How do you respond to your one-time Catholic friend or relative who makes it a point to inform you that they now attend a “non-denominational” church and find it so fulfilling? Your approach might be to ask them to consider the following:

   * They were already part of a non-denominational church, the Catholic Church, that has taught a unified doctrine worldwide since being established by Jesus.

   * In spite of the unique “non-denominational” designation, their new church merely qualifies as a separate sect in the Protestant movement, since they professes Christianity outside of the Catholic Church.

   * Any communion service their new church may have is symbolic regardless of their belief, since the power to consecrate the bread and wine was given first to the Apostles, then only to the bishops and priests ordained in and through the Church.

   * Although their new church might profess adherence to biblical teaching, it disregards the most obvious one of Church authority. Note that in Acts 18:24-26, Apollos was an authority on Scripture, had received instruction in the Way of the Lord, and spoke and taught accurately about Jesus, yet even he needed and heeded authoritative representatives of the Church as they explained the Way of God more completely.

   * The novelty of this new church is due in part to its members believing whatever suits them, since there is no creed or list of beliefs that they together proclaim. Jesus, however, stated in Mark 3:25 that a household split into factions cannot last very long, and in John chapter 17 He expected and prayed for complete unity among His followers. In Acts 20:20,27, St Paul made it a point to declare that at no time did he ever shrink from proclaiming the entire plan of God. Only in the Catholic Church does this same unity and fullness of the faith continue to be taught.

You might consider concluding your discussion with a loving invitation to your friend or relative to return home to the unified, Apostolic, non-denominational, Catholic Church.

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