I've convinced him...now what?

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Chris_W

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I have a relative who left the Catholic Church and is now Four Square. He approached me and said he felt called to reveal some truths to me (wanted to show me the errors of Catholicism). We had a dialogue for quite some time, discussing our differences, and his mis-conceptions about Catholicism. Our last discussion resulted in him admitting he could not justify his position on a topic, while I could justify the Catholic position.

Our dialogue ended with him saying, “Well, I am 40 years old now, and established in my new church. I am a leader in this church…I even built this church…I feel at home here…I can’t just change religions.”

I don’t know how to respond. I accomplished my short term goal of helping him realize the truth of Catholic teaching, but now what? I know he realizes the error in his new found religion. Should I just let it drop there, and let his conscience be the guide? I don’t want to alienate him by challenging him as to how he can continue, knowing it is in error. But is my work here done?Of course I will continue to pray, but should I let the dialogue end (as he would prefer)?

Any advice?
 
My only thoughts would be to remind him that Christ often warned that the cost of discipleship would sometimes be very high.

Are we only to follow Him until we find a comfortable place in life, or rather do we follow him all the way to the foot of the cross.

He said ‘Pick up your cross daily and follow me’.
 
Have you given him any books to read regarding teachings of the Church or conversion stories? Sometimes being able to relate to others who have been there is helpful. Often giving someone a book is a less “pushy” way of encouraging them, while still letting them know you are interested in their salvation.

Also, if your relative truly loves Jesus, and understands that Jesus is really and truly present in the Holy Eucharist, why would he not want to receive Him? He can’t have intimate communion with Jesus anywhere but the Catholic Church!

If he is worried about losing his friends from his current church, that may be a factor with some of them. Are you familiar with The Journey Home Network? This was started by a former Protestant minister to help other ministers into the Catholic Church. Many of these men lost a lot – not only their friends and former congregants, but also their identity and jobs as ministers! Yet they knew they had to follow the Truth, which is Jesus! And, of course, Jesus provides many new friends for us, just when we need them! He might want to log onto their website or if you have EWTN or Catholic radio in your area, encourage him to watch or listen!

And, I’m sure you’re doing this already, but PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! 🙏 Sometimes Our Lord uses some people to plant the seeds, others to tend them, and still others to harvest them. Perhaps the Lord will bring others into his life to lead him home!

God bless!
 
My advice is not “try” to do anything other then pray, offer-up rosaries for hios conversion, offer-up mortifications and visit the Blessed Sacrament to ask the Lord to continue to work on his heart. The Holy Spirit is already at work.
 
Chris W:
Our dialogue ended with him saying, “Well, I am 40 years old now, and established in my new church. I am a leader in this church…I even built this church…I feel at home here…I can’t just change religions.”
Well, prayer is important, of course. But a statement like the one he made is utter nonsense.

let’s see, another scenario…

I am having a hard time finding a job so I decide to create my own business. I work very hard, day and night do so so. I invest all the money I can s****e together and even find a few investors to help me make ends meet. My business even ‘seems’ to be successful (I mean we are making alot of money, I am my own boss, I feel great at the company, etc.). I then come to find out that my product is fundamentally flawed and that it is resulting in the deaths of many of my customers (OK, I couldn’t think of the best analogy here). I could just cover it up and ride it out as long as I could to protect my comfort level. Or I could ‘correct’ the product which would be painful since my customers would know that I had problems with the product before I fixed it (resulting in the loss of my comfort level - which I could get back, of course, with the passage of time with the correct product). Seems like a pretty easy decision.

As I posted somewhere else earlier today, two wrongs don’t make a right. Anyway, clean up the analogy (or make a brand new one, this was just an idea) and present it to your friend. Oh, and then pray some more. 😉
 
I don’t know if this will help, but you could remind him that he’s not really “changing” religions at all. His understanding of Christianity has simply evolved. If he believes the truths of the Catholic Church, he’s already a Catholic in his heart. If he’s sincere about that belief, he owes it to God and himself to formally return to the Church.
 
Thanks for the suggestions. I can’t help feeling like whatever I say will be an accusation of sorts. But you have got me thinking.

What do you (the readers of this thread) think of approaching him this way:

“You have become a leader in your church, you study the Bible, practice evangelization, pray, etc. God has built you up into an influential person among your peers. But you are missing out on important graces, through the sacraments. What you teach is good, but it is not the fullness of truth. Think what God could do with you if you make yourself available to all that He offers, through the full union with the Catholic Church and her sacraments?”

I am thinking if I appeal to him from a position of what he could be, rather than what he is not, it may be effective. Any thoughts?

As always, I look forward to responses…I find the advice of others on this site of great value.
 
You could also remind him of the grave importance of keeping within sound doctrine and teaching…based on the writings of Paul. Think of the harsh warnings Paul gives to those who teach heresy. Just type in ‘sound doctrine’ or ‘teaching’ in a search engine for the New Testament.
 
