Yesterday I was listening to the 5/25/17 podcast of the Calling All Catholics talk radio show (The Station of the Cross, 101.7 FM, Buffalo, NY), featuring moderator, Steve Quebral, and priest-host, father Kevin Barrett. Toward the end of the show a question came up regarding a case of drive-by evangelism.
Steve Quebral: Let’s go next now to a question we got from Brad, and Brad writes to us, “Recently at our parish someone left anti-Catholic flyers on everyone’s cars during mass and even left some in our pamphlet rack in the vestibule of the church. What would be the best way to handle it if you could catch them in the act.”
Priest Barrett responded by decrying the divisions within (c)hristianity, reaffirming that the Catholic church is the one true church established by Jesus. He attributed the efforts of those who reach out to Catholics with the Gospel to the “devil and fallen spirits who are trying to confuse us and divide us.” He stated that (c)hristians should be reaching out to each other and building bridges instead of fomenting division. Barrett argued that hostility towards the Catholic church is not of God. He observed that, “Catholics aren’t constantly agitated towards our non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters and yet…so often the separated Christian brethren are constantly agitated with Catholics.” In closing, Barrett recommended Protestants and Catholics put their efforts into praying for each other, looking for ways to work for (c)hristian unity, trying to build bridges, trying to maintain a respectful dialogue, and “celebrating what we share in common and bring that goodness to the world.”
The only problem with Barrett’s approach is Catholicism teaches a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit in contrast to the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Rather than shake hands with apostasy, it’s every Christian’s duty to expose it. What did the Old Testament prophets say about false religion? Did they coddle it? Did they cooperate with it? What about John the Baptist? Or the Lord, Jesus Christ? What did He say about false teachers? Or the apostle, Paul? Christians today are so saturated with this pluralistic, tolerant culture that the only thing they won’t tolerate is somebody who points out that Rome does not preach the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.” – Matthew 10:34-36
I wholeheartedly agree with Barrett that Catholics generally aren’t agitated with the “separated brethren” but why would they be when their church teaches all non-Catholic religionists and even atheists will merit Heaven just as long as they are “good”? Since everyone in the world is hopefully “following the light they’ve been given,” there’s really nothing in the Catholic faith to be passionate about, which is why 80% of American Catholics don’t attend obligatory mass every Sunday.
I don’t endorse the people mentioned far above who left flyers on the car windshields. I don’t know who they were or what information was distributed. Hopefully, those folks were Christians. It’s arguable how effective drive-by evangelism is but if we put God’s word out there, Scripture says it won’t come back void.
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11