I just...dont care

I’m a convert to the faith. Having said that, it’s been 2 years since I became Catholic and I love every second off it. I seriously consider myself privileged and lucky to have the fullness of the Christian faith.

But I find myself not really caring about Apologetics in terms of Catholocism. It’s a shame really, I could probably be a great witness (and I am by the loyalty I have and who I am as a person).

However I find myself labeling myself as a Catholic as the end of it. I refuse to play “Bible Pokemon” where we just throw verses back and fourth in the bible. To me it’s silly, and childish. It’s like someone buying a service manual for a computer and suddenly deciding it’s the be all, end all basis for understanding reality and calling the company up screaming about how they don’t know the REAL way to trouble shoot their computer.

I guess what I’m saying is, I just don’t care if these people find truth or joy in the Catholic way. It would be great, but chances are many of them have made up their mind in terms of their faith and it’s not so much a logical discussion as it is an attempt to convert me :shrug:

Can anyone relate? Should I really try to argue the bible or theology with these people? Being a Catholic is a bold statement that one “Does not view a subjective interpretation of the bible as the be all end all in terms of the Christian way”. Tradition plays an equal role, so if they have rejected that idea from the start… why even argue? I seriously believe a bigger “seed” is planted by demonstrating what I am and where my faith ties into it (that being the cornerstone of my life)

:thumbsup:

I think that’s the way. I mean it saves a lot of time. And it’s more likely to get things to hit when and where they’d need to hit. No amount of arguing would ever serve up as much punch as just a few well witnessed acts of goodness and stuff. The few kind words you can lend when needed. The depth of your concern for someone. The way you live your life in general. All that stuff speaks more than just matching a guy verse for verse.

But I mean there’s also a time and place for that. But I think those are special people who can do that. The rest of us should just live our lives. Best evidence possible comes from that.

Peace.

-Trident

Yes and no. I do think that in many (not all) cases, bible pokemon (love that phrase) has a low chance of converting anyone, and I certainly agree that it’s not something that all Catholics should feel obliged to participate in.

But I also think it is valuable. Some people have in their ideas that Catholicism (or Christianity in general) is just highly illogical, and so have closed off their minds to accepting, no matter what good they see come from it - and they may see good come from it. These are the people who value such things as helping your fellow man, and so will say things like “these religions make no sense, but if they help you to help people, cool.” For these people, apologetics may break down the (thought to be) logical objections to the faith, which would then make room for the witness of a Catholic life to move them.

So I tend to think both are important. But feel free to leave the bible pokemon to others if that is not your strength/calling.

You know what? Maybe that’s exactly where God wants you to be, right now – witnessing to the faith by the way you lead your life (rather than the way you argue Scripture)! So, instead of engaging in apologetics, try to remember to pray for those who need to find the truth of Catholicism in their hearts!

Blessings,
G.

I agree with you. To me apologetics is a fruitless exercise in (largely) trying to rationalize faith. It can not be rationalized. Your interior conversion combined with the visibility of you living your faith is the better witness, and the witness we are called to.

Lemme ask you this then.

Did you witness or share your faith as a non-Catholic?

If not then perhaps you should consider adding the skills to do so as a Catholic, because we are all called to share the miracles God has done for us and in us with the people we meet.

We are not really called to argue, but it is by specific mandate of Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ that we are commanded to "[19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Matthew 28) Apologetics is part of that call to catechesis.

Certainly any faith sharing is nearly useless (or even scandalous) without living out our most holy faith, but to neglect or be indifferent to apologetics and faith sharing in general does not seem to respond to Our Lord’s command.

I agree with you on many points but we are called to give reason for our faith when asked. (1 Peter 3:15)

The key phrase in that verse, though, is “when asked” so I don’t necessarily think you have to go seeking out those opportunities. However, they will come along occasionally. In those cases, I think it’s wise to have a very succinct answer for the question that doesn’t lead to “Bible Pokemon,” as you said :thumbsup:

For instance, mine is “I believe Jesus founded a Church that He said the gates of hell would never prevail against and that He sent the Holy Spirit to guide the church into all truth. I’ve studied the history and evidence and I believe that church is the Catholic Church.”

If someone keeps pressing you, just give them a list of Catholic apologetics resources and tell them you won’t discuss it until they’ve read ALL of them! That puts the ball back into their court very easily. If the list is long enough, you’ll never hear back from them…you’ll be running into them at Mass :wink:

I’m just curious: have you had bad experiences of doing this? Are there particular persons in your life whom you’ve fought with and who have frustrated you?

