Prot. Pastor asked me to his Church, how do I respond?

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Joey1976

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I have met this Pastor at my gym and he talks to me about Scripture and he knows I am Catholic. He is very nice to me but has never put down the Catholic Church or pushed anything anti-Catholic on me. He always tells me that he can tell I am a man of God and I am a man of peace and quotes this scripture about a man who has walks with God is peaceful and he relates that to me. I always thought he would ask me to his Church and the time has finally come. BTW, his Church consists of six people, i would make seven if i went and it is at his house. So, really it is a Bible study. He has no formal pastoral training or Bible College degree. He is of the Charismatic type beliefs, he said he heals everyone he prays for , prophesizes, etc. He does mention quite a bit that Catholic don’t believe in that or I would be shocked at the things i would see at his Church. So, he obviously does not know the Catholic Church has the Charismatic renewal and I have attended Charismatic Conference at Steubenville, so I would not be shocked. My question is what do I tell him. Because I do not want to go. He said he is going to give me his card and he said if he gives it to me I have to go. What do I do? It makes me want to switch gyms cause I do not need to deal with this now. I am having struggles of my own now and I do not need to face this. When i say struggle , i do not mean i would question or leave the Catholic Church. I believe in it entirely. However, i am not the best in defending it and this guy certainly knows the Bible better than me. I do not want to debate as I am not good with apologetics. What do i do? How do I tell him I cannot attend because i believe what the Catholic Church teaches and not what he does? He also made the comment that he teaches things that I would not hear anywhere else, it is all form God and he proves his doctrine by the fact if it is in the Bible twice it is true. So that gives you an idea of his beliefs and it seems he thinks he is the end all be all and knows everything by that statement that he teaches things that know one else does. I posted of this guy once before in another thread and it shows some of his other beliefs…forums.catholic-questions.org/showthread.php?t=201409

Anybody have any advice, like i said i really can’t take this on right now with trying to discuss the Faith with him. He thinks he knows it all and he knows the Bible way more than i do. And i don’t want to discuss this stuff at the gym and turn into an argument. How do i decline the offer to the his church? Thanks
 
Just say, “no, thanks.”

But, be sure to ask him to come to Mass with you!
 
Keep it simple, “No thanks, I’m very happy at my church.”

Chances are, if you give excuses or reasons, he will take them as obstacles he needs to help you overcome.

If he persists, throw in, “I’ve prayed about it and I’m sure it’s the right decision.”
 
I have met this Pastor at my gym and he talks to me about Scripture and he knows I am Catholic. He is very nice to me but has never put down the Catholic Church or pushed anything anti-Catholic on me. He always tells me that he can tell I am a man of God and I am a man of peace and quotes this scripture about a man who has walks with God is peaceful and he relates that to me. I always thought he would ask me to his Church and the time has finally come. BTW, his Church consists of six people, i would make seven if i went and it is at his house. So, really it is a Bible study. He has no formal pastoral training or Bible College degree. He is of the Charismatic type beliefs, he said he heals everyone he prays for , prophesizes, etc. He does mention quite a bit that Catholic don’t believe in that or I would be shocked at the things i would see at his Church. So, he obviously does not know the Catholic Church has the Charismatic renewal and I have attended Charismatic Conference at Steubenville, so I would not be shocked. My question is what do I tell him. Because I do not want to go. He said he is going to give me his card and he said if he gives it to me I have to go. What do I do? It makes me want to switch gyms cause I do not need to deal with this now. I am having struggles of my own now and I do not need to face this. When i say struggle , i do not mean i would question or leave the Catholic Church. I believe in it entirely. However, i am not the best in defending it and this guy certainly knows the Bible better than me. I do not want to debate as I am not good with apologetics. What do i do? How do I tell him I cannot attend because i believe what the Catholic Church teaches and not what he does? He also made the comment that he teaches things that I would not hear anywhere else, it is all form God and he proves his doctrine by the fact if it is in the Bible twice it is true. So that gives you an idea of his beliefs and it seems he thinks he is the end all be all and knows everything by that statement that he teaches things that know one else does. I posted of this guy once before in another thread and it shows some of his other beliefs…forums.catholic-questions.org/showthread.php?t=201409

Anybody have any advice, like i said i really can’t take this on right now with trying to discuss the Faith with him. He thinks he knows it all and he knows the Bible way more than i do. And i don’t want to discuss this stuff at the gym and turn into an argument. How do i decline the offer to the his church? Thanks
Last thing you want to get around is a house church, particularly one of the Pentacostal variety…that is, unless you are as skilled and trained as a Jimmy Akin or the like.

