"We don't stress differences b/w denominations"


#1

I’m sure this has been asked before, but perhaps someone can help me out.

What is a good, step-by-step way to answer a sincere Christian who believes that we should emphasize similaries, and downplay differences b/w denominations?

I converted to Catholicism, and have tried to evangelize to a non-Catholic Christian woman in her 50s. I think she could really use the fullness of truth (who couldn’t?) but I don’t know how to get past this initial obstacle. Any help? (Preferably in a tone where I wouldn’t feel like I was attacking her!)

Thanks!
Dianne


#2

I don’t know if this is an answer that will help you and I don’t think it is shared by most on this forum but I would suggest that you agree with her in this particular matter.

Pope John XXIII stated and Pope John Paul II emphatically restated regarding non-Catholic Christians:

“That which seperates as believers in Christ is far less than that which unites us.”

Share the things that you have in common. Helping to feed the hungry, visit the lonely, anything that may need to be done in your community would be a powerful witness to your faith. Be strong in your own faith and be confident that God will bring all divided Christians together when the time is right.

Peace

-Jim


#3

[quote=ChiroCatholic]I’m sure this has been asked before, but perhaps someone can help me out.

What is a good, step-by-step way to answer a sincere Christian who believes that we should emphasize similaries, and downplay differences b/w denominations?

I converted to Catholicism, and have tried to evangelize to a non-Catholic Christian woman in her 50s. I think she could really use the fullness of truth (who couldn’t?) but I don’t know how to get past this initial obstacle. Any help? (Preferably in a tone where I wouldn’t feel like I was attacking her!)

Thanks!
Dianne
[/quote]

I would start with the Catholic Church’s teaching that Scripture does contain the complete revelation of Jesus Christ. Certainly, it is the infallible word of God, but the first epistles were written years after Christ’s resurrection, and the Gospels followed decades later. What occurred in the intervening years was the Apostles and the presbyters establishing churches and teaching the doctrines of the faith as Christ had literally spoken directly to them. It is these teachings that the Catholic Church is based, which is why we have teachings about Mary, Purgatory, the Trinity, which are not explicitly covered in the Bible, but are true nevertheless, because Christ had revealed them to us.

Once you’ve established that there are doctrines of Christianity not established in the Bible, you can discuss the Catholic Church’s foundation on the Rock of Peter, as explained in Matthew.

Matthew16:18-19
And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

This passage shows how one can only view the Catholic Church as Christ’s church, which has the fullness of faith.

Peace and God bless! :slight_smile:

Eric


#4

I think the best way is just to be an example to her and not be afraid to share exciting things that are happening in your faith life. When we share the enthusiasm we have for our faith, sometimes others just start asking more questions on their own, and then you can answer them as they come.

This is hard for me, too, especially with family members and good friends for whom I long to share the fullness of faith, especially the gift of the Holy Eucharist.

But, we have to remember that we are not the ones who give them the gift of faith they need, so continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will open your friend’s eyes to see the Truth!


#5

Try witnessing on how the sacraments have made a difference in your faith life. Many times protestants don’t know the power of the sacraments. Playing Bible tennis won’t accomplish much unless you have a solid evangelical testimony.


#6

[quote=Maccabees]Try witnessing on how the sacraments have made a difference in your faith life. Many times protestants don’t know the power of the sacraments. Playing Bible tennis won’t accomplish much unless you have a solid evangelical testimony.
[/quote]

And the quote of the day award goes to Maccabees, for the phrase “Bible Tennis,” soon to enter GULaw’s vocabulary with frightening regularity. :smiley:


#7

Bible tennis - the game protestants love to play.

The one with the most verses wins. Not exactly high level theology here.


#8

In my opinion the best answer was the one above that stressed what our recent Popes and Vatican II have pointed out. There is more in common than differences. That is not to say that all denominations are equal. H. Beloc wrote a book called “Herisies”. He certainly was not one who emphasized the commonalities, but he did point out that other religions outside the Catholic Church, Protestantism , Judaism, and Islam are somewhat like the whole pie of Catholicism with a slice taken out and disgarded. All of them are based on many truths that were defended and proven by the Catholoic Church many years ago and still held today. For example One God who continues to be in and with his people, some have the trinity and recognize the role of Jesus in our salvation, and on and on. By your love and faithfulness for your Church while accepting her as a person of faith is a good start. I think to wham her over the head with “Truth and Proof” would be counter productive. Your best arguement is the example of your own life over time. God will call her when she is ready.


#9

[quote=ChiroCatholic]I’m sure this has been asked before, but perhaps someone can help me out.

What is a good, step-by-step way to answer a sincere Christian who believes that we should emphasize similaries, and downplay differences b/w denominations?

I converted to Catholicism, and have tried to evangelize to a non-Catholic Christian woman in her 50s. I think she could really use the fullness of truth (who couldn’t?) but I don’t know how to get past this initial obstacle. Any help? (Preferably in a tone where I wouldn’t feel like I was attacking her!)

Thanks!
Dianne
[/quote]

We are deceiving ourselves if we are not willing to accept the differences as well as the things that unite us as Christians.
We are warned in the Scriptures that little things do in fact count.
He who cannot be trusted in little things cannot be trusted in big things.


#10

Thanks for the answers, I’ll continue to mull this one over. I seem to hear this a lot from protestants (esp. non-denominational), so I’m trying to come up with an effective response to it. All your thoughts were appreciated.


#11

[quote=ChiroCatholic]Thanks for the answers, I’ll continue to mull this one over. I seem to hear this a lot from protestants (esp. non-denominational), so I’m trying to come up with an effective response to it. All your thoughts were appreciated.
[/quote]

Arm yourself by reading up! These books all go over the fundamentals of the Catholic faith, while also comparing the other religions and denominations, and helping us to understand why these differences matter (and also where we are similar) –

Fundamentals of the Faith (Peter Kreeft)
The Belief of Catholics (Msgr. Ronald Knox)
Heresies & Orthodoxy (two books by G.K. Chesterton)
Handbook of Christian Apologetics (Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli)

Also - you might want to check out Dr. D’Ambrosio’s video on “Who Needs the Catholic Church?”

+veritas+


#12

Some things one should consider is that what unites us as Christians has been delivered to us from the catholic church the new testament, the trinity, the creeds, etc What devides us are the many subjective opinions that protestantism has invented the past 500 years. We should not ignore either what unites us or diveds us. They are our brethren but it is important that the church has designated them our seperated brethren thus the reality the seperation is an unfortunate reality in our relationship with other christians.


#13

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