Monday, June 10, 2013

A Catholic Campaign: "the New Evangelization"

Don't be surprised when you see Roman Catholics stepping up their game when it comes to evangelism.  It appears that Rome has recognized their need for new evangelistic efforts hence the name "the New Evangelization."  In a recent radio address Pope Francis said:

the Church “does not grow by means of proselytizing," but “by attraction, by witnessing, by preaching,” and Paul had this attitude: proclamation does not make proselytization – and he succeeds, because, “he did not doubt his Lord.” The Pope warned that, “Christians who are afraid to build bridges and prefer to build walls are Christians who are not sure of their faith, not sure of Jesus Christ.” The Pope exhorted Christians to do as Paul did and begin to “build bridges and to move forward”:

I believe when the Pope uses the term "proselytizing" he has something like hard decisionalism or the "hard close" sales tactic in mind.  Some of the new efforts involve evangelistic training, using Church invitational door hangers, going door to door to share personal testimony of what Christ has done, and a mandate that involves all Church members.

For me this opens the question "what have you done to share Christ?".  While I can safely say that I have used the opportunities that were before me to share, I don't think I ever went out intentionally to share Christ with someone.  Perhaps I could best describe it as a passive approach and there are reasons for this that I wont get into here.  The bottom line is if we are sure about our faith why wouldn't we share it with humility and respect?  Sharing our faith does not mean entering philosophical debates over the existence of God.  Nor does it mean that we resort to hard close sales tactics.  It simply means sharing the Gospel as Paul says:

"I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. 2You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you — unless you believed for no purpose. 3For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:that Christ died for our sinsaccording to the Scriptures," 1 Corinthians 15 HCS

That is a great passage, I recommend reading the entire chapter and when your done go out and share Jesus with someone.  

No comments: