My name is Christopher, and I'm an apologetoholic


#1

Nearly every day, God shows me why I’m an idiot. I’m currently thinking that because for a nanosecond I thought I’d had this brilliant insight about spirituality and apologetics, but then I realized it’s been said a million times before by people with much greater intellects than my own. I was thinking that I think talking with Protestants is making me crazy, and maybe the vast majority of us who try to do it should just give up and LIVE the fullness of the truth rather than try to explain it. Our example, as I have seen, is far more powerful than rational argument.

Duh. No kidding, I know. :rolleyes:

Anyway, I don’t think I can hold off the temptation much longer to just wash my hands of Protestants and be done with them. I took a break from the Protest Warrior forum because it was making me into a bitter, cynical elitest. The time off didn’t do much good, because now rather than suspecting that they’re all a bunch of smug, willfully ignorant poseurs talking about both sides of their mouths, I KNOW it’s true.

Please, mods, read on. I have great hopes of qualifying my uncharitable remarks soon.

On the various boards I visit I see the most outrageous claims and ideas. Not because they disagree with the Church, but within nearly every statement and ALWAYS within every page are dozens of holes in their thinking. That in itself isn’t so bad, but when they’re so SMUG about it, I just want to retch. Among the real whoppers:

Willful disobedience to Christ doesn’t jeapordize one’s salvation"
“Abortion is okay”
“We don’t follow men, we follow Christ.” And then they cite the “Reformers.”
“If I believe it’s the body of Christ, it is.”
“We may not agree on how to be saved, but at least we’re all part of the body of Christ.”
“I refuse to be baptized with water because it’s just a hollow symbol.”
“The Mass is unbiblical.” And then they talk about altar calls, etc…
"You Catholics focus on men too much."
And, of course, there’s a litany of verses they all gleefully ignore while bashing Catholics for being unbiblical.

I suppose I can conclude that only a relative few people are truly called to formal apologetics. Having defined myself as an apologist for so long, it’s tough for me to let go of that. On the other hand, it would be nice to bring my blood pressure down.

I’m convinced that the Devil’s greatest trick isn’t convincing people that he doesn’t exist–it’s getting people to believe that they’re faithful, obedient Christians when they’re anything but.

Anyone else feel this way? Anyone else getting tired of repeatedly chasing down conspiracy theories and mistranslations of the Bible only to realize you’ve been “had” by a casual, smug anti-Catholic?"


#2

Take a break from it and go help out in your local soup kitchen a couple of Saturdays. It will certainly alter your outlook. Or, get hooked up with the St. Vincent de Paul Society at a Catholic church (non-Catholics can do this) and help the poor. Your actions will speak volumes.


#3

montanaman -

Nearly every day, God shows me why I’m an idiot. I’m currently thinking that because for a nanosecond I thought I’d had this brilliant insight about spirituality and apologetics, but then I realized it’s been said a million times before by people with much greater intellects than my own.

Ha! You’re not alone. I’m only 16 and I have the same problem.

The problem with Protestants is that they have the same problem as Catholics: We know we’re right and we won’t let go of it. Reasoning with people will prove to yourself how right you are but it’s highly unlikely that it will change them at all. Humans are stubborn brats by nature. Myself included.

One thing to focus on (I read this in a book somewhere) is to remember you’re trying to win your neighbor, not the argument. Say a Protestant proves you wrong and goes “HA! See, I was right!” you’re very unlikely to be attracted to protestantism.

Our example, as I have seen, is far more powerful than rational argument.

This is true, but it isn’t as fun.

My mom’s family, everybody’s Lutheran, and I used to get into “i’m right you’re wrong” debates constantly. Then once some of my cousins and I got into a “I heard Catholics believe this, is it true?” “No, it’s not true, this is what we believe and why.” It was nice. Although, you’d be surprised at the kind of anti-catholic theology a lot of them are taught at sunday school. “Is it true that you worship statues?” “No, we don’t worship statues…”

I’m convinced that the Devil’s greatest trick isn’t convincing people that he doesn’t exist–it’s getting people to believe that they’re faithful, obedient Christians when they’re anything but.

Have you read C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters?


#4

Christopher~
You’re not alone. I’ve read your stuff, and you’re good. Sure you’re burnt out. That’s ok. It happens. Take some time off from the Protestants…head over to the forums of people who don’t acknowledge basic aspects of faith and salvation that we take for granted (ie: Islam, Buddhism, etc) …depending on your stamina, you’ll be back to the Protestants in no time :wink:

In the mean time, bear this in mind: it’s not just Protestants that read your stuff. Catechumens, Catholics, and people who do not claim to be anything read your stuff too…just because they don’t post doesn’t mean they aren’t taking to heart the things you say.

May it also encourage you to think that it reinforces what you believe in your mind and in your heart. Iron sharpens iron—your faith grows when you defend it, and your case of defense solidifies the because you have faith and it’s deep.

Chin up, friend. Take a break.


#5

Christopher,

Praise God and be thankful for all that you have been given. Sharing your faith and doing apologetics is challenging and sometimes frustrating. I’ve also had many frustrating moments, but I’ve been blessed in unforeseen ways. One of my sons has benefited greatly from my apologetics work. In turn, he has provided a spark for many of his student acquaintances. A couple of them are probably on their way to becoming Catholic. Things like this are products of the many ways that God’s grace works through us even when we do not see immediate results.

Your efforts at planting seeds may not bear visible fruit for years. Just take a deep breath, pray for patience and charity, and then ignore the difficult and frustrating aspects of the work. Let the Holy Spirit do the heavy lifting. We’re not in this alone.


#6

SInce no one else will say it, I will,

“Hi, Christopher”


#7

Seeing one’s prayers answered is a very strong drug. I thought about that just today. It’s a horrible thing to pray for something while at the same time peaking out of the corner of your eye to see if it’s coming true.

Lars von Trier demonstrates the troubles associated with the “human problem of ‘receiving’” in the movie Dogville. I think watching it may bring much needed comfort and laughter (at self) to people with this problem, even though it may seem devestating at first.


#8

[quote=montanaman]Nearly every day, God shows me why I’m an idiot.
[/quote]

:rotfl: :thumbsup: :clapping: :rotfl:

I feel your pain. I stopped going to a political site because they are not charitable (about anything, really) and I didn’t need that in my life. It’s tough to know when to just let things go and when to step in. I usually answer out of pride, not charity, so, I cannot and will not go to those sites. I hope your seeds sprout in a few people so that they may take root.

God Bless you & Mary keep you.

…Incidentally…pnewton, I TOTALLY WAS going to say that…but, I don’t feel like it now.


#9

HI Montanaman!

:slight_smile: Ya gotta realize that you (and me) aren’t the only souls that are called to answer for our most holy faith. I have to sometimes kick back and relax and treat a faulty assertion about the faith as a phone call. “Let somebody else get that.”

I realize that I’m not the only soul who loves the faith and who can offer answers…in fact if I try to “field every hit”, then none of the other brothers and sisters in the Lord get to have any fun and never get to learn how to do this.

I know how frustrating it is to deal with people who often defy all good sense and logic in what they say about Catholicism and even their own Christianity, but the fact is that it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to lead to conversion…not ours. All we get to do is offer the truth.

Has it occurred to you that now maybe you see why the path is narrow and few find it? That’s just how it goes…

Yeah (and I think you know me about apologetics) I get frustrated with the silliness I hear from n-Cs and a-Cs, but hey to paraphrase Mel Gibson in one of the Lethal Weapon movies, when it comes to the folks I talk to, in the end I have to simply say, “Well it’s your” soul “Cochise.” If they don’t wanna listen… I can’t help that, but I am pretty good at praying for folks. The Rosary and DMC seem to be my “weapons of preference”, though I’ve also added the Chaplet of St. Michael lately as well.

Pax tecum buddy. I hope that helps a little.


#10

I know we all have our war stories, but I thought I’d share this tiny bit of something I’m going through right now. This is from a superficially sweet and sincere girl who apparently doesn’t know her Bible, but she knows Catholics contradict it. In another post, she asked what the point of saying the Our Father was–she worships Jesus in spirit and truth.

I looked up Nestorianism, and that is not what I believe. I believe Jesus was fully man and fully God. But the term “Mary, Mother of God” is misleading at best. She was the earthly mother of Jesus. She is not the “Mother of God” in the way that term connotates…or the “Queen of Heaven” which is another oft used term in the Catholic church. GOD is the King of heaven. There is NO queen.

Oh yeah, it’s vacation time.


#11

Hi, Pax,

quote: Pax

Let the Holy Spirit do the heavy lifting

That’s pretty good!

reen12


#12

[quote=pnewton]SInce no one else will say it, I will,

“Hi, Christopher”
[/quote]

Yeah… I got the AA reference as well… :smiley:


#13

[quote=montanaman]I know we all have our war stories, but I thought I’d share this tiny bit of something I’m going through right now. This is from a superficially sweet and sincere girl who apparently doesn’t know her Bible, but she knows Catholics contradict it. In another post, she asked what the point of saying the Our Father was–she worships Jesus in spirit and truth.

Oh yeah, it’s vacation time.
[/quote]

That’s sorta bizarre…I’d answer, “Maybe because Jesus told us to pray like this…”


#14

Hey MM,

“Rock” from PW here.

I saw your post and it struck a cord.
I can’t stand any more of these Protestant/Evangelicals who know absolutely zero about their faith, it’s history, any real theology whatsoever, or really anything but what their pastor told them and what lies they’ve gleaned from various anti-Catholic websites.

All the while being so smug and condescending, questioning anyone who disagrees with them. Forget the word “questioning”–they don’t even approach that over there. Then they’ll tell Catholics they aren’t “saved” and tell us what we believe etc etc.

It’s all I can do to not mock and rip into those ignorant people anymore, so I’ve decided to hang up my apologetic spurs on that and other boards. It is actions that count, and I can’t deal with tracking down the latest lie and accusation from these jokers anymore.

It’s as if you’re at a party with all this horrible rap music playing and you’re trying to explain to people about “real” music and you play them something and they just ignore you and turn up their “music.” All you can do is shake your head and mutter “you just don’t understand.” (a bad analogy, probably but–hey, that’s my specialty :wink: )

Then, if you get a reasonable person, the best you get out of it is, as you’ve said—“I just don’t see it.”

From now on, I’m working on my own spiritual growth and on keeping those who are already in the Catholic Church in and knowledgeable about their own faith. To use a line from Fr. Corapi (out of context) --“I’ve got a soul to save too!”

Goodbye illogical, hypocritical, uninformed, prejudiced evangelicals…
…Hello, St. Alphonsus Ligouri, Liturgy of the Hours, Rosary, Francis De Sales, Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. :thumbsup:

See you around.

Keep up the good work MM. I’m outta there.


#15

[quote=montanaman]I know we all have our war stories, but I thought I’d share this tiny bit of something I’m going through right now. This is from a superficially sweet and sincere girl who apparently doesn’t know her Bible, but she knows Catholics contradict it. In another post, she asked what the point of saying the Our Father was–she worships Jesus in spirit and truth.

Oh yeah, it’s vacation time.
[/quote]

Yeah, I’ve heard this too. People claim that they believe this is a MODEL of how to pray, but, they don’t actually pray it, themselves.


#16

Hi, Christopher.

Take a break, man. Take the time you would have spent wrestling with Protestants and use it instead to read some good books, spend some time in Adoration, etc. Get the batteries recharged. I’m afraid I know what you’re talking about, but I’m afraid sometimes all we can do is plant the seed and hope for the best.

I find that one of the toughest problems is a real lack of critical thinking abilities. I suppose that’s a reflection of our relativistic and emotion-based culture, where the very assertion that truth exists is seen as an affront to “niceness”. I think the only answer here is to have a gazillion kids, raise 'em up on Aquinas, and send them out into the world…


#17

[quote=In Petto]Hey MM,

“Rock” from PW here.

I saw your post and it struck a cord.
I can’t stand any more of these Protestant/Evangelicals who know absolutely zero about their faith, it’s history, any real theology whatsoever, or really anything but what their pastor told them and what lies they’ve gleaned from various anti-Catholic websites.

All the while being so smug and condescending, questioning anyone who disagrees with them. Forget the word “questioning”–they don’t even approach that over there. Then they’ll tell Catholics they aren’t “saved” and tell us what we believe etc etc.

