More Love


#1

When I found this forum, I was excited to find a safe place to explore questions I had about my faith in dialogue with others. However, the more I use this forum, the more appalled I am at the treatment of those who are posing honest questions by members of this forum. They are accused of being “atheists” or unfaithful, they are accused of stupidity or laxity in their faith, and many other sharp insults are often hurled at someone who, for all we know, is posing an innocent question for the sake of discussion. Many of these questions are important, and something that many Catholics that are true in their intentions, as well as those of other faiths or even of no faith, contemplate. These harsh reactions from forumites do more to turn people away from the forum than to encourage honest research and discussion.

Also, by treating people of other faiths in this way, forum members are discrediting the Catholic faith as a whole. Please, try to be considerate of other people’s opinions and beliefs, because you want them to show the same respect for yours. In order to truly communicate with someone, you must understand why they hold the values that they do, and where exactly they differ from yours. This means that you need to understand WHY someone is an atheist, and WHAT an atheist is, and not just call anyone who doesn’t appear to follow all the rules or take their faith as seriously as you think they should an “atheist.” If you come to understand them, you can have a compassionate discussion that is enriching to both of you.

If you can not do this, you should seriously think before you respond to posts, particularly those of a person from another faith. If you can not respond with a modicum of respect for them as a person and for their right to search for truth in the way they are called to do, then you may be doing more harm than good. Remember, if you seriously offend them, they will have a bad (or worse) opinion of the Church and its members, that will take a long time, if ever, to be repaired. Do you want to be the one responsible for this?


#2

I find this forum takes awhile to get used to. It’s hard to know exactly which threads you are talking about without you specifically identifying them… can you give any examples?

I find the mods are pretty good at keeping things civil…


#3

I see what your getting at.

People need to remember that “truth” doesn’t mean “Be as cold and self-righteous as humanly possible”.

I totally agree with you when it comes to peoples impression of Catholics. I try to remember that happy and joyous people attract more than icy and mean people. It’s simple, really.

I save the blunt talk for people who are arrogant.

Remember though, not everyone agrees with us. It’s important to be nice even what you want to chastise someone.


#4

And if no one listens he releases the CAF hounds on them....;) :p


#5

ganzverwirrt,

I apologize, sincerely and deeply, for any hurt that you have received from a member of this forum.

None of us are perfect. Sometimes, perhaps often, Christians do not follow the example of Christ. I have also been guilty of this. At some other times, what I have said has come across as rude, when I did not intend it.

However, what I would like for you to consider is everything is ultimately about reality: God - Father, Son, Holy Spirit. I ask that you please judge Catholic philosophy on its merits, and not on those who fail to live up to it.

If you have a specific issue or a specific question, please post and I will do my best to answer honestly and in a manner consistent with love. If you like, please feel free to send me a private message.

God Bless,


#6

We can respect stated opinions to the degree that they are compatible with the truth. Falsehood deserves no respect from any of us.


#7

Be careful. We should not respect sin or error - but we MUST love the sinner. That means that even if the stated opinion is odious, our response must be charitable to the person sharing the opinion.


#8

I’ll grant that charity must, in all cases, form the motivation of one’s efforts in this regard. One ought scrupulously avoid the temptation to make any argument on these forums a personal one. However, in considering an opinion objectively, we must, as Christians, forcefully reject all taint of falsehood. That a poster may erroneously take such objective rejection personally is not sufficient reason to refrain from disseminating the pure, unvarnished Truth.


#9

I'll grant that charity must, in all cases, form the motivation of one's efforts in this regard. One ought scrupulously avoid the temptation to make any argument on these forums a personal one. However, in considering an opinion objectively, we must, as Christians, forcefully reject all taint of falsehood. That a poster may erroneously take such objective rejection personally is not sufficient reason to refrain from disseminating the pure, unvarnished Truth

Agreed, Truth cannot be watered down. It just can't, it's not possible. Nor should anyone try, nor should we shrink from proclaiming what is True in the face of anger or threat.

I read a biography of Saint Padre Pio last year, and I want to say that at the end of his life he stated that he wished he had had more compassion for the people that came to him for confession. Him! Maybe I'm confusing him with another saint. The point is that in most cases we cannot really communicate God's love with the pointed edge of the sword of reason. One may deem himself to have successfully defended a doctrine with objectively sound logic; but if you have lost your quarry- the person's heart and soul - through an aloof or aggressive attitude, then one has gained nothing. This fact is also reflected in Peter's exhortation that we always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us, but to do so with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15) Thus, both scripture and the examples of the saints exhort us apologists to be as gentle, loving, compassionate, and respectful as possible - but to never actually waver from the Truth.

God is love; God is Truth; therefore, Truth is love. If this is so, then there is always a way to communicate the Truth in love and charity - and that is the art of apologetics. Logic and refutation is the easy part, but the real prize is hearts and minds. Hearts and minds are turned off by aggressivenes, even if one is totally accurate and able to wholly refute the original proposition or prove the case at hand.

So, the bottom line is that if ganzverwirrt (the OP) has not received gentle, loving, compassionate, thoughtful, and respectful responses to issues here, then I say that we apologists have sinned - or at least failed - even if the answers were accurate.

Please note I accuse you of nothing. I only wish to enahnce the quality and charity of apologetics on this forum.


#10

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