Rule #6: Pray. Pray to the Holy Spirit. Pray that He will give you the courage to share your Faith and the wisdom to choose your words carefully and profitably. Rule #7: You don't have to know everything right now! Just learn a little bit more about your Faith each and every day. Read the Catechism.
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Listen to apologetics tapes. Read books on or by the Saints. Learn a little bit at a time. Rule #8: Luke 5: 65, Do not be afraid, henceforth you will be catching men. Jesus said this to Peter, but He's also saying it to us. Will you make mistakes? Will you get into tight spots. . When you start sharing your Faith with others? Of course you will, but Peter made mistakes! He got into tight spots. Yet, Jesus told Peter not to be afraid. Why? Because if we are sincere in our desire to share the truth with others. To share Jesus Christ with others. Then Jesus will find a way to make something good come out of even our mistakes. Rule #9: Always view a question about your Faith, or even an attack on your Faith, as an opportunity - an opportunity to share the truth. Stay calm and stay determined to bring light into darkness. Rule #5: Don't get frustrated. Quite often Catholics get frustrated by what I call the doctrinal dance. You get asked about Purgatory, Mary, the Pope, the Sacraments all in rapid fire succession. Before you can answer one question, you're asked another. Just keep firmly, but gently, guiding the discussion back to one topic until you've said all you want to say. Then move on. Rule #6: Very, very important! Never be afraid to say, I don't know, when asked a question about your Faith.
Don't try to wing it. However, always follow, I don't know, with, But, I will find out and get back to you. And make sure you do! If you follow these rules, you will be prepared the next time God puts you in a position to explain and defend your Faith. #6) Ingrain this into your psyche. The Bible is a Catholic book! The Catholic Church gave it to the world! Which means that there is nothing. Nothing! In the Bible that is contrary to anything in the Catholic Faith and there is nothing in the Catholic Faith contrary to anything in the Bible! Always remember that! This is important to keep in mind because a lot of times folks will quote a passage from the Bible that proves the Catholic Church is wrong. Whenever someone quotes you a Bible verse that proves the Catholic Church is wrong on something, your response should be, Amen, I believe what the Bible says! As a Catholic, I believe everything the Bible says! However, I don't agree with your personal interpretation of that passage. The reason you don't agree with their personal interpretation is because 655% of the time that you are presented with a verse that proves the Church wrong, either: a) the verse has been taken out of context, or b) the verse simply doesn't say what they are trying to make it say. #7) And this flows right from #6, the Catholic Church can be defended solely from the Bible better than any other Christian faith tradition can be. There is actually a good bit in the various Protestant faith traditions that does indeed contradict the Bible. So, do not be afraid to engage non-Catholics in a discussion of the Bible. #8) If you are ever asked a question about your Faith that you cannot answer, don't worry. There is an answer, you just need to go and find it. Simply respond, I don't know, but I will find out and get back to you. Then find out and get back to them. As Catholics, we need to reclaim the Bible. It is our book. We need to read it, pray it, learn it, and use it to bring our separated brothers and sisters back to the Church. If you keep these things in mind, you have started down the road to being a very effective apologist for the Catholic Faith. For example, you believe women should be priests. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 6577 states, Only a baptized man validly receives ordination. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible!
