Evangelism question

Going through the evangelism forum, I’m struck by the difference between the Roman Catholic idea of evangelism and the Christian teaching of evangelism.

In nearly every thread, the topic is how to recruit people to Roman Catholicism, but nothing about the Gospel, which is to be the centerpiece of evangelism.

I’ve got a challenge for you.

Let’s say that I’m an unsaved sinner and you’re going to share the Gospel with me. How would you do it?

For me, there’s no difference between the Gospel and the Church. They are the same. :slight_smile:

I’d take you to Mass!

I think you need to go back and look at the history of this forum again because you missed a high volume of material.

No. 1, Roman Catholics are CHRISTIAN, and do not appreciate being told otherwise by those who have rejected the Church who gave you the Gospels, who wrote the NT, who are the Church founded by Jesus Christ, and who have consistently obeyed His command to spread the gospel for 2000 years.

So, is this how you would evangelize me?

I’m an unsaved sinner and I’m going to Hell. You mean to tell me that you’re more interested in telling me about your church than you are about giving me the Gospel to keep me out of Hell?

So then all I have to do is join your church and I’ll be saved? If I join AAA does that make me a car?

Brosam, the Catholic “salvation” process is not like the Once Saved Always Saved idea that some Protestants believe… salvation is a process.

You don’t just join the Church and become automatically saved, there’s much more to it than that. You must learn and accept faithfully all the teachings of the Church, and you must strive to remain free from attachment to sin by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You must always be working to come as close to the perfection of Jesus as is possible for a frail human. At the time of your death you must be in a State of Grace, free from mortal sin.

So, by learning about your beliefs and agreeing with them, I’m saved?

and you must strive to remain free from attachment to sin by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

So, by trying really hard not to sin, I’m saved?

You must always be working to come as close to the perfection of Jesus as is possible for a frail human. At the time of your death you must be in a State of Grace, free from mortal sin.

I’m free from sin now. I’m not a sinner.

Hi brosam

You’ve got a lot good questions and that’s wonderful. That’s why it’s best to use the appropriate forum to get the best answers. Check the forum rules. If you’re looking for scriptural reference, there is a forum for that. If you are looking for Catholic devotions then you are in the wrong one. If you are looking for catholic stragies to evangelise you are looking at it. I would post each of the questions you asked above in the appropriate forum. Check the topics for each forum before you post.

God Bless

Not simply by saying you believe in them. If you fully accept the teachings of the Church, you will follow them, and you will be on the path to salvation… it’s not a one time thing, it’s a process that takes your whole life.

[quote=brosam]So, by trying really hard not to sin, I’m saved?
[/quote]

No, by receiving the graces given in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, you are helped to remove yourself from the attachment to sin, so that you are able to remain in a State of Grace. When you fall again, you have to return to the Sacrament with true contrition for that Grace to be restored. Again, it is a life-long process.

[quote=brosam]I’m free from sin now. I’m not a sinner.
[/quote]

You may be free from sin now, by the grace of God, but my guess is that all of us will sin again many times before we die and will need to restore that grace through reconciliation.

And this is how you evangelize?

So then, all I have to do is follow some rules and I’ll be saved. I like my own rules better. I think they’ll save me just fine.

No, by receiving the graces given in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, you are helped to remove yourself from the attachment to sin, so that you are able to remain in a State of Grace.

Are you calling me a sinner? That’s awfully judgemental!

When you fall again, you have to return to the Sacrament with true contrition for that Grace to be restored. Again, it is a life-long process.

Restored to what? I’m a good person now.

You may be free from sin now, by the grace of God, but my guess is that all of us will sin again many times before we die and will need to restore that grace through reconciliation.

I don’t sin.

((mannag, I want to make something clear to you. I’m not picking on you or just playing games with your answers for sport. Remember, in this premise, I’m role playing the part of the unsaved lost sinner.

When I was a new Christian, although I wasn’t Roman Catholic, my ideas of evangelism were very similar to yours before I learned to share the Gospel and each of the responses I’m giving you are based on real life responses I got when I did what you’re doing now.

So please don’t think I’m picking on you. You guys say you’re Christians and I’m taking your word for that. What I’m trying to do, maybe in a bit of a roundabout way, is, one Christian to another, help you to hone your evangelism skills.))

You don’t sin? I am curious. What is your definition of a sin?

No it isn’t but that was not your original question.

