Jump to content

Is visiting other church's 'inappropriate'


Recommended Posts

16 hours ago, sheilauk said:

I have more than once heard mainly older members be dismissive or worse about other churches.   As a former member of other churches and still having family and friends who go to other churches,  I have always spoken up to support other churches.  Over the years, the views of even the most die hard have softened!

I wonder if some of that could be traced back to some of the "whore of all the earth" talk about other churches, or the Catholic Church in particular, as it was once taught. Seems like a very likely connection.

My father is still very much a McConkie-ite and believes the church has diluted many original teachings in an attempt to become more popular and acceptable in the eyes of the world. Whether he's right or wrong, he definitely feels that way and I suspect there are others that feel the same way.

Link to comment
11 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I don't know why that would have anything to do with it.  It's not like they are going there to be converted to their ways unless they are just insecure in their own beliefs.

Some legitimate reasons for hesitancy I can think of would be:

  1. Schedule conflict with their own ward meeting time - (I personally wouldn't want to miss my own Sacrament Meeting to attend another church).
  2. Being uncomfortable with a new environment if they have no friends attending with them - I would feel this way, and I keep this in mind when investigators attend our church.
  3. Being unfamiliar with ritual or procedure and not wanting to stand out or do something that would draw unwanted attention to themselves.
  4. Being uncomfortable with unfamiliar forms of worship (i.e. rock music at a Sunday service, speaking in tongues, etc.)
  5. Fear of being overly welcomed as a visitor
  6. Fear of being pounced upon if they find out you are a "Mormon"  (But this part would be fun if it happened, in my opinion :) )

But some positive reasons for going would include:

  1. Gaining an understanding that people outside our faith can sincerely desire to follow God and his teachings
  2. Learning a new perspective on scriptural teachings and learning of truths found outside our faith (remembering what Joseph Smith taught, see below).  Even if I disagree with the scriptural interpretations of another faith, I almost always gain insights into the scriptures by studying out why I disagree with their interpretations.  But there are also very positive new insights to be gained from the sermons of Christians outside our own faith.

Now the Joseph Smith quote:

 

I would expect that if someone felt discomfort about these things it might be a good opportunity for discussion.

- Did it conflict with their schedule for other services? No.

- Were they uncomfortable with a new environment and didn't know what to expect? Maybe. A couple of simple questions would help.

- Lack of familiarity can be solved with some conversation and having the experience of attending once. 

-Uncomfortable with other styles of worship- Sure. We are often uncomfortable with the unknown. But hiding away from new experiences doesn't seem like a great solution.

- Fear of being welcomed? Really? A quick conversation about that could have helped. In the other churches I've attended I've never seen anything as overwhelming and in your face as a visitor attending LDS church

 

But there was no discussion. No questions. Just a flat "unacceptable" and "inappropriate".

Link to comment
12 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

My father is still very much a McConkie-ite and believes the church has diluted many original teachings in an attempt to become more popular and acceptable in the eyes of the world. 

:rofl:
I didn't realize McConkie had the original teachings...

Link to comment
15 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I would expect that if someone felt discomfort about these things it might be a good opportunity for discussion.

- Did it conflict with their schedule for other services? No.

- Were they uncomfortable with a new environment and didn't know what to expect? Maybe. A couple of simple questions would help.

- Lack of familiarity can be solved with some conversation and having the experience of attending once. 

-Uncomfortable with other styles of worship- Sure. We are often uncomfortable with the unknown. But hiding away from new experiences doesn't seem like a great solution.

- Fear of being welcomed? Really? A quick conversation about that could have helped. In the other churches I've attended I've never seen anything as overwhelming and in your face as a visitor attending LDS church

 

But there was no discussion. No questions. Just a flat "unacceptable" and "inappropriate".

It's their mindset that needs to be unset somehow. 

Link to comment
1 minute ago, jkwilliams said:

Good luck with that. Love and patience are the only things that help, IMO.

It made me think how I use to be within the church that I'm quite ashamed about now. Love and patience is definitely a wonderful quality. They will hopefully see the error in their thinking soon. 

Link to comment
Just now, Tacenda said:

It made me think how I use to be within the church that I'm quite ashamed about now. Love and patience is definitely a wonderful quality. They will hopefully see the error in their thinking soon. 

