Debate/arguments about Catholicism with non-Catholics?


#1

New to all this - hope I’m in the right place!

I would like (kind but honest) opinions on the following, please (I am not looking for anyone’s opinions on whether or not the Catholic Church is the ONE, just opinions on the ? below):

I am in debate with a couple of my fundamentalist/evangelical Christian friends over the Catholic Church. I believe that the Church is the one Jesus established and they refuse to look at the history or ANYTHING - they just deny it. It is so frustrating…
No matter what I send them, they do not believe/agree/aknowledge any of it as TRUTH.

The question I have for all of you: should I continue to try and prove/show them that the Catholic Church is the one Jesus established or just blow it off and not bother?

Thanks for your feedback,
Renee (confused and frustrated)

God bless…


#2

I voted, yes, but I also want to say, that there is only so much you can do. You can provide them the Truth, but only God can change their hearts. I believe you should continue. If you need to use CAF for questions or if you need answers. I hope this helps in any way…:shrug:

God bless you,

~Gabe


#3

I don’t argue or debate. When asked about Catholic beliefs, I try to clear up misconceptions without succumbing to argument. Sometimes, silence and the way we live our lives speak more volumes than any words we may try to use.


#4

Never try to teach a pig to dance. It tires you and it annoys the pig. :smiley:


#5

I would say continue to respectfully debate. If you stop then they think they have won you over.


#6

Ask them if they will respect reason and reference. If the answer is no, then shake the dust and move on to those who will engage you in an open, reasoned, and referenced dialogue.

The following is an excerpt from St. Francis DeSales’ The Catholic Controversy, a collection of apologetic tracts written against the Protestants in the late 16th century…

Works, good as ever they may be, rather deserve hell than Paradise: shall then the justice of God, which will give to every one according to his works, give to every one hell? This is enough, but the absurdity of absurdities, and the most horrible unreason of all is this: that while holding that the whole Church may have erred for a thousand years in the understanding of the Word of God, Luther, Zwingle, Calvin can guarantee that they understand it aright:

this absurdity is greater when a mere wretched minister, while preaching as a word of God that all the visible Church has erred, that Calvin and all men can err, dares to pick and choose amongst the interpretations of the Scriptures that one which pleases him, and to certify and maintain it as the Word of God:

and you yourselves carry the absurdity still further when, having heard that everybody may err in matter of religion - even the whole Church - without trying to find for yourselves some other religion amongst a thousand sects, which all boast of rightly understanding the Word of God, and rightly preaching it, you believe so obstinately in the minister who preaches to you, that you will hear no more? link


#7

Thanks for everyone’s opinions.

ANI:
I have a ? for Ani… in regard to that quote you included in your answer - I’m not sure what it means? Is it for or against debating? or unrelated? I don’t want to appear stupid, but I just don’t get it! If you would care to explain, I would appreciate it…:confused:

Renee


#8

I would put the burden of proof on them. If they refuse to read/listen to something you send, ask them for some proof that they are right. Just because they are denying that the Catholic Church is the one founded upon Christ and the apostles doesn’t give you any compelling reason to leave, does it? :wink:

You might try having them listen to John Martignoni’s One Church lecture, (it’s about halfway down the list) and beg them to tell you where he’s wrong. :thumbsup:


#9

This will probably sound like a cop-out, but you really have to be led by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes debate with non-Catholics really helps (I speak from experience :slight_smile: ). Sometimes it will not help them and could end up harming you.

Any kind of apologetic debate is a dangerous weapon to grab. It can be incredibly useful, but it can also lead to anger, demoralization, pride of intellect, combativeness, etc. Having said all that, remember this as well: “Always be ready to give an answer to those who ask you” (somewhere in the N.T.).


#10

Pixie Dust:
Thank you for your response. I will take a look at the link and forward it to them.

NO, NO, NO! They can never make me leave the Church! I feel soooo strongly that this is where Jesus wants us all. I am 100% sure that I have been shown the truth from above!

I just get so frustrated with their lack of faith in wanting to know the truth.

And when they resort to bashing the Church, boy do I get upset! I actually stopped a debate with my MIL because she referred to the “Eucharist” as a bunch of fairytales. I was so upset and disgusted that I had to end it with her.


#11

See, this is where that innate anger and combativeness of mine would kick in. If she said the Eucharist was a bunch of fairy-tales, I’d probably fire back without thinking about it, “But the Rapture is solid rocket science, right?”

We’d both end up farther from the Kingdom of God! :blush:


#12

It is not a question of appearing stupid. If we do not understand what someone else has posted, then it is perfectly legitimate to ask for clarification. This you have done.

:thumbsup:

St Francis de Sales was one of the patron saints of education. He is talking here about the obstinacy of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and those who follow them:

" you believe so obstinately in the minister who preaches to you, that you will hear no more? "

Is this not the exact same attitude that your friends have shown you? What is the point of talking to them if they are not listening?

I have encountered exactly the same phenomenon. They start spouting off anti-Catholic inaccuracies and then, when I try to correct them, they don’t listen.

So now I have a rule. I stop folks in the middle of their anti-Catholic propaganda. And I explain to them that I will not participate in a conversation with folks unless they are very knowledgeable about what they are commenting on.

That usually stops them and we can go on to discussing hockey. If it does not stop them, then I ask them if they are willing to continue in a reasoned and referenced discussion which includes the Church’s point of view?

If the answer is no, I make it clear that I am uninterested in hate propaganda. And I leave it at that. For someone genuinely seeking the Truth, the possibility of their own participation in harm should bring about an inner change.

