Went undercover to a Baptist church today

Well, it wasn’t so much “undercover” as it was an exploratory journey. And I blew my cover pretty quickly, too. After one of their MANY intercessory prayers for members of the congregation, I made the sign of the Cross. Lol. You can take the Catholic out of the Church, but you can’t take the Catholocism out of the Catholic.

Or something like that… :slight_smile:

Anyway, I don’t have much to say about it. I was invited by a nice fundamentalist co-worker friend and I thought it’d be interesting. It certainly was, but for a Baptist church, it was amazingly laid-back.

Some notes:

No crosses, crucifixes, nothing. But some of the stained-glass windows had bibles in them. Conclusion–images of Christ is verbotten, but they raise the Bible to a fourth member of the Trinity, apparently.

They opened with four hymns, then basically had a “meeting.” Missionaries spoke about their experiences, and the pastor assigned people to pray for their intentions. I SO wanted to talk to someone about Marian intercession. lol.

A nice, sharply angled marine and I had a decent conversation later. He was amazed that I admitted many Catholics were drawn away by fundamentalists who knew their Bible better. He also later called Rome a “fever swamp” of bad ideas.

Other than that, it was pretty uneventful. My overwhelming impression was of emptiness. They were all sincere, zealous, but there was something missing. I guess it was the Eucharist…

Similar experience here from me too! There was definitely an uneasy feeling that something’s really missing - the Liturgy! I walked out after a couple hymns, though :stuck_out_tongue:

WHICH Baptist church did you go to? There are more than a couple of hundred varieties, with conflicting and competing beliefs, and they do not get along! No self-respecting Southern Baptist would darken the door at the Free Will Baptist meeting. “Meeting” is a good description of their services. The Protestant definition of “worship” is a song and a sermon (Episcopalians and Lutherans excepted, but neither has valid sacraments.) Worship, I found, is what goes on in a Catholic Church!

I attended a Tridentine Latin Mass (authorized by our bishop) today. Now, ladies and gentlemen, that’s worship!

Is your Baptist friend now going to visit a Catholic Church with you? Personally, I won’t go near another Protestant church except for funerals of friends.

Peace, Jay
Ex-Southern Baptist, ex-agnostic, ex-atheist, ecstatic to be Catholic!

Similar experience. I wanted to fit in so I brought my Bible to Sunday worship with me to a Southern Baptist church…my NAB with “The Catholic Bible” in great big letters on the front. I really wasn’t thinking that morning.

Justin

[quote=1962Missal]Similar experience. I wanted to fit in so I brought my Bible to Sunday worship with me to a Southern Baptist church…my NAB with “The Catholic Bible” in great big letters on the front. I really wasn’t thinking that morning.

Justin
[/quote]

I hope I’m not out of line here, but I wanted to ask how you all think the NAB compares to the Douy-Rheims or the RSV Catholic Edition?

Heck, or the 1611 KJV. I have only known the NAB, so I think all of those others are foreign, but I was just trying to get another point of view.

[quote=montanaman]Well, it wasn’t so much “undercover” as it was an exploratory journey. And I blew my cover pretty quickly, too. After one of their MANY intercessory prayers for members of the congregation, I made the sign of the Cross. Lol. You can take the Catholic out of the Church, but you can’t take the Catholocism out of the Catholic.

[/quote]

I like the sign of the Cross. I do it after every prayer. I like what it stands for and I like it’s history. It also means something special for me. I stick out like a sore thumb when I do it in the Reformed Church that I visit on a regular basis…but it’s all good!

BTW-I’m not Catholic either! :smiley: My mom is though (sorta)!

~mango~

Yeah … I’ve been to a few.

When I met my ex-girlfriend, she was church hopping among the many denominations. I didn’t ask why, should have asked … not sure why I didn’t at the time. ANyway, I suggested the Catholic Church.

I got the generic diatribe; oh you know … about how we pray to images, and that we worship a goddess, have comical hand gestures etc. I told her that everything she claimed we did was not true, except, probably, for the hand ‘gestures’. I told her that she should know what we really did before she could ‘correct’ us.

So she enrolled into the RCIA at my parish to get ammo to slam the RCC. Heh …

While going through the year long programme, I followed her to a couple of Protestant churches. Have you heard of the Covenant Evangelical Free Church? No? Neither had I. But I tagged along … not bad.

