Not long ago Jerry and I watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I couldn’t do anything for a long time after it was over but sit and stare, chest and throat tight, as scenes replayed in my mind and I thought about how adults teach children prejudice.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with our granddaughter Little Honey when she entered kindergarten. Our daughter had been chrismated in the Orthodox Church just before she married a Roman Catholic. Now they attend a Catholic church. When the time came Honey enrolled our granddaughter in a Catholic kindergarten.
I had spoken of God to Little Honey from her infancy. We had had simple sweet moments of fellowship together. Without compromising Scripture, I was careful never to say anything to conflict with or criticize the Catholic church. Little Honey spontaneously gave herself to God one year and drew me a picture of her doing so for my birthday–one of the best birthday presents I ever received.
In mid-October Little Honey and I were chatting over our video phones and suddenly she asked, “Grandma, do you go to a Catholic church?”
“No.” I felt exposed.
“Then you probably aren’t a Christian.”
So now it begins. “Yes I am!”
“You probably don’t love Jesus.”
I was saddened. “Yes I do!”
We left it there but I wondered whether something had been said by one of her teachers. Maybe the line had been drawn between the innies and the outies, between “us” and “them.” I wondered what conclusion Little Honey had come to about me as a result of our talk. I wondered whether my daughter had been within earshot of it and what she thought–about Little Honey’s questions, about my answers, about my faith.
The above conversation is taken from a series on a Biblical look at Roman Catholicism which I first posted on August 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 23, and 29, 2010 at His Scribe and which continued on this blog August 29-September 2, 2012:
In that series, I discussed many teachings which we Christians whose authority is sola scriptura (as opposed to both Scripture and the Catholic Church leadership) hold in common with Roman Catholics. These are things all of us cherish. There were more than I expected.
Having said that, there are some absolute non-negotiables. Although a few centuries ago we were killing each other over our differences I do not want to tread heavily on the areas of disagreement. I think the day is soon coming when all of us who claim the name of Jesus Christ will need to band together and support each other as we are indiscriminately persecuted for our Christian faith.
But in the posts which follow, I want to share why I cannot in good conscience become Roman Catholic.