"It's a matter of conscious."

Hi. My wife and I got on to the topic of catholicism.
I told her my reason for wanting to convert to catholicism was a matter of conscious.
How should I explain to her in simple terms (As in Explain Like I’m Five from Reddit) what catholics belief conscious is without deriding her faith as a protestant?

She tells me my belief and desire to convert to catholicism is not a matter of conscious and is just a belief, but for me it’s both.

Define “conscious” as you understand it please.

I’m not sure I follow what your are asking. I converted for the following reasons:

  1. The real presence in the Eucharist
  2. The true Authority of the Church through Apostolic succession.
  3. The powerful prayer life taught by the Church.
  4. Catholicism has actual answers to all my questions.
  5. Communion of the Saints and what it means in my life.

I hope you find the answer to your question.

Cyril,

Do you mean ‘conscience’?

If so…

[list]*]God made ‘the rules’ (we can look to the Garden of Eden story in Genesis to see that this is true)
*]these ‘rules’ (i.e., how God sees things, and how He wishes us to act) are objective – they don’t change from one person to the next
*]our ‘conscience’ is merely a description of how we understand these rules and apply them in our daily lives
*]One person can have a well-formed conscience, and another have a very poorly-formed conscience. The person with a well-formed conscience will likely act in a virtuous way, while the person with a poorly-formed conscience will likely act in ways that betray vice.
*]Looking at two such people, we don’t conclude that they merely have different ‘beliefs’ – instead, we say that although both are doing what their consciences tell them, nevertheless, one person’s conscience is more well-formed than the other’s. [/list]

Therefore, it’s not a matter of “I believe X and you believe Y”, but rather, a personal question of what God (objectively) sets as standards of behavior and how I can most fully live up to that standard.

How?

Truth with charity

As to “matter of conscience not just simply chosen belief”:

You have become convinced that Jesus founded the Catholic Church etc - and so you cannot do otherwise than enter into full communion with the Church - for you have set out to follow Jesus - that is the great desire of your heart - and not to do so would go against your conscience.

And it is more than something your convinced of in your conscience - tis more than that - tis involving the Holy Spirit…following Jesus in love etc etc

A simply chosen belief - is rather different.

Conscience is a witness. Conscience accuses and excuses us, bears witness to our behavior and actions.

They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them (Romans 2:15)

Conscience is a judge. We respect judges, rising when they enter the court and taking our hat off. The judgment of the judge is final. We should respect our conscience as a judge of our actions.

***By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith, *(1 Timothy 1:19)

Conscience is one of the highest authorities.

-Tim-

I’m not a convert but I love conversion stories. One of my favourites is Scott Hahn’s. After he became convinced that the Catholic church was where he should be, he faced a crisis of conscience. He had made a promise to his wife (who was not making the journey at that time) not to convert right away but to wait. He tried to honour that promise but, as he tells it, the longer he waited the more it felt like he was disobeying God. As much as he loved his wife, he loved God more and felt he had to follow where he was being led without delay. Is this the kind of struggle you’re having?

Hi Seagal. Thank you for sharing about Scott Hahn. I love conversion stories too. I also like Scott Hahn’s story. Is this the kind of struggle I’m having? Yes.

Thank you for sharing. I appreciate it. You listed good reasons. I’ll keep them in mind. It wasn’t the answer I was looking for though.

[quote=TimothyH]Conscience is a witness. Conscience accuses and excuses us, bears witness to our behavior and actions.
They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them (Romans 2:15)
Conscience is a judge. We respect judges, rising when they enter the court and taking our hat off. The judgment of the judge is final. We should respect our conscience as a judge of our actions.
By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith, (1 Timothy 1:19)
Conscience is one of the highest authorities.
[/quote]

TimothyH, thank you for posting this. “By rejecting conscious, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith” really speaks to me. I don’t want to reject my conscious and shipwreck my faith. On the other hand, people I know view me as being led astray away from
the bible and Christ because of their own conscious perceiving my actions as wrong. Certainly I agree with what you said. Christ speaks to our conscious and it is our judge as to what is right or wrong. But to the protestant who desires for me to not to be led astray, they believe their conscious is right and my conscious is wrong. I could make it that issue, but how do I in love tell those who disagree with me, such as my wife, that it is a matter of conscious without deriding their faith?

I’d like to say “It’s a matter of conscious. I am convinced that if I don’t cross the tiber, I’ll shipwreck my faith.” I was in a situation where I was asked repeatedly “why do you want to convert? What do you find is better there?” It was not an issue of conscious but turning into an issue of doctrine disputes, which I did my best to avoid. The advice I’ve been given here on Catholic Forums is to avoid deriding my wife’s faith and to not play the role of an appologist. That leaves me with offering material that I may read, but my wife and others aren’t so interested in reading catholic books and materials.

Sure, I could say “Concious is that inner voice where God speaks to us and which tells us what is right or wrong.” By the protestant believes that catholic doctrines go against their conscious…

I hope this helps provide greater understanding about what I mean. Thank you for contributing to the thread and sharing your thoughts.

