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Three Stumbling Blocks To Evangelizing The World

July 28, AD2016

stones

The great commission given to us by our Lord and Savior is to “go out and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). This is our Catholic duty, to evangelize the world. We must begin with our families and neighbors.

To do this is no meager task, it never has been easy and it never will be. The danger and difficulty of carrying out the great commission ebbs and flows with the times but we are always wise to heed Christ’s own words to the Apostles: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Our duty to be wise is to be open to revealed truth supported by sound philosophy and our duty to be innocent as doves is to be charitable as we convey the truth.

This is increasingly difficult because the world flagrantly contradicts Holy Mother Church on three vital and foundational issues: the existence of God, the immortality of the human soul, and the freedom of the human will. If we as Catholics don’t get these three right, we can’t get anything right.

Stumbling Block #1: The Existence of God

The world, by way of education, politics, and mass media, operates under the assumption that God does not exist. Evolutionary theory and scientism have so captivated the intellect and imagination of modern man that most believe the prevailing narrative — that all life is accidental. The most popular theories saturating the universities posit an explanation for the cosmos that does not require a prime mover.

There is an infinite difference between two souls who disagree on this issue. Those who truly believe in God are bound by this truth and the meaning of justice to recognize their duties to God and neighbors. The principle by which we are called to live is that true justice is the discovery of what we owe God and our neighbors. By contrast, those who deny the existence have no such duty and will tend to focus on their rights. Their notion of justice would revolve around what they believe others owe them. The former builds up societies and the latter tears them down.

Though the existence of God has been fairly obvious for most of the history of mankind, this age sees an increasing number of souls who commit to the notion that there is no creator and all life is on accident. The end of such desolate thinking must necessarily be solipsism, subjectivism and a disregard for the objective standards of truth, goodness and beauty that have been touchstones of all well-lived lives. However, in these dark times, atheism and agnosticism have become plausible alternatives for an unprecedented number of souls.

Stumbling Block #2: The Immortality of the Soul

We abhor death and desire to live forever. This desire requires us to posit that, just like all our appetites, there is something which satisfies it. When we are hungry, we eat; when thirsty, we drink; when tired, we sleep. Though eternity is a great mystery, we must be fitted in some way to encounter it.

The reductionism of this age is a movement away from revealed truth, away from philosophical truth and even away from authentic scientific truth. Many rely almost exclusively on subjective interpretation of data gleaned by the five senses. This subjectivism replaces the right use of the intellect and acknowledgement of reveal truth known in our hearts by the witness of spirit. We are so steeped in materialism that it is increasingly rare to meet people who acknowledge the immortality of the soul, because the soul is an immaterial thing. The fact is that we do have an immortal soul. Our soul is the animating principle of our being and the formal cause of our existence.

It is interesting to notice how one’s position on this point drives one’s actions. Catholics who are aware of the immortality of our souls devote their lives to the cultivation of Christian virtue, by cooperating with grace to grow in holiness, so that one day they may live eternally in Heaven. Those who deny the immortality of the soul live for the temporary pleasures of this life on earth. Their response to the desire for immortality is channeled into efforts to technologically and medically prolonging life. Many now believe that humans can live temporally indefinitely.

Those who deny the immortality the soul have no real reason to cultivate virtue, other than in a self-serving capacity. In such a case, the kinds of virtue cultivated by one who does not believe in the immortality of the soul is hollowed out. Misused virtue is emptied of its intrinsic and moral value, because the end is not service to God and neighbor but service to one’s self. The Catholic must strive to cultivate the intellectual and moral virtues in the service of God and neighbor, not for the self. To have a conversation with one who believes the opposite is very difficult.

Stumbling Block #3: Freedom Of The Will

The true nature of Love requires the freedom of the will. One cannot love another by coercion; God will not compel us to love or serve Him. It is self-evident that we have free will, that we can choose all of our moral actions. Sadly, there is an army of academics, psychologists, and many others who increasing ascribe human choice to material determinism.

This line of thought claims that we are literally forced by our genes or by our environment to act the way we do. While it is true to notice that sometimes we have predispositions and inclinations that attract us to a variety of things, and that our environment does influence us, there is a Grand Canyon of difference between being attracted to a behavior and acting on that attraction. There are countless counterexamples to the absurdity that we have no choice over the things we do. The inordinate number of conversions to the Catholic Faith is a good example. There is nothing genetic or environmental that urges us on to embrace the cross.

