Why always us Catholics? Why not Hindus? Or Buddhists? Or Muslims?


#1

I’ve noticed something about Protestants in general. Why is it imperative for them to evangelize us out of the Catholic Faith?

Sure Christ said to “make disciples of all nations”, but why target Catholics in particular? Does that mean that according to them we’re not disciples of Christ? Does that mean that according to their definition we are so far away from being disciples with our logical structure and organizations that they need to tell us about Him all over again, and that if we found out about Christ we’d leave all this order that the Catholic Church has imposed?

They’re so obsessed with evangelizing Catholics out of the Faith that they even send missionaries to traditionally Catholic countries like the Philippines and Mexico to try to lure Catholics out of the Church. If they’re so obsessed with making disciples of all nations, why not send more missionaries to China, or Tibet, or Saudi Arabia?

Is it because we’re easy targets? Is it because they’re afraid of getting their heads lopped off by Islamic fanatics? Are we so important to them that they ignore Christ’s direct command to make disciples of “all nations”, and they only focus on those next door?

I’d like to hear from people who have direct contact with evangelizing Protestants on a regular basis please. Have they expressed such sentiments to you?


#2

When I evangelize, I tend to do it with Protestants rather than my atheist friends, simply because it’s easier to work with someone who already accepts the truth of the Bible and the basics of orthodox Christianity than someone who thinks God doesn’t exist at all. The same effect is probably in play here – Catholics already accept a lot of the same basic doctrine, and they accept the Bible as God’s Word, so if you evangelize to them, you don’t have to spend up-front time proving that God exists, that he’s the Christian God, that Jesus was fully man and fully God, that the Bible is what we claim it is, and so forth. When you combine that with the perception that most Catholics aren’t very knowledgeable about their faith or Scripture, you can see why we’d appear to be easy targets.


#3

I never did understand this. My thoughts are that there is rivalry between Protestants and Catholics that is longstanding and ingrained. Many Protestants view the Catholic Church as almost Pagan in places like Latin America. They think that Catholics really don’t know Jesus because they see Catholics making Mary such a focal point of veneration. So, their idea is to bring these people a more simplified faith that emphasizes a personal relationship with Jesus.

How’s that for a theory?


#4

I beleive that’s referred to as “shooting fish in a barrel” and “sitting ducks.” The vast majority of Catholics are so ignorant of the glories and vast wisdom of their own Faith (and are, in fact, ignorant that they are ignorant), they never knew what hit them. Catholics have only themselves to blame. It is a nothing more than indifference, if not laziness and benign arrogance.

When an agressive anti-Catholic proselytizer does run into a well catechized and biblically literate Catholic, they are often in shock. They aren’t prepared for it. As Karl Keating used to say, “Why prepare for the statistically improbable?” :cool:


#5

“Shooting fish in a barrel”! Great metaphor.

Another thought is that, many people in, say, Latin America might be easy targets because, if they are spiritually disillusioned they don’t have a lot of options. The Catholic Church has traditionally been very dominant there. So, when people get turned off, they used to have nowhere to go.

I think these Evangelicals, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, are often reaching out to people who for one reason or another have gotten disillusioned with the Catholic Church, yet still hunger spiritually.


#6

I would agree that that’s the case. But doesn’t this come across as superficial to them? Sure they can quote verses and all that, but what fruits have they borne? A loss to Catholics and a possible addition to their church? This seems to be a cheap way for them to build up their ranks, and for them to avoid the challenge of spreading the Word to those who truly haven’t heard of it like Hindus or Buddhists.

At least I know Catholics really send missions to far off places like Cambodia or Laos or Mogadishu to actually spread God’s Word and really help the people there by digging wells, putting up hospitals and teaching them the basics of living. The most Protestants seem to do is call us Catholics wrong and jump up and down in song and dance. I could be mistaken but that’s what it looks like to me.