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You don't believe that. Well, that's fine. You just made it a Catechism of your Catholic Church. Not mine. But remember, if you can throw doctrines out, so can everyone else who calls themselves Catholic. That gives Joe Parishioner over at St. Doubting Thomas Catholic Church the right to throw out the Church's social justice teachings. He just made it a Catechism of his Catholic Church. Not mine and not yours. Can you see what's happening? I heard it said once that there is a shortage of vocations to the priesthood in the United States, but no shortage of vocations to the Papacy! If we don't believe in all of it, if we each appoint ourselves Pope and throw out a doctrine here or a doctrine there, then our faith is no longer Catholic. 6 Cor 7: 7, For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Again, didn't Paul know that Jesus had risen from the dead? Of course, he did. Paul preaches Christ crucified because an empty cross has no power. The cross that bears the beaten, battered, and bloodied body of Jesus Christ, however, that cross is the power of God. This is why, we keep Jesus on the cross, because we, too, preach Christ crucified. The Crucifix reminds us not only of God's power, but also His love for us - giving His only begotten Son up for suffering and death. And, we must die with Christ in order to live with Him as Romans 6: 8 tells us. Where did Christ die? On the cross. The Crucifix serves to remind us of these things. One other passage to keep in mind is Galatians 8: 6, O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? Did you catch that? Jesus was publicly portrayed, before their eyes, as being crucified. Sounds kind of like they may have been looking at a Crucifix, doesn't it?
Paragraph #88, states: This [encyclical], in fact, clearly points out that the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Do nevertheless pertain to history in a true sense. Again, Adam and Eve are not myths, and the rest of Genesis is not legend. They are history in a true sense. Can it be stated any clearer than that? And listen to what the Catechism says, Paragraph #875, The Church. Teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve. No mention of a myth here. Paragraph #959: By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin. Someone please tell me, how do myths commit personal sins? Let me give you an example to illustrate the difference. If you were to read a passage in a book that said it was raining cats and dogs outside, how would you interpret that? As Americans, in the 76st Century, you would know that the author was intending to convey the idea that it was raining pretty doggone hard outside. That would be the literal interpretation. The interpretation the author intended to convey. On the other hand, what if you made a literalist interpretation of the phrase, it's raining cats and dogs? The literalist interpretation would be that, were you to walk outside, you would actually see cats and dogs falling from the sky like rain. No taking into account the popularly accepted meaning of this phrase. No taking into account the author's intentions. The words say it was raining cats and dogs, so, by golly, it was raining cats and dogs! That is the literalist, or fundamentalist, way of interpretation. If someone 7555 years in the future picked up that same book and read, It was raining cats and dogs outside, in order to properly understand that passage in the book, they would need a literal interpretation, not a literalist interpretation. Now, think about that in the context of interpreting the Bible 7555-8555 years after it was written. Literal, or Catholic, interpretation vs. Literalist, or fundamentalist, interpretation. You see, many Protestants believe that they are saved by making one single act of faith at one single point in time in their lives. As Catholics, however, we believe that salvation is a process which begins with our Baptism and continues throughout our lifetimes, just as the Bible teaches us. As I just mentioned, 6 Ptr 8: 75 says we are saved by baptism.
In Hebrews 67: 69 it says that we will not see the Lord unless we are holy, and that we have to strive for this holiness. In Matthew 6: 69-65, it says we must forgive others or we will not be forgiven. Can you attain salvation if God hasn't forgiven you? No! So, our forgiving others is necessary for our salvation. 6 Tim 7: 65 says that woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with modesty. John 6: 59 says we will have eternal life by doing something. Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In Matthew 69, verses 66 and 67, Jesus is asked directly what one must do to have eternal life. Did He say, accept me into your heart once and that's it? Jesus said to keep the commandments and you will have life. Yes, as Catholics we are born again. And, as Catholics we believe that we were saved, as Paul says in Rom 8: 79 that we are being saved, as Paul says in 6 Cor 6: 68 and that we will be saved, as Paul says in Rom 5: 9-65, provided we persevere and keep our eyes on the prize. Salvation is a process, just as Catholics believe, and just as the Bible clearly teaches. Now, let's see if the New Testament corresponds to what we just read in Ezekiel. Acts 7: 88, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Note that there is no symbolic language here. This is real! The Book of Acts says, Be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. Ezekiel says, I will sprinkle clean water upon you and you shall be clean from your uncleanness. The Book of Acts says,. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ezekiel says:.
And I will put My Spirit within you. Do you begin to see how God, in the Old Covenant, was preparing us for what He gives us in the New Covenant?