Sunday, April 10, 2005

Up with God. Down with Religion.

I had a tough weekend. I attended a Men's Ministry Convention - 6 PM Friday until 3 PM Saturday. We had a very good and funny guest speaker Greg Hubbard, evangelist. I guess that there were around 200 attendees representing 10 to 20 churches. The men could be divided into two groups; those who are sure about their relationship with God and those who are not sure enough about their relationship with God. I'll called them The Saved and The Wannabees. I'm a Wannabee. Technically the Wannabees are Saved but they don't feel as comfortable about it as The Saved do. The Wannabees don't have enough Faith and as a Wannabee I can only tell you that The Saved look and act like they have more than enough Faith. Matter of fact, The Saved also look like they get personal messages from God. It's that impression that keeps me from being one of The Saved. Every time I pray to God, I ask Him to "touch" me. I'm pretty sure I don't want to actually hear Him at this point. The "touch" is all I need. It is, in fact, all I want.

I think I can tell you who is a Wannabee and who is Saved by the end of the first Worship song. The first Altar Call really separates one from the other. The Saved move confidently to the altar for some one-on-one with God. Some Wannabees will move hesitantly to the altar praying for the touch. Many of the Wannabees don't answer the Altar Call.

On Saturday I attended one of three breakout sessions at the convention. Each was lead by a different senior pastor. I attended a session on the "do's and don'ts" of witnessing (evangelism). The young pastor (30+) gave many examples of what to do and what not to do when witnessing. Two of his examples shocked me and increased my doubts that I'm attending the right church.

The pastor gave us the following warning:
  • Don't tell a Catholic that he is going to Hell.
  • Don't tell a Catholic that the Pope is the Antichrist.

This evening I wrote the following e-mail to the pastor.

Pastor Mark,

I attended your second breakout session at the Men’s convention this weekend.

You related several Do’s and Don’ts of witnessing. Two don’ts were:
· Don’t tell a Catholic that he is going to hell
· Don’t tell a Catholic that the Pope is the Anti-Christ

I haven’t stopped thinking about your statements. Since, generally, your “Don’ts” were examples of poor negotiation rather than untruths; I’d like to know whether you think either of these statements is true without exception. If not, how could you consider them appropriate? Your second statement lacks as much fact as Nostradamus’ predictions.

I was never a Catholic. I’m reacting as a Christian, albeit a very new one. Had your examples referred to Calvinists my reaction would be the same.

Joe Lowery

I'll let you know when I hear from him.


Phil Morgan said...

Hi Joe,

Read your post, and felt sorry you had a bad experience at the convention. Just wanted to make the comment that our fellowship of churches is very diverse with many opinions. It would be a mistake to hear some comments like those you objected to and conclude "That's what our church believes."


Anonymous said...

You really have a way of putting it, Dad! Interesting perspective you have. Tell me though, if you would, what are you afraid God might say to you?

About the convention, that's really unfortunate that that happened. I think saying something like that has a great chance of offending a lot of people, especially since the Pope just died! I think it was poor judgement, but not necessarily a reflection of what the Pastor himself believes.

Laura said...

What I'd like to know is when are you going to post a new blog? I'm getting tired of seeing the same old post. Love, YBF&L

Anonymous said...

So am I!!!

Karen Castevens said...

I like your blog. I think people need to hear the truth, not a lie. I appreciated your comment on my blog. I love it here. It is so, so beautiful here. We get the best of the seasons. We have a lot of tourists too, lately. It is so green...and so lovely. I have lived here all my life - 42 1/2 years. I can't imagine living anywhere else but in heaven. Thanks!