Monday, May 3, 2021

When Strangers Come Knocking---Part 21


This is the next installment of my series to be published the first Monday of each month.

There are members of false sects, like Jehovah's Witnesses, that come knocking door-to-door hoping to convert you. Instead of ignoring them, it is we who should try and convert them. In 1 Peter 3:16, our first Pope writes, "But in thy hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks thee to give the reason for the hope that thou hast. But do this with gentleness and respect,..." Before the Great Apostasy, the Church would send missionaries to the ends of the Earth to make as many converts as possible. 

Those in false religions don't always come (literally) knocking at your door. It may be a Hindu at work who wants you to try yoga. It could be a "Christian Scientist" who lives next door and invites you to come to their reading room. Each month, I will present a false sect. Unlike the Vatican II sect, I do not see them as a "means of salvation" or possessing "elements of truth" that lead to salvation. That is heresy. They lead to damnation, and the adherents of the various sects must be converted so they may be saved.

In each month's post, I will present one false sect and give an overview of: 

  • The sect's history
  • Their theology
  • Tips on how to share the True Faith with them
The "Jesus People" Movement
His name is Shane Claiborne (b.1975), and he is not the typical person thought about when the word "radical" is used. Highly intelligent, well-educated, and articulate, Claiborne (pictured at the top of this post) is staunchly pro-life. He also opposes all war and the death penalty while discussing the need to be a "radical for Christ." He is an author and speaker; one of the leaders of what has been loosely deemed the "Jesus People Movement" (hereinafter "JPM"). The JPM began during the late 1960s, in the wake of the Great Apostasy. This movement has a great appeal to many people because of their idealism, altruism, and counter-culture values that mostly go against the decadence of our times. 

In many ways the JPM is a revival of Marc Sangnier’s (1873-1950) Sillon movement condemned by Pope St. Pius X in 1910. Sangnier attempted to build a utopia on false premises. The Sillon called for the birth of a new world in which a misconception of fraternity based on a vague and false notion of "human dignity" replaced true charity based on the Faith. The Sillon (i.e., "The Path") was intended to bring Catholicism into a greater conformity with Socialist ideals, in order to provide an alternative to Marxism with something that professed Christianity and was not inherently anti-clerical. 

In order to understand the JPM better, (and see their Sillon-like ideas), I will examine two prominent places in the movement; "Jesus People USA" (aka "JPUSA" pronounced "Jah-Phew-Sah") and "The Simple Way." 

According to their website, JPUSA is  "...a church family of nearly 200 people living together in intentional community, sharing a 10-story building in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago." Their tagline is "Living Together in Intentional Community and Serving the Poor." 

An "intentional community" has been defined as "a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, and religious values." Intentional communities are people, unrelated to each other (for the most part), and who have decided to live together as an extended family. While some are secular communities, about half are religious. JPUSA is overtly religious with people living there to have a modest lifestyle while helping the poor in the name of Christ.

JPUSA began in 1972 when self-styled non-denominational "Christian hippies" decided to pool their resources and buy a severely dilapidated building from the city of Chicago. They worked jobs and continued to live together with all money in common. A "Council of Elders" leads the group, and all members serve on a rotating basis, so as to share authority and prevent abuse by those in power. The members of the sect are a resourceful and industrious group. JPUSA started many businesses over the years including a magazine, and a Christian rock group called "Rez" (short for the "Resurrection Band") which has disbanded after being together 25 years. Rez put out records (which sold well and made money for the sect) from 1972 to circa 1997. 

They explain why they live together:
We have learned we can do much more by sharing our space, time, and finances...All of our members live in small apartments in a renovated 10 story building in the heart of Uptown, Chicago...The community comes together weekly at Community Gathering for a time of worship, prayer and encouragement as well as discussion of community life topics...In the midst of all of community life is the development of our relationship to God and one another. As we work out the particulars of our shared life together, God works out grace, mercy, and love in our intentions, attitudes, and words.(Ibid).

They explain their sharing of money from a common account:
One of the unique aspects of our lifestyle is that we do not get paid directly for our work...The money earned from our mission businesses goes into a common purse from which our communal needs are covered. This ranges from toiletries and food to mortgage payments and utilites... There are a variety of jobs within the community from cook, building engineer, receptionist, caseworker, forklift driver, barista, graphic designer, mechanic and many more...Money in the common purse covers our collective expenses- There is also money set aside for individuals to buy clothes, travel, or enjoy a night out...In this act of trust and faith, Jesus People is able to take the resources we have and together do so much more for God than we could ever do alone. (Ibid).