Join a different gym.
 
Why not invite him to your church??? Just a thought!
 
If you’re not the type who likes to get into anything that could turn confrontational, then do the broken record thing. It goes like this:

Craft a short-and-to-the-point-but-still-polite phrase at home. Do it AT HOME so you can practice it and edit it and get it perfect. Something like, “Thank you for the invite, but after prayerful discernment, I realize God has other plans for me.”

Then, every single time this guy turns the conversation to his “church”, turn on the broken record. Say your phrase over and over again. Do not vary from it. Do not discuss it any further with him. Do not encourage any more conversation from him on this subject.

Frankly, the guy sounds like a loon, and a persistent one. The broken record will get the message across, because it’s just as persistent as he is.

If, after three days, this doesn’t work, then every time he approaches you at the gym, smile, say goodbye and leave for another section to work out in. He can’t badger someone who isn’t there.

EDIT: If THAT doesn’t work, then contact the gym’s security.
 
In the world of Protestantism, church-visiting and church-hopping are very everyday things and it might be just a habit of his to try to get people to visit his church and fill the seats. He likely sees a full house as something to be proud of and brag about. They compete over it, even over visitors, pretty heavily in some denoms, and he’s just doing his job. so saying you’re happy and don’t want to switch probably won’t work. You have to tell him why. Get the discussion going. Maybe your conversation with him is God’s way of teaching one or both of you something important.🙂
 
I am a Psychology student, about to get my Associates in Arts in Psychology, and have been in a similar situation.

You see, I am very open about my faith, at a secular college, and people know I am Catholic.

Unfortunately, my Psychology mentor is a Protestant Pastor, of the Evangelical variety. He is also a liberal Democrat, and I am a conservative Republican. He ran for office against a pro-life, pro-family Congressman. I told him I could not support him.

Secondly, he invited me to his “Church”, and to give my testimony. I don’t think that he would approve of my attribution to my conversion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. So I told him I could not attend his service, but most of all could not give my “testimony”. Not that I dislike him, (he is a brilliant Psychologist) but I cannot and will not compromise my faith and especially not my conversion, for which Mary rightly is glorified, and I do not want to cause scandal by promoting Catholicism at a non-Catholic function (just as Catholics would be rightfully offended if Protestants started proselytizing Catholics at a Catholic function).

My recommendation is that you be very careful being around Protestants. The Protestant heresy of “Christ alone” is a poison to Catholic theology and spirituality. It is very easy to begin to say (I have done it myself), “As long as we believe in Jesus.” This is the lie of indifferentism. How is it charity to not invite somebody to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and be a member of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church? If you were to go to his “Church” you would possibly be in a position where he will try to gently try to come over to his belief system. (I guarantee that though he might not seem to be overtly anti-Catholic, he definitely is diametrically opposed to the Catholic understanding of what the Church is and how it should be going about its business.)

In fact, unless there is some specific good in you going - such as attending a wedding or a funeral, or being in a land with no Catholic but many Eastern Orthodox Churches, it is unwise to visit a non-Catholic Church, especially because indifferentism is so easy. If you feel that you need to go to an event, make sure that those who are non-Catholics know that you are a Catholic and that you would like to be respected in your beliefs. I found this to be helpful in the past, and my honesty was rewarded.

This is not to say you need to be rude, or debate him, but just tell him the truth: as a Catholic you are normally not allowed to attend
Protestant Church services or functions. If he asks further, tell him that you believe that only in the Catholic Church that we worship in spirit and in truth and that it would be sinful to compromise this.

I know you don’t want to debate him, but seriously think about doing this:

I think something you can do is turn the tables, and tell him that it is actually in the Catholic Church that we worship God in the same way that the Apostles did. Challenge him to read the early Church fathers. Buy for him a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, along with a Catholic Bible. Tell him that the Catholic Church is the Church that follows the Book of Acts, that we have the Apostolic succession, we are a universal faith, a holy faith, and one Church, not many different churches with different ideas.

Most of all, pray for him, especially to Our Lady, that the Holy Spirit shows him the truth of our Faith. You might not be able to answer all his questions, but pray to the Holy Spirit and Mary that he be enlightened.

God bless,

Peter Rowe

Tiber swim team, 1999-2000.
 
Keep it simple, “No thanks, I’m very happy at my church.”

