How Did You Become A Catholic Defender?

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SwissGuard

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Almost all of us have been there…standing in the spotlight while Protestants grill us about our faith like hamburgers on the 4th of July.

What was it that made you want to learn everything you could learn about specific Catholic beliefs that would make you invincible against questions and misconceptions ?

For me, it was my junior year in high school. I went to a Protestant (Mennonite) high school, and we had to take a Bible class every year as part of the requirement. The everyday class discussion eventually turned to Mary’s perpetual virginity…which I was helpless to defend at the time. Ironically, a week later we were given an assignment where we had to write about which church (denomination) we are a part of and what we believe.

When they had been graded, the teacher (who was a hardcore Protestant pastor who had made me look pretty darn foolish during the “virginity” debate) personally walked up to me, handed me my paper, gave me an “A+” and told me that it was the best Catholic paper he had ever read. Apparently he had even shown it to the rest of the faculty as well. That, along with what I had learned while writing the paper, helped me make the decision to become the Apologist that I am today. I am still attending a Protestant school and have a serious Protestant girlfriend, both of which give me plenty of opportunities to defend the faith…believe me!

I guarantee you from personal experience- The more you learn about your faith, the more opportunities God will give you to defend it.
 
My brother and sister converted to fundamentalism. At the time, I couldn’t defend what I knew to be true. But after reading Karl Keating’s book Catholocism and Fundamentalism…(thanks, Karl) I hopped on the clue bus and haven’t stopped since.

I now carry apologetics arguments with bible quotes in my handheld organizer just in case (I have a rotten memory for bible verses…)
–Ann
 
I was (and still am 🙂 ) a cradle Catholic, but very lukewarm in my faith. Then I fell (big time) for this evangelical protestant girl. I did everything I could to impress her…carried her stuff around, bought her flowers, took her out for lunch, dinner, snacks, etc. We hung out all the time and we would often discuss stuff like philosophy, religion, life goals, etc.

Through our conversations, I found out what she really wanted in a guy…faith; a burning love for the Lord. Which, consequently, I didn’t have…yet. But I was convinced that this was something I could do. How hard could it be to be a Jesus Freak? She gave me some books to read and I did all the research I could online and with the Bible, etc. Since I didn’t really think there was any difference between Catholic and Lutheran or Baptist or Evangelical I decided to go to her church and be an Evangelical like her.

She was never anti-Catholic and never said one bad word about the Catholic faith. But I, in my foolishness, began to buy into all the outrageous claims many protestants have about the Catholic faith. What do you expect when all you know of Catholicism is what you learned from websites like www.carm.com and www.aomin.org and www.christiananswers.net.

Then, at one point, I remembered something one of my (Baptist) friend’s moms had to say about the Catholic Church…Something about ADDING books to the Bible? I looked it up on the CARM website and sure enough, YUP! There it is. The Catholic Church ADDED books to the Bible at the Council of Trent.

But then, in one of my searches on this topic, I happened to stumble upon this little gem of Jimmy Akin’s. I couldn’t believe it! I’d been bamboozled! This started an INTENSE study on my part to find the truth. And here I am. Still learning, studying, and enjoying the happiness I have of being in the fullness of Truth in the Catholic Church, and all because of this silly crush I had on a girl. The only thing different now is that my quest for truth is inspired by my love for the Lord…and not my loins 😃 .
 
I started listening to talk radio, then switched to Rush, then Dr. Laura, then found Catholic radio. I got hooked on Catholic Answers Live, and still listen to it @ work.

This got me exited about my faith, and I started hanging around Yahoo! Catholic Chat, defending the faith there. Then I switched to Steve Ray’s board, and now here 🙂

BANZAI! 🙂
 
At the invitation of several “Christian” women friends, I joined their nondenominational Christian Bible study. I started to sense that the “Christian nondenominational” orientation was not nondenominational at all. But I didn’t know enough about the differences between Protestant faiths and Catholicism. So I started reading and researching. Karl Keating’s book “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” was one of the first and one of the best books to help me. I have come to realize that this Bible study and the Christian women are really Fundamentalist. I sense that many Fundamentalists and other Protestant “Christians” don’t consider Catholics to be Christian at all. Furthermore, they do not have an open mind and are not willing to listen to other positions. Their minds are made up, they are negatively disposed towards Catholics, and that is that. I feel they really don’t “live and let live” about other faiths, but have a smug disdain for Catholics and Catholicism. I am astounded by the ignorance so many such Christians have about Christianity and Bible history.
 
