Former RCC's. Can you help?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by dianetavegia, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
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    HI All,
    My daughter married a non-practicing RC. His father is very involved in his parish and goes to mass twice a day. Erin and her husband had their first child christened and the FIL is insisting on her raising her girls in the RCC. They have a second baby due in May. The FIL has chosen their 'godparents' for both kids.

    Erin has asked me lots of questions about their beliefs. Her FIL has explained away so many things like confession and the 'hand of God' on the priests. This weekend he was very harsh on Baptists because we don't have communion at every service.

    Since we're not anywhere near them, I'm not around to answer the questions each time they come up or show her scripture to disprove things.
    Does anyone have any thoughts or books they can recommend so Erin can better understand what the RCC actually believes?

    Her husband has attended the Baptist church twice. He really liked the less formal atmosphere. However, his parents bribe him with gifts. On Easter, they bought him a PlayStation 2 right after he went to mass with them. In fact, they told him ahead of time that he had to attend mass if he wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him one. He's almost 30. :(

    Thanks!
    Diane
     
  2. donnA

    donnA
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    Find her a good web site that explains RCC beliefs compared to baptist beliefs and scripture.
     
  3. Johnv

    Johnv
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    This sounds like more of a "control" issue than it does a religious issue.

    Forget about the faither in law. Does your son-in-law care if their children are baptized catholic or not? They already have one child who wasn't, so I don't see why he would want the second one baptized catholic.

    Since neither your daughter nor son-in-law are practicing catholics, I see no reason why their children should be brought up catholic. Do your son-in-law and daughter go to another church together, even if occaisionally? If that is the case, the second child can be baptized or christened there. As far as godparents, the phrase "we don't make use of godparents in our church, but thanks for the offer" is probably in order. Again, sounds like a control issue, not a religion issue.

    I hope this doesn't sound cruel, but it's typically the mother-in-law who's controlling, and the daughter hasn't learned to "leave and cleave". Here, the tables are turned: the FIL who's controlling and the son who needs to "leave and cleave".
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    Johnv, I agree about the son needing to leave and cleave. However, I get the impression that money speaks quite loudly to him. The parents pay their car note and insurance and have recently told them they're going to be giving them a $7,000. gift when some settlement comes through.

    Erin is a very strong willed person but she also likes money. She likes the Godparent idea because of the gifts and large sums of money they got from extended relatives of the in laws. BUT.... when they attempt to control her decisions about her children, she becomes quite angry.

    Our son in law went to church with her twice. Once when they were here (for my sake) and once a few months ago at the Baptist Church that's almost right next door to them. (I had written the minister and asked him to drop by and welcome them to the neigborhood.)

    Erin doesn't have a computer, Kate, so I have to email her husband through the radio station. He deletes anything he doesn't want her to have.

    Any other ideas?
    Diane
     
  5. Matthew 16:24

    Matthew 16:24
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    The only thing I can think of is just to pray for them. You can also get very familiar with what the RCC believes and write up what you believe and call her.

    Here are some web pages that may help.
    Freedom from catholicism

    RCC

    understanding Catholicism

    If you are wondering I was Catholic myself and I looked at what the Catholics believe and what the Bible teaches. I believe the Lord opened my eyes, (PRAISE JESUS!)it was hard at first and Satan will try to confuse the new believer.
    So that it is why I have these links readily available.
    Good luck and God bless!
     
  6. Watchman

    Watchman
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    Kate said:
    "Find her a good website that explains RCC beliefs.."
    www.biblebelievers.net
    Romanism is a cult, pure and simple.
    NO?
    Having and worshiping statues.
    Purgatory.
    Mary co-redemptrix, co-mediatrix. (In fact you need Mary to save you FROM her son, since He is the judge)
    Indulgences.
    Salvation partly by works (another gospel)
    Confessionals.
    Disdain for the Bible.
    The Pope is called God(Lord God the Pope)and Jesus Christ on earth.
    A horrible, murderous past.
    To top it all off-the Pope is an evolutionist.
    All of this is on this web sight and everything is from their writings and publications, fully documented. How anyone can defend Romanism is beyond me.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Don't think anyone is trying to "defend" catholicism, friend. Justify why a person might be involved in it or have a baby baptized, etc.

    One of my favorite sites:
    http://www.justforcatholics.org/answers.htm

    Lots of Q&A for searching what Catholics believe v real Bible teaching. Diane, glad you posted this thread as I believe many of us have relatives and friends caught up in this unbiblical religious system.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Anthro

    Anthro
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    *Don't* take the approach given thus far. It only puts RCs on the defensive.

