How to defend my Catholic Faith a little better

To make a long story short I am a convert to the Catholic Church ever since the age of 13. I am now the age of 15, and I’m going to be volunteering at my old non denominational Protestant church for the whole week, now the staff know for a fact now that I am a Catholic. I even know how to defend the faith, now I know they are going to attack me because they tried before, and I just wanted a few tips on how I can kind of stump Protestants when it comes to defending the Catholic faith. Most of the staff are ex Roman Catholics, and it seems it would be impossible defending the church against these guys since they know about all the teachings of the Church. Any suggestions?

God Bless

First of all, I wouldn’t assume that ex-Catholics know all about Catholicism. One of the reasons they are no longer Catholic is probably because they DON’T know as much as they think they do or they believe falsehoods told to them by those who proselytized them away from the faith.

Also, what are you are going to be doing to help out at your former church? If it has anything to do with evangelizing maybe you shouldn’t. After all, why should you help them do that when you no longer hold to what they believe?

If it’s some kind of community project then they should respect your faith and leave you alone. You can always tell them you don’t wish to discuss religion. There’s no law stating you have to take being attacked for your faith simply because you wish to help with a worthwhile project.

But if the subject comes up in a respectful way, don’t worry about what you will say. You can’t anticipate everything they might ask, so pray for the Holy Spirit to speak through you, be loving and let God guide you. No one can ask more of you than that. :slight_smile:

Agreed. I’ve known several former Catholics, and none of them knew anything about the Faith. This is the sad consequence of bad catechesis these past few decades - Catholics don’t know their faith.

While volunteering, arrive earlier and stay later than everyone else. Let your love in action through charity defend your Catholic faith.

When suffering attacks, imitate the Lord during his Passion. Recall his words and his actions; mirror and echo what he said and did.

Give us some examples?

A little tidbit which you may already know since you are posting the in Apologetics section…

The word Apologetics ,means “defense of the faith using logic and reason” actually comes from the Greek “apologos” which is the word used to describe the case that a lawyer would make for his client… It is where we get the english word “apology” because in an apology… you often end up kinda stating your case as to why you did something.

But defense of the faith is a very BROAD category of study.

So can you give us some examples?

Common mistakes made by Catholics, from personal experience or based on others…

  1. Agreeing that something isn’t rooted or based on the bible but PURELY on ‘tradition’ (small “t” emphasized to mean, cultural or historic ) ALL Catholic beliefs are ROOTED in scripture and reinforced by Sacred Tradition (large “T”) to emphasize that our teachings don’t contradict the bible or are in addition to them. NO, they are in-conjunction with and supported by Sacred Scripture. NOTHING in the bible can contradict a Catholic belief.

  2. Along with #1, Agreeing that we’ve ADDED unnecessary stuff. NO, it is the Protestant faith tradition that stripped stuff away from what had ALWAYS been part of the Christian faith. They reduced things…Catholicism has not added anything.

  3. Agreeing that we call Priests by father purely out of tradition and that it does seem to go against the bible’s teaching of calling “no man your father” – NO, Paul calls the Christians he converted his children…making him, their father. Abraham and Moses are called ‘father’ by the apostles, even though they were not directly related to them. Priests ARE our spiritual fathers in the truest sense because they guide us and teach us… as our biological fathers do. they are NOT our Heavenly Father… as in God. But they are ‘fathers’ of sorts. So the term is quite biblical.

  4. The bible says that it is profitable for all good works and sufficient. - This does NOT support bible alone, as the bible ALSO says that Wisdom is profitable as well as faith being all you need, or love, or many other things. So clearly simply being profitable and fully equipping does not mean you don’t ALSO need other things to follow Christ.
    Catholics DO believe that Scripture is profitable and fully equips us. We just don’t take it too far and ignore how the early Christians believed and worshipped and RE-interpret things on our own and in a new way that doesn’t match with the rest of Christianity.

  5. Don’t agree that the Immaculate Conception of Mary is simply something that the Catholic church teaches and that everyone has to believe it. – NO, it may not have been dogmatically stated 'til the 20th century…but we have ample evidence from the bible and early Christian writings that Christians and the Apostles ALWAYS believed this. The Immaculate conception wasn’t even debated by the early Protestants like Martin Luther. And you can’t say he was ‘shy’ or ‘didn’t want to rock the boat’ – Martin Luther actually defended the doctrine, before it was dogmatic. Only more recently in the 19th century has it truly come under fire, which is then why the Church made it dogmatic in the 1950s. – in order to settle the debate amongst Catholics who were getting confused.
    There is biblical support for it…if you interpret things consistently with the earliest Church forefathers who learned from the Apostles.