They have a Praise and Worship session at the start of the 2 hour long service, that was essentially singing hymns, interspersed with some eyes-closed-hand-waving sort of action.
I gotta tell you, as a Catholic … it got a bit much. Weren’t hymns just gap fillers?
We sing hymns as the Priests come in, we sing in thanksgiving, we sing while the wardens come around for the weekly collection, there is always a reason to sing hymns … and when have we actually sung ALL 4 or 5 stanzas?? … they not only sang all 4 or 5 stanzas, they sang the entire hymn at least 2 or 3 times!

After about an hour of the hymns, the pastors comes on … and here’s where I take my hat off to the Protestant Pastors. They are definitely a more charismatic bunch than our priests. Their sermons are lively and the sincereity is palpable. They can go on for a good half hour to 45 mins without so much as a couple of sips of water. They put so so much into their sermons. Oh, we have some good priests … but they are rare.

Sometimes a Junior pastor might come on before the main event, and they will invariably have more hymns along the way …

… it seems empty to us, only because we understand and realise that He is really with us when we go for Communion. But they also believe He is there with them in Spirit. So it works well for everyone.

oh … she’s a pretty staunch Catholic now. heh heh

[quote=1962Missal]Similar experience. I wanted to fit in so I brought my Bible to Sunday worship with me to a Southern Baptist church…my NAB with “The Catholic Bible” in great big letters on the front. I really wasn’t thinking that morning.

Justin
[/quote]

LOL…That was actually a GOOD idea. I regularly carry a VERY Catholic Bible to the services and Sunday School class of my husband’s COC. I’ve even taken that big Catholic Study Bible. You can’t miss that one!

[quote=Xenon-135]I hope I’m not out of line here, but I wanted to ask how you all think the NAB compares to the Douy-Rheims or the RSV Catholic Edition?

Heck, or the 1611 KJV. I have only known the NAB, so I think all of those others are foreign, but I was just trying to get another point of view.
[/quote]

I prefer the RSV…It is the most accurate.

My experience:

I was invited to a wedding by a anglican?protestant friend ( i forgot the denomination). That was in the Philippines. But anyways, they were married, so to speak, in the “church.” They had a “mass” BUT there was one BIG difference–the one celebrating was a WOMAN! I really felt like going away because I can’t stand it seeing a woman “consecrating” the “host.” Out of respect, and since my friends who were catholics were also there, I stayed until the wedding ceremony was finished. But we didn’t participate in their “communion.”

Pio

Funny stories, guys. (And gals).

My coworker friend will probably go to the Shrine with me soon. She has a Monday column in the paper where she basically covers any number of area churches and posts the sermons. She’s had the Shrine on the list for a while now. I also got her to do a little homework for me. There’s something called the Imani Temple Catholic Church near Union Station. She’s going to do a story on it and report back to me. :slight_smile:

In the Baptists’ defense, she also told me that the Wednesday services are very different. More upbeat, I guess.

Off topic for a second–I’m more than a little miffed about this “reputation” function. It says I have yet to “get my apologetical motor in gear.” What the…??? I have been slugging it out on the Protest Warrior forum and in real life for YEARS! I’m practically Vatican Police. If I don’t get into it here it’s because this place is the closest thing to Catholic fellowship I’ve ever had. This place is like a vacation for me. Besides, there are hundreds of more-knowledgeable people than me here.

Okay, back to regularly scheduled topic…

This topic is great…I have gone “undercover” once or twice myself…but I always do the sign of the cross after every prayer, so I guess the secret is out.

I had a good laugh about the “Vatican Police” comment…but the “reputation” thing can be added to or taken away from by other users who click on that scale icon and add to it. That’s why some people have a bunch of green dots and whatnot while all of us lowly “new users” (As of May 20-something) have blue dots until we work our way up. Let’s help each other get out of the proverbial hole, eh? :wink:

I too have gone undercover several times when with friends to a Fundamental Baptist church here in Massachusetts. The service itself was wonderful and the sermon really was enlightening, but I too felt an emptiness afterwards. The people there were full of faith in Jesus and they really “wore it on their sleeves” (so to speak) but there was something unfulfilling to me as a Catholic. I had nothing against the service itself though. When a group in the assembly found out I was Catholic afterwards, they were quite kind and gracious, very happy I was there…but the absence of the Eucharist was almost saddening to me, like they were missing out on something so wonderful.