    Instead, extol every virtue of the RC tradition.

    Both historically and presently there are many things any Protestant can extol them over, if they will but relax enough and get around all the non-Biblical externalities of the RC tradition for a season. These externalities are your bridge, your starting point.

    From them, think of the RC tradition in similar terms to the Jewish tradition, though of course the analogy is imperfect.

    Your job is to not convert, but to complete their faith. Your job is NOT to replace their faith, but to call them to the deeper truths within their own faith. There IS a Roman Catholic remnant.

    By taking such an approach, and abandon the traditional Baptist approach to Catholics, you will find not only a more Biblical way of dealing with such persons, but a more successful way of dealing with them.

    I was a missionary in Latin America for numerous years. Most of Latin American is Roman Catholic, or course.

    I learned TO IGNORE the "problems with the Catholic faith," which most Baptists tend to instead make the main thing, and just concentrate on completing what was lacking in their faith.

    For most, that is the step of personally making a radical commitment to not a Church, no matter which, but to the Person of Christ in all His fullness. When once that is done, the Spirit of Truth will, much more then less, take care of all the rest.

    I recall preaching the gospel in this vein within a Roman Catholic Church--within one. Icons of Mary, of course, were all around. They caused me to freak out, to stumble.

    But when one I preached a clear message, while also deeply affirming all that was good in the Catholic Church, MANY got saved....while I sat, still freaking out, at the icon of Mary behind them all as they wept before God and got saved.

    Got is not all so quite hyped about these things as we are, I learned. He is a big God, the God of Melchizedek, and has not at all left Himself w.o wittiness, Our job is to find what He left, and build upon it.

    On another occasion, I recall God CLEARLY telling me to go a certain somewhere ad to say a certain something to a certain Roman Catholic I would find there. I was stunned. "Tell him that I love him as much as I love all the Saints."

    When I arrived the person was actively engaged in the veneration of certain saints--candles, icons, etc.. I communicated to the person what I felt God tell me--note I DID NOT even deal with the matter of the Saints, but ignored them and what this person was doing regarding them. At just that word, which I felt God tell me, this person whom God had well-prepared in advance for the completion of his faith, broke. He got saved. Gloriously. I NEVER made his Roman Catholicism and the doctrinal problems with it an issue.

    We have to be wise and abandon of own constraining church culture, before dealing with those blinded by their own.
     
  9. HankD

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    Dear Anthro,

    As a former Catholic I agree with your basic philosophy, the traditional Baptist approach is almost always fruitless.

    My exodus from the Church of Rome was prompted from within myself being led of the Spirit and the Scriptures.

    The basic question of this thread:
    In our "enlightened" culture where everyone asks questions we must be ready to give an answer to every man that asks us a reason of the hope that is in us with meekness and fear:.

    In that case "meekness and fear" should prevail (except here on the BB where we've all made up our minds anyway [​IMG] )

    Last week one of my RC relatives called me and initiated a discussion about "religion" in which we engaged in a calm and polite fashion (a definite change from past discussions of past years), The discussion lasted for two hours.

    So, in answer to the basic question: when we are aked pointed questions about our faith:

    2 Timothy 2:
    24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
    25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
    26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

    Here on the BB it has difficult for me to remain calm (especially on the "other religions" forum) and I must admit that I have jumped in with the gloves on, giving and receiving black eyes.

    Diane, On a practical level and in the given example of the harshness of the father-in-law concerning communion, you might just simply admit that we differ as to the meaning and frequency of communion. This might lead to a discussion concerning John Chapter 6.

    As a former RC, it has taken a lot of discipline on my part to obey God and "be gentle".

    God's result's = God's method...

    Be gentle and don't return his harshness with harshness. That is my advice.

    HankD
     
  10. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Diane:

    I agree with John on this one. It is not a religious problem, it is a control problem. The son has not grown up and, IMO, would be happy attending ANY church if the gifts kept coming.

    I know when I was in the RCC, both parents HAD to agree to raise the child Catholic before the infant could be baptized. If that is still the case, then all the mother has to do is refuse.

    However, it sounds like she is caught up in the gift giving too, but still wants control of her own children. My Godparents were never forthcoming with gifts. Their only purpose for being there was to see that I continued to be raised Catholic if my parents died...

    You can't have your cake and eat it too. Some decisions are going to have to be made and I'm afraid you can't help much with that except to pray.

    It doesn't sound like either parent is wrapped up in any particular religion and may not want to be, therefore all the web sites on RCC will not help. It's time for 'daddy' to become a man and stop accepting bribes from HIS daddy.

