Christians gone wild


#1

This morning, I was reflecting what brought me to the Catholic church. My background is I grew up in non-denominational churches that came out of the Jesus people movement of the 70’s. Over the last 15 years or so, I’ve watched many of these churches go off the beaten path and into the wild as the thread suggests. Wild doctrine, wild charisms, wild teaching, driven by a desire to have the newest “move” of the Holy Spirit duplicated at home. Generally speaking, I’ve seen a dramatic shift in the “non-denominational” churches with some main-line denominations in tow. From my observations, this pandemic of pop-culture Christianity seems to be wide-spread.

This shift caused me so much grief, that I had pretty much given up on attending church altogether. I thank God for finding the church to come home to.

I know the standard Catholic response is those churches are not following the “true church”. But, the Catholic church has had some of this blow through the doors as well. I’m hoping we can put aside the canned answers and flame-wars this thread could start. For cradle catholics, I doubt too many would know what I’m talking about. But I bet there are a few recovering Protestants out there who do.

Now that I’ve shaken the bee’s nest…:smiley:


#2

I dont know what you want for a response since you dont really ask anything you are just making a statement of your POV from your experience.

Glad you are back in the Church!:slight_smile:


#3

Oops,

What I was trying to do was start a thread on this topic and see if anyone else has noticed this trend or been in the same situation.

Very, VERY glad to be home!


#4

Crossroads…Uh, .*…what *trend? :confused:


#5

I think this is about the more wild charismatic via pentesostal “worship” practices–which really seems to be more of a subjective whip up your emotions to feel “spiritual”—it’s sad that Church of Satan founder Anton LeVey once said he couldn’t tell a “possesed by the Spirit” pentecostal service from the same action in a Voudoun ceremony


#6

I’m a “cradle Catholic” although I strayed from the Church for a long time. I began to have a relationship with Christ again through an Evangelical Church, so I know much of what you’re talking about. I think that a good example is the recent wildfire spread of “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren.

Actually, the spread of that book was one of the things that began to push me out of the Protestant circle. I don’t think that the enthusiasm surrounding that particular publication really says much about Protestant commitment to the Bible. At the time, I wondered, why all the fuss about this book when supposedly the Bible has everything we need?

Apparently, for many Protestants, the Bible may have everything, but it doesn’t serve it up in nice little bite size feel good nuggets.

I think that some of this has blown into the Catholic Church as there is a lot of back and forth between Catholicism and Protestantism, especially in America. That said, I take refuge in the fact that the Church will never be lead astray permanently by these temporal spasms. This a huge difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. For us, we can rely on the teaching of the Holy Spirit expressed through the Magisterium and the Pope, given by the promise of Christ. He said that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church and that we would be led into all truth.

Regardless of what error our local parish may be engaging in, the Church itself will survive and we can rely on Her teachings. Also, the error of your parish, if you feel it grave enough, can be brought to the attention of higher authorities. (Be patient when doing this, however, it is notoriously the Catholic way to move slowly.) This is a luxury most Protestant churches lack because they are ruled locally and answer to no one beyond themselves.

To end my commentary, I’ll just say that I agree with what you’ve said for the most part. Many churches fit the description of “Christians Gone Wild”, being blown in the wind by whatever fad comes along.


#7

I could tell the same thing at Calvary Chapel, I was listening to the radio about 3 years ago, when Chuck Smith pretty much said “some Christians believe you can lose your salvation some believe you can’t. It really doesn’t matter it is up to you to decide, as long as you are following Biblical teaching”

So if you don’t know what really is biblical teaching how do you know if you are following it?

Believe what you want, and avoid discussion, just make sure you agree with us.
It is very hard to even dialogue with that mindset as you are automatically wrong if you don’t agree and they don’t even want to discuss the reasons behind the faith.
Then you are just divisive if you want to discuss the faith, so you automatically are bad. It is almost the perfect defense as there is none.

In Christ
Scylla


#8

Yes and no. Post #6 is where I was mostly focusing on. I would take what Anton said with a grain of salt. I could care less if someone gets a little enthusiastic in their services. There are even Charismatic Catholics these days.

