Feeling down after evangelising

So the other day i found an opportunity to evangelise to my work colleagues. It’s not the first time since i joined the Church last year, we have had one or two lively debates but this one was different. It started when a colleague remarked a trend starting in the UK to have a Physicist preside over funerals and they talk about our energy remaining in the universe and this gives much comfort to the bereaved. managed to turn this round to talking about God and the promises of Christianity and one by one other colleagues came into the room. However this time i distinctly felt like i was in a corner and was somewhat bombarded with all the usual comments eg religion is a purely human construct, designed to keep people down by threatening eternal damnation, other religions, the amount of killing in the name of religion,. The Catholic Church got a particular kicking with the obligatory remarks about Priests and child abuse. At the end of it i felt as if i had been given a real thumping and was annoyed with myself as i felt i had made a bad job of it.

In the UK it seems to me a real uphill struggle. I hear my Priest saying everyone has an inner desire for God but it doesn’t seem that way. Everyone seems to me to have their faith in science (or scientism) and they seem to have no hang ups about death and the thought of dying into nothing. Boy, did i feel down afterwards and to be honest it made me doubt the strength of my own faith. I wondered if anyone else ever felt like this.

Hi, I’m also from the UK, though I’ve never heard or seen the Physicist trend you mention. In the UK, Catholics are in a minority, though clearly not as much of a minority as in some other countries where some Catholics/Christians are tortured and put to death for their faith.

John 15:18 If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you.

Try not to feel down about this attempt, remember Jesus was rejected too and at least you tried, right? :slight_smile: It’s not your own lack of faith that’s the problem, many people do reject God. Pray for those who persecute you. Another thing to remember is that we don’t all have the same gift, there are many different gifts - some are gifted with particular works of mercy, some are gifted with evangelization. Evangelization can be as simple as leading by good example. It’s not always the heavy debate.

Ofcourse you will feel down after a bruising debate, especially when you are not on common ground. It is very hard to defend the Church against the charges of pedophiles, however, I would point out the universal nature of this scourge that affects every authority that had control over children in the last two decades. I would point to secular institutions such as the Scouts; governmental orphanages; etc. The Churches are not exempt by any means and we must wear the sack cloth in any evangelising.
Don’t be discouraged. Better prepare yourself by considering the arguments put against you and do the research to counter them next time. Try to keep it one on one as many will try to deride you just to get a laugh out of others in the room. Be proud of even failure as you have let your light shine amongst men and run a lap of the good race.

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Francis of Assisi

That is, be a good example of what a true Catholic, true Christian, can be. That alone is to preach to gospel, to evangelize.

Without their willing acceptance and desire for God’s grace you can’t convince anyone of God’s reality or of faith truths. And the desire for God is pretty-much drowned out by scientific ‘certainty’ in many who look down on those who have faith in God. The growing religious extremist troubles in the world fuel a disgust for religion in many secularists.

And there is no good argument against wars, persecutions, and abuse, that are due the bad behavior of Christians,
but you personally can be witness of what a good Catholic Christian is.
Hopefully you won’t be subjected to more of same when the subject arises now they all knew you’re Catholic, but may God give you peace and grace.

Good job! You are responsible for carrying the message only. The person who reacts the most vehemently is the one you touched the most.:slight_smile: Those who heard what you said cannot unhear it. Those who truly are oblivious or entrenched in their own position would not waste their breath debating you. Thank God for using you as His instrument, be grateful for the faith He has given you and wait for the next opportunity with joy in your heart. Our Church is a hospital for sinners, even pedophiles and murderers. That’s the beauty of it. We welcome and love all of God’s children just the same.

:shrug: Kind of shallow really if ya think about it. Impersonal energy remaining? Meh…

However this time i distinctly felt like i was in a corner and was somewhat bombarded with all the usual comments eg religion is a purely human construct, designed to keep people down by threatening eternal damnation, other religions, the amount of killing in the name of religion,

Same stuff different day, right? :slight_smile: They can’t prove any of that and it’s just their misguided and misinformed opinion.

