Can I still attend protestant things?


#1

Hi,

I have decided to go back to RCC, but I still have a lot of attachments to my vineyard church, and I just want to clear up exactly what is ok behavior. Someone said that it was ok for me to attend protestant services as long as I don’t go to communion. But I read somewhere else that catholics can only attend protestant services if they have a special reason, like funerals. So, I am not sure what is the right thing to do.

I plan to go to Mass every Sunday, and I am trying to get involved in a catholic bible study, and I am looking into catholic charities to get involved with. But I am wondering if it’s ok to participate in vineyard worship services and bible studies if I don’t participate in communion and I don’t tithe to the vineyard church. I am hoping that I can stay involved in the church in a limited fashion: go to bible studies, and occasionally go to worship, and help out with volunteer actvities, and social events. Okay, so this isn’t very limited:). But my church has been like family and a lot of ways and I don’t want to just walk away from family.

Kendy


#2

I don’t see anything wrong with it so long as you’re not denying your Catholic faith or looking at this other church as your fallback position. Who knows, you might be the one that leads some of your family home to the RCC. St. Paul tells us to question everything and retain what is good. Sounds like there’s some good in your vineyard church.


#3

[quote=Kendy]Hi,

I have decided to go back to RCC, but I still have a lot of attachments to my vineyard church, and I just want to clear up exactly what is ok behavior. Someone said that it was ok for me to attend protestant services as long as I don’t go to communion. But I read somewhere else that catholics can only attend protestant services if they have a special reason, like funerals. So, I am not sure what is the right thing to do.

I plan to go to Mass every Sunday, and I am trying to get involved in a catholic bible study, and I am looking into catholic charities to get involved with. But I am wondering if it’s ok to participate in vineyard worship services and bible studies if I don’t participate in communion and I don’t tithe to the vineyard church. I am hoping that I can stay involved in the church in a limited fashion: go to bible studies, and occasionally go to worship, and help out with volunteer actvities, and social events. Okay, so this isn’t very limited:). But my church has been like family and a lot of ways and I don’t want to just walk away from family.

Kendy
[/quote]

Kendy,

Two of my best friends are in an evangelical church here in town. One of them is a vocalist at the church, and I would say I go on an average of five or six times a year to hear her. On occasion I go if one of their children has an even there. I also listen, sing, and pray with the people there :). I don’t receive communion though. And I never miss Mass.

I also participate with them periodically in ecumenical bible studies, I attend social functions that they have with their bible study friends, and I consider them to be my friends as well. But most of my activities that have to do with their church happen b/c of them, not because I’m needing something from their particular services, etc, and not because it’s where I’m looking for truth. But like I said, their services are centered on God as well, and while I’m there it does me no harm to worship God along with them. But I’m fulfilled in my faith by the Catholic Church, by Mass, and by communion (our communion). I obviously hold the words of priests as authoritative, where I may just listen to their pastors and hear them as information I don’t necessarily agree with, and which I know the fullness of the truth is not behind.

I think what you have to consider is that you want to grow in your Catholic faith. So in terms of coming closer to God, you want to make sure you do that as much as possible, and make it in every way a priority, in the Catholic Church. I guess I think of going to church with my friends as visiting. But the Catholic Church is home, it’s where I belong (it’s where they belong too, and I pray someday they’ll realize that :slight_smile: ). Does that make sense?


#4

The only activity you mentioned that I would not continue is the Bible study. I would stick with Catholic Bible studies. Protestants interpret the Bible in a way that fits their beliefs. I don’t see any benefit to attend a Bible study in which the interpretation is not historically or theologically accurate. I would limit attendance to services to occasional - meaning maybe once every few months, if you feel the need to do so. Any charitable work or social activity, as long as it doesn’t contradict or promote ideas contrary to the faith, is perfectly acceptable.


#5

A word of caution though, your protestant friends and church members may be rather dismayed at your conversion and use these social opportunities to “evangelize” you. It may be more difficult then you anticipate to keep participating in their gatherings.


#6

[quote=bookgirl]Kendy,

Two of my best friends are in an evangelical church here in town. One of them is a vocalist at the church, and I would say I go on an average of five or six times a year to hear her. On occasion I go if one of their children has an even there. I also listen, sing, and pray with the people there :). I don’t receive communion though. And I never miss Mass.

