This past week I came in contact with another catholic that I work with. I hadn't known him to be catholic until the day before.
Well, I started asking him what he thought about the contradictions between what Jesus said, or what the Bible teaches, and what the catholic church teaches. When I sepcifically referenced idolizing Mary, bowing to her, praying to her (hail mary), he just brushed it off, saying, "well, we don't really believe all that, it's just something we do."
This seemed to be the model for the rest of our conversation. Even being able to show him a few more of the contradictions between what the Bible says, and what the catholic church teaches, he continued to just brush off the evidence.
How can I challenge these people? How is it that they seem so far laid-back as to not care that they're serving a lie?
I guess I'm easily frustrated in this. When Christ himself said things that should shut down that church, how do people just bypass it?
Grace and Peace...
| 2005/11/9 1:10||Profile|
| Re: Witnessing to Catholics?|
There are many reasons it is difficult for a Catholic to give up Catholicism. My advice is to leave that bit to the Lord, because anyone who has come to know HIM, if directed by HIM to leave, will leave. Many of us do not immediately see what is wrong with the structure or doctrine of the organisation we have been brought up in, until we have grown in God, enough to begin criticising it for ourselves.
I've been witnessing to two people of Catholic origin for a while now. One for more than five years, the other for nearly four. The first one does not know the Bible at all. He's a family man, who is utterly serious about God and pleasing him, as is his wife. They pray, their children pray, and they experience God in their lives and they minister to others ALL THE TIME. It is their life. We know we don't agree, but do you know why I bear with them and love them deeply? Because, when I was stuck, every single ('Christian') person who offered me on-going [i]practical help[/i] was either Catholic or ex-Catholic. They have a culture of DOING for God, which is exemplary and tipped the balance in my life more than a little, between [i]making it[/i] and [i]not making it[/i]. This is not to say that some non-Catholics did not help for short spells, but something in the Catholic culture conveys an appreciation of the daily grind of living.
The second man, has responded to the challenge to develop a relationship with God which enables him to pray meaningfully, and seek victory over sin. The Lord has not let him down. Also, he is listening to the Bible on mp3 from time to time and reading it. He has very good questions, too, which keep me on my biblical toes.
Lastly, I pray for, and with, any of them. I think it is vital to develop a [i]caring[/i] relationship which is entirely practical. By practical, I mean, if I would pray about a thing for myself, then I offer or suggest the same to them. This moves theology out of theory and into the reality in which God Himself thrives - true relationship.
| 2005/11/9 12:22|
| Re: dorcas|
Dorcas, in many ways I'm not sure what to say about what you wrote.
I write looking for help on how to witness to Catholics simply because I believe with all my heart that they do not know God. Their church teaches a doctrine of works, infested with idols, false mediators, and lies.
I've been witnessing to two people of Catholic origin for a while now. One for more than five years, the other for nearly four....He's a family man, who is utterly serious about God and pleasing him, as is his wife. They pray, their children pray, and they experience God in their lives and they minister to others ALL THE TIME.
edit: below isn't part of the quote, but I don't know how to make it normal again.
I find it amazing that even though they put their faith in a lie, an abomination of our Savior and our God, and yet still experience him? I can't see how this is true.
It seems, also, that you have the luxury of years to befriend and witness to them. I ask, are you challenging them, or meerly befriending them?
I suppose this comes from a matter of doctrine. I believe with all of my heart that the catholic church is leading millions into Hell by deceiving them into works and false doctrines. I consider them in no way servants of Christ, because they know or recognize him any more than Mary, or as anything more than an idol.
But to accept that these are just minor disagreements is abhorrent to me. They are dead men walking, and I'm powerless to help them.
Now, to get back to the point of asking about ways to witness: I used to attend a church that believed in Predestination only. To many of the members, this seemed to mean that "if a person is predestined to Christ, they will walk through the church doors and be saved." This became an excuse to become useless to God. I'm convinced of it.
But we have the opportunity to reach out to those who are drowning. To show them that their condemnation is deserved, and lead them to the Grace of Christ, and their repentance from their sin.
So, I ask again, who has had success in showing Catholics the folly of their ways? What scripture, doctrine, or anything did you use? I'm looking to learn ammo for showing those around me who are being deceived.
Understand, also, that I don't mean to attack you, dorcas, but to not do anything? To accept the Catholic doctrine as acceptable? Never!
I'm sure somebody will write also about the power of the Holy Spirit to show them the truth. And believe me, I know myself to be powerless to change them. I depend on God alone for this. But we must also be prepared in season and out to give an answer.
Grace and Peace...
| 2005/11/10 3:19||Profile|
| Re: Wtinessing to Catholics?|
First thing, to limit the quote you need to look for the square bracket/EDIT [b]forward[/b] EDIT end.slash/quote/end square brackt, and move it to the end of the quotation. You can start writing immediately after the last ']' and your new writing will still appear with a space after the quotation, on a new line, reading from the left hand margin.
Quote:Let me clarify something for you from what I wrote. The main thing for you to take on board, is that my resources have been limited in terms of [i]opportunity[/i], so, I have been as practical and evangelical as I can with the opportunity available to me, particularly with the second person. In fact, both of these people have enough of their own problems, for me to have told them they can call me any time of day or night, if they need to talk - and one of them does. On one occasion, he had been awake all night because he was so excited about something the Lord had shown him and he wanted to find out if the Lord had ever shown me the same truth from the same verse of scripture. This man had never read the Bible two years ago and I see GOD's hand in the changes he's made to his life and the fact he can ask for prayer or pray for himself and is battling to understand God's ways. But, he still 'thinks' he is a Catholic, despite studying Luther's declarations and despite understanding that the first 'prostestants' were [i]all[/i] ex-Catholics. Your mention of the Holy Spirit is entirely appropriate, because I believe it is He who is doing the work in this heart.
And believe me, I know myself to be powerless to change them. I depend on God alone for this. But we must also be prepared in season and out to give an answer.
The other person is much more soaked in Catholic teaching, but, if I [i]listen[/i] to him, understanding that [i][b]he[/b][/i] is seeking [i]GOD[/i], then I can hear the little wooings of the Holy Spirit, which are drawing him closer to the Father, and, I can respect the substance of what God shows him, when it matches up with biblical truth, and not criticise, condemn or undermine what he [i]knows[/i] simply on the basis of the things he doesn't yet know.
[i]BECAUSE[/i] I was confined to these longterm individual relationships, I had much more to lose by making my faith a taboo topic, than someone who may be more keen (as you sound) to flag up the dangers of dead Catholic ritual. Also, it depends (I think) on local Catholic practice (and there are many variations within the UK and Ireland, alone) what seems to be the most important thing to raise with them.
You know, [b]trust[/b] is a very important ingredient in any relationship, and I determined to develop an openness which would make me available to present God's solutions to life situations, rather than religious ones - that is, rather than any sort of religious solutions. All I want is for those guys to know enough about God, to be able to lay hold on Him for what they need, when they need it. After that, God will take them on into a deeper walk with Himself.
I guess you find this very unsatisfactory but, what I lose by way of quantity, I make up for by way of time committed to being practical with the other needs (which I have not shared here). It has been my privilege to expound scripture many, many times, within this context, and to convey an understanding of God's heart to deliver, heal and save, rather than to attack the external security which any sort of Catholicism is believed by its adherents, to bestow.
I ask myself - will God say He knows them? Will God say He knows me? Are any of us doing the Father's will? These are the points on which they and I will be judged.
| 2005/11/11 6:22|
Yeah, you're right, Dorcas. I have to catch myself in my immaturity with these things often, and at times I need to be rebuked.
That's something that can be so easily forgotten, that there's more than one way to reach a person. Some build relationships, some are street-preachers. Some are there only to plant seeds, and others only to harvest.
Well, I'll keep working with these guys. I have another two months, and then it'll be just emails with them. Father, guide my words and actions, I wouldn't even try to do this by my own means.
Grace and Peace...
| 2005/11/13 5:29||Profile|