Co-worker Hates Religion but loves Christianity

How do I begin to have a debate with this person? He has been very charitable in our discussion thus far, but I don’t know where to begin when he says he hates religion. He didn’t say it in the passage below but he has stated it before, but yet he is a minister at a Baptist church?!?!

I know you just went to Catholicism, which is fine, but are you sure you know your personal beliefs line up with what that religion believes? I know what I believe not because a church or religion taught me to believe it that way. I believe what I believe through prayer and studying and listening to the Holy Spirit reveal things to me. Again, I’m not trying to offend you I’m just really asking… are you basing your beliefs on what the Catholic Church believes or what your studying has shown you. I’m not saying either is right or wrong, I’m not saying I’m right or wrong, I just know I want to find out for me and not what someone else thinks. : ) like if you ask me I want to be able to explain why I believe it and I know why I believe what I’m saying. Because I’ll be honest with you, that article used so many big words I don’t even know what whoever wrote it was trying to say they believed.

Well, speaking on behalf of myself and the MANY Catholic converts on this Forum, I can say that we were never taught what the Church teaches. We were taught some other faith (or perhaps no faith at all). So, we arrived at our beliefs through prayer and study. I wonder if the preacher was raised Baptist? Did he attend a Baptist seminary? I wonder if my “credentials of independence” (as a Catholic convert) are better than his (who I suspect is a cradle protestant, if not a cradle Baptist).

So, he says the Holy Spirit reveals stuff to him, huh? Well, the Holy Spirit cannot lie, so the Holy Spirit could only reveal truth. That means he could never be mistaken about what the Spirit revealed to him - it’s all 100% true.

In Catholicism, we call this type of protection “infallibility.” But we don’t believe we are all individually infallible. We aren’t all infallible, like this Baptist is. We believe the Church (through Her Bishops and Popes) exercises infallibility.

Perhaps that’s why Catholicism has a single doctrine which has been around for 2000 years. Not thousands of (protestant) doctrines which have been around only since the Sixteenth Century or later.

Maybe that’s why this person “hates” Religion. I grew up Baptist, and like so many other “faiths,” all the ministers I met had gone to seminary. Maybe not the same sort of seminary as Catholic priests do, since so many Protestant ministers are allowed to get married. Each of the different Protestant “religions” I went to in my life believed that they, and only they, had “the truth.” It’s all a bunch of bunk. I’d say he believes in a religion since he doesn’t go to the Church that Christ founded.

With the caveat that people who say things like that generally don’t know what they are talking about, ask if he hates religion, how can he love / follow someone who loved religion? (Jesus hated hypocrisy practiced by some of the religious leaders, but did not hate religion).

As far as we know, Jesus went to both synagogue and the Temple regularly until they threw Him out. The Disciples did too. Since being a “disciple” means to fashion your life after the one you are learning from, how does your coworker correlate the 2 differing ideologies - loving the teacher, but hating how He lived?

Good luck.

Ask him to show you where the Bible says that religion is bad. That is unbiblical. The Bible speaks favorably of religion.

You friend doesn’t sound as though he is looking for a debate.
It sounds as though he is asking you these questions to help you make sure you are making the right choice for yourself…as if, perhaps, you might have said there are some teachings you are having trouble with?
If that is the case, I can understand a friend pointing out that a person shouldn’t only believe something just because they are told to…they should believe because they truly do believe it.

When he says he “hates religion”…sounds like what he probably means is the man-made part of it all. And how some religions try to tell people everything to think and feel and do. He sounds more freedom-oriented. And he sounds as if he believes with both his heart and mind.

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I think you disengage I don’t see anything positive coming out of a discussion about the Church with this guy. My mother is similar and doesn’t believe anything that isn’t written in the bible but the problem is she interprets it to mean what she wants. I have no doubt she is saved but her judgmental attitude is going to get her a nice stay in purgatory!

This guy is actually baiting you with a false witness he does think he is right and is trying to find a angle to use to convince you of that. My guess is it will be some type of circular argument that always ends with what he believes. He probably really means well but it’s a situation that will only make you frustrated.

Tell him that if he continues to study he’ll happen to end up agreeing with the Catholic faith. Just goes that way. :slight_smile:

Maybe he is one of those people who are “spiritual, but not religious.”

Are you sure you want a debate, and not a discussion?
If a debate, who will the two of you appoint as judge?

Don’t debate but ask him if truth is absolute or relative. That underlined part makes me think that he believes in one truth for you and one truth for himself. God is Truth and the Bible says that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

I might also gently address his denominational beliefs, one at a time. Maybe start with OSAS. Ask him why he believes it is true and then counter it with what the Church teaches, all of this lovingly. He seems quite certain that his own individual, unbiased (yeah, right) study led him to believe EXACTLY what his denomination believes. I’d toss the ball back to his court, then, and instead of him challenging you on your beliefs, I’d challenge him on his. Again, all this done lovingly and charitably.

