Posted by: frroberts | October 13, 2016

How to share the faith

I got an interesting question recently about how to share faith with those who are not practicing Christians.  After getting some background about the particular individual in question, the following observations came up.

Rational argument, while helpful, usually does not lead to people changing their minds.  Christianity takes as a given that all of us struggle to resolve at least four questions:

Why is there evil in the world?

What will happen after I die?

Am I loved?

How do I receive forgiveness for my sins?

Some spiritualities that take their inspiration from the East claim to evade the questions of death and evil through positing dualism and the transmigration of souls.  There are those who dismiss the idea of sin as a relic of a previous state in the evolution of human consciousness.  My own experience is that the question ”am I loved?” might provide more traction for those who want to experience the unconditional love that God alone is capable of giving.

For those who are not interested in answers to any of these questions, we Christians really have nothing to share on the level of argument.  Chances are at least one of these resonates; we would do well to focus on common ground.  Of course, it is always helpful to be able to correct misconceptions about what Christianity is and is not for those whose ideas are fragmentary and sometimes even inaccurate.

It would be far better, however, for us to give good example with our lives to the answers we believe in to these four questions.  My own experience is that walking the walk is far more difficult than talking the talk.

The strongest argument for the truth of the Catholic faith is the life of a holy person.  If we have a particular intention, we would do very well to fast and pray for that person as well.  Since both of these practices are part of trying to live a holy life, they would already be regular parts of our lives as Christians.

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