    JMHO,
    Sue
     
  11. DanielFive

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    Diane,

    I sympathise with you but I think you should look at this as an opportunity to win a soul for Christ.

    I would agree with Bob, the 'justforcatholics' website is an excellent resource for those who are trying to witness to catholics.

    I also agree with the sentiments of Anthro's (and HankD's) post, I think it is vital that you display no bitterness towards your son-in-law or his family (not that you would anyway I'm sure) but do your best to let him see that you are concerned for his spiritual welfare.

    Avoid Chick tracts like the plague.

    The best tracts are those by John R. Rice, there is one in particular called 'Sermon from a Catholic Bible' which is just excellent.

    He has the gift of being able to get the truth across in a very loving way, without causing offence. I think the tracts are published by Sword of the Lord publishers, I'll have a look on the internet and see if I can point you to were you'll be able to buy them. I'll e-mail you with details.

    God Bless,

    Enda

    PS Don't worry about the FIL, it nearly broke my mothers heart when I left the catholic church, no-one could love their mother any more than I do, but when you come to the truth nothing or no-one can stop you coming to Christ.
     
  12. DanielFive

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    Diane,

    You can order the John R Rice booklets 'Dear Catholic Friend' and 'Sermon from a Catholic Bible' directly from the SOTL website:

    Sword of the Lord

    The 'Dear Catholic Friend' booklet can be read in full by going to this website:

    Dear Catholic Friend

    I found both of these tracts helpful and inoffensive, I hope they can be of some use to you.

    God Bless

    Enda
     
  13. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    I find John Rice to be the most gentle of the RCC bashers. His is the best approach, but it is very frustrating witnessing to a family member in bondage to that church.
     
  14. Johnv

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    Johnv, I agree about the son needing to leave and cleave. However, I get the impression that money speaks quite loudly to him. The parents pay their car note and insurance and have recently told them they're going to be giving them a $7,000. gift when some settlement comes through.
    I don't see anything wrong with accepting help from the parents in this case, and I'm sure it's appreciated, especially in light of their growing family. As long as there's no quid-pro-quo attached to it.

    She likes the Godparent idea because of the gifts and large sums of money they got from extended relatives of the in laws. BUT.... when they attempt to control her decisions about her children, she becomes quite angry.
    Nothing at all wrong with the extended family thing. In fact, there should be more of it in our society, imo. As far as godparents, I'm reminded of when my first child was born. My ex and I both come from a family with a lot of catholics or ex-catholics. Being involved in a Presby church at the time, we had our child baptized there, and we chose relatives to be godparents, even though the PC-USA doesn't officially utilize godparents. The reasoning behind godparents is simple: it becomes the godparents' responsibility to rear the child if something happens to the parents.

    Our son in law went to church with her twice. Once when they were here (for my sake) and once a few months ago at the Baptist Church that's almost right next door to them.
    It sounds like he probably wouldn't have a problem with the child being dedicated in accordance with Baptist tradition if your daughter wants that.

    He deletes anything he doesn't want her to have.
    I suggest phone conversation. Pricey, but it would be worth it.

    Any other ideas?
    Here's a compromise:
    Have the baby christened the same way their first child was (hence, some continuity between them). Go ahead with the Godparent idea, pnly make it one person from his side of the family, and one person from her side. Since the role of Godparents is to provide for the child if anything happens to the parents, then the godparents should be told "if you want to be godparent to my child, undrestand that I want the child brought up in the Baptist faith". In church, the godparents would serve no official role, other than witnesses to the christening.

    In effect, this would be the merging of two traditions for the benefit of the children.

    Do I sound like a politician now?
     
  15. dianetavegia

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    Anthro, I think Sue is right. Neither parent is wrapped up in either church and this is probably just being questioned because of the inlaws being so pushy in their lives. I've told our daughter that when they take money, every month, from his parents that his parents feel they have a right to make some of the decisions.

    My son in law would NOT go against his parents wishes and allow the baby to be dedicated in another church. He considers himself a good Catholic because he was an altar boy and attended parochial school. Also, the godparents chosen have not been a couple either time, but rich relatives. The mother in law has chosen the new babies name and is VERY upset that Erin is refusing to use that name.

    There is so much info here. I've scanned the topics on each of the pages you have all shared. I think I'll order the book by Rice and send it to Erin. I have church in a few minutes but I will go through and print up some of this and mail it to Erin. Her hubby works 4-12p.m. as a disc jockey and when he's gone we're getting kids to bed and in bed ourselves. It's hard for her to speak openly with her questions because he always gets very involved in her phone conversations.

