In defense of the faith...with my friend


#1

Some guidance would be appreciated.
I recently came to find out my friend is fundamentalist Christian. You’d think I’d know this earlier on…nope, certain assumptions were made, we mostly talk about our children…I had no idea.
Anyway, she thinks she knows all that the Catholic Church teaches, she thinks it’s all wrong. She seems unwilling to see the truth. My parish priest is giving a talk on what Catholics believe. She will not attend. She is so far off track that I’ve started trying to tell her what I really believe, but she is so caught up in her own beliefs that she is unable to hear them. I’m not even talking about believing them, I’m saying she can’t even see my side.
What does God require of me?
Can I end the conversation and “agree to disagree”? Am I obligated to refute every messed up idea she has? Can I continue to be friends with her?
Are there people out there willing to help me out, because this is really my first experience with defending the faith. I want to do God’s will. If I can just agree to disagree that would certainly be easiest. I think she feels the need to try and convert me.


#2

Just treat her with love and state the truth. You don’t have to defend the faith just state the truth and if she wants more info invite her to look into it.

If she starts with a bunch of accusations just calmly point to one which you are best equipped to answer and firmly stick to the point. For some people it is very difficult to even begin to suspect that the Catholic Church has the answer so they just throw out a bunch of questions to make a point.

Find one question and answer it clearly and invite her to study more.

God Bless
Scylla

I personally think agreeing to disagree is just kinda like glossing over the truth. It is better to just say we can talk about this later, would you like some cookies?


#3

She asked me this:

If when you die…God asks you…“Ann, why should I let you into Heaven…my Kingdom?” What is going to be your response?


#4

Say to her, because I Love Jesus with all my heart and I followed obediantly the church that he established on earth.


#5

Just had a thought. Make sure you know how to respond if she says, Oh, so I can’t get in to heaven since i’m not part of that church?


#6

[quote=annb]She asked me this:

If when you die…God asks you…“Ann, why should I let you into Heaven…my Kingdom?” What is going to be your response?
[/quote]

You might point out that this is a made-up question not found in the bible. I doubt God is going to let us talk our way into heaven.


#7

[quote=annb]She asked me this:

If when you die…God asks you…“Ann, why should I let you into Heaven…my Kingdom?” What is going to be your response?
[/quote]

I would reply, as kindly as possible, “I’m sorry, but if you aren’t going to allow me to explain my Faith to you, I don’t think we should discuss religion at all. When you feel like we can have a real two-sided discussion on this topic, I would love to talk about it. Until then, let’s talk about kids and swap recipes.”

Continue to be her friend and treat her with Christian regard. In the meantime, continue to study the Faith and, if and when she is able to remove her blinders, you’ll be ready.


#8

VociMike and Fidelis, love both your answers.


#9

[quote=annb]She asked me this:

If when you die…God asks you…“Ann, why should I let you into Heaven…my Kingdom?” What is going to be your response?
[/quote]

Oh, good heavens. This is a stock question: I was asked the EXACT thing by a gal I knew who left Catholicism for an independent Baptist sect—I mean, word for word (well, except for using “Ann”).

I think what Fidelis said is right on. Of course, you could also answer, “because I cooperated with the undeserved grace that God bestowed upon me”.


#10

These people can be very closed. Sometimes all you can do for starters is to snort and say: “Sheila, that’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Who on earth gave you *that idea *about the Catholic Church?”

Beware of the trick question to which your interlocutor has the pat answer provided by her “How to lead Catholics out of the Church” class (yes, they have those). Don’t answer questions that are clearly set-ups – like “What will you say to Jesus . . .” Be ready with a few of your own.

Looks like the Lord has placed you in position to become an apologist. At the very least, coming back with solid doctrinal answers will turn down the pressure coming from her. She’ll know she’s not messin’ with the ordinary pew-warming Catholic who can be led by the nose out of the Church by a few canned questions.

Get ready for: “Why do you worship Mary (statues, graven images, saints)?” and “Only God forgives sins, why do you confess to a priest?” When she states: “The Bible says . . .” don’t answer the question, ask her why she believes in the Bible. Be ready with why Catholics believe in the Bible – our answer is a billion tmes better than theirs.

Oh. While you’re at it: get a copy of Karl Keating’s Catholicism and Fundamentalism. Order it by speedy delivery from the Catholic Answers home page. It’s a must have for this.


#11

[quote=annb]She asked me this:

If when you die…God asks you…“Ann, why should I let you into Heaven…my Kingdom?” What is going to be your response?
[/quote]

I think I would answer: “Because You love me and I love you.”


#12

You and I are in the same boat annb. I too have a friend who is a fundamentalist (she left the Church years ago). Your description of your friend could have been mine.

If your friendship means anything to either of you, you must both agree from the start that if at any time your religious discussions become unbearable and begin to threaten your friendship that you will stop and take a break. This is what happened to me and my friend.

We are back at it for a second time now and it is very challenging to remain “charitable” with her at times. Here are some tips I learned from the first go round that I would suggest you do:

  • don’t engage in bible verse ping pong…it never ends.
  • don’t engage in apologetics without a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church by your side.
  • don’t pretend you know something…LOOK IT UP!
  • don’t ever forget that your friend is also a child of God who is in need of His mercy and forgiveness.

