My husband and I have a couple of dear friends, a married couple like ourselves. The husband grew up with my husband and they were both raised Catholic, receiving all their sacraments right on thru confirmation, but not really practicing during those younger years. But when he met his wife, she was already participating in a ministry called “The Way International” and she immediately introduced it to him. Being an open person, he was easily recruited and then they got married. What a wonderful, loving, fun couple of friends these two are. They’re really laid back, easy going people who know how to enjoy life. We have spent countless hours laughing with them and enjoying their company. But we have also been on our own spiritual journey, which by the grace of God led us back home to the Catholic church, and our dear friends are Catholic bashers and have no idea we’ve gone back. Once, during our “journey” they convinced us to attend one of their fellowship meetings, where they spoke in toungues, sang with no musical accompaniment, prayed only for abundance and prosperity, dropped a huge chunk of change into the “tithing basket,” and discussed their scriptural “evidence” that the dead are merely dust until the day Jesus returns to bring both the living and the dead to heaven. They actually told me that the notion of my deceased grandmother watching over me was a complete falsehood. By the time it was over my head was spinning. Since then I’ve read up on The Way and come to understand the truth - that it is a non-Christian cult claiming to be the only true Christian way. Our friend continue to try to recruit us, not knowing we’ve settled comfortably back into the Catholic Church. I know that when we reveal this information to them they’re going to attack or choice from every angle. They know the bible front to back, and they HATE the Catholic church. Now, I’ve prepared myself well for this, reading up on Karl Keating, Patrick Madrid, Scott Hahn, and many more, and studying scripture from the Catholic viewpoint, but I’m still not sure I’m ready for this particular confrontation. Any suggestions? Here are some of the bizarre beliefs they’ve shared with me so far:
- Satan is always referred to as “the adversary” and nothing else.
- Jesus was not hung from a crucifix, but a tree, and his arms were not out to his sides, but crossed above his head. And we should never hang the symbol of the cross around our houses or necks or anywhere else because God wants us to reflect on the resurrection rather than the morbid crucifiction.
- Christ was merely a man sent by God to show us the way, he was not God and there is no trinity. It is also wrong to pray to anyone other than God the Father. It doesn’t say anywhere in the bible to pray to Mary or to honor particular people as saints.
- There is sufficient evidence in Genesis of dinosaurs and the ice age. There is also ongoing research proving original errors and misinterpretations in and of the Bible.
- The bible tells us that when we die we simply go to sleep and turn to dust and wait on the second coming of Christ to raise us. For the living, this concept seems long and painful but for the dead it is like the blink of an eye.
- Vanity, such as plastic surgery…is A-OK!
- Premarital sex? Drugs and alcohol? Cursing and swearing? Living for money? Lying about money? Dressing trashy? Contraception? All ok!
- Wife must submit to her husband, especially on the concept of sexual relations. Husband must do everything he can to give his wife the world.
- Tithing, giving at least 10% of your income to The Way (but more is recommended) will guarantee you prosperity.
The clincher is here. They have comitted financially to The Way, bigtime, and they have quadroupled their income over the course of only a few years. They say all their blessings are from God. My concern is this: These “blessings” are clearly not from above. So where ARE they from? And how do I convince these friends, who are so dear to me, that they are dancing with the devil? (Or should I say “the adversary”) My husband did express his concerns to them one time, and told them The Way was thought of as a cult, but they laughed at him.
Furthermore, how do I arm myself properly for defense of my Catholic faith? Any insight on this strange self-proclaimed-Christian cult?