Before this conversation goes any further I need to know my name isn’t going to appear anywhere.” Thus speaks a Catholic woman from Northern Ireland upon being asked questions about her 35-year marriage to a Protestant, writes We carry on talking under the promise of anonymity. Yet it’s still not something she openly wants to talk about both in terms of herself or her children. But in Northern Ireland, where church affiliation reflects more than just belief, it’s particularly controversial. He’s an accountant.’ Here it’s ‘He’s a Presbyterian,” jokes Paul Mc Laughlin from the Northern Ireland Mixed Marriage Association (NIMMA). He was approached by a local Irish TV station and asked for the contact details of people from mixed marriages. “Things are much easier now than before, in part because of the diminishing power of the church,” she adds.I also desperately want Roman Catholics to go to heaven, but we can’t let our desire for people to be saved or our desire to please men, lead us to cheer them on as they run towards hell. When I first found out about the ECT, I was shocked.I was fresh off the boat and never in a million years did I imagine such confusion over what seemed to be such a clear issue to me and any Italian believer.I could post many more, but some contain too personal of information for public posting.But given the number of emails I have received with these scenarios, this is obviously a pressing issue for many people.As the evangelical world in America seems rather excited about the Pope’s visit, I can’t help but remember how I felt when I discovered the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document (ECT). Well known evangelical pastors signed a document in which they joined themselves with Catholic priests and Philosophers, in an ecumenical fashion in order to promote the agreements over the disagreements that have plagued Protestants and Catholics for centuries dating back to the greats: Calvin, Luther, Zwingli and Knox.They agreed to no longer “proselytize” each other, agreeing that Catholics are indeed brothers, and sisters in Christ. The vast majority of Christians in America do not evangelize Catholics.
“What they’re saying is: To hell with prejudice, just don’t publicise it.” It’s something Mc Laughlin has become accustomed to.
Probably the most common interfaith dating situation I have received emails about is a Christian dating a Mormon.
The biggest difficulty I run into in addressing this issue is neither party in the relationship seems to realize there is a big difference between the two.
Until then, I had lived under the egocentric assumption that everybody is either Catholic or Jewish.
Suddenly, what I wasn’t—a Protestant (a concept I only knew existed for a week)—was what I had to be, or else come to terms with the high probability that I was headed straight to hell.
So in case it turned out that Catholics could not, in fact, be Christians (or I wasn’t one of the few for whom it would happen), I said the Sinner’s Prayer in bed that night.
But the first time somebody challenged my church wouldn’t be the last.
From behind a hand-carved, wooden podium at the front of a colorful classroom, my fifth-grade teacher spoke.
The students listened quietly, fascinated by her lesson: how to get to heaven. "But it’s a lot harder for Catholics to get to heaven than it is for Protestants." She told us about the Sinner's Prayer and how awful it is to confess sins to a priest, how questionable the Catholic mass is and how rarely the Gospel is preached in Catholic churches.
Someone like me who has shed many tears over the deception of the Roman Catholic Church is seen as hateful.
I totally understand the desire to believe people are saved.