How to Witness to a Catholic
by David J. Stewart
I received the following e-mail from one of my readers in July of 2005...
I have really enjoyed your site. I love that you come forth saying Catholicism is a cult. Not many people want to say that. I was wondering, if not too much trouble, if you have any advice on how to share the gospel with Catholics. All of my in-laws, who I live around are "Catholic", you know meaning they got to Christmas Eve Mass, and Easter Mass, but still think all they believe is the only right way. My mother in law even goes as far as to make fun of Christians. Hard to deal with, and I don't want to push, but do want
The best way to witness to ANYONE is to give them the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Word of God proclaims in Romans 1:16...
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
What is the power of God unto salvation? The Gospel. It is the power of the Gospel, the Good News of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection that makes salvation possible. All God expects of us is that we come to Christ as sinners deserving of hell, placing our faith upon the Saviour to forgive our sins and save us. That's it! The Apostle Paul declared in 1st Corinthians 1:17...
"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."
It is not our eloquent speech or intellectual arguments which will win the hearts of the lost to Christ, it is the Good News of Jesus Christ Itself. The Gospel is the "power" to be saved if lost sinners will simply OBEY it.
"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:" -2nd Thessalonians 1:8
Either a person is going to obey the Gospel or not, it's as simple as that. There is NOTHING that you or I can say to make a difference if someone has a hard heart towards the Gospel. A soul winner drove for seven hours to give Satanist rocker Ozzy Osbourne a "Jesus Saves" tract. Ozzy cursed the man and told him to go see a psychiatrist. I'm not saying that love can't make a difference with some people, it surely can...unfortunately it didn't succeed in Ozzy Osborne's life. I am simply saying that nothing more needs to be presented to a lost sinner except the Gospel. If a Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Catholic, or Atheist won't get saved after a clear presentation of the Gospel, then nothing else is going to work either.
The only hope for Christ-rejecters is love, but it will only help some people, not most...
"And of some have compassion, making a difference:" -Jude 1:22
Most Christ-rejecters will view our love as weakness and religious brainwashing, but some people will see God's love flowing through us and come to Christ. The best thing to do is to just keep presenting the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. Don't argue with them. Let them know that you DO respect their beliefs, but respectfully disagree. It's ok to agree to disagree, but not to yoke up with an unbeliever (such as in a marriage or a business partnership). We must be "in" the world, but not "of" the world.
Having said that...in the case of witnessing to a Catholic...it wouldn't hurt to learn about the Catholic religion in case they do have sincere questions. I'm not saying that it is wrong to go beyond the simple Gospel when witnessing to someone, but it is vital that you understand that it is the Gospel that brings salvation, not our words of wisdom. We should always revert back to the Gospel when speaking with unbelievers (keep it right up front in the conversation).
I would focus on the weaker areas of Catholicism, such as the "Assumption of Mary" which is NOT taught in the Bible. I would also present a chronological list of manmade heresies within the Catholic church. Catholicism is fairly easy to expose as a cult, it's getting people to forsake their family and church TRADITIONS that's hard. The hardest part about soulwinning is not getting people saved, it's getting them lost. Once you've convinced a lost sinner that they're on their way to hell, it's not too difficult to get them to call upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
The main truth to remember is that it is the simple Gospel that saves people. The method for winning anyone to the Lord is to give them the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ (2nd Corinthians 11:3).
Thanks much Dianna...
David J. Stewart