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Old 04-08-2010, 05:51 PM #1
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How do I say 'no thank you' to a conversion?

The Background: Wife and I are Catholic. We've been married for six years. Before and around the begining of our marriage we were active in our faith: mass every Sunday (or Saturday), participated in the Catholic community, ect. As life happens, we have two very small kids and two careers. As it happens with two small children and careers, we started to attend church less and less, and well not very much anymore. Recently we wanted to reconnect with our faith.

The Situation: About a month ago, it came up with a co-worker that her and her husband do bible lessons together with other couples. I mentioned that my wife and i were wanting to become more active in our catholic faith (attend mass, read/study the bible together ect). I discussed it with my wife and we decided to do some bible studies with with my co-worker and her husband. Our first studies went well. Then one night, we had them over for dinner and to do another bible study. During the course of the study we came to the scripture that talks about being born again through the clensing of water (I don't have my bible with me now, put I'll put up the specific scritpure later). I was asked if I knew what that meant. I said, that as far as I could gather, it was a reference to baptism. I was asked if i had ever been baptized, and I said 'yes, I was baptized when I was a baby.' After mentioning this I could tell there was a slight change in the tone of the conversation. I was told that (this is paraphrased) that in order for me to have been properly baptized, it needs to be done a consious adult and not as a child. I responded by saying that in the Catholic faith we are baptized as childeren/infants, but that we learn about our faith as we go from being children to adults. We go through first communion as children. Then as we become young adults we go through Confirmation, at wich point you either continue in your Catholic faith, or you leave the faith. That seemed to bother my co-worker. In a later conversation, my wife asked what it was about me, that led her to ask us if we wanted to do bible studies together.
She said that mainly it was the fact that we were brought up Catholic, and that she was concerned about our 'lives and doctrine acording to the bible not matching up.' My wife asked what specificaly about the Catholic faith was not living up to the docrtine of the bible. My co-worker responded that she wants us to study the bible more and for us to "figure it out on our own."
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:29 PM #2
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You opened this can of worms. Lol.

I do find that some Catholic practices APPEAR to not line up with the word and SEEM more about tradition than theology.

For instance, the taking of communion from a priest: Bible says that the only person between me and Christ is...no one. I can take communion on my own. I don't need a priest to absolve me of sins and give me communion because the Bible teaches that Christ is the only way and that since He fulfilled the prophets, I no longer need a Rabbi or priest between me and the Lord.

Praying to patron saints....see above.

I feel as though the virgin Mary is idolized.

The sacraments/transubstantiation.......don't know about that one. I think it's more "religious" hooey.

The books the Catholic church later added to the canon that the first fathers wouldn't allow into the canon.

Not allowing priests to marry. This isn't mandated by God. Matter of fact, just the opposite is..."...it is better to marry than to burn with lust." I think that's why pedophilia/molestation is so rampant. Forcing men to essentially become eunuchs which is, I believe, a perversion of sorts. The end result is the perversion of their sexual appetites.

Allow me to be clear though...I don't dislike anybody Catholic. I don't have personal issues with Catholics. I think we all follow Christ, I just have some major issues with Catholic theology and feel as though they're closer to a cult than "The Way" as it was called by the early church fathers (Apostles).
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:50 PM #3
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Were I you, I'd study it hard. If the Catholic way of doing things is more scriptural then carry on with it, if not - well, you decide. Hopefully your friends don't put too much pressure on you and respect your decisions.

That said I basically agree with everything said above by zulu ^.

I also take issue with the idea that the Catholic church is "the" church because it's entirely unbiblical, or that the pope is infallible (not sure if that's current, but it's heresy either way), and the fact that I have friends who were brought up Catholic and never heard the gospel so never actually became Christians. Also the interesting fact that practically every hard core atheist I know was brought up Catholic or went to a Catholic school. That says something.

I am aware however that doctrine differs between different Catholic groups and churches. Some are actually pretty good.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:05 PM #4
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The key question here is, are you Christian, or are you Catholic?
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:10 PM #5
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Originally Posted by vijil View Post
Were I you, I'd study it hard. If the Catholic way of doing things is more scriptural then carry on with it, if not - well, you decide. Hopefully your friends don't put too much pressure on you and respect your decisions.

That said I basically agree with everything said above by zulu ^.

