My parents are Protestant, of the “What, do you disagree with [my interpretation of] Scripture?” mindset. I think often of what I should say to them. How do I stop wanting to “defeat” them rhetorically? How do I be nice when I actually do talk to them?
Meet people where they are. Focus on the commonalities rather than the differences, and instead of trying to defeat them, just focus on sharing. If they want to get into the “Do you disagree with my interpretation…” arguments, admit that yes, you disagree, calmly explain why, and if they persist in trying to “defeat” you rhetorically, calmly remove yourself from the argument by saying, “I’m confident in my beliefs, and I don’t think this debate is going to accomplish anything, so why don’t we talk about something else?”
They are family. There must be tons of other subjects to talk about than religious differences.
Let them open the subject if they feel like it and whenever you feel like arguing invoke Archangel Gabriel’s name and help before you speak. This is how I did it. My parents, especially mom, does not believe and things sort of work out better between us around this subject.
I don’t think the ideal is for God to become a subject of difference inside family. God created family. I doubt He would not rush to help one that is being divised around His Name even if it all is for His Namesake.
By remembering you’re both on the same side.
You both love Jesus, and you both love each other.
It’s not a competition to see who is right, it’s a search for Truth.
Arguing with them - is absolutely pointless.
Just obey the commandment of respecting your parents.
Firstly, you must always honor and respect your parents, so when you disagree you should be respectful in your response.
Secondly, you don’t have to talk to them about religion if you feel the conversation will be fruitless.
Thirdly, one of the most effective ways to evangelize is by showing them the impact being Catholic has had on your life, your perspective, and how you treat others. Focus on living a life that is pleasing to God. You might create an opening that way.
Confess it if you are having trouble and can’t get over it. Are you being factitious? Factitiousness is uncharitable.
P.S. sometimes I need to do a better job of taking my own advice.
I have always been a believer in the statement, “If you don’t say anything, you can’t say the wrong thing.” I have found it the only sane way to deal with people whose minds are shut to anything that is in opposition to what they believe. You can never “win” an argument.
For me, I try to sense when a person is really open to my perspective, versus pushing their opinion without wanting to understand mine. As another poster said, if they are simply pushing, I’ll try to end the topic by stating that I understand their perspective but disagree for a variety of reasons.
Concerning committed Protestant family members, I go out of my way to tell them what I admire about the way they live out their faith. Converting out of the family religion can feel (to them) like a personal rejection or a repudiation of ALL their religious beliefs and practices. I see the need to explicitly contradict this tendency by affirming all that I honestly can about their character, beliefs and practices. With parents, regular gratitude for rearing you in a Christian faith can also greatly help any strain or antagonism.
Most of the time when people make rude comments its because they don’t understand something. Try to start by helping them understand. Don’t force anything and don’t force them to understand either. Be patient, it’ll go a long way
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