Why witness to Catholics

Why is it that so many Protestants (sadly, I must include myself from younger days in this one) feel the need to “evangelize” to Catholics?

The Catholic Church professes that Christ is our light and salvation, so why would they need “saving?” (as if our salvation is based on a single moment rather than a lifelong commitment… but that’s a different discussion)

Not Protestant, but we all believe that our faith is the “correct” one, the one that holds the fullness of the Truth.

If you want to be both amused and astounded, ask a “witnessing” Protestant what they claim the Catholic Church teaches. Not only will most of the things they claim be in error, they will not even resemble the actual teachings.

Frankly, if the Church taught what was frequently and erroneously claimed to be her teachings, I’d witness to her members, too. :smiley:



I’d say:
a.) Some just don’t know any better. They are taught that way and the innocently do it without any true knowledge of why they do it.


b.) Some ex-Catholics who become Protestants have an axe to grind, or they have have been convinced Rome is the seat of Satan and that they must do something about it.

Either way it’s a bunch of nonsense to me. I graduated from a Baptist college and Catholics were targets. We used to have former Catholics give their “testimonies” of their having “truly become a Christian”. It all used to tick me off. I hated it.

Why is it that whenever a Catholic asks a question about non-Catholic Christians it always includes the word “sadly”? :smiley: I could say the same for some Catholics that believe Protestants need evangelizing.

Anyway I don’t think it’s a fair statement to say Protestants across the board evangelize to Catholics. I’m not sure what denomination you came from but there are specific non-Catholic denominations that don’t believe Catholics are saved. But it does not represent the majority by any means. Born again Christians and JWs don’t think anyone is saved unless you are part of their group so go figure.

I believe most conversations between Catholics and Protestants are centered more on doctrinal disagreements not whether or not Catholics are saved. Certainly true Catholic Christians are saved.

I could say the same for some Catholics that believe Protestants need evangelizing.<<

But they do.

Honestly, there really are many people who officially belong to the Catholic Church but have not much of a relationship with God. Perhaps they go to church on Easter and Christmas, and they use the Sacraments for the important milestones, but for them it may just be a cultural tradition. You see a lot of that.

These people have very little interaction with the living God and his only son.

Says who you :shrug:

Jesus said he came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. That should be our attitude whether the people we witness to claim to be Catholic, Protestant, or otherwise; that is the Christian’s calling, i.e. The Great Commission and being our “brother’s keeper.”

I think it is great that Protestants and Catholics respond to their faith with the desire to share the good news. That is part of how we are supposed to respond.

I think it may be easier to pick a Catholic to begin sharing it with than, say, an atheist. You will not have to establish the bible as fair game for quotes, for example. Much less groundwork needs to be laid. Also, there are simply more Catholics available to talk to than atheists. There are lots and lots of us in the world, and typically we are willing to talk about God.

Lots of Protestants make zero attempt whatsoever to evangelize/proselytize active Catholics.

There is a scene at the end of the Robert Duvall movie The Apostle. As the Apostle is about to be taken to stand trial in Texas a young man who regularly attended and help rebuild their Holiness Church steps forward to truly accept the Lord. Sure Protestants evangelize Catholics, but we do the same to “members” of our own churches.

Some church members take the attitude that they are members of the one true church, or that only their church contains the fullness of the truth and/or God’s message and they go a step futher to evangelize Christians of some or all other denominations.

I believe that Catholics are doing the Christian “heavy lifting workout” in (fully and faithfully) practicing their faith…while protestants who may be very sincere and good Christians…are doing the “light workout” version of Christianity…but there is no “heavy lifting” in their faith…no complexity and very little in demands except what they are willing to buy into…no demand to be under anyone’s authority and no demand to be obedient to their faith group’s leadership. So why the “lets get some Catholics to convert”…pure pride and jealously. I don’t buy that…to save our souls junk…if that were the case…they would be after all the thousands (35,000+) of other protestant faith groups that don’t follow their theology and their creed/worship…but it is us Catholics they go after. We are the threat to their breakaway theology…so to justify remaining in that position…they have to attack the Catholic Church, Its teachings (Magisterium) and Its members.

