Visiting a friend's non-denom church


#1

Tonight I’m visiting my friend’s non-denominational church. She was willing to go to mass with me on several occasions…she didn’t like the dull services (Lord, give us holy priests!) and I found that unfortunate. I think that at this point the only thing to do is pray for her.

I was invited to give a “testimonial” at the church. What should I talk about? What would you talk about?

Brothers and sisters, pray for me.

Augustinian


#2

What an opportunity!
If it was me, I’d speak briefly and to the point about The Eucharist from John 6:48-58 because you know they will only listen if it’s Bible based.
Let us know how it went.


#3

I’d second what catsrus suggested.:yup: You might want to print out Catholic Answers’ Christ in the Eucharist tract for notes. Another resource might include Beginning Apologetics 3 How to Explain and Defend the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist by Chacon & Burnham.

Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
Jn 6:35-71 - Eucharist promised
Mt 26:26ff (Mk 14:22ff., Lk 22:17ff.) - Eucharist instituted
1Cor 10:16 - Eucharist = participation in Christ’s body & blood
1 Cor 11:23-29 - receiving unworthily his body & blood
Ex 12:8, 46 - Paschal lamb had to be eaten
Jn 1:29 - Jesus called "Lamb of God"
1 Cor 5:7 - Jesus called "paschal lamb who has been sacrificed
Jn 4:31-34; Mt 16;5-12 - Jesus talking symbolically about food
1Cor 2:14-3:4 - explains what “the flesh” means in Jn 6:63
Ps 14:4; Is 9:18-20; Is 49:26; Mic 3:3; 2Sm 23:15-17; Rv 17:6, 16 -
to symbolically eat & drink one’s body & blood = assault
source: geocities.com/thecatholicconvert/biblecheatsheet.html


#4

You could always talk about how church is not about the parishioner; that is, we don’t go to be entertained. True, it’s ideal if the parishioner is not bored at Mass, but if he is, then it doesn’t really matter. We do what we do for the sake of truth, not fun.


#5

I explained the Catholic belief in the Eucharist to Protestants this way:

If God says something is so, we believe it, correct?

We still believe it, even if our senses tell us differently, correct?

This is because God is Truth, and we trust God.

(Raising pencil for all to see) Now, if God said this is a rosebush, told you to plant it, and roses would grow, what would you do?

Would you laugh and say, “This is stupid. That’s a pencil.”? Or would you have faith enough in God to plant it like he said?

(Turning to Matthew 26:26-28) Now here are the words of Jesus himself, spoken at the Last Supper: "Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Jesus took the bread and said, “This is my body.” Would any of you argue with him and say, “This is stupid. That’s just bread.”?
Jesus took the cup and said, “Drink, this is my blood.” Would any of you have the presumption to disagree?

This is the Catholic teaching. This has always been the Catholic teaching. The bread and wine become the body and blood.

Jesus spoke these words to the eleven apostles who stayed with him for the entire meal. He didn’t speak thusly to the disciples in general, but to the eleven apostles specifically, commissioning them to do this themselves in his memory.

After the resurrection, the Apostles traveled throughout the world, commissioning others by the laying on of hands.

And they in turn commissioned others by the laying on of hands. We have an unbroken chain, from Jesus, to the apostles, to the priests and bishops they appointed, from generation to generation, right down to today.

This is the Catholic teaching. This is why we hold the Eucharist to be so sacred. And this is why we believe that only the priest can pronounce the blessing.

{I hope you get this in time, and that it helps.}


#6

[quote=The Augustinian]Tonight I’m visiting my friend’s non-denominational church. She was willing to go to mass with me on several occasions…she didn’t like the dull services
[/quote]

I know many people who say if not for the great stage show at their services Protestants might actually look at Scripture and find all the errors in their theological opinions. When you go to a church for entertainment are you really going for the right reason? I go to worship God and adore Him, not to listen to the great bongo player or the motavational speaker up front. True though, many Catholics clergy are so very boring, but at least they have the right theology.

(Lord, give us holy priests!) and I found that unfortunate. I think that at this point the only thing to do is pray for her.

I was invited to give a “testimonial” at the church. What should I talk about? What would you talk about?

This is a true gift from God! Talk about how you are so close to Jesus because of the Eucharist! Talk about how you love Jesus. I’d talk about all the errors I found in the Baptist church that eventually led me home to Rome! Be polite but use this as an oportunity to shine the light of your light into their darkness. Talk about how wonderfull it is to be Catholic!

