect is rather rude. I don’t like when people set out to convert just Catholics, and I certainly disagree with people that specifically target just one denomination. If you want to convert, then evangelize to all. Don’t proselytize to one select group.


#5

Okay, this is my opinion. . .

No, we should not “steal.” Period. Stealing implies taking something that is not yours which is always an objective evil.

That being said, we should always lovingly respond to all of our Christian brothers and sisters in a way that helps them consider “coming home.” The Church and all her members are Christ’s–only he can claim possession. Only God can move our spirits towards him and his Church. We are his workers, we are not free-agents. In our zeal for communicating truth, we must always be careful to draw others closer to Christ (and his Church) and not push them away.

Mark, I think you are being quite sensitive in your consideration of whether it is right for us to encourage others out of their “spritual home” toward the Catholic Church. We must not work to bring others into the Church as a matter of personal gain. Our love for Christ and our brother should always be first. As St. Paul instructs, we must always be mindful to “watch yourself and watch your teaching. Persevere at both tasks. By doing so you will bring to salvation yourself and all who hear you” (1 Tim. 4:16).

I think that if we keep ourselves and our teaching in check, we will be on the right course. God will do the rest. . .we need not worry about “stealing,” for God will take was is his in his own time and in his own way!


#6

I think with the word “steal” your answer is no. Our RCIA process is lengthy and frequently exhorts the inquirers to take their time, and not to proceed unless they are fully ready to embrace Catholicism as a whole.

To put it into service industry terms:
A customer is walking into Nordstroms. A Neiman Marcus rep sneaks up and quietly tells the customer that Nordstroms shirts are 3 times more than the same Neiman Marcus shirt, then snatches the person and forces him into the Neiman Marcus store, where he find that the pants, shorts, skirts, and dresses are all 3x more than Nordstroms, but the shirts are indeed less. This seems to be the way you are describing Catholicism.

This is how I see it:
A customer is walking into a Nordstroms store. A Neiman Marcus customer says, “Oh, are you looking for shirts? Because I know that Neiman Marcus has shirts cheaper right now. Here’s a flyer.” Then gives the person the full knowledge, the ups and downs, and allows the person to decide what he wants to do. If the person then says, “Hey, yeah. I need a shirt. How do you get to Neiman Marcus?” and the other walks him there, it is not “stealing” the person, but guiding him to where he wants to be.


#7

No need to steal something already yours.:thumbsup:


#8

did the apostles steal people when they went out to evangalize


#9

Protestantism has sown confusion and reaped division. Why not encourage people to come home to the One Church that possesses the fullness of Truth. I am certainly glad I was introduced to Catholicism even though I was thoroughly content in my Evangelical church (at the time).


#10

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but didn’t the Protestants, atheists, pagans, agnostics, Muslims, Buddhists etc. “steal” CATHOLICS by your logic, if a CATHOLIC “chose” any of the above over his or her original “Catholic” faith?

Or even a little further back, did the Orthodox “steal” Catholics, or Catholics “steal” the Orthodox, depending on the individual who made the individual decision to choose whichever?

How does the Catholic Church “steal” someone, anyway? It doesn’t. An individual does not “steal” someone from a faith, or a class, an ethnic identity, etc. The man who goes from rags to riches isn’t “stolen” by money or the trappings. The woman who hid her culture and attempted to assimilate wasn’t “stolen” by the culture she assimilated.

All these people MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES, don’t they?


#11

One could say that all christians are, by definition, Catholic.

One could view a protestant as a lapsed catholic/cafeteria Catholic.

In that respect, which i believe is authentic, one cannot steal what they already have. We can however, open their eyes, they will come running back. :slight_smile:

In Christ.

Andre.


#12

[quote=mark a]Should we be encouraging non-Catholics to leave their own church for the Catholic Church?

It’s one thing to defend our beliefs, but actually encouraging someone who has a spiritual home to leave it seems somehow wrong to me.
[/quote]

We should always invite Christians who are not fully united to the Catholic Church to consider the evidence and seek full union with the Church Christ established on Peter. It would be wrong for us to have an indifferent attitude toward those who are not fully united.


#13

[quote=mark a]Should we be encouraging non-Catholics to leave their own church for the Catholic Church?

It’s one thing to defend our beliefs, but actually encouraging someone who has a spiritual home to leave it seems somehow wrong to me.
[/quote]

Personally as a non-Catholic I would not like to be “stolen.” A lot of this is new and takes some time to absorb. Falsehoods and misunderstandings need to be corrected.

I would allow the Holy Spirit to do his job. I believe the Lord rewards those who are diligently seeking. Even the seeds you plant today may not be realized tomorrow or next year but at some point in time will come to bear fruit.

:slight_smile: Melissa


#14

Telling someone the truth, bringing a lost soul home from the wilderness, bringing a soul into the Chruch Christ founded is NOT stealling. No I would say it is Christian evangelization and following the job Jesus gave His Church. It is a RESCUE mission!

Protestants have some truth and some good points. The problem is that ALL thier sects are incomplete and outside the bobdy of Christ.


#15

Personally I think that if you share your faith with someone and they then decide to leave the church they are in to come to yours, that is the work of God. I thought I was perfectly happy in my protestant church, but here I am in the Catholic Church, and I don’t feel that I was taken from anything that is better than where I am now. Protestants are not the only ones who are allowed to evangelize. I have noticed that some people have the view that as Catholics we are suppose to stay away from other Christians because apparently we don’t know enough to share our faith with others and bring them into the Church. So many people don’t think Catholics are christian, and I cannot for the life of me figure that one out! It is not a crime to tell someone about our wonderful faith!

Tamie Walcott


#16

[quote=mark a]Should we be encouraging non-Catholics to leave their own church for the Catholic Church?

It’s one thing to defend our beliefs, but actually encouraging someone who has a spiritual home to leave it seems somehow wrong to me.
[/quote]

Good question. Should the Church be missionary at all ? The notion of being available if people wish to join, rather than actively seeking to “make disciples of all nations”, has its attractions (the OT “Church” was not missionary) - but it might not agree with the Will of Christ: though one might argue that the Great Commission at the end of Matthew 28 is no longer relevant; just as some other parts of the NT are not relevant.


#17

Non-Catholic Christians who want to know Christ and are living their Christian faith don’t need to be stolen - they need to be lead to something that is more fulfilling and truthful. :thumbsup:


#18

[quote=mark a]Should we be encouraging non-Catholics to leave their own church for the Catholic Church?

It’s one thing to defend our beliefs, but actually encouraging someone who has a spiritual home to leave it seems somehow wrong to me.
[/quote]

Mark, non-Catholic Christians are stolen from us by false teachings and heretical ecclesial communities. They belong in the Church founded by Christ. For all validly baptized Christians are baptized into Christ and His Church. They are really children of the Church–just disobedient children. And they need to be brought back, otherwise their eternal salvation is in serious peril. Outside the Holy Roman Catholic Church is no salvation; she is the only ark of salvation and whoever does not enter will perish in the flood.


#19

We are not stealing them. We only bring them home. O, that God would bring all home to his Church!


#20

[quote=Truthseeker4]I would allow the Holy Spirit to do his job. I believe the Lord rewards those who are diligently seeking. Even the seeds you plant today may not be realized tomorrow or next year but at some point in time will come to bear fruit.
[/quote]

Great point. Christ commanded us to be faithful sowers of seed. We are simply to speak the truth in love and let the Holy Spirit do His thing. There is no “stealing” involved.


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