My husband and I came across video footage of last Sunday's service from a nearby Lutheran church. It seems that the pastor chose to spend some time discussing Mary. Was this a coincidence or was it planned, seeing as how Monday was the feast of the Immaculate Conception?
Before the pastor got to what was his "main" point about Mary, he took a few minutes to talk about those people who worship Mary (aka Catholics). The sad thing about all of this was that what he said was downright wrong. For instance, he said that the Immaculate Conception meant that Mary was born of a virgin. He also said that Mary ascended into Heaven. Each time he tried to make a point, he used very faulty, misleading or downright wrong information.
Most people who witness sermons like this will take what the pastor says to heart. If they've heard it before, it will reinforce ideas about Catholics that they already have. If they haven't heard it before, how many of them will question what they've heard? How many will look into this in more detail? Probably not many. However, since this has been brought to our attention, we feel a responsibility to help this pastor see that he is wrong about a lot of things he said. It is one thing to state a doctrine of the Catholic faith and then say you disagree with it. It is another to incorrectly state Catholic doctrine and then attempt to explain why it is wrong. Witnessing something like this sermon helps to back up what Bishop Fulton Sheen said, that many people don't hate the Catholic Church, they just hate what they think is the Catholic Church (although by stating that, I'm not meaning to imply that this pastor was spewing hatred).
So, homeschooling lesson for today: How do we explain to people like this pastor that his sermon contained a lot of wrong information? Did you know that Luther was actually very Marian? How can we use that fact to show this pastor that he was even contradicting the founder of his own faith? Sounds like a great assignment for a high school student, doesn't it? I know it got my husband going; he's digging through books and pamphlets as I type! What a great way to strengthen your own faith!