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  #1  
Old Dec 28, '11, 6:11 pm
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Default what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

I have always been thought that it is blashemy for a Catholic to read the Koran or any other scripture which is not Catholic. I have heard the same for going to a non Catholic church. Is it bad to read the Koran for example, or to go to a Christian church rather than a Catholic church?
  #2  
Old Dec 28, '11, 6:25 pm
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

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Originally Posted by Arturo Ortiz View Post
I have always been thought that it is blashemy for a Catholic to read the Koran or any other scripture which is not Catholic. I have heard the same for going to a non Catholic church. Is it bad to read the Koran for example, or to go to a Christian church rather than a Catholic church?
Reading the Koran at the exclusion of Sacred Scripture would be wrong.

As would holding a belief system that the Koran expresses truth and that Sacred Scripture does not.

The sin is in the choosing of one belief system over another.

You can read the Koran knowing that the book was written 600 years after Christ's Ascension. And that Muhammid was horribly catechized regarding Christianity. Either that or he was simply a horrible student.

Attending a non-Christian church on Sat/Sun instead of attending a Catholic Mass on Sat/Sun is a mortal sin.

You however, can go to a non-Christian church with or without friends (out of curiousity or politeness) but you shouldn't partake of their communion.
  #3  
Old Dec 28, '11, 6:53 pm
Mirza19 Mirza19 is offline
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Default Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

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Originally Posted by Arturo Ortiz View Post
I have always been thought that it is blashemy for a Catholic to read the Koran or any other scripture which is not Catholic. I have heard the same for going to a non Catholic church. Is it bad to read the Koran for example, or to go to a Christian church rather than a Catholic church?
How can you fulfill the Great Commission without knowing what other people believe?
  #4  
Old Dec 28, '11, 7:06 pm
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Cool Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

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Originally Posted by Arturo Ortiz View Post
or to go to a Christian church rather than a Catholic church?
A Catholic Church is a Christian Church. Catholicism is a form of Christianity. Catholic are Christians, even though not all Christians are Catholics. Catholic is Christian, just a different type of it.
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Old Dec 28, '11, 7:15 pm
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Default Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

The Christian church is the Catholic Church. Christianity (as the label is used today, not as it is in Acts) is a kind of Catholicism, in imperfect communion. "Catholic Christianity" is "Christianity" proper. Other "Christianity" is Christianity, without the fullness of Truth.

The Catholic Church is not just one denomination amongst many, as many seem to view it.

And, no, I see nothing wrong with reading the fictional scriptures of other religions, as long as you are strong in faith and well-learned and catechized. I don't think anyone has ever been converted to Islam by reading the Koran - it's one of the worst and most boring books ever written, and I consider Aristotle thrilling, although in the original Arabic the cadences of the sentences and the rhyme-structure is engaging; the actual meaning is disjointed and inarticulate, held together by rhyme instead of theology. If you read a Koran, may I recommend either the AJ Arberry translation (the scholarly standard, no notes) or the Noble Qur'an by Muhammad Muhsin Khan (which is the closest one gets to the actual, mainstream orthodox Muslim interpretations and understanding of the meanings of the Koran which is very incomplete by itself - that's why there are dozens of volumes of ahadith, to fill in the gaps and make a coherent religion - and nearly impossible to understand, like breaking in on a private conversation halfway through; the Khan Koran is the one left in hotel-room drawers in the Middle East as the Gideon N/KJVs are in America).

I've read the scriptures of all of the world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Daoism, Confucianism), and several minor religions (Mormonism, Urantianism, Platonism, Gnosticism, ancient Greek and Roman religion) except for Buddhism (I've read the Dhammapada and a few sutras only: the Buddhist scriptures are 100 large volumes), and Zoroastrianism (the Avesta).