The Catholic Church got a particular kicking with the obligatory remarks about Priests and child abuse.

Irrelevant to the discussion and statistically less so than among just family members…do they have the same problems with relatives?

At the end of it i felt as if i had been given a real thumping and was annoyed with myself as i felt i had made a bad job of it.

It can be tough, and you have to be sensitive to when you see the Holy Spirit working in someone. Groups tend to take on a pack/bully mentality and hence the drubbing you feel like you got. Don’t feel bad…Our Blessed Lord had the same experience.

In the UK it seems to me a real uphill struggle. I hear my Priest saying everyone has an inner desire for God but it doesn’t seem that way. Everyone seems to me to have their faith in science (or scientism) and they seem to have no hang ups about death and the thought of dying into nothing. Boy, did i feel down afterwards and to be honest it made me doubt the strength of my own faith. I wondered if anyone else ever felt like this.

Some folks have to shout it down to try to avoid hearing that voice that Francis Thompson speaks of.
“and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me’.”

It’s ok to feel a little down after a brutal confrontation. Let me give you something from G.K.Chesterton that might help matters. He claims “anything worth doing is worth doing badly”. The point being you don’t have to be an A-1 apologist to defend your faith, the reward is defending it no matter how you feel you have succeeded.:thumbsup:

I bet you helped God plant a few seeds and you don’t even know it. I was a doubter for a long long time. My Dad wouldn’t let up though and I credit him and all of the other people of quiet Faith who took a moment to humble themselves before my know-it-all nonsense. God won and in the end, I did also.

Just because they are not springing up and screaming Alleluiah doesn’t mean that you haven’t done the work of the Lord.

God bless you for trying!

Thanks for a job well done. I bet the Lord was pleased with you.

You made heaven smile. You suffered for the faith. It’s a type of white martyrdom. catholicexchange.com/white-martyrs-take-heart

Apologetics is tough for several reasons–you’ve just experienced some of those reasons. :slight_smile: It’s best not to try to evangelize in groups. The naysayers are bound to gang up on you, making it impossible to make any real points about anything–this is true of any controversial topic, but especially so in apologetics.

It’s better to talk to one person at a time when the opportunity presents itself–usually if/when someone asks about your faith as we are admonished by St. Peter:

1 Pet.3[15b] Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.

You don’t have to make converts–that’s the Holy Spirit’s “job,” rather you only need to be a good witness to the Gospel in what you say and do–how you say and do it. Others will see that and be attracted to it as you pray for them that the Holy Spirit will speak in and through your life. Be a good friend and coworker and others will come to you when they want to pick your brains/hear what you have to say about your faith. People don’t care what you belief as much as they care about how you treat them.

In the UK it seems to me a real uphill struggle. I hear my Priest saying everyone has an inner desire for God but it doesn’t seem that way. Everyone seems to me to have their faith in science (or scientism) and they seem to have no hang ups about death and the thought of dying into nothing. Boy, did i feel down afterwards and to be honest it made me doubt the strength of my own faith. I wondered if anyone else ever felt like this.

People have always had some excuse for living just as they please without having to answer to God. Scientism is just the latest one. Throughout Scriptures people whine and complain that God isn’t fair ,that the people of God are bad, that God asks too much of us, etc., etc. It means they aren’t ready to be told the truth because they aren’t disposed to receive it.

rweidn I think the Lord is allowing you to participate in the broken heartedness He feels because the people He created out of love have rejected Him.

Seeing the cynicism and faithlessness of humanity should produce sadness in all of us.

Evangelism is partly a supernatural activity, and so it’s hard to see what God is doing with your poor efforts. The important thing is to make the effort and do your best, and then to trust God with the rest.

I will give you a long-distance hug now, and pray for you.

PS - No reputable physicist would go to a funeral and give a lecture about matter and energy, without also including a talk about entropy. Which would kinda harsh the mellow at a funeral. “Yup, everything is going to run down and you’re all going to die! Heat death of the universe! Science says so!”

Therefore I conclude that somebody sketchy has set up a business promoting some very dubious version of steady-state physics.

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