Catholics working for Protestant organizations

I’m currently looking for a job and there are several organizations in the area that are faith-based.

All require that employees sign a “Statement of Faith” that basically lists some basic tenants of Christian doctrine. Some of those though are written in such a way to exclude Catholics as they almost always include some sort of Sola Scriptura reference. I was told by one organization that I could make an amendment and add something about the Magisterium, and Tradition as referenced in 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

But I am really asking about a particular organization that identifies themselves as Baptist and prefers to hire Baptists. On their application is the following:

I have to be an “active member of a local New Testament Church.” What does that mean?

I also have to “Accept the Baptist Faith and Message statement.” I could be missing something obvious but the hot topics such as Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the Church, salvation, and the Scriptures seem to be able to be read in such a way that does not conflict with Catholic doctrine. In other words, they don’t include exclusionary terms such as “only” or “solely.” For example, it says, “Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water…” which is true. It fails to include, obviously that simply pouring water over the head of one being baptized is sufficient.
Another example: “The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.”
This is true. The missing piece of course is mention of the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

From reading this, (again, I could be overlooking something glaringly obvious) it seems like I can “accept” this Baptist Faith and Message statement. Even though there are missing pieces, the pieces that are stated are true. I have heard Protestantism described as the skeleton of the faith as in it has the basic foundation but is missing the meat and flesh of the Truth.

Can I in good conscience work for this organization?
Does anyone have any examples or suggestions of how Catholics can successfully work for Protestant organizations or just general tips/warnings to keep in mind?

No you cannot sign those documents and no you should not seek to work there.

Even though they don’t include exclusionary statements?

This reminds me of how my eldest son would skirt around something I told him to do (or more often, not do"

Me: “Quit hitting your sister!”
Daughter: “Ouch!”
Me: “What did I tell you, boy!?”
Don: “You didn’t say I couldn’t kick her!”

It’s pretty obvious to me, even while having never been Baptist or Catholic, that the SBC statement of faith is at the very least implicitly at odds with Catholic faith, including but not limited to the sections you’ve highlighted.

Try this on for size: section XVIII on the Family states, “Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.” Let’s assume for a minute that I’m a hyper-liberal Christian who supports same-sex marriage. What would you think if I were to say that there should be no problem with me accepting this statement since it doesn’t explicitly exclude same-sex marriages?

I would even recommend that you don’t go against your conscience or make excuses for it.

Thank you all for your replies.

I want to make clear that I am not trying to skirt by, sneak in, make excuses for, or make a square peg fit in a round hole.

On my application, and in my interview, and if I were to work there, I would make it explicitly clear that I am Roman Catholic and I believe ALL of what the Roman Catholic Church teaches and that she is the pillar and foundation of the fullness of truth. I would make no effort to conceal these beliefs.

So in other words, I can accept their statements, but probably the more relevant question is whether THEY could be the ones to accept me? And possibly they may not feel that I am consistent with their beliefs and I would respect that and move on.

Brandon Cal: Your same-sex marriage example was a good one. The liberal pseudo-Christian who supports same-sex marriage could accept the marriage statement you gave an example, but if they also made explicitly clear that they also believe that same-sex marriage is valid, then the onus would be on the potential employer to reject this person based on their misalignment with their beliefs.
The liberal person would not be able to “accept” that statement if exclusionary terms were added such as “only.”

Again, does anyone know what they are referring to as a “New Testament church”?

“active member of a local New Testament Church”

Some fundmentalist Churches (Baptists are funmentalists) believe that the New Testament is all that matters. The Old Testament is not useful nor needs to be studied. I would assume that’s what a “New Testament Church” is.

There are LOTs of things which the Baptists beleive that are totally contray to Catholic teaching. For example, most do not believe that Baptism washes away Orginial Sin. They believe it’s simply a public display of faith.

I would suggest not applying.

God Bless.

I once worked for a Baptist organization that ran a tutoring service. They didn’t have anything that specific, but they did ask if I was a Christian. I wasn’t sure how to answer, since I believe I am a Christian, but I’m pretty sure they don’t agree. Finally, I just circled “yes” and wrote in “Catholic” in the margins. They gave me the job.

Any good lawyer could get you to hide your faith in some weasel words and you could then accept the thirty pieces of silver. Do I hear some gnawing of conscience in even the question?

As a Catholic, you can’t agree to those statements. It would be lying.

