Positive aspects to other denominations, faiths, religions?

Are there any positives that you see in other faiths/denominations that you either incorporate into your belief system, or that you believe would benefit your faith community? I’m not implying that what they have is true and what you have is false, but rather aspects that don’t go against your own beliefs that you could see how they are beneficial.

So, I’ll give some examples that apply to me;

Zen Buddhism/Taoism and certain other eastern philosophies appeal to me in the aspect of “going with the flow.” Not stressing over things that will happen regardless of anxiety. Also the aspect of learning from nature, and trying to live simply.

Amish; community without gov’t reliance

Buddhism; meditative-style control over the physical self (regulation of heart rate, body temp, etc…).

And one that I find particularly relevant here on CAF and also in general outlook on things; the difference between liturgical style churches and more free form. For the sake of illustration, I’ll reference RC beliefs and practices and non-denominational non-liturgical protestant practices/beliefs.

Liturgical churches have attempted to elevate church life into every day, and calendar days. Many non-liturgical churches do not. Each style has their people who are Christmas and Easter members, but I can admire one of the ideas of a more liturgical church, such as the RCC, and that is the understanding that “every day” or everyday is connected with church life, take advent for example.

Sometimes I wonder if that is one of the biggest differences between the RCC and a more non-liturgical protestant perspective; the focus is completely different in the sense that it seems if the protestant church doesn’t watch it, it seems to repeatedly “just” offer the gospel message of salvation again and again and again. In effect, exhorting the sheep to become sheep even though they are already sheep. To stop at the milk of the gospel and go no further. I respect the RCC in its attempt to be more of direction as how to carry out life in general beyond salvation (again, from a non-liturgical prot. perspective).

On the flip side, I do believe protestant churches, for that very reason, (esp. evangelicals) do a fantastic job of presenting the good news. But, perhaps where they have let people down is in the area of trying to help their people live out, daily, the church life. Now, obviously in all of this I’ve presented an idealistic perspective, in reality we have people on each side not living up to what they “should” do, but it’s just some thoughts I had on the whole matter.

Anyone else care to share?

Yes Kliska, thank you for asking.

I have learned much from my evangelical friends in the spiritual realm. Years ago my prayer life was probably ok at best. Praying with them over the years has helped me be more open to spontaneous prayer and has given me confidence in talking to God in different ways.:signofcross:

I have always been impressed with many of them to not be embarrassed in public of being Godly men. They have shown me, now looking back on my childhood, how I can now see those in my faith trying to do the same but being those within a minority of outwardly spiritual people, usually did not blossom. But the seeds were planted.:slight_smile:


Great thread topic, Kliska.

I find some wisdom and truth in every religion. The official stance of the CC is that we accept all truth, no matter where it is found, because we embrace it as our own. For instance, one of my favorite quotes is from Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. This is a very Catholic statement from a non-Christian.

As for Protestants, I admire the zeal with which many of them proclaim Christ and wish that the common Catholic in the pew would take evangelization more seriously.

God bless.


I see Evangelical worship as non-participatory, perhaps due to the dislike-disdain for written prayers. That seems to make their worship as listening to the prayers from the man in the pulpit with the only congregational response being to say aymen. To me other than the choir and solos it is like a one man show.

Liturgical worship OTOH is participatory, everyone has their own part, we all pray together as a congregation and not as an audience sitting and listening only. I prefer liturgical worship Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopal, Lutheran for that reason.

On the rosary thread I was prevented from saying what I meant to say by an interjection by the moderator. But this is a different thread. There are several Scripture passages that state that baptism is a part of salvation like Acts 2:38. There is not just one.

By saying in effect that the only needed to get to heaven is to “get saved” shows that you are a person belonging to the Baptist Evangelical family of
denominations and that you are in fact denominational.

As I see it everyone belongs to a denomination whether they admit it or not, the facts do not change.

But what does this have to do with the thread topic? Is there nothing of value that you find in other faith traditions?

Kliska herself mentioned the differences between liturgical and what she called ‘free’ worship and I was responding to that part of her OP.

Of course I find much of value and even to emulate in the teachings of other religions and ecclesial bodies. I like the evangelical love for the scriptures and their ease at memorizing verses.

I like the Pentecostals enthusiasm. There is much I admire in other ecclesial bodies.

About the other part in re to baptism, a moderator shut off discussion in a another thread and so I thought to re-introduce it here.

G. K. Chesterton (whose writing I always encourage people to read) wrote that all religions have several things in common, such as a tradition of how they worship (yes, even Evangelical have this though they don’t recognize it as such), they have prayers (have you ever noticed how Evangelicals say the same phrases over and over again although they eschew “canned prayers”), objects used for worship, be it beads or prayer clothes or whatever, sacred texts, etc.

And we all share many of the same values–this is due to the natural law that God implanted in our hearts. What I’m saying is there is something good and to be admired in every religious tradition. As SteveH wrote Catholics see the truth wherever it is taught/practiced and we deeply admire those who are faithful to their faith traditions and live out the principles of their beliefs. Now days when faith of any kind is under attack, I’m more than happy to celebrate whatever is good in anyone’s beliefs.

I too admire the Tao approach to living in the moment. Jesus taught us to do this, too when he said not to worry about tomorrow but trust in God today.

Our Evangelical friends truly love Our Lord and wish to serve him and proclaim him with fervor–nothing wrong with that!

Some faith groups exalt family life, which again, is very right and good.

And the list goes on. I can even admire the sincere atheist who wants to know what is real instead of relying on a dreamy sort of spirituality that denies the truth.

