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5 posts • Page 1 of 1
According to Reddog which I found very interesting, catholic and protestant seem to have different influence on the behavior of foreign women. What are those countries ? and what are those differences ? where does America stand in that ....if foreign women of catholic countries seem nice I would then conclude that usa is a rigid protestant dominant country... what do you guys think ? ........... Rome
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Rome, I'm guessing by your name, you're Catholic, so I tried to answer your question as best I could in the other thread. If others have different ideas, it would be fun to hear them. Since Ladislav didn't have Buddhist countries on his top hits list, I didn't mention them, plus my only exposure to Buddhism outside the US was in China. I found the Chinese to be very nice, outgoing, friendly, helpful, and humble, at least towards me, a western visitor. I chalked it up to the Buddhist values they put on all life.
Well, this question is right up my alley. I am a Seminary student ultimately seeking ordination. I also EXTENSIVELY study comparative religion, and have been doing so for over ten years now. I've read sacred literature from all the major religions and the world, and though I am Christian, I hold them in high esteem; and am in particular quite fond of Buddhism and Hinduism. If I were a Catholic I would call the Buddha my "Patron Saint" as my philosophy towards every day life is Buddhist to the hilt. I state my 'credentials' if you will, to only state that I am not one of those people who says I AM RIGHT AND EVERYONE ELSE IS DOOMED. I've meditated with Buddhist monks, prayed with Hindu priests, and attended Mosque.
That said, technically, in name only: I am Protestant. But there again, I frequently attend Mass in addition to my Protestant church, as well as Eastern Orthodox services. I study theology from all three and hold them in equal regard.
My overseas girlfriend from the phillipines is a DEVOUT Roman Catholic. Was there a clash? Not at all. In fact, she was a bit tentative with me in regards to it, ESPECIALLY because I am studying to actually become a pastor. She THOUGHT maybe I would be this rigid protestant that shunned Catholics when nothing could be further from the truth. I told her that I find her traditions equal to my own, and respect them every bit as much as my own; and that I would never try to 'sway' her from one side of the fence to the other: because to me it is just nonsense. I told her if I become a Reverend eventually, that I would still attend Mass with her.
My point is this: if you are Catholic and she is Protestant, or vice versa....JUST SHOW RESPECT AND REVERENCE TO HER TRADITION. That goes A LONG WAY. There is no reason ON EARTH why a relationship between a Catholic and a Protestant shouldn't work; if you go straight to the New Testament, where Jesus states that we are GRAFTED ONTO THE OLIVE BRANCH TREE. If you look at it like that, the theological and doctrinal differences will begin to recede, as they well should. YOU ARE BOTH BRANCHES ON THE SAME TREE, IE your belief that Christ is the Son of the Living God. Maybe she prays on a rosary and you don't: but WHO CARES? You both confess the same Christ as Savior, and as Saint Paul says "Let there be no divisions among you."
I can't tell you how idiotic I find it when a Protestant wants to go 'witness' to or 'convert' a Catholic, or vice versa. You sit at the same table of which Christ is the head.
If you take this kind of attitude with your girl, she will be surprised by, and will respect your openness. If you are willing to work at it, you should be able to enjoy aspects of each others traditions: together. The Mass should fill the Protestant with reverence for the Communion, and the Protestant sermon for the Catholic should deepen their spiritual wisdom; for example.
Here's another kicker for you. Let's say you are targeting the Catholic women in the Phillipines. Much of the world does not percieve the United States as a 'Protestant' country, but as a wholly secular one. Many of the women I talked to online were, no joke, absolutely stunned that I was religious at all; then absolutely FLOORED when I would tell them I was studying to become a Minister. Most women just ASSUMED I was an atheist who had no belief at all. THAT is how this country is rapidly being percieved by other countries: as one WITHOUT religion. I think if you tell them you have any faith AT ALL they will be impressed. It's a sad state of affairs when people just assume you are without religion because of how the country has become.
In my own experience, my filipina girlfriend told me on the dating site that she used where we met, more than one western man actually MOCKED at her Catholic faith, using the foolish argument that they have religion in the Philipines because they have not 'ADVANCED' beyond it, that they are too poor, and not industrialized enough: so they cling to supposed trite superstitions.
