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Selah

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Selah

So about two years ago, a friend invited me to her church adult group. It's at a Baptist church. And it was fun, at first. But lately it's been so anti-catholic. I had gone tonight, just because I have made friends there, friends I love and care about, and wanted to see them. But then the group leader started on how Catholics think you can work your way to heaven, that you can do all this sin and just go to confession and then do whatever you want the rest of the week. I got up and left in the middle of it. I'm in tears because I feel conflicted. I can't keep going because of the awful things they say about Catholics. But some of the people there I have made friends with, and were there for me in low times. The logical side of me knows I can see them outside of church and there's no need to keep going. But I have really bad depression and anxiety, and I sometimes worry that we just will drift apart. I had that happen already this year with some "friends" I don't want to have it happen again. and I am going to miss just going to parties and different functions with them. Again, I know I can see them outside of the group. I'm being irrational. But I can't sit there and just allow them to attack my faith.

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Gabriela

I feel for you, Selah. If you'd have asked me two years ago whether you should go to this, I'd have said, "No. Obviously, your friend being a Baptist, this is an attempt to 'convert' you." But what's done is done, and I can understand why you went.

As I see it, you have two options:

1. Keep going, but speak up and explain what the Catholic Church teaches. Study up on the subject of the week before going, to ensure you understand what the Church says on that topic and why. If it doesn't make them friendlier to Catholics (and it probably won't), at least you will have defended your Faith, made an attempt at teaching others about it, and hopefully kept your friends.

2. Stop going, but keep making efforts to meet with your friends outside of the adult group meetings. When you go out with them, explain why you're not going anymore, being sure to explain that what they were taught is not true. Bring "proof" in the form of printouts from the internet and Catholic books. By the grace of God, someone may read them.

Whatever you do, I'd encourage you to start trying to make friends within the Catholic Church. Someone needs to support you in your Faith. I'm not saying get rid of your Baptist friends (frankly, I can get too much of Catholics now and then!), just to make sure that you won't feel isolated and alone if something like this happens again.

It took a lot of strength for you to stand up and walk out halfway through that meeting. I applaud you for that. Do you have the strength to do option 1? With depression and anxiety, maybe not right now. Do what's healthy and positive for you.

I will pray for you (AND for your friends)!

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Selah

Thank you. I think it might end up doing the second one. It's not that I can't defend the faith (I can, I spend way more time than I should reading up on theology and the early church) but I just am afraid of ruining relationships. If they bring it up to me, I don't really have a problem talking to them about it.

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elizabeth09
22 minutes ago, Gabriela said:

I feel for you, Selah. If you'd have asked me two years ago whether you should go to this, I'd have said, "No. Obviously, your friend being a Baptist, this is an attempt to 'convert' you." But what's done is done, and I can understand why you went.

As I see it, you have two options:

1. Keep going, but speak up and explain what the Catholic Church teaches. Study up on the subject of the week before going, to ensure you understand what the Church says on that topic and why. If it doesn't make them friendlier to Catholics (and it probably won't), at least you will have defended your Faith, made an attempt at teaching others about it, and hopefully kept your friends.

2. Stop going, but keep making efforts to meet with your friends outside of the adult group meetings. When you go out with them, explain why you're not going anymore, being sure to explain that what they were taught is not true. Bring "proof" in the form of printouts from the internet and Catholic books. By the grace of God, someone may read them.

Whatever you do, I'd encourage you to start trying to make friends within the Catholic Church. Someone needs to support you in your Faith. I'm not saying get rid of your Baptist friends (frankly, I can get too much of Catholics now and then!), just to make sure that you won't feel isolated and alone if something like this happens again.

It took a lot of strength for you to stand up and walk out halfway through that meeting. I applaud you for that. Do you have the strength to do option 1? With depression and anxiety, maybe not right now. Do what's healthy and positive for you.

I will pray for you (AND for your friends)!

I agree.

But if for any reason, they start up again, then speak up.  

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BG45

I know that they're really good friends of yours, so definitely have my prayers.  Sorry I don't have great advice though...do agree with do what is best for you.

