How would you respond?


#1

I recently got the e-mail below from a collegue. The subject came up regarding a Catholic’s obligation to attend mass on Sunday. In other words, the writer, who is Protestant, is saying that Catholics don’t need to got to Mass. Anyone have any ideas on how best to answer this e-mail politely and briefly. (I thought “Hit the road, Jack” might work, but on further reflection… :wink: )

I respect your Catholic faith. But remember that the Word of the Lord is the important part of the service on Sunday, not the Faith you follow. I am in no way putting down anyones faith.

This is only an option that I am showing you. The following Bible verse show an example:

Colossians 2:9,10 (NIV) For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in the bodily form, and you have be given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

Isaiah 29:13 (NIV) The Lord says “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men”

I am in no way trying to start a flame bait or an argument. I am showing Cyruss one possible option (for not going to mass on Sunday).


#2

I’m not Catholic, but I am a liturgical Protestant (United Methodist).

Ask him how much scripture they read in worship; my hunch is that they might read a few verses, and if lucky they might even read a whole pericope of scripture.

After his reply, inform him that, on every Sunday in Mass, there are four scripture readings (one from the OT, a psalm, a NT epistle, and a Gospel reading). I daresay, you are reading/proclaiming more of the Word than most Protestants do on any given Sunday.

His words about faith tell me that he hasn’t read Paul’s letters or the book of James very well. His lack of understanding of koinonia and eucharistia needs some work, too. :wink:

O+


#3

That says nothing whatsoever about going to mass. The Collosians passage says we have fullness of God in Christ. It doesn’t say we shouldn’t or needn’t get together to worship Him. In fact, you could point out that at mass we receive the fullness of Our Lord in the Eucharist.

The Isaiah passage has nothing whatsoever to do with Christians. It is referring to the judgement that will come upon the Jews in the form of Assyria and/or Rome because they worship only with empty words but don’t show it in their hearts. It’s saying essentially the same thing that Jesus said when He came, that the Jews had created so many rules that they worshipped not from their hearts, but that instead they just followed the rules and looked at it like that was it. It says nothing about Christians and Mass. Of course, Catholics do have Canon law, but that is not the same sense of rules that the Jews had. The rules they had were followed by everybody in their entire lives and in their religious lives. Canon law is much more focused on the governance of the Church internally, and in any case doesn’t detract from worshipping God in our hearts, which is what the warning was all about.

The way your colleauge is just yanking verses out of Scripture and out of context is a terrible sin against God and against His plans. Too often people act like every word in the Bible was written just for them. In some way, we can take meaning out of every word, but we also have to remember that most of these things, especially the prophets, were directed at very specific people at very specific times. In fact, the prophecies were often directed at one group of Jews but wouldn’t have applied to other groups that lived at the same time. The prophets knew to whom God wanted them to speak. They spoke to these people, and their words weren’t meant to be taken by others. For example, the Isaiah 29 prophecy concerns Jerusalem. There were very probably Jews in other parts of the land that worshipped God perfectly in their hearts, and whom weren’t meant to heed these warnings.

In fact, the Bible clearly tells us to attend worship consistently:

Heb 10:24 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works,
Heb 10:25 not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.


#4

Don’t forget the commandment in Exodus:

“Keep holy the Sabbath.”

:slight_smile:


#5

And don’t forget the command of Jesus, “He who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood, has life eternal, and I will raise him up on the last day.”


#6

Heb 10:25

We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.


#7

#8

[quote=Chickamauga]I recently got the e-mail below from a collegue. The subject came up regarding a Catholic’s obligation to attend mass on Sunday. In other words, the writer, who is Protestant, is saying that Catholics don’t need to got to Mass. Anyone have any ideas on how best to answer this e-mail politely and briefly. (I thought “Hit the road, Jack” might work, but on further reflection… :wink: )
[/quote]

He’s backpedaling without shame, so he comes off as being sincere as not trying to inflame, Of course, he bases his view of God on Bible only, where I can only base my view on what I know of him, the words he has written and you have quoted.

At any rate, thank him profusely for the gift he is trying to share with you. You think “he is trying to make me hate my wife” but you may also think he’s just saying “I wish I coiuld tell you how happy I am.”

It is a Good Thing if they feel happiness as far as fruits of the spirit, peace, gentleness, etc. You can rejoice with him.

You can say that you will carefully consider his point of view, but for the time being your decision, and in fact the commitment where you have given your word, you still intend to honor. Maybe he would like to come with you once, but depending on his outlook he could see either beauty or ugly so it’s a judgment call.

Alan

[edit]
P.S. It could be that he simply is trying to remove the “duty” part of going to Mass for you because he’s afraid it may confuse itself with the “free will” part of going to Mass.

You can assure him that you still would attend Mass were it not a sin, because you enjoy and are determined to continue to share in the Bread of Life.

That way whether it’s a sin becomes irrelevant. He could have been “offering” you freedom just in case you may miss one day and feel guilty, like maybe he used to in his prior religion. Your freedom is you know when you will be spiritually fed again.


#9

[quote=Chickamauga]I recently got the e-mail below from a collegue. The subject came up regarding a Catholic’s obligation to attend mass on Sunday. In other words, the writer, who is Protestant, is saying that Catholics don’t need to got to Mass. Anyone have any ideas on how best to answer this e-mail politely and briefly. (I thought “Hit the road, Jack” might work, but on further reflection… :wink: )
[/quote]

The Catholic Faith is built upon the Word of the Lord. He’s attempting to build a false dichotomy that does not exists in reality. Celebrating together on the Lord’s day fulfills the commandment to keep holy the sabbath, the moral element of which is to rest and keep holy a day for the Lord every 7th day. This continues to be a Divine command. Ecclesiastical law prescribes that part of this fulfillment is the obligation to worship together, as a Catholic community, by celebration of the Catholic Mass.

Heb 13:17 tells us to obey our prelates. Thus, the Word of God that he seemingly respects, obliges us to obey Divine and ecclesiastical laws. In fact, so long as civil laws do not oblige us to disobey Divine and ecclesiastical law, we are also obliged to obey civil law. So his “Catholics don’t need to” viewpoint is contrary to the Word of God. The question he needs to ask is, who are our prelates? From my viewpoint, Scripture prescribes that the the only lawful pastors are those who were ordained with true historical apostolic succession from the apostles, who are in communion with the successor of Peter.


#10

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