I lived in SoCA. There you had the cults and fundes picking off us Catholics right and left. Like you all I am so saddend by people who as adults fall in love w/ Jesus than end up leaving the Catholic Church. Like a lot of us too lots of my non-Cathalic friends modavated me to lurn my Fath.

Now I live w/ my famly in NoCA. Let me tell you lots of “born again pagens” up here. Its so bad that almost all the time cristions dont talk about their diffences. You just encurage each other in your walk with Christ. Its is that bad up here. 😦
 
After being confronted by a Fundamentalist friend of mine about the Catholic teaching and knowing that much of her “facts” were totally bogus, I got to work in trying to defend my faith. To my surprise, I found this task to be harder than I thought it would be. The Catholic teachings seem so logical to a craddle Catholic like myself. 😛 The saying, “You don’t really know what you know until you try teaching it to someone else” really rang true for me.

Although the task was difficult for me (requiring hours of reading and research), I became addicted to defending the Catholic faith with my friend. I’m still addicted. My friend sadly…still hasn’t found her way home yet (I’m not taking it personally though).

I still have a lot of learning and understanding ahead of me. Thanks to sites like this, I’m confident that all my questions will eventually be answered.
 
I became a Catholic Defender after being forced to research the issues a “Traditional” and sedevacantist “Catholic” claimed about the Holy Father being an antipope/antichrist. I was more a Pope John Paul II Defender in those discussions.

God bless all
 
God has graced me with unconditional love for my Church. Red hot needles in my eyes would hurt less than hearing someone trash the family I was born into at Baptism. Unfortunately these day’s it comes mostly from my fellow Catholics 😦 But Karl Keating and a few others have learned me good and now I revel in the persecution 👍

BTW I even manage to be mercyful at times. Grace again no doubt.
 
I had a diverse Protestant background. I was raised Methodist. During my teen years I regularly attended a pentecostal church. After college, I joined a word of faith (health and wealth) pentacostal church. Eventually, I enlisted in the army and felt the calling to become an army chaplain. I came to realize, though, that I couldn’t honestly preach much of what I was taught. With such a diverse background I wasn’t sure what was correct, either. Some friends recommended C.S. Lewis. I never knew theology, and acedemia could mix. Before I was suspicious of theologians. He lead me to GK Chesterton. Eventually, I looked on my bookshelf, and there were several Catholic books. The Imitation of Christ ifluenced me tremendously. I had been taught that faith in God gets you things. Plant seeds. You’ll get the harvest type of stuff. After A Kempis all that seemed like using God. We should love God because he’s God. Not to obtain wealth. What I like most about Catholic Apologetics, though, is it is well grounded, and researched. Protestants must continually do spiritual gymnastics to believe what they do. For example, scripture repeatedly states that baptism is necessary for salvation. As a protestant I thought about those verses, but often just overlooked them. Catholic publishers have higher standards than their Protestant counterparts. Being a Protestant requires some degree of credulity. I am thankful for the sound teaching Catholic publications provide. Before converting I was always on the defensive when I read. It’s hard to tell who believes exactly like you do. And if they disagree with something is it an important issue? I’ve read alot of Catholic Apologetics, and it’s wonderful. Catholic apologists explain difficult scriptures. All too often Protestant apologists avoid them. James 2:24 for example. Find a Protestant commentary that explains that verse.
 
I was pretty lukewarm (thanks to the incompetence of CCD and the fact that my dad is a non-practicing Anglican and my mom is pretty much a Catholic in name only) until about my sophomore year. I took a class on apologetics for confirmation and started getting interested in learning more about the faith (I was lukewarm in that I thought I actually knew about the faith and wasn’t exactly going to church or confession). After a few months of apostacy due to difficulties in my (now ex-) Wiccan gf (note to all: Never date Wiccans, they’re crazy), I came back and got very much into the faith.
 