If we claim that people don’t have free will, then it follows that no one is responsible for the bad or good things they do. It is as obvious as the sun in the sky that there are heroes, villains and everything in between. We recognize these designations by the choices people make to either act with heroic virtue or selfish egoism. The Gospels assure us of our free will; we are urged to reject sin and make the most strenuous efforts to cultivate virtue. As Catholics, we know of our free will. A conversation with a soul who doesn’t believe in free will normally end in confusion and frustration.

Conclusion

The evangelical conversation between one who knows God and one who disbelieves is difficult at best. These three stumbling blocks must be dealt with if we are to evangelize as we are called. We are to love God and neighbor both privately and publically and return good for evil. If we try to use words, they will likely fall on deaf ears, and the conversation will hold the potential to draw violence. It is very difficult to have fruitful discourse with those who do not recognize God, our immortality or our free will.

The truth is, if a Catholic tries to evangelize one who holds these three erroneous assumptions, they just may agree with nearly every word the Catholic has to say; except they will attribute a nearly opposite meaning to the words. They may say they believe in a higher power and secretly believe that higher power is themselves. They will claim to want everlasting life just like everyone else; but they are speaking of material life, not spiritual life. They speak of freedom as freedom from morality and for vice, while we speak of freedom from vice for moral living.

The living truth is that there is the Almighty Creator and He is our God. He made us in His likeness and image (cf. Genesis 1:27), and we were made to end in Heaven with Him for all eternity (cf. Matthew 25:34-40, 46; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 22:3-5). He gave us the freedom of will to accept or reject him. The difference between people who believe in God and those who do not is infinite. There is no real reason to pursue justice, truth goodness and beauty if the God who is the embodiment of those things does not exist. The difference between those who know they have an immortal soul and those who do not believe they do is eternal heaven or hell. The difference between those who do not believe in the freedom of the will and Catholics who do is the difference between love and meaninglessness.

The communication gap between faithful Catholics and those who choose to deny God, the immortality of the soul and the freedom of the will is impossible to traverse. Evangelization is extremely difficult in these cases. So steeped in materialist reductionism is the world that even Catholics are challenged to struggle against these roadblocks. Those who reject eternally unchanging Catholic teaching do so at root because of at least one and possibly all three of these stumbling blocks.

We need to begin by affirming to ourselves That God the Father Almighty is the Creator of Heaven and earth, He imbued us with an immortal soul and gave us the unbearable complement of free will so that we may choose Him in love. Once we are firm in these truths, let us teach our families and neighbors the same. For the rest of the world, let them know us by our love for one another and let us let our actions, grounded in these truths, evangelize for us.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg is a Catholic convert, husband, father, Catholic writer and speaker on matters of Faith, culture, and education. He teaches, theology, philosophy and Church history at Holy Spirit Prep in Atlanta. Steven is a member of the Teacher Advisory Board and writer of curriculum at the Sophia Institute for Teachers, a contributor to the Integrated Catholic Life, Crisis Magazine, The Civilized Reader, The Standard Bearers, The Imaginative Conservative and Catholic Exchange.

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  • gvmcmahon

    This is a truly excellent article that cuts to the chase regarding first premises that lie at the heart of intellectual disagreements and the very ways we live our lives.

  • Toad

    Off topic, sorry – but what else can I do? Gene Van Son’s column “Misreading Pope Francis,” posted today, has been closed for comment – before it was even opened!
    What the heck’s up? Who’s bright idea was that?

  • Florian

    July 31st: Many, many people no longer believe in the sacredness of each and every human life – and from this stems all else…all other forms of disbelief.

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Here’s a thought for you,Florian…The Holy Scriptures nowhere implies that human life is sacred,certainly not in the sense that the word”sacred” is normally used…I await your reply.?.

    • Steven Jonathan

      Genesis 1:27

      “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

      Every human soul is immortal Laurence-

      If human life is not sacred, why was Cain cursed after killing his brother?

      If human life is not sacred, why is it forbidden to kill?

      Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.”

      There are countless references in the Bible to the sanctity of life and it is implied incessantly.