If a person wants to understand why a Catholic would see things in a certain way given certain Biblical data, then I believe we have an obligation to be of help to them. That is a clear aspect of evangelization. If a person just wants to fight, and if they will in no way approach Catholicism with intellectual honesty, then obviously, it may be prudent to best nip such conversations in the bud.

But knowing the difference between those two cases may not be easy, and I think laziness is no excuse to refuse to ever discuss things with a person when they have intellectual impediments to faith, and have come to you for help.

St. Francis of Assisi is said to have remarked, “Speak the Gospel, use deeds when necessary.” :thumbsup:

As Scott Hahn put it:

As I tell folks when they use this excuse on me, “If you really think your witness is sufficient, that words aren’t necessary, go talk to your sister or your spouse and ask them if the witness of your life is so powerful, so moving and complete, that they can just look at you and know everything they could ever possibly need to know about God, Jesus Christ, and the Church, about sin and grace, sanctification, and salvation. Can people see it all in how you live every minute of every day? Could a complete biography of your life replace the Gospels? Or is something, at least occasionally, lacking?”

I believe he really hit the nail on the head there, and frankly, I think this advice is good for the OP as well.

As he puts it further on:

Again, both words and witness are essential. They work together. They complete each other, making our apostolate effective and whole. The Church doesn’t give us the option of picking one over the other. Nor does she give us the option of letting our preference for one mode of evangelization be our excuse for neglecting the other mode.

My only quibble is that some people legitimately aren’t good at that sort of thing, or aren’t in a position to use word effectively. It is important that we aren’t just making excuses to avoid it if we are in a position to use words effectively, nevertheless it is true that not everyone has the same job in the Church.

It is one thing to say that witness without words is incomplete - that’s obviously true. It’s another to draw from this that everyone is required to do both.

That’s why I suggested that the OP have a handy list of resources. He/she doesn’t have to “reinvent the wheel” so to speak with apologetics. There are so many awesome resources from Scott Hahn, Tim Staples, Steve Ray, Catholic Answers, etc. Simply provide the list and let them do the “talking.”

Believe it or not I’ve had much more experiances with non Christians than I have had with actual believers in Christ. They are much easier for me to share the faith because to them the Bible is just a giant book of horse pucky, To me this is a much easier stance to argue from because these people aren’t tied down to the same 3 or 4 Bible passages they googled in an effort to convince themselves Catholocism is the work of the devil. It was so funny because when I was converting ALL my co workers knew about it, and it boggled their minds as to why this was happening. It was literally a conversation we kept having all freaking year…and it was obvious they were researching stuff about Catholocism in their free time. One co worker even had a moment of weakness after he cheated on his girlfriend and was riddled with guilt telling me “I almost wanted to go to Church with you”.

Christians on the other hand are a different beast. Like I said they argue a couple verses, then talk about how the pope is a man, and man made these traditions, and how evil they are meanwhile the pope has a giant gold ring and people are starving in the streets. I personally don’t care if the pope or Vatican is built in a loud and albeit expensive fashion (and this is coming from a guy who lives below the poverty line). I mean for heavens sakes so many of the old teastament KINGS were extremely wealthy. Solomon for heavens sake was loaded, with God instructing him to build awesome solid gold temples to glorify The Lord

Like I said, even with some of the best arguments in the world can not break these people because they Bible is their gold standard when arguing. Which is a beautiful thought but the BIBLE isn’t written like the Koran or the chetechism. It’s a collection of books, with time periods all over the place from different places saying very different things…not to mention each of our own psychological filters can seriously twist the scripture any way we want. So if these people have decided to play make believe and label the Catholic Church as the great whore of Babylon , what can any of us REALLY do?

Let’s not forget some Catholic Teaching is a serious shocker to these people. Things like Birth control, the Immaculate conception, the assumption! I dare you to throw out those teachings before you argue and see how far you get with anyone. There is an element with surrender to Catholocism…that’s why I love it! It’s a huge part of my conversion and the paradox is that there is something very freeing about this letting go and allowing the Church to take the reigns in terms of spiritual authority. It’s no longer, “Me and my Bible” it’s “me and my Church…all +1 Billion of us”.

Obviously not everybody is called to do apologetics, or face-to-face apologetics.

