Why do Protestants convert Catholics?

I thought the Protestants get a lot of their members converting people from the Catholic church. Why is that? Why not convert more people from other religions? Or from a different Protestant church?

I’m not well informed in this matter so you could explain to me what is the truth.

I don’t know from experience as I am an atheist convert to the Catholic church. There are probably as many reasons as people, but I have a few ideas.

  1. Experiencing a loving community. God is love and if for some reason they have not experienced love in their Catholic journey and close, caring friendships based on fellowship and friendship with Christ this can be a big draw.

  2. Not being well Catechised. If they don’t really have a true knowledge and understanding of the faith someone from another denomination could convince them that Catholic teaching is not the full gospel.

  3. Not evangelized. The Catholic is question has never really had a conscious encounter with Christ and if they experience that first in a protestant context it could encourage them to leave the church.

Sheep stealing, particularly from communions that hold to both word and sacrament, is not typically the approach of Lutheranism.
Those churches that target other Christian communions often do, in fact, target other non-Catholic churches, as well as Catholics.

Do you think that the same question could be asked in reverse? Why do Catholics target protestants for conversion?

Jon

In answer to your ending question, there are probably a lot of reasons for that as well.

I pray that all will be one in mind and heart in our Lord Jesus Christ, and I do believe in the four marks of the Church…one, holy, Catholic, apostolic. (The Church is holy because Christ is holy; hopefully the members are striving to be holy with His help.)

When an opportunity presents itself it is important for me to ask the Holy Spirit to help me articulate the answers to sincere questions that non-Catholics have. They are all coming from a different place, and only the Holy Spirit knows how to reach our hearts. And, of course, there is free will.

I was an enthusiastically-uber-involved Evangelical Protestant for the first 47 years of my life before converting to Catholicism in 2004.

Many Evangelical Protestants believe that Catholics are not Christians and therefore going to hell. That’s why they try to convert them.

If a Catholic tells them, “Yes, I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior,” the Evangelical Protestant will recognize their Christianity.

And it’s true–Catholics HAVE accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! There is no untruth in this. So I recommend that Catholics use this “salvation language” when confronted by Evangelical Protestants who are trying to convert them. It will help the Evangelical Protestant to understand that you are truly “saved.”

But if the Catholic tells them, "I have been baptized into the Church, and therefore I am a Christian,’ the Evangelical Protestant will say, “No, you aren’t. You have to make a decision to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.”

I’m simplifying this greatly, and I’m also speaking in generalities. Many Evangelical Protestants are much more knowledgeable and have read enough theology to know that Catholics are truly Christians. In recent years, many Evangelical Protestants have worked side by side with Catholics on various issues like pro-life activities, opposing gay marriage, helping the poor, etc., and they have come to recognize that Catholics are truly Christians.

But there are still plenty of Evangelical Protestants who are separatists and do not recognize Catholics as Christians, and believe that the Catholic Church is a cult. Many of the older Evangelical Protestant apologetic books teach that Catholicism is a cult.

So that’s why the Evangelical Protestants try to convert Catholics to Christianity.

Hope this post helps you to understand.

I think the main reason is that Catholics are the largest group of convertable people around in most highly protestant areas. They want to converts Muslims, Jewish people, and Atheists too, but there aren’t as many of them around, so they direct their efforts toward the largest population of non-protestants around.

Addendum to above–there are quite a few Evangelical Protestants who believe that mainline PROTESTANTS are NOT Christians, or more accurately, that the mainline Protestant churches have stopped teaching authentic Christianity and now teach New Age universalism, feel-good theology, man-centered philosophies, and even occult practices and heresy.

This means that Evangelical Protestants will try to “convert” people who are part of mainline Protestant denominations (Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Congregationalist, Anglican, Episcopalian, Methodist, etc…)

I have to admit, I’ve seen this myself in various mainline churches. I had to play the piano in one of the churches for a visiting school choir, and the pastor clearly stated in his sermon that “we no longer believe that Jesus actually physically rose from the dead. Instead, we believe that his teachings are alive today in all of us who believe in love and acceptance.”

