The Catholic Defender: Giving Witness At Wal-Mart
My Wife, Gigi called me into the kitchen giving me a mission she wanted me to pick up at the grocery store. I told her that I needed to prepare for a radio show which I had about a couple of hours before showtime.
My wife looked at her list and decided to cross off a number of items that I could get the next day, so I took the list to get what my Wife was needing.
First thing I noticed was that it was snowing outside, the second thing I noticed was that it was windy. I placed my note safely in my pocket and away I went. I decided to go to Wal-Mart because I needed some items that they sold that other stores did not have.
Not only was it snowing, but there was mixed in sleet and rain, it was a bad day to be out into the elements for very long.
I pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot, parked, and as I am heading for the entrance, there was a booth placed to the left of the main door. I told the two gentlemen tending the booth that they picked a great day for such a booth.
I stopped a moment noticing that they were selling some religious items, and so I struck up a conversation with them.
Noticing religious items, I asked them if they were Catholic? Their response was no, they were not, but one did say that he had been baptized Catholic but was now a Christian.
Well, anyone who knows me very well knows that is something you do not admit to me, not without my giving them a reason why to rethink their departure.
Titus 3:10-11 states, "As for a man who is heretic (factious), after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned."
Because of this and much more, I have always felt the need to at least give a public defense for the Catholic Faith. The scriptures are very clear to the importance of that fact.
Looking at the one who told me he was not practicing his Catholic faith, I told him there were basically three major reasons why I am loyal to the Catholic Faith.
The young man was interested in what I would say. I told him:
The three major reasons why I am loyal to the Catholic faith was because of one major factor that gives foundation to my three major reasons. That it was Jesus Christ who founded the Catholic faith. I told him that if I can give dates when any denomination was founded by whom and what their major tenants are, that should be troubling biblically speaking to any student of the Bible.
Then I related my three major reasons:
1. Jesus promised the gates of hell, the jaws of death would never over come it.
2. Jesus promised that He would be with His Church until the end of the age.
3. Jesus promised and fulfilled His promise giving the Holy Spirit to the Church.
This was my opening testimony I proceeded to share to both individuals even as the wind was blowing and the snow and rain was flowing.
The one who said he was baptized Catholic then tried to tell me that he had PTSD because of his time in the Army. At that point I was able to share I had been in the Army nearly 27 years as a Combat Medic.
During the course of this meeting, I learned that they were members of the Assemblies of God which I was able to tell them my Mother and two Uncles were once members of the AoG. That they are Catholic now! I reminded them that their denomination was founded in Siloam Springs Arkansas in 1917 with Springfield Missouri as their headquarters.
Looking at the young man who was baptized Catholic, I asked him if there is a difference from a Church founded in 33 A.D. verse a church founded in 1917? Then I asked him if I had left the Catholic faith and in the process, founded the church of the Hartleyites, and would Hartleyism be valid?
During this time I had given a brief foundation for the Papacy, Confession, Eucharist, just to name a few before I had to go into the store for my Wife's intent. Upon finishing my shopping, I purposely came back out and told the young man who had been baptized Catholic that if anyone told him that Catholics worshiped Mary, he had been lied too! He looked at his partner who attempted to respond to my arguments. It was perfect timing.
Bing Crosby had a line in the movie, The Bells of St. Mary's, “I shall pass this way but once, if there's any good I can do for anyone, let me do it now and not put it off for I shall not pass this way again.” That has always stuck with me.
I also like Hebrews 13:2, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."
One more verse to share coming from James 5:19-20, "My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins."
There is so much to address why we should appeal to those who have made the mistake of forsaking their Catholic faith. You never know when the Lord might use you for His purpose, even if it originated from your spouse! To plant seeds is a very important mission!