The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Let there be light!

“We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.”

Madeleine L’Engle, cited by the great Heather King here.
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posted October 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

“We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are….”
Maybe Ms. L’Engle doesn’t, but it’s what I get from 90%+ of Christians these days. It does more to turn people off to the faith than anything Christopher Hitchens ever said or wrote.
[Ken…that may be what a lot of Christians do, sadly but I’m skeptical that the end result actually draws people to Christ. The quote is a reminder to us all that this isn’t the way to evangelize. Dcn. G.]

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posted October 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

It is ironic that both her textbooks on psychology as well as her “Wind in the Door” series are among the books most frequently attacked by exactly those Christians she is referring to in her statement.
She’s quite right – these last few Sundays in Europe have given me a chance to remember the wonderful community which Christian churches can offer. What a contrast to the situation in the South.

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posted October 15, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I didn’t comment on this quote earlier because it bothered me. After more thought, for whatever my opinon is worth, I think it’s a badly worded quote.
I’m well aware that the best witness to the gospel is living it, but I’m also aware that not only are we called to admonish the sinner, it’s a spiritual work/ act of mercy to do so.
Being Catholic, it never has to be “How right WE are”, as all one has to do is, as kindly as possible of course, is point out the Church’s teaching, and if possible, explain why the teaching matters.
Of course, for the “light to shine”, that will happen the more we Catholics live out, in obedience to her teachings, our Catholic Faith.

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posted October 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Ah, if only more Christians took this approach…
Also, it doesn’t matter how much you point to the church’s teaching when trying to evangelize someone, it probably won’t work. Gotta find another way in.

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