How do you explain why you have faith?


#1

I’ve been talking to this person who is really into New Age type of things. He has an animosity towards Christianity in general, even though he claims he’s a Christian. He believes in things like, pantheism, and astrology, psychics, etc. I don’t think I’ve been doing a very good job trying to explain why I have faith in Christianity, and in the Church. He defends things like Scientology, and gets mad when I say it is a cult because he feels I don’t know enough about it to say so, but he knows nothing about Catholicism and would never defend it. So how would you explain why you believe what you do to someone like that?

I said that before I was Catholic, I had no direction, things like that, that it wasn’t a good time etc. He jumps on me and say, oh now you’re trying to convert me. Even when I say I’m just trying to share my own experience as a fellow human being. He said that he just follows his heart now and he feels great, with no need to follow a ‘book’ as he refers to the Bible or an institution made of men 'the catholic church, as he says. What would you say to someone like that?


#2

I have faith because God gave me the free will to have faith, and the Grace to hear His Word”. But honestly, I don’t see any way you can convince this person with any mere declaration of faith.

What you have to do is live your faith, and display the joy you have living this faith. Your friend is going to find that no matter how hard he tries “following his heart and all that #(@_$”, he’s going to be dis-satisfied. One day, he’ll realize that you are the only one with true happiness and then he’ll be open to your attempts at conversion.

Have you ever noticed that people who feel the need to claim they are happy, usually aren’t (or at least it’s shortlived). Self-Deception is a terrible thing. Your actions are going to go further to convert him then any words.

God Bless,

NotWorthy


#3

I have faith because I do not know everything, and there are things I do not know that can hurt me.

Also there are many things I see that I don’t like, and that could trigger me to become depressed or intimidated. Faith allows me to believe that there is a higher truth that somehow explains all this and maybe even makes my life meaningful.

Pretty much I think I can either have faith or anxiety. I choose faith.

Here by faith, I mean a wonderful acceptance that God will take care of us, through times of storms and poverty. Very closely tied to the serenity prayer, which I think is a reasonably good statement of faith, to pray for the courage to change what I can, the serenity to accept those I can’t, and wisdom to know the difference.

The world would have me give up changing things, and wishes me to accept anything. As my faith grows, my hope is that I will find I have more power to make changes.

Accepting a certain level of evil, in my view, is not a lack of faith, but humility. One can become very frustrated at trying to wish beyond one’s faith – it can prevent us from ever getting to the point of talking to mountains.

Alan


#4

It’s not that I’m trying to convince him of anything. I would just feel better if I could explain the why’s better. He thinks all religion is like a cult…all that stuff. He had a bad experience with Pentacostalism. I just wanted to let him know there reasonable and legitimate reasons.


#5

Oren;

Faith is the first step in a journey towards truth. Without faith, your friend is simply moving from one experience to another. He can trick himself into believing that he’s moving towards truth, but without faith in a loving God he will only be responding to his own limited ability to comprehend the larger picture that is reality. Without faith, he is limiting his ability to transcend the mundane experiential nature of the world. His path - without faith in God - leads only to disillusionment. He is living the life of the “prodigal son.”

I have faith because without it, nothing makes sense. I don’t know if this helps or not, but it’s all I have to offer at the moment.

Peace,


#6

[quote=Oren]It’s not that I’m trying to convince him of anything. I would just feel better if I could explain the why’s better. He thinks all religion is like a cult…all that stuff. He had a bad experience with Pentacostalism. I just wanted to let him know there reasonable and legitimate reasons.
[/quote]

What really impressed me about faith was the parallel between one guy on an infomercial I watched several times in 1985 selling “self-talk” tapes for $300, and the mechanics of “faith” as explained by TV preacher Dr. Fred Price. Price was the first one I ever saw open the Bible and teach me how to use it to get over past hurts – or do anything useful with it for that matter. I bought a Bible for $12 and started listening to Price, and eventually came back to the Church.

It’s a bit like this. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. When you just “know” something but do not have physical evidence yet, then if you speak in faith it will come to be.

