The need for love in Apologetics


#1

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.


#2

You have stated the need quite well. Furthermore, those we speak with will know we are Christians by our love. Lack of charity will merely alienate people.


#3

Kinda ties in with An Evangelizer’s Code of Conduct


#4

Yes, I like that a lot. They will know we are Christian by our love. If we show people love they will WANT to learn more :smiley:


#5

To proclaim the Truth of the Church with love does not necessarily mean mollycoddling. If you approach an adult who has some sort of juvenile roadblock to accepting that which will save his soul, the loving thing to do is to suggest that he or she grow up and approach issues of faith with reason rather than allowing themselves to be overtaken by their passions.


#6

All I ever think of is…
1st Peter Chapter 3:15: but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. 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; 16: and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.


#7

The best definition of apologetics that has ever been written.


#8

I agree. Sometimes we have to take a more direct approach with our brothers and sisters. I would argue however that there are even various ways that we can tell someone to ‘grow up’; mercifully or harshly. I know that mercy would involve love but would being harsh to someone?

Secondly why should we assume that all people who have issues of faith allow themselves to be overtaken by their passions?

I think the love that was being talked about - the love that is needed in Apologetics is this:

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-13


#9

Scriptural citations must be understood in context. What is the proper context for those who fall into error? That Paul spoke like a child, thought like a child and reasoned like a child should be weighed against the observation that “folly is close to the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” (1)

(1) New American Bible. Washington D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2002. Prov 22:15. Available online at: usccb.org/nab/bible/proverbs/proverb22.htm


#10

I don’t believe that I took the Scripture out of context. I simply provided it as a peice of Scripture that one may look to when thinking about the love that should be involved in Apologetics. My main point in placeing that passage was not for the sake of those who ‘fall into error’ but for those who - as you put it - tell others to ‘grow up’ if and when they need it. My point in putting that up was was what St. Paul says “but if I have not love, I am nothing.” My point and hopefully the point of this thread is that without love - apologetics is nothing too.


#11

We don’t want to win the argument but lose the soul.


#12

[/size]
1st Peter Chapter 3:15: but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. 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; 16: and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

You want to quote passages from the OT on parenting an d ignore the plain statement of St. Peter on this very topic? ooooookkkkkay…

Exactly right Yinekka. :thumbsup: [/FONT]


#13

I am finding that my zeal for the Catholic Church is so strong, that my blood really boils when misinformed ignorant people badmouth, slander, or present half-truths(which are whole lies) about the faith. Yet, I know that such is not the loving reaction that I am called to as a follower of Christ. What advice could any of you give me to help overcome an emotionally explosive temper? I am not requesting Scripture that tells me that anger is wrong. I already know that. I’d also like to hear more than, “pray about it.” I also know that I’m not the only Catholic on this message board who could benefit from some really good sound advice on this issue. For any of you who are skilled in the ability to confront without anger, I would really like to hear what you have to say. After all, anger is only one letter short of danger. Thank you.


#14

I understand your frustrations. Believe me…I do. I think we’ve all had to deal with lies and half truths in some form or fashion. But the next time you feel you may lose your temper with someone, stop for just a moment before you speak and think about this… Jesus endured the same treatment ( and much worse) from people. He was persecuted and called a liar time and time again. How did he handle it? His words were careful and eloquent, strong but said with love, truthful yet compassionate. We must try and be charitable in our thoughts and in our words. It isn’t always easy, and most of us fall short sometimes. I know I have wanted to reach over and pinch off someone’s neck, but I have managed not to do just that. I think it’s okay to get mad (we all do) but as followers of Jesus, it is our obligation to actually “follow” Jesus. And we must do that as best we can. I know you didn’t want to hear " just pray about it" but you do need to pray about it. My priest told us to say “Come Holy Spirit” over and over again as many times as you need to. And you know what? It actually works. Ask and you shall receive. We aren’t in this alone. We must call on Him for help when we need it.

I don’t know if I helped at all, but I wanted to respond because I think we’ve all been there. :slight_smile:


#15

Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause.

-Saint John of Kanty

I have never succeeded when I have spoken with the faintest suspicion of hardness. One must be ever on one’s guard not to embitter the heart, if one wishes to move the mind.

St. Vincent de Paul


#16

I have never succeeded when I have spoken with the faintest suspicion of hardness. One must be ever on one’s guard not to embitter the heart, if one wishes to move the mind.

—St. Vincent de Paul


#17

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