Do you ever attend religious services with friends from other religions?

By Leca
@lecanis (16661)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
March 21, 2007 6:58am CST
Once in a while friends of mine from other religions will invite me to attend religious services with them, mostly because they know I love to learn about other people's faiths, but also because it's something important to them that I'd like to be able to share. I find it great fun, very interesting, and a wonderful insight into why the people I love are the way they are. However, not long ago someone criticized this action, saying that it was wrong of me to attend a service for a religion I'm not part of, and that my friends were wrong for bringing "the enemy" in. As far as I knew, I'm not the enemy of any religion, and I think it was rude and ignorant for this person to say I am. How do you feel on this matter? Do you or would you attend services with a friend from another religion? Do you think the person who criticized me for this had a point?
5 people like this
35 responses
• Australia
22 Mar 07
I don't think it's wrong to attend a service of a religion you're not part of as long as they're ok with you being there and your respectful of their beleifs. I think the person who critisied you was stupid. I would attend services of a religion i was interested in and had some amount of respect for if i was invited and felt like going. But there's no way you'd catch me sitting through a christian mass or something like that.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Mar 07
*laughs* I used to feel the same way about Christians, but I've learned that all religions have some good points. =) I would never go to a place where I wasn't invited or didn't know anyone, and I don't run around spouting my own religious beliefs at someone else's service. In fact, in the case I was talking about, the guy only knew I was pagan because he had a friend who worked with me once.
1 person likes this
@DeaXyza (577)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Lecanis what a delightfully different person you are! A person after my own heart. No dear it is the insecure & people who have less faith in their own religion who slur others and not the ones who are secure in their faith. I would love to go with anyone who calls me for a service. I used to walk into a church whenever it was nearby long time ago but now since I do not drive I can not do this, but yes if someone calls nothing shall stop me in learning about a religion I know less of or even if I knew all about it yet it would be different from my own, and yet inspite of all the differences I find all religions are the same all of them preach of the same basic things... Love, Peace, Faith, Forgiveness, Truth etc etc. I often wonder were all religions created by a law enforcement officer? ha ha ha but on serious note I think everyone who is a believer of organized religion or otherwise should know about othe religions 'cos it gives us insight into other people and why they are different from us. What say You?
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Mar 07
Thanks for your response! I'm glad you enjoyed my discussion! =) I like the idea that religions were created by law enforcement officers! It's a good point that so many of the actual rules in religions are based on things that are involved with keeping peace, and the wellbeing of other humans. I agree with you that it's important to learn about the beliefs of other people in order to understand those people. For many people, religion is a huge part of their life, so if you don't understand their beliefs, there's a large part of that person you're missing out on.
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@DeaXyza (577)
• United States
23 Mar 07
absolutely and we often mistake other persons hesitations and some practices 'cos we do not know what kind of a religion they practice like hindus do not eat cow meat and so the Sikhs, sikhs also are not allowed to cut or crop their hair as per their religion although over the centuries people have adapted and changed many of their beliefs to fit the modern world into it , but there are many who still practise their religion as stated in their texts and do not move away from their teachings. And it is these people whom we often mistake or misjudge!
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@DeaXyza (577)
• United States
29 Mar 07
thanks lecanis for the best answer!
1 person likes this
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
21 Mar 07
Yes he had a point. Whatever religion this person practices(i'd bet Catholic) is the reason why religions are so short sighted. Maybe not all, but many. Is this the kind of thinking that pervails? No wonder there is so much conflict among beliefs. I don't think they had the right to critize you, you are not the emeny. The people practicing the religion, whatever it is , are the enemy of peace and harmony. That is the point they made in my view. I don't see anything wrong with attending whatever services you want with whomever. God surely doesn't mind so why do religions make it a big deal?
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Mar 07
The person in question was actually Apostolic Lutheran, which is pretty much the predominant Christian denomination in the area where I live. Thanks for such a supportive response. =)
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
24 Mar 07
What's the difference between an Aposotlic Lutherin and a regular Lutherin?
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
26 Mar 07
As far as I can tell, Apostolic Lutherans have a lot more rules to follow. They pretty much only read the Bible, they listen to mostly religious music, and I'm pretty sure there is a huge list of things they're "not supposed to do" that aren't technically biblical sins or anything. I also know that they tend to have a lot of children, sometimes 12 or more.