I was rather appalled at that. Real or imagined, religion makes up a lot of who a person is. If you were to meet a Thai Buddhist woman and be interested in pursuing her, you damn well better have a modicum of understanding of the belief, and most certainly a respect for it. Insulting someone's beliefs is revolting to me.
Interesting post, Marcus Aurelius. What denomination are you, just out of curiosity? Personally, I was raised Lutheran, but left and joined the Orthodox Church, for a variety of reasons. I am also surprised at your openness, since my own Protestant experience was one where the majority of Protestants are closed-minded and won't even listen to what other people believe. You're right, it's rude, whether you believe the same way, or not. Becoming Orthodox has opened a lot of spiritual/mystical doors for me and I see direct tie-ins to Eastern/Buddhist thought. You read Lao Tsu and you think, wow, this guy's got some interesting things to say. Maybe it's also age mellowing me, but I just don't see the point in bashing people over the head with your faith. People should be interested by what they see, and not always by what they hear. As for those who bash the Catholics, they are just ignorant, so ignore them. In Western Europe you will typically hear the same mantra, i.e. that religion is for losers and that people with brains will reject it. This is post-Christian secularism and will be the end of Europe, if they don't watch out. But fortunately I see a resurgence of faith hitting Europe from the Orthodox from the East, even as the Muslims grow in numbers there. Tell you girlfriend "bravo" for standing up for her religious convictions. BTW, my wife is Roman Catholic, and from Italy. She's already agreed to have our newborn son (due Sept) baptized in the Orthodox Church. She sees that I respect her beliefs and appreciates that I go to Catholic Mass with her too. It's all about mutual respect, and will get you far in life.
Forgive the much delayed reply. Have been rather busy and time is somewhat limited.
RedDog, I quite liked your post. It would appear that you and I have a lot in common.
My entire family is Presbyterian, I was baptized in that church; and now am a non-denominational Protestant. But in reality, I view these only as titles, as designations. If one were to ask what denomination I am; the reality is I was raised a believer in God, but OUTSIDE of the church. Growing up I never went to church except for weddings and funerals. In my late teens and early twenties I came under the influence of great atheist philosphers, Nietzcshe, Hume, Schopenhauer and the like and was actually a rather militant atheist for a number of years.
When I came back to the faith, and to the church, it gave me an OUTSIDE LOOKING IN PERSPECTIVE, and I am thankful to the Holy Spirit of God for that. Rather than being 'settled' in one denomination over another one, I came to appreciate the traditions of all 3 great churches. At my core I am, oddly, Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant, all rolled into one. You will find me reading the theologies of all three, and attending services of all three. I do not have a favorite.
I will note however, that I, like you am much into the Eastern Orthodoxy. Their Icons line my walls, their sacred music constantly on my Ipod, and I LOVE the spiritual writings of the Eastern church, works such as the Philokalia, the writings of Saint Theophan the Recluse, the Way of the Pilgrim. I too agree that the Orthodox and Buddhism have much in common.
I say this because I have studied COMPARATIVE religions for over ten years now, reading sacred literature of all the major faiths, of which, outside of Christianity Buddhism is my favorite. I have much to the dismay and shock of others even referred to myself as a Buddhist Christian as a denomination lol.
Though many would shun this idea, Buddhism, in a sense compliments Theism in that it teaches us the impermanence of all things around us. As you yourself said, the Eastern Orthodox church more or less teaches the same thing, and it is wonderful to see. Eastern Orthodoxy most closely represents my idea of faith, because it too, is about rising out of a delusional nature into a oneness with God, whereas I think the other traditions, developed a more rationalistic systematic theology, which in turn downplays the mystical and the supernatural, which to the contrary should be the aim of every believer.
People often ask me where I intend to be an associate pastor or finally an ordained minister; the answer is I have no idea. Wherever God leads.
The idea is to use this long process for further submission to the will of God; a cessation of self and its wants, that His will be done, and my own will is fused with His.
RedDog, as someone who appreciates Eastern philosophy and wisdom as I do...have you ever read the book Christ the Eternal Tao? If not, I HIGHLY recomend it. It was written by an Eastern Orthodox Monk, and is some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read.