I'm grateful that I grew up very much in the religious minority, as it gave me an appreciation of other religious traditions and faith. When we moved to Utah from Houston, my daughter said that in one of her school classes, they asked how many of the students knew a Hindu, or a Muslim, or a Jew. She was the only one who raised her hand. Utah does tend to be a little insular, particularly Utah County.

Link to comment
19 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

My father is still very much a McConkie-ite and believes the church has diluted many original teachings in an attempt to become more popular and acceptable in the eyes of the world

When I was a kid, the Catholic church was working thru reforms. In my new Catholic school, the nuns were some of the best people anywhere. The teachings were very inclusive. One miracle from our religion textbook was the Crickets and Seagulls. 

The result is I hold that church in high regard. I'll talk it up anywhere. My (much) older siblings, who attended a much more traditional version of parochial school - they want nothing to do with Catholicism.

Inclusion works both ways. So do walled gardens.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I would expect that if someone felt discomfort about these things it might be a good opportunity for discussion.

- Did it conflict with their schedule for other services? No.

- Were they uncomfortable with a new environment and didn't know what to expect? Maybe. A couple of simple questions would help.

- Lack of familiarity can be solved with some conversation and having the experience of attending once. 

-Uncomfortable with other styles of worship- Sure. We are often uncomfortable with the unknown. But hiding away from new experiences doesn't seem like a great solution.

- Fear of being welcomed? Really? A quick conversation about that could have helped. In the other churches I've attended I've never seen anything as overwhelming and in your face as a visitor attending LDS church

 

But there was no discussion. No questions. Just a flat "unacceptable" and "inappropriate".

There was a movie with Harrison Ford some time ago that I didn't see.  He was a doctor who suddenly found himself a patient.  My understanding was that the learned so many things being the patient that he wished he would have known about when he practiced.

My aunt is a nurse and has expressed the same ideas to me.

I think that applies with the uncomfortableness talked about here too. I think it would do a world of good for our members to attend another church so they can get an idea of what others feel when attending our church.

Link to comment
20 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?

 

I love hanging out family laundry! 🙂

I have attended many non-LDS services as a musician and an observer. One of our family traditions was to attend Christmas Eve midnight mass at St Peter and Paul Polish Catholic Church in Tacoma. I don’t recall ever being taught it was wrong to attend another church. We invite people to ours all the time, no?

Link to comment
1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

"Jerks" is far from being "hate filled monsters". 

Yes- they believe there is one true church and the rest are counterfeits. But the bunker mentality of avoiding any exposure to the faith and worship of others because they believe they are right, isn't a justification in my mind. To me, that sounds a bit like a racist being justified in their racism because they really, truly believe it. I don't respect or appreciate an attitude of "I know what's right so I'm justified". IMO there is always room for some humility in our beliefs. Absolute certitude is dangerous and quite off-putting.

I like this quote from Samuel M. Brown, a member of the church who was an adamant atheist until he had an experience with God that he couldn't deny.  

"Christian humility urges us to see ourselves and others as God sees us, simultaneously glorious and never as wise as we think."

Link to comment
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

I was going to say it might not have been as bad if they thought you were a church stalwart. It really is kind of shocking how your relationship with LDS family members changes when you acknowledge any degree of unbelief. Mind you, in my case, I wasn't exactly a passive recipient of such changes. 

I think you are on to something here - If HJW was still a full-on traditionally 'safe' member - I bet the family would have been more willing to go - but I wouldn't be surprised if they see accepting the invitation to another faith as supporting HJWs 'slip into the dark' 

I used to play guitar for other denominations too, and from time to time, still do play for the Unity church here in UT.  I find it a nice experience - even though I got booted once a long time ago at one church once the pastor discovered my LDS-ness.  🙂

 

Edited by Maestrophil
Link to comment
21 hours 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.

