Open minded?

I have friends at school who are Pentecostal and are very harsh on me being a Catholic.
I avoid discussions on religion because of this, but it hurts me that they hate what is part of me. I am very open-minded when it comes to other religions ( I have Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim friends from different schools) for I believe in trying to understand others to understand my faith. I am very happy for my friends and their commitment to God, but is there something wrong with being open minded? Can someone explain why my friends find it so easy to hate?
:frowning:

Well, the thought that comes to my mind is that they aren’t your friends, simply religious bigots–but that’s probably uncharitable of me.

Sometimes people are so insecure in their own beliefs that they can only feel better by brow-beating everyone around them into submission. This is why there’s that old adage about never discussing religion or politics with strangers.

I have a good friend with whom I simply can’t discuss politics–she’s a bleeding-heart liberal and I’m a tough-love conservative–but we respect each other’s views for the sake of our friendship. Real friends can agree to disagree.

This to me does not sound like much of a suprise. They may not even consider you to be “Saved”. I know this is how my Baptist relativs consider me. It can be very hurt full. It is very easy for one to become very biggoted in there own view. Yup it can be good to know others religions one just has to remember they are false. I know it sounds horible to say and I myself now probably sound like a biggot but it is true, but this does not mean that one can not have a civl discource over it. It is not that I think your friends hate it is they strongly feel that all others are wrong and don’t always know how to dialog it properly. It took me a long time to understand that what I look at as a false religion some one else holds to as truth.

An open mind like an open mouth must close on something solid or it will get poluted by the wrong thing.

G.K. Chesterton. A great Catholic.

God bless

As Abp. Fulton Sheen once said, millions of people hate what they THINK is the Catholic faith.

But let me at them. I can outBible them in 17 translations and 3 languages.

Your problem is unfortunate. The problem is that some denominations seem to teach that other faiths are wrong and worthless. Sometimes, the faith doesn’t teach that, but some of its adherents come to believe that to be true. Would that some RC’s on this forum had open minds! Several do, but all too many seem to delight in pronouncing all faiths but that of the RCC to be worthless and useless.

Your position in being open minded is to be commended. I agree with what some others have said, anyone, Protestant or Catholic who has to inform others that their faiths are not as good, or good in general is trying to shore up their own faith more than they are making any reasonable statement. Be gentle, patient, and through your behavior you will show your friends that they are wrong about Catholicism. Actions are always better than mere words. So many on this forum forget that it seems. When someone says something incorrect, then try to explain what you believe is true. If they don’t accept it, well, then move on.

There is a difference between having an open mind and a charitable heart. Too bad that those you cite seem to have neither.

We ARE called to have a charitable heart. This includes respecting other PERSONS and treating them respectfully even if you’re personally convinced that their core beliefs are off the wall!

“Having an open mind” is phrase that needs defining before it can be discussed clearly in conversation. Otherwise you risk talking past each other. I don’t think it is healthy to have an “open mind” about matters which can be known with certainty, such as the Divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, etc. Having an “open mind” on such matters implies that you are not entirely certain of them. But having a “closed mind” on knowable subjects doesn’t mean you scoff at and have scorn for Pentecostals, Hindus and Muslims (see first paragraph above!). That would demean both the person AND the person’s beliefs. Instead, you can politely listen and respond with your own different conviction and still go play frisbee later with no hard feelings! A poster named Contarini on these forums is a great example in that he is an Anglican, but capable of deep catholic theological discussions with no animus.

As noted by another poster, some people aren’t secure enough in their beliefs to achieve this. They feel they MUST prove your conviction is wrong and will take it personally if you refuse to be convinced (or alternately take it personally if you refuse their assertion that ANY conviction is based on opinion and isn’t objectively knowable. Such types rarely see the irony of this either!).

Just do your best to have an open discussion and turn the other cheek when they get offended at your differing convictions. That’s a form of witness in itself!

No, kalt, I can’t explain it. All I can say is that the only way I know you is in this forum, and we’ve had one or two pretty heated discussions, and I certainly don’t hate you. Quite the opposite.
May I, as one who is proud to be your brother in Christ, gently suggest that perhaps it is time to focus on the many gifts God has given you, even if they be virtual friends in CAF.
I think they are aplenty. :console:

Jon

kait,

What’s interesting about people who are not Christian, and those who Christian but not Catholic (that’s tough for me to say, admittedly) is that there is this expectation that Christians HAVE to be open minded to other beliefs, and even more so from protestants to Catholics. I mean really… they gotta since protestants are protesting the Catholic church. :wink:

That being said, it sounds to me like what you need to do is start to set boundaries and expect respect from your friends. Unless your friends are willing to have an open mind as you, it is always a good idea to try and correct them. Especially when they “know” and have made up their own minds. Remember, we teach people how to treat us.

I like how manualman said that there is a difference between having an open mind and having a charitable heart. That is something that I need to work on. And to be honest, I’m tired of the one having to have the open mind all the time when people spew inaccuracies about the Catholic church, yet THEY aren’t willing to listen and accept what it is the Catholic church teaches. (Agree and obeying are separate from accepting what it is that she teaches.)

Respect your friends as they are human beings, but you also need to stand up for yourself and teach them how to respect you and your faith. If they are not willing to do that, then you may need to reevaluate as to whether they are really your friends. It’s not easy. But I assure you that if you teach people how to respect you one day you’ll look around you and you’ll have a whole bunch of friends who you not only respect, but also respect you in return. :thumbsup:

Thank you everyone for your responses for they have helped me feel alot less stressed. :slight_smile:

Hi kait! It’s nice to meet you. I hope you haven’t let your frustrations with your friends ruin your day. :slight_smile:

I’m a Mormon. I remember growning up that more than once when a person of pretty much any other religion found out that I was Mormon, it was like I all of a sudden grew horns, had a pointy tail, and breathed the fires of hell through my nostrils. The change in some people’s disposition towards me still amazes me. I even had teachers who would belittle me and my religion openly in class (one teacher thought it funny to constantly make some comment about my belief in the angel “Macaroni” even after repeatedly correcting her that it was Moroni…kinda of funny in retrospect :p). When I was younger this type of persecution bothered me, but as I grew older it bothered me less until finally I’m not bothered by it at all.

I try to be empathetic and I also try to constantly remind myself that even though when I notice people treating me unkindly and sometimes, though rarely, even less than human, I have various flaws myself and have probably been guilty of the same thing myself at some point. Of course this doesn’t excuse anyone’s bad behavior, but what it does do is help me to focus my attention on correcting my own flaws. Ultimately, this is the only thing that I can do is to try and fix myself and not allow how others act dictate how I react. I might try to offer up my beliefs to anyone who is willing to listen, but I can’t make them change. But, I still try to be “…gentle and loving in deed and in thought, because these are the things Jesus taught.”

In any case, hang in there and know you aren’t alone in your trials. You and I don’t share the same religion, but I have no doubt that your Catholic faith is a Christian faith that is full of good and wonderful truths and principles, despite what anyone might claim otherwise. :thumbsup:

Kind Regards,
Finrock

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.