(Quote) Ray-566531 said:
No, Theresa. If you read my other posts you might understand what I was getting at. A knee-jerk rea...
(Quote) Ray-566531 said:
No, Theresa. If you read my other posts you might understand what I was getting at. A knee-jerk reaction to someone's hostility about the Church is to ignore it, or walk away, and being sure they are unwilling to listen. This may be true -- they are not in the mood to listen. However, the other approach is frequently workable. Oftentimes the best preaching we can do is to listen -- perhaps say nothing or very little at the time. The goal is to find out exactly what is bothering them about the Church. Why have they left? Instead of trying to verbally show people where and how they are wrong, it makes sense to listen to them -- let them be open about their doubts, feelings and concerns. The role of listener can be very effective, and "say" more than we could ever tell a person.
We're all called to be evangelists so we look for effective ways to understand other people's concerns. The approach (listening to others) is helpful, workable and effective.
Good point, and I think it rounds back to the question; Am I my brother's keeper?
Cain's rhetorical interrogative, which has to be one of the most quoted lines from the Old Testament both religiously and secular, stays with us for a reason. God calls us all to be stewards for each other, whether through instruction of faith, or by listening and reasoning, or reminding our brothers and sisters of the temptation of sin and its consequences. The more you grow in Faith, the more God expects from you. As your understanding of Faith increases, so does the level of trust between you and God. It's like how a parent trusts an older child to care for his or her younger siblings as that child matures, or to understand the concepts of right from wrong and similalry pass that knowledge along to the younger siblings.
You don't have to engage in active debate with someone to plant a seed of inquiry in their mind. A simple phrase or a simple answer presented without challenge or contention has often yielded the best results for me. Forceful presentation or argument rarely changes anyone's opinion or stance, and I have found that it often polarizes someone into their original argument even in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary. If there is one thing most people dislike more than being wrong, it's being proven wrong and having to concede as such. For me it's a better alternative is to state my position, plant that seed, and let my debater discover the truth on their own.