witnessing to a catholic

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witnessing to a catholic

Postby lesjay on Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:36 pm

How do I witness to a catholic who prays to Mary, believes that she was conceived without original sin, believes that the Apostle Peter was the first pope, etc? How can I get him to see that he is putting Mary in front of our Messiah?
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Re: witnessing to a catholic

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:35 pm

Hi lesjay,

I've thought about your question since you posted it last evening. I did some research on the web and wracked my brain trying to give you something encouraging and positive from my own journey out of catholicism. But what I do know is that, next to Jehovah Witnesses, Catholics may very well be the most difficult to witness to. Their teachings and doctrines are so deeply ingrained from a very young age that short of a very direct revelation from the Holy Spirit, they seem to choose to believe what they've been taught. Just as the Bible is our foundation for truth, the "church," the pope, and their catechism is theirs.

I suggest gently challenging the basis for that particular belief, offering the words of scripture, providing some helpful and encouraging resources (rather than critical ones), and last but not least praying. We do plant seeds without the privilege of seeing the fruit often times. But the Lord is most assuredly a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Sometimes an individual must come to the point of desperation before searching for the truth; I know I did.

Perhaps others on the board have more concrete suggestions.
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Re: witnessing to a catholic

Postby aaron on Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:01 pm

Perhaps an approach such as "did you know that going to church doesn't make a Christian any more than parking in a garage makes you a car?" (I hope Keith Green doesn't mind me borrowing his quote .. he's dancing on streets of gold, so I'm pretty sure he's cool with it. :grin: I'd try to focus on the fact that a denomination can't save a person. Sometimes people say they are catholic or an other denomination, but were raised that way, and have never thought too much about it. So they can quickly become defensive. But a lighthearted approach with planting seeds would be good. Also, perhaps you could meet for coffee, and just ask them to share how they came to faith and try to get a feel for exactly where they are at. Then when they are finished, be prepared to share your testimony, including several Scripture references to back that up. Keep praying, keep sowing those seeds. :a2:
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
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Re: witnessing to a catholic

Postby M.C.Nige on Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:44 am

lesjay wrote:How do I witness to a catholic who prays to Mary, believes that she was conceived without original sin, believes that the Apostle Peter was the first pope, etc? How can I get him to see that he is putting Mary in front of our Messiah?

Hi lesjay

In considering your question, I was reminded of the incident with the Lord Jesus and the woman at the well in John chapter 4. The first thing the Lord Jesus does is to ask her for a drink (v7). That got her thinking immediately (v9) and initiated a conversation.

Without having to address the praying to Mary / immaculate conception, etc., there may be something that you can say that will get the catholic man thinking, and then any conversation will flow from there. Perhaps something to do with the Person and / or work of the Lord Jesus Christ, because there will be inevitably a weakness in this area; talking about it as a positive may get them thinking.

Please keep us updated...
"Before there can be a meaningful peace, justice must be served"

President Allison Taylor, 24, season 8
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Re: witnessing to a catholic

Postby pegmo on Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:17 am

When I was a practicing roman Catholic, a christian friend said to me that what he objected to about Catholics is that they didn't know their bibles and they didn't have a personal saving relationship with Jesus Christ. I was convicted by that because I knew it was true that I didn't know my bible and I had no idea what a personal saving relationship with Jesus Christ was. But it got me to thinking.

My son went to college and someone told him that we are saved by faith and not by works. He came home and told me that and I didn't understand what he was talking about. (To roman catholics, catholicism is faith). But it got me to thinking.

I was on a few political/news blog sites and once in awhile someone would post beautiful prayers. They would really move me and I wondered why after 21 years of Catholic education I didn't know how to pray like that. I only knew the rote prayers. And it got me to thinking....

I began wondering why we didn't read our bibles. I began wondering why we didn't bring our bibles to church and I knew it would be very strange to do so. I wondered why we didn't pray beautiful prayers and why we didn't have a personal relationship with Jesus (whatever that meant). All little seeds planted along the way that opened my heart to where God was going to lead.....
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Re: witnessing to a catholic

Postby pegmo on Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:28 pm

Oops. Didn't mean to kill the thread....just wanted to share a few "seeds" that were planted by others that began to work in my heart and lead me to Christ even though I wasn't looking to leave Catholicism.
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Re: witnessing to a catholic

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:44 pm

pegmo wrote:Oops. Didn't mean to kill the thread....just wanted to share a few "seeds" that were planted by others that began to work in my heart and lead me to Christ even though I wasn't looking to leave Catholicism.


I really appreciated your sharing the seeds that started you thinking, pegmo. I hope it will be an encouragement to some who feel as though they've failed if they witness and the person doesn't "see" immediately.
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Re: witnessing to a catholic

Postby pegmo on Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:25 pm

So true - it is often the little things you say or do that you never think of that move someone else.

Two more "seed" stories.

My younger Catholic sister worked at a company where the ladies used to gather to have coffee on break. When the discussions would turn to gossip or tearing down another worker for her looks or something they said, there was a christian lady who would always excuse herself quietly and go back to work. Just that act of not participating, was noticed by my sister, although the woman never preached a word to her. However it gave that woman an elevated position in my sister's eyes and made her someone worth listening to down the road. My younger sister has now left the Catholic church, been baptized and worships in a christian church. (praise the LORD).

My son overheard 2 other students passing in the hall one day. The first said to the other, "How are you doing today?", and the other replied, "Great! How could I not be with Jesus Christ in my life.". The first then responded, "Amen, brother." Very, very strange sounding talk to a Catholic's ears. But it made such an impression on my son and when he told me it had the same impression. Strange but curious talk. Shortly after, my son accepted an invitation to go to a bible study on campus. And he asked for a bible for Christmas. And God brought him to reprentance and out of the Catholic Church. He married a lovely Christian woman recently. We couldn't be more blessed.

God can use everything you say and do to honor Him to witness to others. Of course they have to hear the Truth of Christ and the gospel at some point, but the softening of the heart has to happen somewhere. You probably have no idea how God has used your daily living in obedience to Him to open the hearts of others around you. :grin:
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