Catholic at a Christian University

Hey all,

I recently transferred to a Christian univeristy for various reasons. In the three months that I’ve been here, I’ve encountered a lot of prejudice when people find out that I’m Catholic. It’s a Free Methodist school, but the majority of the Christians there refuse to call themselves a member of any particular denomination. I really don’t know how to deal with this. While I’ve had Christian friends many times before, I’ve never encountered such rabid “You’re so deluded, it’s not even funny!”

I try to answer questions about the faith as they come up, and try to defend what I believe to a certain extent, but my theological knowledge apparently isn’t as in depth as I thought it was when they all start throwing Bible verses at me. So how do you think I should try to handle this? Is keeping my head down really the only option I have? I’ve been praying about this a great deal, and I feel in my heart that this is the right school for me, but it’s very difficult.

And if I get one more person asking me how I can live with myself when I “drink unborn baby’s blood every Sunday” I will scream…

Welcome and God bless you in your persecution!

I’m sure there are many ways to handle these situations but I can only recommend handling them slowly and one issue at a time. You will find much support and help here at CAF for any issue you come across.

Don’t think I’ve ever heard the “drink unborn baby’s blood” before but this should be proof positive they are simply misinformed.

Peace!!!

Your best bet is to go online and search for the passages they bring up, there’s solid answers to every question.

Most people will dislike the CC based on misconceptions and not on actual facts about the CC.

Ruth -

Why do you believe that this is the right shool for you? What year are you??

PnP

If that’s really the predominating mindset of the school it can’t possibly have a proper spirit of intellectual investigation and ethic of learning.

What’s the appeal of learning amongst ignoramuses?

I’m a junior at the moment. The more that I’ve prayed about it, the more that I feel God is telling me to stay put, that I have something to learn here that I wouldn’t learn at another school. True, it proves good for my faith because I am challenged and it forces me to go back and study my catechism more thoroughly than I have in a while, but… I don’t know.

When I was looking to transfer last spring, there were two schools that I considered. The school I am currently enrolled at, and a Catholic university in Minnesota. I prayed a lot about the decision, and I asked God for a sign as to where He wanted me to be. The two schools were about the same as far as tuition, and had originally promised me about the same amount in financial aid. But then, the Christian college inexplicitly offered me $20,000 more than the other. The difference in money was overwhelming. After more prayer, I just felt like that was the sign I was looking for.

In that case, it sounds like you’ve been sent there both to teach the students a thing or two about Catholicism, and to learn more about the Scriptural basis of Catholicism. I think it’ll be really hard work, and at times downright unpleasant, but if you’re serious about staying then you’re going to have a tough but rewarding time with your nose in a Bible and on your knees at Mass!

Those are really uncharitable things to say, I would tell them they are baring false witness against Catholics and that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is our complete theology written in every language and accessible to any one, and they should read it before they continue to break any more commandments.

Hi, Welcome to CAF I think you will enjoy the enormous knowledge and willingness to help by many of the members on this site. Ive gotten better answers at this forum than Ive recieved from my RCIA sponsor more than once, So welcome!

I think its a shame how mean and insensitive some of the other Christians can be when facing a person who are Catholic. They Call themselfs Christians, but they certantly do not behave like Christians. I have some experience myself as Im from a Lutheran/ Pentacostal Family myself and even though my nearest Family Accepts and encourage me being a Catholic my grandparents(Pentacostals) dont like it at all.
They claim that we worship the Pope and ofcourse Mother Mary.
The Purgatory is a horrible unbiblical teaching, disproval of the Saints and so on.

Ive been correcting them more than once, and everytime they shut up about it. Then the Next time I visit its all the same all over again.
Now I just try to change the subject every time it comes up.
I do not want to throw Pearls to pigs anymore, becouse they have made up their mind and wouldnt change it if it so happened that they got a visit from Our Blessed Mother herself.

Sorry for my rant. My point is that these People have most certantly made up their mind about the Church long before they even luanch their attack on you.
If they where actually and sincerly interested they wouldnt approach you With accusations, but with kind questions.

Change the subject is my advise to you as you will be outnumbered the entire School to one everytime they start to argue With you.

Post in the prayer intention section aswell and I will remember to pray for you as often as I can.

God Bless!

I’d just say something like, “Jesus loves all of us, not just your brand of Christian.”

Don’t argue with them unless you have the time and energy to put into it. These people are trained to pull out bible verses and throw them in your face and make you feel shame because you don’t agree with their interpretation of the Bible.

Of course, defend being Catholic, but be selective about your battles.

And the whole communion quip you shared, honestly, I’ve never heard anything so closed-minded ever - and I grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist church. How do you respond to something so stupid?

Smile and say “I’ll be praying for you.” Again, win them over with kindness.

Wow. Just wow… Unborn baby’s blood? I don’t even get that.

I live in the deep South, and I am constantly bombarded by a lot of people who have a lot of misconceptions about the Catholic Church as well. First things first, go get a copy of a book called, “What Catholics Really Believe” by Karl Keating. Study it, memorize it and be prepared to use it.

Second, answer their questions with questions. Someone accuses you of worshiping Mary…ask them, “What makes you think that?” Listen to their answers. If they are friendly discriminators, laugh at them in a nice way. Say something like, “Wow. That’s not true, but let me tell you what we actually do and why.”

