The #1 Reason Average Catholics Don’t Evangelize

by Marcel LeJeune

The data doesn’t lie. In what they personally believe about salvation, most Catholics are closer to Universalists than they are to Catholic doctrine – that is they believe that being a “good” person will get you to heaven. Catholics aren’t alone. Many modern Christians believe in what could at least be described as a quasi-universalism, which is that the default setting of our souls is that most people are “saved”. According to Pew data, from 2008 – Catholics are some of the least likely to believe in Hell, Jesus as necessary for salvation, etc. If this is the case, then multiple questions arise:

  • Why evangelize?
  • Why seek to grow in holiness?
  • Why decide to intentionally follow Jesus, etc?
  • If “good” people are going to heaven anyway, why would you evangelize and seek conversion?
  • If all religions are the same, why would you follow Jesus, which requires so much of us?

I believe there is a clear correlation between those who believe in universalism and those who don’t evangelize.

Recently, in a conversation with my teenage son, I told him my greatest desire in life is to see my family and friends go to heaven. I went on to tell him that this is the reason I talk about Jesus, evangelize others, share my faith, reach out in friendship, etc. I pray for a long list of folks every day. Some are far away from God and I pray for their salvation. I do this because I love them and to love them is to will their good. What could be better for those I love than to go to heaven?

It all goes together:

  • I believe Heaven and Hell are real.
  • I believe salvation is by God’s grace.
  • I believe we have to accept Jesus as our savior (in faith and love), repent of our sins, believe, and be baptized.
  • I believe that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven.

Because of these beliefs, I evangelize.

But, for the Catholic who would say that being a “good person” is enough to gain heaven, there are few (if any) reasons to evangelize. Unfortunately, for many, this has grown from this false understanding of Christian theology/history & the Biblical understanding of salvation. If one holds to a universalist theology, they have separated themselves from an orthodox and biblical understanding of salvation and grace. So, it is a VERY important issue. Not only will they fail to evangelize, but they are endangering their own souls with the lies they hold to.

Yet, this isn’t the first time such a false understanding of salvation has come up in the history of the Church.  A heresy called Pelagianism really kicked it all off. Pelagius was a British monk who taught that man can obtain salvation through our own free works and choices. In other words, it is a denial that God’s grace is necessary and that we can work our way to heaven. In many ways, our modern culture is really a modern form of Pelagianism, and this mentality has once again seeped into the Church. Pelagius also denied original sin and it’s consequences. His teachings were strongly opposed by St. Augustine and other Bishops – who clearly taught that he was wrong about almost everything in regards to salvation, grace, and free will.

Several recent Vatican documents have warned against a neo-pelagianism. Here is one snip of one doc.

“A new form of Pelagianism is spreading in our days, one in which the individual, understood to be radically autonomous, presumes to save oneself, without recognizing that, at the deepest level of being, he or she derives from God and from others. According to this way of thinking, salvation depends on the strength of the individual or on purely human structures, which are incapable of welcoming the newness of the Spirit of God.”

Read on at Catholic Missionary Disciples

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s