Way of the Master?

I have read some previous threads of the same title (Way of the Master)…and don’t want to beat a dead horse; however, from reading some of the threads/posts–apparently, not a lot of Catholics know about this ministry, nor the current program, of the same name, that is hitting Evangelical community churches…teaching their students “how to evangelize”. Yes, how to evangelize the unsaved…atheists, mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses…and Catholics. To Catholics, Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort state the following (from www.livingwater.com/faq)::slight_smile:

Question: How do you witness to a Roman Catholic?

[Bthe response:** “The problem is that he is most likely not born again. It is because of this, that there is contention. I have found that it is often a futile exercise to try and convince a Roman Catholic that the teachings of his church are erroneous…
When he is truly converted, the Holy Spirit will lead him into all truth and away from the error of Roman Catholicism.”

In other words, the only saved Catholic is not a Catholic at all.

I note that a lot of Catholics see the positive, common ground that we share with Cameron and Comfort which is good (we DO share some common ground, whether they’d admit it or not–however, there is definitely an undeniable danger in becoming complacent (which is why Catholics have a difficult time with speaking out and speaking up --sharing the Gospel and our distinctly Catholic beliefs, with fire and without apology!)

Where are Catholic responses to Cameron and Comfort’s misstatements about Catholicism? If you review some of their articles, more differences become highlighted, including one that I mentioned before (in a related thread), regarding Pastor Comfort’s ‘DIScomfort’ with Saint Francis of Assisi and the Benedictine Rule.

Protestants, like these, are very astute at appealing to the modern culture. So where’s our “man on the street” who responds to their attack-style (in your face with the 10 Commandments) type evangelization? I’d like to see a few on-fire Catholic apologists take them on!!! Where’s our own Catholic street preachers and You Tube videos?

You can barely find anything about “Way of the Master” from the Catholic standpoint. There’s loads of responses from atheists, but not nearly as much, from Catholics.

Why is that? Are we so used to being persecuted, that we just say “oh well”. We will soon be facing ‘trained’ Evangelicals that are going to try and use the Way of the Master program’s ‘steps for evangelization’. Are we preparing to give answer? Perhaps we should.

Let’s face it…if we were dealing with Evangelicals (like Cameron and Comfort–who believe in the Rapture)…who, while disagreeing with us on some points, still believed us to be Christians, I can understand taking a more relaxed position.

I think, however, with their popularity and notoriety…and the new evangelization method for laypersons that they are now offering (found everywhere, including Amazon.com)…I think we should be aware and be preparted for this very ‘controlled’ manner of evangelization. They simply ask leading types of questions that ‘control’ the person’s options of response…and keep them distracted (answering their ‘canned’ questions)—so that they can knock them down.

They are already sharing their YouTube videos of unsuspecting Catholics (most of whom are unknowledgable or unprepared) that they have ambushed in their street evangelization…and stating “Pray for so-and-so” (the poor unsaved Catholic in this video).

I’d like to ask why Catholics aren’t more ‘responsive’ regarding this new approach/program/ministry (which is, anti-Catholic according to my definition).

I am familiar with this program. My wife’s father is completely devoted to it and so I have had run ins with it. I read Comfort’s Way of the Master book and there are some good things in it, like for instance our need of Christ and repentance. I also see, like you, the misrepresentations of Catholicism though.

I also listen to the radio program called Wretched Radio (it is on before Catholic Answers live :thumbsup: ). This radio show is also filled with misconceptions. Case in point Todd Friel (the host of the radio program) was discussing how the Rosary was blasphemous. He was particularity annoyed by the Oh My Jesus prayer which he stated as the following:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to heaven especially those in need of Thy mercy

Friel used this as his proof that Catholics do not believe that everyone needs God’s mercy, that we believe we can work our way into heaven without God’s grace and mercy.

However, if you look closely you will see that this is not how the prayer goes:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to heaven especially those in most need of Thy mercy

As you can see with just that one word missing it is a completely different prayer. Now it could have been an honest misquote of the prayer, however Friel claims to be an ex-catholic and so labels himself an expert on our beliefs and prides himself on his in-depth knowledge of our faith.

The Way of the Master is filled with these kind of things.

God bless

Good Post

I tend to agree with what you are saying. Although they do a great job in evangelizing the truly “lost” out there, I fail to see why a Christian would bother witnessing to another Christian.

If they really think the average Catholic is not truly a “bible believing” Christian, then I’d love to see a Catholic apologist rip them to shreds about their misconceptions. The problem is even if they did run into a knowledgeable Catholic on the street, it would never make it on to one of their shows.

