What Evangelicals Can Learn From Catholics

The biggest thing that Evangelicals can learn from Catholics is how to worship … liturgy, when celebrated reverently, can also give worshipers a connection to the sacred that is just not available through the type of worship service … in Evangelical churches.

Several years ago, I wrote an article for HPR entitled: “What Catholics Can Learn from Evangelicals.” I argued that Evangelical Protestant churches do a better job of teaching Scripture to their congregations than most Catholic parishes. Evangelicals are also more comfortable with evangelizing their neighbors than are Catholics. These remain areas where the Catholics can learn to improve by emulating their Evangelical brethren. However, Evangelicals also have a lot to learn from Catholics.

The idea of Evangelicals learning from Catholics is not really a novel one. Many Evangelical missionaries study the history of Catholic missions to improve the effectiveness of their own missionary activity. Some Evangelicals, obeying St. Paul’s dictum to “test everything; hold on to what is good,” even study the writings of John Paul II on the theology of the body. But during the Evangelical heyday of the 1980s, it was possible for Evangelicals to view the Catholic Church as similar to the mainline Protestant churches—as an institution that was waning in influence. There was little reason to learn from a church that looked like it was losing relevance.

The intervening years, however, have shown that the Catholic Church did not suffer the same fate as the mainline Protestant denominations. Under the leadership of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the Church was able to eliminate much of the confusion that prevailed in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. Rather than becoming irrelevant, the Catholic Church has continued to boldly proclaim the uncompromising Christian message to a culture that is increasingly hostile to Christian beliefs. Under these circumstances, it makes sense for Evangelicals to view Catholics as allies. Although there are many treasures within the Catholic Church, the two that Evangelicals might find most beneficial are liturgical worship and an emphasis on unity.

Liturgical Worship
The biggest thing that Evangelicals can learn from Catholics is how to worship. This might seem like an odd thing to say because many Catholics who leave the Church to join an Evangelical congregation often mention the “dead” character of Catholic worship as one of their main reasons for leaving. It’s true that a shoddy execution of the liturgy, combined with content-free homilies, and a lack of vibrant fellowship, can make a parish seem lifeless. However, liturgy, when celebrated reverently, can also give worshipers a connection to the sacred that is just not available through the type of worship service that currently prevails in Evangelical churches.

What exactly is liturgy? And why do Evangelicals avoid it? Broadly speaking, the liturgy is the way the Church consecrates time, space, and matter for the worship of God. It consists of rituals—the ceremonies, prayers, and sacraments of the Church.  The Mass is the best-known example of a liturgical rite, but the Church calendar is also another expression of liturgy. For an Evangelical, the most important thing about these rituals is that they are not spontaneous expressions of the believers who are present in the worship service, as other people wrote them. The fear is that with liturgy, there is the temptation to mouth the words but not really mean them. If that were to happen, the ritual would become the “vain repetition” that Jesus warned us against. In an attempt to avoid the temptation to ritualism, Evangelicals prefer to use extemporaneous prayers. The idea is that spontaneous prayer is more likely to be from the heart and, therefore, less likely to be “vain repetition.” The other major reason for not using liturgy is that there is no positive command in the Bible that worship must be liturgical. Because there is no express requirement to worship liturgically, Evangelicals feel free to worship in the way they find most effective to achieving their mission.

The typical worship service at an Evangelical church is very sermon-centered and is, therefore, very pastor-centered. The structure involves the singing of hymns during the first part of the service. It is this portion of the service that Evangelicals equate with “worshipping God.” Music is very important to Evangelicals, and because the singing of hymns is nothing less than the worship of God, the quality of the music is usually very high. However, that doesn’t mean that Evangelicals sing classical Lutheran or Wesleyan hymns. The music is generally contemporary and upbeat; modern instruments, such as electric guitars, are frequently used.

After the singing, which lasts for approximately 30 minutes, there is a short scripture reading, followed by the centerpiece of the service, the sermon. Because such great emphasis is placed on the sermon, the better Evangelical pastors spend a lot of time in crafting them. In some of the larger churches, the Sunday sermon may be the most significant task of the senior pastor. Evangelical sermons are longer than a Catholic homily: the typical sermon averages 30 minutes.

