What Do You Admire In Other Denominations?


#1

In the spirit of charity, I thought it might be useful to take a moment to share what we admire in other denominations, with the stipulation that admiration does not mean we love or adhere to our own less.

Within the Orthodox Church, I admire the liturgy, which is almost supernaturally beautiful. My wife and I listen to the Russian Easter liturgy every year and are consistently struck by it. The Orthodox are truly blessed in this regard.

Within the more fundamentalist Protestant communities, I admire the fact that they encourage people to read their Bible. My wife, an ex-Pentecostal, has enormous swaths of it memorized and can recall verses at will. I also love the gospel choir–it’s the one thing we still miss from our Pentecostal experience.

Within the more mainstream Protestant churches, I admire the devotion that the older members display, the great patience they demonstrate even in the face of such radical change. They persevere out of faith.

What say you?


#2

I truly admire the Evangelical churches fellowship and family involvement. People there seem to WANT to be there… because it is their “church home.” I do not find that in my church… people only come to events if it is required. :frowning:


#3

I also admire the Evangelicals for their fellowship and extra-liturgical gatherings.


#4

The way that the local Baptist Churches and some of the independent Gospel congregations welcome strangers and the warm fellowship among the members. By comparison my Catholic Parish tries hard, but for some reason it just doesn’t seem to come off. Maybe we are just too big.


#5

I admire a number of things, although none of it would entice me to leave my Catholic faith. I admire the fervor of the Evangelicals, and their work with youth. I admire the JW’s and the Mormons for their sacrifices of time and their courage in their door-to-door evangelization and willingness to stand up for what they believe. I admire my neice’s fundamentalist church for getting her off the streets and out of the slavery of drug abuse and promiscuity and showing her the love of Jesus, and she’s been happily living a Christian life for over 10 years now, married with two fine boys and a thriving business. I admire the Jewish communities in my area for their concern for the elderly and their bringing poor Jews from Europe and Russia and providing the means for the families to start over in a new country, giving them hope, and making them productive citizens of the US.

I think we can look beyond our differences and see the many good things others do, and perhaps learn from them.


#6

I admire everything they have in common with the Catholic Church :slight_smile:


#7

The evangelization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

If only the RCC had the problem of over a billion catholics going door to door, talking about Mass and the rosary.


#8

I admire everything they have in common with the Catholic Church

I’ll second this. You see, all the extra things–fellowship, even encouragement to read the Bible, etc., are not essential to salvation. While it might be nice to read the Bible more, while it might be nice to appear outwardly a good model of Christian virtues, when it comes right down to it, the only real necessity is Christ and the fullness of truth in His Church.

I admire certain people and how they live for Christ even if their denomination lacks fullness; they have to make a greater effort. Equally, I find myself needing to pray for certain people who do have the fullness of the Catholic faith available but are themselves lukewarm, lazy, and thus are failing to live for Christ.

The first group is like those living on stony, rocky desert land who through careful husbandry and management can grow enough to sustain themselves.

The second group is like those living in a fruitful, fertile valley who don’t even trouble to walk over to reach the fruit, letting it fall to the ground and spoil, not even taking minimum effort, and who thus wind up starving in what should have been plenty and to spare.


#9

I admire Protestants for their love of the Bible and their dedication to reading and studying it. I also admire their fellowship and many activities that they have in their churches outside of worship. Coffee hours, men’s and women’s groups, and children’s groups all bring the congregation together and help people form friendships with fellow Christians.


#10

I admire all of these too. They are also all the things that I have missed terribly by converting to the Catholic Church. The Eucharist and Adoration is what keeps me in the Catholic Church.


#11

Their friendliness even towards outsiders.

My Protestant friends support me in my Catholic Faith, even in my eagerness for the Latin Mass and my happiness at the Pope’s Motu Proprio regarding that Mass. … One of these friends continues loyally being there for me even though we’re on opposite sides of the fence politically and after I gave a controversial pro-life witness at her Methodist luncheon a couple years back.

Thank God for my Protestant friends! :slight_smile: :cool: :thumbsup:

~~ the phoenix


#12

Their enthusiasm for the love of our Lord and the fellowship they share with one another is what I have witnessed from evangelical denominations.

Like CB mentioned, the door to door evangalization of JW’s and Mormons.

This question begs to ask another question on ourselves as Catholics:
What can we do to witness our faith with the same admiration that we have of other denominations?

With the fire within ourselves, the will and the fullness of Truth we are unstopable!


#13

I think that it is hard for Catholics to fellowship because a lot of us come to church to focus on one thing: the Eucharist. Fellowship is for after Mass… and a lot of folks don’t stick around and that’s okay too. However, what I think the Church needs is sub-groups for people to find a common connection in. Since our normal parishes are so big we need to have events which focus on smaller things for normal people to fellowship and make friends at the parish level.


#14

The Orthodox have their liturgy, the evangelicals try to make fellowship and witness a reality, the Anglicans, in Britain at least, have persisted despite a depressing period of decline, and tried to be charitable (in the spiritual, not the more modern sense) to all men.


