Recently my grandfather was in the hospital for a week (it was looking pretty serious). On one of my visits to the hospital with my grandmother present, a nice white-haired man in a dress shirt and a tie entered the room. He introduced himself as a Eucharist Minister (I saw where this was going).
He was “doing his rounds” throughout the hospital visiting those who listed themselves as Roman Catholics on their intake papers and wanted to know if my grandfather wished to take (the heretically distorted version of Rome’s) holy communion. Of course both my grandparents were anxious to do so and stopped their profanities, taking of God’s name in vain, and all their other pet sins long enough to be good Catholics for a moment in the presence of such a holy man.
This man asked if we were all Roman Catholics and after my grandparents said yes, I said, “No, I’m a Christian.” Immediately realizing that his response was inevitably going to be “we’re all Christians,” I cut him off before he had a chance to tell that lie and I added, “Protestant,” for clarification.
My grandfather jokingly replied, “We won’t hold that against you.” And of course this stranger representing Rome agreed, confirming they don’t hold anything against anyone. (How kind of him.)
Because challenging this man in front of my grandparents would do more harm than good, I bit my tongue. He then wasted no time as he leapt into ecumenical action requesting that since we were all Christians “let us pray to God together.”
I stood and watched as this man who knows nothing about my grandparents, their lives, their sins, their struggles, or even their current relationship with God, blasphemously stood in the place of the Lord Jesus Christ as their mediator and prayed for them to be forgiven of their sins.
And what sin of my grandparents did this stranger clairvoyantly hone in on as their biggest sin, requiring special emphasis and forgiveness from? Why, none other than their needing to be forgiven of their sin of not realizing how close God is to them and that God is near to them at all times.
After this feel-good prayer of pseudo-repentance while avoiding the real issues of their sin nature in all its abhorrent wretchedness and hostility toward God, we were now ready for communion! (If only the hospital was this quick with their formalities before moving on to administer care and medicine.)
The man then reached into the pocket of his slacks and pulled out a round object. It was very similar to an Altoid tin. This man then opened the lid to reveal a bunch of white squares resembling Chiclets gum. He removed one of the squares, and holding it between his two fingers, held it in front of him so that my grandparents could see it. He then presumptuously announced, “This is the Lamb of God.” I could endure no more and removed myself from the room with an exhale that I’m certain he heard.
This false teacher peddling his false assurance had the audacity to call a little piece of food the very Lamb of God; what utter blasphemy. Yet my grandparents clung to every word of this fork-tongued tool of Satan, and now had clean consciences to continue about their normal lifestyles of rampant and impenitent sin.
Sadly, late at night while I sat alone by my grandfather’s bedside trying desperately to convey the gospel of Jesus Christ to him (Law first), he remained completely averse to it. After all, the nice priestly mediator already prayed for him and he took communion, so what need does he have of a propitiation for his sins?
Not even his brush with death that put him in the hospital could rouse him from his spiritual slumber. My grandfather opined that God understands that he’s just a human, and with a nice condescending pat on my arm he assured me that all will be well . . . all will be well.
“They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.” – Jeremiah 16:14