Apologists can defend anything...EXCEPT APOLOGETICS!


#1

As far as my blind eyes can see, I’m wasting my time here. Day after day I venture through these forums trying to figure how a plethora of church teachings make logical sense – from those on sexuality to those on weekly mass attendance, yet after reading and sorting through answers to life’s questions, at most, I end up seeing how church teachings make THEOlogical sense.

Sadly though, the second you remove our friend “Theo” from his lofty prefix position, it takes an inordinate amount of time to make sense of say…the Church’s stance on masturbation…to the secular world. From the Church’s understanding of the issue, 94% of the world is sinning while only 1% of the world knows about it! 94%!!! 94% IS A MAJOR STINKIN’ CRISIS!!! But from a secular, non-theological standpoint, life goes on…

The Church (like any charitable, loving organization) does not want people to be bound for hell (or “eternal separation”…whatever), and in due course, the Church holds that people in error may still be saved if they are blinded by so-called “invincible ignorance”. But who is supremely ignorant? In my case, I’m hoping all the non-Catholics on this board are!

Ultimately, under “invincible ignorance”, just about every nonCath in the world would fall under this category, because in the end, only disinformation or shear ignorance would keep ANYBODY from being a member of the truest religion and therefore the surest ticket to paradise.

However…

“Invincibly ignorant” people live just as good, honest lives as the few Catholics in the world “who know the truth”. SO WHAT IS THE POINT OF APOLOGETICS? What does it matter who holds what truth then? Certainly going to hell is worse than having your clothes set on fire, yet when “believers” on these forums chat with “nonbelievers” on the “lower forums”, they don’t exactly act as if a fire has to be put out.

So again: what is the point of apologetics?


#2

As the old (maybe apocryphal) story goes:

A missionary went to the Eskimos to teach them about God, salvation, etc. He went to great length about talking about heaven and hell, and how horrible the torture and agony in hell would be.

A listener asked him: “But what about those who never heard of Christainity, who never heard the message?”

The missionary answered: “God would never punish those who were ignorant of him.”

The listener asked: “So why did you tell me?”


#3

And furthermore we think, why would God create souls only to eventually damn them? (A: If God creates no souls, neither will there be souls in Heaven)

Why evangelism/apologetics?

  1. Christ commanded it
  2. Christianity, though ultimately concerned with the next life, is also concerned with this life, too, and Christianity brings people a fuller life, both here and here-after.
  3. An invincibly ignorant non-Christian will undoubtedly have a lower place in Heaven than a Christian who has striven for sanctity. Thus only if we evangelise and convert will these people have a greater afterlife.

#4

LOL


#5

You should have written my post for me!

:rotfl:


#6

Because man is accountable for the laws written on his heart and so even in ignorance of Christ may be damned.

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But **no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. **The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

Further, perseverence is not guaranteed for even the Christian. Why should it be fore the unChristian?

The question implies that the ignorant of Christ are saved. That is a big assumption and is just as presumptuous as declaring them damned. It is a judgement we cannot make.


#7

“Fuller life” sounds an awful lot like a “feeling”. Have you ever gone whitewater rafting? Now that’s a feeling!

As to the high/low game with heaven: The last time I checked, Dante didn’t write the Bible.


#8

, I end up seeing how church teachings make THEOlogical sense. Hi Lawrence,

I’m not sure that I see your problem. Why would we be distressed that God is part of the equation in our logical thinking? I have always seen that God, being perfect is perfectly logical.

Sadly though, the second you remove our friend “Theo” from his lofty prefix position, it takes an inordinate amount of time to make sense of say…the Church’s stance on masturbation…to the secular world. From the Church’s understanding of the issue, 94% of the world is sinning while only 1% of the world knows about it! 94%!!! 94% IS A MAJOR STINKIN’ CRISIS!!! But from a secular, non

-theological standpoint, life goes on… A major crisis? I’d agree except for one very important thing that you seem to have forgotten my young friend." [size=][FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]13 Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-24) So, my point is that just because a majority of people may decide to send themselves to hell, is no reason to abandon the narrow path ourselves. Besides, what hope have they if we do that?

An inordinate amount of time? Did you have something else more important to do with your life? Think about that, ok?

The Church (like any charitable, loving organization) does not want people to be bound for hell (or “eternal separation”…whatever), and in due course, the Church holds that people in error may still be saved if they are blinded by so-called “invincible ignorance”. But who is supremely ignorant? In my case, I’m hoping all the non-Catholics on this board are!

You concern yourself with things that are not our human venue. We are commanded to share the Gospel and to correct error. (1st Peter 3:14-15, Matthew 28:19)

Invincible ignorance does not apply to the vast majority of people that we encounter here at CAF. Even so, the grace and influence of the Holy Spirit is God’s business and a matter for our constant intercessory prayer. Ever read the story of the Sower and the soils? (Matthew 13:1-23 and Luke 8:4-16)

Ultimately, under “invincible ignorance”, just about every nonCath in the world would fall under this category, because in the end, only disinformation or shear ignorance would keep ANYBODY

from being a member of the truest religion and therefore the surest ticket to paradise.Not so…but that doesn’t stop us from needing to share our most holy faith and to explain and defend the truth. I’ve already pointed out that your thinking with regard to invincible ignorance is flawed.

