HELP...I need an Apologist!


#1

I’m not sure if this is the correct forum to go to for this, but here it goes. I am married to a SDA who is willing to hear about the RCC. He deeply believes what his church has taught him and their doctrines, even though he is not following them (long story).

Anyway, this conversation came about because we have a 5 month old son who I want to baptize already…I’ve wanted to for a few months just haven’t been able to. He asked me what I would say if he didn’t agree with it, that he thought he shouldn’t be baptized until he was old enough to make his own decision about what faith to follow, baptizing him as an infant was only “imposing” my religion onto him. I of course got upset and told him that there was plenty of infant baptizing going on after Christ died and so on, but I am by no means an expert and feel that I am still “learning” my faith even though I am a cradle catholic.

He, on the other hand, can quote scripture with the best of them. He also said he was not attacking my faith or trying to convert me, but that he had alot of unanswered questions about the RCC, lots of things he couldn’t understand. He also said he was open minded and that if someone would sit in front of him and answer his questions and proved that his beliefs and the teachings he was following were wrong that he would consider following the catholic church and be open to all it’s teachings.

His main concern is to follow what is true and not confuse our son by having two (very different) religions in our home. If he goes back to his church, we are going to have alot of problems and could be the end of our marriage…we are now trying to survive infidelity on his part…and this may be easier than surviving the practice of different religions under one roof.

I need to find an expert in the area that I live in, someone willing and able to sit with him, someone who’s patient and charitable, but that can quote scripture to defend the church, answer questions about Mary, Tradition, infant baptism, reconciliation, etc. I know this thread has gotten really long, but I know my husband and if he is convinced that the Truth is in the catholic church he will perhaps be inclined to bring his entire family back Home, back to Rome…Help me Please!!! I live in downtown Chicago.


#2

I would love to come over and talk to your husband unfortunately I live in California. If you are ever out here feel free to message and you can visit my family, and parish.

At least I can bump this thread back up to the top.

God Bless
Scylla


#3

#4

[quote=scylla]I would love to come over and talk to your husband unfortunately I live in California. If you are ever out here feel free to message and you can visit my family, and parish.

At least I can bump this thread back up to the top.

God Bless
Scylla
[/quote]

Thank you :thumbsup: Actually, we are originally from California and go there often, but I’m not sure how soon we’ll be making it west. I plan on baptizing my son in California, but if I have to convince him about the baptism it may take a while for us to get there.


#5

Oops,

Well, I’m not an “expert”, but I do lead a bible study at my parish, i am an RCIA catechist, and I think I know my bible better than most Catholics, in general.
I’m not sure exactly what your husband is looking for, but feel free to email me. I live in the Western Suburbs of Chicago.
danman916@aol.com

:slight_smile:
Dan


#6

Also, (and maybe this is the wrong way to go here, but…) you could even just point out to him that you’re not forcing anything on the child by baptizing him… If you baptize him now and then when he’s 12 he wants to become a Bhuddist or something, there’s nothing stopping him, and baptizing him sure as heck isn’t going to somehow magically make him believe or practice Catholcism. The kid will still have just as much of a choice as anyone.


#7

[quote=Dan-Man916]Oops,

Well, I’m not an “expert”, but I do lead a bible study at my parish, i am an RCIA catechist, and I think I know my bible better than most Catholics, in general.
I’m not sure exactly what your husband is looking for, but feel free to email me. I live in the Western Suburbs of Chicago.
danman916@aol.com

:slight_smile:
Dan
[/quote]

Hi there :smiley: . Thank you for letting me know that, I don’t know what I would need to tell the the truth or how knowledgable the person that talks to him needs to be…all I have to say is he’s tough. He seems to pull out a bible verse for anything I have to say when I talk about why we do what we do. He wants an explanation for everything. I don’t know if you have delt with SDAs, they are for the most part good people, but they hold on feverently to their beliefs, especially the Saturday Sabbath thing… :eek: . He mentioned bringing a priest to him, but I’m not sure very many priests are capable of or have the time to go head to head with a SDA or any other protestant. He’s also had experiences with priests, they can’t answer his questions which only reaffirms him in his position. You sound very knowledgable, do you feel you’d be up to this kind of challenge? I know that I would only get one shot at this, I don’t think he would give another opportunity if he felt he proved me “wrong”.


#8

[quote=Lazerlike42]Also, (and maybe this is the wrong way to go here, but…) you could even just point out to him that you’re not forcing anything on the child by baptizing him… If you baptize him now and then when he’s 12 he wants to become a Bhuddist or something, there’s nothing stopping him, and baptizing him sure as heck isn’t going to somehow magically make him believe or practice Catholcism. The kid will still have just as much of a choice as anyone.
[/quote]

I have mentioned that to him…I think his take is more that I’m forcing my beliefs on him…not really the baby, but he just won’t outright say it. He married me in the Catholic Church because he knew that for my anything else meant nothing, he knows that I have a deep strong faith although I don’t always make it to church and confession…I do try and I do try to follow the teachings of my religion. I never led him to think that I was weak in my faith and he chose to marry me anyway. I really think this is more about him and feeling that I got my way with the marriage and now he wants his way with this baptism thing, but I don’t know. Only he knows his real motives.


