[quote=Genesis315]I like thinking about it this way: Evangelism is spreading the good news; apologetics is answering objections to it. So, they kind of go hand in hand. It’s kind of funny, but focusing on agreement is a bit of a waste of evangelizing energy. Why tell them them the good news they already know? We need to tell them the good news they don’t know or what they are mistaken about:thumbsup: .
Focusing on agreement is one of the tools that Paul used. I find it interesting when people (such as “staunch” Catholics) say indignantly, “I’m not going to change around anybody because I’m proud of my religion.” Well, that’s nice but Paul saw a different strategy. You act like the people you’re around in order to win them over.
It isn’t like you walk up to someone, give them a quick exam and proceed to operate on those parts that are sick. They wouldn’t stand for it.
Finding areas of agreement is only a waste of time to a wannabe drive-through apologetic sniper. That would be the kind of apologist that is so right and so important that a few words of fellowship are a distraction, not an important component of, his mission.
Discussing areas of agreement is a powerful way to gain trust of the person you are going to evangelize. It is also a way to survey how they think now so you know what they need to get on the right track.
Some people think good manners are a waste of time, but there’s a lot to be said in how we present ourselves as to whether they are going to even hear the Magic Bullet we wish to offer them.
You see, I am not a two-faced person. In fact, you might say I’m multi-faceted.
When I see that someone is not accepting my message well, I adjust and find a different approach to see if that helps. Talking about what we have in common gives me a bit of test runs to see what sort of reasoning and logic make sense to this person. In this way, I sneak into his psyche like a thief in the night.
Don’t believe Paul was a chameleon? His words:
[quote=1 Cor 19-23]Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law–though I myself am not under the law–to win over those under the law. To those outside the law I became like one outside the law–though I am not outside God’s law but within the law of Christ–to win over those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some.
All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have share in it.
That’s how you win people. You act like you’re one of them, not like you’re better than them and don’t they wish they were more like you. (Of course you may think that but don’t let on to it. )
Certain Catholics seem to have a problem where we are so drilled in judging ourselves by our outward behavior, that we confuse compliance with faith. We think that we have to wear “I am a Catholic” signs lest anyone see that we’re happy and want to know why. That’s a shortcut that doesn’t work. Obedience to His commands apply to matters of the heart at least as much as matter of ritual and tradition. A person who knows only a tiny bit of Church teachings, but has empathy and social skills, is much more likely to reach an outsider than a person who presents himself a walking encyclopedia or advertisement for All Matters Catholic.