Catholics! Shame on you!

It is to be expected that there are bad eggs with in any religion and even Christianity. Too often I see Christians slamming one another.

Here, I am singling out Catholics (because I am one):

We need to be more charitable in evangelizing. We need to remember that Christ said people would know we are His disciples by our love. This is not to say that we should not stand firm in the truth which we hold to be…well…true. But we need to stop relying so much on ourselves to intellectually convince someone of Catholic truth and to rely on God as the one who, ultimately, will convert their heart.

I bring this up because (and I am guilty myself) too often we become religious bigots and/or insensitive. We need to respect more other’s perspectives and pray MORE for them. Pray as we reply, as we read, etc. (You know…unceasingly!)

In my head I had a better way of articulating all this, but as a case in point (unfortunately) this negative attitude will continue by some and we need to begin with ourselves (through prayer) to not be this way and to let the Love of Christ work through us when evangelizing and teaching the truth of the Catholic Church.

Please pray the prayer I posted:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=257673

Thank you!

Ditto

That is a good prayer - one worthy of posting here too:

Most Holy Trinity, may the Love that binds You be sent into our hearts. Please gift all Christians with more Charity as to not become arrogant towards one another. May we be loving examples of Jesus Christ and make the faith appealing because of this love and not by intellectual arguments. When preaching the Gospel, help us to rely on You through prayer as the One who will change the heart of an individual and not to rely on our systematic approach to teaching the truth. May we be confident enough in the Truth you left in Your Church, but to never let it make us feel superior to others nor to berate them. May we not be afraid to speak of this Truth, but help us to respect that everyone is on a unique path in their faith journey and please help us to know that we only turn people away if we do not preach according to Your Lov

Relying on “intellect” to “defeat” your “opponent” has never worked well; it only creates winners and losers. With Christ, NO ONE loses.

We need to be more charitable in evangelizing.

Catholics evangelize? What I mostly see is Catholics trying to become like other religions to promote ecumenism and a further “understanding” of each other.

We need to respect more other’s perspectives and pray MORE for them.

Respect their point of view even if it is false? That would put their soul at risk. Would you respect a heroin addicts point of view by letting/enabling him continue to destroy his life? Yes we must pray for others but we must present the Truth and be steadfast in our convictions. Tolerance when applied to evil is a crime.

thedavidwilson:

I think you missed my point, mainly because (like I said) I did not articulate properly.

We should hold fast to our convictions about the Church, but my point is we should not berate people because their beliefs are different. I do not mean respect in that we should think it is alright for them to have untrue beliefs, but we should not bash them because of their beliefs.

Too often conversations on these threads turn into arguments rather than debates/discussions (and people get “huffy puffy”). And it turns into people trying to rely on themselves (instead of God) to convince people of their personal convictions.

Pull out of intellectual debates…and pray more for the lost souls?

Ok. Go for it.

Good post:thumbsup: join to pray

:amen:

Easily said than done, but when you talk with anti-Catholics, atheists who bash my beloved Catholic church, all non-Catholics who are constantly saying something bad about my Catholic faith, I will do what I do best and that is to defend it.
St. Peter said “Be prepared to defend for the hope that is in you”.
You can still pray for these people but if Catholics keep sitting around and do nothing, they will keep doing it to us. There are priests being killed in Turkey, Africa etc…all for the faith.
Catholics must speak up and defend themselves and stop walking on eggshells. You can still love your enemies, but you must defend the church at the same time.

Perhaps you should change the title of the thread to “Shame on US” ? :wink:

That said, I agree. It’s one thing to vigorously debate (after all, we have nothing to fear!), but to use Chick-esque tactics and misrepresent our opponents’ beliefs is beneath us.

As a non-Christian, the FIRST thing I look for/notice in a Christian trying to proselytize me, is their demeanor. How they act and behave.

If they exude arrogance, high-mindedness, lack of charity and humility, then I know better than to listen to their verbal message. Because I know that a central feature of a genuine believing Christian is love, along the lines of 1 Cor. 13 (some Christians really need to read it sometime.)

In short, if their lifestyle and manner of conduct does not fit 1 Cor 13, I tune out immediately.

And as St Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach often. If necessary, use words.” :slight_smile:

Well, as my Daddy used to say, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Defending the faith is one thing. Gently guiding people towards the Truth that is the Catholic Church is one thing. Starting out by bashing the faith of another is quite another thing altogether.

What’s more, we Catholics ought know better. How many times have we had to deal with people that are less concerned with telling us about THEIR faith and more concerned with insulting OURS? It surely doesn’t work for us - what makes us think it will work for anyone else?