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
21 Mar 07
My father is a Methodist minister. He's also a hippie. My mother is a recovering baptist. I was blessed to have been born in to parentage that was not only tolerant but inclusive. I was taught to explore other faiths and other religious paths to find my own way. As a result, I have attended many, many church services different from my own. I think the most difficult for me was the Roman Catholic Mass I attended. Aside from all the kneeling and chanting, I was taken aback by the fact that I could not partake in communion. I really thought that all Christain faiths were like my own in this. All in all, I am glad that I have taken the time to learn about other faiths. I take the time to respect other religions. I will not put any act of faith down. I educate myself. If more people did the same, the world would be a much better place.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Mar 07
*laughs* I can't count the number of people I have known that were both a "hippie" and a "Methodist minister". =P I think it's wonderful that you were brought up in such a way. I hope to bring my child up in the same way. Thanks so much for sharing!
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Mar 07
That's a pretty interesting start to his career all right!
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
25 Mar 07
I think it was unfair of you to be criticized for attending a service that you were invited too. The persons religion who did so may be against bringing in "outsiders" but the vast majority of religeons not only welcome but encourage them. For my own personal reasons I avoid religeous gatherings like the plague. In fact the last time I stepped into a church I burst in to flames, so I took that as a sign.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
25 Mar 07
"In fact the last time I stepped into a church I burst in to flames, so I took that as a sign." Wow, I suppose that would give you a bit of a reason not to go, eh? *laughs* That must be one heck of a story. I've never burst into flames from walking into a church, but I have had someone try to burn me at the stake before (teenage boys who had just studied the Bible and taken that burning witches thing very seriously). Does that count?
1 person likes this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
26 Mar 07
That last bit of mine was a poor attempt at humor, but geez it never ceases to amaze me how ignorant and callous some people can be. I guess I shouldn't be over surprised that you've had people (especially teenagers) react to you that way-- but it often makes me wonder if we're not stepping back towards the dark ages. The ironic part of all this is that this country was founded largely to escape religious persecution.
1 person likes this
@catcai (1057)
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
Well it seems obvious to me that the person who told you that was very close minded and judgmental. It isn’t like you went to their church to convert them all or something, you went there with respect for their practices, they should at least treat you with respect as well if not as a visitor. How dare he accuse you of being an “enemy”? What kind of religion was that anyway? Although I did come across some religions who don’t really fancy the thought of having other people outside of their religion come to their services unless—they wanted to be converted into that religion, I think it’s a sort of a sacred rule to them. I’ m also very much interested with various types of religion because I wanted to learn more about it and I wanted to understand some peoples religious points better. I was born a catholic but a friend invited me over to attend a worship service in a born again Christian church- from then on, I was always attending that church. But I would still like to have the opportunity to go to other churches though, but in this church, I felt like I’m finally home.. =)
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Mar 07
The particular person who said this was Apostolic Lutheran, a Christian denomination. I didn't want to put that in the original post so much because I didn't want this to be perceived as some kind of anti-Christian rant or something. =p I can understand some religions not wanting nonbelievers at their services, but you'd think if that was the case my friends wouldn't invite me. In fact, I do have one friend who is a particular type of Wiccan who doesn't invite me to ritual because they have "a closed circle" and I can respect that. =) I'm glad that you found a place that feels like home to you! I think that's a wonderful thing.
