Successful Catholic Courting with a Baptist.greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I have been seeing a wonderful girl for over 7 months. The problem is, I am a strong Catholic and she is a strong Baptist. She goes to Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, headed by John Piper. Ever since hearing his sermon on the doctrine of election, I was shaken and thirsted for my faith. I have a huge library of writings and have taken a passion for apologetics.
The problem is, when we've had discussions about religion, we often times get heated because of our differences. Apart from the religious difference, she (24, a piano Masters candidate, and I (19) a piano performance Undergraduate at the U of M) has all the important characteristics of the mother I want my children to have. I could, if I found out it was God's will that I am called to marriage, most easily see her as my future wife.
I have brought her to Mass a few times, both in Latin and normal English Mass. She has been to an adoration chapel, and seen Benediction as well. Surprisingly, she does not doubt the validity of transsubstantiation, which is the catalyst for hope in my mind. However, she told me that she would never become Catholic (for reasons unknown). But, I remember that both Scott Hahn and others say the same, and they are wonderful Catholics. I want my wife to have a passion for the Church as I do; I think if Hyeree(my girlfriend) was to become Catholic, it would be because she discovered the Truth and had a passion for it-the characteristic of a wife I want.
Anyways, any input would be appreciated. Keep praying for our perserverence, our vocation, and her conversion. God Bless all of you
-- (), April 17, 2004
I love to hear things you have to say. You give an old man (36) hope that the next generation is filled with fine young men.
I know that you follow the Church's teachings regarding relations outside marriage so I would tell you that as long as you respect those you are free to get to know this young lady. Take your time. You are young and will need to be in a position to raise a family long before marriage would be an issue. In time, she may convert but I would be satisfied if she respected your faith AND would allow any children you have be raised Catholic.
I was an Episcopalian for the first 13 years of my marriage and I have always respected my wife's faith. I just converted to the Catholic Faith this Easter. Conversion was not a requirement in our marriage but respect is. I would argue that while a devout Catholic would be best, a respectful Protestant would do nicely.
-- David F (email@example.com), April 17, 2004.
Dear David F,
I am most honored at your reply. I too hope that Catholicism in young people grows exponentially here in America.
I am more confident that things can work out in our relationship now, especially after hearing what you have to say. However, I have to ask you: didn't it hurt that you, while an Episcopalian, could never attend Church with your wife? Doesn't that have the potential for disunity, when in marriage you become one? It is hard to see two become one, when religion is different. My reply is usually "you Worship the same God", but to understand the Protestant view of God and humanity, I often shudder- their view is so contrary to what the Church has taught, that respect is even hard sometimes. I want so badly for her to see the Truth, and it hurts even now that I am unable to do anything for her; she has to, with God's Grace, see the Truth and accept it herself. I am praying continually for this to occur, and I have great hope that if this occurs, then she would be the most fervent Catholic ever! Keep thinking of us, David.
God Bless you and honor you as you did me
-- anonymously answered, April 17, 2004
Andrew said: She goes to Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, headed by John Piper. Ever since hearing his sermon on the doctrine of election, I was shaken and thirsted for my faith. I have a huge library of writings and have taken a passion for apologetics.
I am glad to hear that you are studying this matter fervently. I have heard of John Piper and listened to some of his sermons on tape. I also read one of his books. He is a powerful speaker, but this does not make his message true. I think the message of Calvinism (specifically that salvation cannot be lost and that salvation is not offered to everyone) is dangerous and anti- Biblical. However, I have many good friends who are sincere in their faith as Calvinist Christians, and I respect their fervent study of the Scriptures.
I will pray for your situation and I hope that Hyeree (and all people) comes to a knowledge of the Truth. Do you know that Catholics also have a doctrine of election that is different from that of Calvinists? While Catholics acknowledge that salvation is offered to everyone in God's grace and it is possible to lose your salvation, some of the TULIP doctrines of Calvinism can be found in similar ways in Catholicism. See this website by Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin for more on this: http://www.cin. org/users/james/files/tulip.htm You can also find more great stuff by Akin here http://www.cin.org/users/james /
Another great resource for refuting Calvinism with the Catholic view is Scott Hahn's tape series "All Israel Will Be Saved: A Bible Study on Romans 9-11." This passage in Romans is their main proof text, and Scott shows (esp. on side B of tape 2) how their view is in error. There are many Calvinists at my college and the argument they use is that "predestination" and "election" are in the Bible so you have to believe something about them. They catch people who are uneducated about the Catholic Church's teaching on election, because the Bible seems to have no alternative view but this one. However, theirs is a faulty, surface reading of Scripture.
