What if they are happy?


#1

Hi everyone,
I have a question maybe someone can help.
I have a best friend who recently “Accepted, Christ as her personal Lord and Savior”. She is very active in her church
which is a non-denominational. She was the first to experience a conversion and through a lot of prayer, her husband also recieved Jesus. Her son was baptized and is now
serving in the youth worship band. They are very dedicated to church and are living faithful Christian lives. Sometimes I find it hard to evangalize to them because they are serving God and have had a total change in their spirtual lives. Does anyone have some advice as to what should I do? I sometimes do feel as if they are being cheated out of the true presence of Christ.
I would appreciate any comments. Thanks and God Bless.


#2

They are Christian. You evangelize by example, word and deed. That does not mean proselytize them.

The New Evangelization does not give us the right or office of proselytizing people to the truth. Doing so in an abrupt way could cause someone to fall away from Christ altogether. Our parish priest let my wife off the hook from telling her own family of origin about her conversion. He asked “are you emotionally prepared to be abandoned by them? If so, then do as you wish?” He did not encourage her to cut off family or friends.

You have to allow the Holy Spirit to work in others. We don’t convert others, God does. Be at peace and know that you should rejoice with your friends, but do so to the proper level that you are able. If they do not attack your faith, then you’re not defending anything. But if you attack their faith you are jeapardizing their peace and maybe salvation. Let them come to know the fullness of Christ in the fullness of time. Yea, there are little things you can do…like give them books or even sayings of the Saints. But you can’t shove it down their throat and expect them to accept it or like it. Pray for them and give them a book like “The Lamb’s Supper” or Scott Hahn’s story for example. Just ideas.


#3

vocatio gave you very sound advise.
The best thing you can do is to be their friend. Show them how pleased you are that they have come to Christ.
Encourage discussion with them on faith topics, but keep it on an intellectual level, not an evangelizing one.
Keep them close to you in your heart and prayers.
You will learn from them and they from you.

God Bless you and Them
James


#4

Thanks everyone.
I appreciate your advice. I am very happy for her conversion.


#5

It sounds as though they’re already Christians. Do you have some grounds to doubt their salvation?


#6

Prosyltization, if understood as coercion is not allowed. However, we are compelled by the law of charity to share the fullness of Christ’s love and blessings with all men and to invite them to accept it. There is always room to grow in Christ’s love. Their conversion experience was a great beginning, but now is the time to continue that growth into the fullness of the Catholic faith.

As St. Francis said, preach the Gospel always, if necessary, use words. So first and foremost you must be a good example. However, St. Francis was a prolific preacher as well–so words often necessary. You need to verbally express the depth of love found in the Eucharist and full visible communion with the Body of Christ.

FredSmith, it is not about judging–all people, Christians, whether they be Catholics or not, and non-Christians always must continue to grow in truth and charity and those of us who have already received what others have yet to, but which God is calling them to as well, have a duty to share it and not put the light under a basket.


#7

Here is a recent text from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith on this issue of sharing the faith with non-Catholic Christians:

[quote=CDF]Ecumenism does not have only an institutional dimension aimed at “making the partial communion existing between Christians grow towards full communion in truth and charity”.[46] It is also the task of every member of the faithful, above all by means of prayer, penance, study and cooperation. Everywhere and always, each Catholic has the right and the duty to give the witness and the full proclamation of his faith. With non-Catholic Christians, Catholics must enter into a respectful dialogue of charity and truth, a dialogue which is not only an exchange of ideas, but also of gifts,[47] in order that the fullness of the means of salvation can be offered to one’s partners in dialogue.[48] In this way, they are led to an ever deeper conversion to Christ.

In this connection, it needs also to be recalled that if a non-Catholic Christian, for reasons of conscience and having been convinced of Catholic truth, asks to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church, this is to be respected as the work of the Holy Spirit and as an expression of freedom of conscience and of religion. In such a case, it would not be a question of proselytism in the negative sense that has been attributed to this term.[49] As explicitly recognized in the Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council, “it is evident that the work of preparing and reconciling those individuals who desire full Catholic communion is of its nature distinct from ecumenical action, but there is no opposition between the two, since both proceed from the marvelous ways of God”.[50] Therefore, the work of ecumenism does not remove the right or take away the responsibility of proclaiming in fullness the Catholic faith to other Christians, who freely wish to receive it.

[/quote]


#8

I get the feeling that the issue isn’t really evangelism, but recruiting for Roman Catholicism.

You know, if I were to say that I had Roman Catholic friends who were baptised and active in their churches and that I was trying to evangelize them to get them into my church, I get the feeling that you’d all be very upset about that.

And yet, it seems as though you think it’s OK when the shoe is on the other foot.


#9

Any person of any other religion could just as easily say of any Christian “this isn’t really about evangelization, it’s about recruiting for Christianity.”

You know, if I were to say that I had Roman Catholic friends who were baptised and active in their churches and that I was trying to evangelize them to get them into my church, I get the feeling that you’d all be very upset about that.

And yet, it seems as though you think it’s OK when the shoe is on the other foot.

