What's a clear, charitable "come-back" for protestants?


#1

As a seminarian I usually travel through Rome wearing the Roman collar which usually grabs the attention of many tourists, etc… Many of them stop to talk and many of them happen to be protestants who are open/respectful towards the Catholic Church, yet set in their ways. When I inquire if they are Catholics they usually respond, “**No Father, we belong a non-denominational church… But in the end, we both worship the same God. Right?”. **

Sometimes I’m not sure how to take advantage of the occasion to respond charitably without leading them to believe that I think its indifferent to be Catholic or non-denominational.

From your experience, could anyone recommend a clear, charitable “come-back” for these occasions? Something that would not turn them off but rather make them think twice and perhaps open up to a deeper conversation…

Thank you and God bless you.


#2

Trinitarian Protestants worship the same God, certainly.

But do they worship the same God in His way?


#3

Hi Allfor,

Q. “But in the end, we both worship the same God. Right?”.

A. “Of course, but the Devil is in the details, isn’t he?”

Verbum


#4

You might want to point out that the Catholic Church is no a denomination. It is simply the Church established by Jesus Christ.


#5

Why not ask your teachers at the Seminary?

They will probably tell you best how to handle those types of situations.

I am not really sure a quick witted comment is the best way to handle a situation. It can come across as snarky - and could be construed as an insult or put down.
Blow your witness - so to speak.


#6

I would say that Catholics worship God similar to them, and also in the most important way, by receiving Him in the Blessed Sacrament as He commanded in John 6. I would perhaps invite them to take their worship to the next level.


#7

This is a very tough one since they don’t really want to be challenged in their beliefs and inwardly truly resent “the authority” of the Catholic Church which they do not accept. Also they think they are safe in their own private interpretation of scriptures.

My first instinct is to surprise them with a comeback like “Oh, but don’t you think its time to come back into the full communion of God’s Church? He has so many graces and sacraments He wants you to participate in”. That will probably make them cringe a little and make them uncomfortable. But for a conscionable person it will nag them for months if you say it with conviction. That might lead them to start asking somone questions about Catholicism.

Or you might try a comeback like “Oh, but some kinds of worship are not always acceptable to God even though brothers worship the same God. Recall the story of Cain and Able.” Then hand him your contact-card and tell him to call you if they have any questions (perhaps give them a blessing before you wave goodbye to imply the authority in the priesthood).

James


#8

“No Father, we belong a non-denominational church… But in the end, we both worship the same God. Right?”

Smile and say as long as we both worship the full truth and not a condensed truth. Then walk off.


#9

:clapping:


#10

All people were created by the same God, but as Christians you and I share a deeper bond, we share the same savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. Did you know that he founded the Catholic Church?


#11

Yes, we worship the same God, but Jesus says we must worship in Spirit and in Truth. Therefore, there is “one Truth” that can be found in Him. Unity is also found in HIm. That Truth he shared with his Apostles, then He told them to go and teach ALL that he had taught them. Are you sure that you are worshipping in Spirit and in Truth,and how do you know?


#12

Realistically speaking, the ancient roman pagan religions were worshiping the same God as us. They were just doing it very, very confusedly.


#13

“No Father, we belong a non-denominational church… But in the end, we both worship the same God. Right?”.

Perhaps something like:
“Yes, praise to Him - our God who is always working to draw us closer to Himself in truth.”

Nita


#14

Hi Randy,

It’s nice to be appreciated! Congratulations for reading ALL the posts.

Verbum


#15

I forget which great priest answered this question by replying:

Yes, but you worship Him your way, and we worship Him His way." or words to that effect.

In Christ’s peace and joy,

Robin


#16

Fulton Sheen. But I don’t find that very charitable.


#17

I was evangelical Protestant for over 40 years before converting to Catholicism in 2004.

You are a priest, right? You are Christ’s representative on this earth.

Here is my suggestion. Answer, “Yes we do,” since after all, theologically, they are correct. You will not be disavowing the Catholic Church to admit that Protestants are correct in some of their views.

Then offer to bless them.

If they hesitate, ask them if they’ve read Pastor Gary Smalley’s book, The Blessing. (You might want to get hold of this book and read it yourself first.)

Gary Smalley was my pastor in the church I grew up in and he is accepted by evangelical Protestants as a paragon of solid Biblical truth.

His book The Blessing is all about the importance of Christians blessing each other, as outlined in the Scriptures. Offering a blessing to someone is a very “Biblical” thing for Christians to do. It is not some wierd “Catholic” ritual.

So if they refuse the blessing, suggest that they read Pastor Smalley’s book, and then smile and say your goodbye. Please say a private prayer for them, though.

But hopefully your Protestant friend will say yes to your request to bless them.

So do your priestly work and give them a blessing.

They will be extremely touched, and believe me, they will never, ever forget it. Your touch and your words of blessing will stay in their hearts and minds forever.

Protestants have very few “tangibles” in their practice of Christianity to cling to, and when they do have contact with a “tangible”, it is very meaningful to them. I believe that many Protestants are absolutely starved for the “tangibles,” which not only include the seven sacraments (especially Eucharist), but also tangibles like human touch, blessings, the Sign of the Cross, Rosaries, Holy Water, candles, art work, etc.

I believe this is one reason why Protestants “church hop.” They are searching for substance, for something “real,” and they think they can find it by being more “spiritual.” They don’t realize that it is in the physical that God reveals Himself and works in us. They haven’t connected this with the Incarnation of Jesus and His physical coming and dwelling and dying among us. Instead, they have the incorrect idea that the “physical” is of this world and therefore, should be avoided. So they continue to starve and continue to wander about seeking a place “to be fed.”

I and my husband were starved for all these tangibles, and when we started attending the Catholic Church, we felt like we had stumbled into a castle full of rich treasures.

Our daughter, who is a professional stage manager, feels the same way. Long before she decided to become Catholic, she said that all the other churches are just “pageants,” while the Mass is the real thing.

I believe your powerful blessing, offered as Christ’s representative, will continue to work in their lives and eventually bring them home to the Catholic church.

God bless you as you witness in love to those outside of the Catholic Church!


#18

This is my response as well when confronted with indifferentism.

Jeremy


#19

Well, certainly all baptized trinitarian Christians do worship the one True God.

The book “Nuts & Bolts - Catholic Apologetics Book” by by Tim Staples is one of the best I’ve read. Time Staples is a former Evengelical Protestant minister and is able to counter each of their points from the one source that they trust, the Bible. And, it does so with the greatest of Charity.

It is available here: catholicfreeshipping.com/Products/cfs_nubobytimstc.html

God bless you and watch overy you always.

Your servant in Christ.


#20

I think that this is a great answer and shows a very good understanding of Protestants. :slight_smile:

The point should not be to make a snappy comeback but to do something that leaves a lasting and positive view of Catholics in the Protestant mind. This will go further to evangelize the person then words alone could do.


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.