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Post by MaBeck on Tue May 13, 2008 4:28 pm

I'm a terrible evangelist. I guess I don't have a lot of patience with people who not only reject the Gospel, but refuse to investigate anything. The Fathers of the Church, Canon Law, the writings of the Saints: these things are at everyone's disposal but few people make use of them.

To top it off, I firmly believe in free will and in your right to choose who or what you worship, or if you worship at all. I'm not going to beat down your door to talk about my Church, though I'll gladly talk if you ask.
I told you I was terrible.

On issues of human rights, however, I can't be silent because while some good can come out of Lutheranism, or Episcopalianism, or Judaism, NO good can ever come from abortion, slavery, selling women into prostitution, etc.
I can't have a laissez-faire attitude because there is no middle ground.
So I talk. And talk. And talk.

My question is: at what point is it okay to stop talking (preaching, if you will) and just let it be, entrusting the person to the mercy of God?
Must I beat a dead horse with someone who is obviously so confused that they can't see through the darkness?

I don't usually have this problem face-to-face, but online, it's very difficult. A keyboard can't convey things like emotion, sarcasm, love, kindness - things which are vital to these types of discussion. Because people tend to be nastier and more vile online, it's also harder to connect. Just as you wouldn't say "Screw you" to the person who cuts in line at the bank, but you might say it to someone who cuts you off in traffic, the internet provides a certain amount of anonymity behind which a person can hide.

I know that we have to treat non-believers and Secularists with "kid gloves", so to speak, and I believe in treating them with the utmost compassion. It is not through attack and debasement that you will show Christ to the world. You SHOULD have compassion for people who do not know God, moral truth, natural law, etc.

Is it ever okay to say, "I'm tired of this discussion"?
Am I shirking my duty by taking the easy (read: lazy) way out?
When should you move on from direct interaction to just fervent prayer for the person? I know for a fact that fervent prayer moves mountains MUCH more quickly than all the chatting in the world.

MaBeck
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Post by BillC on Tue May 13, 2008 9:06 pm

Personally, I try to not get into long drawn out "debates" on the same topic. I find many people online aren't going to concede their point on whatever forum they are on, but you may have planted the seed needed to get them thinking. It is not our job to change anyone's mind or heart, we just plant seeds and let the Holy Spirit do the rest, with our prayer of course.

What I usually do is make my point and see if anyone seems to have a problem with it. If someone seems to have misunderstood mem I'll post again and try to be more clear...if they still don't get it, I move on.

I believe it was St. Francis that said something like.......Evangelize always, speak when necessary.
BillC
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Post by MaBeck on Wed May 14, 2008 4:24 pm

Thanks, Bill.
That makes good sense.
Smile

MaBeck
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