This post from Darwin Catholic reminded me I’ve been meaning to talk about proselytizing versus evangelizing. Here’s my story, abridged and paraphrased:
Way back many years ago, I had a friend who went to an evangelical seminary. One day in conversation she shared her plans: Going to play tennis.
“I didn’t know you liked tennis,” I said, making chit chat.
“I don’t. For my class on evangelization, we have a required project. We have to befriend someone in order to to try to evangelize them. So I have to go play tennis, because that is what my new friend likes to do.”
I was a newish Christian at the time, I think, or maybe an almost-revert. Can’t remember exactly. But this thing . . . this faking liking a sport, faking liking somebody . . . it turned my stomach. Really? That’s evangelization?
Nah. That’s proselytizing.
Do I want my friends to be Catholic? Of course I do. I think Catholicism is true, and I think my friends will be happier — in this life and the next — if they ardently follow the Catholic faith. I think that being Catholic is the best thing for anyone, and I want the best things for my friends. (And for everyone else, too.)
But I don’t do fake-friend.
Just no. No. Nope nope nope.