I have been thinking a lot about something that has been wearing me out lately. I’m really exhausted by this, and I would like to gain more understanding so I can put it to rest. Pretty please, I would really appreciate it if those who practice paganism,etc would refrain from answering. I only ask this because I already spent a few days asking pagans their perspective, and I have a wealth of answers on that side. So just solely practicing Catholics only, because I’m really searching for just Roman Catholic answers here. Answers from Priests/brothers/sisters would be excellent, but not mandatory. Thank you :).
I asked the question to several pagans if they thought that it is “bigoted” for a Christian to say/teach/believe/etc that Jesus is the only source of salvation (as the Church teaches).
It turns out that even if a Christian is tolerant of other religions, and respects the rights of every person regarding religious decisions, even if a Christian doesn’t judge, even if a Christian doesn’t cast judgement about another’s salvation (CC 843 says it best!), even if the Christian doesn’t push this thought on others… the Christian is a “bigot” (according to some pagans), simply because a Christian believes Jesus is Lord and that salvation is from Christ, and that only the Trinity is worthy of worship.
I asked these questions in a spiritual forum, where questions are asked and discussed. So I wasn’t proselytizing, but asking questions, and that was understood by all. While not all thought monotheism and Jesus equaling salvation was “bigoted”, some did say they thought it, and the Bible, was bigoted. Some said it was even offensive to hear “Jesus loves you” and some even found it offensive when Christians speak of Christ’s invitation to receive Him. Most basically said they were very turned off when any Christian spoke of their religious beliefs, unless they (the pagan) has specifically asked for Christian “opinions”. But most agreed that a Christian sharing the gospel only crosses the line when a Christian keeps pushing Christianity on those who have already expressed that they don’t want to hear it. (And I agree with that, it is rude to go beyond expressing one’s beliefs, to actually being forceful).
One of the other things quite a few pagans (wiccans,etc) seemed to have a problem with is when Christians make definitive statements. For instance, instead of saying “I believe Jesus is lord” we say “Jesus is Lord”. Many expressed moral relativism, and of course definitive statements do not fall in line with moral relativism. So that, too, many find “bigoted”.
So, I guess my question is… What should Catholics do:
Obviously proselytizing is not accepted (by many pagans), and is actually not a good idea when a person has already said no (of course!). This is not an issue so I shouldn’t really be mentioning that. I felt I had to mention that in order to get to the meat & potatoes…:
Should a Catholic shy away from acknowledging in public what both the Bible and the Church says… that Jesus is Savior & salvation comes from Him, that only the Trinity is worthy of worship, etc? Because others think these things are bigoted. Some also think it’s “bigoted” for the Catholic Church & Christians to say Jesus is not “a way” but “THE way”, even when acknowledging that non-Christians can go to heaven.
So what should I do as a Catholic? Should I keep my Catholic faith hidden all together, should I never speak of Jesus’ salvation to the world- period, should I never say only the Trinity is worthy of worship? I’m not talking about proselytizing or even saying these things to pagans (because it seems pretty clear to me that they don’t want to hear it). I’m asking… should Catholics just keep quiet & deny Christ in public because others find our non-‘moral-relativist’ statements about Christ, etc, to be “bigoted”?
Thank you. I hope I wrote this clearly :o.