What is the purpose Catholic/Protestant discussions?


#1

Hello.

After having multiple discussions with my Protestant friends, I always end the conversation with the feeling that we “haven’t gotten anywhere.” I don’t want to say the conversation is pointless but its like I state what I beleive and he states what he beleives and its like then what? When having these conversations am I supposed to trying to convert? Just trying to defend? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing as a Catholic to get the most out of the conversation. Does that make sense?

Any advice?

Thanks!


#2

[quote=MeOnly]Hello.

After having multiple discussions with my Protestant friends, I always end the conversation with the feeling that we “haven’t gotten anywhere.” I don’t want to say the conversation is pointless but its like I state what I beleive and he states what he beleives and its like then what? When having these conversations am I supposed to trying to convert? Just trying to defend? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing as a Catholic to get the most out of the conversation. Does that make sense?

Any advice?

Thanks!
[/quote]

State the Catholic position to best of your ability as to what the Church truly teaches. That’s all you can do. The rest is up to The Holy Spirit! :slight_smile:


#3

[quote=MeOnly]Hello.

After having multiple discussions with my Protestant friends, I always end the conversation with the feeling that we “haven’t gotten anywhere.” I don’t want to say the conversation is pointless but its like I state what I beleive and he states what he beleives and its like then what? When having these conversations am I supposed to trying to convert? Just trying to defend? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing as a Catholic to get the most out of the conversation. Does that make sense?

Any advice?

Thanks!
[/quote]

…New Concept: We are supposed to love one another and we are supposed to help one another attain holiness… if we believe that we have the formula for everlasting life, then we have a fiduciary responsibility to help direct our fellow-man to the prize as well… maybe over simplified, but to the point…IMHO.


#4

I think we all know that feeling!

One of the main reasons for having such discussions, in my experience, is to avoid a “vacuum” which would otherwise occur if Protestant charges about Catholicism were not countered. For every close-minded Protestant you run into there will be another who’s interest will be peaked by an actual Catholic response to the negative things he’s heard about the Church, often for years. Such a person may become hungry to hear more of “the other side”, and I know myself of more than a few who ended up coming into the Catholic faith from such a start.

Another reason is to build up your own knowledge and faith. I remember the time a Protestant quoted a papal document which mentioned the worship of Mary. I looked it up and confirmed the wording and was very disturbed. Then I discovered how the meaning of the English word “worship” has narrowed in the last few centuries (largely, I imagine, due to Protestant theological pressure – the same thing has happened to the word “pray”). The word as used in the document referred to veneration, not adoration. I then learned of the concepts of latria, dulia and hyperdulia. So in the end my faith was strengthened because the teachings of the Church held together.


#5

[quote=MeOnly]Hello.
[/quote]

Hi,

After having multiple discussions with my Protestant friends, I always end the conversation with the feeling that we “haven’t gotten anywhere.”

I know the feeling.

I don’t want to say the conversation is pointless but its like I state what I beleive and he states what he beleives and its like then what?

Then we pray that the seed will take root.

When having these conversations am I supposed to trying to convert? Just trying to defend? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing as a Catholic to get the most out of the conversation. Does that make sense?

Yeah, it makes sense. I prayed about that a great deal in the past.

Any advice?

Well you know what they say about advice, everybody’s got some.

One day, I had just gotten a new job and I was a bit lost. Orientation hadn’t been that informative, so I was just kind of wandering around trying to figure out where I’d fit in. Everybody seemed to be busy but I saw three guys who were just standing around talking so I gravitated towards them. As I got closer I noticed that one of them was waving his right arm wildly and I got the impression that he was ridiculing the sign of the Cross. I was right, as I got closer I heard him ridiculing Catholic traditions such as holy water, kneeling to pray in Church and other things. The two other guys were just standing there silently, not saying a word. I got right in his face and I said, “I’m Catholic you want to know anything, just ask me.”

He was caught a bit off guard but he asked, “Why do you wave your hand in front of your face like this?” He ridiculed the sign of the Cross. I corrrected him and showed him how to do it correctly and explained it is because “we preach Christ crucified and we always keep before us that Christ was crucified for our sins.”

Then he ridiculed our custom of putting holy water on our forehead and asked why we “wet our face?” I answered that we remember our baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit because in baptism we were buried with Jesus and arose from the waters a new man in Christ.

Then he asked why we kneel when we aproach the pews and kneel when we pray and I answered, “Because we humble ourselves before God who said, he who is humble will be exalted but he who exalts himself will be humbled.”

Well the fella just got upset and stormed off. The other two were still standing there quietly. One of them, the bigger one, turned to me and asked, “Do you know who that was?”

I answered, “No, its my first day on the job.”

He replied, “I hate to break it to you, but that was your foreman.”

The other guy said, “We know who’s getting all the sh-- jobs today.”

And they walked off.

Anyway, sometimes we do it to defend our faith, sometimes to convert the person we are talking to and sometimes so that others may hear the answers and know that the Catholic Church has the fullness of Truth.

Have a blessed day,

Sincerely,

De Maria


#6

To help correct errors and misunderstandings about the Catholic Faith and Church. At least that is what I use them for.


#7

SOmetimes it may seem pointless, but there are some really outrageous ideas and misconceptions being spread, that I like to set a few of them straight, just to let folks know what we really believe and what we do NOT believe.

People hear these things from other protestants or pass on misinformation all the time. I just want them to hear the Truth from a real live Catholic, not something made up or some off the wall rumor.

