Mike was a hard-core veteran police detective. When his wife, Maria, started attending our services, Mike was upset. He vowed to investigate my background and repeatedly referred to the church as a cult and money-making scam.
It's difficult to fault Mike for his suspicion. In big cities distrust is almost a survival instinct. Here in Chicago, charlatans, con artists, schemers, and users are always looking for an angle to take advantage of the unguarded. But even outside the urban jungle, the church is not immune to the suspicious eye of an increasingly distrusting public.
Images of pedophile priests in handcuffs, televangelists with mistresses, and pastors indicted for fraud have not helped the public perception of "religious" people and the church. To be honest, I don't trust the man with a "Reverend" business card any more than the used car salesman down the street. Now that I think about it, I share the same distrust that most of my unbelieving neighbors, like Mike, do.
That's why bridging ...1