Educate yourself on history. No joke. Every single one of their denominations is a break off of the Catholic Church. Most of them have only been around for a few hundred years. Remind them of that. Nicely. I have a degree in history. It’s come in handy a few times. :thumbsup:

If all else fails, agree to disagree. Maybe you will say something to ONE person who 10 years from now will convert and you will never know it. But God will. Maybe that’s why He sent you. :shrug:

Tell us how you really feel!!! :wink:

I agree completely.

hello-- my experience is similar 2 yours-- when the Holy Spirit spoke to me to go to a christian bible school-- i refused – for more than 3 years-- and the H.S. told me that all heavens blessing would not come my way-- that there would be a brass ceiling over me–

well at the end of 3 years-- i lived that prophecy-- so said – where do you want me to go-- and hespoke – and my Roman catholic family-- persecuted me – and made my life difficult-

but when i got baptised in the Holy spirit – and the anointing would fall upon those around me when i spoke on the scriptures-- they eased off–

and my mother who was educated at a catholic college and went to the weekly bible studies at the catholic school-- for more that 11 years

discovered that i knew the scriptures better than she ever did – in 6 months of christian bible school –

it can be a tough road to bear the “cross” and do the will of God for you time-- so don’t expect other catholics to understand - they have a hard time discerning the difference between mortal and venial sin-

and if you are praying in tongues - with interpretation-- and prophecy, then you are leaving them behind in the dust-- for the holy Spirit of Christ is the spirit of prophecy…

Good luck in finding a “mentor”

Sorry you are going through this but it’s great opportunity to share your faith. Don’t be afraid to say I do not know but will get back to you. Then look into picking up these series of books…

shop.catholic.com/tag/product/list/tagId/53/

Go with #s 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8

The Catechism is excellent of course but you may be able to find answers a little quicker and easier. Also check out the old Baltimore Catechism here…

cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/baltimore/bindex.htm

baltimore-catechism.com/

Then you can go to the current Catechism for expanded discussion.

God Bless!

One more person? If even one person asked me that I probably would scream…with laughter! How in the world could anyone answer something so rediculous? That’s a bold faced lie and they know it! People who say stuff like that don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

Free Methodist?

Roberts Wesleyan? Spring Arbor? Not SPU surely?

They really think that you drink baby’s blood in Communion? Please tell me you’re joking on this one:mad:

I know there are Protestants who think this. The Catholic philosopher Bonnie Kent told me that she once spoke in South Dakota and a lady said to her, “I was taught that you guys ate babies, but [virtuously] I ever believed it.” To which Prof. Kent responded mischievously, “Well, we used to do that, but we stopped after Vatican II.”

Not a helpful response maybe, but what can you say when people are that crazy?

OK, as far as what you should do, a few suggestions:

  1. You are a Christian. The question is whether they are. (The answer would be yes, by the way:p) They may talk about “Christians vs. Catholics,” but don’t be fooled by that.

  2. I suggest that you seek out the campus ministry and/or the dean of students–the folks responsible for the emotional and spiritual welfare of students. Free Methodists are not as fundamentalist as all that. As you say, most of your colleagues are non-denominational Protestants and obviously extremely clueless. If you talk to folks in authority at the college about the ignorance and prejudice you are facing, I can almost guarantee that they will be deeply concerned and will do their best to help you.

If you are at Spring Arbor or Seattle Pacific, I can give you specific names of professors you can talk to who I guarantee will be friendly and sympathetic. My wife may know folks at Roberts Wesleyan too–I applied for a job there a while ago, but can’t think of names off the top of my head. But generally I’d expect campus ministry folks or Bible/theology professors to be helpful at a Free Methodist school.

In other words, you’ve had some bad experiences with hostile Protestants, but don’t assume that they are all like that. Chances are that even among your fellow students the obnoxious ones are a minority, but they’re the voices you’re hearing. And from what I know of the Free Methodists (admittedly I may know the more moderate, ecumenical folks) the faculty and staff are almost certain to be helpful if you voice your concerns to them.

When you do get into theological debate, remember that good theology isn’t based on individual Bible verses. It’s based on the whole of Scripture and Tradition.

Perhaps you could post some of the specific issues in separate threads–there are lots of folks here who would be happy to help you with them, I’m sure.

Edwin

Try reading some of the GREAT books listed here: shop.catholic.com/skin/frontend/catholic-answers_pkg/ca_theme/files/ca-catalog-winter-2013.pdf

Many Catholic Bible studies are different from the Protestant ones. You should not look down on your Mother’s knowledge or look down on the Church because you learned more bible verses in 6 months.

I attend a Catholic Bible study at my Parish with the Pastor. We meet every two weeks. We read 1 to 2 Chapters a session. For example, this past week we read Acts 14:21 - Acts 14:28 & Acts 15:1 - Acts 15:29. We read 5 verses and discuss the Church History, Roman History, translations, etc regarding those verses; then read the next 5. Needless to say takes a very long time before we get through the whole Bible once.

However, there are other Catholic Bible studies (group or self-stufy) which are much faster paced (like traditional Protestant ones), however, I like the slower paced ones where I have the opportunity to get to know the Pastor and the others who attend.

As I’m sure you found out, there is more to the verse than just what they are quoting. You need to read at least 1-2 verses before and after. If time permits, open THEIR bible to the verse. (Always great when you can turn it on them-they can’t claim you have a different translation) and figure out what exactly their complaint objection is.

And, if you haven’t yet, get some good apologetic books Hahn, Madrid, Staples, etc

This can be fun and who knows, you might just plant the seed of faith.

John

I really appreciate the support, everyone. Being constantly surrounded by this kind of Christians can be hard, but I will definitely look into the resources you guys suggested. And keep you posted.

My personal favorites are the ones who try to pet your hair as they say “Oh, you’re Catholic. Aww, that’s sweet.” :smiley:

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