As Legionnaire (Legio Mariae), I have a particular interest in the conversion and retention of peoples into the Catholic Faith. This is in combination with my Baptismal Promise to help bring people to the Truth. I also know that we should also improve our relations with other Christian Faiths…at the very least, with faiths that acknowledge the truth of the Trinity (aka, the ones of which we recognize the validity of Baptism).

JP II the Great understood this. Papa Ben understands it. It’ll be a great day when the lay member comes to understand as well.

chris molter:
I know, the title should have been “Shame on us”. Initially I thought it would be more eye catching, but now I cannot change it…or is there a way?

1stChristian:
I am not saying that we should not defend our faith, I am simply saying that we should not be jerks about it. My point is that we get all steamed up trying to convince people of Catholic truth and I recognize too often that we are relying on our own ability to convince people. We should still preach, we should simply pray MORE about our preaching and inviting God into our conversations with people, because he is the only one who is going to change someones heart, not our preaching. We must recognize more fully that we are instruments and that is it.

We have to expect that people will bash the Catholic faith, this does not mean we should reciprocate with the same behavior. Defend…yes! Demean…no!

I’m not sure if it’s changeable, but now that we’ve made the point and your intentions are clear for everyone, might as well leave it.

It IS more eye catching this way! :smiley:

I must agree with wilson. Charity is all well and good, but what’s the point of evangelizing if you don’t present the Truth as the only truth? And what good are apologetics if you refuse to tell someone they’re wrong? You can do both things in a charitable way most of the time, but sometimes you must defend the Truth against those who attack it. Misconceptions must be gently but firmly corrected, and lies must be unashamedly exposed and never tolerated.

In addition to this, I don’t understand what’s wrong with making intellectual arguments. Human beings aren’t just emotional, we’re rational as well, and we mirror God in that way. Attempting to evangelize without reason makes us and God look irrational, which is the primary reason that most non-believers are non-believers. God doesn’t make sense to them. I speak from prior personal experience.

I do not think people are understanding me.

There is nothing wrong with intellectual arguments. There is nothing wrong with telling the Truth. I agree completely that misconceptions much be gently and firmly corrected. This is my point! We need to be loving and gentle when we do these things. We also have to accept the fact that to a degree certain people will dislike us because we know we have absolute truth. My point is that if we do this in an uncharitable way it is going to turn more people away than it is going to make them believe what we believe. We should tell people they are wrong, we just should not berate them for it.

My point with intellectual arguments was that we should not be relying on our own merits to convince people; as if we are going to break them down with reason and finally it will click for them. No! What I mean is that we need to be relying on God to work through us to say what we need to be saying and continue praying for Him to convince them and change their hearts.

We must be relying on the grace of God through the instrument of our intellect and ability to reason.

I’m with you, tGette!

Our Jewish friend Sepharad told us, “In short, if their lifestyle and manner of conduct does not fit 1 Cor 13, I tune out immediately.”

That’s my favorite chapter of the Bible. Here’s a prayer based on it:

A Prayer for Charity

Lord, I know that all the signs of faith and belief are worthless and empty without charity.

Please keep me from being jealous, boastful, arrogant, rude, irritable, or resentful. Keep me from wanting my own way in everything, and from enjoying someone else being wrong.

Grant me patience and kindness. Let me rejoice in the right. Help me bear whatever comes, including insults to myself and my faith. Grant me humility.

Remind me that I am still growing, and that I do not know it all, that only You do.

Keep me strong in faith and hope, and above all, in love.

Amen.

Ruthie

Everything has it’s time and place.
Sometimes we must argue for the faith and sometimes it’s better to simply listen and pray.

Ecclesiates 3:1-8
**There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. **
***A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. ***
**A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build. **
**A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. **
**A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. **
***A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away. ***
**A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. **
**A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. **

Always ask the Holy Spirit to guide us:)

Thank you tGette, this means a lot for me - as a non-catholic - to read.

All (Catholic or Non-Catholic) it is not so much WHAT we say but HOW we say it when it comes to spreading the Word of Christ. What we are saying is important but if no one is listening because of the way we represent it, then the message is lost on them.

How can we preach God is Love when we can’t show that Love to who we speak with? You can’t claim that you love the ‘lost’ when you don’t respect them as thinking individuals. We have all arrived at the belief system we have due to thinking it out and examining it.

Our beliefs are WHO we are and when someone attacks that by thinking (and acting as tho they think it) that our belief system is idiotic people tend to take it personally. Therefore they don’t wanna listen to anything that person says. Just as much as YOU feel that you have found the right path so does the other person, to say that their beliefs are wrong, idiotic, stupid, or less than you are saying those things about that person. Find a way to say, “I have found…” or “To me…” and not so much “Protestants are so…” or “Catholics believe…” or “How can someone believe THAT!!!”.

Being judgemental inside and / or out hinders the message you carry. :blush:

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