I also participate with them periodically in ecumenical bible studies, I attend social functions that they have with their bible study friends, and I consider them to be my friends as well. But most of my activities that have to do with their church happen b/c of them, not because I’m needing something from their particular services, etc, and not because it’s where I’m looking for truth. But like I said, their services are centered on God as well, and while I’m there it does me no harm to worship God along with them. But I’m fulfilled in my faith by the Catholic Church, by Mass, and by communion (our communion). I obviously hold the words of priests as authoritative, where I may just listen to their pastors and hear them as information I don’t necessarily agree with, and which I know the fullness of the truth is not behind.

I think what you have to consider is that you want to grow in your Catholic faith. So in terms of coming closer to God, you want to make sure you do that as much as possible, and make it in every way a priority, in the Catholic Church. I guess I think of going to church with my friends as visiting. But the Catholic Church is home, it’s where I belong (it’s where they belong too, and I pray someday they’ll realize that :slight_smile: ). Does that make sense?
[/quote]

Makes sense:)

Kendy


#7

[quote=rayne89]A word of caution though, your protestant friends and church members may be rather dismayed at your conversion and use these social opportunities to “evangelize” you. It may be more difficult then you anticipate to keep participating in their gatherings.
[/quote]

Actually, I have talked to them about it (and my pastor) and they are relatively supportive. They are of course, a little concerned, and I don’t think they agree with me. But they haven’t done much to try to deter me and have only offered their prayers that I will do God’s will. And they are concerned about me belonging to a community. Our church is very lovy-dovy:).

Kendy


#8

[quote=Kendy]Actually, I have talked to them about it (and my pastor) and they are relatively supportive. They are of course, a little concerned, and I don’t think they agree with me. But they haven’t done much to try to deter me and have only offered their prayers that I will do God’s will. And they are concerned about me belonging to a community. Our church is very lovy-dovy:).

Kendy
[/quote]

My mother is pretty lovey-dovey, and my dad is a STRICT disciplinarian. It takes a little of both, don’t you think ? :slight_smile:


#9

[quote=bookgirl]My mother is pretty lovey-dovey, and my dad is a STRICT disciplinarian. It takes a little of both, don’t you think ? :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I agree.

Kendy


#10

[quote=Kendy]Actually, I have talked to them about it (and my pastor) and they are relatively supportive. They are of course, a little concerned, and I don’t think they agree with me. But they haven’t done much to try to deter me and have only offered their prayers that I will do God’s will. And they are concerned about me belonging to a community. Our church is very lovy-dovy:).

Kendy
[/quote]

When I came back to the Catholic Church, I was participating in a non-denominational Christian gospel choir. Great little congregation, I actually knew a lot of the people there, and many who attend I consider my best friends. Their services did lack the true sacredness of worshiping that I grew up with, which was one of the reasons why I came back to the Church. I was trying to see if I could fit singing with their choir again this year, but as God would have it, when I came back to my faith, I became very involved in my parish, serving on our parish’s stewardship committee, getting involved in the music ministry (two choirs in my parish now) and the Filippino-Americal association…the list goes on and on now!

I support my friends in following Christ, and I don’t see how attending an occassional special gathering or event at their church would harm me. But my faith is very important to me now, and I’d rather be in a community of like-minded believers than in one who wouldn’t understand some of the Catholic “things” I love to talk about and practice.

So my suggestion to you is as you are going through your RCIA, approach your priest to see in what ways you can start getting involved in your parish or in the Church until you are fully back into the Faith. I hope that you, like I, will be very pleasantly surprise that that family-like atmosphere will be present in your parish and in the Church, as brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ!

God Bless!


#11

[quote=Tonks40]When I came back to the Catholic Church, I was participating in a non-denominational Christian gospel choir. Great little congregation, I actually knew a lot of the people there, and many who attend I consider my best friends. Their services did lack the true sacredness of worshiping that I grew up with, which was one of the reasons why I came back to the Church. I was trying to see if I could fit singing with their choir again this year, but as God would have it, when I came back to my faith, I became very involved in my parish, serving on our parish’s stewardship committee, getting involved in the music ministry (two choirs in my parish now) and the Filippino-Americal association…the list goes on and on now!

