Saturday, April 25, 2009

Journey IABW: How to become an apologist!

(Journey in a Broken World)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Recently, I was asked: "how can I defend my faith": to paraphrase the request: ...that is.

Now, as we somersault around apologetics, we must always remember to start at the beginning- I really know "my" Faith?

You see, the biggest problem I encountered when I first entered apologetics: is the hegemony of the inaccurate perceptions of "Catholicism". This empire of heresy in everyday life: expands from children: to teenagers: even to religious orders, bishops and possibly cardinals. What one must do, if they want to enter apologetics; the science of giving answers about the faith in a truthful manner: is not learn their faith from others.

You see, we all have to get a "driver's license" to drive: personally, allot of us think that is often not the case in "South Africa"; but really, at least we got our licenses: but imagine learning to drive by watching other drivers?

You would learn to speed, and confuse persons at "circles": you would stop when meant to go, and probably Endanger other drivers.

One cannot learn the faith from those around them: especially in a "Catholic" country: such as "Ireland", or "France"(was): then where can one learn it?

You see: to teach the faith: one must firstly learn the faith: and other than the internet's best: where I learned most of my faith: despite serious problems in "South Africa": there is a cute little book: known as "The Catechism of the Catholic Church": don't get the compendium: it is useless for any deep questions, but the full book is highly specific, highly useful: and extremely "Orthodoxly" "Catholic": the global version of that: that is.

Secondly, get a good bible: with notes: how can you expect to understand a rough English translation: often ignoring tense, and the like: of a +-"2 000" ("Two Thousand") year old: dead language? More than that: a translation: of just one of the many secondary or tertiary or so-on copies of the original: spelling mistakes, and human error included.

The "New Jerusalem Bible": "Standard Edition" (buy the big one), "Douay Rheims" (get a good version of such), "Navarre Bible", or "Ignatius Bible" may be a "good" selection.

The word of "God": is "Jesus Christ": the bible is just a record of him, and other things useful to get us into heaven. That said: it was compiled by the "Catholic Church": at the "Council of Rome", "Hippo" etc: with the aid of the "Holy Spirit": and it's authors were serving "God" faithfully.

Those with more advanced interests: may be interested in "Ecumenical" (global) Councils: of the "Catholic" church: remembering that the likes of "Vatican II": are only infallible: so far as they relate to stating "Catholic" doctrine, and "Catholic" morals: the language in which the mass is said: generally being neither: such is pastoral.

Having formed your basis: remember: "Catholic Doctrine" and "Morals": will be "protected" by "God" until the times are all past. There is only one church which stands up to decay: and remains +-"2 000" ("Two Thousand") years: still actively teaching the word of "God", still having active structures to "insure" infallibility on certain issues (see acts 5 v 4 and acts 15: on infallibility).

Once you have your basis: start listening to/ reading some good pro-"life", pro-"family", pro-"pope", pro-"tradition", pro-"magisterium", pro-"bible" ("Catholic version) "Catholic" theologians: consider "Chesterton", or "Fulton Sheen": and perhaps discover the internet, and those who are more accurate there.

On this point: you have help: reviews many of the sites online on orthodoxy: and the "Scripturelink" search engine (our service): can search through all their best rated sites: as well as the best services online, or some better ones: as far as reviews go (we do from time to time exclude part or all of an internet site).

Finding interesting, or beneficial sites: can help in understanding issues one wants to cover: remember: "good" "Catholic" sites are not always excellent: but balance: and a desire for truth over most else: can help one. Much can also be gained: from using "Scripturelink"'s search features: after reading an entry in one of the better "Catholic" sites: to check up what is said. Many of the most popular "Catholic" sites online: are the most horrendous, and not all are noted as such on the likes of "Catholic Culture": or the like.

Once you know your faith: consider both direct, and indirect ways to promote it and its views: justifying views by it on multiple subjects: makes it more accessible: being honest about real faults: within the fallible ordinary church; helps.

Know also: enough history to justify it there, and always remember: you have the option of asking if you can research a topic: before coming back.

Remember: the "Imprimatur": is not the "symbol" of "Catholic" "Orthodoxy" it used to be: you need to find a "Catholic" source: that impresses you, and which genuinely seeks the good of the church: and not other external: corrupting means. Follow your intuition, and always make sure you know what point is being discusses: and be honest, especially if you do not know: but then decide: and inform: that you will find out: and use Scripturelink or the like: to verify claims.

If someone cannot back up their claims: remember: they have no power: any truthful statement for or against the faith: should be backed up in more than rumour, or opinion, or claims: one must be able to prove it. Don't accept anything without evidence: and always remember to follow the truth within you.

Remember: many have entered the "church", as though "Spies": in order to mislead us: stay with what "God" "guarantees": stay with the guidance of the Magisterium, and stay with the "miraculous effect" of the "7" ("Seven") Sacraments ("Pledges"/"Promises"): given us by God. Remember: both "Luther", and "Arius" were priests: don't listen when rank is pulled: listen to the raw truth: to the Magisterium: and remember: such is not what others say it is: read for yourself, know for yourself: we at "Scripturelink" also created a search engine to search the "Vatican II" council: itself, just as we created one to search the "Catechism": which isn't infallible: but extremely useful and generally "orthodox" to the teachings of the "Magisterium" of the "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic" "Roman Catholic" Church.

The likes of "EWTN", or the Vatican itself: also host such documents: but rather get to know the "Catechism" before the councils, and consider interacting on the likes of "Catholic Answer Forums": with others. Remember: your soul is your responsibility: and your conscience is to be guarded and made powerful by none other than you. Trust no-one, but trust "God" to get you through: with the relative trust we must give to others: and with the wise trust we must give to many: therefore: in trusting "God", trust others: in the right degree.

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