This isn’t really an apologetics issue or anything, I would just like to get people’s thoughts on the need for love in apologetics.
I was reading a book called Handbook for Today’s Catholics, and one of the first topics was to try to see deeper into someone’s thinking and position in life, and find out why they may find some doctrines hard to accept, and that this inability to accept a doctrine may not be the result their disobedience, but rather that their life experiences may make it hard for them. The example they gave was people who found it difficult to call God “Father” because their own father was abusive. This does not represent lack of faith, but rather they implicitly want to believe, but find it difficult.
I was also thinking today about people who have been sexually abused by Catholic clergy, and although I acknowledge that it has been blown out of proportion by some, and that any segment of society could be guilty of the same thing, we still have to show a considerable amount of love toward these people.
I’m saying this because some people seem like they’re talking from their high horse, especially when it comes to how people should behave and act and everything. I’m probably guilty of it myself sometimes, and that’s why I because aware of it tonight. I realized when I’m talking to people I have to try to understand them first.
I think as apologists, whether formally or informally, the person we are speaking with first has to have a feeling that you mean well for them and that our religion is designed to give them the best life possible. If someone feels like all they’ll get is condemnation, then they wont feel too happy about that.
I think Jerry Usher and others on Catholic Answers Live do an awesome job of showing people that they care about them. Even if someone is completely out of line, they do not get vicious or mean or nasty, they continue to be polite and welcoming, and I think we can all take a lesson from that.
Anyway, as usual, my message is going on quite long. Just wanted to get people’s thoughts on the need for love in apologetics. Thanks.