Fear of certain denominations

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by BibleHoarder, May 2, 2019.

  1. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Is it wrong for me out of conscience to avoid voluntary communion or interaction with people from certain denominations considered to be Christian? I know some groups I agree with who generally engage with certain groups that I disagree with strongly or feel are dangerous to my soul or spiritual health. There's often the nagging guilt saying I should 'be nice and be in communion with all Christians', and others saying 'you need to stay away from these people because you will not be able to reconcile your differences with them kindly'. What should I do?
     
  2. Magistos

    Magistos Moderator Staff Member Anglican

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    A few questions.
    Why can you not interact with them without discussing religious differences?
    If you cannot do so, or choose not to, then why not try to passively avoid them? Failing that, then, why not simply be polite to them? If they are not polite to you, then of course, you have leave to excuse yourself.

    This is the route I take with certain denominations, and even factions within Anglicanism.

    I believe that you may be over thinking things.
     
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  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    You don't necessarily have to feel obliged to put their denominational errors right in order to be on speaking terms with them. What is the problem? Do they burn their children to Moloch or set fire to crosses on your lawn?
    .
     
  4. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    To be specific, I am really scared of Roman Catholics and Calvinists. But, I am also terrified of atheists and annoyed by neo-pagans/wiccans. I find my stomach churning and my nerves being tested by those groups.
     
  5. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You can love somebody but you don't have to love to be around them
     
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  6. Edmundia

    Edmundia New Member

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    Don't be scared of Roman Catholics : the modern "mainstream" ones will certainly NOT be out to "get you"; they are just too full of luv and nicenesss and sweetness to want to disturb anyone ; the Traditional catholics are the scary ones and they [WE] will be out to get you and why not ?
    Any religion worth its salt should believe in itself enough to offer its beliefs to others.
     
  7. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    No, I have been 'evangelized' by RCs. The only problem is that nearly every RC 'evangelist' I've met has had a very psychopathic personality and it has included priests, nuns, maybe a few monks, and even laity. They could've been either of these. I never asked or knew much about the differences between traditional latin rite and novus ordo services. Calvinism's zealots are often similar in their rudeness, you can find them online and they delight in it. I have never experienced a more pathetic or phony example of evangelism than I have from the RCs. You can usually sense or see some dark air from them even before you ask about it. If I told them to stop because I've been having consistently rude experiences with them even when I tried to be respectful, they make things worse, and will say it's your fault because Satan only persecutes the true church. Thing is, they often did not know I was even Protestant before they began acting that way or having that devious look on their face, and it only got worse from there. I really get tired of people who use the martyrdom or persecution thing to justify that they're in the right church. It's actually more culturally acceptable to say you're a Catholic than a Scientologist. Even non-believers and the public at large hates the Church of Scientology. They say that Satan does not cast out Satan, but look! Satan is attacking the Church of Scientology. That does not mean that it is the true church. Same with Islam. Some of the religious groups involved who make that claim so people will feel sorry for them really are responsible for inflicting a lot of unnecessary hurt on their members. Thus, it really is their fault.
     
  8. Theistgal

    Theistgal New Member

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    Bible Hoarder, maybe the real issue is that you are interacting with too many apologists (self-appointed or otherwise) and not with the "normal" everyday Christians amongst those denominations. Most Christians I know (myself included) don't like to evangelize in the way you're describing, because they feel (and rightly so IMHO) that it puts people off and makes them less likely to listen.

    Far better to interact with people as individuals, make friends with them if they're friendly, wish them well and avoid them if they're not. And FWIW that applies to nonreligious people as well. Having *been* an atheist, as well as a pagan, I can testify I never wanted to push my belief/nonbelief on anyone. And now that I'm a Christian (albeit of the Roman Catholic variety, sorry) again, I feel the same way.
     
  9. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    I appreciate this. We've had several Roman Catholics on the forum like Aiden, Cameron and Edmundia and they are wonderful people who are in fact very much like yourself. I've been accused of being demon-possessed by both Catholics and Protestants because of my personality disorder which was able to be controlled after taking medicine. That allowed people from both sides to exploit me and say there was no hope for me, etc. Psalm 3 became very important to me as of late because I felt God had helped me tremendously when I thought there was no hope in those situations. But, I am trying to stay close to God and follow his commands to keep the peace wherever I go, since I made a lot of mistakes interacting with people from every background when I was growing up.
     
