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 Post subject: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:45 pm 
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I know, random... you'd expect nothing less of me. :mrgreen:

I know in the long run we cannot convince or convict anyone about anything. But we can try to do our best to help them see the truth. So take... a good natured, honest Evangelical. If they are anti-Catholic, it is not intentional they've just been fed vicious lies most of their life. However, they are convinced (based on that misinformation) that Catholics are somehow of a different faith and religion all together. The first images in their heads are sex abuse scandals, the kids from Jersey Shore and dead, empty ritual. This is not just an apologetics issues (it is partly that) but it is part of a relationship with a person (or people) you care deeply about. You are dealing with some apologetic issues, but also with relationships and people's emotional reactions to something that they don't fully understand (and seems frightening)

I know some of you got this when you first swam the Tiber from family and friends. What advice can you give about how to do this constructively? Are there any good resources (preferably internet articles) that help to bridge that gap? Are there any good ways to pray or mentally prepare oneself for this kind of trial? I'm asking because I do hate to hurt the ones I love. I know a lot of it is out of my hands, but I do want to do all I can.

Thanks guys...

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:00 pm 
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BB I commission you to convert Jack Chick. Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:29 am 
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DesertSailor wrote:
BB I commission you to convert Jack Chick. Good luck.

BB, if you convert Jack Chick, I will give you $100. For real! hehehe

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:23 am 
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Unfortunately in my experience those that are anti-Catholic would never have a calm conversation or even listen to me or my dh. For those we knew who would have the hardest time with our conversion, we sent a letter. We knew there would be anger and wanted to give them all a chance to know our plans without a chance to immediately speak to us so that they could talk to us calmly. We did still get one very, very harsh email and one letter that wasn't as harsh but not open to up either. We lost relationships that I had had my whole life. :( I still miss them. Other relationships, within and without of the family, changed greatly. After 6 years those relationships have still not regained what we once had.

On the positive side, a couple of people that had listened to me struggle through those couple of years of study and decision are now Catholic or waiting on paperwork to become Catholic.

I'd do it all over again. I've thought and thought if there was a different way that we could have shared the news of our journey and conversion, but I don't know what we could have done differently to get different results. During our journey we did ask these people to help us combat what we were learning. How we wanted a way out of becoming Catholic! Yet, none of them would help us beyond repeating the same anti-Catholic "facts" that were untrue. We received, during our study, a copy of The Trail of the Blood and a Jack Chick book. From the pastor we received an email encouraging us to read through Romans verse by verse. I guess he thought if we did so we'd automatically see how wrong the Catholic Church is. We followed his advice, but the results were not as he had hoped.

I do not mean to discourage you. I hope that your experience will be much different! My advice would be, do not discuss unless everyone is calm and everyone is willing to sincerely listen to each other. If they have an anti-Catholic wall already built that may take some time before they are willing to listen versus lecture you.
Also.....
Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray, pray, pray.....................................................

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:55 am 
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Honestly, you cannot convert those that do not want to be converted. If someone does not think that Catholics are not Christian, then what do they think they are? Perhaps ask them to define Christian. Then, define a Catholic. Again, those that are not open to hear what you have to say will not and you will simply be wasting your breath.

The best way to show someone the truth is to live your faith. Be Catholic. Just don't call yourself Catholic.... LIVE IT! Granted, you are not Catholic yet so you are not in a position to convert anyone.. nor should you try. Get through the process yourself.... seal yourself with the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Confirmation) and perhaps you won't need to ask the question how. You will know.

In the end, if you truly want to show evangelicals that you know that Catholics are Christian, then your first steps are to become one. Focus on that. The rest will come.

How many do you think were converted after Scott Hahn? After Allen Hunt? I am sure that they impacted a lot of people and it had nothing to do with what they said to convince them. It's HOW they lived!

You are in my prayers,
Lisa


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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:21 am 
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Agree.
This is not your time to fight.
This is your time to learn.
Don't worry the time to fight will come......