  • Toad

    “The evangelical conversation between one who knows God and one who disbelieves is difficult at best. “
    I suggest, Steven, that you might consider whether you really “know” God at all – or whether all that you actually do “know,” is that you are certain that you know that there is a God. (And that He is nice.)
    I think people who “know” there isn’t a God are just as foolish as those who “know” there is one. It is utterly unknowable. either way.
    And, yes, we have Free Will to believe six impossible things before breakfast each day – if we like. And equally to disbelieve them.
    And I assume you believe in Natural Selection, as God’s chosen method of populating the planet?

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      “It’s utterly unknowable”according to who,Toad? YOU? For you to claim that level of knowledge would require YOU to be God, since only He would be able to settle the issue either way,so…Here’s a challenge for you to entertain,Toad: Explain the origin of the Christian Faith WITHOUT the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. The Christian Church cannot explain the reason for its existence without this Event; indeed it doesn’t even attempt to. Can you? Since no one has convincingly explained away the reality of Jesus”

    • Steven Jonathan

      Toad, I understand your confusion- for one who knows God and is trying to explain Him to one who doesn’t is analogous to humans in the world trying to explain the world to an infant in the womb- no matter what we would tell that infant in the womb, they could not possible get it or know what we are talking about. Believing in God is not believing in an impossible thing. Your certain claim to know that a thing is utterly unknowable is comical, but I assure you, the only one here who thinks you are the arbiter of truth is you. You are not God, God is God, I know Him and so can you, but as you have free will you are free to reject Him, but in doing so you enslave yourself to your own bad ideas.

    • Toad

      “Your certain claim to know that a thing is utterly unknowable is comical,”
      That strikes me as arrogance, Steven. The same arrogance that tells people that they alone “know” God, and are thus free to kill those who son’t – like Isis. But you will tell me they don’t “know” God – only Catholics do. Well that will have to do, won’t it? Impasse.
      Nor are all things unknowable. People agree on a lot of facts. Many people “know” religion is bunk. I don’t personally – but I’ve met many who do, As Voltaire said, “Uncertainty is uncomfortable, but certainty is absurd.” I don’t know that – but I do believe it.

    • Steven Jonathan

      So you and Voltaire are certain that certainty is absurd. That is absurd. And of course what I relayed to you sounds arrogant, but your misreading of my words is nearly as bad as your misread of the Bible- you simply don’t know what I said to you. There is no mention if “I alone know God” or “they alone know God” and there is no “killing those who don’t know God” with God, that is absurd too.

      Oddly ironic is your misguided notion that a standard for “knowable” is consensus on facts, but this too is absurd, we know that the truth is not when people agree on facts but when the mind conforms to reality, this is not arrogant, this is humble because we Catholics know that man is not the measure of all things- those who think man is the measure of all things is arrogant. So if you were consistent with your erroneous position you would consider the army of saints past and present who all know God to be evidence enough for the existence of God, but on this point we agree, that is not sufficient.

      Toad, we were at an impasse before we started because we don’t share first principles, intellect or will. This will not change through the combox.

    • Toad

      OK, Steven, we will leave it at that. Foolish going on as above. But, finally, do you agree that Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection as the origin of species is essentially correct? I’m just mildly curious.

    • Steven Jonathan

      We are not at a point in our relationship Toad where I can answer that question for you and have you actually understand it. By your standards of skepticism and materialism my answer would be unintelligible to you because to understand it would require a grounding in a firm and intelligible grasp of the perennial philosophy which includes ontology, epistemology, logic and a proper understanding of the three orders of reality, intellect and language. We have no such common ground. Let’s do this again on my next article.

    • Toad

      In other words, I’m just too stupid. Very likely.

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Hey,Toad…you never explained how YOU can explain the Origin of the Christian Church WITHOUT The Resurrection.Still waiting for that…?.

    • Toad

      Then you must wait until Heaven freezes over, Ringo. It’s not my function to explain anything about the oddness of religions – any of the thousands of them. I just raise points, and ask silly questions.

      For no particular reason regarding the above, a saying of Montaigne’s comes to mind: “Man cannot make a worm, yet he manufactures gods by the dozen.”