Keep driving home the point that what Catholics believe NOW is the same as what the Apostles taught the very first Christians and that it is those who broke away who have changed things.
That the bible tells Christians to settle their differences by going before the CHURCH…not the bible. That Christ gave authority to the Apostles not a book and that these Apostles wrote about an organization which had authority to mediate and keep unity.
That power to bind and loose was given to Peter… a man, NOT a book or the general public to read and interpret things on their own. That the promise of guidance was given to his CHURCH, not to individuals who pick up the bible and interpret things for themselves.

Agree with them that we should ALL read the bible…but not go off on our own tangent and re-interpret things on our own…but remain within the context and boundary set by the Apostles.

Agree with them that the bible is important by quoting St. Jerome and restated by many Popes - “to be ignorant of the bible is to be ignorant of Christ”
You may even throw out the quote by Arch Bishop Fulton Sheen: “People don’t dislike what the Catholic church teaches as much as they dislike what they THINK the Catholic church teaches”

And finally… if you have to ceed that there were bad Popes… which there were. Use that to prove the extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit to protect Christ’s church from teaching error…because none of those awful Popes changed Church doctrine or anything about the faith. This proves that although men ARE corruptable… The Catholic church does not change.

St Thomas Aquinas- Summa Theologicae is the major work but he has others.

plus a couple of others…

Well im being forced to help out at this church because my family goes there except me, and the staff last year attacked my faith because I choose the Catholic Church. Why I’m going to this church is to help kids learn about God. It’s a vacation bible school, I don’t want to go but I have no choice. My grand mother who is a ex Catholic kept trying to get her pastor to talk me out of Catholicism since he is now also a ex Catholic.

In that case you could be the chum in a feeding frenzy. I’m sorry you are being coerced to help against your will. I’d stick to helping the kids make their little craft projects or whatever and shut off any religious discussions by saying nicely that you don’t wish to talk about it. After all, your conscience is not public property nor even that of your parents. If they won’t let up on you, leave. That’s your right too. It’s not that defending the faith is impossible but being put in that position is not fair to you nor charitable. You have no obligation to stand there and be attacked if you can get out of it, just as St. Paul did on several occasions and Jesus walked away from those who wanted to stone him. God will give you a way to escape or to astound your attackers with his wisdom. Just know that you have rights too and that God doesn’t expect you to be anyone’s victim of spiritual bullying.

If they insist on the Bible as the only reliable source of truth, ask them how they know what books (and parts of books) are in the Bible? We know, because the Church, founded by Jesus himself on the community of Apostles and disciples, was able to recognize the inspired texts that best expressed our experience of God. The Bible makes sense in light of the Church, not the other way around.

What text is the “real” text, since some translations contradict or distort what the Bible says? Again, it is the Church that made that determination, and the Magisterium, guided by the Spirit (as Jesus promised at the Last Supper in John 14-16) that has the authority to interpret it and clarify doubts and problems.

If they complain that the Church has gone astray, changed the faith, challenge them to show when and where it happened. It should not be too hard to show that their history is faulty. With specific questions, this forum can be a big help.

I know all those defenses and I plan to use them when they attack me. Some other things Protestants really can’t answer is where in the Bible does it say that scripture is the only source of faith? Where does it say In scripture that the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon? Where in scripture does it say you have to find everything in scripture to come to conclusions to what is right and what is wrong? Where in scripture does it mention that tradition shall not be used to worship Christ? Jesus even said himself to keep the traditions he gave us. I can go down the list, what they don’t realize is that they have traditions themselves, such as bible studies which isent in the Bible, Friday worship services, rock music for service and so forth. They are all traditions of man along with sola scripture ( bible alone ) and once saved always saved. What heretics if you ask me

I also forgot to mention this Church is non denominational, so there against " religion "


A couple other “scandal” stats to keep in mind. Many non-Catholics (well ok some Catholics too) believe that the Inquisition killed MILLIONS of people (Jimmy Swaggert is on record as stating 25,000,000). Per Karl Keetings Catholicism and Fundementalism the documentation is unclear but a generally accepted number is about 3,000 in all 4 Inquisitions over 250 years. Fr. Richard Simons (aka Rev Know-it-all) compared it to the state of Texas’ execution rate and TX out did the Inquisition in a MUCH shorter time. Compare to the witch burnings in Protestant Germant durring the same time: 100,000. Also the Inquisition did not - usually - do the executing. The Inquisition was a court system that acutally brought a rule-of-law to the judicial system. Many, MANY people appealed to have their case heard by the Inquisition RATHER THAN the local court. There are recorded Riots because the Inquisition was stopped!

Listen to Thomas Madden:

He dispells most of the ‘legends’ of the Inquisition.

Also the ‘priest abuse scandal’ - just heard on a recent Catholic Answers Open Forum with Tim Staples, he quoted the stat that the rate of priest abuse is about 1,7% but the rate of Protestant pastor abuse is about 4x that, teachers, coaches, other religious leaders and other proffessions that deal with children are all HIGHER.

