How to refute the argument that it doesn't matter where you go to church?

I have been trying to talk to my wife about the Catholic Church, but she keeps saying,“I don’t see why it matters what ‘church’ we go to.” How do I answer that?

If the Church is the union of humanity with Christ in a social, hierarchically organized form, it has to be necesarily one, since Christ is one and the human race is one; it has to be holy, because contact with Christ is sanctifying; it must be catholic, i.e., universal, since the union of humanity in Christ embraces (in tendency) all individuals of the human species; it must be apostolic, because, since it is a union in hierarchical form, it is necessarily based on Peter and the Apostles and their successors, who constitute the hierarchy.

If that is true then why do we not still go to the Synagogue. If that was true why did the reformation happen? And the Big One if that is true why not go to the one that started it all.

Maybe she just wants a place to worship God so the place of worship doesn’t matter to her as long as it’s regarded sacred?

[bibledrb]John 17[/bibledrb]

Ut Unum Sint (Latin: ‘may they be one’ from the Vulgate translation of the Gospel according to John 17:21). This document shows that the Roman Catholic Church is officially moved to unity.

In paragraph 79, we see five subjects that are considered important for “more clear” understanding that will bring unity:

[LIST]
*]The relationship between Sacred Scripture, as the highest authority in matters of faith, and Sacred Tradition, as indispensable to the interpretation of the Word of God;
*]The Eucharist, as the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, an offering of praise to the Father, the sacrificial memorial and Real Presence of Christ and the sanctifying outpouring of the Holy Spirit;
*]Ordination, as a Sacrament, to the threefold ministry of the episcopate, presbyterate and diaconate;
*]The Magisterium of the Church, entrusted to the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him, understood as a responsibility and an authority exercised in the name of Christ for teaching and safeguarding the faith;
*]The Virgin Mary, as Mother of God and Icon of the Church, the spiritual Mother who intercedes for Christ’s disciples and for all humanity.
[/LIST]

The above list demonstrates clearly the vital elements in Christian life. Where do we go in order to benefit from these divine gifts?

Does it matter if they are not present??

The difficulty you are facing is ignorance. If your wife is ignorant of these differences, these amazing gifts present in the Catholic Church and absent in other ecclesial communities, how can she know what she is missing and what matters?

A great book to help understand the incredible depth and value of the Mass from a Protestant perspective is The Lambs Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth, by Scott Hahn

Primarily, it comes down to belief in the Eucharist. We accept a literal interpretation of the Words of Christ when He initiated His New Covenant. We believe that at every Mass, we are attending the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.

The Catholic Church is the Church established by Christ. She’s 2,000 years of age with roots in Judaism.

She is universal in practice and belief. We recite our beliefs through a Creed.

We are a Sacramental Church and through those Sacraments we continue to receive God’s grace (Baptism (once), Reconciliation (multiple times), Eucharist (multiple times), Confirmation (once), Marriage (once), Holy Orders (once), Annointing of the Sick (multiple).

We believe in the succession of the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of hands to the ordinate.

We uphold Sacred Scripture and the Traditions established by the Apostles. We acknowledge a spiritual & behavioral morality that does not comply with society.

We believe in an active Communion of Saints - those here on Earth, in Purgatory and in the presence of God.

If you mean that she doesn’t understand why you need to go to a Catholic church:

First thing I would say is:

Do you believe what Jesus said at the last supper is true and intended to be a practice and profession of faith? If she believes that Jesus told us to take his “Body & Blood” in remembrance of him, then she must go to a Catholic church. Why?

#1- The Catholic Church belives that during a Catholic Mass, the wine and bread are transubstantiated into the ACTUAL Body and Blood of Christ.

#2-Most, if not all, protestant churches think “communion” is simply a symbolic gesture. There is no consectration or transubstantiation.

#3- Only a Eucharist overseen by a Ordained Catholic Priest can have true transubstantiation to turn the bread and wine into the body and blood. So, non-Catholic Eucharists are invalid.

Basically you’d be wasting your time from a worship level by going to a Mass/Service that does not have a valid Eucharist. Not only that but even if somehow she thought that communion is the same no matter where you go, they typically only do it once a month at most protestant churches.

There are many other things as well, but I feel the Eucharist is the biggest reason not to go to a protestant church.

Other reasons are that some protestant churches support gay marriage, gay pastors, female pastors, abortion and immoral lifestyles and causes.

Yes, why settle for less that the full Truth Christ wanted for us. Not the obvious dissension in all the splits the reformation caused:shrug:

She wants a place to worship God where she “gets something out of it”. I think she means that she feels closer to God because she went or that she learned something about God that helps her to grow closer to Him. She said she doesn’t get that at the Catholic Church. She did admit Tuesday that mass was better than it usually is though.

Worshiping God isn’t supposed be for us to ge someting out of it as the primary motivation. The primary motivation is to obey God’s command, to participate in the Eucharist on Sundays. We’re commanded to repent of our sins and praise our Lord.

Granted, we can feel closer to God as a result of obeying him. You can get something out of the Homily and out of the readings but first you must obey God’s will “getting something out of it” is what you get after obeying God.

IMO, you can’t truly get something out of going to church if you’re not obeying God’s command to participate in the Eucharist. Anything you think you’re getting out of a non-Catholic Mass comes from a false sense of self importance of yourself and the pastor.

