I’m preparing for a discussion that I’ll be having with a protestant friend of mine on sexuality and the body. I feel as if this conversation will also veer into a discussion of private interpretation of the scriptures.
Essentially, she seems to think that the Church does not do enough for millennials in the modern age and that is why less than 4% (her sources) of millennials identify as Christian. She also argues that the Church does not take the Gospel and use it to pose real challenges to young people, that it simply “feeds” them the “right answers” without challenging them.
Any ideas on how to charitably tackle this situation? :shrug:
That’s a good point, thanks! I’m 90% sure that she’s non-denominational. She’s the daughter of a local non-denominational Spanish Christian church pastor. From what I’ve gathered, their beliefs are centered on their personal interpretation of the Gospels.
The Church most definitely challenges everyone, young and old alike, to live the Gospel and model their lives after Christ so that in all things we may glorify our heavenly Father. In fact, part of the essence of Western Christianity is faith and reason working together to understand the depths of our Catholic Faith and the ways in which are to apply it to our daily lives.
This is why the Church continues the ancient teachings of Christ and the natural order of God’s design in terms of human sexuality and the ways in which it should be ordered toward unity and procreation with one’s spouse within the holy bond of matrimony.
May God bless you and grant you charity and clarity in your conversation!
Gospels, gospels, gospels. A Protestant will really respect you if you talk about the Bible, with knowledge and commitment. Recite it freely and often. Really blows their minds, gets them on their heels. They don’t expect that from Catholics. Then move to tradition of the Church as reflecting that. I will say this - I have yet to come across an Evangelical Protestant who doesn’t know the Bible, verse by verse, better than me. Now, whether they understand it or even try to do any of it…the numbers go down there. Same with Catholics too. Sigh. I guess my point is talk humbly and honestly about how your faith helped you, changed you, nourishes you in your attempt to be a good Christian. Don’t try and ‘sell’ Catholicism or trash her denomination. Christian to Christian. I have good luck letting people stay in their faith too - build bridges, don’t corral. I think this is actually more effective - takes years for these things to happen - conversions I mean. Comes from the heart, the mind - grace. Just be good ‘PR.’
That’s kind of an odd doctrinal statement. If I hold that position, I would be guilty of reading my own meanings into the Bible, instead of extracting lessons from it. I would straight up ask if that’s what she thinks the writers of the Bible intended.
I should add that I don’t really mix with nondenominational Evangelicals on the liberal side. The ones I know tend to me more traditional. I gravitate that way. The few really young more liberal Evangelicals I did meet at one wedding really freaked me out. They didn’t know the Bible, nothing. Open to the point of vacuous. I would not know where to begin with that…they were super nice though.
I wouldn’t mind talking to an Evangelical about the Bible, provided they know it. I had a Baptist friend I was explaining why I don’t believe in absolute private interpretation. He disagreed with my reasoning, but was respectful. I think the problem the OP is having is that girl is taught to read into the Bible through her own biases. Now, we all do that to some extent, but I think the problem with private interpration is that then you can decide what a verse in the Bible says, and if it contradicts your theology, you can end up explaining it away. I really feel like that’s what gives way to relativism. To the OP, I would out and out ask her, that, if that is her position, why she holds it and how she knows it is true.
Have you considered getting on the website of the church your friend attends and reading their statement of beliefs, mission, events, and/or listening to a sermon if they have a pod cast or video section. I think that will provide great information about her non-denominational denomination. Protestant groups are not monolithic – they range to such an extent that they can literally contradict each other 180 degrees. Good luck.
She sounds like a wonderful and intelligent person. Millennial are smart and I can see why they don’t want to be preached to and spoon fed. They have been taught to be critical.
Please consider that many folks look to all of the movies, stories, news, ads, video games, TV shows as having shaped Millennial thoughts and spirituality. Now, we must admit that most of that material was NOT intended to uplift them, but in fact simply keep their attention. Most of it was cynical towards faith and Christianity.
She therefore has a hurt, a wound, a hole that is there that has not been filled. Hear her words. She cries out for something.
We are all God’s children and all long for our Father’s love.
Please simply show her that God’s love is real. Just start with that. Focus on the commonality of your faiths.
Let the truth of the Gospel speak for itself.
Just realize that she has been taught that Jesus is fake, like Santa Claus. There is hurt there. Show her some healing. The healing power of the truth.