I support my friends in following Christ, and I don’t see how attending an occassional special gathering or event at their church would harm me. But my faith is very important to me now, and I’d rather be in a community of like-minded believers than in one who wouldn’t understand some of the Catholic “things” I love to talk about and practice.

So my suggestion to you is as you are going through your RCIA, approach your priest to see in what ways you can start getting involved in your parish or in the Church until you are fully back into the Faith. I hope that you, like I, will be very pleasantly surprise that that family-like atmosphere will be present in your parish and in the Church, as brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ!

God Bless!
[/quote]

That’s what I was trying to say but couldn’t quite come up with the way to say it, thanks!!:thumbsup:


#12

Kendy,

All I can say is WOW:D ! I’m amazed at how quickly you have returned home. When you first started posting I thought this is going to take some work to get this sheep back to the flock. I hope and pray that you will find a Church that will fulfill all your needs. I’m going to have to read all your recent posts to find out how this all came about. God never ceases to amaze me and I’m so grateful for that and your the most recent amazement. Praise the Lord!

May God bless and protect us,
JLC


#13

[quote=Kendy]Hi,

I have decided to go back to RCC, but I still have a lot of attachments to my vineyard church, and I just want to clear up exactly what is ok behavior. Someone said that it was ok for me to attend protestant services as long as I don’t go to communion. But I read somewhere else that catholics can only attend protestant services if they have a special reason, like funerals. So, I am not sure what is the right thing to do.

I plan to go to Mass every Sunday, and I am trying to get involved in a catholic bible study, and I am looking into catholic charities to get involved with. But I am wondering if it’s ok to participate in vineyard worship services and bible studies if I don’t participate in communion and I don’t tithe to the vineyard church. I am hoping that I can stay involved in the church in a limited fashion: go to bible studies, and occasionally go to worship, and help out with volunteer actvities, and social events. Okay, so this isn’t very limited:). But my church has been like family and a lot of ways and I don’t want to just walk away from family.

Kendy
[/quote]

Hi Kendy…I can see nothing wrong with it at all. I rather enjoy worshipping with other Christian Faiths and sharing in fellowship with them.

Regards -Barb:)


#14

Kendy:

IMHO you can attend for social reasons, seeing old friends. So far as bible study, I don’t know if you’ve immersed yourself in the CCC. If you don’t have one. Try to get a personal copy…It is a solid tapestry of Bible verses, dogma, council declarations through the centuries, insights from the saints. Get familiar with it first…then you’ll be able to compare interpretation if you do attend a non catholic bible study. Many times our wonderful separated bretheren interpret from the hip and come up with conclusions that are not consistent with the rest of the bible.

I think it’s amazing how you’ve come around so quickly as well. Maybe the deeper you get into the faith, you will guide your friends to the church…

in XT.


#15

Hi Kendy,

After I came home to the faith, I tried to attend some of the non-Catholic services that I had been part of but they just didn’t cut it for me. Their Bible studies where too full of “Well, I think that this verse means this…” instead of comparing it to other passages for context and to what the early church said about that topic. And if I offered any insight into the ECF or something, it was not very well received.

Something else that you might consider is that even though you may do good stuff in Vineyard, isn’t the Catholic Church now your church home and don’t they deserve your full support and help? It’s not like the church isn’t full of needs that we need our people to step up and fill. If you are working for Vineyard, then aren’t you robbing time away from your church home and depriving them of your skills that might just be desperately needed among us?

I’m not tryin’ to shame you or anything my friend, but this is something that I think all Catholics need to think very seriously about. I see a lot of people cryin’ and whinin’ about things that they would like to see their parishes do and I often wonder why that person hasn’t stepped up to their pastor and offered to work hard for the church. That just doesn’t make sense to me. (I do realize that there are also those who have tried and are still working in parishes that really do have problems. God bless you guys!)