#9

[quote=Lexee15] I don’t think he would give another opportunity if he felt he proved me “wrong”.
[/quote]

well, it depends upon if he’s looking for a debate, or if he is looking to actually learn what Catholicism teaches, why it teaches as it does, and what kind of spirituality Catholicism offers.
I have been in discussions with others before, some face to face, most either by email and some here and on beliefnet.com.

What i have really learned is that offering proof texts for this belief or that belief is often just an excercise in volleyball ping-pong. SDA’s have their own way of bible interpretation, and i don’t have a lot of experience with SDA’s in particular. I come from an evangelical background.

If he is looking for someone to “prove” him wrong, he isn’t going to find anyone. He has to be open to listening and to hearing. You could bring Joh Martinoni from bible christian society.org biblechristiansociety.com/default.asp
and he won’t be able to convince your husband of anything if he isn’t willing to be open to hearing, and John is a consummate pro, IMO. (By the way, he has audio CD’s free with many topics that are purely apologetical in nature if you’re interested in checking them out).

In RCIA, we are open to people who want to learn more about their faith and are open to hearing wht Catholicism has Tradition, why we venerate Mary, why we have the Sacraments, etc.

If he just wants to counter things with his own theology and bible verses, then i would really recommend that you’re saying the rosary daily for him would be a far better way to get results.

No one here can convert anyone, no matter how good we are as an apologist. The Holy Spirit converts people.

So as I said, it really depends on what he is looking for. If he is looking for reasons why Catholics have Tradition and venerate Mary, etc, that’s fine. But if he wants a point counter-point of bible verses, that really isn’t going to lead anywhere.


#10

[quote=Dan-Man916]well, it depends upon if he’s looking for a debate, or if he is looking to actually learn what Catholicism teaches, why it teaches as it does, and what kind of spirituality Catholicism offers.

No one here can convert anyone, no matter how good we are as an apologist. The Holy Spirit converts people.

So as I said, it really depends on what he is looking for. If he is looking for reasons why Catholics have Tradition and venerate Mary, etc, that’s fine. But if he wants a point counter-point of bible verses, that really isn’t going to lead anywhere.
[/quote]

Well he says her truely wants to know about the faith, I think I just become defensive because I get angry at myself for not being able to answer his questions. So I’m blowing this somewhat out of porportion, he probably isn’t as bad as I’m making him out to be.

He does have valid questions and I just hoping that whoever talks to him knows enough scripture to keep up with his questions. I don’t think he’ll do the back and forth thing with scripture, but he will point out things about the church that are not in the bible and want to know why, or he’ll point things out that are in the bible and want to know why we don’t follow that…that sort of thing.

I also don’t think it’s about proving anyone right or wrong, I think it’s me being overly sensitive…it is a sensitive subject. Like I said I’ll take any help I can get here. I think all I need is someone knowledgable and confident about our faith and defending our faith. :smiley:


#11

Why does he need someone to “sit down with him”?

Is this forum not the perfect venue?

Perhaps email?

Im more than willing to help. I had the pleasant experience of having to justify before my wife and her pastor (who holds to symbolic believer’s baptism) the Catholic position and why I believe it is the strongest claim to Truth. And it was not simply an esoteric exercise, it was in the context of having a 2 month old and my wife and I arriving at a concensus.

Phil


#12

[quote=Philthy]Why does he need someone to “sit down with him”?

Is this forum not the perfect venue?

Perhaps email?

Im more than willing to help. I had the pleasant experience of having to justify before my wife and her pastor (who holds to symbolic believer’s baptism) the Catholic position and why I believe it is the strongest claim to Truth. And it was not simply an esoteric exercise, it was in the context of having a 2 month old and my wife and I arriving at a concensus.

Phil
[/quote]

This is exactly why we need this :thumbsup: , because we don’t want to cause confusion for our child or future children…which is why he says he’s open to learning about the church…he says he thinks I’m the one who isn’t open to truths about the SDAs. He says he asks God to allow him to be open whether it’s to lead me to the truth or for me to lead him to the truth.

I don’t know if he’d be open to e-mail…he might be, he’s just so busy that I don’t know if that would be the quickest way for him to get all the info. he wants and needs. Also, unless he goes on the AAA forum he may get opinions instead of concrete info., that’s what would worry me about this site. Any other suggestions?


#13

Lexee,

There’s actually many good sources that your husband can followup with now, if he wants to learn more about Catholicism.
For instance, Relavent radio on 820 AM is Catholic radio and always has good topics of discussion.
The CD apologetics series from John Martinoni’s site i mentioned earlier has good material.

