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 Post subject: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Here's my question regarding conversion: how do you explain your choice of the Catholic Church to curious friends/family? Since starting our blog about our journey into the Catholic Church, I am getting a sense from a few friends that they are offended that we are suggesting that their church isn't "good enough." I think what they want from us is reassurance (which I am not going to give...) that they're ok where they are and that the difference between the Catholic Church and Protestant denominations isn't that important. I've also gotten a _very_ angry message from a "friend" via Facebook that he wishes we would just shut up because we're harming the peace that Catholics and Protestants have found within the past 100 years. I find these various reactions somewhat strange and very defensive. As much as the horrible, sinful part of me would like to say something equally nasty back, my main concern is just that we present the Catholic Church in a way that makes people want to hear more about why we finally decided that it was true so that maybe they will discover that for themselves. My husband and I feel that it would be extremely irresponsible and uncaring of us to act like our move into the Church is "no big deal" and not say anything about it just to keep the peace with our old friends.


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:41 pm 
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Our Lady's Gladiator
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it is better to be obedient to the Words of our Lord and be in communion with the Church He started.... why settle for anything less than what He wants?


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:49 pm 
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Our Lady's Gladiator
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btw nkw... if any of your friends are open to the truth , i'll be happy to send you some copies of pillar of fire, pillar of truth to give to them... i probably have about 5 or 6 copies left i think


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:24 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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I still have former atheist friends who outright refuse to talk to me because they think that I have been brainwashed. Those kind of reactions are just part of the territory.

Just do your best to keep the lines of communication open. But don't compromise the faith for the sake of ecumenism. I know its a hard balance to maintain. Just do the best you can.


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Time for new friends.


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:09 pm 
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Thanks, everyone. And thanks for the offer, faithfulservant. I might take you up on it.

I guess what really burns me at the moment is that a few people have taken us to task for "breaking fellowship" with them. Um, really? We're the ones breaking fellowship?


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:56 pm 
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nkw wrote:
Thanks, everyone. And thanks for the offer, faithfulservant. I might take you up on it.

I guess what really burns me at the moment is that a few people have taken us to task for "breaking fellowship" with them. Um, really? We're the ones breaking fellowship?



You are not "breaking fellowship" with them any more than the Reformers broke fellowship with the Church. Stick to your guns, in a tactful and loving way.

There IS a difference between Catholicism and Protestantism , just as their is a difference between a new BMW with all the goodies and a 1960's VW bus. They are missing A LOT, and it is our job to let those outside the Church know this, both by the charity of our lives and the words of Christ's wisdom as given to the Church in her councils, encyclicals, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:00 pm 
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nkw wrote:
I guess what really burns me at the moment is that a few people have taken us to task for "breaking fellowship" with them.

Have you ever seen the movie A Man for All Seasons?

Quote:
The Duke of Norfolk: Oh confound all this. I'm not a scholar, I don't know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can't you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!

Sir Thomas More: And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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Remind them kindly that they do not have to read what you post on your blog or FB.


We received some angry emails and letters when we announced our conversion. Many felt what you've shared and that we were rejecting everything they had taught us (those who did teach us). We tried to explain that we weren't rejecting everything and that we were/are very grateful for the love of Christ that they had installed in us. We tried to explain that we had found fullness of Truth. They did not understand. We did lose friends and many relationships changed.
We finally had to put our foot down about taking books and tracts from them. We told them we were willing to read anything they had for us as long as they seriously read what we wanted to share with them. We've never received anything since. They just wanted to lecture us. They didn't want to understand why we were going to convert. Without that desire to understand there was no use conversing about it.

Prayers.


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:46 pm 
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It's something of a cardinal rule in the West that the only real sin is to tell someone that they are wrong. People don't have a problem with you sharing your opinions, so long as your opinion isn't phrased in terms of truth. For truth claims, by their very nature, are exclusive. So when you say, "This is why I became Catholic: I found it to be superior in these categories, a, b, c, etc." then you are implicitly saying that their church is inferior to your own.

Now, logically, there is absolutely no reason for your friends to be offended. You aren't saying a thing against them or even their church. You are stating a truth claim: you have become convinced the Catholic faith is true, and thus necessarily, those churches that deny any part of Catholic doctrine is to that extent false. And, thus necessarily, you are saying that your friends are wrong.

But your own friends do this. If they say they are Christians and that Jesus is the only way, then they do exactly the same thing to, say, Muslims. And yet they will tell you that Muslims ought not be offended--they aren't being mean when they say Jesus is the only way. On the contrary, they are saying so with true and genuine compassion, not passing judgment, but simply offering a truth claim. If, then, your friends can offer mutually exclusive truth claims and insist (even implicitly) that others are mistaken (if not sincerely so), and yet those they believe to be mistaken ought not be offended, then why ought not the same grace and understanding be extended to you in your truth claims?

I encountered this rather recently in my own life. A stated among a group of Christians what I believe to be the Gospel (and it is a very narrow view). They recognized the implicit nature of my claim, that according to my theology, these professing Christians did not believe the Gospel. They became deeply offended. Suffice it to say that, for many reasons, there is no longer any contact between myself and that group. They were just being silly and were terribly wrong to become offended, but that is what people do.

