How to Offend Like Jesus

How to Offend Like Jesus

What happens when proclaiming the gospel is considered offensive? How do Catholics evangelize in a PC culture?

Catholicism has always had teachings that are offensive to some ears. St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that “we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles” (1 Cor. 1:23). In any society, parts of the gospel message do not march in lockstep with the spirit of the age.

What are some of those teachings that are particularly offensive today? Consider these scenarios:

  • Telling a Jewish friend that Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation for all people.
  • Explaining to a campus director of “Diversity Affairs” that the Catholic Church is unique and divinely founded.
  • Noting to a Catholic high school religion class that Islam is a false revelation.
  • Talking to your extended family about marriage as a monogamous, lifelong relationship between one man and one woman.
  • Discussing with your coworker that homosexual acts are sinful as well as destructive to the human person.
  • Telling your adoption social worker that you believe a person is born either male or female and he or she cannot change that reality.

None of these statements should be controversial or even debatable to those who know and embrace Catholic teaching, but of course each of them is politically incorrect and almost universally shouted down today. Boldly proclaiming any of these truths could get you fired from your job, shunned in your community, and ostracized online and in real life. Yet each truth is important to proclaim, and denying any of these truths keeps people from embracing the fullness of the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

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Check out my latest book, The Old Evangelization: How to Spread the Faith Like Jesus Did, from Catholic Answers Press.