What do you say to someone who says, "It's the same God..."


#1

My mom is a fallen away Catholic, and we sometimes get into theological debates. Often times I ask her if she’d ever come back to the Church. She always ends the conversation by saying, “We all worship the same God, it doesn’t matter what Church you go to. The God in the Methodist Church is the same as the God in the Catholic Church.” How do I respond to that?!


#2

[quote=StratusRose]My mom is a fallen away Catholic, and we sometimes get into theological debates. Often times I ask her if she’d ever come back to the Church. She always ends the conversation by saying, “We all worship the same God, it doesn’t matter what Church you go to. The God in the Methodist Church is the same as the God in the Catholic Church.” How do I respond to that?!
[/quote]

Ah, StratusRose, peace be with you. I feel your frustration, having been in similar situations. My first reponse is always “If it didn’t matter then why did Christ go to all the bother of laying down the foundation of the Church He came to establish?” Then of course, they start bashing the Catholics for ‘writing in’ their guidelines and structure to the Bible…as if the apostles didn’t really say/do the things that are written, and that’s where I get stumped. I don’t know how to respond from there.

It seems to me that if we believe in the same God, then why would anyone turn their back on Him while claiming to love Him completely? God sent His only Son to redeem humanity…I find the other denominations embracing their salvation through Christ, but then choosing not to repect the institution of the Church He gave to humanity before He ascended into heaven.

How can they accept the Bible as the Truth and the Light, but then stop after the Resurrection?? Everything we do in the Catholic faith is laid out in print in the Bible…but it seems as if some people stop reading after the part where Christ rose from the dead. Did they not read further about what happened between the time He rose and the time he ascended??? It’s as if they go straight from the resurrection to Revelations.

Or so it seems to me.

Sorry that doesn’t really answer your question, but I wanted to share my own frustration in this good thread you started.


#3

Perhaps a combination of answers 2 and 4 from Crisis Magazine’s 12 Myths Every Catholic Should Be Able to Answer will fill the bill:

**2. "Christianity is no better than any other faith. All religions **
lead to God."

The problems with this view are pretty straightforward. Christianity
makes a series of claims about God and man: That Jesus of Nazareth was God Himself, and that he died and was resurrected – all so that we might be free from our sins. Every other religion in the world denies each of these points. So, if Christianity is correct, then it speaks a vital truth to the world – a truth that all other religions reject. This alone makes Christianity unique.

But it doesn’t end there. Recall Jesus’ statement in John’s Gospel: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” In Christianity, we have God’s full revelation to humanity. It’s true that all religions contain some measure of truth – the amount varying with the religion. Nevertheless, if we earnestly want to follow and worship God, shouldn’t we do it in the way He prescribed?

If Jesus is indeed God, then only Christianity contains the fullness
of this truth.

**4. “I don’t need to go to Church. As long as I’m a good person, that’s all that really matters.” **

This argument is used often, and is pretty disingenuous. When someone says he’s a “good person,” what he really means is that he’s “not a bad person” – bad people being those who murder, rape, and steal. Most people don’t have to extend a lot of effort to avoid these sins, and that’s the idea: We want to do the least amount of work necessary just to get us by. Not very Christ-like, is it?

But that mentality aside, there’s a much more important reason why Catholics go to Church other than just as an exercise in going the extra mile. Mass is the cornerstone of our faith life because of what lies at its heart: the Eucharist. It’s the source of all life for Catholics, who believe that bread and wine become the real body and blood of Christ. It’s not just a symbol of God, but God made physically present to us in a way we don’t experience through prayer alone.

Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of
the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:53-54). We’re honoring Jesus’ command and trusting in that promise every time we go to Mass.

What’s more, the Eucharist – along with all the other Sacraments – is only available to those in the Church. As members of the Church, Christ’s visible body here on earth, our lives are intimately tied up with the lives of others in that Church. Our personal relationship with God is vital, but we also have a responsibility to live as faithful members of Christ’s body. Just being a “good person” isn’t enough.


#4

If you’re worried about a Methodist claiming to worship the same God as a Catholic, I can’t imagine what you’d think if a Hindu claimed the same thing.