I was a “cradle Catholic”–married a man at the age of 20 who professed to be Baptist but never attended. I didn’t think religion was going to make a difference in our marriage. Since he didn’t go to church, he had no problems with me taking the children to Mass (we were married in the Catholic church, children baptized, and the oldest received his first Communion). I was a VERY lukewarm Catholic, and believed foolishly that attending Mass was all it took to be a Catholic christian.

Our marriage was falling apart mainly because we had no foundation of faith. Some friends of ours invited us to the local Baptist church (they had gotten a new preacher and he was setting the congregation on fire for God), and we went and I was impressed. It was around Christmas that we started going and the preacher was celebrating Advent (Advent candles were being lighted). This was familiar to me, but I learned that many Baptists were not familiar with this practice. The main attraction was the fellowship. Sunday morning adult bible studies, Wednesday night YouthJam,Motherwise meetings, Baptist Men Breakfast, ect…ect…ect. My husband and I both started building this “Personal Relationship” with God. All was great!!!

However; I had this huge amount of doubt about the religion. First of all I missed the Holiness of the Mass. There was no reverence for God—(Plenty of Praise and Worship)—no kneeling,no praying of the “Our Father”,no making the sign of the cross,no crucifixition,the Bible was just laid upon a podium, the church was an auditorium. Secondly, I could not get past this “Once saved, Always saved” theory. So, I started on a mission of learning about the Catholic faith. I started with Scott Hahn books, Mary Foundation free audio tapes,“Confession of a Roman Catholic” by Paul Whitecomb, Catechism of the Catholic Church, books and tapes at our local Diocese, and most importantly I started asking Priests questions. I became so intrigued in learning that it consumed me!!! My conlusion is that the Catholic Church is the true Church of Jesus —established by him and she is his Bride —the new Eve!!

I’m very saddened that such good people who believe so devoutly in God absolutely refuses to see the truth. I have taken many books, and literature to the Baptist preacher, but I do not know if he has read any of it. I Pray he will!!

As for my husband—once again he quit going to church, but I pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit he will one day be transformed like Saul----a great persecutor of the Church who turned into a great Apostle for the faith—Paul. (He is on an ACTS retreat this weekend)
 
I’m a cradle catholic. I’ve always enjoyed exploring issues and understanding why people believe the things they do. I have a lot of fundamentalist and evangelical friends that have questioned me. Not only that, they also indirectly accellerated the onset of my second conversion. Since then I’ve kind of been on fire! You just got to love the Lord. He is so kind and gentle in how he brings us home.
 
After my parents were dovorced he began to attend his church again and made me go to church with him, of course thay quickly found out I was catholic. I was about 12 then. I had very little knowledge about my faith. They were not agressive or anything but they did question my faith. I decided I was going to check things out. I began with a smal lQ&A that addressed many of the common questions non-catholics ask us and reposnes to these questions…I quickly realized that If am to remanin christian I must stay within the church Jesus started, the one that goes to the apostles, I also realized I was there already…this started a lifelong learning expeierence that still continues…I go to porpestant sites to answer questions but also to learn where I am deficient so I can find out what I till need to know about…
 
I’ve always had a bit of defender in me. I was baptized and received my First Communion on March 30, 1991. The day before Pentecost that year, I received a bunch of anti-Catholic literature, including a Jack Chick tract entitled Are Roman Catholics Christians? It didn’t take me long to figure out that he had our beliefs wrong.

In future years, I would occasionally explain Catholic teaching to people and dream of ways to do it. However, something happened that really got me started. It happened during my residency in 1999, just after my graduation from pharmacy school.

I moved to Memphis and joined the Frassati Society. I am now their webmaster (see frassatimemphis.org/). We ended every meeting by praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and I regained my old love of doing so. I went there more often to pray, even though I lived 30 minutes away from this church.

