Saturday, September 25, 2004

Per Request

Because it has been requested, I am going to blog about dating relationships between Protestants and Catholics. You know, I'm really not sure how to talk about this topic, or exactly what I think, but I will attempt to write my random thoughts. Then I will leave this topic open for all of your wonderful comments. So please, comment to your heart's content.

I guess to start out, I will talk a little bit about me. (Remember, this is my blog, and I am selfish.) I am Catholic, and have always been. Up until coming to college, I wouldn't say I didn't know about the different denominations, but I was never exposed to then like I am now. I grew up going to a Catholic grade school and high school. Catholicism was all I ever knew. However, I don't think I ever made an effort to be a true Christian. (There is a difference between calling yourself a Christian and being a Christian.) Now that I have experienced how other people are making this effort, I saw where I was lacking, and still am. The college experience has also brought to my attention the differing beliefs. So now I am trying to find the truth for myself.

I went on a hayride last night where we, of course, road on a trailer with hay, but also talked and sang worship music. Somewhere in the talking part of the night, Dave and I discussed this topic. He and I both agree that all this denomination business is...well I don't know a way to say this without offending anyone so I guess I'll just say it...stupid. He also pointed out scripture to me.

"I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also my be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be BROUGHT TO PERFECTION AS ONE, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them."

John 17:20-26 (NAB)

You might be expecting some brilliant conclusion or solution that I have come up with to solve the world's problems, and this is where I say that I'm really sorry to disappoint you. I do not have a solution. All that I'm thinking right now is that everyone needs to put aside their differences, and "be brought to perfection as one." Of these differences, I think that denomination is one of them. Since I came to college I have changed from the person who just accepted every believe that was thrown at him all his life to the person who is searching for the Truth himself. I believe that there can be only one Truth out there. Which leads me to the conclusion that there can be only one "denomination."

I guess I didn't talk about dating between Protestants and Catholics yet. Hmm...well, I have dated a protestant. We had differing views on some subjects, but I was open to hearing her different views because I am trying to find the Truth. However, this is an imperfect world full of different views. Right now, I am leaning toward the idea that the couple need to have the same beliefs. If the two have differing believes, I do not think there is any way they can have a strong relationship...especially in marriage and when the little ones start coming. *Sigh* Why can't this be a perfect world where we are perfect as one? Well those are my thoughts, short and sweet.


7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sends, Good blog...I just thought I'd throw my two cents in, so here it goes. I, like you was brought up Catholic without and Protistant views. I think that however, we differ in that I started looking for the Truth younger than you did and therefore figured out for the most part what I believed in before ever coming to college. In doing that, I think that I am not as confused when it comes to talking with others about what they believe. However as you stated "I believe that there can be only one Truth out there. Which leads me to the conclusion that there can be only one 'denomination.'" I think that this is where our beliefs differ a little. I agree that there is only one Truth out there but I also believe that the Truth can be found though many different denominations. I believe that in Catholicism, I find the Truth and I believe that the Protestant friends we have made in college find the Truth through their own religion. I don't think that either one of these are wrong.
As far as dating someone of a different religion, I think that it can be done. Two of my siblings have married outside of Catholicism and my sister-in-law even chose to become Catholic, which I thought was awesome. I definitely see where you were going with that because we are asked to put God first in our lives. I do know someone who thought she had found her soulmate. They were older, both with careers, and both single. They dated for a somewhat short time and were soon talking about marriage. She was Catholic and he was Protestant (I think). Both were very strong in their Faith and in the end, she turned down love to be true to her God and her religion. Hearing her tell this story hit me very hard. It was very powerful and I know that I will never forget it as long as I live. So I guess that I agree with you more then I disagree with you, but only if both are strong in their faith. I think that if one is still searching then maybe God is putting them together to help in some way.
Ok, so now that I am done putting my story in here, I guess I'll just say good-bye and I love you!!
~Smess

9/25/2004  
Blogger Michael-Fay said...

Well, here goes my opinion.

