I went to the local Catholic Church the other day and prayed the last time I did that was about 10 years ago. Man do the Catholics know how to make you want to pray the chapel was beautiful…..

It was most liberating.

I have been one to think that my local Catholic friends live some type of shady life saying Hail Mary’s and not having any true theology of anything like my true self. While I disagree with them on some things (the small matter of say faith and works 😛 for example) my local parish opened my eyes. Their parish magazine was choca block full of things they had been up to in the last couple of months and included articles on

  •  their evangelism plan and how they had been practicing this and ways to get involved, 
  •  missions,
  • Servant leadership 
  •  an article on the women’s ministry – and how they were doing a remit on child abuse to a national organisation,
  •  young adults ministry 
  •   (hold your breath here folks) an article by a priest or monk (couldn’t tell which) on how the Catholic Church owed a lot to the Protestant tradition for their Biblical Scholarship in the 20th Century and how  when we separate the Word and the sacraments we become disjointed.

 Michael Spencer, Internet Monk said some interesting things in his latest podcast about being a Post Evangelical and the fact that as one no one church is your ‘home’ and that one of the advantages of being a Post Evangelical is being able to take the best of all different Church Traditions and not boxing yourself into a corner. I pondered this after my experience with my Catholic Sisters and Brothers.  Unfortunately nowadays I think many in the modern Church  are prone to a huge dose of the ‘Corinth’ 1-4 Syndrome (see 1st Corinthians 1-4) where we think our  brand of church is the Church by which all truth should be judged by at the loss of everything else our brothers and sisters in other traditions have to offer .  

It came to light the other day that often the way we judge other churches comes not from any great theological outworkings or biblical scholarship but merely from a parochial ‘my church is better than their church’  line often with little thought into our views.

How do you view other Churches? Is your view on other Churches influenced by first hand experience/scholarship or by something else?  Do you worship in other denominations with ease? What have other church traditions offered your faith journey?   

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