Things that have worked great for me the second time around are that I have a lot more resources to draw from. I think Karl Keating’s book is wonderful along with anything written by Dave Armstrong. Take the time to surround yourself with great sources before you begin discussing stuff.

She most likely won’t be open to anything the Church Fathers had to say since she relies solely on her Bible as her only authority…well, that and the holy spirit which is guiding her to all truth. Try and start with some basic stuff like tracing the roots of the Bible. Does she realize that the Bible as she knows it wasn’t even compiled until around 397 AD? If the Bible wasn’t canonized until almost 400 years AFTER Christ’s death, what did all the Christians use as their “authority” if they didn’t have Bibles to read?

Biggest tip…try and keep your emotions out of the conversation! This has proven to be the toughest for me.

Good luck!


#13

Good luck Ann! The one thing I will add, is that if your friend insists that the Catholic Church teaches something that it obviously doesn’t, then kindly ask her to prove her claim. If you have one handy, then lend her a copy of the Catechism to help her in her research. This should accomplish two things:
[list=1]
*]Hopefully she will realise that the Church doesn’t teach said untruth.
*]She’ll get her hands on the actual official teaching of the Catholic Church (from the horse’s mouth), and hopefully be inspired to look up other things that the Church teaches.
[/list]
Goodluck!


#14

[quote=annb]She asked me this:

If when you die…God asks you…“Ann, why should I let you into Heaven…my Kingdom?” What is going to be your response?
[/quote]

In that circumstance I would say: “Lord, I haven’t the foggiest idea why you’d do a thing like that. I throw myself on your mercy.”

It is not my business to tell God why He should let me into heaven. It’s His business. And fortunately Scripture and the Church assure me that He has indeed made it His business.

Try that answer on her and see how she likes it . . . .

The Reformation originally reacted to a tendency among late medieval Christians to see salvation as a kind of bargain with God (I’m not saying everyone thought this way, but clearly the tendency was there). Unfortunately, while the Reformers were trying to get rid of this attitude, it hung around and camouflaged itself in the very theology they were trying to use to destroy it. You can see it at its worst in some forms of fundamentalism–as if the purpose of life is to acquire a get-out-of-hell-free card and make sure God can’t find a loophole in the contract!

Edwin


#15

Haha! Don’t feel alone Ann, I think all of us on this board have gone through this. My friend went so far as to proclaim to me that the Catholic Church was a cult:) Just remember this: Love. no matter what she says or challenges you with, reply in love and the desire to educate not convert or convince…she’ll start asking herself these questions, “How can someone who comes from such a corrupt church have such a love for Jesus? How can she love Christ as well as she shows that she does if her religion is based on lies and sin? Can the Catholic Church really be that bad if it raises people like her with such passion for Christ…just like I have?” Show your love for Christ in ways that she can’t deny, and with love you’ll start to break down her walls, not with words.In Him,
Britty


#16

[quote=annb]She asked me this:

If when you die…God asks you…“Ann, why should I let you into Heaven…my Kingdom?” What is going to be your response?
[/quote]

Ask her just exactly where in the New Testament it says he will ask this. It doesn’t, so she’s stuck off the top.

Are Catholics Born Again?

Assurance of Salvation

Catholic tracts on salvation

Just bear in mind that you have no need to sit and take abuse about our most holy faith.

An outstanding resource is The Beginning Apologetics Series from San Juan Catholic Seminars

If she will not listen and trash talks your faith, how good a friend is she? Some you can deal with, some you cannot.
Pax tecum,


#17

[quote=VociMike]I think I would answer: “Because You love me and I love you.”
[/quote]

Great answer !

Trick


#18

[quote=annb]Some guidance would be appreciated.
I recently came to find out my friend is fundamentalist Christian. You’d think I’d know this earlier on…nope, certain assumptions were made, we mostly talk about our children…I had no idea.
Anyway, she thinks she knows all that the Catholic Church teaches, she thinks it’s all wrong. She seems unwilling to see the truth. My parish priest is giving a talk on what Catholics believe. She will not attend. She is so far off track that I’ve started trying to tell her what I really believe, but she is so caught up in her own beliefs that she is unable to hear them. I’m not even talking about believing them, I’m saying she can’t even see my side.
What does God require of me?
Can I end the conversation and “agree to disagree”? Am I obligated to refute every messed up idea she has? Can I continue to be friends with her?
Are there people out there willing to help me out, because this is really my first experience with defending the faith. I want to do God’s will. If I can just agree to disagree that would certainly be easiest. I think she feels the need to try and convert me.
[/quote]

This experience will probably be as much of a boost to your understanding of your faith as well as it is for her. Why don’t you give her a copy of “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic”, by David Currie. She wont be able to simply ignore that title! Its very humbly written by a convert who still has family Protestants. Maybe you should read it first, hmm? Do not argue - “be humble in your dealings with one another”

Phil


#19

[quote=annb]She asked me this:

If when you die…God asks you…“Ann, why should I let you into Heaven…my Kingdom?” What is going to be your response?
[/quote]

One and only answer…because Jesus died for my sins on the cross!


#20

The most imoprtant thing for you to do is be in constant prayer for her. The Spirit will handle the rest


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