Friends of other faiths


#1

I was just wondering if any of you all have friends of other faiths and if you've ever discussed/learned what they believe.

One of my best friends is male and Jewish. My childhood best friend is Baptist. I also have good friends who are either LDS or Agonistic and so on.

My guy friend and I have talked quite a bit about our respective beliefs. I've learned A LOT about Judism and I've been able to teach him about Catholicism. For example, he didn't know what Advent was and I was more than happy to explain it.

Also, whenever you and a friend don't see eye-to-eye on something, do you argue to death or just agree to diagree?

Just curious.... :)


#2

[quote="Kimothy80, post:1, topic:213528"]
I was just wondering if any of you all have friends of other faiths and if you've ever discussed/learned what they believe.

[/quote]

Yes, nearly all of them, family included (I'm an adult convert). My best girlfriend from childhood is Jewish (I went on to study Judaism in college, which I minored in), another close family friend is Wiccan, my mom is non-denominational Christian (her best friend, who's like an aunt to me, is LDS), two of my bridesmaids leaned toward Buddhism, and I've know several atheists and agnostics. My life is sadly void of faithful Catholics, actually. :p Picking Godparents for my kids is terribly difficult.

I have discussed all of their religions. The key, for me anyway, is to genuinely listen and ask non-threatening questions within the context of "please share with me what you believe, I want to know/understand you better." I don't debate faith, but I am not shy about sharing what I believe when it's my turn to do so. If I have made it a point to ask about their beliefs, I do not interject any of my own, I just listen.

The time I use for my faith is usually during everyday conversation, anyway. For example, if I have a friend who is lamenting hormonal birth control, I will share my experience with NFP, explaining the reasons why I use it, when it's necessary for me to use it, and how it is permitted within my faith. (After several conversations about it, that friend ended up switching to NFP, even though she's not Catholic.)

[quote="Kimothy80, post:1, topic:213528"]
Also, whenever you and a friend don't see eye-to-eye on something, do you argue to death or just agree to diagree?

[/quote]

Agree to disagree. I had one friend in particular with whom I could not discuss abortion at all. I am very hard-core, anti-abortion; she was very hard-core, pro-abortion. When we discovered our respective passions (it only took once, and an argument ensued), we said, "Okay, let's ignore this one issue between us," before the argument got really bad. We did eventually grow apart, after I had my first baby.


#3

I live in the South. Catholics are only 5 or 6% of the population. Thusly, I have many Protestant friends. I have served as Youth Minister and would meet monthly with other (non-Catholic) YMs. There were never any hostilities. We would have city-wide events with kids of all (or no) denominations. Confirmation students from a local United Methodist church come to one of our Masses as guests to observe it every year.

I have a Jewish sister-in-law. Her family is devout/praticing. Many times I have had long conversations with her father about Jewish life and history. Early on he was surprised by how much I knew. Thank God for a good Catholic Education (Carmalite and Franciscan).

From what I understand, the Church of LDS is more secretive.


#4

Get your Jewish friend a copy of Fr Anthony Alexander's book COLLEGE APOLOGETICS.
It is no longer than a modern novel and easy to read explanation of the Catholic Faith. To include a section on the error of other faiths. So, I suggest you read it before giving it to our friend.


#5

Like Truly I am an adult covert as well and I am the only Catholic in my family. With them I take the approach that if they ask about something I'll answer it but I'm not going to address a topic unless they want to. I have a few basic Catholic books I've lent them to read but I tread carefully with them. With my hubby's Catholic-raised family I do argue Church teaching with them. I am obligated as a Catholic to uphold the faith and ensure as practicing Catholics they are doing the same.

For example, my Catholic SIL (who just got married in August) is 10 years older than me and made the comment one day that if she was my age her and her new hubby would probably be on birth control to avoid pregnancy. I argued with her regarding that because NFP is effective if you really devote yourself to it and realize the purpose of it is not birth control. It is a difficult choice as my hubby and I (and countless other couples) can testify to but birth control morally is not right for Catholics to use. At the same time my Agnostic sister is getting married and asked me why we use NFP. With her I took a gentler approach explaining this is what we believe but I did not argue with her. IMO arguing would only lead her to be angry with the Church. I pray that she will become Catholic someday and I don't believe that arguing the point now would foster that curiousity.

In my RCIA class there was a doctor converting with his wife. His business partner at his office was a devote Catholic and had for 20 years never once argued doctrine with him but rather simply stated why the Catholic faith believe what it does. It took 20 years of this approach for the doctor to determine he needed to convert. My point being it is very easy to want to argue your faith (I often want to with my family), but sometimes just living as an example of it has a much more profound witness that may not be immediately seen. :)


#6

I have some Jewish friends through school. One of them refers to the Catholic Bible as having two sections: Fiction and Non-fiction.

Other than describing family observances, we don’t talk religion. Sometimes, you find out what flies and what doesn’t. Oh, well.


#7

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