I was in Hobby Lobby yesterday, lost in my thoughts, trying to figure out which colors of modeling clay I needed to purchase to create a model of a human cell for my Midwifery school, when a woman approached me and said “Excuse me.” Naturally, I thought I was in her way, so I moved over and mumbled something about being sorry. She looked at me with great big eyes and said “Oh no, you’re not in my way. I want to ask you a question.” I had a feeling she wasn’t interested in modeling clay. Our conversation went like this:
Me: Okay. . . .
Woman: We are going to go to the Phillipines for a mission trip, and I was wondering if you’d like to support us by buying this Sonic gift card for $5? (Magically procures a gift card and holds it up for me to see).
Me: Who is “we”?
Woman: Oh, our church. We’re going to go over there to witness to them. (Smiles sweetly).
Me: What church is that?
Woman: The Church of Jesus of (something I didn’t recognize and can’t remember. . . I just know it was not LDS)
Me: Hmmm. Okay. Well, how do you feel about Catholics?
Woman: (Stunned) Ummmm, . . . well. . . .most of them over there are Catholic. (Smiles, thinking she’s given me the right answer).
Me: And you’re going to try to convert them?
Woman: Well, we’re going to share with them the truth of Jesus Christ!
Me: (Realizing this was not going to come out the way I intended it) Them I’m sorry. I can’t support you.
Woman: Oh! (This is when her eyes got really big and she realized that I wasn’t interested in saving Catholics, but that I am Catholic)
Me: I went to fundamentalist churches for 12 years that sound like they were a lot like your church. But then the Holy Spirit led our family to go back to the Catholic Church, because it does have the way to Jesus.
At this point, I turned to walk away with my cart, but then I stopped and added:
Me: It just feels like to me that you’re trying to convert people who are already Christian, who already know the truth of Jesus Christ, and I don’t think that’s what God wants. It seems like dividing Christians.
Woman: (Seizing upon this wonderful opportunity to save my soul) “Then do you believe that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the light?”
Me: (Turning to face her directly) Of course! I believe that Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God, that He died on the cross for my sins, rose again on the third day, and is seated in Heaven with God the Father. (meaningful pause. . .) ALL Catholics believe that!
Woman: (Obviously not prepared for this response from a Catholic) Oh! Ummm. . . .well, good!
I don’t eat at Sonic, anyway, but that wasn’t really the point. The point is that Catholics ARE Christians, albeit most of us don’t have a clue about what it really means to be Catholic or Christian. I find it incredibly offensive, and yes, sad, that other so-called Christian groups are wasting time and money trying to “save” Catholics. It would be so nice if they would actually learn what we really believe before passing judgment and deciding we’re hell-bound. Satan must be so happy that Christians are so busy attacking their own!