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Old 12-18-2013, 09:40 PM
 
1,115 posts, read 2,188,569 times
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I'm a born and raised Catholic, but I've have had lots of disagreements with the Catholic Church over the past 8-9 years (pretty much since I was a teenager and could think about religious politics...) I guess you could say that in general I'm really not a fan of organized religion. It's often more about politics and power than any spiritual or religious purpose.

So for the last 6 years or so, I haven't gone to Church, but just tried to love God in my own way. I always strive to do good, never lose faith in God, and pray regularly. However, I feel a longing to be involved more heavily with a specific faith again and participate in its events. I'm hesitant to return to the Catholic religion though.

My biggest reason why is because I hate that the Catholic religion judges people who follow a different faith poorly. The teaching has pretty much been if you're not Catholic, you won't receive eternal paradise or god's graces because you're simply not following the right faith. That upsets me terribly, as I know tons of amazingly good hearted people who just so happen to not be Catholic, yet according to the Catholic religion, they are all damned. The Catholic religion also seems to be a little too happy with throwing around the "You're damned" phrase. You ate meat on Friday during Lent? You're damned. You missed church? You're damned. You masturbate? You're damned? You get the point. I also dislike that the religion is very against homosexuality as well, as once again, I know many a good-hearted person who just happens to be gay/lesbian.

All that being said, I've been interested in maybe transitioning to another subsection of Christianity, but am somewhat scared to do so, and am not sure what the differences are between the subsections. Any advice for me please?
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
The teaching has pretty much been if you're not Catholic, you won't receive eternal paradise or god's graces because you're simply not following the right faith. That upsets me terribly, as I know tons of amazingly good hearted people who just so happen to not be Catholic, yet according to the Catholic religion, they are all damned.
I had no idea that went on. I'd be upset too.

Quote:
All that being said, I've been interested in maybe transitioning to another subsection of Christianity, but am somewhat scared to do so, and am not sure what the differences are between the subsections. Any advice for me please?
Do you think a Protestant service similar to Catholic mass would make an easier transition?
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:09 PM
 
47,564 posts, read 30,082,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
My biggest reason why is because I hate that the Catholic religion judges people who follow a different faith poorly. The teaching has pretty much been if you're not Catholic, you won't receive eternal paradise or god's graces because you're simply not following the right faith. That upsets me terribly, as I know tons of amazingly good hearted people who just so happen to not be Catholic, yet according to the Catholic religion, they are all damned.
Not true at all. This reflects a lack of understanding of the Catholic faith. It is typical of many fundamentalist Protestant and evangelical faiths . . . but NOT Catholic. You need to study your faith more carefully.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:12 PM
 
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Well, consider a sect that is liturgical. The Lutherans or Episcopalians are pretty close.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Not true at all. This reflects a lack of understanding of the Catholic faith. It is typical of many fundamentalist Protestant and evangelical faiths . . . but NOT Catholic. You need to study your faith more carefully.
I can't say I agree. I can't count the times I've been told by priests and other Catholics how Catholicism is the "true religion" and everyone else follows "false religion". Maybe it was never explicitly stated "If you're not Catholic you won't receive God grace", but it's heavily implied.

Just to add another major dislike I have about Catholicism, I find it unsettling that this faith is flexible and puts power in the Vatican to literally change the religion on the fly as they see fit. When I was attending church years ago, it was a at least once a year our priests would alert us to new papal decrees that would change beliefs, introduce new "traditions", and basically shift and shape the way the religion was worshiped at their whimsy. Who's to say that Pope Francis and his pro homosexuality stance is nothing more than a political power play to keep up with the world's increasingly growing acceptance of homosexuality? For years and years the Catholic church is one of the biggest homosexuality bashers around, and now all of a sudden it's OK to be gay. It's definitely suspicious!
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:59 PM
 
Location: A little corner of paradise
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My parents thought we should develop our own beliefs. As a result I got to attend church, Sunday School, catechism classes, etc., with many of my friends. I specifically remember a monsignor standing in front of a teen (confirmation?) class and telling the students that all other religions would go to hell because they misinterpreted the Bible and used it to serve their own purposes. At 14, I decided I couldn't follow any religion that was so insistent theirs was the only "right" belief. I still attend different churches with different people because I'm interested in things that are important to them, but I've decided organized religion isn't for me.