Brothers and sisters, pray for me.

Augustinian

I said a prayer for you. This is a great oportunity. Lucky you.


#7

[quote=The Augustinian]I was invited to give a “testimonial” at the church. What should I talk about? What would you talk about?
Brothers and sisters, pray for me. Augustinian
[/quote]

OK, how did it go? What did you wind up talking about?


#8

The church service lasted a whole five hours. There was lots of praise and worship songs, some bible study, and finally the testimonials and sermon. One thing I admired about the people there is that they didn’t seem to mind at all. I know that a few people at my parish probably can’t wait to get into the parking lot before the recessional hymn starts.

In the back, I found some handouts for a bible study: the most vile anti-Catholic garbage I’ve ever seen. It had a number of vile statements about the Eucharist (as a satanic deception) and about John Paul II of blessed memory: “Don’t end up like John Paul II. (and go to hell)” Reading that screed, my face was the very description of “righteous indignation”. I later found out, however, that the anti-Catholic handout did not belong to the congregation I attended, but to another congregation (the “International Christian Church”) which shares the same building.

I was going to go up to speak to the congregation like a budding apologist, but I decided against it once I heard their testimonials, which were full of love for their Lord and Savior. I decided to do a Benedict XVI and emphasize our similarities, in order to pray for the unity of all Christians. Thus, I said:

“I have a confession to make–I’m not Protestant, I’m Catholic, and I believe in my Church. And perhaps some of you may think that Catholics are bad, and the Church is wrong, but I say that no-one can say that Jesus is Lord, without the Holy Ghost. And I pray that we will someday be united, confessing the One Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen. Thank you.”

Granted, not anything earth-shattering. But, it’s a start.


#9

have talked to a lot of evangelical Christians who were mighty entertained by all the liturgies during the mourning period for John Paul and installation of Benedict, they can’t get over the reverence for the book of the Gospels, with the incense, candles, procession etc., and the shear beauty of the liturgy. have had several long conversations explaining elements of the Mass to curious bystanders in public places where TV was on.


#10

Good job, at least you had the Faith to get up and speak.


#11

It’s a good start to talk about similarities of our faith with our separated brothers and sisters in different ecclesial communities. BUT, we also need to share the truth of the Catholic faith. We cannot just say: “your faith is okay, mine is okay… so everything is okay!” Baloney! Share your Catholic faith even if they don’t agree.

Pio


Elusive Connection...
#12

[quote=catsrus]What an opportunity!
If it was me, I’d speak briefly and to the point about The Eucharist from John 6:48-58 because you know they will only listen if it’s Bible based.
Let us know how it went.
[/quote]

you don’t seem to understand what a testimonial is.


#13

[quote=DeFide]I’d second what catsrus suggested.:yup: You might want to print out Catholic Answers’ Christ in the Eucharist tract for notes. Another resource might include Beginning Apologetics 3 How to Explain and Defend the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist by Chacon & Burnham.

Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
Jn 6:35-71 - Eucharist promised
Mt 26:26ff (Mk 14:22ff., Lk 22:17ff.) - Eucharist instituted
1Cor 10:16 - Eucharist = participation in Christ’s body & blood
1 Cor 11:23-29 - receiving unworthily his body & blood
Ex 12:8, 46 - Paschal lamb had to be eaten
Jn 1:29 - Jesus called "Lamb of God"
1 Cor 5:7 - Jesus called "paschal lamb who has been sacrificed
Jn 4:31-34; Mt 16;5-12 - Jesus talking symbolically about food
1Cor 2:14-3:4 - explains what “the flesh” means in Jn 6:63
Ps 14:4; Is 9:18-20; Is 49:26; Mic 3:3; 2Sm 23:15-17; Rv 17:6, 16 -
to symbolically eat & drink one’s body & blood = assault
source: geocities.com/thecatholicconvert/biblecheatsheet.html

[/quote]

You also do not seem to understand what a testimonial is.

You don’t have to go to every party you are invited to; but if you do, you might make a point not to insult the host as soon as you walk in.


#14

[quote=puzzleannie]have talked to a lot of evangelical Christians who were mighty entertained by all the liturgies during the mourning period for John Paul and installation of Benedict, they can’t get over the reverence for the book of the Gospels, with the incense, candles, procession etc., and the shear beauty of the liturgy. have had several long conversations explaining elements of the Mass to curious bystanders in public places where TV was on.
[/quote]

What a fantstic opportunity to witness!