#7

Protestants have many missions to Africa that provide practical help to people. There are many active mission groups that help build infrastrcture and provide practical help. There are Catholic missions as well.


#8

That’s actually a very valid theory lovesMary. It happens a lot in the Philippines too where the bishops don’t seem to do much except engage in politics and leave the flock to be devoured by the wolves. Most Filipinos don’t even know WHY they keep doing the things they do, and when a zealous Protestant starts telling them that what they do can’t be found in the Bible, they’re easy to sway.

The big problem that happens afterwards is “what then”? The Protestant moves on to evangelize some more, the strayed former Catholic is left with his “personal relationship with Jesus” and not much else. Maybe they’ll find a new “church” and fellowship and bible study until they grow tired of it and slip into agnosticism. All that would be left would be scattered remains of what used to be a strong culture based on faith.


#9

Sure, but I don’t hear of many Protestant missions to Saudi Arabia where just owning a Bible could get your head chopped off. Contrast that with Catholics who just had an archbishop killed recently in Iraq.

Why aren’t Protestants as willing to take the risk as we Catholics are? All they seem to want to do is have us do the hard work of converting the unbelievers, then they’ll just pick off the newly-converted and add them to their ranks. Sounds kind of cheap.


#10

Why would you want a challenge? :slight_smile: If you believe you have the truth, you want to bring as many people as possible into your ranks, regardless of where you’re bringing them in from.

It may help to remember that to many Protestants, the fruit being borne is salvation. Many of the hardcore Protestants I’ve encountered don’t think that Catholics are Christians for one reason or another – they worship Mary, they worship the Pope, they believe in works-only salvation, they don’t live Christ-like lives, and so forth. To these people, we look just as lost as the Hindus and the Buddhists. If your goal is to win the people you believe are “lost,” then you should start with the easiest, most accessible people around. Sadly, those people are often Catholic.


#11

This is so true, especially nowadays Fidelis. I just wish agressive anti-Catholic proselytizers run into well-catechized and biblically-literate Catholics more often.


#12

I’ve heard stories of Protestants being killed in the line of duty too, I think many of them are very fervent as well. I think they have missions in many places.


#13

Protestants have MORE missions to non-Christian nations than Roman Catholics have, and they take the same risks as Catholics do to bring the Gospel into those areas.

Catholics are evangelized along with non-Christians because most Roman Catholics are, for all practical purposes, no more Christian than a devout Buddhist. I’m not just talking about the abject Papiolater/Mariolater/Paniolater types that frequent Catholic Answers forums, but the vast majority of real Roman Catholics, who not only don’t read their Bibles but don’t even own one; the cultural Catholics who never pray, never think about their faith, nevermake any attempt to live a Christian life, etcetera, and whose hearts and lives are broken and shattered by sin they don’t recognize.

At least practicing Roman Catholics have some consolation from the Gospel, whatever errors I or other Protestants feel they fall into in the normal course of their religious lives. Many nominal Roman Catholics, however, never would come into contact with that Gospel without Protestants to proclaim it to them.


#14

[quote=flameburns623 . . . ]I’m not just talking about the abject Papiolater/Mariolater/Paniolater types that frequent Catholic Answers forums . . .
[/quote]

Man, I cannot believe I wrote that line. I am in dire need of a good night’s sleep. My apologies.


#15

This Protestant wouldn’t try and evangelize Catholics. I’d be a lot more worried about the non-Christians. Most of the missionaries I’ve come into contact with work with Wycliffe Bible Translators; I don’t know whether most of the areas they’re in have Catholic Christians already there or not.

I would try and evangelize superstitious Catholics who really aren’t following Catholic teachings. But I would be more likely to tell them the actual Catholic teachings than try to convert them to a Protestant denomination! That’s me though.

I don’t think any of us know exactly where all the Catholic and Protestant missionaries in the world are right now. There could very well be Protestant missionaries in Saudi Arabia and we may not know about them – maybe because if we did they could be in more danger than they already are! Who knows?


#16

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