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Hahaha…you’re funny,Toad…the question is essentially unanswerable; as for your crack about…”thousands of religions”…not being a Comparative Religions scholar,I’m afraid I have little to say inre that issue; I have done some examination of a number of religions such as Islam,Buddhism,Hinduism,various cults such as the Jehovah’s Wittnesses,Mormonism, Scientology,et.al.,and to utter a famous qoute,from my perspective, they have been…”weighed in the balance,and found wanting”…My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is WITHOUT PEER,PERIOD! So…again, I already knew that you couldn’t answer the question of how the Christian Church’s Origins can be explained WITHOUT the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ; simply put, it cannot. I wouldn’t presume to hazard a guess concerning how various man-centered religions came to be; truth be told, I find their claims tedious and hard to slog through. But that Jesus…Well!!?—I Loove that narrative ALL.DAY.LONG. GOD BLESS YOU,TOAD!! Keep your “silly questions” coming! You keep me sharp, and believe or not, you make me think.

    • Toad

      ..My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is WITHOUT PEER,PERIOD!
      Well, I’m delighted to hear it for both your sakes, Ringo. Which Lord Jesus would that be? The Methodist one, or the Muggletonian one, or the Baptist one – or what? There are, so I’m told, over 2,000 varieties of Christianity in the US. alone. Spoiled for choice, really, aren’t we? Still, the more the merrier is my motto. And Voltaire agreed. He preferred England to France, because of the variety of beliefs available. He said, “In England, there are 43 religions, and only one type of sauce. In France, there are 43 types of sauce and only one religion.”
      By the way_
      “Since no one to date has convincingly explained away the reality of Jesus’ existence, then believing that Almighty God exists should be a logical step.”
      No it shouldn’t. You might as well say that explaining away the existence of Mohammed logically leads to believing in Almighty God. No doubt Muslims do just that. And they are probably just as wrong.

    • Steven Jonathan

      Of course you are not too stupid, in fact your bigger problem may be that you are too smart.

    • Toad

      Too clever by half, eh, Steven? Always a crushing rejoinder.
      Well, I’ll go half way with you on that.

    • Steven Jonathan

      intelligent but unformed Toad- I don’t mean to play word games with you. To be intelligent but un-tethered from an understanding of the order of reality, intellect and language is to see, think and speak in confused terms, less than meaningful propositions, and invalid conclusions, but this is what you insist upon. I don’t begrudge you this as we all have free will to choose, and besides, you are much kinder than most saddled with these intellectual deformations of this age.

      I am not calling you a half-wit Toad and you may call me one and get no argument from me, but I am not confused as you are.

    • Toad

      “Unformed,” then, Steven? No hope then, of ever growing up to be as clever as you, at my age of 75.
      But then, there’s no age limit on being “formed,” I imagine.
      I don’t call people names like half-wit, either. We have that in common, at least.
      Are you sure you aren’t using all those 5-dollar words about me in order to demonstrate your glittering intellect to your fellow “Catholic Standers”?
      That would probably be some kind of sin.

    • Steven Jonathan

      Toad, again you have it all wrong. Yes, clearly an unformed intellect, not unused, for surely you have done your share of thinking, but you have chosen to align yourself with the sophists instead of wise men, either by strenuous effort or more likely by default- you project Kant, Hume, Hobbs, Descartes, Bacon, Mill, Freud, Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche et al. Your stated positions clearly evidence a material reductionist. Formation intimates that the objective end of study is wisdom. Your positions are not the integrated truth but faddish ideology and that takes more effort than seeking and acquiring wisdom, because wisdom is simple and what you have done is complicated. Your problem is not that you need to grow up but that you are too grown up- you are much more clever than I would ever aspire to be. 75 is a tough age to be weighed down by so many false precepts, but you carry your burden with a certain facility. However, should you ever truly desire to be formed, know that it will require of you, not to grow up, but to be childlike, not childish, childlike. You are far too sophisticated to seek formation at the moment.

      Formation is possible, always possible for men of good will. It is a principle of philosophy that nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses, but I am afraid this may be where you stopped. Your mind is populated with revolting and anarchical citizens and these revolutionaries inform your will, you can do no better than to debunk truth on your own terms and you can’t have a good will until you provide direction from a sound intellect. Your problem is complicated but easily explains your Biblical illiteracy and why you don’t understand what I write to you.

      To your last point, I am not sure any of the words I use are five dollar words and no-one I have ever known would characterize my intellect as “glittering,” especially those closest to me. It seems very likely I have not impressed many Catholic Standers anyway if you look at how many people like this and my other essays- It should be fairly obvious that I really don’t care what people think about what I write because I only care about what God thinks of it. If I wanted popularity, I would never write the things I say, including the things I write to you. I do find you charming Toad, but intellectually, utterly lost and ironically confident, not uncommon at all, especially amongst the “literati.” If there were anything I could do for you that would be of any authentic service, I would do it. I am afraid that I am incapable. I do wish you well! Go in peace!

