Firstly, as a new member, let me just say that I hope I’m posting this in the correct area!
Okay, so as the title of this thread states, my (serious) boyfriend is a devout Catholic. I was raised Anabaptist and I still hold a lot of those beliefs, but I currently attend a non-denominational Bible Church.
We both have a great level of compromise. I don’t mind attending Mass with him and watching him play in his parish’s worship band, and he doesn’t have a problem attending my church which is much different than his.
We both obviously believe in the same things and we’re both Christian, however I have a few concerns for things in the future that perhaps some knowledgeable people in the same situation (or beyond it) could answer.
As far as he is concerned, he already knows he can cross himself in my church and nobody would mind at all. He can take Communion with us, pray with us and attend any and all classes and activities with us. We are totally accepting of anyone wishing to worship God and hear his Word.
For me, it’s a little different. I cannot participate in certain activities within his parish and I have only a very basic understanding of Catholic sacraments, the importance and relevance of most rituals, Confession, the religious importance of Saints etc (because those things hold no religious importance or merit in my denomination). I was raised to believe that you have to speak to no one but God himself to ask forgiveness of your sins and deliverance from evil. There is no Earthly link from us to God, and we do not pray to anyone but God himself - doing so would be worshiping a false idol. (We do not recognize Saints, so praying to one for us would be the equivalent of praying to George Washington, or any other historical figure - no religious or spiritual merit, per se).
It bothers me that I am a baptized Christian and I cannot take Communion in his parish. I also do not cross myself which sets me apart a bit. He has no problem with this because I’m Christian and I have great faith, but is aware that I’m mildly put-off by the Communion thing. I understand that Catholics believe they are members of the one true church, and the only one that ‘matters’ so to speak. It seems to me that Catholics are a relatively closed-off community of believers (not to say they are not willing to share and teach their beliefs), whereas my church welcomes people from all walks of life and religion to learn about and grow in God’s Word and worship Him in faith and fellowship, hopefully accepting Him into their hearts and lives, if they have not done so already.
Since we are now exploring marriage and our future together, I should mention that he’s not worried about any of it and knows that everything will be fine when that time comes. I do have a few things of importance to me that I am unwilling to budge on. Those being that I will not be married by a Catholic priest, I do not want to be married inside a Catholic church or in a Catholic ceremony, I will not be converting (though I wouldn’t have any problems with taking RCIA classes to learn more about what he believes in an objective manner, so I can broaden my understanding and respect for his faith). We also have talked about the possibility of children. I would not have them raised solely Catholic, but out of respect for both our denominations, we would have no problems doing an every-other-week kind of thing, so they would be raised with the knowledge of both churches. I struggle with the idea of having a child baptized as an infant… I believe a person needs to make a conscious decision to accept God into their life for Baptism to occur. I would be willing to do so as I’m sure it would mean a lot to my boyfriend, so long as they would learn about Believer’s Baptism in my church as well.
I don’t think “happy medium” churches are in the cards - Lutheran / Methodist. We are both happy in our respective churches, and happy with each other’s walk with God.
Has anyone been through the same thing, or are currently going through it? How is it working for you? Advice? Clarity? Do you have children?
We are all about compromise and respect, and of course a deep and abiding love for each other. This is a relatively new topic for us, though as you can see, we have discussed it a bit. Any input would be appreciated, but no bashing please!
-Have a blessed day!!