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Thread: Changing Denomination

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    Changing Denomination

    After being exposed to people of the various Christian faiths, I have begun wonder about members of one denomination changing to another. I come from a long line of Catholics (in which I was not included), but most of my family refer to themselves as 'lapsed' Catholics, and hardly consider themselves Christians. They do enjoy bringing it up 'oh yes, I've been confirmed' in certain situations, in order to rub it in somehow. To them, and others I know, being Catholic seems to be just like belonging to a club, and nothing more.

    But back to the main question; have any of you considered changing denomination; eg. Catholicism to Lutheranism?

    I wonder this because from my observations, most people I know who are faithful Christians, seem to simply remain with their certain denomination merely because their family are part of that particular one. Is that what it is like for you? Does it feel that the potential alienation from your family is the only reason keeping you from changing your denomination? Is it belonging to the 'club' of one denomination that holds you?

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    I've had some experience with this sort of conflict. My father's family were Church of England and relatively observant - everyone baptised and confirmed, etc. - but their particular church headed in an Anglo-Catholic direction and my grandparents abandoned it, attended Presbyterian services for a while, and gradually lost interest in it. Their attitude these days toward religion is one of relative indifference. My mother's family are a patchwork of Methodists and Presbyterians, and my maternal grandmother was a devout church-goer, whose devotion to Christianity passed on to my mother and myself; it's certainly from this side that my religious grounding is based.

    Personally, I was baptised as an infant into the United Church of Canada, which is an amalgamation of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches. However, this particular denomination is extremely progressive, with female clergy, gay rights activism and so on, so I've rejected that organisation. When I do attend church, it's usually a Presbyterian service, but I'm not sufficiently sold on certain aspects of Calvinism to commit. Other times I'll attend an Anglican church; the services are more uplifting, but the pervasive Catholic feel makes me uncomfortable. In any case, when I do settle on a denomination, it'll be one of my choosing, and my family will certainly not influence the outcome.

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    Senior Member MaximusMagnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theodericus View Post
    After being exposed to people of the various Christian faiths, I have begun wonder about members of one denomination changing to another. I come from a long line of Catholics (in which I was not included), but most of my family refer to themselves as 'lapsed' Catholics, and hardly consider themselves Christians. They do enjoy bringing it up 'oh yes, I've been confirmed' in certain situations, in order to rub it in somehow. To them, and others I know, being Catholic seems to be just like belonging to a club, and nothing more.

    But back to the main question; have any of you considered changing denomination; eg. Catholicism to Lutheranism?

    I wonder this because from my observations, most people I know who are faithful Christians, seem to simply remain with their certain denomination merely because their family are part of that particular one. Is that what it is like for you? Does it feel that the potential alienation from your family is the only reason keeping you from changing your denomination? Is it belonging to the 'club' of one denomination that holds you?
    You won't notice a wholelot of difference bt catholic mass and a Luheran sevice. Lutherans are what some call Catholic lite (at least ECLA) WELS is a little more conservitive. But you sill have saints, holy days, and communion. Luherans practice conformtion and confession.

    The main thing is to find a church where you feel comfortable as long as they preach the three main things:

    1. Jesus died for our sins, God so loved the world that he sent his son to die for us. There can be no salvation with out the cross.

    2. The Holy Trinity

    3. Jesus was fully man and fully God.

    E/T else is just phillosphy

    Personally I don't care for any Calvanist or Reformed church becuase I beleive that Pre D is an evil, evil theory
    Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
    Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
    Where is the hand on the harp-string, and the red fire glowing?
    They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
    The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.

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    Senior Member Jens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusMagnus View Post
    You won't notice a wholelot of difference bt catholic mass and a Luheran sevice. Lutherans are what some call Catholic lite (at least ECLA) WELS is a little more conservitive. But you sill have saints, holy days, and communion. Luherans practice conformtion and confession.
    Wow, just wow. Lutherans are not catholic lite, those are Anglicans. They do not practice confession. They also do not have saints, and EVERY christian denomination in existence still practices communion including in America. Confirmation is practiced by all denominations that practice child baptism. This means all christians that didn't come from the Anabaptist movement or were heavily influenced by that movement after coming to America. Catholicism Lite?

