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Is visiting other church's 'inappropriate'


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This past weekend I had a fairly negative experience with family members about church attendance. I had been invited by a friend to do some special music at a non-LDS church service and since music is my jam, I was happy to contribute. 

I invited my parents to attend since they live nearby. They said they couldn't go because it would be "inappropriate". They won't attend a non-LDS service. My mom said she has never been to another church except to attend funerals. I was pretty surprised and a bit disappointed.

I also invited my brother and his family who were staying with us from out of town. My brother's wife said it was "unacceptable" and actually became upset that the invitation was extended and that my brother briefly considered going. In any case, no one attended to watch my musical contributions. Fine.

But it quite irked me that instead of a simple "no thank you" I received more of an "absolutely not" kind of response. It strikes me as extremely rude and small minded to be that opposed to attending another denomination's services for a special occasion even when it would have had no impact on their own services. If they had invited a friend or family to attend their service and received the same kind of response I am quite sure they would have found the rejection of a simple visit, distasteful.

Are my family jerks or has the church somehow created a fear based mentality about attending other churches or experiencing "counterfeit spirituality" (my father's phrase). OR are they right in refusing to attend other churches and are appropriately indignant at the invitation?

 

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There is no reason not to visit other Churches.
It might be a questionable thing for those who are already questioning their testimonies.  But in general I'd think it would be a wonderful opportunity to create a fellowship.
Early missionaries often preached in the Church houses of other faiths.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This past weekend I had a fairly negative experience with family members about church attendance. I had been invited by a friend to do some special music at a non-LDS church service and since music is my jam, I was happy to contribute. 

I invited my parents to attend since they live nearby. They said they couldn't go because it would be "inappropriate". They won't attend a non-LDS service. My mom said she has never been to another church except to attend funerals. I was pretty surprised and a bit disappointed.

I also invited my brother and his family who were staying with us from out of town. My brother's wife said it was "unacceptable" and actually became upset that the invitation was extended and that my brother briefly considered going. In any case, no one attended to watch my musical contributions. Fine.

But it quite irked me that instead of a simple "no thank you" I received more of an "absolutely not" kind of response. It strikes me as extremely rude and small minded to be that opposed to attending another denomination's services for a special occasion even when it would have had no impact on their own services. If they had invited a friend or family to attend their service and received the same kind of response I am quite sure they would have found the rejection of a simple visit, distasteful.

Are my family jerks or has the church somehow created a fear based mentality about attending other churches or experiencing "counterfeit spirituality" (my father's phrase). OR are they right in refusing to attend other churches and are appropriately indignant at the invitation?

 

It strikes me odd that your sister-in-law responded with 'unacceptable'. Either they are way too orthodox for my liking or the exchange had heated up before that and her response was the culmination of an escalation. I'll defer to your characterization if this isn't the case.

To answer your topic question - yes, visiting another's faith can be appropriate at times and not so at others. I probably fall on the more orthodox end of the continuum where unless there is a compelling reason, I would rather myself and my family be at their own congregation. Of course, now that 2 of my 3 kiddos are adults, my stance becomes almost mute. ; )

Edited by Vanguard
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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This past weekend I had a fairly negative experience with family members about church attendance. I had been invited by a friend to do some special music at a non-LDS church service and since music is my jam, I was happy to contribute. 

I invited my parents to attend since they live nearby. They said they couldn't go because it would be "inappropriate". They won't attend a non-LDS service. My mom said she has never been to another church except to attend funerals. I was pretty surprised and a bit disappointed.

I also invited my brother and his family who were staying with us from out of town. My brother's wife said it was "unacceptable" and actually became upset that the invitation was extended and that my brother briefly considered going. In any case, no one attended to watch my musical contributions. Fine.

But it quite irked me that instead of a simple "no thank you" I received more of an "absolutely not" kind of response. It strikes me as extremely rude and small minded to be that opposed to attending another denomination's services for a special occasion even when it would have had no impact on their own services. If they had invited a friend or family to attend their service and received the same kind of response I am quite sure they would have found the rejection of a simple visit, distasteful.

Are my family jerks or has the church somehow created a fear based mentality about attending other churches or experiencing "counterfeit spirituality" (my father's phrase). OR are they right in refusing to attend other churches and are appropriately indignant at the invitation?

 

Wow, that’s kind of nuts. Never have I experienced anything like that. I’ve been to several bar mitzvahs, brises, Mass, and various Protestant services since childhood. No one in my family ever considered it inappropriate. So strange. 

Edited by jkwilliams
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31 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This past weekend I had a fairly negative experience with family members about church attendance. I had been invited by a friend to do some special music at a non-LDS church service and since music is my jam, I was happy to contribute. 

