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Protestant-Catholic Conflict
February 1, 2005
6:07 pm
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Rasputin
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Recently, I met a boyfriend. We are both Protestant believers.

However, I am tolerant Christian, I tolerate and respect Catholic Christian. He does not; he considers them as sinners and heathans. I tried to explain to him that was fanaticism, and we should practice empathy; he said that I had not read the Bible properly. And then he said we did not have solid ground with each other and that he would pray for me.

Is this a valid reason to quit?

Should I strive to restore this relationship?

February 1, 2005
6:14 pm
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on my way
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WOW!! There are some believers out there who are very, very singular in their faith. Anyone such as this would see Catholocism as not be "Christian"...Catholocism..being baptized as a Christian as a child..and Christian faith,,,an invitation to as Jesus Christ to take away your sins, "invite Him in"...a re-birth, re-born so to speak. So if he was serious about you, and felt he could marry you, then this would be an issue for him. But it also seems he is being very judgemental about you, and that is a bit unfair I think. I am a Christian/Protestant, but I do not judge in this way, everyone loves God in their own way and it is basically between them and God. I hope you can work this out...it seems crazy to split over it.

February 1, 2005
7:39 pm
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gingerleigh
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Rasputin, I have a differing viewpoint. There are a few things that need to be agreed on solidly in a relationship, or at least agreed to disagree. Politics. Kids. And Religious beliefs. It sounds like tolerance is a core belief of yours, critical to your faith. Your partner does not practice it, nor is he respectful and "tolerant" of your need to practice it, and thus he is not tolerant of you.

I wonder what else he would be intolerant of? This would make me a little nervous. How is the relationship otherwise? Is this the only conflict?

February 1, 2005
7:44 pm
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on my way
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ginger..rasputin,
good point. Tolerance does seem to be the issue, rather than religious beliefs.

February 1, 2005
8:02 pm
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addicts wife
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I thouightI could add some insight here, but I'm a "recovering Catholic" (LOL), adn Im not eve nsure what religin my husbands parents belong ot and we just went there last friday for BIngo.... This is a tough one, adn I hope you find a midle ground
Best of luck

February 1, 2005
8:32 pm
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Rasputin
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Thank you all for your feedback.
Gingerleigh yes, this is the only conflict we have. I have just e-mailed him emphasizing the importance of Love in Christian faith, I hope he will take heart.

Right now I am praying for us. I will keep you updated for any positive/negative progress.

I believe it is sad for people to split or break-up for such a petty reason. People should grow up and mature. Some do, some don't!

February 1, 2005
10:36 pm
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jastypes
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Wow. God has some work to do in that young boyfriend of yours. Pride comes before a fall. God will surely find a way to humble him. I would continue in prayer and let God show you what he wants for you in or out of this relationship.

Keep your faith,
Jill

February 4, 2005
1:11 pm
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Rasputin
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Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. They are greatly appreciated.

My bf and I have been reconciled last night. It was me who made the first move to reconciliation.

It was a very humbling experience, I felt like small potato, but believe me it's worth it!!!

I believe when we forgive and accept someone the way they are; God starts to mold them and shape them to become a better human being. I say this from first hand experience with friends both on the male side as well as the female side.

Please advise me, was I being smart or naive in my approach by making the 1st move & seek reconciliation with my bf???

February 4, 2005
1:41 pm
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on my way
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No, I think you did the right thing to re-establish a connection. Sometimes we just have to be humble like you said...all the way through.

February 4, 2005
2:12 pm
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Anonymous
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Ras- I agree with Ginger, I think that the three things that people need to agree on are politics, religion and kids. If he already has this view, I can only see it getting worse down the road if you were to continue unless he could become a little more open minded.

My ex was a catholic and I was a presbytarian and it just didn't work well because I felt that cathlocism services were more ritualistic and he felt that the services I went to didn't have meaning, so in the end it just would never work. He still to this day wants to still date, but I know that if we were to ever have children the fact that we disagree on this would just be a invitation for problems.

February 4, 2005
2:28 pm
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Cici
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Your choice. I wouldn't have done it, but I'm not you.

I recently dated a man who was great, he's in the navy, in the submarine service, loves his country, very patriotic, no drugs or alcohol, good guy.

BUT.

I got into an argument with him once, about racism. Our beliefs differed a lot. I am of mixed race, so this is a very important issue to me.