Chances are, if you give excuses or reasons, he will take them as obstacles he needs to help you overcome.

If he persists, throw in, “I’ve prayed about it and I’m sure it’s the right decision.”
Thanks to everybody for the advice. Keep it coming if anyone has anything else to add. I appreciate it. I think i am going to take this approach of the what KCT says in the post above.
I know he will offer his card and i will take it and if he says to me that I have to come or he will be looking forward to me coming. I will respond as follows: “Thanks, but I cannot promise anything. I am very happy at my Church and I will pray about it but I strongly believe in the Catholic Faith.” I have a feeling he will respond by asking me “why don’t i want to learn more about the Bible” or “you will learn something and definitely grow in your faith if you come to my church”. I think he will say something to that effect and treat it more as a Bible study where i am going to study the Bible because he made the comments how people say the learn something new every time they come to his church. He gave examples of two people who had been studying the Bible for 5 or more years but when they came to his Church they learned something new every time. He always seem to brag about how much he knows and how he has everything memorized. So he might come at me with the question of why i wouldn’t want to learn more and grow by learning from his teaching. How should i respond when he says something like that?
 
Everything you’ve described so far sounds very… cultish to me. 😊 He has no theological education, he’s not a pastor, yet he calls the group his “church,” says that HE heals people, etc. :confused:

Umm, just say “NO!” brother. Ok, you should say, “No, thank you!” 😛 I don’t even think you should add anything more to it… just “No, thank you.” regardless of anything else he throws at you. The less you say, the less ammunition he has to try to sway you into attending. 👍
 
As I stated earlier, he will probably try to nudge you out of the “Papal Church.” Many evangelicals believe that while individual Catholics can be Christians, it is in spite of their Catholicism. Even a more moderate denomination, the LCMS, teaches that the office of the Papacy is the Antichrist, but yet they say individual Pope’s can be Christian. The standard is salvation by “Faith Alone.”

A lot of fundamentalist charismatics attract newcomers because their theology is something seemingly new, alive, not like their previous religious experiences. They then believe that the power of the Holy Spirit was lacking in previous periods of spiritual growth. What these two people discovered was possibly somebody for the first time teaching that charismatic gifts are normative, which, in any context, makes a splash, including in the Catholic Charismatic renewal, which I am very active in.

As far as it being a cult, I disagree. House churches are something that is very prevalent throughout the evangelical, free church movement, and charismatic prayer meetings are no exception. Just because somebody worships differently than you do does not make them a cult. Now, if he were to start teaching that he alone understands the scriptures, or that he is a prophet that must be obeyed, those are the red flags that indicate cultish practices. But just being a house church charismatic pastor does not make someone a “cult.”

God bless,

Peter Rowe
Tiber Swim Team, class of 1999-2000.
 
While I agree it’s probably not a cult right now… it has all the markings of something that could become one.

As a current swimmer I have been Protestant all of my life, some of the current “cultish” tendencies in many of these churches, along with help from the Holy Spirit, helped to urge me towards reading more Catholic theology.

Why do I say that? One of my best friends and former Pastor (Presbyterian, MDiv, PhD) and I had a lot of discussions regarding the number of people who left my previous Church (probably 2/3 of the congregation) when he was asked to leave by the Elders. (Please note that part of this is due to the fact that the Elders lied to the congregation, who they are suppose to represent, and said that they didn’t ask him to leave). While he never told anyone, the Elders who didn’t vote that way did… 🙂

Anyway, a number of these people went to these type of churches or larger “Bible” Churches. When they would see my friend they would of course tell him how much they hated that he left and that they left too… when he would ask where they went, if it was one of these churches he would pose the question… what do they believe? The reasponse was always, “I’m not sure” or “I don’t know but we really like the music and feel the presence of the Lord” or “well I don’t really agree with what they believe but the kids like it…”

These are not responses that you would normally expect from adult in regards to their faith, but it happens all to often today in Protestant circles. That is why that 33,000 number isn’t that crazy anymore because of all these startups. Remember that like this guy, no one oversees this church, no one but the leader most of the time has any (name removed by moderator)ut into the theological beliefs.

When people put faith in 1 persons interpretation rather than Christ’s Church, it can lead to difficult problems.

This guys heart may be in the right place… it probably is and he probably truly believes in what he is preaching but it’s not the Truth of Christ’s Church. Some of it may be… but not all of it.

I would stay away, but be nice about it.

