Defending the faith. (In my family)


#1

Hi, I do not know if this would be in the correct place to be posted or not but I will begin anyway.

Tomorrow my own father wants to debate me on why the Catholic church is immoral/wrong. He is very uneducated in this area and goes mainly by what he see’s in Hollywood and programs on television. But he is also the sort to get very angry if proven wrong.

These are the things I know he will bring up

-Gnostic gospels and why they are ‘banned’ by the church
-Jesus being man and marrying mary magdalene

He might bring up more but these are the things he told me we will debate about.

As hard enough task as it already is to debate with ones own father about your own faith :frowning:

Please can anybody provide some reliable sources which refute both above, and give me some advice on how to handle the situation once it gets into flow. Also any bible verses I can add throughout may help.

Thankyou very much for reading this.:frowning:


#2

:frowning: …Anybody?


#3

My first question would be “what is he willing to believe?”

Granted the debate should be on equal ground, but his being your father instantly puts you at a disadvantage. Most fathers are not willing to take any correction from their children so whatever you put forward will have to be not just irrefutable but believable by him.

There’s no use quoting Early Church Fathers if he doesn’t believe in their significance. No point in putting forward historical quotes or records if he only looks at them askance and says history is written by the victors.

Ask what he’s willing to believe first. And above all else, do it with love.


#4

Will do. Thank you. Anymore?


#5

Sounds like he’s been heavily influenced by the “DaVinci Code” nonsense.

Here’s some websites that will give you lots of info:

carl-olson.com/abouttdvc.html
catholiceducation.org/articles/facts/fm0070.html


#6

littledaz,

You can check out the United States Bishops website on the DaVinci Code here: jesusdecoded.com/

VC


#7

If he tries to run with the Jesus is married to Mary Magdalene, it will probably be because he has a “belief by plausibility” tendency, not a “belief by evidence.” I’ve heard the whole “Why couldn’t He have been married?” My response is, “well theoretically he could have…now please make your case for it.” :slight_smile:

You actually have evidence for His solo life. :slight_smile:


#8

When I approach my father ,who “knows” his faith. It is how I say something not what I say.

Instead of saying …“I know this or that” or “Your wrong or thats not true.”

Basically calling him to the mat.

I say… “Did you know…?” or “This is what I learned”

Then I am giving him a chance to save his ego.

Even with our parents we must see Jesus in them and teach them through love.

I do this with everyone. It helps people not feel threatened or on the defense. You are on their side so teach from the offense!

And ask for help from the Holy Spirit ask for guidance in what you are going to teach. Not debate.


#9

My mom used to be Mormon. She was raised Mormon, and she and my dad left the church when I was about 5. They came to see the flaws and falsehoods in Mormonism, and made the difficult choice to leave. But ever since then my mom has still struggled with ideas and mindsets from Mormonism that she hasn’t been able to shake. She had many of the same misconceptions about Catholicism that many people have, but she could see how my conversion had changed me for the better. This gave me the opportunity to clarify some of her questions, and while she doesn’t agree with it all, at least she now understands what I believe.

What made it possible for me to help her like that was my love for her, and her love for me. She’s glad that I’m happy, and she knows that I want her to be happy. I was able to share the joy I have found in my faith with her, and even changed her mind about some things. I’m not sure if I can tell you how to share your joy in your faith, because I’m still not sure how I did it. I prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit, and I would advise you to do the same.

God is love, and if you approach your dad with love, the Holy Spirit will be with you. Pray that his heart is softened toward you, and make it clear to him through your tone and your choice of words that you want him to be as happy in his faith as you are in yours. And remember, clarity is preferable to agreement. It’s okay if he doesn’t agree with everything you believe, as long as he is clear on what you believe. You can work on the agreement after that. If he loses his temper, don’t lose yours. Remember that it can be distressing having your beliefs challenged.

I will pray for you and your dad. God bless!


#10

Wow, this stuff is great, thank you all!:slight_smile:


#11

Remember littledaz, he is your father. That means he is “always right!”

Learn your father’s nuances. A grudging, “Well I don’t think so!” is sometimes the closest fathers get to say, “I think you’re right and I’m wrong, son!”

Also, always leave a “window” for him to get out graciously. This means leaving him room to manouvre out! Whilst it is important that he learns the truth of Catholicism, IT IS NOT MORE IMPORTANT TO BEAT YOUR DAD!!

The one thing I know about most fathers is that logic and reason are the things that make them THINK. Not ‘fancy’ dogmas, doctrines, anathemas, councils or prelates of Catholicism. Try to appeal to reason and logic using evidence.

Just a couple to start you off…

Jesus marries Mary Magdalene
Jesus could not have been married because he would have been 61years old when Peter died. Yet Peter never mentioned it. John lived longer, and he never mentioned it. Paul never mentioned it and none of the other apostles or disciples who were alive at the time mentioned it. Even the Jews in Judaism do not mention it, and they ‘hated’ Jesus as a false Messiah.!!