When they do then you tell them to pray for you to God to show you the right way, you'll be enlisting them in making your Catholic faith stronger :)

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:05 am 
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Well if you encounter somebody like this: :lalala
You could do this: :poke
Or this: :pray:

And then follow the instructions in Mt. 10:14; or Mk. 6:11; or Lk. 9:5; 10:11; and Acts 13:51

Hint: think dust and feet

You never know what will touch a persons heart, so I find it helpful not to try and have pat answers, because what connects with one person might not make a dent with another. Just be yourself, and speak from the heart what you have experienced.

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:16 am 
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anawim wrote:
And then follow the instructions in Mt. 10:14; or Mk. 6:11; or Lk. 9:5; 10:11; and Acts 13:51


Good advice, Matthew18:15-17 is a good one as well, although it could be argued these people were never members of the church to begin with.

God has blinded such people because of their pride, there is no point in even conversing with obstinately ignorant people(John12:37-41, or 2Corinthians4:4). Although one passage suggests it is God who blinds them and another that it is Satan who blinds them, this can be reconciled by passages like Romans1:24 and 2Thessalonians2:11.

John12:39-40

Haydock's Commentary wrote:
Ver. 39. They could not believe,[3] that is, they would not, says St. Augustine, or it could not be, considering their wilful obstinate blindness. (Witham) --- But where then is the sin, if they could not believe? They could not believe, because they would not. For as it is the glory of the will of God, that it cannot be averse to its own glory, so it is the fault of the will of man, that it cannot believe. (St. Augustine, tract. 53. in Joan.) They could not believe. Since the prophet has foretold it, and he cannot but say the truth, it is impossible that they should now believe. Not but they had it in their power to believe; and had they believed, the prophet would never have foretold the contrary. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxvii. in Joan.)


Haydock's Commentary wrote:
Ver. 40. He hath blinded their eyes, &c. See Matthew xiii. 14. (Witham) --- God blinded the Jews, not by filling them with malice, but by refusing them his graces, of which they had made themselves unworthy, and which they before abused and despised. It was their perverse will, their pride, presumption, and obstinacy, that brought on them this judgment. (St. Augustine)


Source: http://haydock1859.tripod.com/id105.html

I like the point especially underlinded by Saint Augustine, that they are obsinately ignorant because God has refused them the graces to believe. It would seem that this isn't some arbitrary decision by God to refuse them such graces, but a decision based on what God sees in the interior workings and actions of each individual person, which may not always be evident to man.

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:35 am 
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I'd also like to add that is is usually pretty evident to discern between those who are invincibly ignorant and those who are willfully ignorant through simple dialouge. The bible tells us time and time again to test people by their speech and actions, (Sirach27:4-7, Matthew15:18, Galatians1:8, 1Timothy6:3-4, 1John4:1).

In other words if person x is telling you that God lead them to believe something contrary to Catholic teachings, they are a liar. If person y believes or is teaching something similar to that of the Catholic Church, but they themselves may not yet be in full communion with the Catholic Church, there is a chance that God could be leading them in that direction. See the examples of Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunich(Acts8:26-40), and of Apollos(Acts18:24-28). It is also interesting that it tells us in Acts that Apollos taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. It also seems that Aquila and Priscilla listened to him first before they approached him, and he accepted their message. Apollos could be seen as the perfect example of one who was invincibly ignorant.

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Seventeenth rule. Similarly, we should not talk of grace at such length and with such insistence as to poison people's attitude to free will. Thus we should speak about faith and grace, as far as it is possible with God's help, in a way that results in a greater praise of his Divine Majesty, but not in such a way and with such expressions (especially in times as dangerous as ours) that good works and free will come to be undermined or held for nothing. -Saint Ignatius -The Spiritual Exercises


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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:03 pm 
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I have no idea how to convince them. I was called an atheist for being Catholic by a Christian...and I just had no idea how to respond. I turned and walked away, I really didn't know what else to say to that...I just go home and pray.


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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Hand them the Creed.

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:37 pm 
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I am going to go right ahead and say something that you probably are not expecting...

If we go by the definition of 'Christian' used by some evangelicals, then it is indeed TRUE that Catholics are not Christians....

You see....their entire conception of what Christianity even IS is just completely wrong....

And Catholicism simply does not FIT with their conception......and it never, ever, ever, will

These people quite literally don't know a thing, they don't know the Bible, they don't know basic theology, they don't know the creeds, they don't know Church history....they are completely ignorant....

