Thursday

"Should Catholics Join Non-Catholic Bible Studies?"

By Paul Dion, STL

Bible studies for Catholics are neither numerous nor well appreciated. Catholics are generally satisfied with complying with the obligation of attending Mass once a week on Sunday and then going on their way.

Many Catholics (dare I say MOST?) don't know the difference between John 1;1 and Genesis 1;1. Careful, you all, that's a trick question. I do know that most Catholics know the basic Bible stories.

I also know that if you ask them whether or not the story that they have just identified is from the Old Testament or the New Testament, they would hem and haw and venture a guess, but not produce a solid, assured answer.

I also know that Catholics generally will not set time aside to participate in a neighborhood Bible Study Group. They have "too many other things to do." Besides, they go to Mass, don't they? They'll hear what the priest has to say about it on Sunday. It's the Church's job to tell me what the Bible means.

It is also true though, that there are Catholics who seek Catholic Bible Study Groups and often to no avail. These are the same Catholics who will ultimately find a Bible Study Group composed of spiritually minded people from other religions. Since it is essentlally the "same Bible", isn't it?
These Catholics will attend, with a slight twitch of conscience, but with the rationalization that it is better than what they could find in their own Catholic Community.

All of this having been said, the burning question is: SHOULD CATHOLICS JOIN NON-CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDIES?

We want your response. Now is your chance to sound off. If your response includes a commitment, rest assured that this is the place where your sacrifice will be accepted and offered to God and Community.

Stay tuned.

33 comments:

  1. Timothy626 from Topeka7:58 AM

    My protestant best friend has been bugging me for years to attend. But I respectfully decline. I do not think Catholics should be attending. I grew up under Vatican II and I remember being told it was a sin to participate in protestant things. Can anyone clarify this for me please?

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  2. Anonymous8:30 AM

    Personally, I don't ever remember being told that attending another religion's church or Bible study was a sin, so I certainly could not clarify that. My feeling is: if it helps you understand "your" Bible, then why not? Personally I wouldn't get involved in another groups total religion, but to study the Bible together, I don't see a problem. I could be wrong though, but I guess I will find that out on Judgement day!

    In order to post my Bachelor's degree @ Azusa Pacific University I had to take a "Bible Study" class and it was way over my head. It was quite different attending a "Christian" class because they are more "casual" with God, if you can imagine that. While we are Catholic/Christians and I have been told that they are the same thing, was I sinning while attending school?

    I would agree with the original statement that Catholics look for a good Bible study but many times to no avail. Many Catholics that I have encountered in my own personal journey ARE under the impression that they are supposed to be "spoon fed" all of the information in church on Sundays and we aren't responsible for expanding our own knowledge of our Bible. It's time that we all get up off of our backsides and teach ourselves and each other about our religion. There are a lot of true and false teachings out there so I think we have to find the truth within ourselves and search and/or create and support our own groups (Bible studies, etc) in order to find that.

    And it is true, that we have busy lives, but I'll venture to guess that we don't stop to realize how much of His day He spends blessing us!!! I think I need to go and put that into perspective myself!

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  3. Marina Betancourt9:46 AM

    Bible meetings are wonderful. But.... Let me explain that. I attend an evangelical Bible meeting at a friends house about once or twice a month. It is a beautiful expereince to be around people who are not shy about proclaiming their love for the Lord in words and in fellowship. I feel a very nice closeness with the Lord when people in the same room share thouhgts about scripture and inspire each other to be more Christ-like. BUT - and here's whre I draw the line - I close my eyes and pray when I hear things that are not true to Catholic teachings. I recommend these Bible studies to people but i also caution you to be more aware of your faith and not be swayed over.

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  4. Anonymous9:46 AM

    I personally think it is not a good idea to attend a non-catholic bible study. The reason being that protestant faiths usually depend on the King James version of the bible. Their interpretation is in many times conflicting to ours. I know this from talking to a friend of mine who is Baptist. He is totally way out there. And who was King James anyway to declare himself an expert in rewriting the bible ? We as Catholics believe in the salvation of the cross . They usually do not put any kind of emphasis on our Lord's death.

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  5. Catholics who willingly participate in non-Catholic religious activities are sinning for two major reasons: They are exposing themselves to contrary faith positions which could cause serious doubt in their hearts about their own Catholic Faith, and secondly, they could be giving the bad example, "scandal" to those Catholics who know them as Catholics, thereby causing doubt in the hearts of those who witness these Catholics participating in Protestant things. So yes, it is a sin to participate in Protestant religious things. It has always been a sin, not just since Vatican II.

