Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Protestant Pastors Self Deception

So, the a-C has a weekly 9-hole evening golf outing on a weeknight during the summer. He covertly pairs me with a man who I will refer to as "Pastor Smith". I thought "this ought to be interesting...."

After some small talk through the first hole, I find out this man was a practicing Attorney for 20 some years and now moonlights as an Assistant Pastor at an Evangelical Bible Church. Once I let that sink in, I knew what territory to cover in discussing theology with him.

I asked him what denomination he was a part of and got no answer...no eye contact. He seemed a bit agitated so I volunteered I was Catholic. Here's how it went from there:

PS - That's nice....
CJ - So whats your view of Catholicism Pastor?
PS - Are you a practicing Catholic?
CJ - Fully...and so is my entire family.
PS - Its fundamentally flawed.
CJ - Hows that?
PS - Well, there is so much reliance on extra-biblical material...
CJ - Like what?
PS - Mary.
CJ - Mary is extra- biblical?
PS - I mean the rituals performed and worship of things that are stated in the bible emphatically NOT to be worshipped.
CJ - Counselor...have you ever been to a Catholic Mass?
PS - Uh, yea long time ago
CJ - Probably celebrated in Latin...eh? Counselor, have you any witness evidence or testimony from Catholics that we worship things that are extra-biblical?
PS - Its rather obvious isn't it?
CJ - That would be no...in fact every Mass I attended in the last few years of recent memory, Mary's name is stated liturgically only once...in the Creed compared to Jesus who is named or referred to over 30 times.
PS - You cant tell me Catholics don't worship Mary...
CJ - I certainly can...unless Counselor you are clairvoyant of other Christians motives of prayer.
PS - Praying is Worship.
CJ - If that's true...that would limit our ability to be justified, Counselor, if all we could convey to our Savior is worship. So your evidence to support Catholics worship of Mary is visual. Have you heard the words of a Catholic in prayer stating "we worship you Mary"?
PS - Its implied.
CJ - You have a weak case here Counselor.

I stopped pushing hard at that point and allowed the golf to dominate our conversation. He did not return to any religious talk from that point on. I imagine my taking the courtroom approach for case building lead to a more adversarial and less ecumenical mood. My motive for that was driven by knowing this Pastors Church hands out Anti-Catholic attack literature by James McCarthy. Hope he has more to think about at a minimum.

2 comments:

~Joseph the Worker said...

Nicely handled :) I love hearing about conversations like this. I hope he thinks and prays about what you said.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Nice. It's difficult to convince evangelicals that we don't worship Mary. I remember being in their boat before I converted and even while I was converting.

I'm not sure what you could have said to convince me. I think I just needed a good slap in the face.