Did they conspire to hide it? Answer: What for? They didn’t know what it might mean if Jesus married and had children! They just stated facts as they occurred! They wouldn’t think anything of it! They were all martyred. No man dies for a lie that HE KNOWS IS A LIE. Only if he believed it was the truth. (Like the terrorists) There was no reason for the apostles to hide a fact like Jesus being married if it was the case.

Gnostic gospels
One is The Gospel of Judas. You know he didn’t write it because he died in Scriptures! Who did he tell his gospel to then to write it for him in his absence? Answer: No one! It was supposed by someone way after Judas died.

This is the same problem with the other Gnostic gospels. The authorship was either unknown, or it could not be verified by any eyewitness testimony to link it to the time of Jesus, or to any of His Apostles! Most were written 100 to 300 years after Jesus was crucified!

Why Catholic?
It is THE ONLY CHURCH that can trace itself back to Jesus Christ with physical evidence! Never mind that Jesus made Peter the first Pope by building The Church on him in Matt:16.

Remember, if you’re cunning enough, you can let Dad be “right” but give him something to make him THINK! He will do the rest himself after that. He’ll probably go research The Church looking for “errors” to debate you on later. That means your work has been done and ‘suspects’ that you were right!

Good Luck and God Bless.

:cool:


#12

sorry dad, I am not joining in any exercise designed to trash my faith, I would not do it to you or anyone else. I respect you and your beliefs, I expect the same respect from you. If you really want to learn more about the Catholic faith come with me to a catechism or RCIA class at my church. If not, not.


#13

Tell him these books were never included in the Bible. Ask him to provide you with evidence that they were ever included. We have writings from very early years that discuss what book were accepted a scripture, and it even lists some of the false books that were not. Personally, I alway take the offensive in an argument. Try to turn the argument around on him whenever you can and aks him for evidence to support his position. Don’t always be on the defensive. When he wavers and can’t provide you with any evidence, ask him why he believes what he does. Say “do you believe it because someone told you? Where is the evidence?” Then tell him that you can provide evidence to support your position (then come back here and we will probably be able to give you whatever you need. But start by putting the ball in his court and ask him to produce evidence to support his position.

[quote=] -Jesus being man and marrying mary magdalene
[/quote]

Ask him for the evidence that he was ever married. And tell him you are not going to accept as “evidence” an allegation made 2000 years later. When he can’t produce any evidence, ask him why he believes it. Does he believe it simply because a person said it, or an anti-Christian program stated it? Where’s the evidence?

He is making a novel claim that no one had even thought of until recently. It is not up to you to discredit what he is saying, it is up to him to show evidence to support his position.

That’s is the way I would handle it. Take the offensive and make him prove his case.

After your discussion, if you need any specific evidence, let us know.


#14

Since I have recently had to defend my faith to two of my children who have left the Catholic church , I have found this site to be very helpful.

home.inreach.com/~bstanley

I think I even got it from this forum.


#15

simply listen respectfully, and smile lovingly, and show him a peace that passes understanding.


#16

Hi LittleDaz,
Whenever I try to convince someone of what I believe, I don’t make any progress. Then I learned that what I think, and what anyone else thinks, has absolutely no merit. The only thing that counts is – what did Jesus say and what did the Apostles understand that to mean and what did they believe, and then teach as a result.

Did the Apostles believe that Jesus married? Is there any evidence in any writings that says that some of the first, second or third generations of Christians believed that Jesus married? Is there any evidence in the writings of non-christians at that time believing Jesus married?

Jesus said that Peter was to be the rock upon which to build His church. Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingom – not just of Peter but for all people willing to listen and believe. Jesus said he would be with Peter and the Apostles, and to their successors, all days until the end of time. He didn’t say he would be with Peter till the next Ides of March, or until Peter died, or the last Apostle died. He said till the end of time. That means he would be with all Peter’s and the Apostles’ successors.

Jesus said that whatever Peter bound on earth would be bound in heaven. Catch this: Since God is perfect, He cannot commit evil, sin or error. He cannot approve error. Therefore, whatever Peter, and his successors bound on earth must have been, and still be, error free.

At the last supper, Jesus said 'This is My Body" “This is My Blood.” Some people say that is just symbolic, The Catholic Church teaches that the bread and wine still look like bread and wine but are also truly the Body and Blood of Jesus. What I think has no merit. What did the Apostles understand, and what did they believe, and teach, and die for? What did the first, second, third and subsequent generations of successors and early believers believe and confirm in writing?

Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit, (some translations use the word ‘Paraclete’) who would remind them of all that Jesus taught and lead them to all truth – till the end of time. When the church fathers excluded the Gnostic gospels from the finished and final bible, who was it that excluded the Gnostic gospels? The church fathers or the Holy Spirit.

Now, a bit of what I concluded on my own. I don’t know if the Church will approve of my interpretation or not: Jesus appointed Peter to feed His lambs, tend his sheep, take care of His flock.
Peter and the Apostles formed what developed into the current Catholid Church. If I decided to join some non-catholic christian church, wouldn’t I be, in effect, telling Jesus that I don’t approve of His choice of Shepherd? I don’t think I want to go there.

Hope this helps with your dad.
Jerryb


#17

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