It's what I call a "deal breaker". At this point in my life I really don't want to waste my time waiting for someone to change into something I want. I tried that before and it doesn't work.

So now when I'm dating someone and I find out they have a "deal breaker" - I have a list that is steadily growing - I dump them immediately. No use having heartache over something you have no control over.

my 2 cents. which is pretty worthless, but hey, I arrived at this realization after A LOT of painful experiences.

February 4, 2005
5:21 pm
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Rasputin
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Hi All,

On my way, thank you for your reply, I value your insight.

Saying sorry is not easy, especially if you think that you are more right than the other person. Taking this step in faith pays off, however.

Aces&Spades, my bf&I are both Protestants, it's just that I am more tolerant toward Catholics; he is not.

I have been asking a number of women, mostly women I respect, read lot of books about marriages. They all emphasized the importance of forgiveness. Even I noticed this among unbelievers.

Mem & women are different from each other. I also learned that If you have an easy-going relaxed, humble personality, you are usually matched with someone who is more stubborn and more proud. At least my bf becomes so sweet when I say to him you are right, he is transformed into a romantic helpful wise knight. So he really appreciates it when I forgive him and give him leadership in our relationship; he does not abuse my kind and wise gesture.

Take a look at an excerpt taken from one of my Christian books about marriage:

"No one has ever married without being shocked at the enormity of this price and the monstrous inconvenience of this thing called intimacy which suddenly invades their life... All of life is, in one way or another is humbling. But there is nothing like the experience of being humbled by another person, and by the same person day in & day out. It can be exhausting, unnerving, infuriating, disintegrating. There is no suffering like the suffering involved in being close to another person. But neither is there any joy nor any real comfort at all outside the intimacy, outside the joy and comfort that are wrung out like wine from the crush ferment of two lives being pressed together.

The truth about marriage is that it is a way not of avoiding any of the painful trials and subtractions of life, but rather of confronting them, most intimately, most humanly. Marriage is a way not to evade suffering, but to suffer purposefully.

Forgiveness is love's toughest work, and love's biggest risk. If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator. Forgiving seems almost unnatural. It is forgiving that supplies the healing stream of the long-term tomorrows."

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:31-32).

February 4, 2005
10:18 pm
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Juanita
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I am sorry to confess I must seem like a simple minded simpleton. I do not have vast knowledge of any other religion, and could probably do better in my own. I have never understood how someone can dislike or hate someone just based on religion. Afterall, most religions preach living good and moral lives... How can I condemn anyone for that? Who is to say 100% definitely that they have the one and only correct religion??

I am Catholic, and I love my God, His son Jesus, The Holy Spirit, and believe in Mary, Mother of God, Angels, and Saints.

Who am I to claim that Catholic's have it all right? I am following what is good for me. I believe that we have a benevolent Creator who must have a sense of humor as He created us all. And, as we all love our children, the grade A students and the B's, C's and D's and we encourage our children to do their best ... so He must love us, right or wrong in our religious belief so long as we try our best to be the best people we can be. To love one another and do no one any ill or cause any hurt intentionally, and to apologize when unintentional hurts are caused, for that is caring for one another.

My daughter is friends with a lovely, sweet, smart, EXCELLENT girl who is being raised Jewish. (Her father is Jewish, her mom Catholic) It brings me to tears to think that just because of the religious beliefs our well-intentioned parents taught us, we would not be joined in Heaven some day. Salvation denied for studying the wrong belief...??? Tell me it won't be so. I don't believe it would be so!

Good moral beliefs, a belief in the Creator, and trying to do your best to live well...

I can only hope and pray that is enough. There are many many wonderful people on this Earth ~ Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan...

Who is to say who is right? We must practice compassion and understanding of one another and acceptance of our differences, for we have no right to judge...

If your man is so dead-set against Christians, and you are only tolerant of Christians.... may I ask ... why do you mind us so? You may disagree with certain aspects of the religious beliefs we hold, but have any one of us singularly harmed you? If someone has, I suggest you deal with that one situation, and not judge us all.

To lump a group of people into any catagory is PREJUDICIAL.

When meeting someone new, I extend my hand with a smile. I don't ask first, 'what religion are you?'

Likewise, if someone needs help - I don't ask prior to helping someone 'You are Catholic, right?'.

I help because I care, I extend my hand because we are all God's children.