I was pretty appalled. But not surprised.

Many of the mainline denominations have enthusiastically voiced their support for “reproductive choice for all women” and for various homosexual acceptance issues, mainly “gay marriage.”

These are inconsistent with orthodox Christian theology. The Bible (which is the main source of teaching for Evangelical Protestants) makes it clear that those who continue to practice sin are not Christians).

So that’s why Evangelical Protestants are trying to convert mainlines. T

The question should be re-phrased to “Why do Catholics convert to Protestantism?”

It’s probably not a matter of the power of Protestantism as it is the weaknesses of Catholicism.

This accentuates the importance of the New Evangelization.

We, as members of the Catholic Church need to address both the questions and the needs of our fellow Catholics.

In general they don’t believe Catholics are Christians. They see us as members of a manmade idolatrous religion that hides the gospel from people .

Of course this is false, but it is their belief. It is rooted in reformation era animosity and erroneous reports from poorly catechized catholic converts.

Something that feeds this is the tons of cafeteria Catholics and catholics in name only who are not living a daily walk with Christ.

So catechize! Evangelize! And convert hearts and prove them wrong!

the main reason, I think, is poorly catechized. This depends on the person on how much they need. I’m convinced that with proper understanding people will choose the Catholic Church in the end. But the why’s and how’s have to be deepened enough on a theological level. One reason for me was that the only church that historically goes back to the time of Jesus is the Catholic Church. History is very important. Not the invented history other churches make to discredit the catholic church. Anti-Catholics sometimes make the mistake saying that catholics are now allowed to think for themselves, if the knew ‘the truth’ they would have left the cc along time ago. However, I made the decision to become catholic myself. Now I can believe in the teachings, because Jesus would protect his own Church from bad teachings.

This is true. As an evangelical I felt this way about not just mainlines but sometimes even other evangelicals.

Once I started to feel like maybe my single evangrlical free church was the only church not in error, I realized something was tragically wrong with my worldview.

Excellent summation. I was just about your same age when I converted. My wife also did and my kids, praise God, are heading in that direction with my son to be confirmed in December.

I will add one more thing to your excellent summation which you actually touched on.

Because many Catholics know little about their faith and are easy marks for Protestants who act like they DO.

And…

BECAUSE IT IS EASIER TO BE A PROTESTANT THAN A CATHOLIC.

The relationship of man to God for Protestants revolves around no special authority but the person him/herself. Their beliefs have no final word to order them. They live by their feelings and feet. “If I don’t feel good about this ‘church’ I’ll just beat feet to one ‘I am comfortable with’”.

Thus watch doctrines. They ebb and flow with the times.

That is easy-living Christianity.

Interestingly, I was never catechized in a way that even remotely resembles this. :shrug:
Jon

That is because you are Lutheran and much more orthodox.

Among once saved always saved folks, the non denominationals etc… It is much easier to be a Christianity because you can practice christianity based on your feelings and comforts.

Because of the anti-Catholic polemics that arose out of the Reformation, many people view Catholics as unsaved. IOW, Catholics are not Christians. And to be fair, many Catholics are nominally Christian at best, so there is some truth to the stereotype.

Worse, the pope is the anti-Christ, and the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon.

Naturally, this gives some folks sufficient cause to try to save us.

I personally know two born and raised Catholics who have nothing to do with Christianity now that they’re adults. I would love for them to convert to Evangelicalism; although I suppose they would be converting from a watered down ‘only go to Church during Christmas’ Catholicism.

I see no reason to pull practicing Catholics out of the Catholic Church, and I don’t think it would be easy even if we wanted to.