#15

I don’t see why all these good things can’t be incorporated into Catholic parishes.

Fellowship groups, coffee hours, Bible studies, youth groups, VBS, retreats, evangelization groups, children’s groups, etc.–our parish has all of these, and very friendly people, too!

I wonder if it’s because we are within an easy drive of Willowcreek, and we also have a Willowcreek church plant about a mile away from our parish, as well as many other dazzling non-Catholic ecclesial communities, and a huge non-denominational youth fellowship that attracts 1000s of kids from all denoms (including a lot of Catholics) all around the area. Perhaps the “stiff competition” from other non-Catholic churches has forced our Catholic parish (and others in our city) to step up and offer Catholic alternatives so that all our people aren’t lured away.

We still have beautiful Masses in our parish with no abuses that I know of, and there is a TLM every day in our city at the Shrine.

But our Catholic parish offers a lot of “Protestant” stuff like you are talking about in this thread. I don’t see anything wrong with it. Probably Catholics had all this “stuff” first, and Protestants borrowed it when they started they own churches! So let’s take it back again, OK?

As for fellowship, I think that’s something that you yourself can do. Why not ask a few church families to join your family for dinner after a Mass? Or have a “Get Acquainted” Dessert and Coffee or Open House party at your house and pass out invitations to all the people you say “hi” to every week. Fellowship isn’t something the parish has to orginate.


#16

Great suggestions—certainly the return of Tridentine Mass will help us catch up with Eastern liturgy, at least on special occasions.

My wife and I are on our parish ecumenism committee, and I’ll bring up your suggestions there.


#17

Oh yes, believe me, I’ve made efforts at fellowship and in fact am currently active in my parish. I’ve been involved in everything from Christ Renews His Parish to Pro-Life to Eucharistic Adoration to working at the parish festival to hosting a Christmas party in my apartment to attending “Donut Sunday” …

What I’ve learned is that as an orthodox Catholic who follows the Pope, it’s been the Protestants … even liberal Protestants … who have found it easier to accept me as I am as a friend than my fellow Catholics have. Just my own experience, your mileage may vary.

I used to think people had a hard time accepting me simply because I’m single. But having spoken recently with an older widowed relative with children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, come to find out he’s experienced the same thing … While he’s always been a loyal Catholic and quite sociable as well as active in the Church in the Knights of Columbus and charitable work, his tried-and-true friends have been Protestant.

Anyways, my grandma used to say, “As long as I’m popular with God, it’s okay if I’m unpopular with people.” :slight_smile:

~~ the phoenix


#18

They *can *be…they just aren’t- or if they are at all, it is significantly scaled down. A lot of Catholic parish organizations call themselves active when they only meet once a month (that isn’t enough!). I have noticed that Catholics around here do things monthly that many protestants do weekly (once a month for a youth group, or young adult group just isn’t enough).

It seems your parish is an exception to the rule. How often do these groups meet? Once a month is not enough. If Protestants can find time to do these things every week- with their Sunday services lasting a lot longer than Mass, then Catholics can make time for these things too.

Be thankful your parish offers such things. There are six parishes in my town, and two or three more parishes that aren’t far outside of town. Many people go to protestant churches for activities- because even the best of the Catholic churches back off just when things are starting to get good.

Beautiful Masses aren’t going to keep Catholics in their faith. I have had several friends who were raised Catholic leave because they want something more- they want the praise and worship music and preaching that gives you everything- not just a little sample (and back off when the priest thinks he may be going too deep for some- and sacrificing the needs of those who need him to go deeper because of it)

We definitely need to- if we expect to keep Catholics in the Church.

Sometimes it isn’t that simple. Many people want to get to know someone a bit better on neutral ground before they invite them over or go where they have to interact with them all the time.


#19

One difference I have noticed at least where I live is just the size factor. There are no “mega-churches” nearby. The Catholic parishes tend to have 3 or 4 Masses every Sunday, plus the Saturday Vigil Mass. The Protestant churches usually have only 1 service (maybe 2) on Sunday only. So the entire Protestant parish is together at one time on Sunday, then they can go to Sunday school, have coffee hour, etc. all at the same time. Since they do not have daily services, many people go to the Wednesday night Bible study. Although most of the Catholic parishes have eliminated evening daily Mass because of lack of attendance.

The main issue I could see in Catholic parishes is how to get the people who go to the 7:00 a.m. Mass to stick around for an activity that starts at 9:00 a.m., and how to get the people who go to the 12:00 p.m. Mass to show up at 9:00 a.m. for the activity. The Protestant parishes may have Sunday school at 9:00 a.m., followed by a service at 11:00 a.m., so everybody who is interested just goes from Sunday School to the service (or if they have another early service at 8:00 a.m., the people stick around for the Sunday school afterwards).


#20

I like the weekday faith-building activities that I’ve seen at Pentecostal churches such as Wednesday Home Group Bible studies. I wish our parish had those kinds of things. Yes, I do realize that Mass goes on every day, but I’m thinking more about activities with just the laity.


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