We were sitting for dinner outside at the Nafoura Restaurant with a bishop in Jerusalem and Adam for Christ, when we overheard fragments of an animated conversation. Three Evangelical Protestants were pressing a local to pray the “Sinners Prayer” — right now!
The local man was named Vladamir and I heard him discussing and arguing with the three Evangelicals. The waiter told me the Protestants had cornered him too and their approach was offensive to him as a local Catholic because they treated him as an unbeliever — which is extremely ignorant and rude.
When they stood up to leave, I called, “Hey Vladamir, come here!” I wanted to see what had happened. The three men followed. I asked one of the “evangelists” if he was an Evangelical Protestant. He said no, only a Christian.
They immediately asked me THE question. This is how they introduce themselves. They are not polite people — I know — I used to do it too. They are often pushy and extremely self important. I even heard them telling Vladamir that God had sent them to speak to him. Before even asking my name or making my acquaintance, they asked me, “Have you personally accepted Jesus as your Savior?”
I explained I had once been one of them — an evangelist who preached on the streets and cornered people, especially Catholics, and taught the Bible — but I had converted to the Catholic Church. (The bishop sat and enjoyed this conversation.) When the man asking the questions heard my response and the word Catholic, he backed away with disgust — it looked like I had hit him with a baseball bat. Two of them stepped back and moved away.
The third man seemed less hostile to me and Catholicism so we chatted a bit and found out his parents are very faithful Catholics who teach Bible studies in their Dallas Texas parish. Please pray for these men. They represent a growing number of Protestants supposing they know everything coming to this land to import their truncated, Americanized gospel with great arrogance to people who already have a deep faith — sealed by their daily suffering for Christ and the faith.
The preachers don’t attack the Jews or the Muslims; the Catholics are easier targets — gentle and hospitable Palestinian Christians. They are not only squeezed between the Jews and Muslims, but now also by American Zionist Evangelicals. Geez, no wonder so many Christians in the Holy Land are being squeezed to leave the Holy Land — squeezed by the Jews, the Muslims and now the American Evangelicals.
(Written on my handheld and sent through GPRS.)