The group has one of the largest and best homeless shelters and food kitchens in Chicago called Cornerstone Community Outreach. They have serviced more poor people with greater efficiency than any government-run organization (no surprise there). In their own words: Pouring out our service to those in need is what gives us purpose and keeps us close to the heart of Jesus. Anyone wishing to visit JPUSA for a short time (usually a week or two) may do so, all expenses paid by the community, as you live as one of them. This is one of the many ways they proselytize, hoping the person who comes will decide to join and live there permanently. 

What, exactly, do they believe at JPUSA? In 1988, the group joined the "Evangelical Covenant Church," and they have six (6) Covenant Affirmations, to which all must subscribe. They are:

  • the centrality of the word of God (sola scriptura)
  •  the necessity of the new birth ("born again" salvation)
  •  a commitment to the whole mission of the church (paying attention to the poor)
  •  the church as a fellowship of believers (priesthood of all believers; no hierarchy)
  •  a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit (They believe because of God; "irresistible grace")
  •  the reality of freedom in Christ (in their words, "we offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of belief or practice where the biblical and historical record seems to allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposes of God. We in the Covenant Church seek to focus on what unites us as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us."). 
The last affirmation basically means the other five are not that important if you are willing to live by the rules of the community, espouse a belief in the Trinity and Christ as God Incarnate, and are willing to help the poor. (For official sect doctrine, See The group eschews the charge of being on a commune or being Communists; rather they claim to be living as "communalists" like the Apostles allegedly did. The group has had its share of troubles, including accusations of cult-behaviors and sexual abuse. Although sued by former members, none of the charges held up.

The Simple Way
 Shane Claiborne founded this intentional community as part of the "New Monasticism" among the JPM. The New Monasticism is of Modernist-Protestant origin, and is dedicated to ecumenism. Like JPUSA, they are exalt the Corporal Works of Mercy over the Spiritual Works of Mercy, and put an undue emphasis on this world. Unlike most of the JPM, they put more emphasis on the spiritual than the others. Claiborne is a graduate from Eastern University, a Protestant college in Pennsylvania, where he majored in sociology and has a minor in Protestant youth ministry. While a college student, his life changed when he was given the opportunity to work alongside Mother Teresa of Calcutta for ten weeks. If you think the "saint" tried to convert him, guess again. He left with the idea that Christianity is all about helping others and doctrine is secondary (at best). 

Claiborne says Mother Teresa convinced him of the need for a "seamless garment" or "consistent life ethic" which condemns all abortion (correctly), all euthanasia (correctly) as well as capital punishment (wrong) and all war, even when just (wrong). He came up with the idea of The Simple Way to promote the so-called New Monasticism. In his intentional community, Claiborne and his wife (Katie Jo, married 2011), reject materialism and emphasize living in loving and close community with Christians and non-Christians. There is to be a voluntary redistribution of wealth along the lines of what he considers Christianity, and all must make "environmentally conscious" consumer choices, all supposedly based on love for God and love for all humans. He is a prolific writer, and claims for his inspirations "St." Mother Teresa, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., C.S. Lewis, and St. Francis of Assisi. 

Claiborne writes well, and two of his books became highly influential in Protestant circles, The Irresistible Revolution (2006) [from which I derived much of my info on Claiborne], and Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals (2008), co-authored by Vatican II sect "theologian" Chris Haw. Haw (b. 1981) left the Vatican II sect to join the JPM and reverted back to the Vatican II sect circa 2012. He is a Modernists' Modernist (See and a professor of "theology"(!) at Scranton College. In Jesus for President, they endorse a radical agenda and want complete separation of Church and State. They compare a religion of the State as "mixing ice cream and doesn't do much for the manure, but it messes up the ice cream." I guess the approved pre-Vatican II theologians didn't understand the benefits of separation of Church and State using the profound "ice cream and manure" analogy of "theologian" Haw. 