    • Toad

      “…you project Kant, Hume, Hobbs, Descartes, Bacon, Mill, Freud, Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche et al.”
      Yes, and Sartre, Voltaire, Camus, Russell, Unamuno, Dawkins, Wittgenstein, and Montaigne, just for starters. And a great many more, including several Catholics, like Chesterton, Pascal, Greene, and Waugh. A nd we’ll even chuck in poor old “Protestant Jack,” – C.S. Lewis, because all Catholics love the old heretic.
      Anyone with any idea is OK with me, as I am in a position to take it or leave it, which you are not. Dogma! Anyway, Steven, I must say that in all my days, which as we agree, are numerous – (I am nothing nowadays but a slippered pantaloon, older than the rocks amongst which I sit – and have died many more times than the Vampire) I have never come across such a pompous, pontificating, platitudinous, patronising, pile of self-inflated, self-opinionated, consignment of twaddle as you have spouted to me on here.
      However, luckily, it is great fun, and I hope everyone else on “The Stand” (wonderful name!) is amused by it as I am.
      You and I are going to have some big fun, I suspect.

    • Steven Jonathan

      ” I have never come across such a pompous, pontificating, platitudinous, patronising, pile of self-inflated, self-opinionated, consignment of twaddle as you have spouted to me on here.”

      Priceless!

      It has already been “big fun” and I am all in for more any time you feel up to it. Best wishes Toad!

    • Toad

      On the other hand, maybe we should both just get on with our separate lives, in peace.
      And I should leave you and your colleagues in here merrily and meaninglessly, mentally, mutually masturbating one another – for God’s sake.
      (Bit too much alliteration.)

      As Pope (Catholic!) says:
      “Know then thyself,
      presume not God to scan
      The proper study of Mankind
      is Man.”

      But, if we all took that line, how would that leave the dear old “Stand”?
      All bent and empty – is how.

    • Steven Jonathan

      As you wish dear Toad! This last post of yours is a perfect punctuation mark. I could not have exposed you with a fraction of the clarity you give us here. Thank you for all your comments and I honestly do wish you well as troll for other believers to try to deconstruct. I am sure you know you are always welcome at the Catholic Stand, but a prudent man knows when to walk away. May the wind be at your back!

      P.S. bent and empty indeed, the Catholic Church is a hospital for wounded and wrecked sinners, for this reason I count myself one of Her’s.

    • Toad

      So now I’m a troll, am I? Always the get-out-of-jail-free card.

    • Steven Jonathan

      No Toad, I used the verb troll, it is a fishing term and seems to fit the circumstances of our conversations, you kind go around the Catholic Stand articles and I don’t know where else to find interlocutors with whom you disagree and you ask questions. I quite like it and as I have said before, you seem quite charming. However, interesting misread. Trolls are in general very unpleasant and although you might agree with most of the trolls I see, you seem to be a pleasant, though untethered chap. No it is not a get out of jail card at all, I am still willing to talk about things with you even if we don’t speak the same language. Please know that it was not my intent to upset you or to insult you even though I find your positions ideological and not conforming to reality. I know many of your rebellious brethren have a strange double standard where they cause much offense and take much offense at little. I didn’t take you to be this type- so no Toad, I am not calling you a troll even if you are, but it does seem you have been on quite a fishing expedition for a long time and have yet to get a bite. Good luck brother whether or not you are fishing, trolling, seeking etc…

    • Toad

      You will find it very hard to offend me, Steven. Why don’t you do a bit on Original Sin? Always a favourite.
      I have a few notions on that, as well.

    • Steven Jonathan

      As to yesterday’s comment, I had forgotten that one of your own referred to you as “trolling” me and though I am not sure exactly what that means she said it Fyva Prold wrote speaking about me and you:
      “Comments at the link have a commenter named (Toad) masterfully trolling the author Steven Jonathan. Behold that thing of beauty.” So Fyva likes your “trolling” and even finds it masterful, how funny is that?

