Below are some obstacles to Christian witness and conversion to the faith. They are listed in two categories: personal: emotional/intellectual and public/institutional.
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
(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.
October 3, 2023