It’s all I can do to not mock and rip into those ignorant people anymore, so I’ve decided to hang up my apologetic spurs on that and other boards. It is actions that count, and I can’t deal with tracking down the latest lie and accusation from these jokers anymore.

It’s as if you’re at a party with all this horrible rap music playing and you’re trying to explain to people about “real” music and you play them something and they just ignore you and turn up their “music.” All you can do is shake your head and mutter “you just don’t understand.” (a bad analogy, probably but–hey, that’s my specialty :wink: )

Then, if you get a reasonable person, the best you get out of it is, as you’ve said—“I just don’t see it.”

From now on, I’m working on my own spiritual growth and on keeping those who are already in the Catholic Church in and knowledgeable about their own faith. To use a line from Fr. Corapi (out of context) --“I’ve got a soul to save too!”

Goodbye illogical, hypocritical, uninformed, prejudiced evangelicals…
…Hello, St. Alphonsus Ligouri, Liturgy of the Hours, Rosary, Francis De Sales, Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. :thumbsup:

See you around.

Keep up the good work MM. I’m outta there.
[/quote]

Sounds like you’re “too focused on men.” :wink:

Take it easy, man. I’m right there with you.


#18

MM, I have to relay this little funny bit from a while back from “Ruzz” over there at PW. As you know, he is one of the nice and well-meaning guys over there. This just goes to show how people rely on hearsay and little bits of info to form opinions:

This was from a thread, where, if I remember correctly, was basically just you and him gabbing about the DaVinci Code and The Church. Well, Ruzz defends the RCC–sort of—with this line:

“Opus Dei is many things, but it’s not an organization of wild murderous monks.”

In the manner of one saying “My adulterous, swindling brother-in-law is many things, but he’s no ______________.” :bounce: :bounce:

As if—no offense intended here—as if he knows the first thing about Opus Dei. It made me angry but made me laugh, too. I didn’t comment on it at the time because I didn’t want to stir it up (on that particular thread :cool: )

There’s a lot of little things like that, and a lot of blatant things too. If you stay–keep your cool, and do your best. God Bless.


#19

It is counter-productive to try to convert any person to the Catholic faith through arguments. People convert when they see a reason to do so…arguments simply do not work no matter how well informed the case is.

Live the faith…be prepared to answer specific questions in a loving way…yet always, always, always be ready to joyfully explain why you love Christ and what He has given us and what He has done for us. Be ready to speak of the utter joy of receiving the Lord in the Eucharist and of receiving direct forgiveness in confession, etc…

Do not speak of fullness or completeness of faith (that will nearly always be seen as belittling another person’s faith). Rather, speak of the love you have for our Lord. Nothing speaks louder then a person who unashamedly loves Jesus Christ.


#20

[quote=In Petto]MM, I have to relay this little funny bit from a while back from “Ruzz” over there at PW. As you know, he is one of the nice and well-meaning guys over there. This just goes to show how people rely on hearsay and little bits of info to form opinions:

This was from a thread, where, if I remember correctly, was basically just you and him gabbing about the DaVinci Code and The Church. Well, Ruzz defends the RCC–sort of—with this line:

“Opus Dei is many things, but it’s not an organization of wild murderous monks.”

In the manner of one saying “My adulterous, swindling brother-in-law is many things, but he’s no ______________.” :bounce: :bounce:

As if—no offense intended here—as if he knows the first thing about Opus Dei. It made me angry but made me laugh, too. I didn’t comment on it at the time because I didn’t want to stir it up (on that particular thread :cool: )

There’s a lot of little things like that, and a lot of blatant things too. If you stay–keep your cool, and do your best. God Bless.
[/quote]

That’s from way back, isn’t it? I remember him writing that, and thinking the same thing. Ruzz is one of the “good guys,” but sometimes I want to shake him by the shoulders and say “What are you thinking, man!?” He’s logical when he wants to be, but his modus operandi is simply to say “I don’t see it.”

I have a real hard time criticizing Ruzz, though. After the #1 Simpsons episode of all time, (last night’s), where Homer and Bart briefly go Catholic, he burned a copy from his Tivo and sent it to me. He used a frame of Bart praying the Rosary as the menu page–and he wasn’t being sarcastic.

It’s tough to begrudge a sentimentalist who does things like that…


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