    You really think Europe fought it's largest war before the world wars to be Catholic lite? I'm not Lutheran but dude, no.
    Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesoße, yeah I said it, what are you gonna do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Wow, just wow. Lutherans are not catholic lite, those are Anglicans. They do not practice confession. They also do not have saints, and EVERY christian denomination in existence still practices communion including in America. Confirmation is practiced by all denominations that practice child baptism. This means all christians that didn't come from the Anabaptist movement or were heavily influenced by that movement after coming to America. Catholicism Lite?

    You really think Europe fought it's largest war before the world wars to be Catholic lite? I'm not Lutheran but dude, no.
    Here os some stuff right from Lutheran websites

    1st Saints--yes they do beleive in Saints otherwise St Pauls Lutheran church down th road wouldn't be St Pauls

    How did Martin Luther and the Lutheran Confessions answer the question, "Who are the saints?" Because Martin Luther and the Lutheran Confessions based all Christian teaching on the Scriptures alone, it is not surprising that their teaching on saints mirrors those Scriptures. Because the Lutherans also considered themselves faithful catholics, it is not surprising that they were willing to retain all sound teaching about saints from the ancient Church.

    http://www.orlutheran.com/html/saintlc.html

    Here is the Lutheran Confession:

    at the present time, it is, for example, expected before partaking of the Eucharist for the first time.[4] It is also encouraged to be done frequently in a year[5] (specifically before Easter). In many churches, times are set for the pastor to hear confessions.[6]


    Lutheran confession (in the same manner as confession in the Catholic Church) can be done in the church chancel with the penitent kneeling at the altar rail and the pastor sitting in front of them, in the privacy of the pastor's office, or sometimes in a confessional. The words below, taken from the Lutheran Service Book and used in most confessions, say:


    The penitent begins by saying:


    Please hear my confession and pronounce forgiveness in order to fulfill God's will. I, a poor sinner, plead guilty before God of all sins. I have lived as if God did not matter and as if I mattered most. My Lord's name I have not honored as I should; my worship and prayers have faltered. I have not let His love have its way with me, and so my love for others has failed. There are those whom I have hurt, and those whom I have failed to help. My thoughts and desires have been spoiled with sin. What troubles me particularly is that...

    Here, the penitent is to confess whatever they have done against the commandments of God, according to their own place in life. The penitent continues.


    I am sorry for all of this and ask for grace. I want to do better.

    The pastor continues:


    God be merciful to you and strengthen your faith. Do you believe that my forgiveness is God's forgiveness?

    The penitent will say:


    Yes.

    The pastor places his hand on the head of the penitent and says the following:


    In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    The pastor dismisses the penitent.


    Go in peace.

    The penitent responds:


    Amen

    The difference is that Lutherans don't have to go to confession and it is not a sacrament but a sacramental. However Luther himself said that all should go to confession.

    Lutherans follow the sam liturgical calender, have the same feast days, even consider themselves "reformed Catholics, I know several Lutherans who call themselves reformed catholic
    Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
    Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
    Where is the hand on the harp-string, and the red fire glowing?
    They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
    The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.

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    Concerning the "light"-thing it's not that wrong insofar as looking at the main differences between Protestantism and Catholicism the first have lesser or less important rules/elements.

    As having been a baptised and confirmed (but never believing, so leaving) Lutheran myself we had besides three others sola scriptura (-> no pope, much less church) and sola fide (everyone's a priest, thus again lowering the importance of organisation and reaching heaven just by believing in Jesus), hence also a simpler mythology, i.e. neither purgatory nor limbos, sacraments were merely symbolic and so on.

    On the other hand promoting less strictness or "content" doesn't have to mean less integrity; typical radicals' (in the real sense of the word) thought.

    But I think the primary topic/question has another answer: Religion is a mass-movement, masses water down everything and that's the reason we have so many people in Germany called "U-Boot Christen" (Submarine-Christians), being the whole year under water and showing themselves only on Christmas and maybe Easter. It's rather a question of integrative powers of the churches than of (obvious and not so obvious) differences between single denominations.
    "All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible."

    - T. E. Lawrence

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    Maximus, I don't know what to say, it seems your American Lutherans are different from the type we have here in Germany. I assure you, I've belonged to that church here, that is not how it is practiced here. Though we do have a liturgical kalender. But you have to consider, in a country with a state religion, those are our state holidays, like your memorial day and presidents day.
    Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesoße, yeah I said it, what are you gonna do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Maximus, I don't know what to say, it seems your American Lutherans are different from the type we have here in Germany. I assure you, I've belonged to that church here, that is not how it is practiced here. Though we do have a liturgical kalender. But you have to consider, in a country with a state religion, those are our state holidays, like your memorial day and presidents day.
    Most american Lutherans take thier tradition from the Swedes- A lot of Swedish and Norwegians made the early Lutherans that settled here. The Germans that settled in America were catholics at first, the Lutherans came later.

