Do you know the doctrine of transubstantiation? What do you say to someone who worships Mary? Is purgatory biblical? These are questions that can be somewhat intimidating when talking to a Catholic. Well, have no fear. Try what I call the third person gospel. The third person gospel is the gospel presentation in disguise. It is not directed toward the individual, but in the form of a story. For example, today I was talking with a dad of one of my wrestlers who was a former Catholic. Once he found out that I was leaving the team to be a missionary next year, these type of questions began to pop up. I could have attempted to answer them, but I was not sure if he was saved. Therefore, I engaged the third person gospel.
Wrestling Dad: Did you know that when a Catholic takes communion they believe that the wafer is actually the body of Christ? What do you think about that?
Me: Yes, I have heard that before. I once shared with a Catholic who truly believed that, but at the same time she believed that she was good enough to get to heaven. I had to explain to her that compared to God's standard she was not as good as she thought she was. I walked her through the ten commandments and she began to see that she had lied, stolen, and blasphemed. She then realized that she would be guilty on the day of judgement.
Wrestling Dad: That's true.
Me: I told her to imagine herself in a courtroom guilty of committing a crime and then the judge giving her a $250,000 fine. She doesn't have a penny to her name so she begans to sweat, and suddenly, a complete stranger walks in and pays her fine. I then asked her how would she feel about that complete stranger because the minute the fine is paid she is free to go.
Wrestling Dad: That's good because then she understands that we serve God out of gratitude.
Me: That's right, Jesus paid our fine.
The "third person gospel" is also perfect for big scary family members or friends with a short fuse. :)
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