How to evangelize to the pluralistic world - and do so courageously?

Would love suggestions, dialogue, comment, personal experience, whatever you have to share on this! I’ve felt my courage diminish as it seems hot topics such as abortion, “gay marriage,” immigration, you name it, become more and more contentious in society. I hate controversy. I also hate being accused of being a hater when what I really am is a person with zeal for souls.

Anyway, I want to buck up my courage and not avoid the tough issues with those whom God puts in my path, or wherever I can express the Church’s eternal truths.

I got a copy of the Absolute Relativismbook mentioned in the ads here, and am hoping reading that will help a bit with the “head” part - knowing what to say in other words. I also know prayer is the best remedy for my frightened heart or my vulnerable emotions in the face of rejection by those who don’t like the message.

But I’d like to hear from others in the trenches. Thanks! :grouphug: :blessyou:

Develop a tolerance for rejection. Sometimes I’ve imagined that in brotherly correction I’d become or do become a busybody:o But that’s probably the coward in me looking for excuses:sad_yes:

I do not think that polemic leads you somewhere.
You do not attract flies with with vinegar but with honey.
Sometimes, better than argu, it is better to ask questions: Why…? why do you thin so? But doesnt that contadict ,…?

Say, for instance, who come that in one state is not crime to abort with 6 weeks and another with 8 weeks. So, in one state it is killing abort with 7 weeks and in another it is not. How come?

You are arguing the same but let the other think the positions and maybe be aware that other think too and are seeing the evil of the laws…

If you aske questions you are attacking, if you state positions you find yourself in the situation of defending your positions.

And as a friend of mine says: the best defense is a good attack…

The best example to follow is that of St.Francis.

Actions speak louder than words. Whether St Francis said this or not I attribute this to him “Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words”.

St.Francis’ view was“To follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in his footsteps.”

In 1210 he founded the Franciscan order.St.Francis preached on the streets and had no possessions.In 1211 he founded Poor Clares.

It can be argued that no one in history was as dedicated as Francis to imitate the life, and carry out the work, of Christ in Christ’s own way. This is important in understanding Francis’ character and his affinity for the Eucharist and respect for the priests who carried out the sacrament.He and his followers celebrated and even venerated poverty. Poverty was so central to his character that in his last written work, the Testament, he said that absolute personal and corporate poverty was the essential lifestyle for the members of his order.] He believed that nature itself was the mirror of God. He called all creatures his “brothers” and “sisters."

If we want to help our brothers and sisters know the truth of God’s love for each of us there is no better way than to lead by example.

It may not be quite possible for each of us to give up all our material things in life as St.Francis but we can make sure we are not materialistic in our own lives and give to the poor care for the homeless the unemployed the people around us struggling in this difficult economic climate.

By loving our neighbour (everyone ) not judging and caring for the welfare of others we are displaying God’s love through us.People will be inquisitive to know why we are so caring and so happy and secure in our faith…then invite them to Mass !

From a Catholic Priest friend of mine…

“We shall not be judged on how much we know, although knowledge is important. We shall not be judged on how much material possessions we have or own, though it can be used to relief the plight of the poor if one possesses charity. But, we shall be judged “on how much we have loved.”–Fr.CS,OP

“In today’s gospel reading, Jesus invites all to the heavenly banquet. However, not all will accept his invitation. We go to mass to receive Jesus in His Eucharistic banquet in preparation for the heavenly banquet with God. We can be part of that joyful chosen few out of many who believe Him if we translate our faith and hope into action born out of love. Whatever we say or do, it will only please God done out of Charity (love)”–Fr.CS,OP

If our Actions are of love and charity and compassion we are fulfilling Jesus message to us.

I read the Absolute Relativism book and it was indeed helpful. Encourage others here interested in apologetics to read it, too. Wish I could afford to buy a bunch of them to hand out.

Hi, 3DOCTORS. You’re certainly right that these are hot topics. But, just because they are controversial doesn’t mean we can afford to step out of the conversation altogether, or even simply let it be controlled by the sort of thinking that leads to things like abortion or gay marriage in the first place, as I’m sure you’re aware.

So, what can we do?

  • First, I’d obviously suggest that you pray for those with whom you engage in conversation about these important issues, both before and after.
  • Second, be sincere with them. It’s not about winning the argument, especially to the detriment of the soul of the person with whom you’re arguing. Try to see things from their point of view, but don’t let them simply guide the discussion completely.
  • Third, watch out for red herrings. This is common when dealing with emotional subjects like abortion and gay marriage.
  • Fourth, if you aren’t sure how to respond to something or don’t have the answer to a question being asked of you, be honest. As long as correspondence can be maintained, it’s not that big of a deal. All you have to do is find the answer and get back to them.
  • Finally, share your experiences with other Catholics. This can only serve to strengthen your resolve, and in fact, I created a site (see signature) for exactly this purpose.