I also take issue with the idea that the Catholic church is "the" church because it's entirely unbiblical, or that the pope is infallible (not sure if that's current, but it's heresy either way), and the fact that I have friends who were brought up Catholic and never heard the gospel so never actually became Christians. Also the interesting fact that practically every hard core atheist I know was brought up Catholic or went to a Catholic school. That says something.

I am aware however that doctrine differs between different Catholic groups and churches. Some are actually pretty good.

Well **** that might explain it...Brought up catholic, not saying I would buy Jesus is the savior anyways, but that could explain why I am so polarized against it.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:18 PM #6
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What brand of christian are they? In general it's wise to avoid anyone offering free bible instruction.

If it were me I would nitpick their practices while quoting the bible. The door swings both ways.

However, seeing as it's a work situation so I would just let it go. If they bother you at work about not being baptized, call a lawyer and cash in.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:01 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaka zulu View Post
You opened this can of worms. Lol.

I do find that some Catholic practices APPEAR to not line up with the word and SEEM more about tradition than theology.
There's TONS of tradition in Catholicism, and honestly most Catholics like it that way. Nearly two millennium of development tends to build up a lot stuff. Nearly all have biblical precedent if you ask experts on the subject (I'd end up googling, so don't ask me). Objectors will claim "improper interpretation", but that argument can go both directions. If we could all agree on scriptural interpretation we'd only need one church.

Some Protestant groups tend to have their own pseudo-theological traditions as well. Often just to show everyone that they're NOT Catholic. You get a lot of different branches trying to one up each other over how un-Catholic they can be. All kind of silly when observed from the outside.

Others, like some Lutherans and Episcopalians, are hard to tell apart from Catholics. Strange how the anti-Catholics don't seem to complain about them.

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The key question here is, are you Christian, or are you Catholic?
Incorrect question. The proper question is "are you Protestant, or are you Catholic?".

Back to the original question... It appears you've found yourself a couple of Baptists. There's a branch that needs to do a little internal house cleaning. Nearly every time someone uses religion to justify something extremely boneheaded it seems to be a Baptist of some sort (Fred Phelps for example). Not all are like this of course, I've known quite a few good Baptists, but historically they do tend towards being rather anti-Catholic. It may be hard to reach a happy middle ground with them. Expect some major disagreements when you get to Matthew 16, Mark 8, or Luke 9. Heck, just bring up Apostolic Succession and you'll get to hear them rant for a good hour straight.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:32 PM #8
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Originally Posted by shaka zulu View Post
You opened this can of worms. Lol.

Oh, baby, you don't even know! LOL

I do find that some Catholic practices APPEAR to not line up with the word and SEEM more about tradition than theology.

For instance, the taking of communion from a priest: Bible says that the only person between me and Christ is...no one. I can take communion on my own. I don't need a priest to absolve me of sins and give me communion because the Bible teaches that Christ is the only way and that since He fulfilled the prophets, I no longer need a Rabbi or priest between me and the Lord.
That's a difference.

Praying to patron saints....see above.
No one says you have to pray to saints, we don't see them as gods/idols. I was taught that saints are merely examples of extraordinary lives that we should strive to emulate, not worship.

I feel as though the virgin Mary is idolized.
Again, we have great respect for her because she is the mother of Christ.


The sacraments/transubstantiation.......don't know about that one. I think it's more "religious" hooey.

One man's 'hooey' is another mans life-guiding beliefs, what can I say?

The books the Catholic church later added to the canon that the first fathers wouldn't allow into the canon.

Not allowing priests to marry. This isn't mandated by God. Matter of fact, just the opposite is..."...it is better to marry than to burn with lust." I think that's why pedophilia/molestation is so rampant. Forcing men to essentially become eunuchs which is, I believe, a perversion of sorts. The end result is the perversion of their sexual appetites.

Agreed.

Allow me to be clear though...I don't dislike anybody Catholic. I don't have personal issues with Catholics. I think we all follow Christ, I just have some major issues with Catholic theology and feel as though they're closer to a cult than "The Way" as it was called by the early church fathers (Apostles).


See, thats the thing. I already know what the general difference are between faiths. I was not asking that. I happen to believe the same thing about certain groups, including the couple that came to visit. Only difference is, I in my faith, I am not about telling/judging others on how to live or believe in god.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:36 PM #9
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Originally Posted by vijil View Post
Were I you, I'd study it hard. If the Catholic way of doing things is more scriptural then carry on with it, if not - well, you decide. Hopefully your friends don't put too much pressure on you and respect your decisions.
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Thank you

That said I basically agree with everything said above by zulu ^.