Catholic (convert) Author and Educator…Dr. Thomas Howard (a brilliant and humble man) made a very interesting statement when he was on The Journey Home EWTN program with Marcus Grodi when speaking about conversions [Protestant to Catholic & Catholic to Protestant]–the types of believers that leave one faith to go to the other:

[paraphrasing] …*protestants who leave their faith *to become a Catholic…really know the protestant faith that they are leaving (they know exactly what they are giving up)…and all that it teaches and all that it encompasses. However…Catholics who leave their faith to become a protestant…know very little about their faith (they have a very shallow and non substantive understanding and are often confused about their faith’s teachings and what they are really giving up)…they do not know all that it encompasses…they know very little about their Catholic faith (the “why” behind what their Catholic Church teaches).

Pax Christi


http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/images/bookcovers/thowardbooks.jpg Thomas Howard was raised in a prominent Evangelical home (his sister is well-known author and former missionary Elisabeth Elliot), became Episcopalian in his mid-twenties, then entered the Catholic Church in 1985, at the age of fifty.

  Dave Armstrong[ writes]("http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/01/thomas-howard-quotes.html") of        Howard: "He cites the influence of great Catholic writers        such as Newman, Knox, Chesterton, Guardini, Ratzinger, Karl Adam, Louis        Bouyer, and St. Augustine on his final decision. Howard's always stylistically-excellent        prose is especially noteworthy for its emphasis on the sacramental, incarnational        and ‘transcendent’ aspects of Christianity."

Like C.S. Lewis, who he greatly admires and has written about often, Howard is an English professor (recently retired, after nearly forty years of teaching), who taught at Gordon College and then at St. John’s Seminary. He is a highly acclaimed writer and scholar, noted for his studies of Inklings C.S. Lewis (Narnia & Beyond: A Guide to the Fiction of C.S. Lewis [2006, 1987]) and Charles Williams (The Novels of Charles Williams [1991]), as well as books including Christ the Tiger (1967), Chance or the Dance? (1969), Hallowed be This House (1976), Evangelical is Not Enough (1984), If Your Mind Wanders at Mass (1995), On Being Catholic (1997), and The Secret of New York Revealed.

                  **Thomas Howard books published by Ignatius Press:**

I have really enjoyed reading this thread. I was and am still a born again Christian who joined the Catholic Church 7 yr. after I came to really know the Lord. This my opinion, there are people in all Protestant churches as well as the Catholic church that don’t really have a personal relationship with the Lord. They were brought up in a church from a child and going to church is expected. They go because they think it is a good thing to do. All do not attend because they have a personel relationship with the Lord. You never know when these people’s eyes will be opened to the Lord instantly or more slowly as if on a journey to know the Lord.

Truth is that Catholics do not go door to door evangelizing. Protestants of various denominations do. Catholics are targeted because Protestants know that a Catholic home is a 50/50 chance of being an easy target. Someone mentioned before that most Catholics don’t even go to Mass on Sunday. This is embarrassingly true. There’s no way we can deny that many of our brethren have not studied their faith and are left open for others to educate if we do not do it ourselves. Unfortunately, this cannot be done because the average Catholic adult sees friends at Mass, and the work is focused there. How many of us know of lapsed Catholics who are not family members? Think hard. That is where are attention should be. Catholics will never meet these families, because we wait for them to come to us. As such, there are no shortage of people for RCIA every year. But left on their own, anything can happen, and everything does happen. Protestants know this, so why don’t we?:shrug:

With tens of millions around the world who have not heard the word, it seems to me a waste of time to target folks who, through Grace, are Christians. :shrug:


Among the mainline Protestants, there are those who are uninformed of the teachings of the Catholic faith. These folks try to evangelize Catholics often out of Ignorance.

However, the independents, non-denominationals, whatever, are sent out by their pastors who are playing a numbers game. They teach anti-Catholicism because 1/4 of the population is Catholic.

Anti-Catholicism pays the biggest return on investment.

Most people who believe in God want to help others to believe in Him also. Most persons’ motives are good in this respect so they truly believe that they are helping Catholics to “see the light” when they proselytize them. There are those with hatred on their consciences, but I think that they are in the minority. And, unfortunately, many Catholics do not know their faith and also are not living a Christ-like life so they need evangelizing.

However, it would be best for them to learn how to be Christ-like Catholics since Jesus built His Church upon Peter whom He gave the keys of the kingdom (chief stewardship Isaiah 22) and also upon the foundation of the Apostles and the Prophets. (Matthew 16:17-19, Ephesians 2:19-21) :slight_smile:


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