Years ago, my husband and I met three very sweet ladies at the church we attended. We lovingly called them “the Catholic ladies” because, like us, they had come out of Roman Catholicism. We could all relate to one another.
These three middle aged ladies had a lot of zeal, and a strong desire to evangelize. They told us about their attempts to preach in the park near their home. I think they were the only ones who were born again in their families. All three were married, and all three had unsaved husbands who they witnessed to and prayed for. We knew all too well what it was like to have unsaved family members still in the Catholic Church. When my husband and I were born again we knew, by God’s word and by the Holy Spirit that indwelt us, that we had to witness to the Roman Catholics within our sphere of influence. We wanted to share the truth of the Gospel with our unsaved loved ones, and others, because we cared for them.
Can you imagine how surprised we were when one Sunday morning the most enthusiastic one of these three ladies came up to us and asked if we thought the Roman Catholics were fine just the way they were. She said she had just talked with our Senior Pastor and he said Roman Catholics were saved. In other words, there was no need to evangelize the Roman Catholic. I had just finished teaching Sunday School that particular morning, and was about to leave the building when she stopped me with this strange inquiry. I was about to answer her when another Pastor, the Pastor I worked for, walked by. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want him to hear what I was about to say. After he passed by, I told her what I really thought.
Now here are two sobering observations. How was she so easily influenced by a Pastor when she surely knew better, and why didn’t I want the Pastor to hear what I was going to tell my friend? I surely knew better, and if either of the two Pastors didn’t think Roman Catholics should be evangelized they definitely needed to be told otherwise.
This little episode is just one small example of how easy it is to be led astray. I don’t think my friend ever embraced the lie, but I do know that her friend, who was one of the evangelistic “three” did.
There is serious danger in esteeming a Pastor’s word above the Word of God.
There is serious danger in suppressing truth in order not to disagree with the Pastor.
We both knew better.
Years later, after I left the church, I wrote a letter to the Pastor I had worked for. I asked him if he would publicly address the issue of Roman Catholicism. I said that I was asking him to do so because his pastoral position, in a worldwide ministry, gave him the potential to reach many with the truth. I wrote to no avail.