:wink:


#5

[quote=StratusRose]My mom is a fallen away Catholic, and we sometimes get into theological debates. Often times I ask her if she’d ever come back to the Church. She always ends the conversation by saying, “We all worship the same God, it doesn’t matter what Church you go to. The God in the Methodist Church is the same as the God in the Catholic Church.” How do I respond to that?!
[/quote]

I would respond lovingly that she’s right. We do worship the same God. But if we really claim to worship God shouldn’t we make sure we are doing it as he wishes us to? Isn’t it our duty to at least attempt to find the truth when there are disagreements? Many people think that the truth can never be discovered and God will sort it out in the end. Even if that’s true, I believe God expects those who claim to worship him to seek him and his will for us using all of our faith and logic. Jesus said to love God with all our heart, might, mind and strength. How can we love someone so intensely if we don’t know who they really are and what they really want?
:twocents:


#6

QUOTE=Chickamauga
"I don’t need to go to Church. As long as I’m a good person, that’s all that really matters." ================================================================================================================ Here is where most people are decieved. Their standard of being good and Gods standard are two different things. God will judge us by His standard which is the 10 commandments. If you were to go through the list with them you would see that they are probably guilty of most of them. In Gods eyes if we break one law we are guilty of them all. So if they were to come before judgement they would see that they are guilty. What is Gods sentence for those who break His law? Its death and off to hell they go. Once they realize that they have broken Gods law and its consequences they now see the need for a Savior. Jesus Christ now steps in and through repentance and admitting you are a sinner and believing that He is your Lord and Savior you are saved. This is the first step in your walk. :wink: Its not enough to say you are a christian. You must produce good fruit or you will be cut off and thrown into the fire.John 15;6 God Bless


#7

Think of it like marriage. Christ is the groom and the Church is the bride and we find intimate union with Him in the Eucharist. To say all religion is the same is like saying to the spouse I can sleep with anyone I want because deep down we are all the same. Try floating that one past you spouse and see how far you get. :smiley:

Scott


#8

[quote=StratusRose]My mom is a fallen away Catholic, and we sometimes get into theological debates. Often times I ask her if she’d ever come back to the Church. She always ends the conversation by saying, “We all worship the same God, it doesn’t matter what Church you go to. The God in the Methodist Church is the same as the God in the Catholic Church.” How do I respond to that?!
[/quote]

Jesus only founded one Church. Don’t you want to follow the Church which Jesus founded?

A little diligent prayer and study will yield enough evidence to determine which one.


#9

Tmaque said it right IMHO!

There is only 1 God, the difference is in whether each worship group is doing what God asked. Clearly there are big differences there.

Catholics believe that what God wants us to do is first and foremost outlined in the Scripture, and that Scripture also points to the i portance of Jesus’ teachings and the rest of Jesus’ life (that would fill many books) that has been carried down from the Apostles to the bishops of today.

If I was speaking to someone in another religion, I would ask them if they think they are worshipping God the way he wants us to, in fact demands us to…


#10

Awalt’s and tmaque’s responses remind me of the fine old comment by Cardinal Newman when faced with the same “we worship the same God” arguement.

He replied, “Yes. You worship in your way, and I’ll worship in His.”


#11

[quote=StratusRose]My mom is a fallen away Catholic, and we sometimes get into theological debates. Often times I ask her if she’d ever come back to the Church. She always ends the conversation by saying, “We all worship the same God, it doesn’t matter what Church you go to. The God in the Methodist Church is the same as the God in the Catholic Church.” How do I respond to that?!
[/quote]

yes, we worship the same God, who gave the same commandments to everyone, who sent His only begotten Son to be born of a virgin, suffer, die, rise again and ascend to heaven, to establish a Church, and send the Holy Spirit to protect it and its teaching. If we do worship that God, yet reject His Son, and all His Son established and commanded, and reject the action of the Holy Spirit, we reject God.


#12

[quote=Newvert]Awalt’s and tmaque’s responses remind me of the fine old comment by Cardinal Newman when faced with the same “we worship the same God” arguement.

He replied, “Yes. You worship in your way, and I’ll worship in His.”
[/quote]

Amen!


#13

[quote=Newvert]Awalt’s and tmaque’s responses remind me of the fine old comment by Cardinal Newman when faced with the same “we worship the same God” arguement.

He replied, “Yes. You worship in your way, and I’ll worship in His.”
[/quote]

Whoops! Actually the quote comes from Cardinal Newman’s contemporary and fellow convert from Anglicanism, Cardinal Manning.


#14

Update: My mom went to Mass on her own this past Sunday. Usually, she goes with her husband, but he’s out of town. She went to the Methodist Church afterward, but hey, its a start! I think she starting to get curious…


#15

12 Claims Every Catholic Should Be Able to Answer


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