So even though it is frustrating, the human nature in us all tends to make one think, “why bother”.

The only think that can possibly work is prayer.

:thumbsup:

I fail to see why a Christian would bother witnessing to another Christian.

It is simply because they do not recognize the Catholic Church as Christian. They do recognize that there can be Christians within the Church, however it is in spite of Catholicism. They also believe that the “true Christians” within the Catholic Church need to, “come out from her” and follow a “biblically” based Church with “sound doctrine”

I realize that this is not a universal belief held by all protestants (or even the majority for that matter) and that it does represents a small fringe within Protestantism. But this is why they witness to Catholics.

Also note that Catholics are not alone in their aims. They have low opinions of Lutherans (while oddly giving praise to Luther at the same time :shrug: ) and Anglicans and pretty much any other Christian who they consider to be in the “mainstream” of Christianity.

God bless

Honestly because it, just like protestantism, is a joke and not very threatening to 2000 years of church history and authority.

‘Roman Catholic’ made some very good comments. I’d agree, too, that they do a good service, in helping the completely ‘lost’…the problem is that they are prostelytizing Catholics, who (as ‘Roman Catholic’ pointed out) they DO NOT consider Christians. In some ways, I would applaud them to. They certainly share some of our views, when arguing with non-Christians and atheists. And they would mimic the Catholic Church’s stance on some of the moral issues that they uphold (as if they were the first to do so; ie., such as views on abortion, pornography, homosexuality, etc.). I don’t think them all bad. However, I think that they, unwittingly, do a lot of damage to the Body of Christ.

They attempt to convince Catholics that, to be saved, one must LEAVE the Church. As Catholics who know their faith, that would be a **great loss **indeed (to abandon the one true Church instituted by Christ). It is NOT because we would just ‘lose a member of a particular parish’…but that we would lose a member in full communion with Christ’s one Church…which is His desire (for oneness and unity) of all his children. It was the continued desire of His Apostles, to abide by God’s Will, for unity. They strived for it through the first centuries of the Church (when there wasn’t a finalized New Testament Canon) and plenty of heresies and heretics from within the Church! Can you imagine THAT type of warfare?? At least, with folks like Cameron and Comfort, we KNOW that they are protestors to the Catholic Church, and professed “non-Catholics”. It must’ve been very difficult to deal with heretics (like Arian and Nestorius) who WERE Catholics and were teaching heresy right within the Church! Thank goodness for that Tradition passed down from the Apostles (that authority given by Christ) that they were able to admonish them and weed them out!

But we can’t relax now, any more than the early church was able to ‘rest’. We must, as Catholics, respond to today’s type of Protestant affront, and try to plant seeds of truth into the minds of people who are ‘trained’ to think of Catholicism in a negative view. Too many Protestant communities are fed anti-Catholicism at every turn.

I wonder why, as you suggested, a Catholic apologist doesn’t take his own camera, and approach them on the street (whilst doing their ‘thing’). Perhaps they won’t put it on YouTube…but what’s to stop a Catholic from doing so (and showing what happens when a faithful, well-versed Catholic ‘takes their contrived litmus test’)?

That’s the sadly, typical, response for most Catholics. Oh well. But that’s not what the Church is called to. It’s called to be a witness to the world, for Christ and His Church!!!

True. They cannot destroy the Church (due to the promise of the Holy Spirit)…but they can certainly do damage. I don’t think that the effort at ecumenism is ever fruitless or that defending the Church is best answered by simply calling the other side’s attacks ‘a joke’. It’s certainly not a joke, when it does harm to the Body of Christ and mocks Christ’s desire for unity. Neither is the use of ‘apologetics’ (in particular), pointless. Apologists strive to explain and defend what they believe to be true. It’s supernatural calling is certainly far more than any human desire to win an argument. It’s a calling, by God, to present His Truth (in its fullness). For the Catholic apologist, it is a more difficult path–for we deal with Protestants who have removed themselves from authentic Church history, and basically ignore the first eight centuries of the Church and the unanimous beliefs of the first Christians–in favor of their own fabricated histories and apostasy theories.

Obviously, we need prayer. We need to request God’s grace and guidance from the Holy Spirit in order to defend the Church with charity. Some people are not going to respond to ‘a good argument/apologia’, because they have been ‘conditioned’ to think a certain way that rejects any answers (no matter how reasonable and biblical). However, that doesn’t mean that we should give up. God calls us all, to be His Light in the world. As Catholics, that means a little more than just being a ‘Christian’ like everybody else. It means being a Christian of the very Church that Christ instituted…the Mystical Body of Christ. It is not just ‘another denomination’. It is a human and divine entity. It is, in fact, the Mystical Body of our Incarnated Savior.