@jojopuff (520)
• United States
21 Mar 07
Wow. That person was definitely out of line for saying that to you. I'm not sure what religion that person was, but Christians are supposed to be welcoming toward people who are of different faiths, especially if they come visit their church. That is very sad and I'm sorry you got treated that way. I used to attend many different churches when I was younger. My best friend was Catholic, and I am definitely not Catholic, but I still enjoyed myself and I had a good time going to her church. It has made me into the person I am today. If I hadn't gone to her church, I probably wouldn't have gone to church at all. It definitely helped me with my relationship with God. I don't think you or anyone else for that matter should be treated the way you were by that person. I thinkt they were way out of line.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Mar 07
This person was part of a Christian denomination. Thanks for sharing your story! I appreciate your response.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar 07
I have attended my friends religious services before. I also have attended religious services by myself just to see what goes on in other religions. I don't think there is anything wrong with it. It's not like you are going there to make fun of someone's beliefs. You just want to observe how others worship. It's called religious tolerance. As far as that person goes that said you were the "enemy" that person must have had a bad experience with someone who came to observe his church before or that person is just a radical.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16661)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Mar 07
Thank you so much for pointing out the possibility that this person had a bad experience with someone else who came to their religious service. I hadn't thought of that. It still doesn't entirely excuse the behavior, but it is something to consider. I love when people get me thinking down paths I haven't been down yet. =)
• Philippines
24 Mar 07
yah i did... it was my neighbor who invited to me attend a session in their church... i enjoyed it coz there's a lot of unusual ways of teaching from them...
1 person likes this
@liranlgo (5748)
• Israel
24 Mar 07
yes i did. i have friends that are christian and islam and i did want to see and join their experiance. i did go to a church a few times and i want to a misgad (once) but had a problem there they unfortantly did not welcome me there
• China
22 Mar 07
I've attended a service for several different religions with friends and its been a very eye opening and educational experience. While I still hold to my own religion, I truly believe that people can learn from other religions. I would encourage people to attend services from other religions if only as an educational experience.
1 person likes this
@aissha (2036)
• India
22 Mar 07
what i believe is religion is just away to praise or to be involved in the one god and whom we call by different names.i'm very happy to know that my friend is a nice person i'm proud of u.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
In my case, I have attended many religious services from other religions too and I am happy doing with all my heart that because I'm learning and understand what they believe in. It also adds respect from me to their religion. To the person who accused that you are the enemy, It is wrong for him/her to say such a word... He or she maybe the enemy trying to cover up instead of you.
1 person likes this
@KrauseHome (36690)
• United States
22 Mar 07
I have in my past attended other Churches with my friends, and personally, I really see nothing of it. Sometimes I think it helps open our eyes to see what else is out there, and why someone believes the way that they do. Unfortunately, not everyone in a Church, or churches will feel this way, but no one should tell you how you need to live your life, or what church you need to go to. That should be your own personal choice and conviction between you and God.
@neon2000 (2758)
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
Why not? You are just opening up your mind but it doesn't mean you are ready to go and join them. You have to weigh both belief or religions if you had a change of mind. But I guess religions should nopt be like an object that if you don't want anymore because you believe theirs is most effective than yours should not be a thing in one's mind.
@mrddln (458)
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
yes, and always.
1 person likes this
@NatureBoy (493)
• Singapore
22 Mar 07
I feel that there should not have been any criticisms. Anyone who has the heart to help out in any services should be welcomed and thanked for their time and effort. To those people who criticized, go away, I don't think even your belief is correct. Go back and read more about your religion.
1 person likes this
@cielo_22 (38)
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
theres nothing wrong in attending other religious services especially when one of their member invited you,i love to attend different religious services and one time my friend invited me to visit their church and have a feel of how they go about their services and i can say that in every corner of this world theres always a person whos trying to freak you away,i cant avoid the annoying looks of some of their member.i didnt mind what they thought about me for all i care...all i want is to have the view of their beliefs and i have no intention of criticizing their groups or their beliefs. in our groups we also invite person to attend our service and our members are happy to see new person in our community and we welcomed them with joy,because for us it only means that they are interested about our faith and we wanted to share what we know about gods word. i say the person who criticized you isnt practicing the doctrine,he has no right to accused you or called you as enemy.
@xfahctor (14126)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
22 Mar 07
interesting topic to say the least. I think its healthy to gain understanding about each others religion, especialy in todays climate where people are dieing by the 10's of thousands over it world wide. Im a former christain and i remember as a child attending the churches of varying denominations my friends were members of. In recent years, ive taken christain friends to my "church" and they are astounded how warmly they are welcomed and even more amazed that no one is trying to convert them or telling them they are in the wrong faith. I am pagan and we generaly believe that there is no one way for all.
1 person likes this
@redish (23)
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
That's a good idea. Attending other religious service makes you a better person. We have different faiths but if you know there faith you will understand there feelings.
1 person likes this