I, like you Sends, am searching for the Truth. (I think we all are, in some way) I don't think that the Truth comes all at once; it is something that we grow into. None of us will ever understand the whole Truth, but we must never stop searching.
This leads me to the dating issue:
I don't have much experience in this field, but I do know what advice I've been given by others and can draw on their experiences. In my heart, I believe that inter-denominational dating is very beneficial to both parties. As Smess said, God puts people together to learn from each other. When you went out with a girl who was Protestant, you learned a lot about yourself and how you feel about certain issues. In these relationships, we are challenged to strengthen our Faith in God.

If you can develop the relationship past the two denominations, then you are able to exist more closely to how Jesus wanted (in Holy Perfection); this is a bit cliche, but Jesus is not a religion. I am very adamant about this. I have many friends who are not Catholic, not Christian, and not even of a religion descended from Judaism. I know of a couple who transcended cultural, and religious, differences to become quite happy together. One is Hindu, and the other is Christian. I think the Christian rubbed off on her husband very much.

The point in my ramblings is that it is possible for people of different religions to be together. It is up to you to decide whether you can do the same; if you cannot, don't worry. God has a path chosen for you, and maybe it is His way of telling you that it is not what He has planned. This is where Faith comes in.

In closing, I want to reiterate my thoughts:
1. Date who you want; if you are open to them and to God, He will lead you through the relationship.
2. Make everyday a learning experience, but don't worry when you realize that you don't know the whole Truth.
3. Be. That's right; just exist in Him and all will be okay. (Insight from Mt 6:25)


Michael

9/27/2004  
Blogger Michael-Fay said...

Well, here goes my opinion.

I, like you Sends, am searching for the Truth. (I think we all are, in some way) I don't think that the Truth comes all at once; it is something that we grow into. None of us will ever understand the whole Truth, but we must never stop searching.
This leads me to the dating issue:
I don't have much experience in this field, but I do know what advice I've been given by others and can draw on their experiences. In my heart, I believe that inter-denominational dating is very beneficial to both parties. As Smess said, God puts people together to learn from each other. When you went out with a girl who was Protestant, you learned a lot about yourself and how you feel about certain issues. In these relationships, we are challenged to strengthen our Faith in God.

If you can develop the relationship past the two denominations, then you are able to exist more closely to how Jesus wanted (in Holy Perfection); this is a bit cliche, but Jesus is not a religion. I am very adamant about this. I have many friends who are not Catholic, not Christian, and not even of a religion descended from Judaism. I know of a couple who transcended cultural, and religious, differences to become quite happy together. One is Hindu, and the other is Christian. I think the Christian rubbed off on her husband very much.

The point in my ramblings is that it is possible for people of different religions to be together. It is up to you to decide whether you can do the same; if you cannot, don't worry. God has a path chosen for you, and maybe it is His way of telling you that it is not what He has planned. This is where Faith comes in.

In closing, I want to reiterate my thoughts:
1. Date who you want; if you are open to them and to God, He will lead you through the relationship.
2. Make everyday a learning experience, but don't worry when you realize that you don't know the whole Truth.
3. Be. That's right; just exist in Him and all will be okay. (Insight from Mt 6:25)


Michael

9/27/2004  
Blogger Melodie said...

Here goes. Well, commenting on the last comment, about how we can learn a lot from dating someone who is another religion/denomination, why can't we learn from them without dating them? I was once faced with the chance to date someone who's Catholic. We didn't date, but he has taught me a ton about his faith and my own. So here's my opinion, no I don't think it should happen if you are both strong in your faith. Yeah, if your faith is just a title then it probably doesn't matter who you date, but if it's what you live and breath then yeah, there are going to be problems. The point of dating, though few in college want to think about it, is to eventually find the one you want to marry. When you get married you and your husband/wife are one unit. God put you together to live and act as one and compliment each other. In my own opinion I want my husband and I to work in ministry together, and if we can't decide exactly how we want to minister in the mission field then how can we minister? How can we decide what denomination or religion we want to lead someone to. Of course, I hate denominations and religions, and I wish the churches were united, but the truth is that we aren't united, so we have to make the best choice possible in the situation we are in. It also can have a little common sense to it, I mean think of all the questions that you will face if you marry someone of a different religion, let's say I marry a Catholic. What church would we be married in? Would we baptize our children as infants? Which church would we attend on Sundays? Would we teach our children that Saints are historic special people chosen by God, or that saints are all believers? Would we make them participate in sacraments or let them decide when they are ready? Would they go to a Catholic School, public school or Christian school? Would you teach them what purgatory is? Would you believe in the Catachism and the Bible? What would you teach them about Mary? What do you do when your husband prays to saints or mary for help and you don't? Would you go with your husband (or wife) to attend confession? Would you think it was necessary? Those are just some questions that pop into mind. Sorry this is so long.