  10. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Member

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    I have to confess I prefer to avoid extremely aggressive proponents of certain views I consider heretical, for example, the ordination of women, homosexual marriage, or neo-Gnostic and Soccinian interpretations of Christianity. I doubt I would have much to talk about with a Unitarian Universalist.
     
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  11. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Agreed. The problem with most liberal progressives is that they are either very soft or very mean but in an equally carnal way.

    There are also those who threaten to die as martyrs and boast about it openly for the sake of intimidating people or seeming noble, not knowing they are making a mockery of the act of dying for a person's convictions. Constantly making discord and having no regard for the wellbeing of people and their loved ones when there was a more civil and preferable alternative to debating these subjects. That kind of extremism is not always the necessary option, even if there are cases where it may be justified. If someone with a despicable belief system wants to boast and expect me to honor them for their opposition, I'll say 'Sure, but only if we do it in a memorial alongside the muslim fanatics who bombed the twin towers, the japanese shintoists who blew up Pearl Harbor for the sake of the Emperor who was supposedly God, and Protestant fundamentalists like Fred Phelps of the Westborough Baptist Church who, although overrepresented in the media, was nonetheless an example of a reality that exists within religious fundamentalism. We might even go ahead and call L. Ron Hubbard a martyr, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao and all the other communist fundies, and most extremist beliefs.

    As I said, I do not believe we should be constantly pointing out the persecution of a group as validation of its beliefs because it spoke the 'truth'. Some of the groups who were opposed viciously in history are actually deserving of their contempt.
     
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  12. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Member

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    Indeed, if we read the Panarion of St. Epiphanius of Salamis, or Against Knowledge (Gnosis) So Falsely Called, and the rest of Against Heresies, by the lovable St. Irenaeus of Lyons (whose satire of Valentinian Gnosticism involving melons cracks me up just thinking about it), it becomes evident that in the case of some heretical sects like the Marcosians or Borborites, we are dealing with depraved cults that posed a risk to public safety, the persecution of which would in that case be morally justified.

    At some point I fear the extremist element in postmodern, “post-Christian” “Christianity” could place it into a contemporary category of this sort alongside, for example, radical Salafi Islam, Scientology, the neo-Sannyasins, “Christian Science”, and the cult in Japan that engaged in the chemical agent attack on the Tokyo Metro in 1994, the name of which I forget, but the leaders of which were recently hanged after about two decades on death row.
     
  13. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    The Japanese cult was Aum Shin Rikyo. I actually have a copy of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (the doctrinal book of Christian Science) and have always enjoyed studying Christian Science for the humor. I don't doubt that the mind over matter phenomenon and impact of faith on health is a well established fact, but Christian Science goes too far in denying that Angels and Demons exist and sin is just your perspective or state of mind that needs to be changed. To them the terms are archaic ways of describing mental health affairs based on belief that Jesus had to use in his day and age because they were not developed enough to comprehend them any other way. I often make jokes using Christian Science.

    But would you say that the reformers were equally deserving of persecution by the Catholic churches and are incorrectly championed as persecuted for the faith? I don't know the Orthodox position on the Reformers but I wouldn't doubt they were troubled when they denied the apostolic succession as was the case with Luther. I am reading the Lutheran Book of Concord now. Catholics say the theology of Wycliffe and Tyndale in their translations was intentionally rebellious against the church and the church offered to have a civil discourse but allegedly they refused. The common Catholic apologetic is that people either understood latin well enough or were illiterate and couldn't read so it didn't matter about translations. Then there are those who say that the bible was given authorize and accurate translations into other languages and it was only in English that it became a divisive matter. I still don't understand how Roman catholics can charge the dissenting Protestants with heresy when papal infallibility was only declared in the last 200 years. Without any solid criteria for what papal teachings should be accepted without question, one must resort to the conscience theory which would theoretically absolve every Protestant and Catholic (including, perhaps, the infamous corrupt popes) with any kind of charge of heresy.
     