In any case, it is the Holy Spirit Who convicts, not us.

Now providing an example of a life lived in faith: there is a whole different kettle of fish. By our fruits shall we be known. :wink:


#13

I think that whatever our views, interacting with others of different views is critically important, both for them and for us. I would echo those who have said in this discussion above that discussion is only appropriate if the people we’re conversing with are willing to use reason and evidence and to follow the truth wherever it might lead. At the same time, I would add that it’s important that we, too, be willing to be open-minded about following evidence presented by the other side. We can’t demand that the other guy be willing to open themselves to reason but insist at the outset that the other guy cannot possibly have anything significant that we don’t know. I’m not a Catholic, but I came here primarily to learn from Catholics more about their views, and only secondarily to try to impart my own views to others, and I try very hard to stay open to others’ arguments. I would strongly encourage you to engage in respectful dialogue with non-Catholics, and to commit to hearing the other side with a genuinely open mind just as they must do with your views.

Best regards,

CThomas


#14

I agree. Listen ten times, answer once. :slight_smile:


#15

I hope I am quoting this properly (haven’t done it before). Forgive me if I mess up!

Cpayne: I know exactly what you mean. I did fire back at her - I told her how could she call herself a Christian when she so easily mocked Jesus - as far as I was concerned, that’s exactly what she did - she hurt our Lord by flippantly commenting on HIS body and blood given to us - AHHHHGGGGG!!!

I ended up just having to block her email address for a while because I just couldn’t stand to have her bash the Church (and ultimately Jesus) any longer. I’m still a little upset about it but I’m praying that I can let it go and accept her where she is at…


#16

Here is the foundation of their rejection of discussion…

Truth doesn’t matter, if it did then they would be interested in it and knowing it.

So ask, does truth matter for salvation or can we believe whatever we want?

If it matters then they either don’t care about your salvation or their salvation.

There are a few denominations out there that teach that we can never know truth and it is not necessary for salvation. All you need is a relationship with God.

In Christ
Scylla


#17

I voted yes but let me go a little more i depth here. I have a coworker that respectfully delcines belief because she does not accept any of the history of the bible. Yet she has heard me talking with other Catholic coworkers on breaks and has been very thankful that we have offered to pray for her during times of trouble.
She has also come to the conclusion that as catholics we are a more caring and sincere people. Over the years and es I said years. (Whew) She has started to offer to pray for us in times of trouble. Long stry short is show them by living your faith and be ready to talk about it when they bring it up. And they will God willing.


#18

Hi,

All you can do really is tell them your beliefs and let them and God do the rest. OH and pray. Im not catholic but that is what I do for people who have different viewpoints then my own.:wink: :thumbsup:

As others have already said–God is the only one who can change their hearts. If they are evangelical christians they may not necessarily need a heart chnage at all(remember that there are true christians outside the CC;) ), but hopefully they are nice to you when you speak. At least that would be the christian thing to do.:smiley:

When I engage in conversation with catholics–I let them speak and sometimes dont say anything.:shrug: Sometimes I will say that I believe XYZ. It really depends on who Im talking with that determines how far I will go…

If they are completely not open to anything you have to say–well then I would shake the dust from your feet and walk away. Agree to disagree if you want them to know they have not won so to speak.:wink:


#19

Sure are! :thumbsup: [SIGN][size=][FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]Welcome to CAF![/SIGN]

I would like (kind but honest) opinions on the following, please (I am not looking for anyone’s opinions on whether or not the Catholic Church is the ONE, just opinions on the ? below):

I am in debate with a couple of my fundamentalist/evangelical Christian friends over the Catholic Church. I believe that the Church is the one Jesus established and they refuse to look at the history or ANYTHING - they just deny it. It is so frustrating…
No matter what I send them, they do not believe/agree/acknowledge any of it as TRUTH.
**
The question I have for all of you: should I continue to try and prove/show them that the Catholic Church is the one Jesus established or just blow it off and not bother?**

Thanks for your feedback,
Renee (confused and frustrated)

God bless…Hi Renee,
I read through the thread so far and I had to vote no. Let me explain before some of my friends on here die of cardiac arrest. :smiley:

The reason I say abandon the discussion and debate is really pretty simple.

Based upon what you have said so far about their responses, I don’t believe you’re dealing with an honest exchange of ideas here. If facts are being dismissed out of hand or not even considered, and you have been at this for some time, then (IMO) what you have are a couple of people who’re unwilling to see truth, even if it is presented to them.

Essentially the message to you is that you have no valid basis for your faith, which implies that you are either demoniacally deceived or are just too stupid to walk upright. From you posts so far I am inclined to rule out those options and hence come to the conclusion that you are wasting time with two people who are ignoring your evidences and (probably, if I know my n-Cs at all) just offering you scripture verses and passages while repeatedly rejecting anything that you say as being from a Catholic source, therefore corrupt (etc etc etc). They apparently lack the courage of their convictions to even consider your evidence. That makes it best if you simply break off from the discussions and advise them that if and when (hell freezes over will likely be their thinking I suspect) they are willing to actually dialog with you and have the courage and courtesy to actually examine what you offer, the discussion is at an end.

My friend djrakowski and I have interacted with a guy (or several really. :rotfl: ) who posts here at CAF whose pretty much like this.
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.[/FONT][/size]


#20

Respectfully, ChurchMilitant, I don’t think the generalization about “n-Cs” is fair.

CThomas


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