I invited my parents to attend since they live nearby. They said they couldn't go because it would be "inappropriate". They won't attend a non-LDS service. My mom said she has never been to another church except to attend funerals. I was pretty surprised and a bit disappointed.

I also invited my brother and his family who were staying with us from out of town. My brother's wife said it was "unacceptable" and actually became upset that the invitation was extended and that my brother briefly considered going. In any case, no one attended to watch my musical contributions. Fine.

But it quite irked me that instead of a simple "no thank you" I received more of an "absolutely not" kind of response. It strikes me as extremely rude and small minded to be that opposed to attending another denomination's services for a special occasion even when it would have had no impact on their own services. If they had invited a friend or family to attend their service and received the same kind of response I am quite sure they would have found the rejection of a simple visit, distasteful.

Are my family jerks or has the church somehow created a fear based mentality about attending other churches or experiencing "counterfeit spirituality" (my father's phrase). OR are they right in refusing to attend other churches and are appropriately indignant at the invitation?

 

They are jerks.  And were wrong.  And I would have said that as an active member as well.

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Yes, your family are jerks.  Also, this stems from the church teachings that the LDS church is the one true and only church which Christ runs.  Therefore, any other church can’t have Christ at it...why would Christ visit another church if he were on earth than the one he owns and manages?  This is one reason some Mormons won’t visit other churches...

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26 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This past weekend I had a fairly negative experience with family members about church attendance. I had been invited by a friend to do some special music at a non-LDS church service and since music is my jam, I was happy to contribute. 

I invited my parents to attend since they live nearby. They said they couldn't go because it would be "inappropriate". They won't attend a non-LDS service. My mom said she has never been to another church except to attend funerals. I was pretty surprised and a bit disappointed.

I also invited my brother and his family who were staying with us from out of town. My brother's wife said it was "unacceptable" and actually became upset that the invitation was extended and that my brother briefly considered going. In any case, no one attended to watch my musical contributions. Fine.

But it quite irked me that instead of a simple "no thank you" I received more of an "absolutely not" kind of response. It strikes me as extremely rude and small minded to be that opposed to attending another denomination's services for a special occasion even when it would have had no impact on their own services. If they had invited a friend or family to attend their service and received the same kind of response I am quite sure they would have found the rejection of a simple visit, distasteful.

Are my family jerks or has the church somehow created a fear based mentality about attending other churches or experiencing "counterfeit spirituality" (my father's phrase). OR are they right in refusing to attend other churches and are appropriately indignant at the invitation?

 

Probably a lot of people of different Faith's feel the same way. I have family members who are christian and wouldn't dare step into a Mormon church. My christian uncle came to watch his son play basketball at the our church and the whole time he was there he was extremely uncomfortable. Almost as if he thought the devil was roaming the hallway.

 Some people are more tribal than others and don't want to deal with anything outside the tribe, Mormonism is a tribe essentially so that's probably what your dealing with when it comes to your relatives. I wouldn't say they're jerks, just being cautious, it is a shame though.

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3 minutes ago, 2BizE said:

Yes, your family are jerks.  Also, this stems from the church teachings that the LDS church is the one true and only church which Christ runs.  Therefore, any other church can’t have Christ at it...why would Christ visit another church if he were on earth than the one he owns and manages?  This is one reason some Mormons won’t visit other churches...

I think it stems from the same idea that existed for a while against reading anything other than Church publications on the gospel and less from the avoid other Churches idea.
It's about avoiding being converted to doctrine the Church would consider false, not about associating with those of other faiths.

But it's still closed minded and wrong and addressed to "the least" of the Saints.

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39 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This past weekend I had a fairly negative experience with family members about church attendance. I had been invited by a friend to do some special music at a non-LDS church service and since music is my jam, I was happy to contribute. 

What instrument do you play? Or do you sing? I bet @Bernard Gui has played for some other church's services.

There's also this article that smac posted awhile back about an LDS musician serving as cantor at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City and how that strengthened his faith:

http://icatholic.org/article/singing-at-the-cathedral-of-the-madeleine-strengthens-53214952

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6 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

Probably a lot of people of different Faith's feel the same way. I have family members who are christian and wouldn't dare step into a Mormon church. My christian uncle came to watch his son play basketball at the our church and the whole time he was there he was extremely uncomfortable. Almost as if he thought the devil was roaming the hallway.

 Some people are more tribal than others and don't want to deal with anything outside the tribe, Mormonism is a tribe essentially so that's probably what your dealing with when it comes to your relatives. I wouldn't say they're jerks, just being cautious, it is a shame though.