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  14. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Member

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    Indeed, Mark Twain also made some excellent jokes at their expense.

    No. I am opposed in general to religious persecution. If you have a death cult like Jim Jones and his Peoples’ Temple, or Aum Shin Rikyo, or a brainwashing cult like Scientology, or a cult like Christian Science or the Jehovahs Witnesses which poses a critical threat to the physical well being of its members through idiotic prohibitions and limitations on medical care (the JW rule on transfusions), or a sex cult involving minor children, like some of the fundamentalist Mormons in Colorado City under Warren Jeffs, then I consider the physical safety and well being of the people subject to that cult provides justification for the derogation of religious freedom, but only to a de minimis extent neccessary required to ensure public safety. (in 18th and 19th century Russia, when the Orthodox Church was subjected uncanonically to direct Imperial control, a similiar group used to exist, the Skoptsky, or “mutilators”, images of which should be avoided, but the Czarist response to them was typically heavy-handed and counter-productive, and then you had another death cult called the “Immolators.”)

    There was never much hostility. After some protracted correspondance, Patriarch Jeremiah II of Constantinople asked his Lutheran correspondants to cease troubling him with theological disputation, while expressing a willingness to continue friendly correspondance. It was really only the Calvinists Orthodox had “issues” with, to use an annoying turn of phrase, and that was mainly due to two things: an Ecumenical Patriarch who apparently embraced Calvinism (although these letters turned out to be forgeries), thus causing the Synod of Dositheus in 1672 to denounce Calvin as a madman and anathematize him as an heresiarch*), and also rivalry between Russia and Prussia (the Hohenzollern monarchs were Calvinists, and indeed, the Prussian immigrants in the US initially had one church, which split into a Lutheran and a Calvinist faction, the former becoming the LCMS, which I like, and the latter lamentably joining the UCC, which has declined more severely than the Episcopal church, to the point where UCC traditionalists seem to be giving up).
    [/quote]

    Well, the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia has declared Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague glorified saints worthy of veneration, largely because of their desire to reintroduce worship in a language the people of what was then called Moravia could understand. Since this was an Orthodox region forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism. And I highly agree with this, and with declaring St. Jan Hus a hieromartyr in Orthodoxy, and this represents the nexus of reconciliation between Protestantism and Orthodoxy.

    It was the height of hypocrisy for Rome to object to vernacular Bibles while having churches dedicated to Sts. Cyril and Methodius, or indeed Pope (or rather Archbishop**) Victor, who was the first Roman bishop to serve the liturgy in Latin instead of Greek, in the late Second Cenfury.

    *The synod of Dositheus is not considered an ecumenical council by the Orthodox, and it is disputed whether or not someone as far removed from the Orthodox Church as Calvin could be called a heretic or heresiarch; I have heard it argued that one must be Orthodox and then embrace a heresy to become a heretic, but I disagree, perhaps because of my more ecumenical outlook, in which heresies causing problems in churches not presently in communion with the Orthodox still devastate me almost as much as if they were internal to us.

    ** It was not until the 6th century that the Archbishop of Rome began calling himself Papem; prior to this the custom was limited to the Patriarch of Alexandria, for example, Pope Athanasius or Pope Cyril. This leaves us with one major, highly respectable Pope from antiquity whose sanctity is impressive, and who was called Pope, that being Pope St. Gregory the Great, known in the East as St. Gregory Diologos, who held Rome together after the government of the child emperor Romulus “Augustulus” collapsed and the city was sacked; he is credited with writing our Presanctified Liturgy, which Roman Catholics previously used, until 1955, on Good Friday; we use it on weekdays in Lent and Holy Week, but the concept predates the liturgy and probably originated with the Oriental Orthodox St. Severus of Antioch.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    Slovakia was forcibly converted to RC? I didn't know that. My maternal grandparents came from there, and were RC of course. It makes me wonder what my more distant ancestors' beliefs might have been.

    BH, the RCC didn't need a papal infallibility doctrine to call reformers heretics; the Council of Trent took care of that with their canonical pronouncements.
     

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