    Thanks for your links. Being from the south, I know very little about the RCC and did not want to give incorrect info or anger Joe in any way.

    Diane
     
  16. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper
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  17. dianetavegia

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    The following is off a Catholic web page from England!

    What is a Christian?
    Are you a Christian?
    I was brought up in a Christian home.

    That doesn't make you a Christian.

    My mother always went to Church.

    That doesn't make you a Christian.

    I believe in doing good, helping others.

    Quite right, too, but so do most people. That doesn't make you a Christian.

    I believe in God.

    Most people say this, but that doesn't make you a Christian. Many people think they are Christians but rarely bother about Jesus Christ.

    Well, what is a Christian, then?

    Let's begin at the very beginning....

    In the beginning...
    when God made human beings, he made them perfect and good and sinless. He wanted us to be his friends and look after the earth.

    God did not make people robots or machines. He gave us a precious gift, free will, to choose between right and wrong, good and bad. He did not want to force us to love him. He wanted us to love him freely.

    But people chose to disobey God; they chose wrong. They preferred to please themselves rather than God. They sinned. And so sin entered the world. It is a disease we all have because 'all have sinned' (Romans 3:23).

    What sin is
    Evil, wrong and sin are there in the life of everyone born into the world. We see this in all the hatred and violence, greed and selfishness in the world. We see it as we look at our own lives, if we are really honest with ourselves. It is a part of our very nature. I sin when I come short of God's standard. 'All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.'

    If the pass mark for an exam is 50 and you get 49 marks, you have failed. If someone else gets 5 marks, he has failed too. It is no good you saying 'I did much better than the one who got 5.'

    You have both failed.

    You may think you are not so bad, better than most. But that's not the point, for not one of us has come anywhere near God's perfect standard - Jesus Christ. We can't even come up to our own standards. We may not have done anything especially wicked. We are sinners because we are just not good enough.

    I sin when I do what I want. The Bible says, 'Each of us has turned to his own way' (Isaiah 53:6).

    Doing what I want: this is the cause of our trouble, unhappiness and quarrels.

    Sin is not just killing, stealing or telling lies. I sin when I live to please myself rather than God.

    I sin when I can't be bothered with God or with other people; when I say 'I'm my own boss; it's my life; I can do what I like with it' - this is SIN - I in the middle - me first.

    I sin when I do not love God with all my heart. Jesus said, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment' (Matthew 22:37-38).

    Not one of us has loved God like this. We have all broken the great commandment. We are all self-centred rather than God-centred.

    What sin does
    Sin spoils

    Sin is like an ugly blot on a clean page. Being selfish, lazy, thoughtless, telling lies and dirty stories ruins your character. Sin destroys the happiness of a home and friendship.

    Sin spreads

    Sin is like weeds in a garden; if not rooted out, they will soon overrun it. Little acts of dishonesty and disobedience soon become habits we cannot break.

    Sin separates

    Sin is like a thick cloud which blots out the sun. That is why God seems miles away. He is pure and holy. He hates sin. He cannot and will not look at sin. It blocks the way to him. Sin cuts you off from God in this life and in the life to come. Be quite clear about this; hell is a grim and dreadful reality for all who reject Jesus Christ in this life.

    What are you going to do about it? You cannot remove the barrier. You cannot save yourself. Trying to help others and doing good cannot remove this barrier either. If sin results in our being cut off from God, is there no hope for us? Has God washed his hands of us?

    Why Jesus came
    God is love. He proved his love for us, by sending Jesus into our world - fully human and fully God. 'God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life' (John 3:16). Jesus did not come just to show us what God is like and live a perfect life. He came to remove the barrier between us and God.

    God's character is like a coin with two sides: justice and love. His justice rightly condemns us, for sin must be punished. His love makes him long for us to become his friends again. On the cross, his justice and his love were perfectly satisfied. Sin had to be punished, so God is his love sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place, bearing the death penalty our sins deserved.

    That is why he cried from the cross, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

    The full punishment for our sin was taken by Jesus. As a man once put it, 'He carried the can for everybody.' Jesus suffered 'the agony of being cut off from his father for us.'

    Jus before he died, Jesus said, 'It is finished!' This was not a cry of defeat, 'I've had it!' No, it was a cry of victory, 'I've done it! The debt of man's sin is paid.' The way back to God is now open.

    His work of saving you from hell and eternal destruction is finished. The barrier of sin has been blasted away. Jesus died for us, his body was put in the tomb and a great stone pushed across the entrance. But he rose from the grave - he is alive. He won the victory over sin and death.

    The way to God is now wide open.

