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Okay. Now first, remember, I'm dealing with teenage boys here. That already explains a lot, lol.

One child, particularly, likes to argue and debate. But - he's not the one I'm having trouble with.

The problem child is getting hung up on the "historicity" of the Catholic Church, i.e. how do we know that Jesus wanted everyone to worship as Catholics and that it's the "right" church.

I have already done an assignment where they had to find the "dates" of when the other churches began, so they already recognize that the Catholic Church is older than the rest of them. (BTW - that was enough for me, but apparently not for him.)

The child is still saying we don't know that that is what God "wanted" though. We started the "Four Marks of the Church," but when I pull up scripture, the child pops off with "yea, you're using a book written by Catholics" and states its not a legitimate source. Ugh!

We have also already discussed that the Catholic Church "compiled" it, and he refuses to look at the "Catechism" as a source either for the same reason.

Is he just being a typical teen and I should stop trying to explain things to him? Should I give him the information and just move on? Or is this a problem for some people and I need to try and help him understand?

I readily admit he doesn't think like me.

Any suggestion?
You could start with the Didache (The Teaching of the 12 Apostles) and then go into the early church fathers.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0714.htm
(02-24-2014, 09:38 AM)sanctamaria Wrote: [ -> ]Okay. Now first, remember, I'm dealing with teenage boys here. That already explains a lot, lol.

One child, particularly, likes to argue and debate. But - he's not the one I'm having trouble with.

The problem child is getting hung up on the "historicity" of the Catholic Church, i.e. how do we know that Jesus wanted everyone to worship as Catholics and that it's the "right" church.

I have already done an assignment where they had to find the "dates" of when the other churches began, so they already recognize that the Catholic Church is older than the rest of them. (BTW - that was enough for me, but apparently not for him.)

The child is still saying we don't know that that is what God "wanted" though. We started the "Four Marks of the Church," but when I pull up scripture, the child pops off with "yea, you're using a book written by Catholics" and states its not a legitimate source. Ugh!

We have also already discussed that the Catholic Church "compiled" it, and he refuses to look at the "Catechism" as a source either for the same reason.

Is he just being a typical teen and I should stop trying to explain things to him? Should I give him the information and just move on? Or is this a problem for some people and I need to try and help him understand?

I readily admit he doesn't think like me.

Any suggestion?



Study heresies.


Start with the very first known heresy and learn why it is a heresy.  Go all the way through history, or at least cover the major heresies.  It was in my study of heresies that I A) better learned the faith and B) learned the Catholic faith is the defender against errors.

Many of the old heresies are being recycled today and there is no doubt that this boy likely holds many of them.  Of course, the capstone of the heresy study should be modernism.

Another fruit of this method is that Protestants/Cafetria Catholics will learn that much of the rightly formed faith is actually Catholicism.


In the end, he may not be open to right reason.  His intellect may be darkened due to mortal sin (porn, etc?) and the only thing you'll be able to do is pray and fast for him.
One thing you could ask you kid is

"Why do you even believe Jesus is the one we should worship? How do we know? We know, because God is NOT a God of confusion, if He was...He would not be a God of Truth, which is exactly what God is. We hear all the time God is Love, but God is Truth. God was not ambivalent about making the Israelites His Chosen People, he was not ambivalent about sin. He was clear and direct.

When Jesus Christ sets up the Church in Matthew 16....do you really think that after being very specific in the OT with the Jews....he was just going to be confusing and not mean what he says?

Heck Acts lays out the history of the early Church....can your son find any Protestants there?


I think if your kid is sounding smug and not concerned, he's just being an annoying pain in the rear (sadly some teens never grow out of this and live their adult lives being annoying, argumentive little sh*ts) and you just need to tell him to knock it off.

When he starts in with "how do you know" just respond with "Welcome to the world of having Faith m'boy!"
Thanks for the replies. I found a site that breaks down the Early Church Fathers and their teachings, so I am going to start with that and what the early church taught and make a connection that it was Catholic in that way. If that doesn't work, then he just doesn't want to be reasonable at that point.

After that, I think I'll pick up heresies.

We'll see how that works.