The New Monasticism is based on "Twelve Marks" (See Schools for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism [2005]):

1. Relocation to the margins of society (living in socio-economically depressed areas)

2. Sharing economic resources with fellow community members and the poor (redistribution of wealth)

3. Hospitality to the stranger (let people live there to convert them)

4. Lament for racial divisions within the church and our communities combined with the active pursuit of a just reconciliation (see discrimination everywhere and apologize for the "white European devil")

5. Humble submission to Christ's body, the Church (yet they are their own authority and are autonomous)

6. Intentional formation in the way of Christ and the rule of the community along the lines of the old novitiate (no real monks and nuns ever lived like they do)

7. Nurturing common life among members of an intentional community (being good Socialists)

8. Support for celibate singles alongside monogamous married couples and their children (goodbye poverty, chastity, and obedience in real religious orders)

9. Geographical proximity to community members who share a common rule of life (stay close to other intentional communities)

10. Care for the plot of God's earth given to us along with support of our local economies (eco-theology; Bergoglio would approve!)

11. Peacemaking in the midst of violence and conflict resolution within communities along the lines of Matthew 18 (absolute pacifism like the Amish)
12. Commitment to a disciplined contemplative life (prayer before meals is mandatory and Sunday services)

(For further information See

JPM and New Monasticism Condemned
In reality, the JPM is little more than Socialism with Christian trappings. Such was the case with the Sillon. Here is a run down of the major errors of the JPM:

  • De facto abolition of private property. The JPM seeks communal ownership of land and most property which must not be considered "personal property." In so doing, they believe that society will improve. They want this arrangement for all people, not just for some--like religious orders of the One True Church. This is a serious error. Humans differ from beasts, not only by possessing a rational soul with an eternal destiny, but also that people have the right of ownership. The human ability to anticipate the future and meet its needs is an added reason for this right. As Pope Leo XIII taught in his encyclical Rerum Novarum: The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property. (See para. #15). 
  • Indifferentism in religious matters as long as certain lip service to Christ accompanies helping the poor and acts of charity. On August 25, 1910 (the feast of the great King St. Louis IX), Pope St. Pius X promulgated his condemnation of the Sillon, which he signed ten days earlier on the Feast of the Assumption, to teach the French what a true Christian nation should be. The saintly Pontiff decreed, Here we have, founded by Catholics, an inter-denominational association that is to work for the reform of civilization, an undertaking which is above all religious in character; for there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact. The new Sillonists cannot pretend that they are merely working on “the ground of practical realities” where differences of belief do not matter. ( See Notre Charge Apostolique ["Our Apostolic Mandate"]; Emphasis mine). Pope Pius XI also taught  These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith?...Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life. Besides this, in connection with things which must be believed, it is nowise licit to use that distinction which some have seen fit to introduce between those articles of faith which are fundamental and those which are not fundamental, as they say, as if the former are to be accepted by all, while the latter may be left to the free assent of the faithful: for the supernatural virtue of faith has a formal cause, namely the authority of God revealing, and this is patient of no such distinction. For this reason it is that all who are truly Christ's believe, for example, the Conception of the Mother of God without stain of original sin with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the August Trinity, and the Incarnation of our Lord just as they do the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, according to the sense in which it was defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. (See Mortalium Animos, para. #9; Emphasis mine).
  • The authority of the State does not come from God, but from the people. The Sillon places public authority primarily in the people, from whom it then flows into the government in such a manner, however, that it continues to reside in the people. But Leo XIII absolutely condemned this doctrine in his Encyclical “Diuturnum Illud” on political government in which he said:“Modern writers in great numbers, following in the footsteps of those who called themselves philosophers in the last century, declare that all power comes from the people; consequently those who exercise power in society do not exercise it from their own authority, but from an authority delegated to them by the people and on the condition that it can be revoked by the will of the people from whom they hold it. Quite contrary is the sentiment of Catholics who hold that the right of government derives from God as its natural and necessary principle.”(Notre Charge Apostolique, cited above).
  • Separation of Church and State. Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, CONDEMNED PROPOSITION #55: The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church. Pope St. Pius X, Vehementer Nos, para. #3, That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error...Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State.
Proselytizing the JPM
The attraction of the JPM is manifest. They have good intentions aimed at alleviating the sufferings of humanity. Referring to the pagan Romans’ view of the early Church, Tertullian wrote “It is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that lead many to put a brand upon us. See how they love one another, they say.” In today's world of instant communication, we are more alone than ever. I recently watched a family at a reopened restaurant when I was away on business. The father, mother, and two teenagers had their phones out during the entire meal, and hardly a word was spoken between them.

