what should I do in this situation?

I get invited to a weekly faith discussion with a bunch of people from the local church. I always thought it was non-denominational, or if it does have a denomination I’m insure what it is.

Anyways, I regularly go to these discussions and I am the only Catholic (they didn’t realize I was when they invited me which made their Catholic bashing a little embarrassing for them when they found out). In the group is a guy who recently moved here from India and is interested in learning about Christianity. During the discussions this guy asks some pretty simple questions about the faith and they give an answer quoting scripture. He then asks whether it should be taken literally and offers an alternative to what else it could mean and everyone started saying how he was wrong and there is only one way of interpreting scripture and that any other denomination who says differently is wrong, etc.

Not gonna lie, their response made me angry, partly from them saying my faith was wrong since it differed from them and partly because I thought it was a very arrogant thing to do, but I remained silent and figured I’d respect their beliefs even if I former like or agree with them. I’ve offered my opinions on some topics about what catholics believe but with this topic they weren’t messing around and seemed mad at the guy for even offering an alternative viewpoint. Do you think this was the right approach to take? I appreciate any responses. God bless!

I guess you need to ask yourself if you want to share your faith with these people or not. If yes then pray and proceed if no then you might want to move on.

I think the chance of you changing these people’s opinions are slim to none. If you want to stay so that they have a better view of Catholics, realize that this may never hapoen and the abuse you endure may outweigh any benefit. Further, any attempt you make to share the truth with newcomers may be shouted down by the crowd, which is going to be disheartening, and eventually make you angry.

The longer you stay, the more anti-Catholic bias you will probably pick up on. At least that’s been my experience, and my husband’s pastor & his wife have been my friends for 15+ years. :shrug:

I thought the Catholic church also believed this? That there is only one way to interpret scripture?

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Holy Mother the Church teaches that only She has the authority to interpret Sacred Scripture. Therefore if someone interprets the Bible differently than Her, they are wrong.

You need to be wary of false teachers here. You may want to talk to the other man individually if you don’t want to make waves.

I thought the Catholic church also believed this? That there is only one way to interpret scripture?

The difference is that that Catholic Church professes a rich interpretive tradition versus the protestant denominations (or non-denominations) that preach sola scriptura. We understand that scripture has many layers of meaning, as it is inspired by the Holy Spirit. At different times in our lives, the scripture will reveal to us another level of wisdom. As our own experiences give us new perspectives, they also give us new lenses with which we can learn new truths from scripture.

I say avoid non denominational discussions because non denominational IS a denomination of Protestantism and therefore is not accepting of Catholic truth. There is only one Church that has the fullness of truth and that is the Catholic Church Christ established in 33 AD every one else has some if not is completely false.

The more I studied with other Christians, the more I had to explain (and ultimately defend) Catholic teaching in a respectful way.

I suggest you get the slim volume a ‘Catholic Guide to The Bible’ from Catholic Home Study Services. It is my go-to reference for reconciling contradictions and explaining literary forms of different books, such as contextual hyperbole.

amm.org/chss/chss.asp

“Explains Catholic principles of interpreting the Bible. Takes the student through the Bible, offering pertinent information about the historical background, author, and literary style of each book. Selects readable passages from each book of the Bible so that the student can become familiar with the whole Bible and understand it as the Word of God.”

My experiencce with most protestants has been they expect you to justify your belief and they work to put you in a position where you must defend your faith. I think it is best not to succomb to this action , but ask them to justify their posiiton. Usually there response if with an isolated bible verse. Don’t let yourself get in the position of always having to volley the ball back.

I should add that going into the discussion I knew that they were non-denominational and didn’t have the same beliefs as I did and that’s partly why I went. I wanted to see what other Christian denominations (or lack-there-of I guess?) believed. I was just really taken back by their hatred for the Catholic Church along with the fact that they were acting like this is how it is, we have it right, no one else does. It isn’t our belief because that implies that we could possibly be wrong and we know we are right type of attitude. I’ve been wondering whether I should just disagree with them in my head and let them believe what they wished to believe or whether I should just totally stop communication with them at least when talking about religion.

Just wanted to say that I really do appreciate the responses guys, thank you very much!

As stated by another poster, you are probably not going to change them and their attitude. I think a good point is besides the Bible, what do they base their position on? The general consensus is with protestantism is that every man is his own priest, If a person takes that posiition, why are there over 25,000 separate denominations. How can they all be right? They all think they are the one who is right.

That’s it, JW…they aren’t, but they all do. When I asked my MIL in 1996 “But how do you know who is right when they all say different things?” She told me to get my Bible (she wasn’t talking about one with ALL the books ;)), a “good” commentary, and the Holy Spirit would show me the TRUTH. Great Assemblies of God Preacher’s Wife answer. Good answer, as far as it goes. It’s just that Scripture is the Book of the Church.

I enjoy this type of fellowship. I don’t go to convert others, but to “plant seeds.”

For example, we may use a Guidepost devotional or a more structured book like "Mary Heart in a Martha World (if I remember correctly), or a Christian study guide. Well, I usually chime in that the Catholic perspective is different because of x, y, and z.

One time, a lady in a group said that she read something fascinating about joining our sufferings to Christ’s and graces applied to others…you guessed it, when she finished, everyone was deep in thought and wanted to learn more when I said, "Catholics call that ‘redemptive suffering.’ " I drew her understanding out a bit more…thank God that I listen to CAL to have been able to explain the Catholic view of the topic, and you’d have been surprised how much was the same.

I laugh to myself because of the irony that we were brought up to “offer it up,” but to a slightly anti-Catholic person, it was a new idea to deepen her spiritual life.

You have to be committed to the truth. Let’s not lose sight of that.

I am reading a commentary on the gospel of John, it is clear that Jesus did not head into a fight every time one was brewing. I don’t think you should stay in that group if it is too hostile. But, you might try to get the man’s email address and communicate with him in that fashion.

I’m 65, and I was not taught how to evangelize, If I do any evangelizing, you’re looking at it. I think it would be good to plant the idea in this man to consider the Catholic Church and identify any local RCIA people who might be able to assist you in guiding this man.

Our church has a policy of not coercing anyone, but I think we need to take a good try at saving every soul. Forget about that group, unless you are really well-prepared to deal with them. Being outnumbered is just that. I think I looked up Exodux 8 a couple times and I think it says there not to follow the crowd – so you’ve been warned by scripture! God bless.

If you stick with these people you are going to have to be tough. As a woman I recently met said to me. “Being Catholic is hard sometimes, we are not an easy church.” As some of them talk you will discover those with hate in their hearts and those with love. Pray on it and I am thinking you will go and do God’s will. I am dealing with a similar situation right now as I took on a Protestant Preacher in the local newspaper over some anti Catholic comments he had made in the paper in a letter to the editor supporting a Protestant in a local election over a Catholic and her OLD WHITE CATHOLIC supporters. He seemed to think that "Old White Catholics were somehow inferior to Young Multiethnic multi-denominational supporters. I took him on and he isn’t happy with me and several of his “people” are in attack mode against me right now. I am praying and will work my way through it but being attacked for standing up for your religion isn’t pleasant but it is necessary.

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