“Father Ted”

 

Father Ted praying for WWII veteran Doyle Billington

Father Ted praying for WWII veteran Doyle Billington

I hope the Catholics don’t send me to hell for performing priestly functions. I anointed the oldest, and only, living WWII veteran in Cambodia, Doyle Billington, with oil for healing. Although we hope he’ll be around for a long time, at age 93 he’s fighting a cancer. Doyle spent three years in the US Army defending the only part of the, now 50, United States to be invaded by Japanese land forces, the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.  I said the “Hail Mary” and the “Our Father” with him, and served him communion. He’s still a Catholic, and wanted a Priest, to serve him communion and pray with him, but I was the only one available.  He said, “You did it just like a Priest.” Jack Chick (The author and publisher of anti-Catholic tracts.) is going to be very disappointed to see either of us in heaven. Sorry Jack! We both plan on being there.

Pastor Ulf Ekman, the very definition of a “Charismaniac” (It takes one to know one!) has become a Catholic. To some, that is like renouncing his faith. I don’t see it that way, One of my best friends in Cambodia is a Catholic Priest, he’s charismatic, and I have no doubt about his salvation. I was led into the Baptism in the Holy Spirit by Catholic Priests in Western Samoa. When Sou and I were first married, the only Christian church in Pakse, Laos, was Catholic. We attended mass. There’s a lot of good truth in mass, it’s just that back then, 45 years ago, they were still delivering it in Latin. But, I just enjoyed the presence of people in worship. I joke with my priest friend, “I don’t mind if you pray to Mary or the Saints, as long as you don’t care if I go straight to the “Boss”.

I know that we “Evangelicals” push the aspect of “personal relationship” with Jesus. I believe that is a great thing, it is essential to move in His power, it’s what lights our evangelical fire, but when I look at the absolutes for being born again, I get “belief in His resurrection” and “acceptance of His Lordship” as the rock solid base requirements. Most Catholics I know have this level of faith, fortunately, it is based in truth. I love their concept of “confession”, and the sanctity of it. We can learn a lot from Catholics, and they greatly benefit when they move into that dynamic of interaction with a living God, with real power, called the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”.

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