by Jeffrey van Zuiden

I’m willing to bet that most of you at some point in time, have tried a new product that you thought would be the โ€œend all, be all,โ€ only to find yourself very disappointed in the end. These days, you see this everywhere, sadly even within the Church.

laundrydetergent

For this example, let’s use laundry detergent as an example.

You grew up being taught that one certain laundry detergent was the best. Mom insisted. You never really knew why, but, you inherited the loyalty to the brand when you left on your own. Then one day, you see a great add, with a great salesperson, with a great sales pitch. The choice was obvious; it’s cheaper, easier, and better! I mean why not? Several friends, family and co-workers have made the switch. What could go wrong?

Between 2000 and 2009, 10.1% of adults left the Catholic Church. Some of the most common reasons: Life got too busy and they drifted away; not understanding the Church’s teachings; scandals; marrying someone of a different denomination; more vibrant church life / charismatic preachers; and it is easier to be Protestant.

However, despite all the hype, you slowly start to realize that stubborn stain won’t come out like it used to, and your clothes are fading faster. But still you drag it out for a while, hoping for the desired results. It is cheaper and easier to use, after-all.

Over half of fallen away Catholics who join another church will change denominations within 5 years. The average fallen away Catholic will change Protestant denominations 6 times in their’ life, shopping for that โ€œbetterโ€ church.

Eventually, a new add, a new, salesperson, a new sales pitch … well maybe this one will be better than the last. There has got to be something better out there, right? Of course going back to the original is out of the question, after all, it’s more expensive and more difficult to use. Plus, the other day you heard a bad rumor about the old company.

Over 75% of fallen away Catholics attending a Protestant Church say that there is something important missing from their’ religious experience, but don’t know what it is. Roughly the same number of returning Catholics say they returned for the Eucharist, the Real Presence of Christ. Sadly, in their’ lifetime, over 90% of fallen Catholics will switch Protestant denominations in t heir’ life (that statistic is the same for born and raised Protestants, as well).

Confused

Product begets product, weeks turn into years. Eventually, you stop really caring about what detergent you use, or it’s performance. You just start getting what’s cheap and convenient. Now and again, you will pause in the grocery store isle, and consider picking up that expensive, but good old product. After all this trial and error, in you heart, you know it’s the best, but how can you go back to it now? How can you admit you were wrong all along? I mean, does it really matter anyway? I guess you can just stay with the cheap detergent you have now, there all the same when it comes down to it, right?

Almost all returning Catholics said they did not understand key Church teachings, or were not aware of them at all. In fact, less than 5% who leave the Church know that it was the Church established by Jesus Christ and did not know that it was the Catholic Church that compiled the New Testament. In fact, less that 50% of Catholics even understand why we genuflect!

โ€œAnd I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be oneย flock, one shepherd.โ€ John 10:16

โ€œOur Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.โ€ 1 Timothy 2:4

May God Bless You!