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Tab'le De'Bah-Rye

Lol. Tell them Jesus said "if you judge and condem you to will be judged and condemned." I always tell them that. And also tell them Jesus said " there will be weeds amongst the wheat in the kingdom and lest anyone pull the weeds out incase they uproot the wheat, the weeds will be removed by the angels in the last day and heaped on the fire." these arent Jesus' exact words but they were words to that effect. Remember protestant are very biblical based, if you are going to have protestant friends like i have you really need to be nose in the bible daily studying to call them out on not following sola scriptora, they love being called out if you do in humility and love, a wise man/woman except humble rebuke, holy scripture also tells us this. :) We can really do a lot to help our protestant brothers and sisters to follow the scriptures a lot better if there going to claim to be sola scriptora, kind of protest the protest, but you really need your nose stuck in the bible to do so. Hope any of this helps, oh also you can just do the whole st thomas aquinas " the sanctity of our own life converts X" and not engage them at all except with charity and rolling with the punches. :)

 

God bless you selah, we love you very much.

Obward christian souls.

 

Jesus is LORD.

Immaculate heart of Mary pray for us.

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MarysLittleFlower

I know how you feel because during my conversion to Catholicism I was part of a Protestant group and they didn't know at first I was converting... And hearing things about Catholics made me so upset that one day I left and never returned. If i could give advice, i'd advise not to be part of Protestant groups. You can still maybe meet with your friends outside of that. But I have heard how it can easily affect our faith or in this case discourage or upset us. We can be friends to Protestants but sadly they do believe things against Church teachings. Now I avoid any Protestant sermons, faith meetings etc - but I'd meet them for coffee or just do a social thing! Much safer and less stressful for all :) thats my understanding and what i think is typically advised. God bless you!

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beatitude

If it is making you uncomfortable, I would stop attending this group but arrange social time with your friends outside it.

I go to a Bible study where I'm the only Catholic and it's never been a problem (perhaps because the Protestant attendees are from different churches themselves). It's a very enriching study group, and this is because the focus of everyone attending is the Bible text we're studying. If the group devolved into a discussion about how wrong certain other churches are and how they should be doing this instead of that, I wouldn't go - and this rule would apply even if the group were 100% Catholic. I don't think it's good for learning or humility if a study group keeps pulling other people's worship and theology to pieces, even if those people are incorrect. Often it's just a way of patting yourself on the back for being right, and that sort of self-congratulation is not what I need from a Bible study.

I understand that you're worried about losing friends. But these people gave you time and care when you were at your most vulnerable, so I doubt they'd drift away from you just because you don't want to attend this group any more. They may be a little defensive as it's their other friends and people of their church who are saying these hurtful things, so be gentle in how you talk to them about it - just say something like "It upsets me to hear things about my own beliefs that aren't true, and I don't want a debate, I just want spiritual support from other Christians. I'd prefer to just hang out with you guys and not go to the group. I understand that they mean well, but it's not for me."

Also remember that while depression and anxiety can feel very frightening and isolating, they haven't stopped you from making friends - after all, you made these ones, didn't you? :) Perhaps you could find a Catholic group (or at least an ecumenical group that's not hostile to Catholicism) and meet some more people there. You may end up with more friends rather than less.

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Selah

Thank you all <3 It means a lot to hear your advice. I appreciate your prayers. I will try to find a Catholic group; it's just hard to find a young adult Catholic group around here. I may end up liking it though.

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HisChildForever

Maybe you could just speak directly with the group leader? 

I don't think it's fruitful for the group as a whole to focus on something (they perceive to be) negative. Why compare almost every one of their beliefs with Catholic beliefs? Why not just state and discuss their beliefs? Or, if it's that important to discuss opposing belief systems, frame it in a more respectful and intellectual way. Putting down other Christians is not spiritually healthy, in my opinion. Not to mention, the group leader doesn't even have the teachings right.

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Credo in Deum

Giving up friends can be difficult, however, you can make the choice theirs. Tell them you want to remain friends, but going to their adult group is something you no longer feel comfortable with. If they decide that that's a friendship breaker then you will have to offer it to God and continue to pray for them.  One of my best friends was a Pentecostal. The day I refused to make a website for his cosuin who is a minister he ended our friendship.  It was difficult, but I gave it to God and thanked Him for the time I had with my best friend.

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Papist

Instruct the ignorant.  Bring fellow Catholics with you.  Challenge the erroneous statements (in charity of course) by asking simple questions. At minimum, I would attend just so I could explain to my friends what the Church actually teaches.  Not necessarily at the group gathering, but sometime after. Just maybe your friends might see the Catholic Church in a different light.

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SaintOfVirtue
On 12/1/2015, 7:59:10, Selah said:

But then the group leader started on how Catholics think you can work your way to heaven, that you can do all this sin and just go to confession and then do whatever you want the rest of the week.

I have heard this before and I always counter with, "A catholic who truly believes that is as wrong as a protestant who believes the same because he is 'saved'.

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