9/27/2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Said…

Since the majority of you blog seemed to be more about denominations than it did dating, I would just like to say a little something (I admit now it might get real long, but I’m not sorry because I have a lot to say) about it. Now I know what I am going to say may be looked at as completely wrong or heavily miss guided but I really don’t care. (Note read the previous in the nicest possible way.)

Christian.
Now I don’t know what this word means to other people but to me it means a person who knows Jesus Christ and follows in his example; His example which was to teach about God and to help those who needed him. Jesus talked to everyone, he helped everyone, everyone was the same through Jesus’, God’s, eyes. So what is the big deal about what denomination anyone is as long as they are doing what they believe in, to follow his teachings? I believe that there is no more right denomination than any other, as long as they are following what they believe to be Jesus’ teachings. (I will stand by that too.)

To me, being a Christian means having that one-on-one relationship with Jesus, and being able to walk and talk with him, knowing and feeling him walking right beside you. Through this if you can feel that your life is being lived out the way He is leading you to live, then I feel that is what being Christian is about. Yes, I believe being in a fellowship of believers is also important but without that personal relationship with Jesus, are you sure you really know what you fully believe in? My belief is a personal relationship with Jesus, being strengthen by many different denominations’ ideas.

Now, something about Dating.
While I agree that the point in dating is to find someone to eventually marry you can’t just say well I don’t think I would want to marry that person so I not going to get to know them better by Dating (Yes, I know you don’t have to date to get to know someone better.). Through Dating we find out what we are really looking for in a life long partner. So why try to exclude people before you know. Now if you know that dating someone not of your same beliefs is not right for you, that’s great, you have a better grasp on finding that certain someone. But if you know it not for you and you are telling others it’s not right for them how are they going to really know. Would you tell a friend not to go out with some one who hates water cause you love to swim (Again, I know water is relatively meaningless while faith means everything but it’s a simple example)? Well maybe you would but can you see that what is right for you might not be right for everyone.

Why would anyone what to find out if dating someone not of their beliefs is right for them? Well I can’t tell you that, I don’t have all the answers. I fact many I’m sure would say I don’t have any answers, but I would agree with them. I don’t think we will ever understand the human mind, God created it too perfectly to do that. Therefore no one has the answers; but I digress. I believe Love, Real Love is a gift from God. If a person finds someone that they truly do Love and receives that Love back that that is a true gift from God. Many say that love transcends all but I believe God transcends all. And since God gave this gift of a relationship, I believe it could work.

Of course there will be many questions and I’m sure even more problems, but what does not bring up questions and cause problems. Life can be hard. An earlier Blog said that it’s not easy to stay a way from sin but we still have to try. Thus we can’t base a life altering decision on it’ll be hard. After saying all this, I would like to state that I understand how a relationship between different faiths might never workout for many people.

For those who feel differently about any of this, I would like to say through adversity brings togetherness. And I respect all other opinions, and that is all I ask from you. (Oh yeah, I was right, it defiantly got long.)

9/28/2004  
Blogger Michael-Fay said...

Sorry about double-commenting before. I thought my computer messed up...

Since I'm commenting again:

David, I'm not sure which David you are, or if we have disagreed in the past; but I would like to reaffirm what you posted above.

You have managed to take the words from my inept mouth. I don't always say exactly what I mean (my intellectual downfall). Thank you for your comment, because I was unable to effectively identify how I feel.

Maybe you got the point from my comment, but in case you didn't:

I agree for the most part with what David said.

I am tickled to death (and I'm sure God is happy too) when any two people can come together and agree on something. Oh, well... I'm happy. Weird...But Happy!!

~

9/28/2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well this was all very insightful for me and helpful. Thanks guys - I think you just have to pray and try to live in God's will. Now that can mean different things for different people. But that's the the simplicity of it.
MalMal

9/28/2004  

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