The ideal Evangelical sermon not only teaches the meaning of the biblical text, it also applies that text to the real-world concerns that the members of the congregation face. Many pastors use expository preaching, which means the pastor will have a series of sermons on a single book of the Bible. Each week, the sermon explains another section of the book, verse by verse, so that by the end of the sermon series, the congregation has a good understanding of the main message of the book. Sadly, expository preaching is probably the biggest reason that Catholics leave the Church in favor of an Evangelical congregation. Ex-Catholics often say that they understood the Bible for the first time after regular attendance at an Evangelical church.

You may have noticed one glaring omission in the description of an Evangelical worship service: there is no mention of the Eucharist or Communion. That’s because the Eucharist is normally celebrated infrequently in a special service. In Evangelical theology, sacraments are only signs; they do not actually confer grace. Instead, Evangelicals believe that it is much more important for believers to be strongly grounded in scripture, than it is to celebrate any ritual. Thus, Evangelical churches have chosen to limit the time-consuming celebration of the sacrament in favor of longer sermons. In fact, when an Evangelical speaks about “being fed,” he is probably talking about the practical knowledge of Scripture that he is gaining by listening to the weekly sermon, not the reception of the Eucharist.

There is no question that Evangelical-style worship is effective in gaining new converts, especially if coupled with well-prepared, challenging sermons. So why should Evangelicals consider adopting a liturgical style of worship?

First, Evangelicals already worship liturgically; it is just that they create their own modern liturgy rather than using the time-tested liturgy of the historic churches. Although Evangelicals struggle to keep everything spontaneous, it just isn’t possible to run a worship service without some type of form, which is liturgy. For example, the structure of the Evangelical worship service—with hymns of praise followed by a sermon—is a liturgical form. Evangelicals also use liturgical prayers: the hymns they sing are prayers written by others, and put to music. No Evangelical would charge that the hymns are “vain repetition” simply because they are written by others. So moving to a liturgy of one of the historic communions (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican) is less of a jump than first meets the eye.

Second, by adopting a traditional style of liturgical worship an Evangelical church would move closer to the style of worship of the New Testament church. In Protestant theology, the apostolic church was doctrinally pure but the post-apostolic church rapidly became corrupted by pagan influences. Protestant scholars disagree as to how quickly the alleged corruption occurred, but they agree that it is desirable to return to the purity of the apostolic age.  One way to do this is by trying to approximate the style of worship of the early church.

The New Testament is silent on the exact way the apostolic church worshipped, but the evidence from early Christian writings—starting at the end of the first century with the Didache—is that the church worshipped liturgically from the beginning. Therefore, if an Evangelical church wants to follow the apostolic church, it makes sense to embrace liturgical worship.

However, some Evangelicals might object that it is possible that the early church was already corrupt by the end of the first century. If so, there is another reason to adopt liturgical worship: it is the authentic worship of the Old Testament. Recent archeological discoveries prove that the early Christians didn’t create the Eucharistic prayers ex nihilo, but that they adapted the existing Jewish liturgy. For example, manuscript fragments discovered in the Dura-Europos synagogue in Syria contain the Eucharistic prayers found in the Didache, but written in Hebrew. The proof that Jewish worship in the Old Testament period was liturgical is strengthened by the fact that Jews still worship liturgically today. In his book, Eucharist: Theology and Spirituality of the Eucharistic Prayer, Louis Bouyer says the “astonishing closeness” of the ancient synagogue texts “and the texts still in use in the synagogue of our own day, attests to the liturgical conservatism of the Jews.”

A final reason for embracing a liturgical worship is that it provides a counterbalance to modern culture. In his book, Beyond Smells and Bells: The Wonder and Power of Christian Liturgy, Anglican Mark Galli writes:

{L}iturgy helps us enter a counter-intuitive story. In an individualistic culture, the liturgy helps us live a communal life. In a culture that values spontaneity, the liturgy grounds us in something enduring. In a world that assumes truth is a product of the mind, the liturgy helps us experience truth in both mind and body. In a world demanding instant relevance, the liturgy gives us the patience to live into a relevance that the world does not know.