I don’t consider myself an educated apologist or biblical scholar…but I do take, seriously, my calling to give answer and defend the Church. It was worth it in the early Church, and it’s definitely worth it now!

The Church got of to a bad start somewhere early in the first century. Following this the Holy Spirit must have been deeply disappointed because it took Him some 1500-1600 years to do anything about it.

Since then people have finally “got it”.

I don’t mean to be sarcastic but I find this concept so deeply troubling. I fail to see why the Protestant cannot see the apparent lack of logic in this way of thinking. It seems so obvious.

Doesn’t that seem odd? They give no credence to the fact that ‘mainstream’ means coming from a greater source (in this case, the Catholic Church). They would probably see it as 'ritual and obedience laden, blindly following the ‘norm’. Yet they actually, as pointed out, are on the ‘fringe’ (but cannot rise higher than the source).

You’re right. In the statement given by Comfort and Cameron’s, it mentions Protestant denominations that are considered “mainstream” Christianity–along with Catholics–{when considering those that may or may not be saved). They cannot deny that Lutherans, Anglicans, and others share some of the Catholic theology, or a heretical variation (like Lutherans, with consubstantiation)…but, due to the fact that they are 'closer to the source then they are…still have trouble calling them ‘Christians’ as well. The only reason that they aren’t as cruel and nasty with them is because the Catholic Church claims to be the one true Church. I forget who said it, but it means that, “either IT is, or it is diabolical (as they believe)”. They cannot take another view because they don’t want to get to close to the ‘flame’. If they get too close, and consider Catholics Christians, they may have to consider some of its other claims (including it’s primacy, as the Apostolic Church founded by Christ). They don’t want to face that, so they rebel against us Catholics, the most. That is why they get their jollies, so often, when they can get former priests or nuns speak out ‘against the Catholic Church’. You notice, most of our converts, from various Protestant backgrounds, usually take the opposite stance (praising their Protestant background as their foundational stepping stone).

The theological view of salvation, offered by Christians like Cameron and Comfort, is very shotty. They want to maintain that we “mainstream” Christians do NOT have or believe in “having a personal relationship with Christ” (or using a more biblical phrase “following Christ”). They’d like to claim that they can ‘read mens hearts’ and can pigeon-hole a vast amount of Christians, in the ‘unsaved’ category (bound for hell). While they, who walk up the isle to a minister, fall on their knees in their living room, etc…and recite profess some sort of penitential prayer and verbally state their need and desire for Christ…are saved. As if NONE of us has ever had a conversion or eiphany…that we’ve never had any desire to know Christ or be truly repentant! I just think that is so lame a theory to try and uphold and maintain. As if.

Who are they to suggest that Christianity has always been understood that way? (I can just imagine the early Church Fathers expressing their faith in such a secularized fashion)…yeah, right.
It’s so ‘commercialized’…but no real substance. It cannot answer to such critical problems as, “the born again person who commits a grave sin, AFTER accepting Christ as their personal Lord and Savior”. I can personally claim to know someone that fits that dilemma!! What then?

I’d like to respond to the once-saved-always saved doctrine with these quotes:

“Confession is the beginning of glory, not the full desert of the crown; nor does it perfect our praise, but it initiates our dignity; and since it is written, ‘He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved,’ whatever has been before the end is a step by which we ascend to the summit of salvation, not a terminus wherein the full result of the ascent is already gained.” Cyprian, Unity of the Church, 21 (A.D. 251).

“It is, indeed, to be wondered at, and greatly to be wondered at, that to some of His own children–whom He has regenerated in Christ–to whom He has given faith, hope, and love, God does not give perseverance also.” Augustine, On Rebuke and Grace, 18 (A.D. 427).

“Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ye ready, for ye know not the hour in which our Lord cometh. But often shall ye come together, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if ye be not made perfect in the last time.” Didache, 16 (A.D. 90).

In the end, they are, no doubt, right to state-- as the Holy Scriptures warn-- that the road to heaven is narrow and the road to hell, wide. But I think that they presume to be God’s appointed ‘pre-sorters’ (labeling everyone as saved or unsaved BEFORE the last breath…and in accordance with their own interpretation of Scripture. I think they might be surprised at whom they see, or don’t see on that narrow road (or wide road).

I think we should pray for each other, and that Catholics have a large burden, and, at the same time, a wondrous gift.

I was away from the Catholic Church for 20 years because I allowed myself to fall prey to anti-Catholic evangelizers. It was partly my fault for not doing my homework to know my faith. It was also partly the fault of other Catholics in my life who could only watch helplessly because they didn’t know enough about their faith either. None of us had enough apologetic ammunition to fight them off.