Chris W:
I have a relative who left the Catholic Church and is now Four Square. He approached me and said he felt called to reveal some truths to me (wanted to show me the errors of Catholicism). We had a dialogue for quite some time, discussing our differences, and his mis-conceptions about Catholicism. Our last discussion resulted in him admitting he could not justify his position on a topic, while I could justify the Catholic position.

Our dialogue ended with him saying, “Well, I am 40 years old now, and established in my new church. I am a leader in this church…I even built this church…I feel at home here…I can’t just change religions.”

I don’t know how to respond. I accomplished my short term goal of helping him realize the truth of Catholic teaching, but now what? I know he realizes the error in his new found religion. Should I just let it drop there, and let his conscience be the guide? I don’t want to alienate him by challenging him as to how he can continue, knowing it is in error. But is my work here done?Of course I will continue to pray, but should I let the dialogue end (as he would prefer)?

Any advice?
OHHHH!!! Get him “Not price too high” DVD from St. Joseph’s Communcations. The Alex Jones Conversion story… 👍
 
“No Salvation outside the Church” is a dogma proclaimed by various Popes. If he now believes by the graces of God that the Catholic Church is the true Church then he must come back to Her or risk loosing his eternal soul. He would no longer fall into the “invincible ignorance through no fault of his own” catagory so he would have no excuse. You must at least let him know this.
 
I would send him the tape “The Conversion of Scott Hahn,” who was a strict Calvinist-minister-turned-Catholic, I believe - it is quite coompelling. It can be found online at catholicity.com/%between% and you are only asked to contribute a donation to offset the cost of the tape. There are some other great apologist titles found there, as well, and they are great folks to deal with.
 
First off…CONGRATULATIONS on bringing your relative home!! You’re thoughtful insight and knowledge is to be applauded. :clapping: I like your approach to showing him how much MORE he’ll be giving back to the Church, rather than what he will be leaving behind.

I’m sure now that the seed has been planted…his conscious will work on it and it may not happen right away, but it will happen.

Good luck with him.
 
James_2:24:
OHHHH!!! Get him “Not price too high” DVD from St. Joseph’s Communcations. The Alex Jones Conversion story… 👍
That is EXCELLENT advice.

Even better advice is the surprisingly satisfying follow-up video:

http://www.saintjoe.com/images/productimages/large/8575V2.jpg
available at: A Dinner With Alex Jones

Alex makes it abundantly clear to all the Protestants and Catholics at the table that he could not “stare Truth in the face” and walk away from it.

It may be the most important gift you could give your friend.

AND:

James 5:20
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

You both win.

Peace in Christ…Salmon
 
Chris W:
What do you (the readers of this thread) think of approaching him this way:

“You have become a leader in your church, you study the Bible, practice evangelization, pray, etc. God has built you up into an influential person among your peers. But you are missing out on important graces, through the sacraments. What you teach is good, but it is not the fullness of truth. Think what God could do with you if you make yourself available to all that He offers, through the full union with the Catholic Church and her sacraments?”

I am thinking if I appeal to him from a position of what he could be, rather than what he is not, it may be effective. Any thoughts?
What about also appealing based on the conversion experience of Paul himself. Paul was an extremely well regarded pharisee and a well known denouncer of The Way. While Paul’s conversion was accompanied by direct heavenly intervention, it still might be useful to remind your relative that he would certainly be in good company if he returned to Rome.

I also agree that Scott Hahn would be an excellent author for him to read at this point in his life.
 
More excellent advice! Thank you all for your (name removed by moderator)ut. The Scott Hahn conversion story is appealing, as I have not heard it myself (although I have learned a great deal from Scott Hahn)…and it may perhaps be less threatening than my continued dialogue (which he would prefer to stop I think…hoping to cling to a feeling of justification by ignorance?)

I like the idea of Paul’s conversion as well.

Thanks again.
 
I will also get the Alex Jones conversion…recommended by multiple people in this thread so far.

Thanks
 
I would ask him what would Jesus do in his position. If there is a God is always the first question. The second is are you going to follow him or something else. The third is did he leave an authority for us to follow? If we love him we must do our best to follow his will.
 
All God calls us to do is to pray and answer questions in a loving way. It seems you are praying and have answered his questions. Suggest that he check the Coming Home Network web site for the conversion stories…or you copy some of them and send them to him. That may help him get over the hurdle…remember we are called to follow Christ…it is now in the Holy Spirit’s hands to complete…Great Job!!!

God Bless You,

Mike
 
To elaborate on what Des said, that is true. There is only damnation for those who reject Christ’s Church knowingly. To reject the Church is to reject Christ, for the Church is the body of Christ.
Does he actually believe that the Catholic Church is the Church established by Christ at this point?

Luke 10:
16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that rejecteth you rejecteth me; and he that rejecteth me rejecteth him that sent me.
17 And the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in thy name.


Those Christ has given authority must be obeyed. (And today, those men are the bishops in communion with the Vicar of Christ in Rome).
 
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