Then, a preceptor in the drug information center where I did my residency asked the other resident to give a talk on ethics to the students. His starting premise was that there were so many belief systems that no one could really say that theirs was right. Of course, he was really sure that he was right in saying that no one was right. I knew that something was wrong, and I wanted to find out what it was.

I never really talked to the other resident about this, at least not very well. However, I began studying like crazy, and I have a library of books that I may not live long enough to read. Before long, I had a reputation in the Frassati Society for being knowledgable, and I’m not sure that they realized at the time that I had just learned much of what I was telling them.

David
 
I became an observant Catholic and a Catholic defender at the same time.

A long time back I was browsing some web site that featured all sorts of movies and such (I think it was www.newgrounds.com, which I now find to be a vile site). I was not very religious at this point and I knew next to nothing about the Church. The only time I ever thought of Catholicism back then was when I joked at my Protestant friends that Catholics were “way cooler” because we used to have knights and inquisitors and stuff. Thats about as far as my faith went.

Anyway I came across a horribly anti-Catholic movie. It was made by a 7th Day Adventist. I watched it and was stunned. I panicked because I honestly believed the movie for a second that the Pope was the antichrist and that the Church was the whore of Babylon.

All this panic gave my faith a jump start. I went searching for answers and came across www.cathinsight.com. Its a sedevacantist site unfortunately, but it has some brilliant apologetics and it does a good job refuting Seventh Day Adventism and Protestantism.

I learned about my faith a lot that day. I went from being scared to being angry. Angry at the Seventh Day Adventists for lying and attacking my Church!

Ever since then my faith has increased (though its had low points sadly) and I’ve learned quite a bit of Catholic apologetics.
 
Well I was baptised as a Catholic when I was born. I was not serious about my faith. When my parents got a divorce my faith evaporated. When I eventually moved into my father’s house my life was a wreck. I was lucky that I did not get sent to Juvenile Hall. My father was and still is by then a Methodist pastor. I was so inspired by his message about God that I became a Methodist. During that time I recieved the Holy Spirit in new and more full ways. Yet I felt that something was missing. About 6 months ago I began to study about Catholicism. I learned and tried to prove that the Methodist Church was right. But I could not prove anything that Methodism disagreed on with Catholicism. I was begining to be convinced that the Catholic Church was right. Now I will be joining the Catholic Church again as soon as I turn 18 years old. I defend Catholicism on other forum sites and at school. God speed.
 
Three Reasons:
  1. As an Adventist, I was ever the apologist. I was taught to actively share the Adventist message with others, which required my immersion in apologetics. I carried this instict with me into Catholicism years later.
  2. Converting while in a hostile environment–an Adventist college. My peers and teachers CONSTANTLY challenged my emerging convictions, and I had to provide them answers in response to their attacks/charges.
  3. Losing a cherished relationship with an Adventist girl. I wrote many essays for diesdomini.com to overcome the hurt I was feeling when my girlfriend could no longer understand or accept me. I needed to remind myself why I believe what I now believe, and perhaps help end the estrangement between Catholicism and Adventism, which effects I felt so painfully in my own life.
 
I was a cradle Catholic growing up surrounded by LDS and Protestants. I hated being Catholic. They all had way more fun. I had no idea why my beliefs were so different. I just wanted to drop all the things peculiar to the Catholic Church and fit in. It never quite worked. All I managed to do was take a few views from all the different groups and grow hopelessly lost. I thought about leaving, but I never could find something better. I was, at the time pro contraception (though still pro-life) and pro-womens ordination. I thought The Church surpressed women by making them have babies. I had severe endometriosis from puberty so I was in a lot of pain physically as well as emotionally.

Then my mom got me the book, Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition by Marilyn Shannon. I started trying her health ideas and I started getting better! I still didn’t want to believe that The Catholic Church was right about all this contraceptive stuff being bad. I set out to prove contraception right and The Catholic Church wrong. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that I ended up proving the opposite. I have fully embraced all Church teaching especially about the roles of men and women. Contraception was a very formidable foe. The Church won. I am now an NFP promoter.
 
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