As gently as I can, I will say this. Whether a person was directly taught this as a doctrine is irrelevant. I was never “taught” that but it became obvious over time it was true. It is reality whether one admits it or not. Here’s why;

A or THE central theme of Protestantism is sola scriptura. The “Bible-only” is at the core of Protestant theology and authority in many denominations. Those that allow for some view of “tradition” do so without making it exclusive to the faith {except for the Mormons}. Others allow “personal experience” {Methodists, etc} to claim some part of the authority for the faith but that only reinforces my point.

Regardless, there is no central and exclusive authority for interpretation of the Bible.

Ultimately the only authority for that interpretation is the person him-/herself. Thus for the Protestant, “I” decide what the Bible says and the Bible is “my” authority. No one has authority over me.

Thus we see doctrine after doctrine ditched in favor of something else or simply left out of the teaching entirely as the “I’s” decide little by little to distance themselve from this or that teaching. Selected texts become central themes of denominations to the exclusion of the whole of Scripture.

Teaching on artificial contraception is a good example. Examine the historical development of this doctrine in Protestantism and you see the issue in microcosm.

No central authority leaves “me” as the only authority.

That is a simple fact. How each and every person deals with it is another issue. The search for unity in interpretation is a noble one, but an impossible one for “Protestants” who by breaking communion with the Church leave themselves with no leg to stand on in their attempts to convince other Protestants {or Catholics} of the rightness of their interpretation of Scripture and doctrine.

=Randy Carson;12487119]Because of the anti-Catholic polemics that arose out of the Reformation, many people view Catholics as unsaved. IOW, Catholics are not Christians. And to be fair, many Catholics are nominally Christian at best, so there is some truth to the stereotype.

Nether of these, Randy, is an excuse. And even if the issue of Catholics being nominally Christian is true, it is not in our realm to determine who is, or is not Christian among those who proclaim the Triune God.

Worse, the pope is the anti-Christ, and the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon.

Perhaps it is time to outgrow this, for all of us.

Jon

=Valdemar;12487200]As gently as I can, I will say this. Whether a person was directly taught this as a doctrine is irrelevant. I was never “taught” that but it became obvious over time it was true. It is reality whether one admits it or not. Here’s why;

A or THE central theme of Protestantism is sola scriptura. The “Bible-only” is at the core of Protestant theology and authority in many denominations. Those that allow for some view of “tradition” do so without making it exclusive to the faith {except for the Mormons}. Others allow “personal experience” {Methodists, etc} to claim some part of the authority for the faith but that only reinforces my point.

Again, not the teaching within my Lutheran upbringing. There is doctrine, and doctrine is outside the interpretation of the individual. If you read the the Rule and Norm of the Epitome of the Formula of Concord, it is clear.

Regardless, there is no central and exclusive authority for interpretation of the Bible.

Central authority among whom? The LCMS has a central authority that does precisely that.

Ultimately the only authority for that interpretation is the person him-/herself. Thus for the

Protestant, “I” decide what the Bible says and the Bible is “my” authority. No one has authority over me.

That may be true for some, certainly.

Teaching on artificial contraception is a good example. Examine the historical development of this doctrine in Protestantism and you see the issue in microcosm.

Please specify. Which communion are you speaking of? The LCMS teaching is quite similar to that of Orthodoxy.

That is a simple fact. How each and every person deals with it is another issue. The search for unity in interpretation is a noble one, but an impossible one for “Protestants” who by breaking communion with the Church leave themselves with no leg to stand on in their attempts to convince other Protestants {or Catholics} of the rightness of their interpretation of Scripture and doctrine.

And the same argument could be said for Rome’s break with Orthodoxy. or the other way around. That is a split that is twice as long as the Lutheran / Catholic division.

The issue is not one of protestantism (which is really a non-entity). The issue is one for all of Christendom.

Jon

Probably because there are less things that a Catholic would have to be convinced of to become protestant then someone from another religion and visa versa. They may also be a part of the same community where as a Christian is normally less connected to someone of another religion. I have known at least 6 Catholics who go to protestant bible studies because the surrounding Catholic community does not have a lot of good bible studies at least in this area. I want to say this is coming from them not me.

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