    As comments continue, Parishworld.net will respond with clarifying comments about your positions. We will also comment on the situation of the person who attended Azusa Pacific University.

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  6. To the University Student and others too, of course.
    a) You went to a school that required Bible Study. Fulfilling the requirements for your degree was certainly not a sinful act. You in fact declare that you would not go for being totally involved in another group's religion.
    b) The Bible Study in college was over your head because it was based on the technicalities of the Bible which go by the name, "exegesis" and sometimes "hermeneutics." That's why it was over your head. Your typical neighborhood "Bible Study" is more a personal sharing of private understandings than technical, scriptural study.
    c) Catholics do have a different attitude about the bible than Protestants do. Catholics study the Bible through the eyes of the Church, not through their own, uninitiated and unfiltered eyes. More about this later.
    d) I couldn't agree with you more when you say that we Catholic Christians have to get up off our backsides and do more to teach ourselves and our children and our friends about the treasure of our Catholic Religion and the hard work that God puts into our welfare every single moment of every single day. AMEN. AMEN. AMEN.

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  7. Gladys Carter
    10:25 Victorville,CA

    I personally feel it is okay to attend a Non-Catholic bible study, because frankly they read the bible and we as Catholic don't read the bible that much and know very little about the chapter and verses. I have read the Bible twice and it is an awesome tool for everday life.

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  8. Anonymous3:49 PM

    Mr. Dion, are you saying Catholics who go to Protestant services need to go Confession? Didn't the Pope just attend a non-Catholic service in Turkey? How do we differentiate Ecumenism with sinning?

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  9. Hello, again:
    I said that attending a Protestant Bible Study could be sinful. It is also sinful to attend Protestant services. I did not say that the person who commits those sins is necessarily sinning gravely, which would then create the necessity to go to confession.
    There are, in fact times when attending a Non-Catholic service would not be sinful at all.
    Some examples may help:
    1. Your neighbor of 30 years dies and is a Lutheran. You go to the church funeral. That is not sinful.
    2. Your childhood friend is getting married. She is Baptist and her husband to be is Baptist and they are having a church wedding. You attend because you know them both and you know the families. That is not sinful.
    These two examples are not examples of ecumenism. They are examples of Christian charity.

    The Pope and some of his more theologically astute representatives may be present at Official Non-Catholic services for reasons that go beyond simple Christian Charity. These are events that signal a scientifically theological relationship between the two churches, not an agreement that the two churches are equal before the eyes of God. It does not signify that the pope or his legate are in danger of losing their Catholic Faith and it does not signify that they are encouraging other Catholics to participate in non-Catholic public worship..
    That is ecumenism.

    I therefore return to my orioginal answer concerning Non-Catholic Bible Studies. It is sinful, to some degree, depending on several factors which we will explain in a couple of days, either a minor or a grave degree.

    Keep coming at us, this is a serious Catholic life-style issue.

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  10. I think it rather sinful that our church teaches us virtually nothing about scriptures. I have a desire to study scripture. I feel dorkie when my protestant friends quote scripture to make their case about something I know they are incorrect about, but I have no idea how to counter them.

    Where are our priests and deacons? Why don't we have meaningful, interesting and informative Bible studies? I thought priests didn't marry so they could have unrestricted time with their "church" families? My protestant friend's married pastors usually run their Bible studies. Why do they have more time than our priests do?

    I want to learn. Will someone teach me? Or, do I need to go to protestant Bible studies to at least get some instruction?
    Scub

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  11. Anonymous10:41 AM

    I dont understand why we segregate ourselves from other Christian religions, I thought that we ARE a Christian religion!!! This is ridiculous, 'the other Christinas' look at the SAME Bible we look, 'they' pray to the SAME God, and 'their' goal, like ours, is to become closer to God and build a stronger relationship with Him. Now, I dont know much about the Bible and that is definitely my fault, but I thought one of the main premises of the Bible is FELLOWSHIP, fellowship with other like-minded people who believe in God, want a better relationship with Him, and TRULY mean it. Bible study to me, is a way of better understanding the message the Bible is giving you specifically and being able to discuss that with others. HOWEVER, here's what makes a huge difference, most of my friends (who are not Catholic) are just Christian, not Protestant or Baptist or whatever else there is. So in reading some of the other comments I see that they've had experiences with people who are extremely different in their beliefs and interpretations of the Bible and I think that isn't good. So what I'm saying is follow your own heart and what the good Lord is telling you.