But also, a lot of these folks are leaning on a very few Bible verses, and that’s not spiritually healthy for anybody to do. It’s fragile and narrows the mind.

The old saying is “metal sharpens metal.”

Doing apologetics, especially when people are combative and nasty instead of being polite, and especially when you didn’t ask for a fight but are getting none, can be embarrassing and annoying. But when the Holy Spirit reminds you of verses, it’s exhilarating; and when you get people to think, or when a real dialogue starts, it’s beautiful and helpful for them and for you.

I don’t focus on apologetics myself, but it led me to the beginning of a deeper and better understanding of the Bible and Catholicism. I ended up doing more apologetics with myself than with anyone else! And that strengthened me for some tough times.

But yeah, apologetics is only one facet of Catholic life. If you aren’t enjoying it, try focusing on other things.

According to the Second Vatican Council:

[quote=Dignitatis Humanae]The disciple is bound by a grave obligation toward Christ, his Master, ever more fully to understand the truth received from Him, faithfully to proclaim it, and vigorously to defend it, never-be it understood-having recourse to means that are incompatible with the spirit of the Gospel.
[/quote]

This ability to do this comes from the grace of confirmation:

[quote=Lumen Gentium]They are more perfectly bound to the Church by the sacrament of Confirmation, and the Holy Spirit endows them with special strength so that they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith, both by word and by deed, as true witnesses of Christ.
[/quote]

Anyway, as the saying attributed to St. Francis goes, preach the Gospel always, when necessary use words–but you need to be ready to use words when they are indeed necessary (see 1 Peter 3:15).

I, too, try to steer away from throwing Bible verses as proof texts.

With that said, I do think that the type of attitude you have is fodder for doctrinal confusion.

If you can’t explain what it is you believe and why you believe it, then someone merely has to produce some thing that appears to make a bit more sense…and next thing you know you’re proclaiming, “The Catholic Church says that we should call men ‘Father’ but the Bible says to call no man father. I think I’ll stick with the Bible over the Catholic Church!”

NB: the above “you” is merely a rhetorical “you”. Not a personal “you”.

Also, I’m not really specifically addressing the “Call No Man Father” argument (that’s been put to rest by able use of Apologetics), but any of the lines that are used by non-Catholics to lure us away from the Church.

How does that saying go again? If you don’t know what you stand for, you’ll fall for anything.

I wise thought indeed. However I do know why I personally stand for Catholocism that’s why I choose it… or did it choose me :eek: trippy eh.

As far as rationalizing it to others that only goes so far, it’s called faith for a reason because there is an element of faith required (on both sides of the spectrum). I don’t think that one “thinks” his way to Jesus Christ. At some point, somehow, some where, one needs to surrender his way to Christ. Thinking is apart of it, I’m just not sure Bible verses taken out of context actually inspire thought.

The thoughts and reflection, to me, take foot when they see I have something they don’t have internally. A joy that reflects a Catholic way of life and everything from the cliche Virgin Mary bumper sticker, to the prayer book in my glove compartment, to the multiple books on Catholocism sitting in my room, to the fact I’m in a Catholic Church each sunday, to the language I use that reflects a constant exposure to the Church…these things and more will confuse them most and require them to re analyze anything they think they know about Catholocism

I think you are creating a dichotomy where none exists, Polluted.

The ever-present Catholic both/and is at play here.

We need apologetics. It’s very important to have a reason for our hope…and to be able to articulate it in a compelling way.

We need faith.

As Peter Kreeft says: "Most of us know that our heart is our center, not our head. But apologetics gets at the heart through the head. The head is important precisely because it is a gate to the heart. We can love only what we know.”

(And it is ONLY through my love of apologetics that I would know the above quote from Kreeft…and thus am able to articulate it here.)

#thanksbetoGodforapologetics :slight_smile:

No please don’t misunderstand me. I am in no way saying that no one should be “speaking the protestant language” in order to convert and share the faith. I am very thankful to God for folks such as yourself and they are indeed crucial. I personally don’t see any joy or pull to share Catholocism in such a manner though. Maybe I will change with time, but I’m simply not good at it, thank heavens some folks are because it is needed,

Perhaps the Lord wants a few folks with my style for those who would shut down any word you have to say

Of course.

There are many gifts. Many ways to evangelize.

I think that apologetics is necessary, however, for you personally, to be able to articulate–if just for yourself–what it is you believe.

You need never speak a word of it to a single person.

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