Just got accosted by an anti-Catholic

I was minding my own business in a bookstore this evening when I got accosted by a total stranger who turned out to be virulent anti-Catholic. I would solicit readers’ thoughts on the encounter. I have posted often but this is my first thread in well over 2 years’ membership. I hope this is placed on the correct thread; if not, the mods can move it as they see fit.

Anyways, a well-dressed man, 40-ish, walked up to me as I was reading a book and asked me if I could answer a question. He said he was a student. Ok, I agreed. He asked if I was aware that the Bible had concept of the “mother” God, i.e., a feminine view of God. I realized immediately he was a prosletyzer. I have always viewed Catholics as needing to be able to defend their beliefs, under the theory that we never know what seeds we plant with others – so I engaged him:

–He asked about what Bible I read. I told him that I read the New Catholic Bible since the Catholic Church gave us the Bible, and I was very comfortable and sure that the Catholic faith offered truth. He asked about my view of the Bible. I said it was the inspired word of God – and that we needed a teaching Church to interpret it, since there were 32,000 sects of Protestantism, all of whom claimed to know what the Bible meant.

–He asked if I would be interested in attending a Bible Study. I responded that I would be interested if he would be interested in attending a Catholic mass with me.

–He said, “I spent 16 years in Catholic churches.” I asked him: Why did you leave? He didn’t answer. I asked again. He changed the subject. I asked a third time. He said, “I’m being respectful.” I said, “so am I, and I see you want me to answer your questions, but you won’t answer mine, so why did you leave?” He began to edge away and said, “do you know who controls the Catholic Church?” I said, “Jesus Christ!” He said, “Satan!” and turned to leave. I said, “God bless you!” as he walked way.

Thoughts, anyone? The whole exchange was respectful. Please recall I was totally unprepared for this: I was minding my own business; reading a book on military history; and I didn’t know this man from James. That said, I’ve never had that much fun in the past month.

Man. I WISH that would happen to me. :smiley:

His response makes me wonder if he was a victim of scandal. I pray that whatever hurt or anger he has towards the Church is healed. :frowning:

I haven’t had a situation like yours. I’d probably be completely flustered and not be able to respond. Then I’d sulk about all the things I could have said. :rolleyes:

Been there and done that. I’ll dive right in.:irish1:

Anyways, a well-dressed man, 40-ish, walked up to me as I was reading a book and asked me if I could answer a question. He said he was a student. Ok, I agreed. He asked if I was aware that the Bible had concept of the “mother” God, i.e., a feminine view of God. I realized immediately he was a proselytizer. I have always viewed Catholics as needing to be able to defend their beliefs, under the theory that we never know what seeds we plant with others – so I engaged him:

A student huh? Most likely he sounds like either Jehovah’s Witness or SDA, they tend to use that tack.

Did you ask him what his source was where we are supposedly taught that? It’s very much like (then) Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen said here.

There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church - which is, of course, quite a different thing. These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics “adore statues”; because they “put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God”; because they say “indulgence is a permission to commit sin”; because the Pope “is a Fascist”; because the “Church is the defender of Capitalism.” If the Church taught or believed any one of these things it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.

–He asked about what Bible I read. I told him that I read the New Catholic Bible since the Catholic Church gave us the Bible, and I was very comfortable and sure that the Catholic faith offered truth.

:thumbsup: Good answer!

He asked about my view of the Bible. I said it was the inspired word of God – and that we needed a teaching Church to interpret it, since there were 32,000 sects of Protestantism, all of whom claimed to know what the Bible meant.

Bravo! Excellent answer!:slight_smile:

–He asked if I would be interested in attending a Bible Study. I responded that I would be interested if he would be interested in attending a Catholic mass with me.

Typical, no reciprocation…and no real response.

–He said, “I spent 16 years in Catholic churches.” I asked him: Why did you leave? He didn’t answer. I asked again. He changed the subject. I asked a third time. He said, “I’m being respectful.” I said, “so am I, and I see you want me to answer your questions, but you won’t answer mine, so why did you leave?”

boy…if he’s a “witness” he’s about weak…I think you did very well. here in the South such a person might get told off for being rude. You can always point out that if this is his “respectful” you’d hate to see his “dis”,:rolleyes:

He began to edge away and said, “do you know who controls the Catholic Church?” I said, “Jesus Christ!” He said, “Satan!” and turned to leave. I said, “God bless you!” as he walked way.

Biblically you could have cited this passage from Mark 3
***[22] And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Be-el’zebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”
[23] And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan?
[24] If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
[25] And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
[26] And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.
[27] But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house.
[28] “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;
[29] but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” –
[30] for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.” ***

Thoughts, anyone? The whole exchange was respectful. Please recall I was totally unprepared for this: I was minding my own business; reading a book on military history; and I didn’t know this man from James. That said, I’ve never had that much fun in the past month.

