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Ryan wrote:

Hi, guys —

I heard a group of priests at a conference say that Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, and others
are all considered Christians because they profess Christ, as Saviour!

  • How can this be?

Lutherans and Methodists allow women pastors, gay clergy, and none of them follow all the sacraments. Nevertheless, every priest there said that they are Christians.

  • Again, how can this be?

Thanks!

Ryan

  { How can those who allow women pastors, gay clergy, and lack the sacraments be Christians? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Ryan —

A Christian is one who believes that Christ is the Son of God incarnate, and accepts and tries to live by His teachings.

Some Christians do not accept the authority of Christ's Church, but they are nevertheless
"in Christ" through Baptism and the Holy Spirit.

Mary Ann

Ryan replied:

Thanks Mary Ann,

I think I understand. I have a friend who was born and raised in the Baptist church, converted to the Roman Catholic Church, but never could grasp the teachings and went back to the Baptist faith, even though he was baptized in the Catholic Church.

  • Would he have to be re-baptized again since he is Baptist?

Ryan

Mary Ann replied:

Ryan —

No, he would not have to be baptized again.

Baptists think differently about Baptism, however, and may expect him to undergo Baptism as a sign of his "conversion", if he had not done so, in the Baptist denomination.

Mary Ann

Ryan replied:

That's what I thought.

  • For those who are converts, but end up going back to their former church, not because they have ill-will toward the Catholic Church, but have trouble accepting certain teachings, is there anything specific we can do or say to them?

He seems to be happy and lives an wonderful Christian life.

Ryan

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Ryan —

It depends on your relationship and what he brings up with you. If he was intellectually interested in the Church, perhaps a book of convert stories would help, or a Catechism so he could get the truth, which he may not have received.

You could simply apologize that the local community received him in without catechizing him well enough so that he knew what being a Catholic was all about. That would show that you empathize with his struggle and understand his difficulties.

Perhaps the local church offered no community support. That is common in our parishes also.
As a matter of fact, in many parishes, one has to have a very strong faith and the heart of a martyr to keep the faith. That's why the person has to have a true conversion. The most important thing you can do is pray, be a friend and not condemn him. I doubt that he is honestly rejecting what he knows to be the truth. If he is, then pray for him.

Mary Ann

Ryan replied:

Hi, Mary Ann —

No, He does not outright reject the teachings of the Catholic Church, but finds himself in a better place with the Baptist church. I told him not to worry about it, and that he could always come back, but he is intent on staying. He does ministry work for the church as well. I guess he didn't abandon Christ. I know many who have left the Church and have gone to others religions.

Ryan

Mary Ann replied:

Ryan —

Well, that is odd. If he believes that the Catholic Church is the true Church, but is more comfortable in another denomination, for his own ministry or familiarity, he is choosing himself over truth.

Mary Ann

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