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  12. One Comment at a time.
    This one pertains to the King James Version of the Bible.
    Just as Marc Anthony addressed the Romans several centuries ago, I come before you not to bury the King James Version of the Bible but to praise it. I come not to convince you to lay your Jerusalem Bible aside and turn to the KJV. I come to make the point that what you hear in Non-Catholic Bible Studies based on the KJV comes from the readers, not the bible.

    A little history.
    In about 267 B.C. the most famous of Bible Translations was commissioned by the high members of the Temple and could have been requested by the king of Egypt, Ptolemy at the time. It became necessary to translate the Scripture because so many Jewish had lost their mother tongue and knew only Greek, especially the ones living in Alexandria. This translation was so well done that it served as the basis for future renditions. It is called the Septuagint. It is called this because it is said that the leaders of the religion called upon the seventy most capable biblical scholars and linguists of the time to get it done.

    Some five hundred years later, St. Jerome translated the entire Bible, Old and New Testament using mostly the Septuagint and the original Hebrew texts sparingly. This translation by St. Jerome is known as the Vulgate and became a standard of translated Biblical Texts just as the Septuagint
    had done.

    The King James Version came into being some 1,300 years after the Vulgate. James I acceded to the throne of England after Elizabeth. As the head of the Church of England he was convinced that the available English translations of the bible were of exceedingly poor quality. He followed the example of the leaders of the religion who had ordered the Septuagint. Fifty-four men were chosen to work on the project. Forty-seven actually did the work, using mostly the Greek Septuagint as their foundation. It was seven years before the work was released.

    It was 650 years after the first KJV that the famous Jerusalem Bible was first issued in French from the École Biblique de Jérusalem.

    Since then (1960 +/-) Bible translations, including the KJV and the Vulgate have been revised and are in different editions as this is written. This to accommodate the many discoveries that are made from year to year, unearthing more authentic manuscripts in the ancient languages.

    Finally, the King James Version is admired by all English speaking peoples that its language is of the purest poetic essence.

    Bottom line is: The KJV is a Protestant Bible and has fewer books than the Roman Catholic Bible has. The books that are common share the same scientific sources. There are differences of words and shades of meaning, but the basic theological doctrine that is rendered depends on the teaching of the church community for whom the doctrine is intended.

    So, King James I did not write the bible. He designated some really sharp people to do it for the Church of England. It has been revised upward to accommodate contemporary understandings of what the translation should be. It is not recommended for Catholics because of some translation differences and because it is seven books short of the Catholic Bible.

    We will make further comments on this Burning Question in a day or two.

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  13. Anonymous1:37 AM

    "Your childhood friend is getting married. She is Baptist and her husband to be is Baptist and they are having a church wedding. You attend because you know them both and you know the families. That is not sinful."

    by doing this, does this not affirm the approval of the marriage on our parts as catholics?

    shouldn't we only recognize the sacrament of matrimony in the catholic church?

    As far as non-catholic bible studies go, if you go willingly you put yourself in a position (especially if you're not strong and grounded in your faith) to have an opinion of the bible pressed on you that the catholic church does not teach. because that's really what these bible studies are based on sometimes, opinions.

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  14. David Lara-Tellez10:59 AM

    This subject hits very close to home for me. I was co-leader of a bible study at St. Patrick Church and had a hand full attend. Clearly there is a need for Catholics to become more familiar with Holy Scripture.

    There is however a difference in how Catholic's and Protestants interpret Holy Scripture. Roman Catholic's have an "exegesis" interpretation and Protestant's tend to have a more literal interpretation. Also, there are passages that are strongly Catholic that our Protestant brothers and sisters gloss over or ignore altoghter. The one that stands out for me is "The bread of life discourse" in John chapter 6. Christ says many times in this discourse that you MUST eat his flesh and drink his blood to have life in you or to be "raised on the last day'. Our Protestant brothers and sisters feel and teach that Christ did not really mean that "literally" even though many of his disciples stopped following him because they could not accept this teaching. Christ did not correct them but then turned to the 12 and said do you want to leave as well.

    If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything. I feel that Catholic's should first have an understanding of Roman Catholic interpretation of scripture before attending bible study outside the Catholic Church.