I frankly wish I could do more than I do, but I’m only one soul and unless Our Lord blesses me with bilocation… :frowning:

This is just something that I wanted to suggest to you. Let’s not short-change our own parishes by spending talents in a church that doesn’t teach what we really believe.
Pax tecum,


#16

It is fine to attend socials, discussions on faith, and worship services at protestant churches- just be sure to go to Mass. It can be very frustrating when you leave a Protestant church where the people are friendly, and where they use what truth they do have to the glory of God, and go to the Catholic Church where all they have are the Knights of Columbus and the Altar Society- and in the particular parish, both of those organizations don’t do much to propogate the Faith that people can see- they only have socials, and some of the people at them act in ways that can be offensive to a former evangelical (smoking, drinking, cussing, telling dirty jokes, etc.).


#17

[quote=Kendy]Hi,

I have decided to go back to RCC, but I still have a lot of attachments to my vineyard church, and I just want to clear up exactly what is ok behavior. Someone said that it was ok for me to attend protestant services as long as I don’t go to communion. But I read somewhere else that catholics can only attend protestant services if they have a special reason, like funerals. So, I am not sure what is the right thing to do.

I plan to go to Mass every Sunday, and I am trying to get involved in a catholic bible study, and I am looking into catholic charities to get involved with. But I am wondering if it’s ok to participate in vineyard worship services and bible studies if I don’t participate in communion and I don’t tithe to the vineyard church. I am hoping that I can stay involved in the church in a limited fashion: go to bible studies, and occasionally go to worship, and help out with volunteer actvities, and social events. Okay, so this isn’t very limited:). But my church has been like family and a lot of ways and I don’t want to just walk away from family.

Kendy
[/quote]

As a convert, I can understand your fondness for your old church and your desire to stay involved in some way.

BUT, I would strongly encourage you to cut the cord. You are not a protestant, you are a Catholic.

What point would attending a protestant bible study or worship service have? You would be learning/discussing non-Catholic theology/viewpoints in the bible study. You would be hearing non-Catholic sermons in the service. It pulls you away from the True Church.

I think you need to just cut it off. If you have friends there, you do not have to give them up. Set up lunch dates, movie excursions, whatever-- but not church. It also give a false impression that you aren’t really committed to the Catholic Church.


#18

I hope so. I attend an Efree Church and play on the worship team (in addition to attending Mass).

Lets get something from the CCC before too much speculation occurs. My wife has distanced herself from the RCC and prefers to go to the Efree church - I guess that would be my “special reason” - my family unity.

Ive done it all. You may find that you have been given a special mission by God: spreading the unity of Christs family. Are you a middle child by any chance?

You can stay involved. You should also bring some of the familial love that you have to your new parish as well - this is something often lacking and a stumbling block for many. You are just the person to bring that experience to your new family members…

Peace,

Phil


#19

I say “go ahead”, so long as you do not buy in to their “service” and their teachings.


#20

[quote=Philthy]Lets get something from the CCC before too much speculation occurs. My wife has distanced herself from the RCC and prefers to go to the Efree church - I guess that would be my “special reason” - my family unity.
[/quote]

Peace,

PhilOk, let’s just do that:

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
SECOND EDITION
PART ONE
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION TWO
THE PROFESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

ARTICLE 9
"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH"

Paragraph 3. The Church Is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic

811 "This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic."256 These four characteristics, inseparably linked with each other,257 indicate essential features of the Church and her mission. The Church does not possess them of herself; it is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities.

812 Only faith can recognize that the Church possesses these properties from her divine source. But their historical manifestations are signs that also speak clearly to human reason. As the First Vatican Council noted, the "Church herself, with her marvelous propagation, eminent holiness, and inexhaustible fruitfulness in everything good, her catholic unity and invincible stability, is a great and perpetual motive of credibility and an irrefutable witness of her divine mission."258

Read the whole context HERE. There’s more to it than just that so be sure to read it all.

I think that, unless there is a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic, there is very little reason to attend n-C churches and that a Catholic who consistently does so just because they get a lovey-dovey, warm fuzzy from their services needs to get their own faith squared away, understand what the Mass is all about, pay careful attention to the readings and the homily, and focus on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and all that entails for us.

Then they need to ask their pastor what all their own church needs from them and begin to work as hard as they can to make it the best parish in the church.

To me going to a service that doesn’t have the Eucharist is like going to a expensive fancy restaurant only to discover that all you get is an empty plate with symbolic and imaginary food. I’ve GOTTA have my daily bread of life!
Pax tecum,


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