God made us good, so it’s only natural that we can find good in most people and in most of their most deeply held beliefs. :yup:

God gave His last Word to us, the way the truth and the life,Jesus Christ. All others are man made concoctions to appease the flesh and make us feel good… Catholicism is the key to truth, the seven sacrements instituted by the God Man in the Trinity. We must obey His word from the Father… We must be one as Jesus asked us to be. As you can see below we are not even close to being of one mind in any man made world religion.

John 17.
19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. 20 "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.

God Bless

Read more: ewtn.com/ewtn/bible/search_bible.asp#ixzz2n6JMPAef

Hinduism - Respect for creation.

Islam - Reverence and respect for their scripture (the respectful way in which they treat their Qu’ran). Their attention to prayer.

Sikhism - Providing food for all who wish, in their Gurdwaras. This ensures no person should go hungry and nobody feels like they are a ‘charity case’ if the eat for free in the Gurdwara as all sorts of people also eat their for free. There is a real sense of equality in the Gurdwara langar.

Buddhism - Their pacifist tendencies.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons - Their evangelistic zeal and determination to spread what they believe is the word of God.

The Salvation Army - Their services to the poor. I have great respect for the Salvation Army.

Baptist Church - Their preachers really can preach with passion.

Orthodox Church - Their respect for ritual (which has lapsed a bit within our Church).

Islam: Their reverence. And their rugs. I really like their rugs a lot.

Hinduism: Their colorful artwork. They really give the CC a run for its money, and that’s a hard thing to do. Their intense mysticism.

Buddhism: Not a whole lot to be honest.

Protestantism: Historical work ethic.

I like the Orthodox reverence at Liturgy, and I admire the certitude of faith and zeal that many of my non-Catholic Evangelical friends have. My discoveries about and rejection of the Reformation faith I was raised in took that from me.

I understand. Thanks. :thumbsup:

This is interesting, and it a fascinating connection with feeding one’s body while feeding one’s soul. It kind of reminds me of the practice that still occurs in some of our churches of always leaving the door unlocked. I love the idea and am immensely saddened when they are ransacked.

Thanks everyone who has replied thus far. To the thread in general; as I mentioned Jesus is indeed the Truth, and I’m not asking anyone to discount that. :thumbsup:

Great idea for a thread! :thumbsup:

Orthodoxy- I admire pretty much everything about Orthodoxy. Especially the liturgy and eastern traditions.

Protestants- I admire the knowledge of Scripture by many in the reformed tradition, it benefited me heavily when I was in it. I also view the reformed Church’s emphasis on Covenant a positive thing. I think protestants of all different traditions have really great hymn’s and musical tradition. I am thankful for the insights of some Protestant theologians, especially C.S. Lewis, N.T. Wright, William Lain Craig, Peter Leithart, Meredith Kline, Martin Luther King Jr, Paul Tillich, Karl Baarth, Dietrich Bonhoffer, John Wesley and others.

Judaism- I admire there heritage and holding fast to the customs of there people. They have heavily contributed to the building of western civilization even in post biblical times.

Islam- I admire the devotion to prayer and fasting, and the unwavering devotion many exhibit.

Buddhism- I admire the ethics and the way they conduct themselves. I find the whole religion very interesting.

Mormons- I admire the strong family structure and the missionary zeal.

The Langars in Gurdwaras are manned 24 hours a day by Sikh volunteers who cook the food and serve it free of charge to anyone who walks in and wants it (all the food is donated by the local Sikh community, and they get loads donated). The only people they will refuse to serve are people who are drunk or under the influence of drugs, which is fair enough.

I work in as a teacher in a Catholic school in area with a large Sikh population, so I’ve taken classes to visit several Gurdwaras, but if I lived in the area I’d pop in regularly myself. It is a really nice atmosphere. Everyone from the richest to the poorest sitting as equals (usually on the floor in more traditional Gurdwaras) eating together. Non-Sikhs are always made very welcome.

Judaism; their robust dialogue over religion and spiritual matters.

Here’s one with both positive and negative aspects (but I’ll only think about the positive right now, in keeping with this thread): the way you guys will use the term “protestant” to encompass Pentecostals, Baptists, Calvinists, Methodists, Lutherans and Anglicans. Conversely, we can use the term “catholic” to encompass Catholics, Orthodox, ACoE, PNCC, Anglicans and Lutherans, but we don’t do so very often.

Kliska…good morning!

I enjoy looking at what we have in common among all faiths…not just Christianity.

The Saturday morning door knockers would drive me crazy sometimes. Here I am watching college football and a knock on the door the takes me away from it. I answer to only see a JW or a Mormon missionary. At one time in my life I would slam the door in their face and return to the game. Today I will listen to the speech and thank them for stopping by. Of course I am not into watch they are teaching, yet I admire their dedication to their faith and their love for their religion.

Maybe I can learn a few things from them :wink:

Christians- they fight against abortion

Jews- they believe in Tawheed

Hindus- they have some terrific literature, like the Bhagavad Gita

Shias- they’ve got lovely looking mosques (especially in Karbala)

Sikhs- they do a lot of charity work

I find them quite pleasant and admire their zeal. If they have made the effort to get up and go door-knocking in our hostile, secular society, then I think we ought to give them a hearing and engage in conversation with them. They Jehovah’s Witnesses called by on Saturday and I said, “I’m a practicing Catholic, so we will disagree on many things”, to which he answered, “I’m sure though that there are many other things we have in common”, and he started talking about the difficulties of being a Christian in today’s secular society. Fair play to him.

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