Agreed. As member missionaries are we not asked to invite non-members to our services and activities and hope they will accept the invitation?
So why would it be so wrong for them to invite us to their services? If it bothers us a simple no thank you will do rather than call it inappropriate.
 

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If they are really old (and have been living like COVID was around for the last two decades,) a fear of other churches was instilled. I guess some people never got over it. It qualifies as jerk behavior and always did. Right up there with not socializing with people or kids who aren’t LDS. 

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14 minutes ago, 2BizE said:

Yes, your family are jerks.  Also, this stems from the church teachings that the LDS church is the one true and only church which Christ runs.  Therefore, any other church can’t have Christ at it...why would Christ visit another church if he were on earth than the one he owns and manages?  This is one reason some Mormons won’t visit other churches...

I remember when I was a teenager a couple of us boys would go into the christian book stores in the mall and put hymn books and  BOMs on the shelves in hopes of a Christian finding it. When we were Young, late 80s, we definitely thought other christian denominations had absolutely no idea what they where talking about. Back then, the only thing my Mormon family and my christian family agreed on when it came to religion was the Catholics were 👎. Sorry about that Catholics, I don't feel that way anymore. The internet has really changed how a lot of closed minded people think, including myself.

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18 minutes ago, juliann said:

If they are really old (and have been living like COVID was around for the last two decades,) a fear of other churches was instilled. I guess some people never got over it. It qualifies as jerk behavior and always did. Right up there with not socializing with people or kids who aren’t LDS. 

My parents are in their eighties and would never have said anything like that. My mom has played violin in several other religions’ services. 

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36 minutes ago, ttribe said:

I served my mission in TN and KY and twice I trained new missionaries.  I took both of them to a Pentacostal service to get a feel for the culture and beliefs of the area...and to break down their naivete regarding the ways God could be worshiped.  Another time, an investigator in a part-member couple asked us to attend her Baptist services, which we happily did.  It was always a valuable experience, in my opinion.

By the way, in one of those areas, I knew where the local snake-handling congregation was located...I didn't have us go to that one! 😆

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Definite jerks. I’ve gone to many churches as a guest. Especially while supporting a loved one. Weddings, funerals, Christmas programs, etc. Some people need to get out more. Do they live in Utah?

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33 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

. I’m reminded of the time I bought a modern translation of the Bible. You would have thought I’d brought pure evil into the house. 

When my daughter went to a Christian summer camp I didn't want her to take her quad so I decided to buy her a regular christian Bible, can't remember which one, but when i went in to the store and got to the register to check out I felt like I was buying porn😂. Now, twenty or so years later, i collect 18th and 19th century Bible's and also Bible's from other denominations. Actually, I just got a full Joseph Smith translation from a Community of Christ member, it's from the 70s I think, almost perfect condition.

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This past weekend I had a fairly negative experience with family members about church attendance. I had been invited by a friend to do some special music at a non-LDS church service and since music is my jam, I was happy to contribute. 

I invited my parents to attend since they live nearby. They said they couldn't go because it would be "inappropriate". They won't attend a non-LDS service. My mom said she has never been to another church except to attend funerals. I was pretty surprised and a bit disappointed.

I also invited my brother and his family who were staying with us from out of town. My brother's wife said it was "unacceptable" and actually became upset that the invitation was extended and that my brother briefly considered going. In any case, no one attended to watch my musical contributions. Fine.

But it quite irked me that instead of a simple "no thank you" I received more of an "absolutely not" kind of response. It strikes me as extremely rude and small minded to be that opposed to attending another denomination's services for a special occasion even when it would have had no impact on their own services. If they had invited a friend or family to attend their service and received the same kind of response I am quite sure they would have found the rejection of a simple visit, distasteful.

Are my family jerks or has the church somehow created a fear based mentality about attending other churches or experiencing "counterfeit spirituality" (my father's phrase). OR are they right in refusing to attend other churches and are appropriately indignant at the invitation?

Were you surprised by their reaction? What other types of things have they reacted like this to?

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2 minutes ago, ttribe said:

By the way, in one of those areas, I knew where the local snake-handling congregation was located...I didn't have us go to that one! 😆

"I was born a snake handler and I'll die a snake handler!"

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3 minutes ago, CV75 said:

"I was born a snake handler and I'll die a snake handler!"

I love the Simpsons 😂, second only to South Park.

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29 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

I remember when I was a teenager a couple of us boys would go into the christian book stores in the mall and put hymn books and  BOMs on the shelves in hopes of a Christian finding it. When we were Young, late 80s...

You don't want to know what I was doing as a teenager in the 80's!

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