I've read all of the apocrypha too, contained in four large volumes of about 1000 pages each: two for the OT, two for the NT. I imagine for most people reading the supposedly "secret" or "forgotten" or "suppressed" Gospels/writings is even more dangerous, as they're closer to Christianity, if one doesn't have a solid grasp of Church History and the process of Canonical formation, etc. instead of the ******** line fed by many "popular scholars" like Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagels (and the Jesus Seminar) today, about "heresy preceding orthodoxy" and "multiple Christianities" (they had a word for those other "Christianities" - heresies), and "lost gospels of equal validity to the canonical ones" (even though, without exception, the "lost gospels" are closer to the fantastic and impossible like the Koran and Book of Mormon - the Koran borrows a lot from the apocrypha - and are dependent on the canonical gospels, which were written a minimum of one century earlier (the earliest apocryphal Gospel is that of Thomas, written in the mid-to-late 2nd century AD; the others were written in the 3rd and 4th, far removed from their source and the Apostolic preaching and authority which delineated the canon), and "moving Christianity back to its tolerant, inclusive, pluralistic [supposed] roots, and beyond theism, doctrine, dogma, and morality" - people who've bought those (discredited in the 1970s) things hook, line, and sinker shouldn't be reading the noncanonical writings.

If one struggles with these bogus concepts of liberal/secular/inclusivist/tolerant/atheistical "church history", read Heresy and Orthodoxy: How Modern Culture's Obsession with Diversity is Reshaping our Understanding of Early Christianity by Andreas Kostenberger.
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Last edited by Khalid; Dec 28, '11 at 7:31 pm.
  #6  
Old Dec 28, '11, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

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Originally Posted by Barbkw View Post
Attending a non-Christian church on Sat/Sun instead of attending a Catholic Mass on Sat/Sun is a mortal sin.

You however, can go to a non-Christian church with or without friends (out of curiousity or politeness) but you shouldn't partake of their communion.

I should have written "non-Christian or non-Catholic" church.
  #7  
Old Dec 28, '11, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

When one considers reading other Christian scriptures or attending a non christian specifically Catholic service, one needs to ask them self an important question: why? Are they doing it because we live in a multicultural society and you want to learn more about what others believe. That is permissible provided the person is strong in their faith, meaning they have a strong understanding of what the Catholic church teaches, the person follows and agrees with about 80% of the teachings and they are deeply connected to their church as in they not only attend weekly mass but they are also serving or helping the church somehow, then go for it.

Depending on a person's vocation, reading the koran and other non christian texts might be important because the knowledge attained from it might help them with their vocation. For example, I firmly believe campus ministers, hospital chaplains and priests need to know what others believe so they can guide whoever asks for help in a manner that won't disrespect the person's religion or culture. This is super important if they are called to work in predominately Muslim or Hindu countries where Christians are a minority. Knowing what others believe is an important step towards respecting others and teaching the gospel.


If the person isn't happy about the Catholic church and they want to see what else is out there, I suggest that the person first meets with their priest and get some spiritual direction. Pray and start researching the Catholic church. Use the form to ask questions. There some other organizations that can also help a person.
  #8  
Old Dec 28, '11, 7:37 pm
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Smile Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

Best way to become a strong Catholic as a Priest once told me is to challenge the faith. So yes learn about other religions, listen to Christian radio, read, attend mass of another religion. You will come back better than ever.

God Bless strong faith.
  #9  
Old Dec 28, '11, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

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Originally Posted by Barbkw View Post
You can read the Koran knowing that the book was written 600 years after Christ's Ascension. And that Muhammid was horribly catechized regarding Christianity. Either that or he was simply a horrible student.
That is twisting history a bit to talk about mohammed as "horribly catechised" as if he went to Sunday school and was a "horrible student." Usually when "catechised" is used it implies one and is taught by another Christian in the hopes to become a Christian. I don't know of anyone ever mentioning that mohammed had a desire to become a Christian or was even Baptised. What I did hear was he spoked to Agnostic-Christians and Kabbalist.

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Best way to become a strong Catholic as a Priest once told me is to challenge the faith. So yes learn about other religions, listen to Christian radio, read, attend mass of another religion. You will come back better than ever.