You're right a lot of different faiths feel the same, at least among Christians here stateside.  North of the boarder orgs like the Church of Canada gets along with most other Protestants as well as Catholics and Anglicans to do the work of the church, very different here.  Even across the pond it's the same.  People in this country won't admit it but they do play politics quite a bit, it's amusing to watch.  I feel bad for the children, I remember being shunned when my parents became poor due to my fathers bad choices, I had friends who went with the same.  Now that a lot of millenials have just had it and walked they're choosing to play politics in response to their shrinking numbers instead of taking a look at themselves.  I have a few freemason friends who married into Catholic family, lol a few of the inlaws won't let them inside their home because they're afraid the "devil" might invade or something.  Naturally they won't spare a dime for the poor around them and always have an excuse why when my friends ask them why they act the way they do.  Also there's the natural Protestant/Lutheran vs. Catholic politics so common in this country.  People here love to run their mouths off then when they get called out screech about persecution.  More time goes on more I really appreciate Mormons, you really are far more level headed compared to what friends, family and myself have seen of Christiandom here.  
It really does amaze me how people still play these stupid games considering how difficult and expensive it's getting to raise a family in this country. The I've got mine attitude is expensive and in the end it's their children who suffer.

Link to comment
22 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?

 

If you want to understand the reasons your family members responded the way they did it would be a good idea for you to ask them.  I can offer a little bit of insight for some possible reasons that would not mean they are jerks, though.

They might have thought the members of that other church are doing it wrong... worshipping incorrectly, teaching false ideas, setting bad examples for others, doing what they should not do... while feeling it was not their place to try to correct them.

Think of Alma and Amulek being invited to go worship with the Zoramites, to worship as they worshipped on their rameumptum.  Not invited to teach them how to worship correctly, but to worship with them in the way that they worshipped.  Not to teach them, but to join with them in doing the bad things they were doing and in the same way that they what they should not have done.  I'm sure those Zoramites would not have appreciated Alma & Amulek telling them they were doing it wrong.  Those Zoramites would have probably thought Alma and Amulek were engaging in unacceptable behavior.

Worshipping God is something people should do correctly if they are going to do it at all.  Otherwise it is false worship or the worship of a false God and that is not what we should be doing.

Link to comment
6 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Well, by definition, your family includes you, so...... ;)

No, I'm with the majority of everyone else here. I don't think there's anything inherently offensive about being invited to attend another church.

In fact, I personally received (and accepted) an invitation to attend another church here within the last month. One of my coworkers was going to be speaking along with her husband about how faith in Christ helped save their marriage. It was a beautiful, faith promoting testimony. I'm better for having heard it.

And, if I'm being completely honest, I would add that I have been invited to participate in activities a lot shadier than 'attending church' over the years. And while I certainly declined those invitations I don't ever recall being indignant over them.

 

I like to imagine people of other churches inviting me to worship with them as they worship in whatever way that they like to worship.  And I also like to imagine me being totally honest with them as I tell them why I would not do it.

No, I would like to say, because you are not doing it right.  You have no priesthood and therefore your ordinances are not being done correctly.  I think you should come with me to see how to worship God correctly.  We can explain it all to you. 

Come with me.  Come and see.

Link to comment
6 minutes ago, Baba Lou said:

I like to imagine people of other churches inviting me to worship with them as they worship in whatever way that they like to worship.  And I also like to imagine me being totally honest with them as I tell them why I would not do it.

No, I would like to say, because you are not doing it right.  You have no priesthood and therefore your ordinances are not being done correctly.  I think you should come with me to see how to worship God correctly.  We can explain it all to you. 

Come with me.  Come and see.

Give it a rest. Sheesh. 

Link to comment
13 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

Give it a rest. Sheesh. 

Give what a rest?  Me sharing my thoughts and feelings with other people?  No, I will never stop doing that, although I will someday stop doing that on this website/

Link to comment
36 minutes ago, Baba Lou said:

I like to imagine people of other churches inviting me to worship with them as they worship in whatever way that they like to worship.  And I also like to imagine me being totally honest with them as I tell them why I would not do it.

No, I would like to say, because you are not doing it right.  You have no priesthood and therefore your ordinances are not being done correctly.  I think you should come with me to see how to worship God correctly.  We can explain it all to you. 

Come with me.  Come and see.

How many sock puppets are you up to now, just curious?

Link to comment
24 minutes ago, Baba Lou said:

I like to imagine people of other churches inviting me to worship with them as they worship in whatever way that they like to worship.  And I also like to imagine me being totally honest with them as I tell them why I would not do it.

No, I would like to say, because you are not doing it right.  You have no priesthood and therefore your ordinances are not being done correctly.  I think you should come with me to see how to worship God correctly.  We can explain it all to you. 

Come with me.  Come and see.

And have you actually tried that and if so, did anyone accept?  

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...