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  15. Fr. Norm Supancheck7:18 PM

    There are many kinds of Bible studies. Some are started by denominations trying to attract members and often are anti Catholic. Some are started by people who do not know much about the Bible and it becomes a problem when there are passages that they do not understand. It is not a simple issue. There are some groups that start a Bible study seriously trying to understand and are willing to seek wisdom from different sources. I have known some groups which contain both Catholics and Protestants who are willing to go deeper and not attack each other's faith. I find it difficult to categorically call it a "sin". It certainly would be wrong to go to a "study" that is trying to convert you and you are not at all knowlegeable about your faith and don't have resources to find the truth.
    Fr. Norm Supancheck

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  16. I've lead "evangelical" bible studies with Catholics who chose to attend. (Yes, I am an "evangelical")
    1. You WILL be challeneged in the way you worship, practice, believe, etc. Even if someone doesn't directly challenge you, the varying and differing thoughts, opinions, and worship styles that are demonstrated will challenge you, pique your curiosity, make you think etc.
    2. If you are going to an "evangelical" Bible study where people are actively challenging and/or demeaning the way you practice or worship, you should NOT be attending that group. They should have the respect to allow you investigate the Bible Study without you feeling interrogated.(Like the previous lady said...if you hear things that are counter to what you believe, simply close your eyes and pray or whatever makes you comfortable...) Encountering opposing beliefs is inevitable if you attend.
    3. As a Church leader(if you agree that Catholics should attend "non-catholic" bible studies) you should only be encouraging those Catholics who are established in their faith and doctrinal knowledge/mature believer to do so, because if you do not, there is a high likelihood that that individual could easily be swayed.(Especially in College) Perhaps not necessarily to converting, but it may cause a crisis in belief.

    So, being an evangelical, I would encourage Catholics to attend "non-catholic" Bible Study, but to do so with discretion and seek out an accepting environment. Do so with the notion that you will be challenged (not by other people necessarily, which I believe is a good thing). I believe "non-catholic" bible study provides a unique perspective into what the Bible has to offer (perhaps not the "RIGHT" perspective.) But again..most Catholics who attend evangelical Bible study know that it's probably not the "RIGHT" or "OFFICIAL" way to study or interpret the Bible. Different. That's all. That should be understood. If that individual feels like what is learned in that Bible study is applicable in drawing closer to God and knowing him more, then that's a personal decision for a Mature Catholic believer to make. Great discussion!

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  17. Of course Catholics should not attend non-Catholic Bible Studies, as a general rule, becuase there's no telling what sorts plans the organizers have. Let's focus on building up Roman Catholic Bible Studies, and then we won't have to worry about non-Catholic studies. The only Catholic who should attend other Bible Studies are those who have a good foundation in Roman Catholic theology, especially apologetics.
    -Laurence

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  18. To ANONYMOUS making a comment about two Baptists being married to one another in their church.
    Yes, a Catholic attending this wedding would be giving a signal that he/she agrees that the marriage is valid. Rightly so. Religious marriages between two people who share the same faith are in fact legitimate marriages recognized as being valid by the Catholic Church.

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  19. "I think it rather sinful that our church teaches us virtually nothing about scriptures."

    I hear those words often. I wonder if the Church is sinful or negligent or both. I do know that Catholics are not very sure of themselves around Bible Verse Spouting Non-Catholic Christians. But I ask you to consider the following.

    Every time a Catholic participates (notice "participate", not "attend") Mass, here's what that Catholic hears:
    1. Introductory prayers from the Catholic Church's deposit of Faith.
    2. A reading from the Bible taken from the Old Testament
    3. A meditation prayer taken from one of the psalms of David in the Old Testament
    4. This is brought to a head by chanting the Alleluia from the psalms of David in the Old Testament
    5. A reading taken from the Gospel in the New Testament.
    6. On Sundays and special "High Holy Days" there will be another reading before the Gospel taken from the epistles in the New Testament.
    7. This is followed by the reflections of the priest on one or all of the readings. Usually these readings are chosen so that the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament becomes clear. This emphasizes the point that the truth of the Bible is complete and consistently seamless and shows the way to our salvation.

    This is the outline of the first half of every Mass that any Catholic ever participates in.
    You might have a problem with the following practices:
    The Book name is always announced.
    The Chapter and verse of the book are not announced. They are usually noted in the Parish Bulletin, somewhere.

