See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
"Catholics aren't Christians!"
My breath exits with a whoosh. I'm floored!
Where does this sixth grade girl get her ideas?
Regaining my composure as best I can, I ask, "What do you mean by that, Lindy?"
"Oh, you know," she declares, as if I do. "They baptize babies. Everyone knows that's wrong. You get baptized after you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior."
I know I shouldn't push the envelope, but curiosity gets the better of me.
"Is that all? Is that the only reason you think Catholics aren't Christians?"
"Oh, no, ma'am," Lindy continues confidently, "they have wine at communion. Everyone knows Christians don't drink. And, they confess to a priest of all things, not to Jesus directly."
The word priest escapes her lips in a venomous hiss.
"Who is telling you these things?" I say, even though I'm sure I'm breaching some kind of boundary here.
"Lindy's chest puffs with pride as she announces, "My pastor! My mom says he knows everything about being a Christian."
But, nothing about history . . .
"I see . . . so, if Catholics aren't Christians, does that mean they won't go to Heaven when they die?"
Her eyes flash as though inflamed by the very place she now envisions.
"They burn in hell!"
Really? Now, this should come as a shock to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics . . .
Lindy's pastor shepherds a mega-church. How many others, besides her family, have been led astray?
Abandoned to the wolves of fear and prejudice and ignorance?
What of the myriad other pastors pontificating from the pulpit?
The televangelists who preach a gospel of health and wealth? Assured prosperity?
But, only for those sheep who open their wallets.
Where are the good shepherds . . . ?
The ones who point directly to Christ. His love. His teaching. His salvation.
Not pointing their fingers at others.
I pray the church you attend is led by one led by Christ . . .
What can you do in your daily life to point others to Jesus?
Will you pray with me?
We know, Father, that none of us is perfect. Like sheep, we have all gone astray. We need the Good Shepherd, Lord Jesus, to lead us on the right paths for His sake and for ours. May those who pastor us from the pulpit point only to Christ. Amen.
Psalms 138, 139:1-17 (18-23) or 147
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