I could name a couple more fads like the promise keepers, the Toronto blessing/Pensacola revival, and the good old faith/prosperity (name-it-claim-it) preachers.


#9

Please forgive the length of my post, but I believe this subject deserves a book to really cover it adequately.

I see the whole charismatic movement as something of a blessing in disguise, with grave reservations. I know some cradle Catholics who got a “shot in the arm” by being involved in the charismatic/interdenominational movement. They come to Mass with a greater appreciation for the meaning of the readings and prayers instead of simply zoning out or reciting their rosaries.

OTOH, there is a lot of doctrinal misinformation that sticks to such Catholics, making them either question the teachings of the Church or giving them erroneous ideas about what it means to be saved, etc.

A gal I know, a very devout cradle Catholic, educated before the 60’s (by nuns who wore their habit) and who had learned Latin, said to me one day that she had been “born again” in her interdenominational Bible/prayer group. As a convert from Pentecostalism, I was aghast. I had to explain to her that what she had experienced was merely an awakening to faith, not a “born again” experience–that the Church teaches that we are born again through baptism.

She also told me that until she’d started attending her Bible/prayer group she’d never heard that God loved her! Again, I was stunned! The Church has always taught that God loves us. I don’t think she was lying to me, but I do think having the experiences she did in her Bible/prayer group awoke within her the desire/ability to really listen to what was being said. It was good she now understood that God loves her, but it was a shame she actually thought she hadn’t been told that before in the Church.

I think those of us who had to fight our way through to understanding the teachings of the Church as converts have to be ready to help some of our fellow cradle Catholics come to see the truths and beauty of their own Church. Especially when they become involved in some Evangelical/charismatic group that fills their heads with all sorts of errors and overwhelms them with emotional support. This leads many Catholics to believe their own Church is lacking or wrong, so they cannot reconcile what they’ve experienced with what they were taught as children in the Catholic Church.


#10

Hi,

Im glad my non-denom is one of those churches. :thumbsup: I think many mainline protestant churches are moving toward secular thinking:( Caving in to peer pressure(so to speak).


#11

This leads many Catholics to believe their own Church is lacking or wrong, so they cannot reconcile what they’ve experienced with what they were taught as children in the Catholic Church.

But there IS something lacking in our church. First and foremost, Its the people on the outside looking in. I can sympathize with your friend. I heard that same story from various ex-Catholics that wandered into my old non-denominational church.

What it says to me is we have two problems. One, some churches/parishes aren’t teaching the whole gospel or did a poor job relating the Gospel to the parishioner. You can not go very far in the Gospel without running into love. John 3:16…for God so loved the world… John declared God IS love! How can anyone miss that one? The entire point of the Bible is summed up with that one word!

The second problem is we are not meeting the needs of some of our own. Its to Catholics credit to show mercy and compassion to the lost. But my goodness, there is room for improvement in making sure our own are also tended and nurtured without going to other churches.

I’ve had discussions with my mother-in-law about the changes in the church from Vatican II to the present. We both agree there is a lack of teaching inherent in the Sunday mass. You can go to mass every day and hear the word of God, but, those passages can just as easily go in one ear and out the other without connecting. It seems there is something missing from our body and it left starting with the the east/west split and multiplied with the Protestant reformation.

Coming from the Protestant side and now going through RCIA, I now feel that I have a complete faith, but I don’t think I would had I always been Catholic. My wife (also my sponsor) is learning a lot that wasn’t covered in catechism. At first, my wife’s reaction to going with me was “I did 12 years of Catholic education, I don’t need to do it again”. When we first started going to church together, I was shocked to hear my wife say “I go to mass to zone out”. Here I was all excited for the homily, taking in the 7-10 minute “sermon” and found out I was the only one listening. I’m glad my perspective/influence has changed that habit.

Honestly, Bible studies and mid-week services focusing on teaching are a huge credit to the Protestant faiths. Although I love the 1 hour mass compared to the 3 1/2 hour sunday I was used to, it seems to me the priest/deacon quits the homily just as its getting good.

