Thank you for relating your inspiring account. "This wasn't my first go around".
Did you always get the method right, and/or were you always skilled in debates.? I personally have never seen in human endeavors where perfection was had immediately. This I think presumes patience and tolerance. We need to back our Catholics in this time. 'You can't defend or share your faith if you are ignorant of it'.
At that precise moment? I sometimes forget where I saw something and need to research. In this case I usually state that I will get back to him/her. I have a vast source of references , and some I have read many times, and even then I forget where, but thank God I never forget that I have.
The Deposit of Faith is immense, so I prefer to know before hand of a debate so that I can come prepared. ... and of course we need to take the advice of scripture and seek clergy for enlightenment. "Catholic ecumenism means having true charity for those souls who do not fully know Christ or His church. It does not mean beating up protestants with scripture of doctrine unless there is a realization to do this with humility under the prompting of the Holy spirit."
Ref Mat 23:33 for example:
Perhaps I should extend my clarification. In Christ's teaching we note that his methods vary. At times we might find ourselves in the peaceful settings such as beside a well where Christ asks for water, or in an intimate conversation with Nicodemus, and so it goes. But we can make assumptions about our Lord's methods, the Person who is the Evangelist of evangelists, and in every method he chooses, it is the absolute perfect approach and response for the situation that presents itself. We also learn what is held in reserve and what isn't.
In this scripture example the Pharisees deserves a metaphor. It is meant has a charity to jar them to reason. Even these strong words are for the purpose of saving someone. This is still a charity and not forced. (Catholic moderators fall into this trap).
A little logic can be included. So we can deduce from this lesson that in the 2000 years of evangelization where a similar situation presented itself, all pertinent facts remaining equal, that the correct situation calls for the exact
same response. Either that, or we need to persuade ourselves that no such incidences of the degree presented in scripture ever occured. We can also assume that the Church would not critique the evangelist for using metaphors,even ones that are 'colorful'.
I went on to state in so many words, that many today, who would not consider the extreme, use milder methods, yet are critiqued for their use. They are rejected from forums for being too harsh, even when they alter the response to the third person. They are banned for using tact by using the third person, even when they had the option for stronger words. If he says "a person puts himself into position for judgement for capital punishment if he commits habitual mortal sin", then a retort from a protestant of "fire and brimstone" follows with a request to ban him. Here the potential convert has just directed Catholic policy and it obliges.
But I suspect a sinister social phenomena that may be a culprit in reconciling this problem. I think Mimetic Desire(Rene Girard) puts a wedge in the proper judicial handling of it's teachers in these cases by the Church. It's a desire for amiability over conversion. 'don't lose them at all costs', which helps no one..
Thanks for your thoughts.