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renthead188
May 1st 2008, 04:54 AM
This evening I hung out with some kids that I don't usually hang out with, good kids but not my regular group. This group consists of a combination of Wiccans and Agnostics. They know that I'm a Christian and they know that I have changed as a result of it. In their youth, they were all raised in a Roman Catholic household, so their exposure to Christianity is very slanted towards that sect. They disagree with things that the Roman Church has done in the past, and some pracitces that they hold now, and have thus rejected Christianity. How is it that I can effectively explain the differences between the churches without seeming like I'm bashing others?

My main focus when this comes up (I live in an area which is 51% Roman Catholic) is to focus the conversation on the relationship with Jesus above all else. I say that God is all about relationships and hearts, not about repetition and religion.

Is there any way that I can effectively defend Christianity without tearing apart Roman Catholics? Any help would be appreciated... these people are wonderful by man's standards (and I mean it - they are good and loyal friends) yet it tears me up to know that they reject a relationship with The Lord.

Again, any advice would be appreciated, thanks very much

Christopher

IamBill
May 2nd 2008, 03:28 PM
I'm sure some better advise will come along for you.
but here is what I see.-

They know where you stand right. Perhaps you should not be concerned with pointing fingers.
Be a beacon instead, skip "the talk", - walk the walk while telling them Why YOU do so. :)

Let the light(Jesus) shine from within in all you do.

....and say ;)

HisLeast
May 2nd 2008, 03:45 PM
Concentrate on two things:
1) Living righteously
2) The gospel

You don't want to create an issue you have to address by... er... creating an issue you have to address. I know that sounds paradoxical. What I'm suggesting is to talk about what Christ and the disciples talked about. Only address the differences in Catholic/Baptist/Funkasaurus/Whatever if and when they come up.

Athanasius
May 2nd 2008, 04:28 PM
HisLeast told the truth ;)
Show the love of Christ through your life and you'll have opportunities to show the Gospel message. All that stuff about the Catholic church is just that, stuff. It's an intellectual front to moral resignations.

renthead188
May 2nd 2008, 05:20 PM
Thanks for your replies - but I fear that I wasn't clear enough in my initial post. This is more apologetics than it is evangelism.

They have a bunch of ideas about Christianity (following Christ) based exclusively on RCC tradition.

I don't bring these up, they do. The issue is not "How do I sit them down and tell them how wrong they are" it's "When they draw an incorrect conclusion about Christianity based off of what they see from RCC how do I explain the difference?"

Xel you put it wonderfully. How do I explain the difference between "The Truth of The Gospel" and "that stuff"

Teke
May 2nd 2008, 05:40 PM
Thanks for your replies - but I fear that I wasn't clear enough in my initial post. This is more apologetics than it is evangelism.

They have a bunch of ideas about Christianity (following Christ) based exclusively on RCC tradition.

I don't bring these up, they do. The issue is not "How do I sit them down and tell them how wrong they are" it's "When they draw an incorrect conclusion about Christianity based off of what they see from RCC how do I explain the difference?"

Xel you put it wonderfully. How do I explain the difference between "The Truth of The Gospel" and "that stuff"

I don't see how you can if you don't understand the "stuff" yourself. If the "stuff" you refer to is their families tradition which is RC, then you best not even go there. They can learn on their own if they so choose to do so. I would encourage them to study about church history in general, which is something they will understand. That will lead them into other areas as they come, then they can explore the matters further.

There is a man in my church, who once aligned himself under the RC. As he studied and learned more about his church, and this was while he was yet a yound adult, he was quite aware of the changes which occurred with Vatican II. He did not immediately leave the church, but began giving out pamphlets to the laity on what was going on, as he didn't feel they were aware of the implications. Long story short, he couldn't change the RC church so he left and became Eastern Orthodox. God always makes a way.

My best advice for any young adults seeking answers, is to be well educated on the matters to make an informed choice. As we wouldn't want the church looking like an entity that breaks up families by religious beliefs. Christianity is a way of life, not a religion. ;)

Athanasius
May 2nd 2008, 05:49 PM
Thanks for your replies - but I fear that I wasn't clear enough in my initial post. This is more apologetics than it is evangelism.

They have a bunch of ideas about Christianity (following Christ) based exclusively on RCC tradition.

I don't bring these up, they do. The issue is not "How do I sit them down and tell them how wrong they are" it's "When they draw an incorrect conclusion about Christianity based off of what they see from RCC how do I explain the difference?"

Xel you put it wonderfully. How do I explain the difference between "The Truth of The Gospel" and "that stuff"

(This will answer that last line as well).

If you want a more Apologetics focused answer the first thing you have to do is admit that yes, 'Christianity' has a violent history attached to it. But that is 'Christianity' and we are talking about Christianity. Before saying anything else I would highly recommend you become familiar with Ravi Zacharias and two of his books, Jesus Among other Gods and Can Man live Without God. Another book I'd recommend is Beyond Opinion, which is a collection of essays (not to plug Ravi Zacharias, but. . .). Coming back to Christianity. You can absolutely show that the Christianity pop-history is most familiar with is a Christianity that was hijacked by politicizers of religion. Single persons or groups of people which used religion as a form of control, of domination, as a means of warfare. . . These are subjects in which I agree with the 'New Atheism'. These things were horrible, but they aren't accurate representations of Christianity--it's a caricature, that admittedly, the 'church' created for itself.

These are things which you can definitively refute using the biblical text.

For instance. . .
The RCC teaches this, the Bible says this; 1), 2), 3).
History shows this about the church, the Bible says this concerning those acts; 1), 2), 3).

It's not a very difficult thing to do, but it is something you have to be really familiar with. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, 'Christian' execution squads in the 3rd world. The Protestant vs Catholic mentality of Ireland (I think?). The Sex Abuse scandal of recent. Christianities renown for 'exclusivity'. . . Just requires a bit of research. And that's exactly it; people can't be content with listening to Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins highlight the 'abuses' of the church (unfortunately many people are content with this). They have to think critically. In the West, sorry to knock it (because I live here), critical thinking is kind of going out the door. .

Ultimately though it's not for intellectual reasons that one rejects Christianity, it's for moral reasons.