I conclude with having no answers to fix sleeping Catholics or error-prone Protestants. I have enough issues on my own. :hmmm:


#12

Which is ironic considering the teaching people got from the 60’s onwards in the Church was all about how God loves us so much he doesn’t expect very much of us–and I think THAT is the big problem we have now. Who wants to stay in a Church that demands little or nothing of them? Actually, the Church calls us to holiness, which means having a rich and loving relationship with God and our neighbor. Too bad that isn’t being taught enough in some of our parishes.

What it says to me is we have two problems. One, some churches/parishes aren’t teaching the whole gospel or did a poor job relating the Gospel to the parishioner. You can not go very far in the Gospel without running into love. John 3:16…for God so loved the world… John declared God IS love! How can anyone miss that one? The entire point of the Bible is summed up with that one word!

I agree, but it isn’t shouted at them or made to be the only thing we focus on. Catholics are expected to be mature enough to hear homilies on more than how God loves us, and remember that we show God’s love through our words and actions. I guess there are many babies sitting in our pews who don’t wear diapers.

The second problem is we are not meeting the needs of some of our own. Its to Catholics credit to show mercy and compassion to the lost. But my goodness, there is room for improvement in making sure our own are also tended and nurtured without going to other churches.

Many parishes have Bible studies and prayer groups, but only a very few take advantage of them. Then too, Catholics ought to be reading their own wonderful spiritual works by the great Saints, such as Therese of Lisieux or St. Francis de Sales or even G. K. Chesterton (not yet a saint, but I’ve got great hopes he’ll be recognized one day).

I’ve had discussions with my mother-in-law about the changes in the church from Vatican II to the present. We both agree there is a lack of teaching inherent in the Sunday mass. You can go to mass every day and hear the word of God, but, those passages can just as easily go in one ear and out the other without connecting. It seems there is something missing from our body and it left starting with the the east/west split and multiplied with the Protestant reformation.

Sunday Mass is not for instruction of the faithful but for corporate worship and the reception of the Eucharist. People ought to read the Mass readings beforehand and meditate on them so that the homily will make more sense and speak to them. Many Catholics either don’t know how to prepare for Mass or they’re lazy or think all they can cruise through life putting nothing into their faith and still be saved. It’s sad, isn’t it?

Coming from the Protestant side and now going through RCIA, I now feel that I have a complete faith, but I don’t think I would had I always been Catholic. My wife (also my sponsor) is learning a lot that wasn’t covered in catechism. At first, my wife’s reaction to going with me was “I did 12 years of Catholic education, I don’t need to do it again”. When we first started going to church together, I was shocked to hear my wife say “I go to mass to zone out”.

I think this is the reason God is calling many of us former Protestants into the Church–to bring a new sense of wonder and zeal with us. With so many voices in our world calling to people, it can be hard for them to sort out which ones they need to listen to. And with indifferentism on the rise, many people truly believe it makes no difference what they believe as long as they have a rudimentary faith in Christ that they think will carry them through. It’s up to people like us to shake them up a bit and help them see things better.

continued…


#13

Here I was all excited for the homily, taking in the 7-10 minute “sermon” and found out I was the only one listening. I’m glad my perspective/influence has changed that habit.

Honestly, Bible studies and mid-week services focusing on teaching are a huge credit to the Protestant faiths. Although I love the 1 hour mass compared to the 3 1/2 hour sunday I was used to, it seems to me the priest/deacon quits the homily just as its getting good.

The homily isn’t a sermon in the Protestant sense of the word. It’s not a teaching nor is it meant to “rouse the troops.” It’s preaching the word from the readings and Gospel of the day. People have to put some effort into it in order to get more out of what they’ve heard, which is why meditating on the readings before Mass is such a good thing to do.