When I was an undergrad in the 1980s, I read an article on an alleged psychology experiment by NYU. I say "alleged" because I was never able to verify its authenticity--it may very well be apocryphal to make a point. It claimed that the psychology majors were instructed to respond to anyone who greeted them with "Hi, how are you?" (or similar verbiage) by replying, "I only have six months to live." The article I read stated that over 85% of the people who received that reply either (a) said nothing and kept going or (b) replied "Good, glad to hear it" or words to that effect. 

The JPM sect offers a place to live where people really care for one another and listen to each other. We would do well in our chapels and churches to emulate that, because all too often Traditionalists come across as cold and unwelcoming. More often than not, a member of the JPM will try and convert you by asking you to join in some act of Christian charity. Remember these points:

  • Jesus was not a Socialist because he "wanted to help the poor." Nor are you any less of a Socialist because you claim belief in Christ, or don't want a totalitarian government.  
  • When Jesus told the rich young man to sell all his possessions and give them to the poor, he was not making this a rule for all to follow. (See St. Mark 10:21-22). Jesus acknowledged that he was doing well with his life, but if he wanted perfection, he needed to rise above material things.
  • That Christ did not intend for all to give away their wealth and live in common is shown in St. Luke 19:8-10, But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Christ did not respond, "Half isn't good enough," but rather “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
  • Doctrines matter. Christ Himself said, "My Kingdom is not of this world,"(St. John 18:36), yet the JPM keeps the emphasis on this world. Where in the Bible does it say only six or so doctrines must be kept? Is this very designation not of arbitrary human origin? The JPM always likes to return to "early Christianity." Show them the many heresies that were battled and that keeping the the Faith whole and pure was of utmost importance; not just a few "basic" beliefs
The JPM is gaining converts due to the increasingly impersonal and uncaring world in which we live. They offer something better than mere paganism, but it is not the truth only found in Christ's One True Church. Father DePauw used to frequently remind us in his sermons how we must distinguish ourselves with charity. As our first pope taught, "But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8). 

Let us contemplate the words of Pope St. Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique:
We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker - the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants: 'omnia instaurare in Christo.' (i.e., "To restore all things in Christ"). 


  1. There're a lot of similitudes between this sect and the V2 sect. The phoney "Saint" Mother Teresa and Bergoglio would fit very well with them and wouldn't convert them to the true Faith because they don't have it. The V2 sect is the greatest hoax of all times.

    1. Simon,
      Yes, the Vatican II sect is counterfeit Catholicism!

      God Bless,


  2. Keep up the good work Intriobo.

    In my observance, many (not all) Traditional Catholics aren't interested in converting non Catholics or (Novus Ordos) these days. They are not even friendly to newcomers at chapels/churches. Why that is, I don't know quite exactly but it seems they don't feel like they should go out of their way because in their mind it's either a "waste of time," a lack of trust in people, or a lack of confidence in themselves to articulate their faith (sometimes I'm guilty of this for the exception of the last reason).

    It seems like people today try to go out of their way to avoid confrontation (sometimes for good reason). It's almost like they laugh and criticize Francis for saying proselytism is solemn nonsense but in action they live by his words.

    What do you make of this? Should we try at every chance we get (within reason) or should we be suspicious of people because of the times we live in and if the opportunity comes, make our attempts to try to convince people at that point?


    1. Lee,
      In my opinion we must keep the Great Commission going like never before. Pre-Vatican II we had missionaries to spread the Faith and we could (at the very least) help them monetarily. Now, what's left? We must know the Faith better than Catholics of the 1950s ever did. Any chance we have to introduce the Faith to someone must be utilized. If Jehovah's Witnesses can go door to door spreading lies, isn't this the LEAST we should do for the TRUTH?

      The whole raison d'etre of the "When Strangers Come Knocking" series is to equip Traditionalists to carry out the dictate of our first pope:
      " But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15)

      God Bless,


    2. Good points, but I must confess you make feel bad because right before lent a random phone call called my phone and as I answered a nice lady on the other line explained to me what church group she was with and invited me to join them in a festival to "celebrate the ransom of Our Lord Jesus Christ" at an event with live music and pop up tents while observing the CDC guidelines and after she was done speaking I asked her if she wanted to join me in becoming a traditional Catholic where we worship God in his true Church. She replied back politely by saying "No I am not interested in becoming a Traditional Catholic but thank you for asking" and I responded politely and said back "and I'm not interested in joining your festival where you will be falsely celebrating the ransom of Our Lord Jesus Christ in a heretical church." The call ended. I know that wasn't the best approach, but I wasn't in the mood that day.


