The hardest part of Protestant Marketing?

I met an old friend, the pastor of my former Church, for lunch.  After we ordered, asked him, “What’s the hardest part of Protestant Marketing?”

He answered quickly.  “All of us Protestants wish that Jesus had not said so very specifically to one person, in front of credible witnesses, ‘Verily, verily I say onto you thou art Peter and on this rock I build My Church. . . .’  I mean, that’s hard for Protestant Marketing to overcome.   It was bad enough that He named Peter and not any of us.  And, it’s even harder because He said ‘Church’ and not ‘Churches‘.”

“Why is that so bad?”, I wondered.

“Anyone with half a brain tells us,  ‘Pastor Bob, there are 43,000 different Protestant groups.  Jesus only Founded One Church.  Is your church The Only Church He Founded?’  That’s hard to answer.  We tell ’em ‘We are all Christians.’, but the smarter ones say, ‘Some churches say they are ‘Christian’ but they believe abortion is all right.  Others don’t.  Doesn’t Jesus care which of the 43,000 kinds of churches we join?'”

The difficulty was clear to me, and I’m just a regular Catholic.  “I see what you mean!  That is hard to get around!”

“It gets worse!  Then, Jesus had to add ‘and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’  Do you see how what an uphill battle that is?  The hardest part of Protestant marketing is explaining that Jesus is God, but that He was wrong to say ‘Verily, verily I say unto you thou art Peter and on this rock I build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’   At the same time, we’re trying to get money from them for our own church that Jesus did not build and which competes with The Only Church He did build for money and members!  The hardest part of Protestant Marketing?  That’s it!”

“I don’t understand.”, I replied, “Why does Jesus saying ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ make things difficult?”

“Think about it!  If He hadn’t said ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’, then we could tell smarter, better educated people that The Church Jesus Founded had become corrupt.  No one who truly believes that Jesus is God can sanely believe He could possibly ever be wrong about anything.  So, the ones who really believe in Him think Jesus was right when He said about His Church,  ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’.   They ask us ‘Can you name any time ‘the gates of hell’ have forced The Church to ever change an important teaching?’   Those kind of people stay Catholic!  The only people we get are the ones who think Jesus made mistakes.  Do you know what it’s like, dealing with them all day?”

“I think I do understand, Pastor Bob.  All of you are saying “I believe in Jesus!” even while you are encouraging souls to ignore The Only Church Jesus Founded.  That is a hard way to make a living.”

“It is.  Hardest part of Protestant Marketing is when it works and we have to  spend painful years dealing with the vain, know-it-all nincompoops with whom we end up.”