    What I am driving at here is that Catholics get a Bible Study every single Sunday Morning. It is more complete than most Christians get on any given Sunday since many of them only take a slice from the New Testament and run with that.
    Catholics do not pick and choose verses that make narrow points to sustain a personal position. Catholics study the Bible as a coherent message from God, from Genesis to Revelation. Catholics consider the Divine and Human interaction that is described in the personal experiences of God's people through History, starting with Adam and coming to Jesus. Catholics do not ever consider Jesus in isolation from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as many other important Bible characters like Noah, Moses, David, Samuel, Ruth, Esther, Job, the Macabees, John the Baptist and the other prophets. Catholics always consider Jesus as the fultillment of the history of God's chosen people and the founder of the New Nation of God, the Church. Catholics do not consider Jesus as a Bible lesson. Catholics do not consider Jesus as "my personal Savior". Catholics relate to Jesus as the head, heart and soul of the divine community of people living out the final covenant of salvation in the Kingdom of God on earth, the Church.

    Let me say at least one more thing before hangin up.

    I know that Catholics could do a better job of teaching one another the Bible. Don't saddle the priests with this. They are not much better off than you are anyway. They don't know the chapters and verses by heart either. They are Catholics, after all. So they, like you, know the stories. So don't look to the priests to compete with the Protestants. What you can look to the priests to do is to take you through some significantly technical aspects of the construction of the Bible. That way you will understand better the true meaning and direction of the message from the plan of the entire work. This is very important. To better understand what I mean, I suggest that you click here salvationhistory.com
    This site contains a lot of information that you can peruse and actually use to start a study group of your own.

    Most Bible Studies that I have attended could not hold my attention. I read the stories in the Bible. I teach people who are preparing for Catholic Baptism every Sunday, and the Sunday Bible Stories are our source material. So frankly, even though it might not seem to be too convenient, Sunday is the best day for a Bible Study because that's the day when the Church is going to give you predetermined readings to guide you with. 150 Sundays should be enough to get you started.

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  20. Points taken. Sunday is probably the best time for Catholics to attend a Bible Study. The other 6 days would be best used to further study and reflect on what was spoken on Sunday. Even Evangelicals do that. We have a Sunday message, and we have Bible Studies during the week that are centered around what was spoken about during Sunday's message. This can be done individually or if you're having trouble finding a formal bible study, simply find someone else within your parish that is interested in meeting once a week to reflect and dive deeper on Sunday's Mass. Many times people whether Catholic or Non tend to forget and apply what they learn after Sunday. The rest of the week can be spent in not only deeper study, but most importantly application and living out what you hear (or if you don't hear anything realy compelling) living out how Sunday's Mass could compel you to live a better life. Those are my thoughts. I don't oppose Catholic or Non-Catholics, but I do believe that Catholics should probably not attend non-Catholic Bible Study, just because it could cause a crisis of belief. It's a risk probably best worth avoiding now that I think about it. But then again, everyone has their reasons...

    Great discussion and good points on the differences between Catholic Sunday's and Non-Catholic Sunday's. But they are generalities - Hard to say that's true for all non-catholic Sunday Services. But I would agree, of course that the whole approach to Sunday Worship is different..

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  21. Excuse me, I don;t think that even those who are well versed in apologetics should attend non-Catholic Bible Studies. The Catholic Faith is not founded on chapter and verse sparring. The Catholic disciple is a loving, dedicated follower of Jesus, not a spouter of His quotes. If a Catholic cannot realize that Sunday Mass is a Bible Study and if Catholic leadership does not Aid and abet Bible Studies in the spirit of "Our Hearts were Burning Within Us" then there will be a oot of us burning in Hell.

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  22. Good points... I wouldnt attend a Protestant study myself... However, Protestant and Catholic sitting together and reasoning from the Scriptures, is a good thing. That's what sharing the faith is all about. It can become "Scripture sparring" I suppose. But hopefully, that is not the intention of the metting.
    -Laurence

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  23. Fr. Elder writes:

    Let us draw a distinction here between the formal teaching of the Catholic
    Church and personal opinion.

    The Roman Catholic Church has no objection, at least not that I am aware of,
    of Catholics attending non Catholic Scripture studies. Nor does it forbid us
    to attend non-Catholic, or even non-Christian worship or artistic and
    cultural events, so long as such events are not blasphemous, pornographic, or
    hostile to our faith and Church. We welcome truth and true beauty from many
    sources.