    3. Lee,
      What you spoke to the woman was the truth; it just needed to be said in a different way. Don't get down on yourself; I'm a hothead "in recovery." We all must try as best we can to speak the truth with gentleness and respect.

      God Bless,


  3. Lee, the reluctance to convert others is not something unique to traditional Catholics. It is human nature not to stand out. I am sure in every other false religion, most of them are just as reluctant to proselytize. Yes there may be some exceptions. This reminds me of the criticism I always hear about traditionalist not being welcomed. Liberal NO parishes can be just as unwelcoming if you show up trying to behave traditional. Most of the time the visitor to a traditional parish is upset because no one greeted them at the door and the priest didn’t shake their hand after Mass. For them the whole Sunday experience should be focused on them. When it is not, they call it “unwelcoming.”

    1. Tom,
      What you say is valid, but we must do better. See my response to Lee above. Also, I attended the Ave Maria Chapel exclusively for 24 years, and when I said hello to some of the people who where there as long (or longer) than me, they wouldn't even return the greeting!

      God Bless,


    2. Introibo, Ave Maria is in the New York City area. They are not known for their outward friendliness. I was very welcomed at my local independent chapel after leaving the indult and sspx.

    3. Tom,
      That's good to hear. It's a truism that NYC metro area is not friendly. That's all the more reason Traditionalists should strive to be like those at your chapel.

      God Bless,


  4. Tom A.

    Good points but my point is that we have to better through our actions (and our words) otherwise you can turn that argument around and say that we shouldn't experience Sunday and be focused on ourselves, which is how some view it.


  5. I would very much like to ask you to pray for my dad (he is 46) who has fallen into alcoholism.


    1. Due to my dad's alcoholism, my family is falling apart. My mother is distraught. I have two younger brothers (one is 15 years old and the other is 8 months old).

    2. Pawel,
      I sympathize with you regarding your father's situation. I will include him in my prayers.
      God Bless,

    3. Pawel,
      That is a tough situation my friend. Please be assured of my prayers and I ask all my readers to pray for your father and strength for your family. Perhaps it would be best if your mom separated and all children went with her, unless/until your father gets himself help and gets sober.

      God Bless,


    4. I'm keeping you in my prayers, Paweł!

      I've learnt that St. Matthias, the Apostle (św. Maciej) is invoked in cases of intemperance since he preached very ardently the mortification of the flesh and the neeed for curbing one's passions.

      St. Joseph is also a great intercessor in all family trouble.
      Apart from the beautiful and powerful Memorare to Our Lady by St. Bernard, there's also the Memorare to St. Joseph, this one is taken from a 1959 Hand Missal (in Polish):

      "Pomnij, o najczystszy Oblubieńcze Maryi, mój najmilszy opiekunie, Józefie święty, że nigdy nie słyszano, aby ktokolwiek wzywający twej opieki i twej pomocy błagający bez pociechy pozostał. Tą ufnością ożywiony przychodzę do ciebie i z całą ducha gorliwością tobie się polecam. Nie odrzucaj modlitwy mojej, przybrany ojcze Odkupiciela, ale racz ją przyjąć łaskawie i wysłuchać. Amen."
      (500 dni odpustu)

      God Bless,
      Joanna S.

    5. Joanna,
      Thank you for the prayer in Polish; it will be of help to Pawel and my other Polish readers!

      God Bless,


    6. Jannie, Introibo and Joanna S. and everyone else,
      I sincerely thank you for your prayers and trust that God through the intercession of Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. Matthias will help my dad to recover from his addiction. I will recite a prayer from the 1959 Missal.

      God Bless,

  6. What's your stance on mother's day, invented by a methodist?

    1. @anon2:29
      Just because something is made by a non-Traditionalist Catholic, doesn't thereby necessarily make that object non-Catholic. For example, if a Protestant medical research doctor discovered a superior blood pressure medication, it doesn't make the medicine "Protestant Blood Pressure Medicine." Likewise, to celebrate mothers is something good and not inherently "Protestant" because the person who came up with the idea is Protestant.

      God bless,