That being said, my 19 year old son got involved in a "Christian" church at his college and he loves it. I've attended a couple of services with him. Their general message is kindness, acceptance and forgiveness - do the best you can, believe others are doing the best they can, help out when you can, and forgive those who mess up and want to fix it. Kinda cool in my book.

Attend different churches/services, and learn from them all until you find one where you like the vibe.
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Old 12-19-2013, 12:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaRed View Post
I specifically remember a monsignor standing in front of a teen (confirmation?) class and telling the students that all other religions would go to hell because they misinterpreted the Bible and used it to serve their own purposes. At 14, I decided I couldn't follow any religion that was so insistent theirs was the only "right" belief.
Ok, glad I'm not the only one that has experienced the "All other religions are going to hell" thing in the Catholic religion after the one post above claiming I misinterpreted the faith!

I actually have a friend that is just "Christian" and from talks about our religions, I definitely liked the vibe of his religion. I never knew though, is there JUST a CHRISTIAN religion? I thought Christian was just a categorization of believing in Jesus Christ, but not an actual faith in itself? All the subsects like Catholicism, Mormon, Protestant, etc etc were the real religions under Christianity. I'll have to look more into just a "Christian" religion.
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Old 12-19-2013, 12:40 AM
 
Location: A little corner of paradise
689 posts, read 1,331,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
Ok, glad I'm not the only one that has experienced the "All other religions are going to hell" thing in the Catholic religion after the one post above claiming I misinterpreted the faith!

I actually have a friend that is just "Christian" and from talks about our religions, I definitely liked the vibe of his religion. I never knew though, is there JUST a CHRISTIAN religion? I thought Christian was just a categorization of believing in Jesus Christ, but not an actual faith in itself? All the subsects like Catholicism, Mormon, Protestant, etc etc were the real religions under Christianity. I'll have to look more into just a "Christian" religion.
I suppose I may have "misinterpreted" as well. If so, they need to work on the delivery of their message.

I grew up with "Christianity" being any religion based on Jesus Christ - just like you said. Today, it seems that the churches calling themselves "Christian" spend more time trying to improve themselves through Bible verses, rather than using the Bible to judge and condemn others. Go with your friend a few times, and see if it fits.
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Old 12-19-2013, 12:47 AM
 
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the__grimace---

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with your faith. You are Catholic since you were baptized in the faith? What you say you believe about the faith is wrong and you have been badly taught about it. Like Bishop Sheen said, only a few hundred people actually hate the church but many thousands hate WHAT THEY THINK THE FAITH IS.

I would suggest you go to Catholic Answers and then to their forum to ask questions. You can also listen to Catholic radio from there (it's at the top of the page) if it isn't in your area on any radio channels. Many people have said they came back to the faith from listening to the shows and many have converted from other faiths, even ministers from other faiths.
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:54 AM
 
Location: Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
I can't say I agree. I can't count the times I've been told by priests and other Catholics how Catholicism is the "true religion" and everyone else follows "false religion". Maybe it was never explicitly stated "If you're not Catholic you won't receive God grace", but it's heavily implied.

Just to add another major dislike I have about Catholicism, I find it unsettling that this faith is flexible and puts power in the Vatican to literally change the religion on the fly as they see fit. When I was attending church years ago, it was a at least once a year our priests would alert us to new papal decrees that would change beliefs, introduce new "traditions", and basically shift and shape the way the religion was worshiped at their whimsy. Who's to say that Pope Francis and his pro homosexuality stance is nothing more than a political power play to keep up with the world's increasingly growing acceptance of homosexuality? For years and years the Catholic church is one of the biggest homosexuality bashers around, and now all of a sudden it's OK to be gay. It's definitely suspicious!
I think you've already made up your mind to dislike Catholicism, which is fine. But when you want to find out what the faith actually teaches, not just what misinformed people, and - yes, even priests who have an agenda to push -throw around as fact, you should look at the dogma as it stands today.

Re: bolded above - I don't know how long ago you attended church, but the mass has changed very little since Vatican II. Perhaps your parish was trying some new things (I remember the heyday of Guitar Mass!) or even re-introducing things they were supposed to have been doing all along, but I don't recall a new papal decree every year that changed worship.

As for Pope Francis, I suggest you look at his actual words, not media reports.
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