Also, he references an article that you seem to have sent him. Would you care to share that article? I might want to share it in the future :wink:

P.S. My dad says he hates “religion”, too. He uses this argument to justify not going to church at all. I find that a catch-phrase used by way too many people to justify their own wrongdoings and/or apathetical behavior toward God.

Or he’s just being politically correct.

Possibly, but either way, he needs to evaluate his own answer. By getting him to admit that truth is NOT relative, then his own reply was disingenuous. Nailing down that there is absolute truth (and that it matters) kind of blows Protestantism out of the water because then the absurdity of the thousands of different denominations is spotlighted. He claims the Holy Spirit revealed the real truth to him, but so does his Methodist counterpart across the street :wink:

I have floated around in Protestantism for 36 years and this one point is what has pointed me toward the Catholic Church. There is truth, it matters, and it is found completely somewhere and that somewhere appears to be the Catholic Church:)

I find that no meaningful communication can be had with people who are politically correct, regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof.
When someone says “I’m not saying I’m right or wrong” that’s a red flag that signals PC.

It isn’t political correctness; you just don’t speak Evangelical so you don’t understand him. It’s a popular Evangelical way of stating things. They think that “religion” is a man-made system where people try to get to God through a lot of rules and regulations. They think religion is people’s efforts at salvation through their own efforts. They believe “Christianity” means a relationship with God through Christ where your salvation is a free gift of grace from God, not because of any of your own efforts.

Let me guess - and what they do, they don’t call that “man-made” nor “religion” …

:thumbsup: Nope, it’s been revealed to them as truth by the Holy Spirit, because they don’t need some man-made institution telling them what to think or do :rolleyes:

Been there, done that, and have the t-shirt to prove it :smiley:

This :smiley:

It isn’t hard to discern where this gentleman is coming from. He seems well intentioned. A kindly discussion might bear some fruit. But one has to try and keep the other’s perspective in mind when formulating answers or questions.

It is obvious that there are some first principles at work here.

  1. Religion is man made (unlike Catholicism which is Divine.)
  2. There is no visible Church on earth (just individuals inspired or not)
  3. Therefore there is no Sacramentality or Priestood or Covenant.
  4. Which therefore means there is no fulfillment of the Old Law and Covenant, it has all been thrown overboard.

One thing I would ask is whether he would have been like the early Christians who believed what St. Paul (or any of the other Apostles) taught. It sounds as though he would have rejected anyone teaching him anything, unless he ALREADY believed it (through his own private inspiration.) This of course would have been impossible since there was NO New Testament to read at that time.

I’d say you have a lot of things to probe with him, but as slh3016 has said, with kindness and understanding. You may need to brush up on these fundamentals yourself in order to put them into a coherent argument for him. :slight_smile:

The difference is in why they’re doing it or why anyone is doing it. Are you going to church on Sunday because regulations say it’s required or are you going because you love Jesus and want to worship him? Are you praying because it is required or are you praying because you want to talk to your best friend? Are you avoiding sin because it’s a rule or are you avoiding sin because you don’t want to hurt your beloved father in heaven?

The first in each question is “religion” and the second is “Christianity”.

It is essential in any debate or discussion to ask the other person to define his or her terms. Otherwise, you may be arguing about two entirely different concepts.

What does he mean by “religion”? For most people, religion is worshipping God and following His commands. Why should he have a problem with either of those?

If he believes, as whtsmyname suggested above, that Salvation is free and does not require any actions or “works”, then what is accepting Jesus other than an action or work?

Grace is given freely, not earned, but God can and has placed demands on what His people must do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and it’s a lot more than being the passive recipient of a divine gift.

I know you just went to Catholicism, which is fine, but are you sure you know your personal beliefs line up with what that religion believes? I know what I believe not because a church or religion taught me to believe it that way. I believe what I believe through prayer and studying and listening to the Holy Spirit reveal things to me. Again, I’m not trying to offend you I’m just really asking… are you basing your beliefs on what the Catholic Church believes or what your studying has shown you. I’m not saying either is right or wrong, I’m not saying I’m right or wrong, I just know I want to find out for me and not what someone else thinks. : ) like if you ask me I want to be able to explain why I believe it and I know why I believe what I’m saying. Because I’ll be honest with you, that article used so many big words I don’t even know what whoever wrote it was trying to say they believed.

Whomever wrote this is trapped in his own ideas and enslaved to himself.

-Tim-

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