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  • Hello everyone. I am not usually on here, but I love that this group exists. I sometimes hop on and read what is going on. Lately I have been going through some things though and feel like I need some advice. I'd like to start by saying I don't mean to offend anyone with what I say. I am speaking what I know. Anything that you contribute to the conversation will be much appreciated. 

    Recently I have been talking to a friend who I have known for about four years. She and I really like each other and while she would like to be in an actual relationship, I am the one who hesitates. The reason why I hesitate is because she is a Catholic, while I am a Christian. I know there are differences between the two and there are some differences that worry me more than others. I have only been in on relationship before and I know it didn't end well because I felt convicted about being with who I was with. I don't want to make the same mistake again and I don't want to jump into a relationship and hurt someone I really care about. I guess what I'm trying to get at is, is it okay for a Christian to be in a relationship with a Catholic due to the differences there are? Are Catholics granted access to the Kingdom of God? 

    Again, I don't mean to offend anyone. I am stating what I know and am just in need of advice, mainly through Scripture. Any help will be appreciated. 

    Thank you. 

  • It's definitely okay for you to be in a relationship. The problems in the potential relationship won't come from what the scripture says about denominations (scripture doesn't say anything because they weren't apart of the divine plan), but from how you two deal with the differences in the denominations. What verse you might be thinking of is this:

    Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?- 2 Corinthians 6:14.

    Again, I don't think there's any scripture that speaks against relationships between two denominations of people.

  • Hello, Samo.  I don't think that I've seen a post from you in the group before, so I'm glad that you've sought advice from Christians in an admittedly odd medium.

    You've asked a few important questions, for which I'll give you some of my thoughts.  It seems to me that the entire crux of your questions hinge on how you view Catholicism in relation to Christianity as a whole.  I see where you're coming from.  I am a non-denominational Protestant Christian, and I have a few serious disagreements with Catholicism.  The difference between your views and mine here looks to be that you consider Catholicism to be an entirely separate religion, not simply a different Christian denomination.  This difference is very important.  If I thought that Catholicism were a different religion, I would share your concern.  But remember, Catholics believe in Jesus just as much as Protestants do.

    So, in response to your question about it being okay to be "in a relationship" with a Catholic, I say yes.  I'm assuming that "in a relationship" means that you're talking about dating.  I don't see a problem with this.

    Remember, however, that when we talk about relationships, we are talking mainly about the people with whom we're in a relationship, not about the particular beliefs they hold or what labels they use to describe themselves.  If I were in your shoes, I'd be much more concerned with the girl herself than with the fact that she is a Catholic.  Does she live a life that honors God?  Does she express a genuine faith in God and Jesus Christ?  These, I think, are much more important questions.

    As for Catholics' being granted access into the Kingdom of God, I think that this is slightly wrong-headed, and it's why I dislike the divisions that denominations create among Christians.  As a Christian, I imagine that you believe that "anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved".  Anyone who confesses his sins to God, repents, and believes in Jesus Christ is saved.  What does it matter if that person identifies with Catholicism?

    I hope that this helps.  I'm glad to see that you are thinking carefully about the relationships that you are getting into.  This is often a difficult thing to do, particularly for Christian teenagers.  I'll pray that God will help you make the right decision.  God bless.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • @TheDarkestLink, Prince of Smash

    2 Corinthians 6:14 is the passage I have been pointed to twice when told not to be in a relationship with this girl. Other than that, I haven't had much guidance.

    @Servant of God

    I know that some see it as a completely different religion, while others view it as a denomination of Christianity. She does express faith in God and Jesus Christ.

    Some background on me. I am not one who regularly goes to Church or has a group of Christian friends to hang with. I do not have access to what I need to go to Church regularly. The Lord has blessed me with some very close friends that I am thankful to have in my life. Due to distance, I am not able to be around them very often. I read and pray everyday though because that is what I feel I need to do keep my relationship with God as strong as I can for now. I try to follow what is said in the Bible the best I can because I believe we are meant to be just like Jesus.

    Now that there is some background on me, I will state some concerns I have. Isn't it wrong when people pray to the Virgin Mary or the saints to pray for them? Jesus gave his life on the cross so that we can have access to the Kingdom of God by grace through faith in Him alone. He is the mediator between us and God. So isn't it a sort of idolatry to pray to anyone else but God in the name of Jesus?

  • Also, I'd like to thank you both in advance for the advice. This is something I have been wanting to talk about in depth for a while, but haven't had the chance to.

  • I'd like to start off by saying half of my family is Catholic and the other half Born Again/Baptist, there are so many denominations nowadays that it's kind of ridiculous!  I go to a Catholic outing every year and sometimes feel a little uncomfortable with all of the unnecessary rituals and prayers being performed. There are some huge differences in the belief systems of Catholics and Born Agains, Baptists, etc.  From what you said above, that she has accepted Jesus as her savior, you should have no doubt she will be saved.  I think your biggest concern is what church you will attend, your discussions about faith, and how your kids will be raised (in the future).

    I believe the best advice is to ask God in prayer what you should do.  You should also discuss this with her and see where your faith may not align, and discuss your thoughts and back up your reasoning with scripture. There are a lot of differences between the two denominations. They believe Mary is sinless, they also believe the best way to get Jesus' attention is by praying through Mary. They pray to various Saints with specific troubles. The eucharist is said to contain the presence of Jesus, some believe that they are actually eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ during communion. Church is very different, if you have never attended mass.  There is a hierarchy of Catholic officials (priests, cardinals, etc). And many Catholics believe the Pope is in direct communication with God, therefore what he says is divine, like Moses or Joshua.

    Remember though that people may change and if God wants the two of you together than it will happen. I know you say you do not have access to attend church regularly, but the two of you could watch live webcasts of churches from around the world. I would recommend Charles Stanley, or you could listen to his daily radio sermon together? After listening you guys can discuss your thoughts on the sermon.

  • @Samo:

    Your primary concern about prayer to the saints is actually one of the main reasons that I am not a Catholic.  I used to argue that prayer to the saints is patently idolatrous because it treats them as the mediator between God and man, not Jesus.  But my approach now is slightly different.  Most Catholics, from what I know, do not think of themselves as praying through the saints to God.  They think of it more as we would think of simply asking someone else to pray for us.  They, for example, ask Mary to say some prayer to God for them, but they don't pray to Mary as if she is the mediator between them and God (or even Jesus, for that matter).  Jonathan can say more than I can about this, since he grew up in a Catholic family.

    Taken in this way, I don't see anything explicitly idolatrous about this practice.  It would be akin to me asking you to pray for me, except, in the case of Mary, I'm asking a woman who's been dead for nearly two thousand years.  My main concern, now, has turned to the seeming deification of the saints and of, in particular, Mary.  This seems idolatrous to me, and either way, it's a serious issue.

    But this is something that, in my opinion, is not very relevant to your relationship with this girl.  If she is a believer in Christ, then you're not getting yoked with an unbeliever by dating her.  You're simply dating a Christian with different doctrinal views.  It would be just as okay for a Baptist to date a Presbyterian, for example.  It seems to me that you have much more important questions to ask about this relationship.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

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