Every attack on Christianity is an opportunity

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When Christianity is (or Christians are) persecuted it is easy to get defensive or to respond in kind. But if we do that, we miss out on a very powerful opportunity to evangelize – to be the authentic kind of Christian that changes hearts without saying a word.

A writer for Vanity Fair recently bashed the city of Cincinnati for, among other things, booking a big conference featuring the very popular Fr. Corapi.

The writer said things like this about the conference:

“All this theoretical religious rubbish, it baffles me the amount of money and time invested in a conference with a priest ranting about an age old message that carries no basis or fact. Have these people opened a book in the past decade!? … Surely there is nothing ‘Fr. Crappy’ [referencing Fr. Corapi] could possibly say that would affect me or the rest of humanity who, like me, have more than half a brain. Sure I think God wants us to gather and have conferences, however, He probably prefers they progress our well being with intelligent thought rather than destroy it with a message of rubbish.” – A. A. Gill, contributing editor at Vanity Fair [Read more here]

Sounds like a really nice guy. He also insulted the city management and the entire city of Cincinnati, accusing them of having a “neanderthal” mindset.

Opportunity knocks.

Joe Condit, the man behind the Fr. Corapi event, responded like this:

“I would love to take this opportunity to pose a proposition to Mr. Gill. I would like to invite him as my personal guest to the Father Corapi event in Cincinnati. I would be more than happy to cover all his expenses. Consider this a second chance for the city of Cincinnati to make a different impression, and better yet, see for himself if Father Corapi’s message doesn’t affect him in some way.”

It’s a small thing, yet uncommon. His response, all by itself, masterfully demonstrates what this “age old message” still has to offer. And it’s a great example of how we should all respond when opportunity knocks.

11 comments Add comment

Mark March 10, 2010 at 9:55 am

I absolutely agree with Fr. Caropi. Attacks against Christianty have taken place even before Christ was even born. Attacks on his church is a constant as he said it would. We must look at these attacks as Father Caropi stated as an oppurtunity to define our faith. To become millitant in light of such comments is contrary to the Good News.

Katlin March 10, 2010 at 11:24 am

I heard this on the Son rise morning show.God Bless Father Corapi!

Erin March 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm

A gracious invitation is all that is left to offer in response! What more damage could be done to Mr. Gill’s argument than what he has already done by using the ridiculous language that he did?
I’m looking forward to seeing Fr. Corapi in San Antonio this August!

Manya March 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I’m curious to know if Mr. Gill responded and, if he did, how….


Manager March 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Yep Christians get persecuted just like everyone else…just like they sometimes persecute others. We all need to learn to deal with one another without judging, even when others don’t agree with us. This includes condemning them to our beliefs when we know they believe differently. BTW Mark, there were no “Christians” before Christ was born and he wasn’t alive to start the Catholic Church.

Matthew Warner March 11, 2010 at 8:25 am

Mark – I knew what you meant.

Manager – Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church with his apostles (the first bishops) and Peter (the first Pope).

Matthew Warner March 11, 2010 at 8:26 am

Manya – To my knowledge, Gill has not responded. And I don’t think he probably will. I hope he does, though.

Gunther March 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Excellent response by Joe Condit. Catholics have a tendency to go nuclear when they think the Church is being attacked. As if a Chocolate Jesus is going to bring the Church down. Usually it’s unhelpful grandstanding, often it does great harm to the Church. But more than that sort of thing being poor PR, it almost invariably lacks in charity, thereby directly negating the 11th Commandment.

Jesse D. Bryant March 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I am afraid that most respond ‘in kind’ because they feel threatened and don’t have any real knowledge about their own beliefs with which to defend themselves. It is embarrassing that so many who call themselves Christians are so easily frustrated (And if we don’t know an answer, honesty is usually the best approach).

It is the tendency of the natural man, much like an animal that has been cornered, to lash out (Tragically, most people tend to deflect, which may be a better alternative, but tends to leave the attacker only frustrated or worse, feeling victorious) Luke 6:28 as well as Prov. 15:1 come to mind. We are not animals and should respond intelligently and with respect, regardless of the attack. A tall order for anyone at times. I may not be a Catholic, but in my own efforts to defend my faith, the appeal to reason and rational thought is extremely helpful (God gave us our intellect and I believe him to be a God of reason (Isa. 1:18?)––when we examine his creation through science, the natural world makes sense! and points us towards a higher power). Most who attack the God of the Bible are merely parroting what they have heard others say, with little or no investigation of their own––so answer them with a question like, “Well, what do you believe?”. Hey, perhaps acknowledging that neither side can fully define or defend their views will provide some common ground! :) While it is Scripture and, dare I say, Scripture alone that provides a rock solid foundation, and opens the path to Salvation. 2 Timothy 3:15

We all need the grace and forgiveness only available through Christ, especially the haters––and Paul himself was once one of them…

Matthew Warner March 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Great thoughts, Jesse. (Good to hear from you again – btw!)

Actually, scripture itself says that it is the Church (not scripture) that is the pillar and bullwark (foundation) of the Truth (1 Tim. 3:15). But I totally agree with you that often the best response when somebody is attacking (by pointing out everything that is wrong with our faith) is one that looks past the immediate distraction and gets to some common ground. Like what you suggested…asking them with genuine interest, “What do you believe?”

It’s easy to sit back and tear somebody else down. It is much harder to actually stand up for something you believe in.

Ghost of Makaveli June 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm

These types of comments are not necessarily acts but may be calls from God to “come of of her” as the bible states. People say these things because they love their potential brothers and sister who have been assualted by false doctrine.

What is the definition of Christianity? Is the C.C. Christian?

Biblical Christians do not share the same traditions and have very few.

Biblical Christians do not believe a child can be baptised because a child cannot confess and is already in a pure state.

Biblical Christians call no man Father or Master or Teacher.

Biblical Christian eat the Word of God and not Cannon Law or any man made doctrine.

Biblican Christians follow the law of land and ” render to Ceasar what is due to Ceasar.”

Biblical Christians do not believe Jesus ever prayed to Peter, because he was not perfect. Jesus always made intercessions for Peter to God Himself.

Christ Himself evens says he did not come to unify but to divide. This is the average Catholic’s opportunity to really know Jesus the Head of the Church which are the living bodies of the believers.

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