I’m sure, but again, most Christians get upset, at say, JW missionaries as well. Any person convinced of the truth of their religion are going to be upset when others preach something different as the truth and people who go from one set of beliefs to the other. If you are truly convinced of the truth of your position, it is the natural human reaction to feel some sort of pain for the person abandoning it.

But in this particular instance, I think there’s another issue at play. Almost all other Christian denominations or independent non-denominational congregations hold to “denominationalism” that is, generally, as long as you believe in the existence of the person of Jesus, nothing else really matters–except they then assert that Catholics do not do this and seek to draw them out of the Church for that reason–whereas they do not treat other denominations as such. It’s the double standard that increases the emotional response even greater than simply someone leaving what you believe to be true–and such a double standard necessarily implies a factor of judgment since the “saving” event is usually a one-time and its over experience for such Christians and therefore seeking the conversion of Catholics means the person believes the Catholic has not had such an event and is passing judgment on whether the person will be saved or not–a task reserved to God alone.

As Catholics, however, we do not subscribe to denominationalism, and we believe Catholic Christianity to be the one true faith–since truth cannot contradict truth there are necessarily errors in other denominations. And since part of loving someone is knowing about them, and since God has revealed all these truths for love of us, embracing the fullness of that truth has divine importance.


#10

Evangelism, Biblically speaking, is always the preaching of the Gospel to the lost.

The people in the OP sound like they’re already Christians so, unless the OP has some grounds to believe that they’re not really saved that he’s not sharing with us, what is the point of evangelizing them?

But in this particular instance, I think there’s another issue at play. Almost all other Christian denominations or independent non-denominational congregations hold to “denominationalism” that is, generally, as long as you believe in the existence of the person of Jesus, nothing else really matters–except they then assert that Catholics do not do this and seek to draw them out of the Church for that reason–whereas they do not treat other denominations as such. It’s the double standard that increases the emotional response even greater than simply someone leaving what you believe to be true–and such a double standard necessarily implies a factor of judgment since the “saving” event is usually a one-time and its over experience for such Christians and therefore seeking the conversion of Catholics means the person believes the Catholic has not had such an event and is passing judgment on whether the person will be saved or not–a task reserved to God alone.

As Catholics, however, we do not subscribe to denominationalism, and we believe Catholic Christianity to be the one true faith–since truth cannot contradict truth there are necessarily errors in other denominations. And since part of loving someone is knowing about them, and since God has revealed all these truths for love of us, embracing the fullness of that truth has divine importance.

In other words, it’s pretty much like I described it: wrong when non-Roman Catholics do it to Roman Catholics, but perfecly fine when Roman Catholics do it to non-Roman Catholics.


#11

Well, yes. But you have to understand it from a catholic viewpoint. We believe the catholic church is the church founded by Jesus himself, with the true, fullness of the faith. While other christians may have the right idea, they’re missing a lot. So while it’s nice that other christians believe in Jesus personally, to a catholic we can’t help but think that they’re missing out on a whole lot of stuff that they don’t have that will help them to salvation. So obviously we want to bring them to that fullness of faith.

Conversely, if another christian is trying to convert a catholic away, we can’t help but think that if they go they are leaving the church Jesus founded, and the fullness of faith that will bring them to salvation. And that’s not a good thing for us.

It’s not about recruiting, it’s about wanting people to experience the fullness of the faith and the full truth that Jesus left us.

Think of it this way. If your mom was sick, and she was going to a doctor that was okay and had treatments that might cure her. And there was another doctor that had treatments that had more effectiveness, better chance of saving her life, and you knew it. But your mom really liked the first doctor. Wouldn’t you want her to go to the second doctor to have a better chance for living? And once she got there, wouldn’t you want to protect her from going back to another doctor that might not be able to help her?


#12

If I had a doctor who was doing everything according to the book and who had cured every patient he ever had, and another who claims that he wrote the medical books and tells me that my mother can only be saved if she swears her allegience to him, stands on one foot and hops up and down, guess which doctor I’m staying with.


#13

If you are so anti-Catholic then what are you doing on a Catholic web-site?


#14

This makes no sense…


#15

It makes about as much sense as saying that the Roman Catholic church can save someone better than Christ can.


#16

Again… this makes no sense… the issue is not trying to be better than Christ at saving someone…it can’t be done… it is a matter of the OP wanting to share the fullness of the truth with them. The Catholic Church is the one true Church founded by Christ himself… who founded your church? I can tell you one thing… if your not Catholic, it was a man and not God. Please stay on topic.

To the OP… I agree with what the others have said, be a good witness to them, even invite them to functions at your parish… maybe one day they will want to go to mass with you and learn more.


#17

The Bible says it was Jesus Christ.

I have not gone off topic.


#18

(Edited)

Christ established a Church. That Church was headed by the Apostles, and Peter was the given the Keys to the Kingdom.

You cannot separate Christ from His Church. Christ saves us, through Grace. The ordinary means of that Grace is through the Sacraments of the Catholic Church.

(Hint - the term “Roman Catholic” is a loose reference to the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, there are many more Rites all in communion with the Catholic Church).


#19

That’s a silly “argument.”


#20

You’re missing the point. The Church is the mystical body of Christ.


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