I like apologetics but

I like to do apologetics. I don’t think I’m very good at it but know the basics and all of that, but at times I feel I haven’t defended my position well and then it bothers me - lack of sleep, anxious, stressed out etc

so what should I do give up apologetics? This has been happening for a while now.

Don’t “try” so hard. If someone asks a question, answer the best that you can and admit when you don’t really know the answer. Offer to get a better answer in a specified amount of time, and follow through. Do not worry about whether someone will be convinced by the argument you give. It simply does not work that way. Just speak the Truth, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

I’ve argued HUNDREDS of times…I even keep a blog of arguements. But the people I see converting, or at least being open, are those that I’ve prayed for, and most have never read my arguments or asked me many questions. Apologetics is important for getting the facts out there. But it is the Holy Spirit that converts. :wink:

Chiefsinner said : "I like to do apologetics. I don’t think I’m very good at it… but at times I feel I haven’t defended my position well and then it bothers me - lack of sleep, anxious, stressed out etc.
so what should I do, give up apologetics?

I think that you are the person to decide if feeling Anxious (and having trouble Sleeping) is a Reason to NOT practice Apologetics.

None of us has a (VALID) Answer for you.
A person has his OWN Reasons for practicing Apologetics.
There is NO Reason to NOT practice Apologetics.

Truly, your Stress and Anxiety may be for a Different reason than the Fact that you Feel that you didn’t do as Good a Job of “Defending your Faith” to another person.
It might just be that you want to WIN in a Conversation (which is different).

I guess it’s a sense of vain pride that doesn’t help in any way. I was probably thinking of learning the arguments etc just not getting to involved in the debate side.

:slight_smile: There is a book that will help you (and you may have already read it). It is Mark Brumley’s “How NOT to share your faith”. I was in the same boat you find yourself in now, until I read that book and realized a whole new perspective of apologetics. Now I really ENJOY apologetics, without expecting conversions of anyone.

If you feel drawn to apologetics, it can mean that you have particular charisms especially gifted you to bring others to God and that involves a practice and examining your thoughts and feelings (as you are doing here) to hone those charisms.

I have always loved entering into discussion about Church doctrine and teachings but more importantly the spirit of the law. That aspect is far more important than the letter of the law. When I contribute, I think about my ‘audience’ as my children and how I catechise them. They are in their 20’s and don’t always agree with me, but I still feel the desire to teach and impart so that they will have happy and holy lives and be discerning and not led by sin. When I think about who might read me here, I just know even from my own catechising by my mother, that things are stored and applied throughout your life and some of the most invaluable bits have been stored in the recesses of the mind for a lifetime before they become properly meaningful.

Try and think of your audience as those you really love and want to pass on what nourishes your faith, hope and love for their own happiness.

One time I got into a debate with a person regarding the existence of God. I was able to answer all of his questions, so from a logical standpoint I was doing well. Then he got frustrated and started insulting faith and me for having any. After a couple minutes of this I grabbed his shirt and almost punched him in the face. The facts didn’t help me.

After I had been able to open my heart to God (as a result of that incident!), I went out to a bar to celebrate the end of the semester with my roommate. I got into another debate with someone regarding, again, the existence of God and the validity of the Catholic Church. Once again, I answered his questions and debunked misconceptions. Once again, the other person got angry and stared getting defensive and insulting the Church. Instead of lashing back, I looked down at my beer, said I was going to get another and asked if he’d like one. I came back and he had totally calmed down and as he was leaving for the night he said, “You know, I could really get behind your brand of Catholicism.” All I did was do as Jesus commanded.

The point here is that apologetics is good, but sometimes that’s not what people really need. Sometimes they need to see our faith and love in action to really start to understand.

Your problem is most likely that you are doing apologetics for the wrong reason…and relying on your own strength to do it.
In short, it is less about God or the faith than it is about you.
I suspect that you like debate and discussion…

I know the above sounds harsh…I am sorry…but I know this from sad personal experience. :blush:

Jesus tells us not to worry about what we are to say.
He also has told us that the world will know we are his disciples by our Love.

Prayerfully consider these two things and I think it will help you to understand better how to approach this matter.

Now this does not mean that you won’t come away from future discussions feeling like you could have explained something better…that is natural many times…
but who knows???
What didn’t seem eloquent to you, might be just the thing that the HS knew the other person needed to hear…

Trust God…

Peace
James

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