Any Good One Liners?

In my evangelical days, I always heard to “have your testimony ready” to share with unbelievers. More often, in the Catholic realm, they tell you to be ready to defend your faith. Only a slight difference, emphasis shifted. In that spirit, I’m now on a hunt for a good one liner to explain myself once I do take the plunge and make it public with my family and the rest of my friends. I have to ask, does anybody have any good ones?? And can I plagiarize?

I know my family in particular will only listen to the first sentence I say before they begin to compose their testimonial sermon in response. They have my best interests at heart, are concerned, and want to urge me in the “right” direction. I don’t really mind so much, but it makes them rather poor listeners. So the posed question will be: “Why are you becoming Catholic?” and my pondered responses are:

  • Because I have to follow God’s will in my life. (leaves room for doubt that I believe these things?)
  • Because I’m convinced the Catholic Church is Christ’s church continued through apostolic succession. (maybe too long for their attention span?)
  • Because I believe they have the truth. (implies I believe my family does not have the truth?)
  • Because the Catholic Church is where I can best become like Christ. (shrug)

Chris’s favorite suggestion:

  • Because Catholicism is right, and Protestantism is wrong.

Everything sounds hokey or aggressive. I just don’t know.

When my dad recently asked Chris why he was Catholic, Chris had the chance to share with him about the Eucharist, and the Catholic view of John 6. He told him the Catholic interpretation makes more sense to him, refraining from using words like “right” and “wrong” at this point. My dad responded with a “Well, if it’s not in the Bible, I don’t believe in it.”

*sigh*

Maybe I’m expecting a flood when there will be a light drizzle. Either way, I want to be prepared.

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9 Responses to Any Good One Liners?

  1. Ragamuffin says:

    Hmm. I’ve wondered what I would say too if I ever converted. Maybe this:

    “Because even though I know God works and moves in my previous Protestant denominations, I believe now that the fullness of His expression on earth is found in the Catholic Church. I’m simply convinced it’s the church Christ founded.”

    Yes, a tad long, but not overly complicated. And it gives room for questions without sounding like you don’t believe God works in other groups.

  2. lenetta says:

    I got nuthin’ to help you. But I’m highly amused to learn that you and I share the personality quirk that makes one want to what-if such things to death, even when they may not actually happen. It’s nice to not be alone in the world with regards to such things. :>)

    I’m interested to see what others say!

  3. Stacey says:

    Hmm… I like the “fullness of His expression on earth” thing. I wonder if it’s too much of “Catholic lingo”. I’ve always accused my mom of using insider language that sounds like nonsense to outsiders. Eh, maybe it doesn’t matter. They won’t really understand anyway!

    Netta,
    Oh yes, what-ifs and hypotheticals! I drove Chris absolutely nuts when we first met, until he learned to just go with it 😉

  4. Chad Toney says:

    I’ve tried to think about this too and can really relate to how quickly I realize going into my spiel that they are not listening.

    Despite my mental preparation, most evangelical friends and family didn’t ask. The ones that cared and were truly interested in my reasons gave me latitude to explain fully, so I didn’t have to rely on soundbites.

    Some would just jump to what is for them a trump issue, without asking a general “why did you convert?”. Like, “But what about all that Mary stuff?” or “Do you really believe that bread and wine become, like, really Jesus?”. Now that I think of it, “Do you really believe X?” is a pretty common first question. They probably haven’t thought seriously about the authority issue and maybe think I changed churches for similar reasons they do.

  5. Chad Toney says:

    The other most common response question I get from closer friends my age is basically “do you now think I’m going to Hell?” or “do you think everyone has to become Catholic?”. Not sure why this is first in their minds…maybe because they know I’m a pretty evangelistic person with my friends and always want them to share what I’m enjoying at the time (music, movies, etc, etc) and they are trying to judge just how annoyingly persistent I will attempt to be in converting them. 🙂

    These issues can be hard for me to address in a simple sentence response! I usually say something like “the Church leaves a person’s eternal status up to God” and try to say something about how the Church has “the fullness”, which is probably unhelpful jargon, and that is necessary for salvation, but culpability, invincible ignorance, etc…

  6. cyurkanin says:

    I know that because it’s your family we’re talking about here it’s very important, but for what it’s worth, I think that no matter what you say or how you say it, it is not going to be good enough. As for friends, I don’t think there’s even a need to say anything – just go about your business of being Catholic as if you’ve always been so. When questioned, just answer. Just stick to one of the answers you’ve already listed. You’ve certainly got the intellect to further it if they are actually open to listening.

    I actually hid my miraculous quite out of the blue overnight confusing system shocking “re”conversion from my wife for weeks because I didn’t know what to say. At least your family already has an idea that you are going in that direction, right? Between the yelling and crying, when my wife would try to ask me questions about the Faith, I still had no idea how to defend it or explain. At least you’ve got the background of a true investigation done already.

    Pray to the Holy Spirit to guide you just as he guided the Apostles and listen to Chris’ advice as he is going to be the one there for you when you need the support. I’ll be praying for you and Chris as well, as will hopefully every single person who reads this.

    God bless.

  7. james g says:

    Stacey,

    Tough question, condensing your reasons into one line. Since I’m a cradle Catholic I’ve never had the necessity.

    I’d probably lean most towards Chris’ favorite. Because they’re your family you could probably get away with such a blunt statement. Maybe shorten it to just, “Because Catholicism is right.”

    I’ve always been confused by statements like your father’s “Well, if it’s not in the Bible, I don’t believe in it.” Does that mean he doesn’t believe in gorillas because I don’t recall them being mentioned in the Bible?

    James G

  8. agellius says:

    Mine would be closest to the second one you list: “Because I believe the Catholic Church was founded by Christ and was given authority to teach and to act in his name.”

  9. Stacey says:

    Thanks for your responses, everyone. It gives me some different angles to consider.

    I think in the end, I’m going to have to go with a simple “Because I believe it’s true.” and then, like Chad says, let them follow up if they’re interested. At least that explanation from me will erase the immediate accusation (trust me) that I’m only converting because Chris is Catholic, and I’m indulging him or just going along with it so our family can all be together. If they ask further why I believe it’s true, I can say #2, like agellius says.

    I think I’m pretty well prepared for most “Do you really believe X?” questions.

    James,

    “I’ve always been confused by statements like your father’s “Well, if it’s not in the Bible, I don’t believe in it.” Does that mean he doesn’t believe in gorillas because I don’t recall them being mentioned in the Bible?”

    Bwahhaa… yes, I know. They don’t actually operate that way, even though they profess it. Sinner’s prayer, etc. I guess it’s their only option, though, having ripped away any other authority. I like what Francis de Sales has to say about it in his tracts. They’re online now! Genius.

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