Hope at least some of this helps! :thumbsup:


Anytime Evangelize

“We cannot keep to ourselves the words of eternal life given to us in our encounter with Jesus Christ: they are meant for everyone, for every man and woman. … It is our responsibility to pass on what, by God’s grace, we ourselves have received.”

  • Pope Benedict XVI

Turn the tables, and ask them first, “what if you are wrong?” “How do you know that is true?”" From there use leading questions, like “What if the Bible is right?” “How do we know if a religious text is true?” From time to time, you can supply tibbits like when something is dug up that supports the Bible.

Someone used St Francis’ quote yesterday to explain to me why it is not necessary to preach.

Our Protestant brothers and sisters are out there preaching.

I’m not saying we are all called to be street evangelists, but we need to be ready to defend and share our faith when necessary and we should always be praying for the salvation of souls.

Yes, very helpful. Thank you! :yup:

We ‘preach’ by our every action.In the way we treat others around us is how others will see our faith…we are preaching just as St.Francis by our actions…‘if’ necessary use words…we shouldn’t need to use words.Actions speak far louder than words.
By our love of our neighbour, by the way we treat our fellow human beings in the world others will see Christ’s love and His message.When we care for the poor feed the hungry give love to all even those who hurt us we are ‘preaching’ God’s love.

God bless

But sometimes we actually have to engage in conversation and talk to people about our faith. There is so much ignorance and prejudice about the church and it is our duty to teach those who are in error. Feeding the poor is important, but Christianity is much more than that.

When I was a mere child, Albert Einstein stepped forward in defense of Judeo-Christian common sense, to declare that pundits were abusing his theory of relativity by applying it to the realm of morality, which he cautioned was both inappropriate and dangerous to the public health.

Sad to say, Dr. Einstein’s warning went largely unheeded, if not openly ridiculed, by those who had a sub rosa agenda to promote: i.e., de-Christianization of Europe and the States, through a double-edged doctrine of pluralism. Double-edged it is because this doctrine, once it gets firm hold of the Christian imagination, cuts to the heart’s core that deposit of Christian dogma which Catholicism holds forth as being the “truth and nothing but the truth.”

At the outset of our 21-st century, a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church described Europe as “mission territory,” deserving of an urgent and new evangelization by devout clergy and laity, alike. This thread of the forum, in referencing the booklet, Absolute Relativism, tacitly admits to the daunting problems of evangelizing any ambient milieu that has lost its moral compass through its outright rejection of the Christian faith, substituting as it often does Relativity for the Gospel Truth that sets men and women free.

It does not help matters, let us be honest, that the Church herself has been undergoing perhaps the greatest crisis in her history, during these past forty-five years; indeed, she has been brought to her knees (the most noble of all positions, even so) over the issue of corruption within the ranks of her reverend clergy. Multitudes of Catholic laity, such as Rod Dreher, have responded in abject despair by voting with their feet, leaving the pale of Catholicism for whereabouts known and unknown.

As far as Europe and Protestantism are concerned, however, this kind of crisis is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on ever since the time of Charles Darwin and Karl Marx, whose influence to this day threatens to overturn the Christian work of millennia. In this respect, then, it might prove helpful to remember certain observations of Soren Kierkegaard, who, even though a Protestant and an existentialist, recognized not only the invaluable synergism that exists between clergy and laity who are devoted to the cause of Christ Jesus our Lord, in their corporate mission to evangelize, but also the vocation that all Christian souls share in witnessing to the Christian faith in time of great peril:

“If the Church is ‘free’ from the state, it’s all good. I can immediately fit in this situation. But if the Church is to be emancipated, then I must ask: By what means, in what way? A religious movement must be served religiously—otherwise it is a sham! Consequently, the emancipation must come about through martyrdom—bloody or bloodless. The price of purchase is the spiritual attitude. But those who wish to emancipate the Church by secular and worldly means (i.e. no martyrdom), they’ve introduced a conception of tolerance entirely consonant with that of the entire world, where tolerance equals indifference, and that is the most terrible offence against Christianity. … The doctrine of the established Church, its organization, are both very good indeed. Oh, but then our lives: believe me, they are indeed wretched.” [from Alexander Dru’s edition of Journals]

I dare say that Raymond Cardinal Burke has been hinting that Catholics, confronted as we are by an ambient milieu that is often hostile to the cause of Christ, for reasons that are both varied and complex, could do no better than to become far better Christians than we have been accustomed to being, through the majestic mercy and unmerited grace of God Thrice-Holy, and that in so doing, we will tread far along the path of the Good Samaritan, whose behavior in a crisis situation our Good Lord recommends to us all, as a model.

Thus the Prayer Warrior is right on target when he counsels us to practice what Jesus Christ Himself enjoins upon us all, as a categorical necessity for effective evangelization in modern times. Which leads an aged gentleman to ask for the prayers of a veteran in the combat, that I may, by the grace of God, do just that, according to His holy will.

Just plant some seed in a nice way whenever you can. This holds for our own as well.
Backoff and avoid those who have an axe to grind and say a prayer for them.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.