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!
Erika V. is a thirty-something mother of two (with four saints in heaven). With a degree in molecular biology, she works for her state’s police crime lab; although her dream is to stay home with her children and homeschool them. Her newly converted husband is a sometime auto mechanic and primarily a stay-at-home dad. Passionate about pro-life issues and science, she is a survivor of breast cancer while pregnant. At 20 weeks pregnant with her daughter (pregnancy number six), she was diagnosed with BRCA1 stage II breast cancer. When local doctors we stumped with the diagnosis, she traveled to MDAnderson where chemotherapy on pregnant women has been done for over twenty years. After delivering her baby girl and undergoing more chemotherapy, Erika has had a whirlwind of surgeries to combat the cancer as well as the complications of cancer treatments. Three years and eight surgeries later, she continues to be passionate about pro-life endeavors, even winning the local Right to Life group’s Life Award and serving on their working board of directors. She authors two blogs, one a mommy blog Biology Brain-Simon Says and one a breast cancer while pregnant blog Erika’s Miracle Journey. Blog posts are often filled with pro-life references, including medical journal articles supporting the pro-life position. While there isn’t often time, she also enjoys horses, reading, gardening, and KY bourbon.