As someone already said, just tell him you are very happy at your Church. Thank him for his offer and go on.

If he persists you have options, you can go and tell the managment that this person is harassing you and that if it dosen’t stop you will cancel your memebership.

While I understanding you may want to get as far away from this person as possible. Remember also that the Church calls us to be Priests, Prophets and Kings at our confirmation. So, and I would definitely pray about this before hand, if it be His will, perhaps you should ask him to Mass sometime.

Ask him how much time they spend reading God’s word at his church? Tell him between the readings and responsoral psalms you get to hear about 20 minutes of His Word every service. Tell him that you really aren’t the argumentative type nor an apologist but that if he truly believes the Bible, he owes it to himself to at least come to Mass once and end by reinforcing again that, “that is where I will always be” I wouldn’t go any farther than that based upon what you have told me.

Joe
 
he keeps throwing at you how much you’ll “learn” at his church. not that the catholic church is against learning, but it is so much more than that. the catholic church is about “being with Jesus Christ”, receiving him in the Eucharist and all of the other sacraments.
 
Just say “no thanks” without fear of stepping on toes or offending. Here’s a little encouragement in that regard in the form of an essay, the Three Secret Strategies of Satan. which happen to be, by the way:
  1. All opinions are equal
  2. Never judge anyone
  3. Never step on toes
If he persists, maybe suggest to him reading *Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historical Church * by Stephen K. Ray, and let that book do the apologetics for you. 😃
 
maybe suggest to him reading *Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historical Church * by Stephen K. Ray, and let that book do the apologetics for you. 😃
This is a great idea. Have this book with you next time you go to the gym and when he brings up his home church, tell him you’re happy where you are, thank him and hand him the book with a smile. 👍
 
A book discussion does sound like a good idea. Another that seems recent and looks very very good for Charismatic types is, No Price too High by Alex Jones. I haven’t read it yet but its on my list of books to read soon. The description and reviews there sound marvelous.
 
If indeed he thinks he has so much rare special knowledge that you would grow by being in his house, he is acting a little like a potential cult leader. Just tell him what Beckycmarie and renewaladvocate suggested and say you really do have a great church life already. If he can’t believe that, he is anti-Catholic whether consciously or not.
 
You - “Thanks “Jim”, I really do appreciate the offer, but I feel that my Church has the fullness of Faith and Truth, and since there isn’t anything lacking there, I don’t see the need to go anywhere else. But thanks again for the offer, it is nice of you to invite me.”

Jim - “but, but…arugue-argue-argue…”

You - “I know how you feel, and this really isn’t something that’s open for discussion or debate. But again, thank you for the invite.”

~Liza
 
This is a great idea. Have this book with you next time you go to the gym and when he brings up his home church, tell him you’re happy where you are, thank him and hand him the book with a smile. 👍
I do have this book and other apologetics books/conversion stories. Do you think this one is the best? If so i will bring it with me.

Also, i do believe his Church could move into the sort of cultish areas. Just by some of the things he says but he does also say things i believe in and don’t go against the Catholic Church. However, one thing he said that sounds like he thinks he is a prophet along with the fact he says he teaches things no one else does like he is the first to discover ideas and doctrines is, the fact that of this one story he told me. He said there was this lady he knew that had cancer and she believed that God would heal her totally. He was like, “I don;t know why she thinks this”. Because he said that someone has to speak it onto her, that it will only happen if a prophet speaks in onto her and prophesizes that she will b healed of it. So, basically if no one told her or prophesized that it would happen that it doesn’t mean it will happen just because she believes it will. He also always makes the comment to me that everyone he prays for is healed. It always seems like he is bragging. Unless, he truly doesn’t remember telling it to me like 50 times.

Other strange things that i would not expect to hear from when coming from a Pastor is when he told me he is in martial arts for years and years. And how one time some young kid cut him off at a gas station or something like that and the kid flicked him off and he went up to the younger man’s car and punched the guy right in the face. He was like, i bet he didn’t expect that this old man could take him. He told me a few times about how he is sooo good in marital arts that he could take on the young men at the gym that think they are so tough(which there are guys who act like tough guys) if he had to. Also, one time this attractive young lady walked in front of us and as she passed he looked at her and gave the panting dog type face as she passed. He was kinda joking when he did this and he said that is nice but he would never sin that way but he likes to look cause his wife is not good looking. He said it jokingly but who says that about his wife, especially a Pastor who claims that he doesn’t sin. Kinda weird to me.
 
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