#15

Hi OTM

I am so glad you brought this up. I was going to and happy to see you did.

I am a convert, became a Catholic 50 years ago but still know what a testimony is.

I have to confess to working in ecumenism and have attended many non Catholic services. I have also had a priest in the middle of his homily ask if any one in the congregation had a testimony they would like to share. You should have seen the blank faces. He looked at me and I gave my testimony.

A testimony is getting up and sharing with the folks, what God has been doing in your life, how He has blessed you or changed your life. THAT IS A TESTIMONY.

For a Catholic to get up at a non Catholic church and share this is about the best Catholic witness I can think of. You want to change hearts, tell them the Good News. Being a guest in a non Catholic Church is not the right time for a lecture. Be a gracious guest and remember, they are Christians. They are all part of the Body of Jesus.


#16

[quote=otm]You also do not seem to understand what a testimonial is.

You don’t have to go to every party you are invited to; but if you do, you might make a point not to insult the host as soon as you walk in.
[/quote]

Actually, I do know what a testimonial is. I was not suggesting that it need be presented in an “in-your-face” mode, but it helps to have your homework done so you can explain and answer any possible questions. OK?:slight_smile:


#17

As a person raised non-denom … here is my sound advice. Turn around and run back to the Catholic Church. Mass is way better than non-denom service. Isn’t there a nice Catholic girl you can hang out with? Seriously, don’t let them suck you in!!! As a new person visiting their church for the first time you should not have to participate in anything you do not want to participate in … I know how some of these people work some of them pressure you into doing things you don’t want to do. It’s just a warning.


#18

Thank you for your responses. Of course, I would not go to another church unless I already firmly believed in the Church. I saw it as an excellent opportunity to witness. Moreover, my friend had not gone to her church in months, so I wanted to support her.

Like I said before, I was going to be more “apologetic” in my approach, but then I decided, after hearing the content of the testimonials, that a different approach would be better. Many in the congregation afterwards thanked me for my testimonial. Surprisingly enough, many of them were former Catholics, including the pastor’s wife.

Perhaps it would’ve been better for me to have presented something a little more challenging, but I think it was all right for now. I’m not planning to go back to that church, though; once is enough for me.

I’m bringing two of my friends to Mass on Trinity Sunday. Unfortunately, my diocese (Honolulu) is very liberal, so many of the churches have uninspired and toothless liturgies. In fact, today I read an article which stated that only 25% of Catholics in my state go to Mass regularly. What portion of that 25% are faithful Catholics? God only knows.

Pax vobiscum,

Augustinian


#19

[quote=robertaf]Hi OTM

I am so glad you brought this up. I was going to and happy to see you did.

I am a convert, became a Catholic 50 years ago but still know what a testimony is.

I have to confess to working in ecumenism and have attended many non Catholic services. I have also had a priest in the middle of his homily ask if any one in the congregation had a testimony they would like to share. You should have seen the blank faces. He looked at me and I gave my testimony.

A testimony is getting up and sharing with the folks, what God has been doing in your life, how He has blessed you or changed your life. THAT IS A TESTIMONY.

For a Catholic to get up at a non Catholic church and share this is about the best Catholic witness I can think of. You want to change hearts, tell them the Good News. Being a guest in a non Catholic Church is not the right time for a lecture. Be a gracious guest and remember, they are Christians. They are all part of the Body of Jesus.

[/quote]

Thank you! I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who understood what the thread writer was asked to do.

I am all for apologetics, in the right place, and time. Being asked to give a testimony is neither. Responding in apologetics would only convince people that one was arrogant and rude, at best.


#20

[quote=DeFide]Actually, I do know what a testimonial is. I was not suggesting that it need be presented in an “in-your-face” mode, but it helps to have your homework done so you can explain and answer any possible questions. OK?:slight_smile:
[/quote]

Again, I am no enemy of apologetics, but I firmly believe that giving an apologetics exposition when asked to give a testimony is the wrong place and the wrong time. It would be like going to a birthday party for someone who was in the opposite political party, and when asked to give a reminisence about theri life, starting in on a political difference you had with them - when everyone else at the party was not of your political party.

When asked to share how Christ is active in your life, one can do that without getting into a discourse about John 6. In fact it can be done without even getting into the Eucharist. And lest someone pop up and suggest that is not being honest, I would respond that they don’t know much about sharing their faith; only sharing their doctrine.

Later, should one of the members at the party ask questions, that is an excellent time for apologetics - always done with and in charity.


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