In this day & age it seems that Catholics most specifically, but all Christians really, are so scared of public dislike that they see grey areas (sometimes more like off-white areas) instead of the clear black and white presented by our Faith. It is a somewhat knee-jerk response to the constant vitriol hurled at us. It is also a by-product of the “politically correct” wave that has crashed upon us like a tsunami.
Apologetics = systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine) Merriam-Webster
Note that the above definition doesn’t call for tippy-toeing around difficult subjects. Nor does it advise against standing your ground. The above definition also doesn’t call for going off half-cocked – it calls for systematically approaching the issue(s).
Even though I feel strongly about this subject and my Faith, I find myself lowering my eyes as I speak quietly about the Catholic stance on some controversial subjects (abortion, social justice, birth control, attending Mass, etc). I also occasionally find myself apologizing for my Faith and my adherence to it. Even as I do these things, I am mentally kicking myself.
I find myself wondering why I am not standing up for Christ’s bride – His Church.
My only answer is that I am weak and I cower in the face of the hatred that has been poured upon the Church in my hearing. I don’t rely on Christ to carry me through the hatred. Instead, I run and hide.
As I was delving through my mind for subjects to blog, I thought of this subject in a slightly different context. It originally popped into my mind as I wrote an article about Catholic bible stories. I was thinking of the most famous of these: Daniel & the lions’ den, Jonah & the whale, David & Goliath, Samson & Delilah, Noah & the ark, etc. Although on the surface all these stories are vastly different, the underlying theme is the same in all of them: confidence in God. None of the protagonists could have enacted their feats without having supreme confidence in God. Some of these heroes were definitely not poster children for all consuming faith; Jonah ran away because he didn’t want any part of God’s plan. However, ultimately, they all found that God’s plan, although difficult, was the best. They were – eventually –unapologetic in pursuing their personal form of apologetics.
- Daniel was a captured Jew among the Babylonians and Persians.
- Jonah tried to run from God’s edict.
- David was a mere child against a giant soldier.
- Samson lived to excess and allowed himself to be seduced.
- Noah was quite old before the flood.
However, when it came to crunch time all these heroes did just as God intended. Even so, their compliance with God during the big issues did not guarantee their continued obedience. Therefore, whether you are imprisoned, frightened, young, exuberant, or old, you can have confidence that God will support you even as He challenges you. If you have done God’s work in your life previously, but fallen away since, don’t worry. God can still make use of your life and you can still glorify God with your existence.
Just don’t apologize for your beliefs!
2 Replies to “Unapologetic Apologetics”
I remember reading an examination of conscience once – it was during a Christ Renews His Parish weekend. I hadn’t seen this particular version before, so I was surprised to see that it listed not defending the Faith in favor of not wanting to rock the boat or go with “popular opinion” as a sin. It wasn’t worded like that, but the gist was that it is a sin if you do not stand up for Christ.
I was pretty solid in my Faith at that time, so it wasn’t, nor has it been since then a downfall for me, but it really made me think how easy it is to follow the path of least resistance. We want to always uphold the Truths of the Faith, but there are certain situations that call for a very delicate balance of how to achieve that. Family members are often the hardest to convince of this, but it doesn’t mean we can’t preach the Faith the St. Francis way – “preach the Gospel always and when necessary use words.”
Thank you for the continued reminder that we need to be unafraid to share our love for the Faith, even when it is unpopular – especially when it is unpopular. 🙂
Great post! There is much food for thought here, especially in this day and age when our Faith is slandered at every turn.
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