    Now for my opinion. All the above said, we must always exercise the virtue
    of prudence. Many - indeed a great many - Bible studies which invite guests
    have an agenda which is at best not sympathetic, and at worst hostile to the
    teachings of the Catholic Church. When we attend such meetings, we need to
    ask ourselves seveal questions. Are these meetings building up my faith as a
    Roman Catholic or is it teaching me to neglect my Catholic duties and joys -
    does this study make me a better Catholic? Is this meeting trying to lure me
    away from the Catholic Church? These are serious questions.

    Laurence is correct. We need to build up, encourage and support faithful
    Roman Catholic Biblical studies and make them available to all our members.

    best wishes

    Fr Gregory Elder
    St Adelaide Catholic Church, Highland CA

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  24. Anonymous5:55 PM

    I grew up with no fomal religion and thus attended all sorts of religious studies with my Jewish friends, Born-again Christian friends, Mormon friends, Budtist friend...etc...At age 33 I enrolled in RCIA classes and became a Catholic...I am thankful for the past, present, and future opportunties I have had and will have to experience God thru faiths. I love being Catholic! Sometimes I feel sad to see so many in my parish closed to other faiths and the opportunity for spiritual growth other faiths offer us. God is cool and He can handle us exploring and learning...and He especially loves it when we demonstrate His beautiful love to other faiths!

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  25. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Looking for more? I like to go to http://www.usccb.org/ (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) every morning to read the daily readings and listen to a 3 min homily. God's blessing on all.

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  26. Anonymous1:10 AM

    i think it's okay to go to a non-Catholic bible if it's only to learn about that religion. however,i don't think it's okay to learn AND start practicing another religion while still Catholic.

    my bestfriend was born and raised a Catholic. at one point,she was so rooted within the Catholic faith and felt to refreshed and happy when she would walk out of mass every Sunday. lately,she has been getting into reading the bible (the king james bible to be exact) andshe has been going to these protestant bible studies with this guy she just met,who had converted to i believe it was either protestant or SDA. he's basically teaching her all the things HE thinks that the Catholic Church shouldn't be doing. and one night,we were having this conversation where she was just bashing about preist and how they were irrelevant to the chuch,and even saying that praying the rosary is pointless (which i found very uncomfortable when she made that statement),all because she "learned" it from someone who isn't a Catholic. so now,she claims that she's still Catholic,but she says that the bible (which is still the king james bible) is the only thing she can fully rely on to know the truth. she has even gone to measures such as not eating pork and seafood because it "says in the bible".
    the thing here is,she doesn't believe it's sinning that she's already taken into consideration all the beliefs of the other religion and practicing it. she just thinks it's finding out the truth THROUGH THE BIBLE ONLY. she doesn't want to listen to anything or anyone else because she only wants to read and learn through ONLY the bible (and again,it's basically the wrong bible)

    it's true that there really isn't anything to hold you back from going to a non-Catholic bible study. but to come out of a non-Catholic bible study and actually practice the other religion,i mean,it's common sense that it's a sin. you shouldn't go against your faith. it's as simple as that.

    what i'm trying to get through to her is that if she wants to learn the truth,she should learn it WITHIN HER RELIGION. she shouldn't be going to bible studies with other people who aren't Catholic,because by the looks of it,they have already swayed her into believing that the Catholic Church has lied to her throughout her life. they've been teaching her that the only way to find out the truth is ONLY through the bible. but you see,we can't only rely on the bible. that's why we have the mass. to have a better understanding what scriptures tell us.

    i pray for her everyday. i pray that she comes back to the Catholic Church. i pray that she musters up the courage to walk away from that non-Catholic bible study. but that's all i can do right now. just pray.

    so there you go. i think it's okay for you to go to a non-Catholic bible study IF and ONLY IF you are going to study the history of that religion. but once you start to doubt the Catholic faith (if you're Catholic) because of what you learned at a non-Catholic bible study,then that's already sinful.

