I thought some might enjoy this very unusual tale of how and why I began this blog two years ago, so here goes:
During my “prodigal” years away from the Lord, I attempted to fill my spiritual emptiness by reading and posting reviews of books on Amazon; mostly historical non-fiction dealing with Poland and Polish-Jewish relations. I continued posting reviews after I returned to the Lord but the books that I was reading after my “homecoming” were mostly related to Christianity. Among the books I reviewed was one which criticized the mixing of Christianity with nationalism, a topic dear to my heart as readers of this blog are aware. But mainly I reviewed books which examined Catholicism, including *Norman Geisler’s disappointing ecumenical treatise, “Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences.”
One day the pastor of our Southern Baptist church and I were discussing Christian nationalism and I mentioned the book on that topic that I referred to above. A short time later I started receiving rebuttal comments on my review of Geisler’s book from a “Willis Weatherford” who used words and phrases that were uncannily similar to what I was accustomed to hearing from our pastor. I immediately suspected the pastor had gone to Amazon to check out the Christian nationalism book, saw my review, and followed my profile to the Geisler review. After I mentioned to “Willis Weatherford” that his writing was oddly similar to our pastor’s phraseology, the comments stopped. Out of curiosity, I googled “Willis Weatherford” and discovered the gentleman is widely revered as a Christian folk hero down in Tennessee and North Carolina where our pastor grew up and attended seminary. But nothing was ever said between the pastor and I about this episode because I wasn’t absolutely sure of my suspicions.
Our pastor’s ecumenical attitude regarding Catholicism was very much in line with Geisler’s. Over the course of a year he had approvingly referred to such notable Catholics as Thomas Aquinas, Blaise Pascal, G.K. Chesterton, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Peter Kreeft, all of which was becoming increasingly problematic for me. When I confronted him about his admiration for Aquinas, the pastor quickly brushed aside my objections.
Several months later, I was involved with the church’s name change committee and when there was a need for a lengthy article to be written, the pastor immediately piped up, “Give it to Tom, he likes to write.” Wow. One of the deacons, a close friend of the pastor, then turned to me and said something to the effect of, “You like to write so much, you ought to start a blog.” Double wow. I sat there with a knowing smile on my face. The thing was I had NEVER mentioned my Amazon reviews to either one of those guys, thus confirming my suspicions.
But I still didn’t confront the pastor with the “Willis Weatherford” incident because I was already anticipating leaving the church due to his ecumenism (as well as a few other reasons). But the deacon’s comment is what gave me the motivation to eventually start this blog. A month after we left the church, excatholic4christ was born. It had become very clear to me after one year in that church that another voice was needed warning against ecumenism with Rome and inviting Catholics to accept Christ.
If anyone is interested in reading the exchange between “Willis Weatherford” and myself regarding the ecumenical compromise of Norman Geisler and others, I’ve posted it in the comments section.
*Ecumenical theologian, Norman Geisler, has mentored notable apologists, Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, and Lee Strobel, who also espouse ecumenism with Rome.