My hope is that my neighbor Anna and her husband will finally make their break from the Catholic church. As I stated in a recent article, she was distraught at the revelation of pedophiles having infested the Catholic church. They attend a huge one in our community.
In talking to her husband today, I found out they have been having emergency meetings at their huge, luxurious church. The priest “Father John” is supposedly distraught at the scandalous confusion brought on by the “news” that pedophiles were discovered masquerading as priests. Father John is pleading with his flock not to leave the church where some are talking about deposing the hierarchy all the way to the top, including the pope.
Yet this has been going on for years and years – if not – right from the beginning. Indeed, some perverts are evil and clever, being able to deceive the innocent and naive. On top of that, they network among themselves to pass along information on where and how to proceed.
Well-intentioned Catholics should have known that this was going on in their church since the bad news of pedophilia within it has always been revealed on most news networks over the years; but now the cat has been let out of the bag. One of the problems is that most Catholics are prone to want their cake and eat it too. There is no actual repentance. This is adhered to out of ignorance and for lack of knowing scripture. This is to say that all they think they have to do to please God is to say a few Hail Mary’s and the rosary to get forgiveness of sins.
The Bible says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”
In talking to Anna’s husband, I am inclined to believe that they are sincere in their desire to be pleasing to God. Therefore, I feel it my responsibility to steer them in the right direction through scripture which I share with them. I might even propose a Bible study in my home. They, like many other Catholics, are unsure of their salvation and rely on manmade doctrine and little catechism books which are nothing more than other manmade doctrine and fallacy.
I was born into a Catholic home. My parents never went to church, and I never heard them pray – nor even give thanks – not even at meal time. On the other hand, my grandmother always prayed for all of us, usually at her little altar in a corner of her house, usually in the evening with a candle in a little red glass in front of it. “Mother Mary” took center stage. She would say the Lord’s Prayer after which the words “Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb-Jesus.” “Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death – amen” would proceed. Grandma was a good woman who never grew in the knowledge of Christ.
As Bible-believing Christians, we are obliged to share the good news of the Gospel with disenfranchised Catholics and all others from all walks of life. We are to be “fishers of men” as Christ Jesus commanded.
If ever there was a time to take a stand for sound biblical doctrine, it is now. Let’s quit trying to please men by being politically correct or cowering in fear of them. As the Bible says, “Fear of man is a dangerous trap.” We must love them, and, believe it or not, “Perfect love casts out fear” in doing so.
Don’t wait to become perfect to reach out to others. It’s not going to happen – not in this life. Instead, learn what the scripture says and teaches. This can’t be done through osmosis; you must, “Study to show yourself approved, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of God.” Nonetheless, we should also put on the whole armor of God which is “the helmet of Salvation, the breastplate of truth, the shield of faith, the sword of the spirit, and our feet shod with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
You don’t have to be a preacher; you just have to have a healthy concern for others.
(As most of you already know, I am very evangelical and feel called in being so. In the past forty years, I’ve held Bible studies in my work places, among my peers in the movie industry, on the streets among strangers, in a Dunkin Donuts coffee shop for years (another mission station), and have even held a Bible study in a public park in North Miami.)
I gave thought to being a preacher two times in my life, but I’m so glad I didn’t follow through (since God didn’t open those doors for me). My ministry has, for the most part, been one-on-one and face-to-face with anyone who will listen. Preaching to a captive audience is not for me; it’s too demanding, and we all know how fickle people can be.
I could tell you story after story about the many conversions that I’ve participated in. During those years, I also experienced many supernatural miracles – which continue to this very day, and I feel privileged to be a “fisher of men” for the cause of Christ.
After being closed for over a year for repairs due to hurricane Irma, my “mission station” the Naples fishing pier has re-opened.
I met Al on the pier as he sat on a bench, taking a break since the fish weren’t biting. He was an older man who at one time was a policeman and detective in the LAPD in Los Angeles. He was talkative, and I enjoyed hearing his stories. Having been married four times, he had finally found his match. He was a recovered alcoholic, happy now and enjoying his life by spending a lot of time on the pier.
Naturally, when it came my turn to speak, I gravitated to deeper subjects – but not as a preacher or philosopher. We instead talked about the state of the nation, the president, and crooked politicians. He, however, picked up on my spiritual vibes like a true detective and began touching lightly on spiritual matters, matter-of-factly. We agreed on many things; and I found the conversation stimulating, as I’m sure he did. Then I gave him my testimony; and since he knew nothing of such things, he leaned in to catch each and every word.