Would it be bad to be multi-denominational?

ok so i’m in RCIA right now coming from a Hindu background. my personal belief is that God doesn’t care whether you’re Protestant or Catholic, as long as you love God and do what he told you to do (help others, love your neighbor, don’t judge etc.) Anyways, I was wondering if it would be okay (or even possible?) to be both Catholic and Protestant? as in attend mass sometimes, and other services other times? i personally agree with some things Catholics say, and some things Protestants say. though i believe these minor differences shouldn’t truly make a difference in a relationship with God. I’m actually not too comfortable with picking one side only because of both sides believing they’re better. for example, i know some Protestants say that Catholics aren’t saved, and some Catholics say that Protestants aren’t saved etc etc.

Another concern i have is the sex abuse in the Catholic Church. I understand it was a small minority, and that they’re really strict on that now, however, recently a high official (guru) in my previous Hindu group was involved in a sex abuse scandal, and one of the main points i made to my parents about why their religion is unholy was the scandal. anyways, i feel like i’ll be a hypocrite by committing to an organization that the media has shown negatively due to the sex abuses (which will not convince my parents).

also, i do strongly disagree with many Protestant teachings, such as eternal security, salvation of non-Christians, and lack of works to be saved. but, i also disagree with some Catholic teachings such as it’s the only real Church, and the importance of the Eucharist today etc. however, i view these as minor issues, and believe the Church is one (composed of all Christians-whether Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox etc)

i’m in college, and have been to several Protestant groups of worship on campus. i do like the style and music of Catholic better, however i like the worship part of Protestants better (like everyone is so upbeat about Jesus and emphasizes on loving Jesus).

anyways, what i’m trying to say is that i believe that both Catholics and Protestants are viewed equally in the eyes of God, and as long as you love God and love your neighbor, you’re saved. so, would it be a sin or bad to be multi-denominational? sorry if i offended anyone or said something not true. thanks.

I look upon the Protestants as exercising a christian charism, but they believe that what Jesus did at the Last Supper was symbolic, which the Catholics/Anglo-Catholics do not (we believe that the Bread and Wine become the Body and Blood of Christ), they do not accept the teaching of Vatican I, that the Pope is infallible.

I think to be “multi-denominational” would be tantamount to being a spiritual schizophrenic, not knowing what you believed in doctrinal matters, and thus detrimental to the soul. The Catholic Faith provides many opportunities, bible-study groups, courses on Papal Encyclicals, courses on the Gospels (I’ve just attended a six-week course on Luke’s Gospel, which was most rewarding). Then there’s the opportunity to teach the faith in schools, through Catechises, the RCIA program, various award courses taught on Adult Learning Principles. You can be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at Mass, a reader…there’s heaps of things you can do after you’ve entered into the Catholic Faith to help build on strong foundations.

As for being “Saved”. I don’t like when protestants use that term. We are not “saved”, we are “redeemed”, which has conditions on it, conditions such as receiving the Eucharist and hearing mass at least once a week. I think such protestants believe that Christ has already done the work for us, and we are saved whether we are good people or not, which sort of has a “Sunday Christian” ring to me. This is just my personal opinion, and doubtless, I’ll be lambasted from some quarters for expressing it.

Yes, Catholics and Protestants alike are viewed equally in the eyes of God, there is such a thing as a baptism of desire, so that good people may have only a short time in purgatory, depending on how well they’ve lived their lives in accordance with their consciences.

I hope I’ve been clear and not too vague in my answer. Good luck with your journey through RCIA. I’ll pray for you.

OP, I’ve been following your courageous journey through conversion. May God bless it and you in your very difficult circumstances.

I think you ought to commit to being Catholic or Protestant. Mind you, I know plenty of Catholics who also attend Protestant services, often because their loved ones are members; but their belief, loyalty, and affiliation is to the Roman Catholic church. likewise, in college I often attended Mass (I went to a Jesuit school), but never identified as other than a Protestant Christian. You don’t want to be half in one camp and half in another.