Above all - as the Hitchhikers Guide says: DON"T PANIC!
You have found the fullness of the TRUTH. Even if they ‘corner’ you on an issue, just say ‘I don’t know, but I will find out for you’ and then DO IT. I had to work through ALOT of junk arguments against the Catholic Church. What did I learn from it? That there’s an explaination for just about everything. I only say ‘just about’ because I haven’t studied EVERYTHING yet, but I have yet to NOT find an explaination or an answer.

Always reply in a calm voice, anchor your soul Rock of Christ who delegated his authority to the Rock of the Church - Peter. The more angry they get it means the less they believe their own argument. They’re just trying to make you think - by their anger - that they really know what they’re talking about.

Cross yourself before you go there, ask St. Justin Martyr for intercession, be humble, be loving, be strong, BE CATHOLIC!

God Bless you :signofcross:

If questioned, you might tell them that following scripture (1 Peter 3:15-16):
…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.
you would be delighted to explain to them your faith in the Church and educate them in what the Church teaches and believes. You could then ask them for a specific list of their questions (so that you can get them a full and complete answer - maybe from a really good Catholic website you know - maybe a printed tract or two to boot :wink: ) and tell them the faith is so rich and deep you will not be able to do it justice in a few minutes of time and that you don’t want to take away from the service you are called to do.

In short, if confronted, don’t play their game. You are under no obligation to be their religious “punching bag”. Tell them the truth - that you know you are home in the Church and that you know this is where God wants us all to be. Perform your service with gladness knowing God is seeing what is truly happening and walks with you.

Prayers for your being in so tough a situation.

Thank you!

Feel free to ask them questions. Somehow this weird dynamic has developed where Catholics always have to be the ones to answer Fundamentalists’ questions. Why? Have a few questions ready for them. Where does the Bible approve of contraception? Where does the Bible say to use only the Bible? Why did all the first century Christians believe they were eating the Body and Blood of Christ rather than mere bread and wine? Why did Jesus say so many times that we will be judged by what we have done, as opposed to what we have believed? If we’re all conceived in original sin and can only be saved by personal faith alone, how are babies saved – did God make no provision for their salvation? If Jesus isn’t our perpetual sarcifice, why does the Book of Revelation depict an altar in heaven?

Alan Schreck’s “Catholic and Christian” subtitled “An Explanation Of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs” is a good primer on Catholicism. It is not too difficult since he makes the material easy to read. I have read another one of his books and it, too, was not complicated.

There is one quote that comes in hande for me when I’m not sure of what to say (its from St Franis of Assisi): All ways preach, use words if you have to. :):signofcross::hug3:

Guys I really need help. My non denominational family is trying to get me to leave the Catholic Church saying we are full of rituals and rules and junk which is man made. I also have to deal with my old non denominational pastor who use to be Catholic and had a bad experience, and he is trying to get me to leave the church! What shall I do?! He said the Catholic Church didn’t teach him to get born again and that it is the whore of Babylon, I dont know what to do! :frowning:

Guys I really need help. My non denominational family is trying to get me to leave the Catholic Church saying we are full of rituals and rules and junk which is man made. I also have to deal with my old non denominational pastor who use to be Catholic and had a bad experience, and he is trying to get me to leave the church! What shall I do?! He said the Catholic Church didn’t teach him to get born again and that it is the whore of Babylon, I dont know what to do!

First, ask them if they believe the Holy Spirit still acts through people or if it was just the Apostles. Why would there be any need for the Holy Spirit if all we needed was Jesus quotes? I guess some things are man made in the sense that Jesus didn’t specifically talk about them, yet they are included. I’d say man-made but God inspired. There were no Protestant or non-denominational churches around at the time. Either Christians were fooled from the beginning or your family is wrong (I’d go with the latter.) Remember, they are fallible, whether or not they act as such. The rituals and rules we have exist for the purpose of glorifying God. I don’t think Jesus ever said, “Worship me and the Father in only the ways I have shown you.” Also, the rules you mentioned. Other than the fact that following them pleases God, it keeps us from going with the flow in our “live and let live” society. Remember, God gave some rules to the Israelites to set them apart. We must to set ourselves apart. Encourage them to at least learn about what they are saying and what the beliefs of the church are (Catechism). It is unfair to expect you to follow blindly, and it wouldn’t be right for them to not give you a chance. Challenge them to learn what they are arguing against before doing so. Also, the pastor doesn’t count because he is probably not an unbiased, reputable source on Catholicism.

You don’t have to do as they say nor believe what they say. Truth stands on its own not on anyone’s opinions. And your conscience is yours, not theirs. You know they are wrong about the Church, but if they will not listen nor respect your decision, you’ll have to let them know you love them but you must follow Christ who established his Church and not them. Pray for strength–the Rosary is particularly effective for Our Lady is the defender of truth and destroyer of heresies–and be a loving son and friend, but know that you are not obliged to violate your conscience for anyone. You have my prayers.

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