Obstacles to Christian Witness


Below are some obstacles to Christian witness and conversion to the faith.  They are listed in two categories:  personal: emotional/intellectual and public/institutional.


Personal Factors

Hardship and suffering in life including illness; loss of friends and loved ones, especially to death; disappointment in life goals; betrayal; anxiety from fear of imminent danger to one’s well-being; divorce;  physical trauma, depression and a sense of hopelessness, loneliness and abandonment, etc.

Intellectual challenges to faith in society, in school, at work, among associates

Commitment to immorality and evil






Failure of the Church, local congregation to national church

Societal secularism/nihilism found in government, business, media, schools, sports

Advertising and other such propaganda

Political parties


(The most fundamental obstacle to witness is the fallen sinful nature of human beings.  This universal reality lies behind every other cause).

These factors are often closely intertwined.  They must be kept in mind as we engage in conversation with non-Christians and atheists.  You will hear in these interactions reference to any number of  factors.  Intellectual objections are usually mixed with others. As you can see from the list, the task of the witness is formidable; but, nonetheless, can be fruitful.  Despite the frustrations in our encounters, we are to present ourselves with gentleness and respect to the other  person.

Michael Tavella

October 3, 2023




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