They walk around in a kind of fog which obscures their understanding and vision, and thus they think that anyone who is not as ignorant as they are is wrong about everything....

So when confronting these people, I will simply smile and nod and agree with them, 'yes', I would say 'we do not follow your limited, faulty understanding of Christianity you are correct to recognize this fact'.....


I would also point out that I think that these evangelical anti-Catholics who denounce the Catholic Church and accuse us of holding to a false gospel, are being more intellectually honest than many of the evangelicals who are more favorable....

Because you see, if Protestantism is true, then the Catholic Church is not simply 'another denomination', it is false, idolatrous, and evil....and it is right for Protestants to recognize this...

So, if you remember CS Lewis set up his famous 'trilemma', that Jesus was either 'liar, lunatic or Lord'.....and I would say that the same argument, with the same logic, applies to the Catholic Church....

The Pope is either a liar, or he is deluded or deceived by some agency human or supernatural in nature, or else he is telling the truth and as such he deserves obedience....

I don't think you can say that the Catholic Church is 'just another denomination'

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:25 am 
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anawim wrote:
You never know what will touch a persons heart, so I find it helpful not to try and have pat answers, because what connects with one person might not make a dent with another. Just be yourself, and speak from the heart what you have experienced.


This is worth repeating.

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:10 am 
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This

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:15 am 
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DesertSailor wrote:
BB I commission you to convert Jack Chick. Good luck.
Then he first needs to find him.

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:12 am 
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its hard to got to the one true church in my case not many people from my old school it was a baptist school talk to me after i was able to hold my own. family on my dads side (they are protestant- my moms side being catholic) was hard always think i would be worshiping mary that i could only pray using the rosary my grandma said i was brainwashed and says one day ill want to leave because "the bible says-Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." but i would go through out it all again my family has kinda cooled down tho but there will be now way to stop friends and family but God comes before family and friends sorry for the rant

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:29 pm 
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At the end of the day, you can only convert them or help them understand by showing them your life. How you live your life...how you treat others, how you behave...


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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:01 pm 
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anawim wrote:
Well if you encounter somebody like this: :lalala
You could do this: :poke
Or this: :pray:

And then follow the instructions in Mt. 10:14; or Mk. 6:11; or Lk. 9:5; 10:11; and Acts 13:51

Hint: think dust and feet

You never know what will touch a persons heart, so I find it helpful not to try and have pat answers, because what connects with one person might not make a dent with another. Just be yourself, and speak from the heart what you have experienced.


So simple and easy to understand, awesome.


Doom wrote:
Quote:
So when confronting these people, I will simply smile and nod and agree with them, 'yes', I would say 'we do not follow your limited, faulty understanding of Christianity you are correct to recognize this fact'.....


I like your style. I need to write that one down.

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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:35 pm 
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anna1978 wrote:
At the end of the day, you can only convert them or help them understand by showing them your life. How you live your life...how you treat others, how you behave...


You won't convert anybody unless God gives them the grace to accept the truth about the Catholic Church. If God doesn't give them the grace there is nothing you can do for them, but pray possibly, a la Saint Monica.

Augustine himself though must have understood that he needed to relinguish his pride before God could work with him, or else he wouldn't have said it.

You can usually get a feel for those who might be open to the message, that is why the bible tells us time and time again to test people through their speech. If they don't accept the truth about the Catholic Church they will be answerable to God on judgment day. It is everyones duty to evangelize though(Matthew28:16-20, 1Peter3:15-16).

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Seventeenth rule. Similarly, we should not talk of grace at such length and with such insistence as to poison people's attitude to free will. Thus we should speak about faith and grace, as far as it is possible with God's help, in a way that results in a greater praise of his Divine Majesty, but not in such a way and with such expressions (especially in times as dangerous as ours) that good works and free will come to be undermined or held for nothing. -Saint Ignatius -The Spiritual Exercises


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 Post subject: Re: Convincing Evangelicals that Catholics are Christian?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:22 am 
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Jerome_2 wrote:
In other words if person x is telling you that God lead them to believe something contrary to Catholic teachings, they are a liar.


The person is obviously stating a factual falsehood, but he may not be lying. He may actually believe that God has led him to believe something contrary to Catholic teaching and so may in fact be entirely honest in making the claim.

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