Prayerfully discern what you believe, and ask God for guidance. Read your Bible, keep up your RCIA class, and do your best to find out what is the truth.

i’ve lurked this forum for some time, but your post troubles me to the point where i made this account just to reply.

romans 10:9 says that “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”. and john 19:30 says jesus proclaimed “it is finished” the moment before he died.

in light of such biblical teaching, i’m at a total loss as to how a professing christian could assert, as you just did, to:

  • believers not being saved;
  • salvation having human requirements; and
  • christ not having done the work for us.

don’t fall into the trap of trying to fit the mystery of christianity into human metrics. it’s too easy to assume we must fulfil certain requirements for salvation, simply because as humans, that’s all we know. we hear the gospel and we’re left thinking “no, that’s too easy, surely i have to play my part”.

we don’t. and we can’t. jesus completed all that we would otherwise need to complete. that’s what makes the gospel amazing, and why faith in christ is what saves. we need the gospel, because there is not a single thing anyone can do to merit salvation. if there was, then what did christ die for?

blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. it’s a saving faith that believes in something so true, yet so illogical by human standards.

anyway. i’ll try to address the original post.

certainly it’s important that you find an environment where you can connect with god and not be distracted from worship. you may find the rigidity of the catholic mass a comfort and the contemporary nature of non-liturgical protestantism a distraction, or vice versa. but the essential thing is that you believe in and live out the gospel as jesus taught it: christ paid the price for our sins so all who believe will be saved from eternal punishment. membership in the right group is simply not a part of that message.

having said that, it would be best to pick one and stick with it. matt has a point when he mentions spiritual schizophrenia. not all denominations teach the same things about every little detail, however non-essential to salvation. you would do well to avoid confusion by studying the scriptures and testing what you hear against them.

How many truths can you juggle? :smiley:

I think your interest in Christianity is moving you to possibly make decisions too hastily.

You still have a lot to learn about Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular to be able to sort out these difficulties you are having.

I think one of the primary indicators showing your need to understand Christianity better, is your trouble seeing much difference between Catholicism and Protestantism.

A second primary indicator is your view of “being saved.” That is a very Protestant notion.

A third primary indicator is that the Catholic Church is an Actual Divine Church. An oracle of Divine Revelation. Protestant Churches are man-made denominations. IOW, they define themselves in how they differ, either from Catholicism or other Protestants. They each have their own “interpretation” of how to understand Scripture.

But you are right, God loves both Protestants and Catholics (and Hindus) as well!

Unless you are in a remarkably good RCIA program, I think it may not be enough for you. You really need to have, not just a one on one conversation with a priest, but a whole relationship with one; i.e. one you can consult with on these many questions. IOW, you need personal guidance. Of course, then the problem becomes where do you find such a priest. Could there be one on your campus? Do you know of one?

Keep studying. To join the Church you will have to come to understand and embrace what the Church teaches. That will take time, particularly from your Hindu background.

No. It is neither OK nor possible.

This was a fallacious argument. So apologize.

There is an inherent problem in this.

Catholics and Protestants believe the contents of the Bible to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, and believe it to be true. But, Catholics and Protestants interpret some key passages differently. To say that both Catholics and Protestants are equally right is to essentially say that God can contradict Himself.

It can’t be that the Eucharist really is the flesh of Christ and be that the bread really is not the flesh of Christ at the same time. See the conflict?

Well, after Christ was resurrected, he said he had been given ALL authority on heaven and earth. With that authority, he turned to Peter, specifically, and said that he was giving him the “keys to the kingdom” that what he held bound on earth would be even bound in heaven, that what he loosed on earth would be loosed in heaven!

Christ spoke to Peter, and gave this very special authority, ONLY to Peter. Three times, Our Lord asked Peter, and him alone, to shepherd his sheep. Christ changed Peter’s name from Simon, and a name change is a significant thing, meaning it will assign your mission.

Anyway, Christ said at that point that he would now be Peter on and this “Rock”, Christ would establish his Church (NOT churches, plural!). The Bible says, time and again, when we reject Christ, we are rejecting the one who sent him. In the same way, when we reject the prophets, apostles, etc., we are not rejecting them but Christ, hismelf…and him who sent Christ, God the Father!

Now, the main one who started the schism in the Church was Martin Luther who would say all kinds of things, but who gave him authority to take 7 books out of the Bible, make lots of modifications, etc.? At least with Peter, he was acting on DIVINE authority! Then, from that point on, a hierarchy was established where the papacy was created. It was like an office. When one leader, Peter, was killed, another would immediately take his place.

It was similar to what happened with Judas. When Judas died, someone took that place, and that’s how it was.

Well, there was a point we had one Church, the Catholic Church. Later, we had people who said not to listen to the Pope (descendents of Peter), to do individual interpretation of scripture, although wasn’t it Peter, who said NOT to do that, or was it Paul?

We had people like Martin Luther who went out and established his own church! With the Anglican, we had Henry VIII! I would want nothing to do with a church that had him as its leader!

Some churches’ teachings go directly counter to what Christ taught! For example, Christ taught divorce was NOT okay. Yet, many protestant denominations teach that it “doesn’t matter”! Doesn’t matter?!