The bottom line is that you have to stand up for what you believe is the truth. You don't have to make truth a hammer where you intentionally alienate people, but you must decide whether or not the truth or others' feelings are more important to you. It sounds like you have rightfully chosen the former. So be kind and gentle--tell the truth in love. Insist (sincerely!) that you aren't judging them, but your views have simply become what they are, and you are simply being honest with both them and themselves. You seem to still be open to fellowship; so it is their decision whether or not they can tolerate YOUR new beliefs. You, after all, seem perfectly willing to tolerate their belief that you, as a Catholic, are mistaken in the areas in which they disagree with you. If you are not offended at their belief you are in error, why, pray tell, should they be offended when you believe they are in error in some places? You can disagree agreeably. Can they? If not, perhaps they weren't much of friends to begin with . . .


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:36 pm 
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I knew I would get some great answers and encouragement from you all. :-)

Thank you for prayers, SarahGrace. I did tell the hater Facebook "friend" that he didn't have to read the blog. I'm actually glad he was so obnoxious in such a public forum so that everyone can see him for who he is.

jac3510, your last few sentences (I'm too technologically challenged to pull them out in a quote) were inspired. I hadn't thought of that but that completely makes sense. Protestants really don't like the suggestion that anything they believe could possibly be wrong, but they feel fine doing the same thing to Catholics.


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:36 pm 
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Have you considered "unfriending" the facebook friend giving you heck?


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:54 pm 
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Ask them if they think your church is good enough.


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:19 am 
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When I converted, my Church of Christ minister and older brother became somewhat upset and expressed feelings of being judged, though I'd never spoke remotely in that way. He just felt defensive. Some of that came from misunderstanding the Catholic faith on certain things. I don't know what I could have done, in retrospect, to make it any better. Over time he's come to Mass with me a few times and the tension has mostly passed.

My sister told me that the honeymoon would soon be over, and I think by that she was implying that once the fun from the shock value wore off I'd bail. That was. . ..ten or eleven years ago now. :) I've got past the disillusionment/frustration phase, too, to the deeper and more rich part. She didn't see that coming.

You can't control how people react, or receive your story. It's not your baggage, it's theirs.


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:03 am 
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There's never been peace between Catholics and protestants, especially not in the U.S. When I talk to most people around here and they find out I'm not religious and that my family is catholic then they just kneejerk with something like "Catholics aren't real christian, come try my flavor instead!" or "Oh Catholic, that must be why, I've heard they have real weird stuff going on"


Framing you as the peace breaker is likely just a projection. What they they are asking is why did you have to go and break your peace with me?


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:04 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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I'm surrounded by Protestants and we get along just fine. However I left extreme Protestant 'fundamentalism' a long time ago and have very little contact with them. I did not tell them of my conversion because they were no longer in my circle of friends. I'm sure they have since learned through the grapevine but their opinion is of no concern to me.

The Protestants I did tell were fine with it but they are more of the "I disagree with your theology but I'm not anti-Catholic' type of Protestants and they are not. No one tried to talk me out of it and we are still friends.

It would have been an entirely different story had I jumped right from 'fundamentalism' to Catholicism though.


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:03 am 
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We all know that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church and is the one that was established by Jesus Himself. Maybe you should pose a logical question to your friends. Put them in your shoes and ask them if the believed as you do, that they were part of the actual church that Jesus started, would they too not feel it superior to ones that have branched off from it?


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:34 am 
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Hatchmo wrote:
We all know that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church and is the one that was established by Jesus Himself. Maybe you should pose a logical question to your friends. Put them in your shoes and ask them if the believed as you do, that they were part of the actual church that Jesus started, would they too not feel it superior to ones that have branched off from it?


That sounds like a good proposition to put to them, but I wonder if they have the same concept of "church" as we do. We understand the Church as something corporate. They understand the church as something individual. They might just give you back that deer-in-the-headlights look and say, "I am the church that Jesus founded. How can I branch off from myself?"


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:16 am 
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pax wrote:
Hatchmo wrote:
We all know that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church and is the one that was established by Jesus Himself. Maybe you should pose a logical question to your friends. Put them in your shoes and ask them if the believed as you do, that they were part of the actual church that Jesus started, would they too not feel it superior to ones that have branched off from it?


That sounds like a good proposition to put to them, but I wonder if they have the same concept of "church" as we do. We understand the Church as something corporate. They understand the church as something individual. They might just give you back that deer-in-the-headlights look and say, "I am the church that Jesus founded. How can I branch off from myself?"

Crazy is as crazy does. I like what Hatchmo said and see no reason to change it cause some people are nuts.


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 Post subject: Re: So we've ticked a few people off...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:11 pm 
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Bombadil wrote:
pax wrote:
Hatchmo wrote:
We all know that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church and is the one that was established by Jesus Himself. Maybe you should pose a logical question to your friends. Put them in your shoes and ask them if the believed as you do, that they were part of the actual church that Jesus started, would they too not feel it superior to ones that have branched off from it?


That sounds like a good proposition to put to them, but I wonder if they have the same concept of "church" as we do. We understand the Church as something corporate. They understand the church as something individual. They might just give you back that deer-in-the-headlights look and say, "I am the church that Jesus founded. How can I branch off from myself?"

Crazy is as crazy does. I like what Hatchmo said and see no reason to change it cause some people are nuts.



WWHD?




(What Would Hatchmo Do?)


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