So how exactly did he discover you are Catholic? I don’t think he was really respectful mainly because he made allegations without any effort to cite source and actually dialog. To me it seems that he was just seeking to make a drive by on a Catholic in an attempt to shake your faith and quickly realized that he’d bitten off more than he could chew and really needed to be getting somewhere.

I think you did well and you’ll know next time he approaches you (if ever) what to expect.

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl: Why would the devil wanna lead someone to jump on a properly armed member of the Church Militant.

“While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal—who allow scandals to destroy their faith—are guilty of spiritual suicide.”
St. Francis de Sales

I haven’t had a situation like yours. I’d probably be completely flustered and not be able to respond. Then I’d sulk about all the things I could have said. :rolleyes:

Nah…you would probably do way better…:slight_smile:

I have several tracts that I routinely carry for when opportunity shows up. Here’s a list…
Top Ten Questions Catholics are Asked
God’s Love for You
Questions Catholics Are Asked: Are You Saved?

Thank you ChurchMilitant.

It’s interesting how more of the conversation came back to me after I posted. He said he was a nondenominational Christian, although I suspect he was something else, i.e. SDA. I don’t know enough about them and will check them out to educate myself.

He had some Bible quote for the whole “Mother God” thing, which I don’t recall exactly.

I thought about telling him off but I figured we do more good when we reason with people like this…

…Oh, one more thing: He had a sidekick with him, a younger man who stood off to one side and said nothing. Part of why I said, what I said, was under the theory of “the speaker may not change, but maybe we plant a seed in the sidekick, who could clearly see who walked away without an answer…”

:thumbsup: No problem there.

[LIST]
*] Why do Catholics worship on Sunday?
*] Who started the Seventh-Day Adventists?
*] How do I talk with a Seventh-Day Adventist?
*] Can you recommend resources on Seventh-Day Adventism?
[/LIST]

[LIST]
*]Seventh-day Adventism
*]What about the Seventh-day Adventist claim that the sabbath shouldn’t have been changed to Sunday?
*] Sabbath or Sunday?
[/LIST]

He had some Bible quote for the whole “Mother God” thing, which I don’t recall exactly.

No idea there…are you sure it wasn’t the usual Queen of Heaven attack?

I thought about telling him off but I figured we do more good when we reason with people like this…

I completely agree. There are no brownie points for being a jerk…

…Oh, one more thing: He had a sidekick with him, a younger man who stood off to one side and said nothing. Part of why I said, what I said, was under the theory of “the speaker may not change, but maybe we plant a seed in the sidekick, who could clearly see who walked away without an answer…”

Sounds like a JW to me since they tend to prey upon weak and ignorant Catholics.

You’re quite right though and the fact that he couldn’t decimate your responses even as unprepared as you were to engage will no doubt add weight to your words with him.

The really weird thing was: when I was answering this guy, quite calmly, it was almost as if someone else was doing the talking for me - almost as if the answers really weren’t mine. I wouldn’t have thought I could come up with answers like I did, totally off the cuff like that. I sort of thought, “what possessed you to mention 32,000 Protestant sects?” Not to be presumptuous or anything, but almost like an angel whispered to me or something. I know it sounds crazy but I can’t really explain the feeling - it’s not like anything I have ever experienced (and I’m not some kid either, I’m 44). I’m still ruminating on it hours later.

Where can someone get some of those catholic tracts you referred to?

You did just fine. I couldn’t have even come close to handling it so well…

… unless you could lend me that angel. :angel1:

Wow, you handled that very well! The Holy Spirit gives us the words to speak!

Polar Guy, seriously, you handled that very well. Had I been in your position I’m sure I would have just fled.

I can’t even deal with people like that without being rude, so I just don’t engage.:shrug:

I think I can explain where your answers came from.


Luke 21:[13] This will be a time for you to bear testimony.
[14] Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer;
[15] for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.
[FONT=Georgia]
[/FONT][FONT=Georgia]As for those tracts…just click on those links above and it will take you right to the site to get them. I have found that they go a long way and are a good investment.[/FONT] ***[FONT=Georgia](Apparently the “Are You Saved?” tract is no longer available.)[/FONT]***:frowning:


All you guys who feel that you’d fail epically in dealing with such an encounter might want to make an investment in a wonderful book that CA has just recently released.
http://shop.catholic.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/210x210/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/r/a/radio-replies_1.jpg Radio Replies: Classic Answers to Timeless Questions About the Cath…

I have it and it’s well worth the investment and will school you in a candid but charitably confident response to just about anything that you will run into.

Here’s an excerpt:

**It is most unkind of you to speak so sarcastically of other religions.

** Inquirers put their religious theories before me, and if they are illogical I say so, giving my reasons for saying so. This is not sarcasm, above all since I respect the sincerity of those whose theories are mistaken. Nor is it unkind. If you saw a sick man taking, not the medicine prescribed by the doctor, but some other drink by mistake, would it be kindness to keep quiet just to spare him the confusion of realizing his mistake? Whilst love may excuse the man who makes a mistake, it cannot say that the mistake is not a mistake. I deny that truth is error, or that error is truth. But I make every allowance for those who mistake error for truth.

