6/19/15 Jack 60
Reaching out to a fellow motorist at a gas station, I met Jack, who was very critical of his own Roman Catholic background. As a Catholic he is typical of the largest percentage of people I encounter on the streets and in the marketplaces of Chicago, but among Catholics I find three general categories. The first are those who are unaware of or choose to ignore the many ways in which Catholic teachings and traditions contradict the Bible, and are comfortable with the false assurance that their good and religious deeds will bring them to heaven. The second group would be those who either sense or know that Catholicism has strayed from its moral and biblical roots and have now stopped attending and only consider themselves to be nominally Catholic. They don’t know where else to turn. Jack was in this category, and responded to me immediately with criticism and skepticism toward his own church. Without feeding into the negativity, I just tried to point out that each of his many complaints were about ways in which his church had contradicted scripture. I called him to return to the Bible and the original faith in Jesus that his church was founded on. This made sense to him, and he was very grateful for our conversation. The third group are those that clearly have been born again as followers of Jesus, and though they remain in the Catholic Church they are learning to discern the many false teachings and traditions in the light of scripture. They realize that the Bible carries the weight of authority, not the church hierarchy. Some have come to this saving faith in Jesus through the church but many, I’m afraid, have come to faith in Jesus in spite of the church. Either way, however, and no matter what church or denomination, salvation is a work in the heart that ultimately can only come from God.