So, there was a Catholic, Orthodox and an agnostic


#1

Im the Catholic.

The other two are fellow students living in halls with me.

The agnostic was born Orthodox but doesnt really believe in God much, just accepts Him because its obvious to him he exists.

The Orthodox guy thinks that there is truth, but it is only to be found through prayer by ourselves, and that Christ didnt mean for all these churches. Thus, there is some truth in every denomination. But ultimately, all of them are wrong.

The agnostic tells me that he hates God, because it means that his life has no purpose, and that if he is just someones creation, he is not really free. So, he knows God exists, but really doesnt want to find Him, because it will lead to a life of submission i guess.

The problem is this, they have both been fed vast amounts of anti - Catholic literature. One thinking that indulgences were a ticket out of hell.

The agnostic wants to go to hell (im really befuddled on how to approach this) because he hates God, and he argues anyway that Truth is relative.d

Yesterday we had a long long discussion (3-4 hours worth of it). First of all, it was myself and the Orthodox guy arguing against the atheist, then both of them on me about all the bad things popes have done, they didnt get the definition of infallibility. And a million other points.

Since they were both baptised in the Orthodox Church, its not coincidence we all became friends, how do i save them from a hell they do not understand?

Help?

In Christ

Andre


#2

[quote=Magicsilence]Since they were both baptised in the Orthodox Church, its not coincidence we all became friends, how do i save them from a hell they do not understand?

Andre

[/quote]

You don’t save anyone, since your profile indicates you are not Jesus Christ. Your question is how do you evangelize these individuals. You do it through constant proclamation of the good news, and the primary means is your example, how you live every minute of the day, how you obey the commandments and live out the beatitudes. Debates don’t convert people, the Holy Spirit converts people. You are the sower, you plant the seeds. Someone else waters, hoes, fertilizes and harvests the produce.


#3

By example more than anything and love. Of course it will take a lot of patients to deal with these guys too.
Good luck!


#4

I second that heartily1 Live the life of Christ, that is what He says is the best way for us to evangelize. He will work through you.

Remember, and respect, they are free to choose. God WANTS them to freely choose their destination. So live like Christ and look for any clues that they are interested in finding out more. All their question can be answered if their hearts are not hardened. You are wasting your time debating, but if they genuinely want to learn because God’s graces are working in them, then be ready.

Good luck and God Bless…


#5

[quote=Magicsilence]The agnostic was born Orthodox but doesnt really believe in God much, just accepts Him because its obvious to him he exists.
The agnostic tells me that he hates God,
The agnostic wants to go to hell

[/quote]

There is something wrong your or your mates’ classification. An agnostic can hardly believe in Hell or hate God, because that would need a very specific god image in the first place, and the very meaning of “agnostic” is, that it is impossible to know anything about God’s nature.

it was myself and the Orthodox guy arguing against the atheist,

Now he is an atheist rather than an agnostic? Atheists do not believe in Hell nor God, why should we want to go to non-existing places or hate non-existing things?


#6

Welcome to my world… I just don’t bother trying to change others, they always seem so fixed on bringing up the problems that the church has had.


#7

The problem the agnostic/practical atheist has is that he considers submission to be evil. That is the problem with the modern world, people start believing that personal choice is the greatest good.

Perhaps if he ever becomes a parent, he will understand the great good that is authority.


#8

[quote=CatholicChef]By example more than anything and love. Of course it will take a lot of patients to deal with these guys too.
Good luck!
[/quote]

It will probably take patience, too. :wink:

Perhaps it wasn’t intentional, but “a lot of patients” makes for a very funny picture of many people in straight jackets trying to evalgelize an agnostic who hates God and an Orthodox who has been badly misinformed. What a discussion that would be!

Peace,
javelin


#9

[quote=Libero]Welcome to my world… I just don’t bother trying to change others, they always seem so fixed on bringing up the problems that the church has had.
[/quote]

This is so true! In my experience atheists and agnostics are more interested in debate.


#10

Pick one subject at a time. Start with the existance of God. Peter Kreeft has some lectures online that might help you here (and with some other subjects too). You might even listen to them together and have a discussion after. Keep to one subject, I can’t stress that enough. The existence of God is not related to how many good or bad popes we have had etc.

peterkreeft.com/audio.htm

On your own study Church history. Be able to discuss the Inquisition and the Crusades. Know why and how they happened and what actually went on during them. They are not what people believe them to be and are used to confuse the issue. If they want to talk about those subjects then do your research and talk about them.

I don’t know my “pope history” especially well. My husband teases me about not having my popes in a row (you know like ducks, ha ha). I think this is another subject that people use to confuse the issue. There have been good popes and some not so good popes, but the fact is that the Church remains even after the “bad” popes. Jesus chose Judas as one of His Apostles and the popes, as all of us, are only human and can make mistakes. The pope is not perfect (none of us are) and doesn’t have to be to hold the office. He is not impeccable. He is infalliable when teaching on faith and morals. No pope, however bad, has changed the Church’s teachings on those. A pope who had a mistress didn’t change the commandments to allow adultery or make a teaching that popes should have a mistress etc.

  1. One subject at a time.
  2. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know the answer to something, research it and get back to them on it.
  3. Keep the debate “cool”. Its not your job to convert them, the Holy Spirit does that. Present the information and let them process it. The seeds you plant today may not take root for years.
  4. and this probably should be listed first; pray.

PS-I liked you title for the thread :smiley:


#11

Your post indicates you are in college, or some other institute of higher learning… why not read a bit of Dante’s Divine Comedy together?
Or, if that’s too heavy, capitalize on the Narnia craze and read C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters”.
Just because you make a brilliant point, the agnostic is not going to jump up and say, “You are SO right! I never thought of that before. Get me to a nunnery”.
But, 5, 10, 15 years from now they may remember your brilliant point and be ready to act on it.
As an aside, the Green Scapular is said to work miracles regarding conversions. You might see if you can find one at a Catholic bookstore, and ask our Blessed Mother to pray for them.
mommyjo2


#12

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