I am a 26-year-old who was raised nominally Catholic. I did make my sacraments but it was pretty half-hearted and my parents rarely took me to church. They don’t go at all anymore.
In college I looked into various religions and sects of Christianity. I attended a nondenominational church for a couple of years, and there I really grew in my relationship with Christ. I found really outstanding fellowship, passionate worship and that was a really healthy, positive time in my life.
Since college I moved away and lost that group of fellow worshipers and have been thinking, now that I am engaged to another “raised a little bit Catholic nothing” that maybe we need to evaluate where we stand on religion and how we want to raise our family. We have very similar values and goals and both agree that Christianity is what we want to follow - it’s just about finding a church.
Both of us are very skeptical about the Catholic church. I do not want to offend people so if you will be offended by my feelings about the Church then stop reading! Okay if you are still with me here are my concerns…
-I don’t agree that you HAVE to confess to a priest. That seems silly and why would God, who is the be all end all, make it that way? I know there are some loose references in the Bible that support the Catholic concept of confession, but I am not convinced that it is mandatory. I think there is value in confessing a sin to another person for means of accountability, but I don’t think confessing to a priest is the only way God can forgive. Seems ridiculous.
-I don’t agree that missing church services is a sin. I think it’s a good idea to be part of a faith community and to participate, but I don’t think that deciding to spend a day hiking in awe of God’s creation is going to send you to Hell. I am turned off by the Catholic church’s insistence that you don’t have a choice over whether or not you attend Mass on a given Sunday. I think that “obligation” should not be part of our relationship with God. That’s not how loved ones treat each other.
- I don’t agree that contraception is wrong. Sorry, I just don’t. I’ve read humane vitae and “The good news about sex and marriage” and it really rings false to me. Very straw-graspy and smells STRONGLY of an “agenda.” I think if a married couple decides that two kids is good for them, then so be it. I agree that abortions are always wrong, but I don’t see how contraception between mature spouses is anything but a tool.
-I don’t believe in indulgences. I mean, come on. Getting to Heaven is not a game of Monopoly where you can earn “get out of jail free” cards. I am not sure there is any strong biblical proof that God grants “indulgences” anyway. They seem VERY superstitious and very much beneath what God is.
-I don’t think there is any proof that the host is changed to the actual body of Christ. I’m not saying I am totally against the idea, I’m just not sure that is for real. Seems very magical and superstitious to me. I am not sure how a grown adult is able to convince him or herself that this is a real thing.
-I am not sure one religion is the only one that is “true” and that everyone else is “wrong.”
Anyway, that’s what I am considering at this point and since my parents are not active I don’t really have anyone else to help me think this through. I want to do the right thing but a lot rings false to me and I really liked how in the nondenominational church it was JUST about getting closer to Christ and having a relationship with Him with all the other baloney stripped away. But, if someone can point out some other ideas I would thoughtfully consider them.