Hi, I’m Lexi, I’ve been Catholic all my life, and embraced Catholicism all my life, I’m always puzzled by others who when they find out I’m Catholic, say to me "Well I’m not Catholic, I’m Christain. It seems so many people out there do not understand Catholics are Christians too. I listen to K-love radio station constantly, and my heart is on fire for Jesus. I just hate to have to continually explain to others, that I do not not worship idols, that I do not have to be reborn, or rebaptized. I tell them I am Catholic, I was baptized once, I have been confirmed, and I have a personal relationship with Jesus too. The people I work with are good people, they are Born Again Christians, Evangelicans, and Seventh Day Adventists. We all listen to K-love radio in our office and enjoy the music. But, if a conversation about religion comes up, it seems I get the short end of the stick. You can’t explain to someone who is not Catholic, that you do not pray to statues. They also insist that praying the rosary, is another form of idol worship, which I do daily on my lunch break, when I go into the small chapel at a church nearby my office, to adore the blessed sacrament. Help, how can I explain my beliefs better?
Hi Lexi, welcome to the forums! I’m sorry you are isolated and short-ended in religious conversations. Sometimes the best thing you can do instead of countering with words is do what St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel, sometimes use words.” By your example of a great person will you demonstrate the glory of the Catholic faith.
However, if you feel the need to respond, when someone tries to define your faith for you, by telling you you worship statues, you can joke “Really? Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you what YOUR faith teaches. Haha.”
One of the fine minds on this forum who goes by Teflon93 has an analogy for those who say Catholics who kneel in front of statues are worshipping them. Here it is.
I think that there is alot of good advice in this thread. I think that it is best to continue to follow Christ so that you can be a good example to others. one of the “Apologetical Tricks” I use when defending the faith is to simply be known to be a reasonable person. many people respond well to nice, reasonable people, and this can be a good starting point. If another person can’t understand why you believe, at least they can have respect that you believe. It is often the curiosity that someone so nice and reasonable could beleve that the things the Church says are true that leads the situation in another direction. sometimes this leads the person from apologetics to metenoia (conversion), and sometimes they just get angry that they can’t understand. just be yourself, love God and love your nieghbor and the rest seems to work out fine. make sure that you’ve studied your faith enough to answer questions when they arrive and avoid any argumentation with the person because this usually opnly leads the person to confirm his wrong opinion of you or catholics in general. winning over someone’s heart and mind is not so much about logical refutation of arguments (although there are a good number of people who need this, including myself) but it is really more a matter of trust- can I trust what you are saying is true? can i trust that i won’t be made a fool? can I trust that this really does make sense in the end and that it is a true outlook about what the world and eternity are really like?
remember that for someone to believe something, both the thing to be believed must be reasonable, and the person teling about the thing must be reasonable. This leads to a “Believability Factor” (for lack of a better phrase) where the person is more inclined to say to himself, “Hey, there might be something to this.” Pray for conversions and God will take care of the rest. the work of conversion is done by the Holy Spirit in the heart of the person, all we do is facilitate the believability of the Faith through our words and deeds. good luck, GLen
Well, there is this stigma that the Catholic Church is comparable to an evil empire (like in Star Wars)… and that the Pope is like the evil emperor.
The Catholic Church has always been portrayed as the harlot in many protestant circles… so it is really hard to get them to change a perspective that was ingrained for years.
Well if you want to have an interesting topic, ask them why they worship on Sunday. With the exception of the Adventist who worships on Saturday… none of the other protestants can come up with a SOLA SCRIPTURA reason for worshipping on Sunday. The answer is actually TRADITION based. Catholics can because since we can claim that we follow early Christian community tradition and principles, and they worshipped on Sunday because of the shift in their theological beliefs from Judaism. Same for baptisms, get a copy of the DIDACHE and read about it.
Now for the Adventist, ask him if it was the Catholic Church who compiled the New Testament or not? If he says yes, then there is a problem in following it, because the Catholic Church is the so-called harlot. If he/she says no, get the historical facts.
Then you get this whole counter argument about the King James being the proper version, etc…
Actually, defending and attacking gives me a headache. I don’t know if you want to get to that point.
At the least, reading apologetics will give you peace of mind and strengthen your Catholic faith. Equally, reading up on Catholic history from both Catholic and non Catholic sources should help too.
P.S. It is a very hard thing to convince some Christians that you actually do have a relationship with Christ and love Him. I’ve met some people who wouldn’t believe that St. Francis or Pope John Paul II had personal relationships with Christ. Do your best to bring Christ to them in a way they’ll understand, but don’t worry too much about it. The other option is to joke it off and that is sometimes the best course of action to take with people who refuse to try to understand.