Many of them are going to define a “New Testament church” as one that is in line with their denominational beliefs and polity, meaning Baptist or a non-denominal church that preaches and is structured like a Baptist church.

I would be wary of working for any non-Catholic group that requires you to sign or adhere to a certain statement of beliefs, especially if they have set a certain denomination as their standard.

Personally, I worked for close to 2 years for a “gospel-centered company” that had a similar statement of beliefs, which including the Nicene Creed, and Evangelical statement of faith, and the 5 Solas of the Reformation. When hired, had to have our pastor vouch for our adherance and church membership.

When I resigned from my position at my former Protestant church to start attending Mass and RCIA, my former pastor emailed my boss and told him I was “turning Catholic”. My boss asked if this was true, went through the statement of beliefs with me again, specifically asked if I rejected Catholicism, and then told me I no longer had a job. I n longer even list this on my resume because I found out they were telling people I was fired for dishonesty (ie, for not immediately resigning as soon as I started questioning Protestantism).

I don’t think if it was me I would touch it. You can’t really
agree to something like that which really DOES
have exclusionary statements like symbolic? Immersion?
etc. basically they are asking you to profess the
Baptist faith. Now if you told them you can’t agree to
that cause you are RC and they hired you anyway
But you can’t lie and agree for all practical purposes
to being Baptist when you aren’t just to get a job.
That puts you
right out in the desert with Jesus and Satan doesn’t
it? Worship this way and I will give you a job you know?
Granted Satan offered Jesus whole kingdoms but
still the principle is the same.

And you asked what is a local New Testament
It is your local Baptist Church that follow strict Bible only
practices and reject infant baptism etc.
So I doubt you will get the job anyway. Move on.

They define it on the very page you linked us to.

I’ve put in bold the parts that are explicitly at odds with Catholicism. Catholic parishes are not locally autonomous, they do not operate under democratic processes, and they do not limit their sacramental life to a mere two “ordinances” (baptism and communion).

Upon further reflection I’ve noticed two other parts of that creedal statement which I believe are at explicit odds with Catholic faith:

*]Section I on the Scriptures states that the Bible is the “supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried”. This is full blown Sola Scriptura.
*]Section VII on Baptism states that “Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water”. While there are no exclusionary terms used (such as ‘only’), the Southern Baptist intention of insisting that baptisms must be performed via total immersion is nevertheless present. This is common knowledge, and it’s the very reason that their denomination is called Baptist!

Thank you. This was most helpful. I really needed an explanation and someone to help me interpret these statements in light of our faith. Rather than a simple admonition of “don’t apply.”

I decided earlier to not apply for this job but I want to again clarify that I am in no way trying to sneak or cheat my way into a job. Me posing this question on this forum was not due to a guilty conscience but because I am trying to determine which organizations I can work for and which I cannot.
I would never trick any organization or person into thinking I am not Roman Catholic. Any faith-based job I would apply for, I would explicitly make clear that I am Catholic and that I believe everything that the Church teaches.

I’d like to give some background context into why I even brought this up as a question. In this area and in my field of work most organizations are faith-based. This adds another layer of discernment when trying to find a job. All of these organizations have a general statement of faith that they require employees to sign. One such organization has a sola scriptura article but a Catholic I know who works there asked if he could make an amendment to their statement and they agreed and allow him to work there.

Another job is with a pregnancy center affiliated with an Evangelical organization called, CareNet. CareNet’s statement of faith includes this article:

  1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

When I first saw this, I thought, well, there goes that opportunity. But upon further research I found this article by Priests for Life explaining how Catholics in good conscience can sign this statement:
Catholics and the CareNet Statement of Faith
Statement of Faith Clarification for Roman Catholics
Interpretation and Applicability of the Statement of Faith

So basically, combining these two examples, when I saw this job with this Baptist organization, I thought, “hmm… maybe there is some way that I could amend these statements to accurately reflect my beliefs or maybe because there are no exclusionary statements I can agree with them…”
Because the bottom line is, these jobs are not about converting people to different denominations, or getting rich, they are about providing a social service in the name of Christ. The job is helping girls who have been victims of human sex trafficking. In other words, I would not be doing it for the money, or for the Baptist faith, but because I want to help “the least of these.”
I have ultimately decided to pursue other opportunities but I wanted clarification about this example because I would not be surprised if these situations keep coming up in my line of work.

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