If you were dying in the hospital, desperate for a blood transfusion, would you say 'STOP! I ONLY TAKE PROTESTANT BLOOD DONATIONS! '

No, we are ALL on this Earth for a reason. We are all some Creators child - be Him or Her, God, Budda, or whoever.

I don't judge based on religion, sex, race or whatnot because I am not worthy to make any such judgements.

NONE of us have the corner on that answer until we die and answer for our own lives in front of our Creator.

Wouldn't you rather go clear of heart, never denying someone love, care, or assistance for any reason at all?

"Treat one another as you would like to be treated." and "judge not, lest ye be judged".

food for thought

February 5, 2005
5:16 pm
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Rasputin
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Hi Juanita,

I totally sympathize with you. That's why even though I forgave my friend, I am praying for him.

I believe we all need to change. I changed a lot for the better. The Lord molded and shaped my personality a lot, thank God I did not resist. I used to be like my bf.

That's why I am an optimist. I believe people can change. We just have to give them a chance, be tolerant, pray for them and wait. They might disappoint us, but they also might surprise us. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. In the same way He changed me, He also can change my bf.

In any case, we are both still new, and I would say we are in our probation period, studying each other's character. So, nothing is for sure yet.

So, I as said, I give people a chance to prove themselves.

February 5, 2005
10:31 pm
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Juanita
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I apologize for going on the more religious tangent than your relationship with your BF.

As for the relationship; it's just if he is that un-bending or un-understanding or un-accepting in something of that nature.... what of other areas? He is that much of a ramrod in all his beliefs? If so, he could be a difficult person, not keeping his mind open to other peoples' views (mainly yours in this instance).

I would be concerned he would push his ideals, opinions, and ways upon me. Maybe he's not pushy & that statement would be incorrect. Rather, he will not change his mind any time soon, or open up, so you would be the one to 'give' or 'bend'. Depends on how much you want to do that.

It just totally amazes me how people who read the same Bible can have such strong opinions & hate the other reader because their opinion is different. I don't recall any other "book club" having such voiletile (sp?) reactions to differences in interpretations.

'Thou shall not kill.' seems pretty straight forward to me. I would think, in my naive World of mine, the Bible preaches to live a good and moral life. So what if one religion has a Pope and the other doesn't?

I subscribe to the KISS theory - Keep It Simple Silly! Break things down to the very core basics...

I could not hate anyone just because they follow a different religion or because they interpret the Bible differently than I. To me, it is such a shame not everyone is accepting that we all have equal rights to our opinions and we should try to live together peacefully with one another.

Good luck with your boyfriend. That's what these 'probation' periods are all for - trial and error till we find the 'right' one.

J

February 6, 2005
11:45 am
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Rasputin
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Hi Juanita,

Thank you for your reply.

Don't worry! I give people a chance to prove themselves.

This is the only area where we (my bf and I) have difference.

We have so many things in common. As I said, we are still new only one month relationship. Getting to know each other on almost daily basis. I am wise person, I won't take any decision before prayer.

Please be proud of being Catholic. By the way, Catholicism is not religion, it is a Christian denomination. I have a number of Catholic-believing friends and we are not only tolerant of each other; but we respect each other & treat it other equally.

I believe the problem of this fanaticism comes from lack of empathy and misinterpretation of the Bible.

I was once talking to a protestant believing lady telling her that I was admiring the statue of the Virgin in a Catholic church. She rebuked me and recited a biblical verse that condemns worshipping statues. If we understand the Bible refers to heathen and pagan statues not Christian statues; we would have respected and loved that other brother from the other denomination and treated him equally.

Perhaps the Lord is using me as an instrument to mold and shape my bf's rigid or ramrod mind-set. I don't know, but at least we are honest with each other and can see each other's shortcomings. That is something I appreciate a lot, cause I know many people at this phase only see the good side about the other one.

If he does not show felxibility and open-mindedness, I will definitley move on with my life.

I prefer to be alone and happy, rather than with bad company.

So, sweet Juanita be proud of being Catholic, and I will keep you updated with any new progress be it positive or negative!

February 6, 2005
2:22 pm
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Juanita
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Good for you... So many women (or men) sacrafice their 'selves' to be with another in the name of 'love'.

If you love one another, there will be respect for the other's opinions and values - not pressure to change.

Good luck to you. And at the very least, this will be a learning experience (as all experiences are) preparing the way for the right one to come along.

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