That was 20 years ago. Thank God I discovered places like this forum and Catholic Answers to help me make the journey home. Now there is even less excuse to be “clueless” Catholics. The popularity of the “Left Behind” series is just one example of how we cannot afford complacency.

The last Protestant church I attended was what finally drove me back home. One of their Sunday School classes was doing a lesson series on “Other Religions,” like Islam, Buddhism, Mormonism, and (you guessed it!) Catholicism. The teacher asked me if I would be willing to teach the lesson on Roman Catholicism. While preparing for and teaching this lesson, I finally realized I needed to get back home.

The “Catholic = non-Christian” sentiment may be more common than many Catholics realize. Many Protestants have coopted the term “Christian” to the exclusion of Catholics. There are lots of churches full of “former Catholics” who are easy prey. The more we can do to offset this, the better. IMHO :slight_smile:

You’re absolutely RIGHT!!! You said it so well. And I’m so happy that God gave you that grace, that little nudge that you needed, to come back home. That’s wonderful news. Your story is a wonderful testimony to the harsh reality of how many Protestants view Catholicism (and it “ain’t pretty”).

Of course I’ve seen uglier, crazier anti-Catholicism in my time…but I don’t turn a blind eye to ANY of it…even the more subtle…because, in reality, Satan works against the unity the Christ established in the one Church…to destroy Her. And he uses every method available to do so.

That is why I am persistent in my desire to be heard…to be an apologist for the true faith…to answer all challenges and misconceptions. (I like this quote):

“the most ecumenical thing a Catholic can do is be unmistakably Catholic.” - Cardinal Law

You’re absolutely RIGHT!!! You said it so well. And I’m so happy that God gave you that grace, that little nudge that you needed, to come back home. That’s wonderful news.

Thank you. It is really, really, really good to be back :slight_smile:

Your story is a wonderful testimony to the harsh reality of how many Protestants view Catholicism (and it “ain’t pretty”).

Nope. Sure ain’t.

Of course I’ve seen uglier, crazier anti-Catholicism in my time…but I don’t turn a blind eye to ANY of it…even the more subtle…because, in reality, Satan works against the unity the Christ established in the one Church…to destroy Her. And he uses every method available to do so.

Yep. It gets hard for me to regard some folks as “separated brothers and sisters” when they won’t even recognize my Christianity. When they start into the Whore of Babylon stuff it gets VERY hard! But I try to remember how deceived I was.

That is why I am persistent in my desire to be heard…to be an apologist for the true faith…to answer all challenges and misconceptions.

Good! Speak the truth in love. :slight_smile:

"the most ecumenical thing a Catholic can do is be unmistakably Catholic.

That’s a good one. :smiley:

Come to think of it …I believe that it’s the more subtle method (like Cameron and Comfort’s) of evangelizing ‘Catholics’ (prostelytizing)…that is more dangerous. Most people recognize the nastier and crazier anti-Catholicism and are repulsed, simply because of its ugliness. But many people view ministries like “Way of the Master” as a nicely packaged, modern-version of Christianity. It appeals to our culture. It is subtle enough to attact…

This popularity can be witnessed even in Catholics. But I don’t think we should choose to ignore the big picture…that Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort (of ‘The Way of the Master’ ministry) do not grant us the title of Christian. I think that, in itself, should put up a big, red warning flag.

Agreed. I get this image in my mind of a big oak tree. Some of the branches are bending down, looking at the trunk that gives them life, and saying to it, “You’re not an oak tree! WE are!”

That’s good imagery. And it’s true to say that they can’t ‘see’ what’s so obvious…that they are bound to us, whether they like it or not. The further they stray, theologically, from the Catholic Church, the more prone they are to heresy. Apologist, Stephen Ray (himself a convert from Evangelical christianity) gave a wonderful analogy of a ship. It was part of his conversion story (that I have on DVD). He compared the Church to a great Ship, and that Protestants are in little rafts/lifeboats. The further they stray from the source of original/orthodox Christianity, the more in danger they become. All that they have, is from the Ship. They do not have any other supplier, than the Ship. So they are better off to stay close by…for safe passage across the ocean.

Anyhow, I was just thinking about the You Tube video I viewed recently…getting back to “Way of the Master”…from a web site called “Fish with Trish” (part of the ministry). Apparently, this ‘Trish’ is one of the street evangelizers, and she did a pre-interview with a Catholic priest (to set up, apparently, a one-on-one question interview with Cameron and Comfort and Father Jim. Anyhow, this particular priest wasn’t quite the ‘easy prey’ they had ventured to presume. I didn’t get to see the actual interview…just his pre-interview with this ‘Trish’. The funny part was that this priest wasn’t a cradle Catholic…he was a former Protestant (I think a Methodist for many years)…and he was also ‘married’…which sort of blew their chances at 'challenging the practice of celibacy (“Oh darn”).