I do understand your goal, but I choose not to use you as a teacher. My expereince is that each person’s questions are slightly different and need to be addressed in that context. Memorizing certain Bible passages or other canned responses doesn’t work. The best evangalization, in my own experience, is the Gospel of my life as I live it in relation to Christ. When questions occur as to why I do what I do, or in reponse to other situations the non-Christian and I find ourselves in, I will respond. I answer the specific question asked with the words supplied to me by the Holy Spirit at the time, not with the words I memorized 3 months prior. It is by staying close to Christ in prayers and in the Sacraments, that I know the Holy Spirit will supply what I am lacking.

Brosam, I understand exactly what you’re saying… because before I converted, I was a Southern Baptist who said the same things. While the responses that I give may not work in and of themselves on an anonymous internet forum, I believe that when coupled with living a faithful Catholic life and not hiding one’s faith they can be very effective.

I would love to continue this discussion, but for now I am at work and actually need to get some work done :blush:… perhaps if I have a chance later I will stop in again. :slight_smile:

Sin is like killing people and stuff.

Killing people and stuff?

Is that your definition of sin or is that 1 example? I would like to know what stuff.

They may have different questions, but the Gospel doesn’t change from person to person. It is the same no matter where you go or who you’re talking to.

Memorizing certain Bible passages or other canned responses doesn’t work.

Then why did Jesus quote scripture so often?

The best evangalization, in my own experience, is the Gospel of my life as I live it in relation to Christ. When questions occur as to why I do what I do, or in reponse to other situations the non-Christian and I find ourselves in, I will respond.

So, basically, your method of evangelism is to show them what a good person you are? Doesn’t trying to show them that you’re a good person defeat the idea of the Gospel, that Jesus Christ died for you because you’re a bad person?

And what happens if the person dies before they notice what a good person you are?

A “good person” doesn’t equal a christian.

First, I tdo my best to be a good example for and of Christ. I think it important for you to see and experience that I try to walk the walk before they hear me talk the talk. The non-believer has been searching (it is burned in our heart by God) their entire life and been disapointed many times. They don’t need another false prophet who will only disappoint them again.

Second, I will pray asking for the Holy Spirit to use me according to His plan for this person. Conversion happens on God’s time and not mine. Too many times, while well-intentioned, I believe people’s efforts to spread the Gospel are counterproductive because they did what THEY thought best instead of asking for God’s direction.

Third, I will make myself available to them as friend. If they see the joy and peace I have in my life and the lack of it in their life (true Peace is only found in Christ), they will start desiring what I have. Inspired by the Holy Spirit at the right time, they may ask me where I got it. This openness in their heart will make them more fertile for open evangalization and in turn I can respond with confidence that it is stimulated by the Holy Spirit.

Fourth, I will only speak to them in Truth. I won’t use tricks or false promises to get them in the door. God can’t lie and His ministers are not serving Him by using trickery.

It is possible that you will see this and wonder but where is the Gospel in this evangelization? It is front, center, behind each and every one of them. While the Bible is the Word, the Word is more than the Bible. Christ transcends and is infinitely larger than just Scripture. When appropriate and inspired by the Holy Spirit, I will introduce Scripture.

St. Francis taught “Always preach the Gospel, use words when necessary.” For most Catholics (especially Cradle Catholics), we see this as a more full evangalization. It isn’t just about “words on paper in a thick black book” (the way a non-believer sees the Bible). It is about the Word (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; John 1:1-4).

Brosam, I chuckle that all you see in Catholic evangalization is an attempt to bring them in the Catholic Church. For Catholics, we see much fundamendalist evangelization as just an attempt to make them see Truth as they do. And when we see all the diversity of “truth” in the non-Catholic Christian world we see the reality they can’t all be preaching the Truth). I really think both sides would be better served to be less cynical and judgmental.

This being said, it is my experience that most often Catholic converts practice the kind of evangelization that you describe. They do so for two reasons:

  1. It is their past experience (ala fundamentalist denominations) to evangelize in this way.
  2. Their current experience is that clarity about the Word comes after they have entered into the Sacramental life of being Catholic.

This cradle Catholic isn’t critical of my convert breathren. They bring alot to the Church, for which I’m most grateful. They know better than cradle Catholics how to speak the language of Fundamentalist Christians. But as you can see at the beginning of this post, it isn’t the only way to evangelize. In my experience, Cradle Catholics traditionally use a more subtle approach. Neither superior to the other, both have the same goal- lead the unbeliever to Christ.

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