      And on original sin, I have written on it before, I would love to hear your thoughts on it disordered though they surely are. Read it if you want and comment.

      http://www.strangenotions.com/did-the-fall-of-man-really-occur/

    • Toad

      Goodness -. a fan. “Fyva Prold” sounds like an anagram. I never know what trolling is. So, maybe I am a troll. Id so, I don’t care.
      “Original Sin,” exists, after a fashion. But it should be called “Original Insanity,” as it was caused by our brains evolving more quickly than our skulls – and the resulting “compression” has made the human race quite hopelessly mad. Hence the lamentable condition of the world as we find it. Now I will read you offering on it.

    • Steven Jonathan

      What an amazingly imaginative theory. I hope you know what thinkers it is all grounded in. One thing we agree on is that the human race is mad, but we differ because it is not hopelessly so, just perennially so. Sanity is the rarest of gifts and only found among the saints who choose to cooperate with grace so that their fallen nature can begin to become perfected.

      Ya that is funny stuff on the troll thing, I will have to look into what it really means too.

    • Toad

      Not my theory. I got the basic idea from Koestler, who got it from someone else whom I can’t remember. No idea if it’s true or not, of course. Impossible to “prove.” But it makes sense. (To me.)

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    The fact of the matter is that Catholics are simply no good at evangelizing because they preach Roman Catholicism instead of the Gospel.I’ve been in conversations with Catholics who couldn’t explain why Jesus the Christ came if their lives depended upon it. And forget about actually using the Scriptures to proclaim the Gospel; I’m 61 years old,and I have NEVER heard a Catholic preach or proclaim the Good News from the Bible! Why is that,Catholics???

    • Toad

      Why is that? Possibly because the God of The bible comes across as a homicidal, sex mad, old thug. Viz:

      Deuteronomy 21:10-13 King James Version (KJV)
      10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,
      11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;
      12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;
      13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.
      King James Version (KJV)

      As we all know, the Good Book is actually snuff porn. Hope this helps.

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Actually it doesn’t Toad,since you’re on the wrong side of the Cross; plus,with all due respect, I’ve never known pejorative language to be particularly helpful. When one has problems with the Scriptures,it’s usually better to remain silent unless one has a pragmatic solution to their problem inre said texts.Your comments weren’t even apropos to the issues addressed,so…what exactly was your point?

    • Toad

      “When one has problems with the Scriptures,”
      Problems? What problems? They are a chronicle of debauchery and slaughter. That’s it.

      “When one has problems with the Scriptures,it’s usually better to remain silent unless one has a pragmatic solution to their problem inre said texts.”
      Rubbish. If I did have a problem, (that is to say an objection) I’d state it right out and I wouldn’t care about providing pragmatic solutions. I’d leave them to Ringo.
      “I’ve never known pejorative language to be particularly helpful.”
      True. But then, it’s not supposed to be.

    • Steven Jonathan

      Toad, you possess an embarrassing Biblical illiteracy. “snuff porn” you outdo yourself your eminence.

    • Toad

      Did I misquote it, Steven? I put it in because I couldn’t find the bit about slaughtering the Midianites. Found it now.

      “And Moses said to them, “Have you spared all the women? …(bit left out for space)..Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves.”
      That seems porno to me. But you are probably more broad-minded than myself.

      “Eminence”? I’m not a Prince of the Church, Steven. I just look like one. Nor do I live in a palace, waited on slavishly by nuns. But I know a man who does.

    • Steven Jonathan

      So Laurence, since you haven’t ever heard a Catholic preach “Christ Crucified” as St. Paul suggests you determine that Catholics don’t evangelize? I know many Catholics who do and of course many of us who are clueless, but that is a good part of the world today. In fact Laurence, it is the Bible that comes from the Good News which comes from Christ, not the Good News that comes from the Bible- you have it inverted.

  • BXVI

    I think the biggest stumbling block to evangelizing the world is a crisis of belief and confidence within the Catholic Church. First, the vast majority of baptized Catholics flatly disbelieve that what the Church teaches. Second, most Catholics (and particularly, most bishops and priests) have lost confidence in the power of the Gospel message (it must be accommodated to the age) and necessity of the Church for salvation (most people can be saved without the Church). Until we get these things fixed, we can’t even begin to evangelize the world.

    • james

      Well said, BXVI.

    • Toad

      “First, the vast majority of baptized Catholics flatly disbelieve that what the Church teaches is true. “
      No point in asking why, I suppose. Anyway, yes, that will take a fair bit of fixing.