Not sure I am the person to do this but I need to take you to task on a few comments I have seen on this board regarding discussions with Protestants, scriptural discussions, and the fruit that they bare. I have seen it said many times on this board since I started “I haven’t had much success discussing scripture” or “your friend doesn’t sound to open to Catholicism” or things of that nature. Let us refrain from judgements, just speak the truth and let the spirit do his work. Paul says “I planted, Apollos watered, but the Lord made it grow”. Some of our seed will fall on rocky or thorny ground and bear no fruit. But some will bear fruit thirty, sixty, or one hundred fold. We cannot judge.
My father had this field that had never had clover on it when he owned it. One year the whole thing came up in clover. The neighbors said it had been 20 years since there had been clover planted there and it just took that long for the conditions to be right and the seed to germinate.
Further of course they won’t seem “open” at first. They have been incredibly biased against it. But I have seen many successes where someone who seemed biased some months or years later has started to see the light. It’s a long road and God is patient. When we first approach those who have been blinded by error it may take some time for them to see the trees in a blur. But eventually by the grace of God through the Holy Spirit we can help them see the trees clearly. We have to undo the education that they have recieved. This is very difficult. JP II said it is better for someone not to be taught anything about Christianity than to be taught error from the aspect of conversion.
We feel like we need to reel these people in. It is a thing of pride to feel we need to convert these people and if they don’t submit immideately to our outstanding exegesis (which may well be quite obvious from our perspective, then they have not learned from us and are lost. Your just planting seeds and the effects may not be seen until long after you have had contact with this person. One guy I debated quite a bit on a board called baptistboard. He was one of those that was fair but unmoved it seemed. Well I ran in to him about a year ago on another board (I got booted off baptistboard for preaching catholicism.). He was then in RCIS and thanked me for sticking to my guns regarding Catholicis. Another guy was on a Catholic board debating with this friend of mine. I took some of it offline and did it through emails. He seemed to stick to his anti-catholic rhethoric. Eventually we stopped emailing. Well 6 months later (a couple of weeks ago) he contacted me and asked if he could ask me questions. Said he was searching for more and he was reading Keatings Catholicism and Fundamentalism.I have a pole on this board and on another about whether people have converted based on message boards. So far it is 15:1 in favor of protestants converting to Catholicism being influenced significantly by message boards. Hang in there and hang with the truth. You are having an effect. Detachment is key to where God is their savior and not us and we are just instruments. We trust that if we planted a seed that it will eventualy grow and leave the rest to him. First and foremost PRAY!
Just wanted to air it out. By the way consider this a reflection on past mistakes rather than a reprimand based on superiority.