“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Matthew 18:15-16
I grew up in a very conservative Christian home. Both my mother and father were staunch Christians. We went to church twice on Sundays and on Wednesday evenings as well as any other opportunity – revivals, Vacation Bible School, mission conferences, etc. My dad taught adult Sunday School, drove the church bus, served as deacon and in various other areas of the church. Mom is very quiet and reserved, so she served behind the scenes – preparing meals for families in need or church events and working in the nursery.
Dad led family devotions at home and I would always hear Mom singing her favorite hymns around the house. I NEVER saw them drink or swear. They were the Godliest people I knew.
I said all this to lead up to the main topic of this post.
What would you do if you learned that the pastor of the church that your elderly mother is attending is questioning her salvation? Dad has been gone for about three years now and Mom has found a church closer to home. As I said, she is very quiet and reserved and her comfort zone is virtually nonexistent. When she is put on the spot and is questioned about anything, she gets flustered and is unable to give the right answers even if she knows them.
On several occasions, this pastor called her to meetings, leading her to believe that it was a church meeting. She would arrive and find only her, the pastor and the pastor’s wife or the deacons. They would sit her down and question her about her salvation. He would even phone the senior center that she frequents to ask them about her.
While, initially, this really angered me that he would do this to someone as unassuming as my 83-year-old mother, I now feel more pity and compassion, not only for the church, but for any others that they interrogate like this. Fortunately, Mom is grounded enough in her Christianity that she did not let it suppress her faith. My concern is for those that are new Christians or even non-Christians that come into the church and are detoured by this pastor’s “screening” process.
The question of the day: What, as a fellow Christian, do I do about it? Do I go to the pastor and confront him myself? Do I ask a fellow pastor to speak with him? Or do I simply do nothing but pray? He is clearly in the wrong and risks scaring away prospective church members or even lost souls. I would love to hear your input on this. Please leave a comment with your opinion.