I also take issue with the idea that the Catholic church is "the" church because it's entirely unbiblical, or that the pope is infallible (not sure if that's current, but it's heresy either way), and the fact that I have friends who were brought up Catholic and never heard the gospel so never actually became Christians. Also the interesting fact that practically every hard core atheist I know was brought up Catholic or went to a Catholic school. That says something.

I am aware however that doctrine differs between different Catholic groups and churches. Some are actually pretty good.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:37 PM #10
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The key question here is, are you Christian, or are you Catholic?
Catholic, however i am under the understanding that we are all Christians yes?
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:38 PM #11
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A fundamental difference between Catholicism and Protestantism at the time of the Protestant Reformation was that Martin Luther claimed that the church ought to be primarily based off of a literal interpretation of the scriptures and not appeal to positions of authority (Bishops, the Pope, etc.).

I'm not saying that's how things are now, but the dispute between scripture and ceremony/Papal authority is an old one. A common saying by Protestants at that time was "Sola Scriptura" which meant "By Scripture alone."
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:46 PM #12
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What brand of christian are they?
Dunno?
In general it's wise to avoid anyone offering free bible instruction.
Found out the hard way


If it were me I would nitpick their practices while quoting the bible. The door swings both ways.

Ay it does swing both ways, however, thats not the kind of person that I or my wife are. 1) I don't have the time/energy/interest/ in looking over someones private life with a bible 2) Thats what im trying to avoid.

However, seeing as it's a work situation so I would just let it go. If they bother you at work about not being baptized, call a lawyer and cash in.
You know, i have to say that my co-worker is very professional about it, aside from being a great person to be around. One of my slap my face moments ( ) was the moment when I realized that i may just have made things weird in our working enviornment. Has not happened though, to her credit.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:54 PM #13
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There's TONS of tradition in Catholicism, and honestly most Catholics like it that way. Nearly two millennium of development tends to build up a lot stuff. Nearly all have biblical precedent if you ask experts on the subject (I'd end up googling, so don't ask me). Objectors will claim "improper interpretation", but that argument can go both directions. If we could all agree on scriptural interpretation we'd only need one church.

Some Protestant groups tend to have their own pseudo-theological traditions as well. Often just to show everyone that they're NOT Catholic. You get a lot of different branches trying to one up each other over how un-Catholic they can be. All kind of silly when observed from the outside.

Others, like some Lutherans and Episcopalians, are hard to tell apart from Catholics. Strange how the anti-Catholics don't seem to complain about them.



Incorrect question. The proper question is "are you Protestant, or are you Catholic?".

Back to the original question... It appears you've found yourself a couple of Baptists. There's a branch that needs to do a little internal house cleaning. Nearly every time someone uses religion to justify something extremely boneheaded it seems to be a Baptist of some sort (Fred Phelps for example). Not all are like this of course, I've known quite a few good Baptists, but historically they do tend towards being rather anti-Catholic. It may be hard to reach a happy middle ground with them. Expect some major disagreements when you get to Matthew 16, Mark 8, or Luke 9. Heck, just bring up Apostolic Succession and you'll get to hear them rant for a good hour straight.



No, not Protestant, Catholic. I don't think they are Baptist either, I overheard them kinda talking them down as well (i had the baby, caught only part of the responce). My wife said that they said they were Christian. Already had disagreements, but we've kept our cool. They want to come over again next thursday and bring another couple. I told my wife I would see their couple and raise them another Catholic couple. "Alright everbody, who wants ice cream!"
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:00 AM #14
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Wow, thanks for all the responses so far. Again, I don't want to be disrespectul to anybody. We were just sincerely trying to reconnect with our faith, not get talked into why what we believe in is wrong and not get us into heaven (is what we were lead to believe). Not interested in changing our or anybody else's belief system. Our faith has served us just fine, just like everyone else's faith here has served them well.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:03 AM #15
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My apologies. I got caught up in the last paragraph of your OP. To answer your question more directly then... you just say, "no thank you."

If you're secure in the Catholic faith and don't feel that you're missing it as implied by your co-worker, then a nice "we're good with our beliefs and feel secure in the knowledge that our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life....with or without 'adult baptism'."
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Originally Posted by CrazyLittle: Sapiens is a species. NASCAR is a RACE!!!
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:13 AM #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcozombie View Post

No, not Protestant, Catholic.
Oh, I know, just pointing out to the other guy how "Christian or Catholic" is incorrect. Like saying a shape is "Rectangular or square", since all squares are rectangles.