Andrew said: she told me that she would never become Catholic (for reasons unknown).
As a Protestant who wants to become Catholic, I can tell you that this is the attitude of most Protestants. Most of them have this idea that there is something wrong about Catholicism that must be avoided, or they feel bad for Catholics, thinking them to be deceived. (I used to think this.) This stems largely from ignorance about what Catholics actually believe. Much of this ignorance is based on hearsay from former Catholics who were poorly taught by the Church or who had a bad attitude about church while within Catholicism.
I do not believe that it would be wise for a sincere Catholic to marry a Protestant, because it is bound to cause much strife in your home. This is occuring with my parents and it is not pleasant. My mom wants to become Catholic and my dad is opposed to this idea as a Protestant, and it makes for a lot of tension. I think your best course of action would be prayer and waiting on God in the hope that she will convert to Catholicism. If she will not convert and there is no hope of her conversion in the future, I would strongly advise you to discontinue this relationship.
I do hope that she will come to the Truth, and perhaps you can be the agent God uses to bring this about. Let me give you some advice from a Protestant perspective:
1. Use the Bible to prove Catholic beliefs. It will be best to use whatever version of the Bible she prefers, because then she can't say that it's a biased Catholic version or erroneous. Using the Bible alone when speaking with Protestants (at least at first) is extremely important because they typically have little regard for Church Traditions and history. Proving the necessity for infallible, apostolic Church authority is an excellent place to start.
I have a great book called The Scriptural Roots of Catholic Teaching by Chantal Epie that has been extremely helpful in this area. There is no need to be afraid of the Bible because over and over it proves Catholic beliefs right. If you don't know the answer to something, tell her you will get back to her with it, and follow through. The beauty of Catholicism is that there is an answer to such questions.
2. Post questions on this board that she raises for which you have no answer. There are many knowledgeable people here who can help you understand the Catholic position.
3. Study the Bible thoroughly, especially passages that clearly support Catholic teaching for which Protestants have weak answers. Challenge her especially on these (eg. Mt. 16 where Jesus calls Peter the rock. They may argue that there are verses in the Bible that say the Rock is God alone, but God also calls Abraham the rock in Is. 51:1-2. Point out that Peter was never a name before this point, and his name actually means rock, as he is called throughout the remainder of the NT. Also, God shares many of his roles with us.)
4. Exercise Christian charity when you speak with her, but show her the Truth also. Do not compromise on Truth. Your fervent pursuit of Truth will be an example of your sincere faith to her and her family.
5. I have numerous Bible verses that show how God shares his roles (savior, priest, father, teacher, rock, etc.) with people. I also have many other verses on various issues that support Catholic teaching. If you email me, I will glady send you these files if you wish. They are in rough form right now, otherwise I would post some of them, but I think that it could still be useful to you.
God bless and I will pray for your situation,
-- Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 17, 2004.
I attended mass with my wife and family often. We have a child with a disability so I didn't always go as I stayed home with him while my wife went with our other 2 sons. As an Episcopalian, it was permitted although I was not allowed to take part in the Eucharist. The fact that I was luke warm on my faith I think made it easy for me to assist my wife with her faith. I think that if we were both very very devout it would have been more of an issue.
Emily is oh so right when she says Protestants have a great deal of misconceptions about Catholics. I know I did and I lived with four for 13 years before understanding them. I truly believe that a person who is deeply in love with God AND has an open mind can't help but want to join the Church.
I live in the Bible belt and have many baptist co-workers. The issues they seem to have problems with are Mary, statues, the Saints, reconciliation, once saved always saved, and Church hierarchy. These are likely the areas you would gently and with tact need to discuss with your lady love.
-- David F (email@example.com), April 17, 2004.
I know what you mean about all the "extra" teachings such as intercession, Mary, etc.... For Mary, I wanted to say that the Catholic Church is the only Church that has fulfilled Scripture in calling her Blessed as she says "all generations shall call me blessed". But I have to research, pray, and be able to break the assumptions she has on the Church with logic, Truth, and tact.
Thanks so much!
-- anonymously answered, April 17, 2004
Andrew..all I can share with you is my personal experience and my own observations over 56 years.. Love does NOT conquer all. I've seen other folks who have had severe trials in their marriages when each spouse has very firm beliefs which contradict the other. It takes a great deal of maturity to deal with these things..marriage is wonderful..yet it IS a work in progress, always. Anything which causes friction before marriage tends to become magnified after marriage. I've always recommended to young people that they imagine their future spouse NOT changing whatever it is that causes concern before marriage..so, imagine your beloved standing firmly for her present beliefs..so firmly that she someday looks at you and says. "well, you'll go to your services and I'll go to mine." Could you be happy in your marriage then? Or would you be tempted to go to her church to be with her as a family? Or how WOULD you feel? Better still, reverse it and imagine yourself saying that to HER..!!! My advice? Keep in prayer a great deal and do not marry until this is resolved.
