Beginning Evangelization

Hello All:

I am not a very active evangelizer. However, recently I was watching Michael Voris on Real Catholic TV and I took what he said to heart. He said that we would be committing an act of charity by telling people the truth about the Church instead of staying polite. I was wondering how to do this. The Church is not a strong force where I live and I would say that divorce is the norm. One of my best friends has been married 4 times and the Church and its precepts are as foreign to them as Buddhism. He knows I’m Catholic and that my wife and I have 6 kids. So, I try to set an example. I’m not sure if I should say something about all his divorces and the fact that he’s living in an invalid marriage now. He doesn’t think its invalid and wouldn’t accept it if I said so. Indeed, I’d probably lose him as a friend. How do I begin?

Slowly…

I firmly believe that not everyone’s role in evangelizing is the same. We each need to pray and attempt to discern what God wants from us.

We ARE all called to evangelize. I think that sometimes that means being patient until the right moment appears. Not everyone is like Michael Voris.

You may not be the one who is to evangelize your friend. Pray about it and by all means don’t avoid any comments or questions that may come from him regarding how you live your life. Maybe invite your friend to Mass? Is he even Catholic?

You may be called to parish work, like RCIA or other sacramental preparation.

God will bless your efforts.

He’s not Catholic. He has some sketchy ideas that there is a God out there but that’s about it. I think the problem is that I don’t think he feels like he needs God.

Like uxordepp said, not everyone’s called to evangelize in the same way. We are all called to evangelize, but we also all have different gifts given to us by the Spirit. Some of us are eloquent enough speakers that we can stand before audiences and speak God’s Truth. But most of us are given more subtle gifts regarding evangelization.

I can sympathize, since I’ve only recently begun to take the call to evangelize seriously. Even so, I cannot in good conscience go around hounding people. I know that the people who do things like that (i.e. handing out leaflets, starting conversations with strangers, etc.) are doing what they believe to be right and that perhaps they save some people that way. But it’s not my style and personally I think that method scares away more people than converts them.

The approach I’ve taken (which may not work for you) is to try to be firstly more aware of my actions, especially in front of non-Christians or those who are weaker in the faith. Giving scandal is something we can do very easily if we are not careful. Instead I try to make sure that I live more in line with my Catholic principles (which is good for me to do anyway, even if no one sees). Likewise, I keep my faith visible without forcing it down people’s throats. For instance, I have religious icons in my bedroom along with a crucifix. Whenever my roommates come to my room for something they see these things. Also, I have a bumper sticker on my car that reminds people of the need to pray. This helps evangelize whenever I drive anywhere (though it also means I need to be more careful about not being an impatient driver since I have now visibly attached my faith to my car).

Also, having conversations that aren’t pushy is a great way to make progress. Instead of telling people they are mistaken about the Church or trying to change their beliefs, simply talk. Answer their questions, don’t make the conversation last longer than their comfortable with, make sure they know you are not judging them (and definitely don’t judge them because if you do they’ll know). I’ve never converted anyone to Catholicism through these methods yet, but I have convinced an atheist friend of mine that there is something beyond science and ourselves. I consider that a major victory since he was staunchly atheist since his youth, so now that the door is open for him I hope in a few years he’ll eventually come to Christ. But had I been pushy with him he’d still be an atheist and I’d have lost a good friend.

Likewise my roommates now both have a much fairer understanding of the Church than they once did and though they aren’t going to convert any time soon (if ever) they at least are more open to discussing these things with me and no longer bash the Church. I feel this too is at least a partial victory and maybe down the road these seeds I’ve planted will be given more water and sonshine by someone else and one day bloom?

Scott:

Maybe there is a way to tell your non-Catholic friend the truth about the Church AND remain polite. Without referring to his less than moral life style, you might say, ”Would you like to know what the call to Catholicism really means?" If he says yes, you might want to introduce him to a simple 7-Step method of evangelization I developed after our two daughters drifted away from the Church while in college,

I hope I’m within Forum rules if I mention that, on my web site, 7step.catholic.org, you can download a free wallet outline of the steps and hear a free 20-minute conversation in which our youngest daughter (now 40) - role-playing a college freshman of today - challenges me on every step but the last. She then really knows why she is Catholic and can evangelize in the same way. That conversation will also refer your friend to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed.

