I was invited to a SDA church this Saturday and while I have studied Theology and have gone to other churches for school. I just don’t know what to do. I am NOT looking to change religions or anything, however I don’t know how to turn someone down.
Please be kind. I am just asking for advice and am NOT looking to convert.
I want to not really go… but don’t want to hurt her feelings
In my personal opinion I believe it is worse to hurt her feelings than attend the service. I would never recommend going out of curiosity but in this case I think love dictates that you go. You could also use it as an in to invite her to your church.
In my own faith, I am told to “Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship” and “prefer all [other] religionists before [my religion]”. And so I always try to share fellowship with those of different faiths when the opportunity arises. I have found the Catholic Sacraments very beautiful and the attitude of faith and devotion I saw during the ceremony profoundly moving.
I know that the Seventh Day Adventist church documents have said some very unfortunate things about the Catholic Church. If you do decide to go, as a Catholic, in a spirit of fellow devotion to the Lord Christ, it seems to me that perhaps you are acting to disprove those slanders through the nobility of your willingness to turn the other cheek and take the higher road.
Still, I can understand that you might not choose to do this, for many legitimate reasons.
All the best to you in your decision. And God bless!
Hurt feelings? I don’t get this. Simply say no just as you would to any other invitation of a sort that you likely are not interested in.
“Want to come over and watch the Super Bowl”? “No thank you, I’m not into football.”
If it were me, I’d say, no thank you, I am a practicing Catholic, and I will be attending my own church this weekend. But thank you for the invitation. Smile.
What’s so hard?
From my understanding it’s only OK for Catholics to attend a protestant service for a wedding, baptism, or something like that. I mean really, what’s the point in going when you know they don’t teach what you believe?
Just say, “No, thanks.” You don’t need a reason. If you feel like you need a reason, just be honest. Honesty is the best policy.
They are very anti-catholic and would no doubt get you off in a corner and talk down about your faith and the sins of the Catholic church. They are nice people, but paranoid about our Pope and our Church.
I once went with a friend, or someone who I thought was a friend to a “non-denominational Christian” service. It was an ambush. Im not suggesting that your situation is at all. These people were mean. They had an American flag in their "sanctuary because everyone else was “worshiping” the cross according to them.
I am not going to repeat everything else that went on as I am now going to rebury the experience back in the trashcan of my memories. I am sure that my experience would be totally out of context for yours should you go, but seriously, this stuff plays with your head.
I would rather have oral surgery than go. You don’t need to tell her that but you can tell her that you want to be honest and say SDAs have been critical of your faith in the past and you feel very uncomfortable with putting yourself in that position where you will be for all intense purposes, a captive audience. What if you are introduced to everyone has her “Catholic friend?” What if there is an alter call? That happened to me at a "Christmas choral service I was “invited” to. The were going pew by pew and asking questions during the service. I got up, made sure that everyone could see that I was getting up, and walked out.
This may not matter for the poster, since they said they are now not planning to go. But as others pointed out the SDA church is very anti-Catholic. If one were to go to a service you should keep that in mind and be prepared to deal with that in whatever way seems best. That may be refutation but it might also be a stern disapproval of their tactics. Another option is to agree to go if they agree to attend Mass with you.
When I lived in Berrien Springs, MI, I attended SDA churches periodically. While not liturgical in its worship setting, the SDA’s believe in the truth that Jesus came to save our fallen world taking for us our sins on the cross, dying and shedding his blood, and being raised on the third day. Their baptism is done in the name of God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Their other practices such as dietary restrictions, worshiping on Saturday, and using Ellen G. White’s writings as a supplement are “adiaphora” meaning not necessary for our salvation.
I stopped going completely once some of the people there began to try to convert me.
I say, go ahead an go if you’re comfortable about visiting. It’s for your friend and, since they do believe that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God you may get some cool teachings from it.
Some SDAs can be awful tenacious in that way. I remember going to a Prophecy conference and at the end, people were going up for the “call.” The people with whom I became acquainted were sitting there with their eyes on me. Other people were jumping up and down for their “friends” who they connected with. It seemed that conversion to SDA church was more important to them than being converted to Christianity.
I’ve posted before, though, that I did make some lovely, loving, and spirit-filled SDAs who took me as I am as a Lutheran and are still friends with me today even tho I’m several hours away from them.
While you can send her here, I would focus on being a neighbor/friend.
In time it may create opportunities to share, opportunities where she is open to listening.
When she is adversarial, nothing will get through.
I would politely decline. They are a pretty anti-Catholic group and the invite was done to convert you. You need to get some backbone and just politely delcine and do not worry about “hurting” their feelings. If this is the same person that is posting anti-Catholic rants on the internet, then I would find new friends since they are not concern about “hurting” your feelings. I think you are going to have to learn that in life, we are going to have to say no and turn things, invites, etc down and not worry about the “feelings” of others.
An altar call is an invitation to people within a church or an assembly of people to come forward to “accept” Jesus as your Savior. Many fundamental churches incorporate this into either their regular service or at a 'crusade" type of gathering. It is meant to be a public acknowledgement of your acceptance of Jesus.