    The Swedish Lutherans are very close to Catholicism. Thy as well as the other Nordic churchs are called "High Church Lutherans"

    High Church Lutheranism" is the name given in Europe for the 20th century Lutheran movement that emphasizes worship practices and doctrines that are similar to those found within both Roman Catholicism and the Anglo-Catholic wing of Anglicanism. In the more general usage of the term it describes the general High Church characteristics of Nordic countries such as Sweden, Finland and Estonia in the Baltics. The mentioned countries, once a part of the Swedish Empire, have more markedly preserved Catholic traditions and introduced far less Reformed (that is, Calvinistic or Zwinglian) theology.

    The Reformation in Sweden did not involve a radical break with past church practices; the episcopal form of church government and the apostolic succession of the clergy were maintained.


    Like the Church of England, the Church of Sweden and the Old Catholic Church ( which Rome has not ruled on there validity of orders) have "cross-polinated" each other by the laying on of hands of ordination by their bishops and this has included bishops of the Orthodox Church and the Polish National Catholic Church (which Rome has deemed as both having vaild orders).

    Sweden still has Bishops and the whole 9 they just don't follow the Pope.
    Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
    Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
    Where is the hand on the harp-string, and the red fire glowing?
    They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
    The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post

    But back to the main question; have any of you considered changing denomination; eg. Catholicism to Lutheranism?
    No, I've never considered changing denominations, though I've had people pressure me (often antagonistically) to convert to Lutheranism. I wasn't baptised as a child or raised in any particular faith, and I converted to Catholicism as an adult, which was the best decision I ever made. I wanted to convert to Catholicism since I was a very small child, but I was discouraged by family members who were very anti-Catholic.
    Let us not desire delights, daughters; we are well-off here; the bad inn lasts for only a night.
    -St. Teresa of Avila

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    I wasn't baptized either. My Mom was a member of the Christian Scientist church. I briefly went to Christian Science Sunday school. My pre-school was Episcopalian. My Mom stopped going to church when I was seven years old because I needed an emergency appendectomy. The church is against medical doctors/operations/blood transfusions/medicine. I spent most of my years living in an ultra orthodox Jewish neighborhood called Borough Park, in Brooklyn, New York. There was also a Catholic church nearby, and my immediate neighbors were Egyptian. One set of neighbors claimed to be Coptic Christians but they celebrated Ramadan. When I was about ten my mom joined what most consider a cult. She followed a Guru. I went to some of the services with her. We didn't use the word "god" at home. When I sneezed my mom would say gezundheit instead of god bless you. Politically, my mom was a socialist/communist and an atheist. When I was about twelve I decided I wanted to be Christian but wanted to know about the differences between the denominations before joining any. The problem was that whenever I asked people about it I was invited to come to services. I didn't want to get emotionally sucked in to anything like my mother was. I wanted to know the intellectual differences. What did they believe in. At this point I am still not baptized and I don't agree with the basics of Christianity. I don't believe in original sin. I don't believe Jesus was immaculately conceived. I don't believe Jesus was the son of god. I don't believe he was god incarnate. I've read parts of the bible and I don't like what I've read. I believe the bible (old testament) belongs to Jews. I understand that the New Testament (gospel) is Christian but I don't believe in it. I've read that other people don't believe in the desert religions (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) and I'm in that category. I am non-Abrahamic.
    From what I've read that makes me a Heathen. I don't believe in rituals and stuff. I did pray to St. Jude once for something, to stop a serial killer. He killed again but then killed himself and was stopped, so I do believe St. Jude intervened in that. And I did pray to Venus once when I was engaged but having problems with my fiance. He disappeared on me the next day, for five months. I guess he didn't really love me. I thought praying to Venus didn't work, but looking back it did. He was wrong for me.
    I was reading wikipedia yesterday and I think I am close to what is called a folkish heathen.
    My ancestors were of various Christian denominations.
    Where I live now is a mostly black neighborhood. The churches in my area are black churches and I don't want to go to them. Most of my neighbors are nice.

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