Summarized, the logically interlocking steps are: 1. Uncensored science points to a Creator. 2. Jesus alone, by his Resurrection, proved that he had the power of that Creator and fulfilled the Messianic prophecies. 3. Historical and other evidence affirms the four Gospels, which include that Resurrection. 4. Those Gospels state that Jesus founded only one apostolic Church. 5. Jesus commissioned only the apostles to make disciples of all nations. 6. The Pope and Catholic bishops today are the successors of those apostles. 7. There is no biblical “escape clause” to reject that one apostolic Church.

You might also suggest that your friend to go to this Catholic Answers Web site, register and go to “Top 20 questions,” “Ask a question,” or “Ask an Apologist.”

I don’t like to lead with my religious label, because I learn more from the other person if I don’t. Plus, if I listen to him without correcting his stupidity but basically try to hear him out, then it both lowers his defenses, and gives me insight into what sort of logic this person uses.

Basically I’m going in under the radar, to see what I’m up against and not sound off the “OMG IT’S ANOTHER CATHOLIC” alarm. Once that alarm goes off, you might as well stick to talking about the weather.

This, to me, is what Paul means by:

Alan

Hello,

I would take your evangelization to Youtube. You can make videos with a webcam or something.
I also recommend going to the religion forums on Craigslist. There’s a lot of people who misunderstand the Catholic Church.

Hope that helped!

You also don’t know for sure that his marriages are invalid. It may be that if he gets to a point that he decides the Catholic Church may be worth checking out that the one he is one now may be valid after the others being found non-valid. We cannot make that judgement - a tribunal can. That is why as another poster said things must be taken slowly. Since he is not Catholic he is not out taking Sacraments - so your best bet is to talk to him about what you receive from the Church - what joy there is. Then one day if it comes to the point where he asks what he would need to do then would be the point to either bring up the decree of nullity process or bring him in to have the PRIEST bring this up since this will not be the first time the priest has had to have such a conversation. God bless you for caring.

Alan, the verses from Paul describes me in evangelization. I work with two retreat groups Koinonia and the Residents Encounter Christ prisoner program for my formal work. My informal is an outreach to bikers out on the road. In both of these I do not try to make them become Catholics. I introduce them to Christ and witness to what coming to Him has done for me since my surrender 3 years ago. Lest make Christians first, then lead them to the Church for thier education and fellowship.

Nice… thank you for giving me your example – it makes a lot of sense to me.

Alan

Roman Catholic Doctrine Vs. The Doctrinal Teaching of the Word of God

Eternal life is a merited reward [1821, 2010]. - Roman Catholicism
Eternal life is the free gift of God (Romans 6:23)

No one can know if he will attain eternal life [1036, 2005] - Roman Catholicism
The believer can know that he has eternal life by the Word of God (1 John 5:13)

The Roman Catholic Church is necessary for salvation [846]. - Roman Catholicism
There is salvation in no one but the Lord Jesus Christ, “for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)

Purgatory is necessary to atone for sin and clean the soul [1030-1031]. - Roman Catholicism
Purgatory does not exist. Jesus made purification for sins on the cross (Hebrews 1:3)

Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin from the first instant of her conception (the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception) [490-492].
Mary, a descendant of Adam, was born in sin (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12)

Mary is the Mother of the Church [963, 975]. - Roman Catholicism
Mary was the earthly mother of Jesus ( John 2:1)

The Magisterium is the authoritative teacher of the Church. [85-87]. - Roman Catholicism
The Holy Spirit is the authoritative teacher of the church (John 14:26; John 16:13, I John 2:27)

The pope, as the Bishop of Rome, is the successor of Peter [882, 936] - Roman Catholicism
Peter had no successor, nor was he a pope.