Shamus:)

[quote=montanaman]Funny stories, guys. (And gals).

. There’s something called the Imani Temple Catholic Church near Union Station. She’s going to do a story on it and report back to me. :slight_smile:


[/quote]

The Imani Temple Catholic Church was founded by a schismatic African-American Catholic preist named Stallings about 15 or so years ago, after he got into some moral trouble. Seems he liked the ladies of his congregation a little too much and the feeling was mutual for some. When he was disciplined, he broke away and formed his own Church. A few years later there was a sad incident when an infant was being baptised by immersion and died from drowning. Tell your friend to check the archives of The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun for coverage of the break away and the unintentional but tragic baptismal drowning.

I often go to an Independent Baptist church an AWANA club and the BSF International Bible study with my wife. I do love the conversations that develop:yup: .

I make a point to wear my crucifix, sometimes the big ones that are worn on the outside of the shirt and not just small ones near the neck. I always make the sign of the cross if and only if the prayer was to God and proper. My friends look to see if I make the Sign to see if the preacher was on or off track so to speak with my Catholic beliefs. And I always take my big Catholic Study Bible so they have no doubt who I am or the inspired Scriptures I use! They’re surprised sometimes how clear and accurate RC Scripture is when they’ve often been told otherwise.

Baptists do have the same ‘so called’ graven images of Jesus and special people just like RC’s are accused of.:bigyikes: Don’t let them fool you otherwise. Look close and you will find paintings of Jesus all over or pictures of Smyth or other prominent church founders and leaders. If Jesus is risen how can he be on the cross or in their painting of him? What’s the difference? They hold the Bible up like a graven image too sometimes(a Catholic Book:) ).

They also have a prayer chain just like RC’s. We use living people on earth and ‘living’ saints in heaven too, they sometimes have never realized saints are ‘alive’ and not dead. They have a Liturgy as well since they use the same format or itinerary each week for services. They preach things not in the Bible too just like RC’s and have no idea they do it since it violates their own teachings on ‘Sols Scriptura.’ The list goes on…

Go to a protestant service and enjoy it, help them to understand what the Catholic Church is and not what they believe it is. Know your Faith first so you come back home!:wink: They are Christians too and do have some good services. Just do not go to their service in lieu of Mass! Go to both! And do not go to belittle or insult them, this is not what Jesus did nor what we should do either. Go in ‘love’ as Scripture commands.

We can learn from our protestant brothers and sisters just as they can learn from us.:thumbsup:

Malachi4U

Yes, you deserve a couple gold stars for this:clapping:

[quote=mango_2003]I like the sign of the Cross. I do it after every prayer. I like what it stands for and I like it’s history. It also means something special for me. I stick out like a sore thumb when I do it in the Reformed Church that I visit on a regular basis…but it’s all good!

BTW-I’m not Catholic either! :smiley: My mom is though (sorta)!

~mango~
[/quote]

mango, you like what the sign of the cross stands for but you arent a Catholic ??

Come home child, enjoy the sign of the cross in its true home :slight_smile:

Love Kellie

[quote=kellie]mango, you like what the sign of the cross stands for but you arent a Catholic ??

Come home child, enjoy the sign of the cross in its true home :slight_smile:

Love Kellie
[/quote]

Of course I like it! It represents the whole reason why prayer is available for a lowly sinner like me. Through the grace of the Holy Trinity!

Also, I’ve read some history that, during times of persecution in the early church, believers would do the sign of the cross as a signal to other believers. How cool is that! :cool: :thumbsup:

As for coming to “true home”…well we’ll have to see about that. :wink: Mom would sure think that was cool.
LOL.

~mango~

[quote=kellie]mango, you like what the sign of the cross stands for but you arent a Catholic ??

Come home child, enjoy the sign of the cross in its true home :slight_smile:

Love Kellie
[/quote]

Add also…I LOVE Latin. Simply beautiful.

~mango~

mango, youre fantastic !

Come join the ranks of all the rest of us lowly sinners :stuck_out_tongue:

Love Kellie

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