Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Reversing Roles

Today I was contemplating something that I find very strange. When I was a Protestant, we were in what would probably be considered by most as an evangelical, fundamentalist denomination. Evangelism was something pushed heavily on everyone regardless of gifts, talents, or other good works that people might be doing. In some ways, this is good, it is our duty to defend the Faith. In other ways, people do have different roles and skills that they can put to use in different ways for God.

Now for the paradox. As an evangelical, I was very uncomfortable (to say the least) in talking about or defending my faith from others. It wasn't that I didn't do it (although I did avoid it from time to time), but it was that I was very uncomfortable about it. Now that I've converted to Catholicism (who most would say do a very bad job about evangelism, sharing our faith, etc. at least at the individual parishioner level) I am completely comfortable with my Faith and share it with everyone, answering their questions, and spreading it to others that I meet. I wonder why that is? It's obviously no more socially acceptable (at least here) to be Catholic than it is to be CoC. I think it has to do with the consistency of our Faith and length of time that our beliefs have been around. Perhaps when I was Protestant, I was somewhat put off when I couldn't answer a question, or had to take time to shape it into the theology that I had. I don't feel that pressure anymore, and it's wonderful!

7 comments:

Principium unitatis said...

I know exactly what you are saying. I've experienced the same thing myself.

In the peace of Christ,

- Bryan

~Joseph the Worker said...

Thanks Bryan, I added your blog to my list.

Creative Clayer said...

I love how the answers and the Truth are at your fingertips. It's not a matter of even trying to remember what you were taught, but simply being able to crack open the catechism and say, "Ok, here it is!" to answer specific questions.

I especially love the look on some people's faces when they ask "What do YOU believe?" and I respond with the Apostle's creed. ;)

Tiber Jumper said...

yes, I too have noticed that sharing my faith as a Catholic has been so much easier, spontaneous and less forced. Catholicism is so universal, there is always something to discuss or bring into conversation.

~Joseph the Worker said...

Great comments guys. I'm glad to see it is a common occurrence then.

Stephanie said...

I think you hit the nail on the head, as I've had exactly that same experience. I *hated* being forced to tell people about my faith, and especially when I didn't feel confident in the answers I was taught to give.

Now, I love to share my faith...but the difference is, as you said, I'm more confident in the truth of the teachings, and second it's a different approach. I wait for others to approach me most of the time, rather than trying to force my beliefs down their throat and attempt to corner them.

~Joseph the Worker said...

In general I am the same way although sometimes I will find ways to bring up my Catholic Faith just to get a conversation started.