There’s plenty of good books out there that he can read of people who have converted to the Catholic Church that give their story of conversion.
I don’t know of any particular SDA’s, but i think he can begin to learn about them nonetheless.

The entire issue, though, really comes down to one of authority.
Who can properly interpret the bible?
Who can judge when 2 interpretations differ?
Where did the bible come from?
What was always believed from the first Christians in the ealiest centuries?
Where does the bible say that the bible alone is the sole rule of faith and morals?

These questions underlie every single other issue that divides Catholics and Protestants.

But as I said and I cannot stress enough, prayer is the best thing you can do. Bring her before our Lady.

These kinds of conversions do not normally happen overnight. They usually take years when one becomes converted from a fundamentalist type of denonimation, there is really a radical re-arranging of thinking that goes on inside of them. Everything they thought is challenged and it takes a long time for things to make sense and before they can start understanding and peicing things together.
Often times, a person will ask the same question often over a period of time as they are learning about sometihng and taking it from the head to the heart.

This is along process and one you shouldn’t expect to happen overnight. These things can take a couple of years.


#14

I completely agree, I think all I would like right now is for him to question, if he’s questioning he open to learning. I think so anyway, I think he just needs someone to answer some of his questions in a way that make sense to him and I think that will start him questioning more and searching for answers. Right now it seems he doesn’t have much desire to pick up a book to read about it…he also doesn’t have alot of time, I’m not sure what it is. I do have alot of books dealing with conversion stories, both in English and Spanish…but he doesn’t read them and I don’t want to push.


#15

When I converted I was in RCIA with a couple people who were investigating the faith for similar reasons as your husband. We were lucky in that we had a great RCIA instructor. However, it took 9 years of marriage to a Catholic for me to even get to RCIA. Quite honestly, the Mass converted me. Possibly just a request for him to attend Mass with you on Sunday would work wonders. I would suggest that you pray often, and take advantage of the Sacraments to plant the seed. The flower will grow, just give it time and don’t give up. As for baptism there are passages that refer to the Apostles baptizing whole families, and Jesus himself said not to hinder the children from his presence. Perhaps using this type of reasoning you can get your husband to come to the “it won’t do any harm” mentality.

Good Luck.


#16

staycatholic.com/early_church_fathers.htm here are some early church father quotes on baptism.


#17

Hi Lexee, you said

His main concern is to follow what is true and not confuse our son by having two (very different) religions in our home. If he goes back to his church, we are going to have alot of problems and could be the end of our marriage…we are now trying to survive infidelity on his part…and this may be easier than surviving the practice of different religions under one roof.

On EWTN is a talk by Dr. Beverly Whelton, a Former Seventh-Day Adventist. It is No. 16 on this page.
ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/frmselecrprog.asp?seriesID=-6892289&T1=journey
It is the story of her conversion.

SDAs belief in Baptism of Consent doesn’t jell with Acts 16:33 “At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.”

If the head of the household was converted the whole household were baptised as well. That does not require individual consent.

Also See "A Fictional Dialogue on Infant Baptism " at ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ96.HTM This is really good.

If we take the argument back to the Old Testament, infant males were circumcised on the 8th day to enable them to enter into the Covenant God had made with the Jesiwh people. It was only converts (like St Paul’s jailor) who came into the Covenant as consentual adults.

The Catholic Church has been baptising infants for over 2000 years. Ask your husband where in the Bible it says not to baptise infants?

Jesus said “Unless a man be born again by water and the Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Man in this instance refers to ‘mankind’ not the adult sense. We know that since Jesus doesn’t mention ‘a woman’.

In the ancient catacombs of Rome the inscriptions on the tombs of infants make mention of their having been baptised. One such inscription reads: “here rest Archillia, a newly-baptised; she was one year and five months old; died February 23rd.”


#18

Thanks for the websites that you have suggested, I have been looking at them and they all have very good, helpful information. I do have “The Journey Home” video with the SDA convert, I only wish there were more. I haven’t showed it to him yet because I don’t want him to think I’m pushing, but I’ll probably introduce it to him in the next couple of days. I am still open to all suggestions and directions, I also understand that this will probably be a long, rough road for the both of us. Thanks for all your help :tiphat: :blessyou: I will continue to look here for your help :smiley: .


#19

Maybe try just sitting down and watching it while he is doing something. Just watch it yourself when he is in a position to overhear and become interested.


#20

[quote=Lazerlike42]Maybe try just sitting down and watching it while he is doing something. Just watch it yourself when he is in a position to overhear and become interested.
[/quote]

Hey, that sounds like a good idea. I think I will do that. If I’m watching it on my own maybe it won’t feel like I’m pushing, although…he is the type of guy who will say “If you want me to watch this just say it…don’t try to trick me into watching.” He’s just that kind of person…if I want something be direct…according to him he can’t read my mind. Hopefully he won’t take it that way, thanks. :thumbsup: :smiley:


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