God Bless strong faith.
Nope - don't agree with that. I can't see challenging ones faith by partaking in another faith make sense to me. It's like if a husband saying he's going out with his mistress so he can "come back better than ever" to his wife.
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  #10  
Old Dec 28, '11, 9:57 pm
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Thumbs up Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

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Originally Posted by John Paul Jones View Post
That is twisting history a bit to talk about mohammed as "horribly catechised" as if he went to Sunday school and was a "horrible student." Usually when "catechised" is used it implies one and is taught by another Christian in the hopes to become a Christian. I don't know of anyone ever mentioning that mohammed had a desire to become a Christian or was even Baptised. What I did hear was he spoked to Agnostic-Christians and Kabbalist.



Nope - don't agree with that. I can't see challenging ones faith by partaking in another faith make sense to me. It's like if a husband saying he's going out with his mistress so he can "come back better than ever" to his wife.
Mis information.

It's more equivalent to dating for a while before getting married. Get to know the person, her friends, her temper, her integrity, honesty, etc. More information is always better than less.
  #11  
Old Dec 29, '11, 12:54 am
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Default Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

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Originally Posted by Mirza19 View Post
How can you fulfill the Great Commission without knowing what other people believe?
Succinctly, this. I have read a good many scriptures of world religions, including the Koran, not because I believe them, but because I need to know what's in them in order to be able to argue intelligently against them.

Incidentally, while I was an agnostic, I read the Tao Te Ching, and I think God used it to help bring me to a spiritual place where I was ready to accept that Christianity might be true.
  #12  
Old Dec 29, '11, 1:14 am
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Default Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

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I think God used it to help bring me to a spiritual place where I was ready to accept that Christianity might be true.
You never know!
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  #13  
Old Dec 30, '11, 2:06 am
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Default Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

[quote=SecretGarden;8748562]When one considers reading other Christian scriptures or attending a non christian specifically Catholic service, one needs to ask them self an important question: why? Are they doing it because we live in a multicultural society and you want to learn more about what others believe. That is permissible provided the person is strong in their faith, meaning they have a strong understanding of what the Catholic church teaches, the person follows and agrees with about 80% of the teachings and they are deeply connected to their church as in they not only attend weekly mass but they are also serving or helping the church somehow, then go for it.

Depending on a person's vocation, reading the koran and other non christian texts might be important because the knowledge attained from it might help them with their vocation. For example, I firmly believe campus ministers, hospital chaplains and priests need to know what others believe so they can guide whoever asks for help in a manner that won't disrespect the person's religion or culture. This is super important if they are called to work in predominately Muslim or Hindu countries where Christians are a minority. Knowing what others believe is an important step towards respecting others and teaching the gospel.

Besides multicultural understanding, and common prayer, attending other forms of worship offers an opportunity to ask a fundamental question: why! It is by witnessing other faith that we can see our shared commonalities and similarities and we can see this in different manners. We also can see our differences. One great place for a catholic to start who wants to spark their quest to understand their own fundamental faith is by attending other rites and liturgies. This can really be a blessing. Then a catholic when ready can attend service in the western and eastern orthodoxy and oriental orthodoxy to further see the similarities and differences. It is here during this effort while remaining n communion with our own church that we can begin to get a bettered understanding of what it mans to be catholic. I should point out this should be done when ones faith as a catholic is strong and they are fortitude in faith and in concert with discussions about these differences their congregational priest.
  #14  
Old Dec 30, '11, 10:23 pm
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Default Re: what does the Bible or the Catholic faith say about learning about other's religions

I have read everyone's post and replies, and I have concluded that it is not bad to read scriptures from other religions, such as the Koran, The Torah, and The many other books. I believe that this books should not be read for the purpose of converting to another religion, but to learn about what other people believe, so that you can understand what other people believe. This helps people to be better missionaries as you can related to this people. I believe that in the process you can become a better Christian as well, as you open up your hearts to people with different beliefs, or people who do not know about Christianity.

As for going to UN-Catholic churches, I don't consider it to be bad. As long as it's still a Christian church it's message is still Christianity. Of course their is going to be differences in a Catholic church and in a protestant church but the message about Christ is still the same.

After all Christ told us that we should open up our Hearts to all so that we can convert people to what Christianity has to offer and what better way to do it that to understand people from all backgrounds in the first place?
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