I was just really angered by the fact that they were so self-righteous and were sort of ‘happy’ that he (Trish reported) showed signs of being upset (well no wonder!!! duh!). She made comment of his being ‘red’ and something about his ‘sweat on her phone’. Well, I guess three against one (using their barrage tactics…not giving anyone a chance to get a word in otherwise)…would upset anyone! I always think of the story of how Saint Nicholas (was it?) that slapped Arian across the face. I wouldn’t have blamed Father Jim, if he had! And this sweet, older priest was was definitely up for the challenge (he gave some good responses to their canned questions)…but I don’t think he probably was prepared for their particular style (which includes the most common approach of asking as many questions as you can, and controlling the direction of the conversation. They were looking to prove something from his answers.

I was very upset by the fact that they don’t view this priest as Christian. And there he and his wife were, opening up their home (rectory), in welcome…willing to attempt dialogue…with what turned out as hostile Evangelicals (seeking to expose them, publically) as pagans that are hell-bound and putting it on YouTube. They weren’t seeking to find Christ, in a humble and intelligent priest (who, himself, was a Protestant)!!! They were just in their ‘attack mode’ and so very arrogant. I do not see that as being charitable, by any stretch of the imagination.

As Catholics, we need to understand how very damaging this sort of anti-Catholicism is…and how insidious.

Have we become desensitized to it? I think more Catholics should be aware of the dangers of these popular modern/cultural presentations of christianity…and realize the importance of defending historical christianity…the Church Christ established (Matthew 16:18).

Fish with Trish is a segment on their radio program as well. Basically at the end of each hour segment (the show is two hours long) they go to the streets (who is Trish with a phone) to witness to someone. She asks loaded questions like, "do you consider yourself a good person"and then turns the phone over to either Friel or Comfort to explain to the person why they are not a good person. I find her… Annoying.

Have you ever heard the radio show?

God bless

No, I haven’t. I don’t think I’d want to. It would just cause my blood pressure to rise. Where do they usually ‘do’ their street evangelism, anyhow? Do they travel?

Yea all over. Trish has gone into Synagogues, mega churches, universities, restaurants… Why are you hoping to get on the show?:wink:

If you ever do, just remember, if asked whether you are a good person, say ‘no’. Since they are expecting you to say ‘yes’, so they can go through the ten commandments to show you that you are not; they will not know what to say if you start out admitting that you are not a good person. :smiley:

My response would go as follows:

*“No I am not a good person, for all have sinned and fallen short, but by the grace of God, and the sacrifice of my Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, I hope that I will be reconciled to God… By the way; I’m Catholic, and I do read my Bible”
*

God bless

:thumbsup: Good response. I took a little mini test that I found on an Evangelical web site…that is part of their outreach (it’s an amination that asks, “Are You A Good Person”…and then a test follows which, of course, asks whether or not you’ve disobeyed some or all of the 10 Commandments (and, of course, at one point or another, most of us have failed on a few). It ends, with the usual ‘Say this prayer’ solution.

To answer your question…‘no. I’d never go on their show’. I’d be dead meat. I might manage to have a few good comebacks…but I think I’d tire too quickly and say something stupid (that they’d run with). I can’t even manage to keep some of my stupidity from the forums here! ha! ha!

I just wondered, seriously, if they travel around, or have a central location that they ‘hit up’ all the time. I wouldn’t want to live there!

But I would love to see some good Catholic apologists take their own cameras and take their ‘test’ (some that have studied their program).

Anyhow, I’ve enjoyed reading some of your posts. Keep up the good work!

As Catholics, we need to understand how very damaging this sort of anti-Catholicism is…and how insidious.

Have we become desensitized to it? I think more Catholics should be aware of the dangers of these popular modern/cultural presentations of christianity…and realize the importance of defending historical christianity…the Church Christ established (Matthew 16:18).

I think we have become desensitized. I also think we have been influenced by the spirit of the age which is relativism. So, we let them have their “opinion” and we have our “opinion” and leave it at that. We’re not generally taught or encouraged to give an answer for the faith that’s within us.

The Truth is the Truth, and we need to proclaim it. If what one is “selling” is a good product, one doesn’t need shifty, sneaky tactics, like a stereotypical used car salesman. :slight_smile: Unfortunately, people fall for that stuff.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.