However…

“Invincibly ignorant” people live just as good, honest lives as the few Catholics in the world “who know the truth”.

Do they? Reconsider…do you know for a fact that this is the case? I certainly do not. Neither does any man. 1st Samuel Chapter 16:6 When they came, he looked on Eli’ab and thought, "Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him."7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

SO WHAT IS THE POINT OF APOLOGETICS? ** What does it matter who holds what truth then?**

Certainly going to hell is worse than having your clothes set on fire, yet when “believers” on these forums chat with “nonbelievers” on the “lower forums”, they don’t exactly act as if a fire has to be put out.

So again: what is the point of apologetics?Answer this question Lawrence. Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

If not, then none of this matters…but if there is, then it matters a very great deal…[/FONT][/size]


#9

I think we can agree that the maniac with the machine gun who drinks the blood of his still-alive victims is in the wrong, but I’m not talking about that guy (who could be either Catholic or Atheist for all we know).

Our natural moral inclinations obviously tell us that killing is wrong, and maybe even that we should love one another. HOWEVER, it is NOT written on our hearts whether Peter is “The Rock” or Jesus went to America. This stuff is involved in the eternal nit-pricking that is Apologetics.

What I’m saying is this: If the Catholic Church truly is the surest ticket to heaven and brings a fuller life to all within it, then anyone who isn’t a Catholic WOULD HAVE TO BE “unintentionally ignorant.”…(and since everyone is shielded by ignorance, there’s no point in Apologetics [please see the Eskimo joke above])

It’s like this: if a car dealer was offering a dozen top-of-the-line Ferraris for fifty-cents, the only people who wouldn’t show up for this steal **would have to be ignorant of the fact that FerarriMart really is being truthful.

By the way…Send me fifty dollars and I’ll give you a hundred Ferraris! :smiley:


#10

I forgot: and isn’t eternal life with our Father in paradise better than a dozen Ferraris for half a dollar?

If only the vast majority of the world *knew *of this deal.


#11

“unintentionally ignorant.”…(and since everyone is shielded by ignorance, there’s no point in Apologetics [please see the Eskimo joke above])You’re thinking is flawed there Lawrence.

Most of those who attempt to make the case for their own “invincible ignorance” do not qualify at all. You do not understand what that means and have apparently been messed up by your interactions with some n-Cs. Maybe you should stick around this forum more and learn more before trying to play at apologetics. I’m not dissing your commitment my friend, but I am saying that you are not as well prepared as you seem to think you are or else you wouldn’t be entertaining this argument.

If you are struggling, then you have a responsibility to [FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]“Carefully study to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2nd Timothy 2:15) and grow stable and strong yourself before attempting to deal with those who oppose our most holy faith. I personally, never set out to get into apologetics. I set out to discover the truth and along the way have found myself involved in supplying answers to other’s questions and challenges. Apologetics, to me, is just an outgrowth of my faithful Christian life. :shrug: [/FONT]


#12

[/FONT]Answer this question Lawrence. Is there such a thing as absolute truth?

If not, then none of this matters…but if there is, then it matters a very great deal…[/FONT]

If there is, I guess I haven’t seen the bill-board for it yet. :rolleyes:

(and I’d be bold enough to say that I’ve done more searching for that bill-board than the majority of the people in the world…but then again, my life is comfortable enough that I can actually spend an hour or two on CAF a day…how many other people in the world can do that :()


#13

People who are invincibly ignorant will still go to hell for the same reasons Catholics will go to hell, namely, they die in a state of mortal sin. This can happen to anyone. The question that needs to be asked is, “What is the best way to accure this does not happen?” I know that I have a hard enough struggle with my sin even with the help of God’s grace. Those who are invicibly ignorant do not receive the abundance of help from the grace of God that those do who are nourished on the Bread of Life. If the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians is meaningless, then what does that say about Him?

I do not buy that non-Christians just waltz into heaven out of ignorance. I know to many to buy it. Most live for themselves only, or at least first and foremost. I, too, would live for myself if not for the grace of God. I may have hope for them, and even know some I might see in heaven, but I know too well the pull of sin to hold out much hope for the majority.


#14

#15

The missionary left out a rather important fact: nobody is ever ignorant of God.


#16

Invincible ignorance is bliss.

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:


#17

If the Church didn’t call Mr. Smith and tell him that murder is a mortal sin, he’d still probably get the idea. But, if the Church didn’t call up Mr. Smith and tell him Gay-Sex was a mortal sin, and he was gay, I think he’d have NO CLUE…


#18

God who?


#19

God has a last name?


#20

Excuse me then. I should have posted this paragraph in the CCC.

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice.** Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin. **

The same is true for doctrine. We of course cannot judge feigned ignorance. As for the Moselm, we must work toward his becoming Christian not assuming that he is or isn’t ignorant of his state in life. One can speak the same and look the same who is not in ignorance as one who is. God knows the heart and the grace and understanding and knowledge he has given out to each. Not us.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.