I find that many church services at protestant churches seem to be all about “ME”. The preacher does everything he/she can to bring attention to themselves. The music director does everything he/she can to be “cool, instyle and current” to appeal to the youth and draw attention to themselves. At some churches even the parishioners seem to be trying to draw attention themselves with their actions during church.

In the Catholic church we believe that we are one big community and we are there to Worship God, not put on a show. The mass is specifically designed to file off the priest’s serial numbers from it, so as to draw attention to the Lord and not the priest, chior, or parishioners as much as possible. This is also part of the reason priests are moved around from parish to parish about every 10 years, so that the church does not become about him.

Sorry, I appear to have stumbled into a semi-related rant. :o

In the end, I would just say that first obey God’s command to take part in the Eucharist and then worry about what you get out of it. As if the Eucharist wasn’t enough. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi, SJ…I will relate what I read or heard from a convert story that both husband and wife got started on their journey. I think the wife asked “if listening to a sermon for an hour really constituted worship?” So they begone investigating Catholicism and attended a Mass. They were flabbergasted at how Biblical it was. If your wife wants to be really close to God, the mass is just one part of the journey.

Cite John 6:56:"He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

How can you get any closer to God than having His body in her?

My suggestion is to lead her to read lives of saints, see how they got closer and closer to God. Saints I would suggest are Catherine of Sienna, Teresa of Avila, St. Rita of Cascia, St Bernadette of Lourdes, for starters

Here are free downloads: catholicity.com/cds/

There is an excellent explanation of the Mass here and I hope at least, you can get her to listen to it.

As others have said church is not about getting something out of it. Its about humiliation prayer confession. In other churchs you may have a spiritual up lifting music and she may fell spiritually close to God but God is both spirit and flesh. And we are spirit annd flesh as well. In order for us to be one with God we need the fullness of ourselves flessh and spirit to be one with Gods fullness flesh and spirit. You only get that in the Catholic Church.

Also simple question would she ask/tell the apostles the same thing. Especially knowing someother guy down the street is teaching something different about Jesus.

I think this will help you much. Peace

zuserver2.star.ucl.ac.uk/~vgg/rc/aplgtc/hahn/m3/4mrko.html

Everyone thinks their religion and even sect of it is correct. If you want to find out what’s wrong with yours, ask someone of any different sect. :thumbsup:

And if those of the other sect are filled with misinformation about one’s sect how can they tell you what is wrong?

Thank God the CC is no sect.

You don’t say what sort of Faith background your wife comes from. How long have you been married. What sort of practice existed at the time of your marriage. Anyway you can see that it’s not just about going to the Catholic Church. You have to try to be sensitive to your wife’s difficulties, not just steamroll over her issues with irrefutable arguments.

My wife was born and raised Baptist, and she has been a very devout Christian since before I met her.

Yesterday, she told me that she doesn’t want to become Catholic. She feels like becoming Catholic is becoming an entirely different religion all together. She also doesn’t like mass. She says she listened to part of an audio track and read some about mass but still doesn’t like it.

This is just my opinion of course, but I would let her be for now. I would continue being a good observant Catholic myself too. I would try to be there for her with answers about Catholicism that are most understanding of her own beliefs, so that she develops the habit of coming to you for answers. I’m still not sure if you entered into a mixed marriage, or if you converted some time after the marriage. If so, that would make it doubly difficult for her.

Blessed John Henry Newman was always respectful and sympathetic to Protestants of his own acquaintance and family members. If they are drawing closer to God in their beliefs, then better to agree to disagree.

Having been married over 30 years myself, I know a wife will not respond favorably to a peremptory imposition of beliefs on a subject that is already important to her. It is not uncommon for couples to stay happily married even with different religious beliefs. Pray for her conversion.

She realizes Baptist is a religion invented by John Smyth in the 17th century…right? She’s the one in the entirely different religion from the one Jesus established… That’s just historical fact.

how would she answer the following requirement AND dire warning…

Heb 10:
[FONT=Georgia]23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27* but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. 28* A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29* How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace[/FONT][FONT=Arial]? [/FONT]

Notice the points?
[LIST]
*][FONT=Arial]not meeting on Sunday the Day] is a deadly serious sin, [/FONT]
[LIST]
*][FONT=Arial]no longer remains a sacrifice for sin for that person, and they spurn the son of God, profane the blood of the covenant, and outrage the spirit of grace. [/FONT]
[/LIST]
*][FONT=Arial]How does all that happen by not meeting on Sunday as is the habit of some? Obviously it’ has to do with what they do when they meet ergo what they miss by not meeting…[/FONT]
[LIST]
*][FONT=Arial]What is the sacrifice for sin and blood of the covenant referring to when they meet? It’s the Eucharist. ***Matthew 26:28 **This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus said this instituting the Eucharist. *[FONT=Georgia]Jesus further describes what the Eucharist means for the soul. Jn 6:53 unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.[/FONT][/FONT]
*][FONT=Georgia][FONT=Georgia]therefore, [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Georgia][FONT=Georgia]to deliberately miss the Eucharist on Sunday, is to spurn the son of God, profane His blood of the covenant, and outrage the spirit of grace. [/FONT][/FONT]
*][FONT=Georgia][FONT=Georgia][FONT=Georgia]The consequences for that soul who deliberately blows off mass on Sunday? ? Once they have the knowledge of the truth, AND have been warned, and deliberately misses mass on Sunday, then as scripture says, God treats them as an adversary, and a fury and fiery judgment awaits them.[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]
[/LIST]
[/LIST]

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.