You may be familiar with the television and radio ministry of evangelist Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron (aka “Mike Sever” from Growing Pains) called Way of the Master [warning: here there be loud audio , busy flash and dubious theology.] I usually refer to it as “Way of the Ambush” because it’s built around walking up to unsuspecting folks on the street and letting them know how sinful they are and, if they haven’t followed the “Roman’s Road”/Sinner’s Prayer version of conversion, that they are on their way to Hell.
Because there are a lot of Catholics (practicing and non) on this planet, they are often targets for this treatment…all the better if they are poorly catechized or lapsed.
One feature they have on their radio show is “Fish with Trish” where a lady named Trish Ramos goes around with a cellphone finding non-Christians or people who “think they’re good” who will agree to talk on the air with Ray, Kirk and/or radio host Todd Friel to find out how wrong and lost they are.
This time, I think Trish reeled in a fish that wouldn’t fit in their live-well: Fr. Jim McGhee.
Fr. Jim McGhee is a convert to the Catholic faith AND a Catholic priest at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Forth Worth, Texas. He was raised as a Methodist and was a Methodist minister for about seven years before becaming Episcopalian and serving as a priest in that communion for about 20 years. He entered full-communion with the Catholic Church in 1992. He’s also married (which amazed Trish and caused her to wonder out loud if it was “some sort of liberal thing.”)
Well, Fr. Jim can quote scripture as well as they can and he knows their language. He presents the Catholic faith in way that I think they could understand, even if it wasn’t in a way that they liked. Here’s an excerpt:
Comfort: But, if I’m a Roman Catholic, I’ve been sprinkled as a baby, I’m adult and I’m Catholic by name but I haven’t repented and my faith is not in Jesus am I going to heaven?
Comfort: So I’m going to Hell?
McGhee: Because you have to cooperate with the grace of God in knowing the faith, living in hope according to your will and learning how to love the good by presence of the Holy Spirit. There has to be a sanctification, a growing up in the Faith.
Download an mp3 of the Program here
(Fr. Jim’s segment starts at 37 mins and 56 seconds into the mp3*)
Anyway, I think Fr. Jim did a great job of presenting the Catholic faith and traditional, sacramental Christianity in a winsome way to a hostile audience that espouses a more novel version of the Christian faith. He really contrasts the nuances of the Apostolic Faith with the “fits on business card” presentation that seems to be par for the course at Way of the Master.
Trish also posted photos and her account of the encounter on her blog as well this video:
*Note: There are some other Catholic-related jewels earlier in the episode: a recording from a 60 Minutes interview with a Catholic former-hitman talking about confession and an incredibly shallow and ham-fisted review of the statement by Avery Cardinal Dulles about the universal scope of the plan of salvation that gets brought up in Fr. Jim’s segement. That’s why Todd Friel says “it’s not beat up on Catholics hour.” There’s also a clip from a sermon by Reformed Baptist pastor John Piper about making sure Christ is first in your life that I thought was well stated.