I conclude with having no answers to fix sleeping Catholics or error-prone Protestants. I have enough issues on my own. :hmmm:

And for now, I think it best for you to not worry yourself overly much about these things. This is a time of learning and awakening for you. Let this time be rich and full in doing just that. Believe me, the time will come when God will call upon you to return what you are being given now to your faith community. It was the same for me. After 20 years as a Catholic (this Easter Vigil), I can look back and see how God molded me in the early years in the Church to be able to minister to others now. Just like Jesus prepared for 30 years for God’s call and St. Paul prepared for 3 years in the desert, we have to patiently let God fill us up so that we will be ready to go when he tells us to go out and give of what we have received.


#14

Della, your post struck me. I have to say I still bang my head up against a wall with my cradle catholic friends who think erroneous things about the faith because they had misinformation and no real formation at all.

I just fininshed (I think?) clarifying to my spouse a cradle catholic last evening that its still a requirement for us to give something up or chose an alternate penance on Fridays other than meat. He thinks that its not required yet he also thinks he cant eat meat on fridays and insists we cant.

Whatever.

My neighbor who is involved in the Church (big hitter) said horrifyed to me that I was insane to think that the Church still warned us to “stay away from the near occasion of sin”

Yep. She is convinced its not a teaching anymore.

Whatever.

I have been arguing with a young lady in my little ones playgroup that no, its NOT OKAY TO BE ON ABC!!!

Grrrrr…


#15

Agreed. I only used the word as it is the only way I could relate the one to the other. I quickly left a parish that used the homily to “rouse the troops” instead of its intended purpose. But my original observation stands. There is a genunine lack of teaching. When people are hungry for more and the church can’t or won’t give it to them, people will go elsewhere. That was what I tried to say in too many words.


#16

Yes, it’s like they spent the whole of the 60’s/70’s standing around, holding hands and singing Kumbaya or something! There was no solid teaching, and still isn’t in far too many parishes.

[quote=FromTheCrossroa]I quickly left a parish that used the homily to “rouse the troops” instead of its intended purpose. But my original observation stands. There is a genunine lack of teaching. When people are hungry for more and the church can’t or won’t give it to them, people will go elsewhere. That was what I tried to say in too many words.
[/quote]

If you are in a parish that has no Bible study or other classes for teaching the faith besides RCIA, perhaps, in time, you will be called to start one or assist in adult formation. The homily is not a teaching, per se, so it is not expected to be.

Catholics are expected to explore their faith in the many ways available to them–books, classes, meditation, prayer, etc. Sadly, though, many like to just slide along. But, that’s rather to be expected when a Church treats people like adults and not like babies that need to be spoon-fed. The unfortunate thing is, there are many more babies in our parishes than adults.


#17

I agree. But there are plenty of churches on the Protestant side that have babies as well. How do you change someone’s attitude who is happy sliding by? Just having a Bible study or mid-week service won’t fix the attitude problem either. I’m just surprised that there hasn’t been dealt with on our side. Especially when it seems to be a known flaw. It bothers me to hear anyone say they have to go to another denomination to have a need met. Part of the reason we go to Church is to be a part of the community. Our faith is best when the community is involved.

As for me being involved with Bible study, I’d say not anytime soon. First, I still know very little about the ins-and-outs of the church or the CCC. There are much more seasoned Catholics where I attend who should answer that call. Second, a few on this board have suggested I don’t even belong in a pew much less involved in anything with the church. Not that I take what they say too seriously, but public speaking is not my strong suit.


#18

According to what I’ve read, this process actually started in the 19th century among the mainline protestant denominations. There was a trend towards liberalism, new biblical criticisms, discounting the miraculous, etc. This led to the rise of fundamentalism in the early 20th century as a reaction. By “mainline protestant” I assume you mean Methodists, Presbyterians, and the like.


#19

What? That is simply ridiculous. I am glad you dont take comments like that seriously, and personally IMHO I would reccomend you report that kind of thing to the mods. Its an outrage.


#20

This isn’t the first religious board I’ve been on and had things like that said to me. It probably won’t be the last. I’d be lying if I said I was surprised or deeply upset. It would take a lot more than that for me to feel the need to report anyone. After all, we should be entitled to free speech and freedom of thought even if we are wrong, provided certain lines are not crossed.


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