I went with the wife to the non-denominational church we have been going to for a while tonight since I am going to mass tomorrow.
It was much of the same…pop-rock music, and a revved up sermon from the pastor who is really a great guy and speaker. Nothing at all like mass.
But he started talking about John 3-16, and that all we had to do was “believe”. That hit me between the eyes, especially when he said nothing else mattered, and we didn’t even have to “change overnight” but we just had to believe.
I see many arguments with my wife in the near future.
The problem with this teaching is that it doesn’t line up with the whole of the scriptures. Once again, it is taking one or two verses here and there, separating them from the rest of scripture and building a whole erroneous doctrine from them.
Patience is going to be needed by you my friend. And remember, LOVE is the fruit of the Spirit that draws.
My mom took us to catholic church until I was in late elementary school, then we quit going to church altogether.
Since I got married we didn’t go to much church either, but we started going a while back to a non-denominational church. But I started going to mass a few weeks ago.
She doesn’t like catholics, the usual “you worship Mary and pray to statues” stuff. But the church we have been going to is nothing like the catholic church I grew up in. It doesn’t even really seem like church, it’s more like a Jesus Party or something like that.
She thinks that once you are saved that is it. I think there’s a lot more to it.
I love it when people put that way: I think there’s a lot more to it. That’s exactly how I feel. I don’t think that your wife or anyone in her church are trying to do anything but what they think is right and to love God the best they know how. I just think there’s a lot more to it, and they’re missing out on it. Good to hear you’re on your way back!!
Funny part was, the sermon was based on the tv show 24, and how we compartmentalize our lives like the four screens on the show. I don’t know I don’t watch it. But it all made good sense and was a good sermon until he started the “believes in” thing that I felt like the Golden Corral fairy hit me with a pan.
John 3:16 is the verse most egregiously and most frequently taken out of context
John 3:16 says:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
This verse is often cross-referenced to 1 John 4:9. This is the same person writing on the same subject with almost the same words.
" 7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us:He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[c] our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."
Note that 1 John 4:9 basically says the same thing as John 3:16. But in this context, John is clearly pointing out the necessity of having love that accompanies our faith.
I understand where you are coming from, Richie. It was in a non-denominational church where my own faith in Christ was renewed. I had fallen away from the Church, and was singing in this particular church’s gospel choir when I fell in love with Christ again. I came *thisclose *to officially joining them…but for some reason (i.e. the Holy Spirit), I decided to look once again into the Catholic Church before I wrote them off. I am thankful and blessed that I did!
I cannot discount my experiences outside of the Church…for it was God’s will that I journey through these experiences at that time, but like you, I felt like there was more to worshiping our Lord and Saviour. Sure the music was good, the fellowship was nice, but when I rediscovered the Eucharist, and remembered Christ’s promise that He would always be there with us, I knew that I couldn’t stay away from Him.
I’ll be praying for you and your family. May you continue to be a witness to Christ’s mercy and love to them, and bless you on your own journey back to the Church.