The pope is infallible in his authoritative teaching [891]. - Roman Catholicism
God alone is infallible (Numbers 23:19)

Scripture and Tradition together are the Word of God [81, 85, 97, 182]. - Roman Catholicism
Scripture is the Word of God (John 10:35, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21). Tradition is the words of men (Mark 7:1-13).

The sacrificial work of redemption is continually carried out through the Sacrifice of the Mass. [1364,1405, 1846]. - Roman Catholicism
The sacrificial work of redemption was finished when Christ gave His life for us on the cross (Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 1:3).

God desires that consecrated bread and wine be worshiped as divine. [1378-1381] - Roman Catholicism
God forbids the worship of any object, even t hose intended to represent Him (Exodus 20:4-5, Isaiah 42:8)

Justification is lost through mortal sin [1033, 1855, 1874] - Roman Catholicism
Justification cannot be lost. Those whom God justifies will be saved from the wrath of God (Romans 5:8-9).

Justification is furthered by sacraments and good works [1212, 1392, 2010] - Roman Catholicism
Justification is the imputation of the perfect righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). In Christ the believer has been made complete (Colossians 2:10).

Salvation is attained by cooperating with grace through faith, good works, and participation in the sacraments [183, 1129, 1815, 2002]. - Roman Catholicism
Salvation is attained by grace through faith apart from works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Good works are the result, not the cause, of salvation (Ephesians 2:10).

Mary, “the All-Holy,” lived a perfectly sinless life [411, 493]. - Roman Catholicism
Mary was a sinner; God alone is sinless (Luke 18:19, Romans 3:23, Revelation 15:4).

Mary was a virgin before, during, and after the birth of Christ [496-511]. - Roman Catholicism
Mary remained a virgin until after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:25). Later she had other children (Matthew 13:55-56, Psalm 69:8).

Each Sacrifice of the Mass appeases God’s wrath against sin [1371, 1414]. - Roman Catholicism
The once-for-all sacrifice of the cross fully appeased God’s wrath against sin. (Hebrews 10:12-18).

The Bishops, with the Pope, as their head, rule the universal church. [883, 894-896]. - Roman Catholicism
Christ, the head of the body is the Head of the Church. (Colossians 1:18).

The faithful receive the benefits of the cross in fullest measure through the Sacrifice of the Mass [1366, 1407]. - Roman Catholicism
Believers receive the benefits of the cross in fullest measure in Christ through faith (Ephesians 1:3-14).

God has exalted Mary in heavenly glory as Queen of Heaven and Earth [966]. She is to be praised with special devotion [971, 2675]. - Roman Catholicism
The name of the Lord is to be praised, for He alone is exalted above heaven and earth (Psalm 148:13). God commands, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3).

Mary is the co-mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions 9 968-970, 2677] - Roman Catholicism
Christ Jesus is the one mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions (1 Timothy 2:5, John 14:13-14, 1 Peter 5:7).

Mary is the co-redeemer, for she participate with Christ in the painful act of redemption [618, 964, 968, 970]. - Roman Catholicism
Christ alone is the Redeemer, for He alone suffered and died for sin (1 Peter 1:18-19).

The sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated in the Sacrifice of the Mass [1323, 1382] - Roman Catholicism
The Sacrifice of the cross is finished (John 19:30).

Indulgences dispensed by the Church for acts of piety release sinners from temporal punishment [1471-1473]. - Roman Catholicism
Jesus releases believers from their sins by His blood. (Revelation 1:5).

The Magisterium has the right to define truth found only obscurely or implicitly in revelation. [66, 88, 2035, 2051]. - Roman Catholicism
No one has the right to go beyond what is written in Scripture (1 Corinthians 4:6, Proverbs 30:5-6).

Scripture and Tradition together are the Church’s supreme role of faith [80, 82]. - Roman Catholicism
Scripture is the church’s rule of faith (Mark 7:7-13, 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

I like to remember the quote fro Francis of Assisi:
Evangelize constantly. Speak when necessary.

I try to do mine that way. I try to be a walking example fo Catholic Chritianity and to be approchable if someone has questions.

Some things, even with my friends, are none of my business.

Patrick

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