“We are all slaves,” Todd declared and Marsha stared at him.
“What do you mean by that?” she wondered.
“It’s what my pastor said last week.”
“Where did he get that information from?”
“The Bible, of course. It’s in chapter six of Romans, verses twenty to twenty-two. We are either slaves of sin or slaves of God. We serve one or other other. We serve sin when we allow it to control our bodies, making us commit immoral acts.”
“What sort of immoral acts?”
“Adultery, incest, homosexuality, lesbianism, pedophilia and fornication.”
“It’s sex outside of marriage. It can be between two people who aren’t married to each other or between two unmarried people.”
“Oh.” She turned away so that he wouldn’t see the expression on her face.
“But, sin isn’t just about sexual immorality. There’s spiritual immorality as well.”
“What happens to a person who is a slave to sin?”
“Romans 6:16 says that obeying sin leads to death. Doesn’t your church teach you these things?”
She shook her head. “No.”
“Why don’t you leave that church and come to mine?”
She turned to face him. “Leave the Catholic Church?” she exclaimed. “How could I? I was born and raised a Catholic. Why should I leave the church just because Father Montgomery hasn’t taught us what’s in Romans 6? He might one of these days, you know.”
“I used to be a Catholic but I left because I realized that they were teaching what wasn’t in the Bible and the sex scandals–“
Marsha glared at him. “I’m sick and tired of people attacking the church.”
“Why are you getting so upset?” Todd asked. “I’m not attacking the church. All I’m saying is that it needs to address these issues and to rid itself of the sex scandals. I’m sure that if you or someone you knew were a victim, you would feel differently. You would want justice. The church is supposed to be a place where people should feel safe.”
“I have to go,” she muttered. “I’ll see you tomorrow at school.” She turned and walked away before he could say anything.
As he headed home, he felt impressed to pray for her.
Father Montgomery finished saying his prayer in the chapel, blessed himself and rose to his feet. Next he went to the confessional to listen to three people make confessions. By the time he left the parish, it was almost six o’clock. He let himself into the abandoned mansion.
When he first visited it, he ventured down into the secret room, called a “priest hole” where Catholic clergy hid from their Protestant hunters. Anti-Catholicism was rampant when Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne in 1558. He tried to imagine what it would have been like to spend any amount of time there. It made him think of the Jews who were hidden by well meaning citizens so that they could escape the concentration camps and ultimately, death.
It was in the Master’s bedroom where Marsha waited for him. It was still furnished. The furniture was old but still in good condition, natural light streamed through the large windows and the bed was still functional. She was sitting at the edge of the bed, hands on lap when he walked in. He knew right away that something was wrong. “What’s the matter?” he asked as he sat down beside her.
“I ran into Todd on my way home from church this morning.”
He frowned. “Who’s Todd?”
“He’s a boy from school.”
“Tell me what happened when you ran into him this morning.”
“He told me that we are all slaves. Slaves to sin or slaves to God. His pastor read this in chapter six of Romans. I don’t want to be a slave to sin because it leads to death.”
“Marsha, you aren’t a slave of sin. Such talk is foolishness.”
“But what about us? Aren’t we sinning against God?”
He put his arm around her shoulders. “It isn’t sin when two people love each other. I love you and you love me, don’t you?”
“Then, we aren’t sinning. We are in a monogamous relationship. We aren’t unequally yoked. We share the same faith and believe in the same God.”
“Todd said that the church teaches things that aren’t in the Bible.”
“Do you trust me, Marsha?”
“I would never mislead you or the rest of the flock. What I teach is sound doctrine approved by God Himself. Now, let’s not worry any more about what Todd or anyone else who has misguided views about our Church and its teachings.” He gently pushed her back on to the bed and began to kiss her passionately.
Even as she surrendered to him, at the back of her mind, a small still voice was telling her that this was wrong but, as usual, she let her heart rule her head.
It was love for Eve which made Adam sin against God. Don’t let love blind you to God’s truth. It is by the constant obeying of His Word that we are delivered from sin. Don’t be a slave to sin which leads to death but a slave to God which leads to eternal life.