One televagelist just this weekend, mentioned that there was a group of Methodists who believed in or advocated goddess worship of St Sophia. Now I know Methodists are Christians, so how or why this nutcase preacher was speading this rumor about the Methodists was beyond me.

Where he read about or made up this distortion about Methodist is suspect. But here he was repeating some off the wall rumor and advocating this as true. It just makes you want to try some electro-shock therapy with a cattle prod on this guy. As he said this with a straight face, you could imagine seeing a hole in his head from one ear through to the other.

Of course this was only about Methodists, no telling what kinds of stories he has about Catholics. God spare us from ‘fellow Christian’ televangelists !!! With these folks as brothers who needs enemies. I say bring on the atheists and wiccans at least some of them stick to the truth.

wc


#8

I use such discussions as opportunities to have pleasant, non-judgmental fellowship with another believer in Christ. We both love Christ, but in different ways. Maybe we’re married to His Church, while the Protestants are a distance cousin or something. I don’t know.

Anyway I like to identify areas where we agree, and discuss areas where we have different opinions. The key is to temporarily supress any concern over whether they will actually agree with me or not, to the point that I can be convincingly non-judgmental and simply remain fascinated by their point of view. This way they will trust me and reveal their true opinions to me. This is called “empathy” (not sympathy and certainly not agreement) and is taught in crisis intervention counseling. It can sometimes be a crisis when devout people of different faiths discuss their respective religions.

To me, it helps me see what being a Catholic is, when I get a view from those on the outside. How do I know what my own house even looks like if I never go outside to have a look at it? If I don’t want to go outside, I can at least look at photos taken by those on the outside to see what they are seeing. Two dimensional only, but it still helps me understand my opposition. Who knows if they are seeing some shadow on our house and thinking it’s a demon? They may hand you the answer on a silver platter as to what it will take to remove the planks from their eyes. :smiley:

All of the above is step one, intelligence gathering. In step one, I am careful only to collect information without judging it. Step two, then, is to figure out a plan to combat their silly way of thinking. :whacky:

Alan


#9

I like to enter these conversations starting with a statement that I don’t want to convert them, I don’t want them to agree with me on my interpretation of scripture but I do want them to understand that Catholicism is Biblical and I can show them precisely how and where and everything else if they want me to.

Then we begin :slight_smile: – Since the usual argument against Catholicism that I’ve run into is that it’s “not Biblical” I like to just take that angle – I’ve actually helped a few people convert and a number of people just be more understanding of their relatives and friends by “not trying to convert”

It’s worth it, but you do have to have your ducks in a row – luckily I generally get into this over the computer so when I’m uncertain I have a ton of website I can refer to for help.


#10

The Ultimate Goa Is To Convert Protestants To The Catholic Faith–(through The Holy Spirit Of Course) Dont Ever Lose Sght Of The Fact That Protestants Are In Danger Of Going To Hell For Not Entering The Catholic Faith–pray They All Convert To Love Them Isto Help Them Understand Their Need To Come Home To The One True Faith!!


#11

[quote=De Maria]Hi,

I know the feeling.

Then we pray that the seed will take root.

Yeah, it makes sense. I prayed about that a great deal in the past.

Well you know what they say about advice, everybody’s got some.

One day, I had just gotten a new job and I was a bit lost. Orientation hadn’t been that informative, so I was just kind of wandering around trying to figure out where I’d fit in. Everybody seemed to be busy but I saw three guys who were just standing around talking so I gravitated towards them. As I got closer I noticed that one of them was waving his right arm wildly and I got the impression that he was ridiculing the sign of the Cross. I was right, as I got closer I heard him ridiculing Catholic traditions such as holy water, kneeling to pray in Church and other things. The two other guys were just standing there silently, not saying a word. I got right in his face and I said, “I’m Catholic you want to know anything, just ask me.”

He was caught a bit off guard but he asked, “Why do you wave your hand in front of your face like this?” He ridiculed the sign of the Cross. I corrrected him and showed him how to do it correctly and explained it is because “we preach Christ crucified and we always keep before us that Christ was crucified for our sins.”

Then he ridiculed our custom of putting holy water on our forehead and asked why we “wet our face?” I answered that we remember our baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit because in baptism we were buried with Jesus and arose from the waters a new man in Christ.

Then he asked why we kneel when we aproach the pews and kneel when we pray and I answered, “Because we humble ourselves before God who said, he who is humble will be exalted but he who exalts himself will be humbled.”

Well the fella just got upset and stormed off. The other two were still standing there quietly. One of them, the bigger one, turned to me and asked, “Do you know who that was?”

I answered, “No, its my first day on the job.”

He replied, “I hate to break it to you, but that was your foreman.”

The other guy said, “We know who’s getting all the sh-- jobs today.”

And they walked off.

Anyway, sometimes we do it to defend our faith, sometimes to convert the person we are talking to and sometimes so that others may hear the answers and know that the Catholic Church has the fullness of Truth.

Have a blessed day,

Sincerely,

De Maria
[/quote]

Did you have the bad jobs that day? Just curious. Did the foreman ever come back to you about your faith? Have you invited him to Mass?

Seems to me that the purpose of discussions between Protestants and Catholics is to build a foundation of trust and to bring them home. You see I was a beligerent (spelling?) Protestant with all sorts of false ideas until God kept chipping away at my faith (ideology and understanding) with various different Catholics. Not one, no one would plant the seed, one would water and another would gather in the seed. It took years and lots of arguments and some serious apologetics for me to come home, but home I’ve come.

God grant you the humility to talk to the Foreman again and say, now that you know some, come learn more.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam


#12

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