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  27. Anonymous2:47 AM

    if the non-Catholic bible studies demeans the Catholic Church and its teachings and is constantly on your case about ,then you shouldn't go.
    i,baptized and raised a Catholic,get offended when someone says something completely false about the Catholic Church.
    for example,i have a friend who had been going to a non-Catholic bible study and has told me that she learned the Pope was an anti-christ. seriously,WHERE IS SHE COMING FROM?! never in my life have i heard something so demeaning and offensive. she even said some other things that i have never heard,EVER! such as the Roman Catholic Church killed as much people as hitler did 'just cause'. she has even gone to the point where she says that Catholic Church has been lying to her and that she might actually be going in the wrong direction. she says this ONLY cause the bible study she's been attending is implanting that idea in her head.
    and that's the funny thing. a few non-Catholic bible studies make you think about your religion. they make you think that their religion is better. (i'm not saying that Catholicism is a better religion,but as i think about it,why does it continue to grow and why is it still thriving as strong as it did in the past? but that's just my POV).
    i don't know what this bible study is teaching her,but she's actually taking into consideration that these things are/were true.

    so basically,if the non-Catholic bible study demeans the Catholic Church and its teachings,or any other religion,it's best to just stay away from it.

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  28. Anonymous11:13 PM

    it's not a sin to go to a non-catholic bible study if you just want to learn,ONLY LEARN,about that religion. however,it's a sin if you begin to doubt your Catholic faith. it would be an even bigger sin if you actually take into consideration and start practicing the other religion's teaching and beliefs. although it doesn't say so in the bible,i believe it's pretty much common sense.


    i have a friend who attends a non-catholic bible study,but she's catholic,born and raised. and lately,she's been doubting her Catholic faith. she doesn't even go to church anymore because what she's been learning and "studying" is discouraging her. she thinks that her learning isn't wrong. but what she doesn't realize is that it is wrong for her to doubt her faith and to actually agree with the other religion she's been "studying". she's lost and confused,and that's the worst.

    i say,if you want to know the truth about your religion,learn it within your religion.
    i.e. if you're Catholic,it's best to go to a Catholic bible study. you can go to a non-catholic bible study to learn,but don't stray away from your faith!

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  29. If a catholics think they can get to heaven without serious bible study then they are holding themselves out to be more holy than the disciples apostles and Jesus - who studied the WORD 24/7. The whole Bible constantly reaffirms the study of the WORD (the bible).
    If the Church promotes anything which cannot be proven by scripture they should reject it. I say this as someone who believes in the sacraments.

    Jesus is the WORD made flesh so we have to study the Bible to know Him.

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  30. Charles:
    Do not put words into our mouth. Catholics do not think that they can get to heaven without serious bible study. Catholics do have serious Bible Study...every single Sunday, from the Old Testament, to the New Testament Writings and to the Gospel. They also complete the study by testifying to the directive, "...for my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed..." (John 6,55 [KJV]) when they eat the Flesh and drink the Blood of the Word made flesh.
    Keep believing in the sacraments. Keep believing in the Church, it's where you can eat the food and drink the drink that give eternal life. Join Peter in saying, "Where would we go?"

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  31. Anonymous8:05 AM

    I'm sorry but salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by works. You can't work yourself towards salvation. Only through Jesus can you be saved. Not by works. Faith produces good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do. Not a set of rules or required works that each have to do. Doing this is nothing different that Paul's struggle in Galatia when people of the Jewish faith went after Paul and said and said besides believing in Jesus they also had to follow the old law to be saved. No Salvation is by faith in Christ only. Not by works.

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  32. We are fools to think Catholic doctrine is superior to the Bible. I'm Catholic and I'm ashamed for you Dion. A Christian follows the word of the Christ Jesus. He is the way the truth and the life not the pope. He is just an ordinary man. Instead of reading a book of prayers try praying from the heart for a change. Ive been thinking of leaving the church. All the rules stand here go there now say this say that its so not spiritual. Up down up down.I'm learning a lot about evangelists. At least they walk as our lord walked sending a message of love. Its all about the Bible nothing more nothing less.all you have to do is ask for Christ to enter your heart and he is there. No one has to have rules. A fool is the fool who follows it.

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  33. Anonymous10:40 AM

    Adam, Catholic doctrine is not superior to the Bible as you accuse. Catholic doctrine is based on reading the Bible. We as Catholic individuals read the Bible. And we as a Catholic community read the Bible. How the community perceives and understands the teachings of the Bible takes precedence over how you as an individual should perceive the meaning of the words of the Bible. Jesus Himself said this when he told his followers that when they have a disagreement they should in the end go to the Church to settle the dispute. It is foolish and dangerous to navigate the Bible on your own without the help of the uiniversal Catholic community family you belong to and think you know exactly what God is telling you. I urge you to look beyond the fear and hate in your heart and talk to your pastor before leaving the One Holy Catholic Apostolic church.

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