-- Lesley (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 17, 2004.
Thanks for the reply. This is exactly what I have thought of, because I want to share my absolute passion for the Church with her (who must be someone who shares that same passion with me!) Hyeree right now does not fulfill this, and I agree 100% that it would be a mistake right now to decide.
This is my own personal opinion, but it may be that God brought us together while I'm still young (I'm only 19, though she is 24), so that there would be time to resolve this issue. It really may take years to resolve this with her, which seems to be in God's plan. If she would convert, she would be the wife I told you- one with a passion for knowing more and more about the wonderful Church.
Keep praying for us, and thank you for your words. Pax Christi
-- anonymously answered, April 17, 2004
Hi Andrew, I found your letter and the answers of my friends in Christ very interesting and thought of writing my "two cents worth" too. Hope you do not mind. I as a practicing Catholic (but did not have the spiritual maturity I now have by the grace of God at the time) too met my husband tewnty years ago who was a very strong Baptist and he says he was born a Baptist and will die a Baptist still. I who value peace and harmony was scared even to ask him to become a Catholic specialy after he witnessed certain devout Catholics who were church pillars but led a total different life style to Christ. My husband was a and still is a better Christian than most of them. So I did not speak about the difference but stuck to my Catholic Faith. He consented to having our three children baptised in the Catholic Faith and also started to come for Holy Mass. He also wanted to receive the Holy Eucharist which made me take him to meet a Catholic priest for instructions about the Holy Eucharist and as his baptism was valid it was granted. Now he used to say he will cofess to god directly and does not need the Sacrement of Confessin which got me into a delima again. By this time he greately began to love the Blessed mother and had gteat faith in the Rosary. Now last year I spoke to him nicely (of course after praying) and managed to get the Brown scapular round his neck after getting the blessing from a Catholic priest. Also last year he went for cofression on Divine Mercy Sunday and took part in the full service as well as today. He never goes to the Baptist church and always goes to church with me even on week days. But he still says he will die a Baptist which I conveniently ignore and have named him Baptist Catholic. I thank God for my wonderful Baptist Catholic husband of twenty years without whom my life would have been so empty. All this has happened by Divine Intervension as I simply handed my husband to God and I guess God knew how afraid and inadequate I was on this matter. Hope you will enjoy reading this. God bless, Ramanie.
-- Ramanie Weerasinghe (email@example.com), April 18, 2004.
That is certainly an intersting turn of events in your life! I think it might be simple stubbornness on his part when he says he is Baptist, because he is not from what he has done, believed, and said.
I hope Hyeree will believe in the Catholic Church later in our relationship. I think the danger of a mixed marriage is far too great; my married partner must be someone who I shares my passion for the Church as I do. I am a hyper person, and when I discover something new about the Church, I get super excited and want to tell EVERYBODY :P So I need my wife to share this passion and have the same excitement (which I think Hyeree would certainly have if she discovered the early Church was the Catholic Church!). So I am just abandoning my fears, concerns, and hopes into God's will.
Thanks, and I always love replies from thoughtful people~ God Bless
-- anonymously answered, April 18, 2004
Honestly, I understand your passion and wanting the relationship to continue. But I fear that you may be counting on her becoming catholic. I grew up Baptist and have been dating a Catholic guy for 3 years now. We have discussed marriage and for both of us, the religion factor is not a huge one. Here is why... I respect his beliefs and he respects mine. I will attend Catholic church with him as he will *sometimes* attend the Baptist church with me. However, we have decided to have any children we have will grow up Catholic because his family has a long history within the Catholic church which would continue that stong common bond.
I plan on taking classes to learn more about Catholicism, however it is undecided on my part whether or not to convert. My boyfriend sees this as a menial issue. He respects my thoughts and decisions on all matters and I in turn do the same for him.
Growing up Baptist, it was always taught not to be "un-equally yoked." (being a person of a different faith). One thing Jesus always set forth was to love one another as we love ourselves. Never put yourself on a different level then those of another faith. If you do, that person will feel that separation and never feel as though you are connecting with them. Love her as Christ loved her and perhaps you two will come to a joint conclusion.
-- Jessica MacGregor (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2004.