A lot of people seem to leave the Catholic Church after, say, a divorce. They go church shopping until they find a denomination which will tell them divorce is okay. Some gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual people will do something similar and gravitate, towards, say…Unitarian, which will tell them homosexuality if just fine.

The Catholic Church is the only Church which has remained faithful to ALL Christ’s teachings!

Some churches teach if you would simply say a prayer, then you are automatically saved! This is also NOT what Christ said. In the Bible, he never said that!

Martin Luther invented the 5 solas…sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gracia…ONLY through scripture…ONLY through faith…ONLY through grace, etc. However, first of all, how is it possible to have FIVE onlys? We do believe in the Bible but don’t believe it’s the ONLY way…there’s also baptism, grace, faith, persisting to the end.

We believe a lot of faiths are LYING…saying divorce is okay, homosexuality is okay, to say one prayer and you’re “saved” is very dangerous, to mislead people that way.

Christ COMMANDED us to “take and eat, this is my body”. Yet, people today, try to say they don’t need the Eucharist! Or, if some admit it’s necessary, try to say it’s SYMBOLIC! If it’s just symbolic, why did Christ say his body was REAL food and his blood REAL drink. In the New Testament, it says anyone who receives the body and blood of Christ, unworthily, is drinking a cup of condemnation! If it’s “symbolic”, how could it condemn you?

Christ warned us saying if we did NOT eat his body and drink his blood, that we would have NO life within us! If you believe in scripture, how do you reconcile all this? Why would you go to just any church?

Christ warned us of these times, that there would be a lot of other people who would try to lead us astray. I heard there were some 28,000 kinds of Christianity…thanks to people who believe who believed in individual interpretation of scripture! Last night somebody corrected me and that now, it’s 35,000!

We believe in the Eucharist, because Christ told us to! We believe in the papacy, because Jesus, himself, established it. I will not even go to any other man-made church, once I have come to the truth.

There is only one truth, and only one Church. All these others may have pieces of truth. The Catholic Church is the original and is the only one with the “fullness of truth”.

this is (Edited) not true.

this is (Edited) not true.

Is it? How many denominations are there? I’m not challenging you–I am genuinely curious.

Really? Maybe you want to check your facts.

*]World Christian Encyclopedia (David A. Barrett; Oxford University Press, 1982) apparently estimated almost 21,000 denominations, and the updated World Christian Encyclopedia (Barrett, Kurian, Johnson; Oxford Univ Press, 2nd edition, 2001) estimated at least 33,000. “Denomination” is defined as “an organised christian group within a country”.
*]The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary estimated 34,000 denominations in 2000, rising to an estimated 43,000 in 2012. These numbers have exploded from 1,600 in the year 1900.

Entire article.

As to the OP’s question.

If Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ founded one church then why would one ever want anything but that one? That makes no sense.

Here are the notes on an excellent Bible study that shows that there is only one true church that Christ founded. One Church by John Martignoni.

  1. catholic
  2. orthodox
  3. anglican/episcopal/church of england
  4. baptist
  5. methodist
  6. lutheran
  7. presbyterian
  8. church of christ
  9. pentecostal (more of a “movement” than a denomination really)
  10. adventist
  11. uniting
  12. quakers

…that’s all i’ve got of the top of my head.

see where i’m going with this?

you don’t get to label every piddling last christian group a denomination and paint the picture that they’re all competing and fighting with one another. it’s intellectually dishonest and constricts the definition of christ’s church to a human-made and human-run organisation, rather than the god-breathed body of believers that it is.

with the exception of the top two (and maybe a few scripturally-challenged individuals scattered here and there), all accept each other as full christians, without tacking on the divisive “separated brethren” and “without the fullness of truth” qualifiers. is CHRIST not the fullness of truth?

indeed he did. praise the lord that you, i, and all other believing christians are counted in its ranks.

:yawn: But then there’s the sticky question of Who REALLY Preaches “A Different Gospel”?

Despite the fact that they actually do contend with each other? Why deny the reality that all those of us who have been members of these n-C communities and know what really goes on? :shrug:

Naturally you would assert the “christ’s church to a human-made and human-run organisation, rather than the god-breathed body of believers that it is.” allegation which is, of course unscriptural and denies the reality of even your own communities life and functions. You will no doubt next assert that yours is similar or even identical to that of the early church, but that too is untrue. See What Was Authentic Early Christian Worship Really Like?

with the exception of the top two (and maybe a few scripturally-challenged individuals scattered here and there), all accept each other as full christians, without

tacking on the divisive “separated brethren” and “without the fullness of truth” qualifiers. is CHRIST not the fullness of truth?This is pretty weak. The fact is that the divisiveness that you speak of is just as prevalent, if not more so in n-C communities, who even go so far as to treat us Catholics as non-Christians. I know because I have faced that quite often and even seen it alleged in videos of your own n-Cs there in Oz.

