When Inviting Others To Christianity Don’t Focus On Doctrine

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Too many people when they go spiritual shopping focus on what they agree with or disagree with about a certain religion. “Well, I like Buddhism because it doesn’t place too many demands on me or what I already believe. It’s challenging alright, but I can rest easy knowing I don’t have to sacrifice too much of my beliefs.” I know this, because I was there. I went spiritual shopping too from wicca to Buddhism and Hinduism to all sorts of stuff.

I eventually ended up at Christianity again. One of the main objections towards Christianity is that when it comes to compromise, it’s always the last bastion against popular secular dogmas especially the Catholic and Orthodox churches. For this reason they’re often seen as antique and ancient, no longer being relevant to the modern age.

I had a friend once who when I invited him to consider coming back to the Church say, “But what about their opposition to homosexuality.” This is always going to be their focus, and if you entertain this conversation you’re probably going to plant some decent intellectual seeds and food for thought, but in my experience it makes them even more grounded in their belief than they already are.

You see, it is very difficult to convince a mind that is already made up and absolutely sure of itself. What I encourage Christians to do is to try and guide this person away from focusing on the doctrine to developing a relationship with Jesus Christ. This gives room for the Lord to shower them with graces and as the love grows then quite naturally understanding for the doctrine grows with it.

Every person is different and no one approach to evangelizing is ever the same. There are some who love a good intellectual discussion and to have their brain massaged. If it actually works and they’re quite willing, then by all means use it but it’s rare in my experience of dealing with people. The popular culture and brainwashing is so intense it’s rare anyone will sacrifice their firmly held secular convictions.

The reason for this is due to a stubborn heart. Throw all the truth at a stubborn heart that you want, even beat him in a debate and he will not change his mind. We need to deal with the stubbornness, the pride and this can only be obtained through Sacraments and lots of prayer. I don’t know what kind of Christian you are, but I always try not to engage newcomers on matters of doctrine when it comes to my Catholic faith.

Prayer, confession, Holy Communion, reading the Gospels are usually the best medicine for a newcomer if they’re willing to engage in it. I just tell them it’s O.K so you have these opinions but while you have them, pray, go to confession and Holy Communion. That’s sufficient for now. The reason for this is because I know that as the rock is shaped by the soft water over time, so too the rocky heart is cleansed by the soft waters of Grace with patience.

Then when we love someone, readily accepting what it is they ask of us becomes easier. When we are in love with someone we are more likely to do what they ask of us. When we are in love with the world we do what that asks of us, sometimes without any logical or critical thinking such is the power of groupthink and assimilation to the popular culture from birth.

In a heart like this stubborn incredulity exists and no amount of arguing will ever help them only the Grace of God found through the Sacraments and relationship with Him. It has to be steady and over time. Show them the loving side of the faith. Have them attend soup kitchens and invite them to relationships but try and avoid discussion on doctrine if you can help it.





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