It’s like an automobile designer. The person has an image of the car before it ever really exists, and they have “faith” that it is doable, because they know what they are doing. Similarly, prayer exercises our faith to take power from the spiritual world and bring it into the physical, which follows it.

The way it worked for the self-talk guy, is he compared our memories to floppy disks. Our whole lives we let everybody write things on it, mostly negative scripts. We cannot get rid of them, because we can deny them but that leaves a void that they soon come rushing back to fill in. So we replace it with other scripts, telling ourselves for example “it is so nice to be a non-smoker now” even while we are smoking one. He cautions against saying “this is my last cigarette” or “I quit tomorrow” because all the subconscious hears is “not yet quitting.”

Fred Price was quoting a verse something like “believe you have received it, and it shall be yours.” He was making the same point as the tapes guy, except he was using a $12 Bible instead of $300 tapes so I went with him.

Like that, you can speak or think in faith about things you cannot see. It’s like spiritual buying power. The more faith you have, the more you will begin to see the world respond. Once you have the physical evidence, of course, it no longer requires faith so you can then kick it up a notch and exercise faith for bigger changes.

Also I have faith that I will somehow have something to wear or sleep, so I worry about nothing. Everything else is icing on the cake.

Alan


#7

[quote=Oren]I’ve been talking to this person who is really into New Age type of things. He has an animosity towards Christianity in general, even though he claims he’s a Christian. He believes in things like, pantheism, and astrology, psychics, etc. I don’t think I’ve been doing a very good job trying to explain why I have faith in Christianity, and in the Church. He defends things like Scientology, and gets mad when I say it is a cult because he feels I don’t know enough about it to say so, but he knows nothing about Catholicism and would never defend it. So how would you explain why you believe what you do to someone like that?

I said that before I was Catholic, I had no direction, things like that, that it wasn’t a good time etc. He jumps on me and say, oh now you’re trying to convert me. Even when I say I’m just trying to share my own experience as a fellow human being. He said that he just follows his heart now and he feels great, with no need to follow a ‘book’ as he refers to the Bible or an institution made of men 'the catholic church, as he says. What would you say to someone like that?
[/quote]

Active skepticism is the beginning of faith. Your friend is a ripe pre-Christian, waiting to be plucked from the tree by the Holy Spirit. Pray to the Holy Spirit (with faith) for his conversion. Prayers are always answered. He will be converted.

Your words to him are wonderful. You sound like you are talking to him with humility.

Why does anyone “have faith” and join The Way – the Catholic faith?

Simple: We see it. It makes our hearts burn (as the Holy Spirit excites us, by the grace of the cross, into wanting to grasp The Way). And so we grasp it and join it.


#8

[quote=Oren]It’s not that I’m trying to convince him of anything. I would just feel better if I could explain the why’s better.
[/quote]

Your actions will be all the explanation necessary.

Notworthy


#9

[quote=BibleReader]Active skepticism is the beginning of faith. Your friend is a ripe pre-Christian, waiting to be plucked from the tree by the Holy Spirit. Pray to the Holy Spirit (with faith) for his conversion. Prayers are always answered. He will be converted.

Your words to him are wonderful. You sound like you are talking to him with humility.

Why does anyone “have faith” and join The Way – the Catholic faith?

Simple: We see it. It makes our hearts burn (as the Holy Spirit excites us, by the grace of the cross, into wanting to grasp The Way). And so we grasp it and join it.
[/quote]

That was beautiful. :crying:

:amen:


#10

Oren,

You wrote: “It’s not that I’m trying to convince him of anything. I would just feel better if I could explain the why’s better. He thinks all religion is like a cult…all that stuff. He had a bad experience with Pentacostalism. I just wanted to let him know there reasonable and legitimate reasons.”

This sounds to me like a guy who might be looking for the more logical reasons for faith. I would point him to Peter Kreeft—his website (I believe it’s peterkreeft.com) has some short essays that explain Aquinas’ “five ways” of proving (and here I mean philosophical, not scientific proofs) the existence of God, in addition to some others. Kreeft’s book, “A Summa of the Summa”, has some great summations of arguments for the existence of God as well as arguments supporting Christianity. Maybe that approach would help.


closed #11

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