    Do you want to live an easy-going, 'do-as-you-like' life? Do you want to remain dissatisfied and only know the empty, passing pleasures of the world? Then don't read any further. Carry on just as you are; don't bother about Christ.

    But remember this: one day you will realise too late that you have missed the best in life, wasted your life and ruined your own soul. To live without Christ is to die without him. To die without him is to spend eternity without him. But if you want alife that satisfies, that has purpose and meaning, a life that demands the very best in you and, above all, a life that is pleasing to God - this is what God requires of you. Forgiveness and eternal life are not automatic; there is your part.

    Something to admit

    That you have sinned in the sight of God. Be deeply sorry for your sin. Hate it and be willing to turn from every thought, word action and habit that you know to be wrong.

    Something to believe

    That Jesus Christ died on the cross bearing all the guilt and penalty of your sin.

    Something to consider

    That Jesus never promised it would be easy to follow him. Expect opposition, sneers and misunderstanding. Every part of your life, work, friendships, time, money, must all come under his control.

    Something to do

    Accept Jesus Christ into your life to be your Lord to control you, your Saviour to cleanse you, your friend to guide you and be with you.

    So many miss this last step and thus never come to know Jesus Christ. Parhaps no verse in the Bible makes this last step clearer than Relevation 3:20. Jesus is speaking,

    'Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him....'

    Jesus Christ waits outside the door of your life. He will not force his way in. He wants to be asked in. The handle is on the inside; only you can open the door. You become a true Christian when you open the door of your life to Jesus Christ and let him come in and live in your heart and life.

    Have you ever taken this step? Perhaps you have never realised before that there was anything for you to do. You can be baptised, go to church, yes, even read the Bible and pray, and still leave Jesus Christ outside the door of your life. Face this question honestly.

    Is Christ outside your life or inside? Will you let him in or keep him out? You cannot ignore Christ's invitation for ever. Time is fast running out.

    But if you are ready thoughtfully to open the door of your life to Jesus Christ, then find a place where you can be quiet and alone.

    Think of Christ's love for you: the cross, the shame and pain, his body nailed to the cross, his blood shed, all for you. Think of what he saves you from: eternal destruction, separation from God for ever, which is what hell is. Think of the shortness of this life: after death there will be no more opportunity to turn to Christ. It will be too late.

    Think of Jesus Christ knocking now, asking to come into your life. You want him to come into your life, or perhaps you want to make sure he has come into your life. It might help you to say this prayer, phrase by phrase, quietly, thoughtfully, thinking carefully what you are saying, and what you are doing.

    Lord Jesus Christ, I know I have sinned in my thoughts, words and actions.
    There are so many good things I have not done. There are so many sinful things I have done.
    I am sorry for my sins and turn from everything I know to be wrong.
    You gave your life upon the cross for me. Gratefully I give my life back to you.
    Now I ask you to come into my life.
    Come in as my Saviour to cleanse me.
    Come in as my Lord to control me.
    And I will serve you all the remaining years of my life in complete obedience.

    Christ in you
    You have said this prayer and meant it. What you have said is a fact. You have asked Jesus Christ to come into your life and he has come. He now lives in your heart by his Holy Spirit.

    Don't rely on your feelings; you may not feel any different at the moment. Trust his sure promises.

    'If any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him....' (Revelation 3:20)

    'He who believes has eternal life.' (John 6:47)

    'I am with you always, to the close of the age.' (Matthew 28:20)

    You are now a member of God's kingdom, a child of God's family, part of his Body the Church - all who trust in Jesus, whatever their colour, background, or intellect.

    The way ahead
    You have begun the journey into life. You are now at the start of a new life. You have in Jesus Christ an all-powerful, ever-present Frind and Captain, but in Satan a cunning and strong enemy. So you need to grow strong as a Christian, You need food, air and exercise.

    Food
    The Bible is the Christian's food. It is a living book and through it God will speak to you. Read it every day.

    Air
    Prayer is the Christian's air. Talk to Jesus Christ naturally as to a close friend, yet respectfully remembering who he is. Spend time alone with him daily.

    Exercise
    Worship : Join a local church at once. Never miss being with Christians in church on Sunday.

    Witness : Tell one other person within the next 24 hours what you have done, that you have surrendered your life to Christ. Don't be ashamed to be known as a Christian at work and at home.
     
  18. Watchman

    Watchman
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    Dr Bob:
    I said, "How anyone can defend Romanism is beyond me."
    Actually, I did not mean that for anyone on this board, I meant anybody at all. I actually had Jack Van Impe and others in mind. Sorry, I should have clarified.
     

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