[quote=Bookcat]You have become convinced that Jesus founded the Catholic Church etc - and so you cannot do otherwise than enter into full communion with the Church - for you have set out to follow Jesus - that is the great desire of your heart - and not to do so would go against your conscience.

And it is more than something your convinced of in your conscience - tis more than that - tis involving the Holy Spirit…following Jesus in love etc etc
[/quote]

I told my wife this; I told others this. The pastors that my wife are listening to are convinced Jesus took the reformers out of the Catholic Church and that the Church that Jesus established has been left behind. My wife goes along with what they believe and teach, and she wants me to listen to them. When I told her I heard them, as in I listened, but disagreed with what they said. She asked me why can’t I listen to them. I told her it’s a matter of conscious. She responded that it’s not a matter of conscious.

I didn’t pursue the discussion further nor did I define what conscious means. I left the discussion and then posted on here. A little back story for you guys.

So, yes. The pastors at the protestant community agree that the Catholic Church is the Church Jesus established, and my wife may recognize that too, however when I said it’s where God’s Holy Spirit is leading me, the pastors replies that it isn’t where God is leading me because my wife doesn’t want to convert, doesn’t want me to convert, and God has not called me to convert because my wife and I are married and one flesh and we can’t make decisions without one another. And Jesus doesn’t want division. God isn’t a God of division, so therefore they assert that I am the problem. I’m the one who would be destroying my marriage by converting and, in their words, taking a step back into something worse, which would be sad. I’d fall out of step with biblical teaching. I’d be following into error no differently than when a christian claims he needs to become Jehovah’s Witness to follow God because it is a matter of conscious. They have a personal conviction, but to those around him, his personal conviction is in error due to being led astray by others or false teachings.

Which brings me back to conscious. How do I get into the topic of conscious without actully deriding their faith? I like what you said about “you have set out to follow Jesus - that is the great desire of your heart - and not to do so would go against your conscience” but I don’t know how to communicate this without deriding my wife’s faith.

Hum…

You can ask them…And in AD 68 when a Jewish man wished to become a Christian though this Jewish wife did not - so he should he have not become a Christian?

Hum…

And when Jesus said I have not come to bring peace but a sword…that whole households would be divided on account of him… (see Matthew 10:34) - Jesus was not serious???

With joy…patience…great love…(See 1 Peter 3:15) and prayer…

Your following Jesus not destroying a marriage…Tis not their marriage! Thankfully your not married to them! :wink:

That being said I suggest you proceed with great prudence and care - you want to preserve your marriage and not create unneeded hostility etc.

…and seek out the advice of those who have been through this before (experts in many cases):

chnetwork.org/

As you know from previous posts, my prayers are ascending for your journey.

So, cutting to the chase. :wink:

There are 2 reasons to discuss for what you ask.

[LIST=1]
*] There’s ALL the positive and beauty reasons that one can list and discuss for becoming Catholic.
*]There’s also negative reasons at work if one doesn’t do what Our Lord wants and instead chooses NOT to become Catholic.
[/LIST]

I’m going to discuss reason #2. Others I’m sure will take #1

These cases involve people already in the Church the apostles are building and are becoming heretics or leaving the Church. If one has this horrible consequence for leaving the Church, it goes to reason, once someone has been introduced to the truth of the Church, being in the Church then is necessary for salvation.

1 Cor 1:10
10 I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions σχίσματα ] among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. σχίσματα = schism: split, division, rent
The Greek tells us what’s really going on there. Paul is seeing schism among them and he’s appealing to them don’t do that. But he doesn’t give the consequences for that act here.

In the next 2 passages this Greek word is used διχοστασίας dichostasia ] = division / dissension / factions /sedition / sects.

Romans 16:17-20 (links operational)
[17] Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions διχοστασίας ] and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. [18] For they that are such, serve not Christ our Lord, but their own belly; and by pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent. [19] For your obedience is published in every place. I rejoice therefore in you. But I would have you to be wise in good, and simple in evil. [20] And the God of peace crush Satan under your feet speedily.

Again Paul doesn’t give the consequences for this sin to one’s soul, but he says division is evil, it doesn’t come from Jesus, it comes from Satan.

Paul DOES give the consequences for this sin of division διχοστασίας ] in Galatians

Galatians 5:19-21
[19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, [20] Idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, διχοστασίας ] sects, [21] Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God.

IOW they who do such things ( one of the things is to be divided from / outside the Catholic Church) and die in that sin, the consequence of that, they go to hell. Note: those consequences are( not my words, but from Jesus ) also ***Note : there is no expiration date to those warnings. ***
So one has to ask, who says it’s the Catholic Church being spoken of here? #[/FONT]**34 **
All internal links operational

Then there is

Titus 3:10
[FONT=&quot]“As for a man who is factious ( αἱρετικὸν heretic ), after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

[FONT=&quot]Fast forward to today, objectively speaking Protestantism is a heresy. [/FONT][FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Great Heresies[/FONT][/FONT]

[/FONT]
John 17:20-23

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.