When modern men concoct new winds of errant doctrines and separate themselves from the fullness of truth as presented in the New Testament as well as 2,000 years of authentic (and well documented) Christian history, then whose fault is that? Certainly not those who have remained faithful and who are willing to enter dialog with those same separated brethren in order “to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice,” :shrug:

i’m a member of christ’s church through my profession and life of faith, saved by his blood. and as paul wrote, i am convinced that nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of god. respectfully, that includes you.

you seem almost hateful of the notion that christ’s ENTIRE church (that is, all believing christians and not just those members of the catholic organisation) will meet in heaven. and that is truly saddening.

I suppose that one approach to the question “can I be multi-denominational?” would be this: Can you hold contradictory truths in your mind at the same time and accept both of them or all of them? Can truth contradict itself?

Or, if you wish to pick some beliefs from Catholicism and some beliefs from perhaps Lutheranism, and maybe some beliefs from Methodism, and some from Hinduism, then you are not multi-denominational; you have formed your own particular denomination with its own beliefs selected by you its founder.

Ask an astronomy professor. Can you be a geocentrist and a heliocentrist at the same time? Can you accept the big bang theory while simultaneously rejecting it in favor of some other theory?

My advice to the OP would be the Eucharist. Whatever you believe about the Eucharist should be your final conviction on whether or not you become Catholic.

If Catholicism is the one true faith, bar-none, no argument to be had; and their teachings on the Eucharist is true, then it’s very important that you’re not a part of a Church that teaches the symbolism behind the Eucharist.

If you’re like me and (not a knock on Catholicism) trust that God is in control of communion, whether symbolic or real then it doesn’t really matter. As long as you have a lasting relationship with your Lord and Savior, do His will, etc, etc.

Good luck.

What’s underlined above is actually a contradiction of terms.

*]God DOES care whether one is Catholic or Protestant
*]Jesus defined what loving Him entails. John 14:23-24 i.e. It’s not a “said” love but actually obeying Him in what He says…
[/LIST]Romans 16:17-20 , [/FONT]Galatians 5:19-21 The word for “dissension” in both readings, is the same Greek word. διχοστασία [FONT=Trebuchet MS]dichostasia[/FONT] = dissension / division / sedition.

Protestantism came about in the 16th century by heretical and schismatic men who broke away from the Catholic Church. And since then Protestantism has exibited division on steroids.

Paul warns, that division / dissension from the Church is condemned. Protestantism regardless of stripe isn’t the Church. They aren’t considered a “church” or “churches” by the Catholic Church. They are considered Christians providing they are validly baptised, and protestantism objectively speaking is a heresy.

All heretics in history were also considered Christians (because by definition, they were baptised). For one to be a heretic, they have to be a baptised person who has gone off the rails in regards to correct beliefs, and won’t change.

Christians in history who are heretics catholic.com/tracts/the-great-heresies


A Catholic cannot deliberately miss mass on Sunday, (i.e. deliberately miss the Eucharist) or mortal sin is committed.

A Protestant service NEVER replaces the mass or takes the place of Mass, or satisfies one’s obligation to go to mass.

Review the 2 readings above again (Romans & Galatians). There is no equivocation in that directive. The one who saves us, is the one directing Paul to write those warnings.

Here’s the proof John 16:12-15 The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write those scriptures, but as you can see, that teaching ultimately came from Jesus through the HS, through Paul. IOW, the Judge of all the living and dead,Acts 10:42 is telling us how in those readings, He will judge division from His Church. Galatians 5:21 ]

Protestantism is heresy and schism from the Church.

Being in RCIA, you’ve possibly already heard of the sacrament of reconciliation, right? Do you have any idea how many times a priest hears confessions that would curl most people’s hair? If a person is truly sorry for those sins confessed, he is forgiven in the act of absolution in this sacrament. Jesus wouldn’t institute this sacrament if it wasn’t needed. John 20:21-23 The Catholic Church is holy, not because of who is in the Church but because of who established the Catholic Church, and gives all His promises to His Church.

These are NOT minor issues. Truth is not relative. We can’t be indifferent to the truth. Truth is not schizophrenic. Truth is truth.

The Catholic Church is the one true Church established by Jesus. The Eucharist is the height and summit of our faith. It’s the body blood soul and divinity of Jesus our savior. If we don’t partake in the Eucharist , we have no life in us. John 6:51-69

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