Anti-Organized Religion or at least suspicious


#1

I don’t really know what category this fits under,apologetics, family life, etc…

However, I have a relative who is suspicious of organized religion and recently wrote me this in an email:

***Now there, young niece…

I do NOT hate the Catholic Church…I am suspicious of ALL organized religion…but that does not translate into hate.  I recognize and accept that for most people, they need the structure of a church environment.  I am totally non-judgmental as far as another person's beliefs.  Where I draw the line is when someone tries to pull me in that direction. ***

What do I do with that? Its so frustrating and hurtful, but then I think of Colossians 4: 5-6 and I have to answer him as lovingly as I can but also I feel defend my faith. I’m not the intellectual snob type, but really need assistance and want to do more than just pray. And I don’t mean that prayer is in anway bad, wrong, or less important, but I feel action needs to be taken with his statement. I can’t just let it lie there! Please guys I need your help!
God Bless and thanks for your thoughts! :shrug:


#2

Welcome to the Forums! It can be tough to deal with issues like this one when people you know and love are wrong about some important things.

I would ask why he is suspicious of all organized religion. (There may be a more emotional, personal reason that he won’t tell you, but listen to what his argument is).

I would also try to emphasize that there are objective truths and that we don’t get to choose what is true and what isn’t. He’s really missing the point if he thinks some people “may need the structure of a church environment.” The point isn’t whether a church environment helps me live my life, makes me comfortable, etc. the point is whether what the Church holds is true or not.

Many people, when confronted with the Gospel, will fight it or try to ignore it (which is really a denial) for different reasons. A common reason is this: If God is real, if Christianity is true, I have to change my life. It’s easy to be afraid to take the claims of the Church seriously. After all, you might end up a member, and that means that your life has to change.

I would expect that your uncle has less than rational reasons for disdaining “organized religion.” It could be a trauma from the past, or fear of change, etc.

Good luck!


#3

Schools are organized. People don’t just wander around trying to figure out natural and historical truths for themselves believing whatever they want or make up despite the actual truth and its evidence. Same with the truth about God. Jesus gave Peter and the Apostles the mandate to teach all nations about Him and that’s what their successors do today :slight_smile:


#4

Ask him why he recognizes that some people “need” the structure of a Church environment and why he is so above that. You can also point out that if God was truly loving, it would only make sense that He would give us some “organization” like a Church that could tell us about Him and perhaps instruct us on how to live closely to Him. A God that just expects people to intuit Him without any work going into His creations or coming from them into the relationship is more like a deadbeat dad than a divine entity. Does His version of God watch tv all the time and tell Him to go outside and play?


#5

Hi

I would first ask him, if he’s willing to discuss it with you honestly, if he believes in God. It sounds as though he does, which makes things a lot simpler. If he doesn’t, then you have a deeper problem, but I usually point to the order of the universe - it’s immensity and beauty. The world around us screams there is a creator. Most people do know, as God Himself said in scripture - it is written in mens hearts there is a God - they just deny…which is altogether different - usually there is a reason behind that.

If he does, then ask if he thinks God cares about us here, or if he just created us and then wandered away.

If he thinks the former - which is rational, who makes something to then just ignore it - ask him then if God is interested in us, do you think then he would want us to know he is there and that he cares. If he thinks God just wandered away - ask him then why did God create us in the first place if He is just going to leave us orphans with no purpose to life, and no hope for the future? Pretty bleak outlook on life. Would an all-powerful being capable of creating everything we see - and don’t see - really just walk away from it all to contemplate a spot on the wall? Not care about His creation at all, especially His crowning achievement: Man in His image?

If God then wants us to know Him, and care for Him in return - as He would have to have a reason to create us - how does He think that is accomplished?

From there it’s an easy step to get to religion, and organized religion in particular, as there is order to everything in the universe - there then must be order to religion as well. God is obviously NOT a God of chaos. Therefore there must be something given to men here on earth given by God that we might know Him, and Love Him in return. That something is Scripture.

Now you can get into the Scriptures with him, and lead him down the road to Peter and the Church.

Hope that helps you
That is what works pretty well for me, in fact those are the same steps I took to get into the Church…along with many hours here at CAF :stuck_out_tongue:

God Bless
Peace

John


#6

It sounds like a perfectly reasonable request that you not try to proselytize your relative. Unless that relative is pushing you over religion (not likely from the last two sentences) or is slandering your faith (possible) then it’s only polite not to discuss it.

If the issue is attacking your faith, that’s not an excuse to try to bring someone in – correction is not the same thing as evangelization, and your relative has expressly and courteously requested the latter not happen.


#7

I think Mirdath is correct, although we are both basing our thoughts on the first message in this thread, and there may be important information we haven’t read.

St. Francis, allegedly, said: “Preach the Gospel at all times - if necessary, use words.” Your uncle doesn’t sound open to discussion, so it may be best to show by example.


closed #8

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