Quote:
I don't think they are Baptist either, I overheard them kinda talking them down as well (i had the baby, caught only part of the responce). My wife said that they said they were Christian.
I tend to worry a bit about some Christians who aren't more specific on what denomination they are. There are non-denominational churches, but they swing the full spectrum, from open and accepting to "holier than thou". Occasionally you get people who only claim to be "Christian" as if they're the only "true" Christian.

Quote:
Already had disagreements, but we've kept our cool. They want to come over again next thursday and bring another couple. I told my wife I would see their couple and raise them another Catholic couple. "Alright everbody, who wants ice cream!"
Sounds like you got a handle on things. Part of me thinks you need to find a Jewish couple and Muslim couple and make a proper diner party out of it.

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Our faith has served us just fine, just like everyone else's faith here has served them well.
Couldn't agree more.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:19 AM #17
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I tend to worry a bit about some Christians who aren't more specific on what denomination they are. There are non-denominational churches, but they swing the full spectrum, from open and accepting to "holier than thou". Occasionally you get people who only claim to be "Christian" as if they're the only "true" Christian.
Lol. That would be me. I don't have a denomination and I don't claim any one "type." If I absolutely had to categorize the path I follow, it's closer to the Martin Luther, Protestant side of things, but I think there are some things that Protestants have quite wrong as well. At least in America.
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Originally Posted by CrazyLittle: Sapiens is a species. NASCAR is a RACE!!!
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:02 AM #18
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There are non-denominational churches
What I find really amusing are the churches that claim to be non-denominational, and then start spreading out, and before you know there are heaps of churches with the same core ideas and yet some they still "are not a denomination" despite fitting the definition of the term. They'll even get very defensive if you point this out to them...

Personally I couldn't be called Catholic as I don't agree with most of their core theology and practices - as stated above.

I define myself less by my denomination (which varies as I move around the country) are more by my specific beliefs ie. I'm not a universalist, I'm a semi Calvinist but not really and not Arminian either due to my views on free will, I'm undecided on long/short day creation (and don't particularly care to get off the fence) etc. etc. - there may be no denomination that exactly fits my ideas, and I'm quite aware that I might be off the mark on many things purely due to lack of information.

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Old 04-11-2010, 02:59 PM #19
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Catholic, however i am under the understanding that we are all Christians yes?
that depends. are you christian? do you define yourself by your denomination or by christ? by your traditions or by your relationships? do you follow jesus or the church?

i'm not picking on you just because you're catholic. i don't share the bias many protestants have against catholics, and i have asked several protestants similar questions. it is entirely possible to be catholic/methodist/baptist/whatever, and not be a christian.

i'm going to be very blunt, and this might piss you (and some others, perhaps) off, but unless your faith is deeper than what you do, you are not a christian.

tell your coworker that you have a personal relationship with christ and that should shut her up, whatever your choice of faith tradition. if she can't respect that, then she's the one who needs to read the bible.
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:38 PM #20
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My apologies. I got caught up in the last paragraph of your OP. To answer your question more directly then... you just say, "no thank you."

If you're secure in the Catholic faith and don't feel that you're missing it as implied by your co-worker, then a nice "we're good with our beliefs and feel secure in the knowledge that our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life....with or without 'adult baptism'."
Thank you.
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:51 PM #21
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that depends. are you christian? do you define yourself by your denomination or by christ? by your traditions or by your relationships? do you follow jesus or the church?

I was under the impression that if you believe in christ, you are a 'christian' regardless of denomination. I was taught that regardless of your church, denomination or lack there of still make you a Christian. My traditions and relationships (as far as my faith are concerned) are all about christ. I follow Christ within the church. For me its not an 'either or' situation.

i'm not picking on you just because you're catholic. i don't share the bias many protestants have against catholics, and i have asked several protestants similar questions. it is entirely possible to be catholic/methodist/baptist/whatever, and not be a christian.

i'm going to be very blunt, and this might piss you (and some others, perhaps) off, but unless your faith is deeper than what you do, you are not a christian.

It does not piss me off. I don't understand the 'what you do' part of your comment. I guess how deep my faith is, well that would between me and god.

tell your coworker that you have a personal relationship with christ and that should shut her up, whatever your choice of faith tradition. if she can't respect that, then she's the one who needs to read the bible.
Thanks
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