Why is the Catholic Church antagonistic towards the Bible?

She is not. She protects and defends it. But she does teach that the private reading of the Bible with reliance solely upon one’s own powers of comprehension is no sure way to arrive at the truth taught by Christ. And experience bears out her teaching.No. Beautifully illuminated copies of the Scriptures, wrought by the Monks, were in the charge of the Clergy and the Churches, and from these the Word of God was carefully preached to the people. Before the invention of the printing press, a wider diffusion was impossible. No. The Catholic Church would have been very foolish to have copies multiplied only to destroy them. When the printing press was invented by the German Catholic Gutenberg in 1445, the first book printed was a Bible, before Protestantism had come into existence. She condemns the principle that Bibles should be distributed indiscriminately to people on the understanding that they will be able to attain the truth without the guidance of the Church, and by their own unaided efforts. The wildest absurdities have resulted from the theory of private interpretation of Scripture, and if it is not dangerous to Christianity to have a new pretended Christian Church arising every ten years from some mad-cap reading of an isolated text, I would like to know your idea of what is really dangerous to Christianity.

Does she herself forbid the reading of Scripture in the vernacular?

No. There are various Catholic societies for the diffusion of the Holy Gospels in the vernacular, such as the Society of St. Jerome, approved by the Church. Pope Pius X. granted special blessings to those who would read Scripture daily and recommend others to do so. But it is essential that the teachings of the living Church be kept in mind as a key to the true sense of the Bible.

Sounds VERY similar to an encounter I had with a Fundamentalist gentlemen in front of our local cathedral one weekend. He seemed very informed except when it came to the Catholic church. Regarding the Catholic church, he repeated several myths I had heard about on internet forums but couldn’t cite sources. I wished him God’s blessing as well and he just walked away without response. Weird. :shrug:

Having first read this thread and your post prior to praying LoTH for today’s Memorial for St. Pius X, I was edified to find this antiphon for Zechariah’s Canticle:
Ant. “What you say of me does not come from yourselves; it is the Spirit of my Father speaking in you.”

It strikes me as providential that the Spirit wanted to bring emphasis upon this verse. :wink: The words simply flow out of us effortlessly, and also leave us personally edified as we reflect about it afterword.

YES!
We haz a proud. LOL

Peace dear Polar Guy.
:tiphat::extrahappy::knight1:

Ha! That’s very generous of you!

Actually, I was walking by the local Mormon temple one day a couple years ago, and a nice gentleman was standing out front attempting to set up meetings with a clipboard with passersby. I decided to stop and set one up.

A week or two later (I can’t recall), two young missionaries came to my door and we had our appointment. It was a mutually respectful dialogue, and they were adamant that I take their Book of Mormon and read it in the spirit of truth. Spontaneously, I told them I would do so if they would take the Catechism of the Catholic Church and do the same. They agreed, and we went our separate ways. I haven’t heard back from them. In fact, I haven’t seen a Mormon since. I hope something good came of it. For my part, I got through as much of the BOM as I could… but I’ll be honest that I couldn’t complete it.

I always wonder about what happens to, say, the sidekick I encountered last night, or the missionaries Mr. Snaith encountered. I believe that some of them later have conversions.

I think one reason is because they get diatribes from their own leaders about what Catholics believe…then find reality to be different. Or they think - as I’m sure the fellow who walked up to me last night thought - they would do the questioning and I’d do the stammering. I wondered about the sidekick last night - what went thru his mind when it was clear that his “higher up” was clearly struggling with what I was saying?

One effective rule I think is important in these encounters is to challenge EVERYTHING they say and to admit to NOTHING. The minute we try to look reasonable or anything else, we play to their hands. Many of these folks are well intentioned but some have axes to grind, and - although I can at times be critical of how Catholics act - the fact is that no faith has the spiritual depth as does Catholicism.

Another thought: if they were right and we were wrong, why are there so many Catholics and so few of them? Would God allow so many to be so misled in his own name?

Thank you all for your replies.

I’ve had a similar experience when 2 young LDS missionaries stopped by my home. I invited them in for a glass of water and we began a long discussion over a span of a few months. In the end, they wanted me to be baptized in their temple and I replied I already am baptized in the Catholic Church. They insisted in a “real” baptism. I offered to escort them to a Catholic Mass and explain what I could during Mass and haven’t heard from ANY LDS since! Seems I’m on their “do not visit” list! I see other LDS missionaries walking my neighborhood but they never stop at my house. I say a prayer for them all because I believe they do their evangelizing with God in mind.

For starters, it sounded like you handled your encounter quite well- good job!

I think I’m misunderstanding you here. Are you saying that a person should be unreasonable when talking about faith with someone?

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