Saddened by conversations with fundamentalist


#1

OK folks, I need your prayers and advice.

I’ve been having several discussions with my very close Evangelical friend. We’ve actually tackled some tough issues rather well over the past year, but this morning was tough. We’re getting into some pretty high level and highly emotional stuff.

I love the challenges and the research tasks. That doesn’t bother me. It’s just that now we keep reaching stalemates on everything, usually the familiar tune of “you see the verse this way, we see it this way”. OK, fine. I can live with that. But we’re now at the point where things tend to escalate, or at least get emotional. (Time to step back.)

Later, that same day…
I think I’m just sad that now I can see with my own eyes the division that Jesus didn’t want us to have. Here is someone whose faith I totally respect. He’s humble, honest, and true to his understanding of scripture. Yet we have this division.

I know what is true, and I know that not all will see it. I believe in invincible ignorance. It’s just hard to accept sometimes. Any thoughts?


#2

Hi,
What’s even more sad is the anger and division that is within our own Catholic Church. But, my priest will often remind us about the Corinthians, and all the controversies and strife there has always been in God’s church.

Just remember that God will make us new creations perfectly reflecting his glory one day. Life on this earth is difficult and stressful. People often don’t agree on many things. If it isn’t one thing, it’ll be another. Just remember the hope of God’s promises.


#3

Stay calm and be a good witness, even at this time if you have to a’agree to disagree.’ You may spark something that 10, 5, 20 years down the road the HS will get him to look into furthur- and perhaps not just him but him and his family will one day look into the Church, and perhaps even convert. Just be honest and faithful as best you know- you never know how God’s gonna use this someday!


#4

I absolutely agree with Sententia, you just have to keep planting the seeds and God will help them grow in his time and way. Unfortunately you may never see the results of the fruits that grow, I know this seems sad but just trust God.:ehh:


#5

“My sheep hear my voice” Jesus says. If he is truly humble over time he will submit to the truth. It has been explained to him, sounds like rather patiently and in his heart he has questions he cannot answer. But the will is stubborn and only the grace of God over time can mold it. Sounds like you have done alot to prepare the seedbed but only the Lord can make it grow. Give it time. It took Scott Hahn ten years to get in to Catholicism. It is worse for a man to have been taught error than to have been taught nothing at all as far as Christianity goes. So the greatest thing you (and we, and I will include him in my prayers) can do is to pray for him.


#6

Just keep with it, you never know when a verse or explanation he hears from you will spark a change, but as you already know dont force anything that would push your friend away.


#7

Leave it in the hand of the Holy Spirit. You plant the seeds but it is the Spirit who give the grace to believe. Continue your discussion but always remember to pray.


#8

There was a field my dad had when I was young. One spring the weather was so we he could not get in to plant it. Well the whole thing came up with sweet clover from end to end. The neighbors said there had not been sweet clover on that field for 20 years. The seed lay their dormant until the time was right and it germinated and grew. Paul says “I planted, Apollos watered, BUT THE LORD MADE IT GROW”. In his time. Pray.


#9

Thanks,everyone, these are great posts.

Do you think there is a point in continuing our discussions? It seems the answer would be “yes”, but it gets to a point where we need to determine what the purpose of our conversation is. Do we continue, but just stay away from the emotional stuff?

Thanks!


#10

Dear Corno,
My inclination would be now to be a shining example of faith in action in the world as possible. Walk with joy in your step and a twinkle in your eye. Keep mentions of the Lord as general ones, and be a shining witness to Christ. I personally would figure that I’ve made my theological points already, and going over them many times would be a waste of breath.


#11

My thought?

I think you need to ask God, if it is within His will, to see someone whose seeds He asked you to plant, grow.

I know everytime I start to feel that sadness, what is the use, I pray that God shows me the usefulness of the seeds that have been planted.

From my evangelical days, “the despair is just fromt he devil”! Keep on fighting the fight.

From my Catholic days, God is allowing you to feel this despair in order to draw you closer to Him. In order to be a more perfect servant.

God Bless,
Maria


#12

[quote=CatholicCorno]Thanks,everyone, these are great posts.

Do you think there is a point in continuing our discussions? It seems the answer would be “yes”, but it gets to a point where we need to determine what the purpose of our conversation is. Do we continue, but just stay away from the emotional stuff?

Thanks!
[/quote]

Be a shining light and example. When asked give reason for the hope that is within you. Augustine’s mother Monica kept trying to convince him to live his Catholic faith. She went to a priest one day and he told her to argue less and pray more. Praise God she did. Doesn’t mean don’t speak. But focus on prayer. I also went to my men’s group this morning. We have a priest from India who is a wonderful priest that attends. Really know’s his scripture and is a great example of the faith. He belabored the point that we need to be sure we are not focusing on proving the other person wrong to show that we are right. In fact in these discussions I think we as Catholics need to be more acknowledging where we can of the truth that non-catholics hold. For instance the Eucharist, I have heard many Catholics argue “no, it’s not a symbol, Jesus is really present in the Eucharist.”. The error is not that they see it as a symbol but that they see it ONLY as a symbol. We need to acknowledge the truth of their beliefs and give them the fuller picture.


#13

Karl Keating, the founder of Catholic Answers, has a great book titled, “Cathoicism and Fundamentalism The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians”” I am reading it now and learning a whole lot from it. Maybe, you can pick up a copy and leave it laying around the house in a prominant yet subtle place. When your friend visits, the title may catch his eye and he may inquire about it. If so, let him/her borrow it and read it. It will at least give them an understanding of why our Church does and teaches what we do. Good luck and I will pray for you and your friend.


#14

Thanks, everyone, for all the advice, especially the emphasis on prayer and patience.

My friend and I have since exchanged a couple of very kind and charitable emails. We are both worried about going too far with this, we may even step back for awhile. The progress we have made, though, is that fact that we both agree that the whole thing boils down to Sola Scriptura vs. Scripture + Tradition. I would personally call this the “authority issue”. He sees that to go beyond this is almost a waste of time and emotions, since we look at Scripture through different lenses.

I have sent him some scripture passages and writings of the Church Fathers, but only when he asks for it. I think it’s time for me step back, pray, and know that I have done what is reasonable. I don’t think in this case I need to “shake the dust from my sandals”, but perhaps move on.

I do not worry about this man’s status with God. He is a saintly Christian. I’m only saddened that the walls of ignorance are so deep and so old now, that these new faith “traditions” (33,000 of them!) have fractured Christianity and pulled people away from the fullness of the Faith.

Any thoughts at this juncture?


#15

Perservere. Even if you never see a flower in full bloom, you may be planting a seed or watering a sprout.


#16

[quote=CatholicCorno]I do not worry about this man’s status with God. He is a saintly Christian. I’m only saddened that the walls of ignorance are so deep and so old now, that these new faith “traditions” (33,000 of them!) have fractured Christianity and pulled people away from the fullness of the Faith.
[/quote]

As long as neither one tells the other they are going to burn in hell I say let it go. Just like I don’t understand why people fall for new age religion, I similarly can’t imagine how the “reformed” doctrine could seem plausible to a sincere soul. But it does and it looks like it will continue to steal souls.

You stated the truth and it is up to him to accept or reject it.


#17

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