Of course, moving from a spontaneous form of worship to a liturgical form is not an easy transition, so changes should be introduced gradually. It follows from the above that if Evangelicals wanted to incorporate aspects of liturgy into their worship, it would make sense to borrow from an established tradition rather than crafting a new liturgy. Fortunately, Evangelicals can draw from the rich sources of the Anglican and Lutheran liturgies, and still remain fully Protestant.

The Unity of All Christians
Another area where Evangelicals could learn from the Catholic Church is its pursuit of unity. This pursuit of unity was shown in Benedict XVI’s first written message as pope. Pope Benedict stated that he had as a “primary commitment” the intention “to work without sparing energies for the reconstitution of the full and visible unity of all the followers of Christ.” This commitment is demonstrated by Rome’s continuing dialog with the Orthodox Churches, and in its overtures to large Protestant Churches, such as its recent creation of the Anglican Ordinariates that allow Anglicans to enter in communion with Rome while keeping their own form of worship.

The Catholic Church’s emphasis on unity does not just take the form of ecumenical dialog, it also pervades the prayer life of the Church. Faithful Catholics who pray the Morning Offering ask God daily for “the unity of all Christians.” The Church also prays for Christian unity in the Prayers of the Faithful during Mass, and in the Liturgy of the Hours.

There is a good reason for the Catholic Church’s emphasis on unity. The unity of all Christians is not some minor, nonessential aspect of the gospel message. Rather, it is a key prerequisite for the successful evangelization of the world. As Jesus prayed in his high priestly prayer after the institution of the Eucharist:

I do not pray for these {the Apostles} only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, even as thou Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:20-21).

Evangelicals argue that the unity that Jesus speaks of here is only a spiritual unity, not a visible corporate unity. But, in order for the unity of believers to be an effective sign to nonbelievers, it has to be a visible corporate unity.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the bonds of this visible unity as:

  • Charity, which “binds everything together in perfect harmony;”
  • the profession of one faith received from the Apostles;
  • the common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments; and
  • the governance of the Church by bishops ordained in apostolic succession.

It is Jesus’ desire that Christians be united not only in the profession of faith, but really united into one body. It is this visible, bodily unity of Christians that renders the preaching of the gospel effective.

Evangelicals have as their primary goal the preaching of the gospel; yet, they do not seem to be very concerned with the unity of believers. How do they miss the connection between unity and evangelization?

They miss it, in part, because of their truncated understanding of what constitutes unity. For an Evangelical, it is sufficient if there is agreement on a core set of beliefs, including:  the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, sola scriptura, and salvation by faith alone. This set of core beliefs aligns roughly with what C.S. Lewis called “Mere Christianity.”

However, not even C.S. Lewis thought that a minimalist Christianity was sufficient. Lewis argued that one must make a stand on other important doctrines by choosing a denomination:

I hope no reader will suppose the “mere” Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions—as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism, or Greek Orthodoxy, or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall, I shall have done what I attempted. But, it is in the rooms, not the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in…

Of course, Evangelicals already know this; so why do they choose to hold to an attenuated understanding of unity? The Evangelical churches do this out of necessity because their organizational structure does not allow for any unity beyond mere assent to a core set of beliefs. This was always true with the wide variety of Protestant denominations, but it has been exacerbated in the past 25 years by the development of the mega-church.

Mega-churches are frequently completely independent. They are unaffiliated with any governing church body. The fortunes of a mega-church rise and fall with its ability to attract and retain a charismatic pastor. The incentives for the pastor are to grow the individual church so the tendency is to focus on gaining new members. To do this, the most important thing is to make the worship service appealing, and to provide a vibrant social scene to congregants. This explains why the mega-churches have moved away from traditional Protestant worship, to high-energy, high-tech productions that share more resemblance to a rock concert than to the Christian liturgy.

The need to get new members also drives the topics of the sermons. Although these sermons always have a strong biblical touchstone, they also have to be relevant to the lives of the members. This means the emphasis is on things like relationships, and there may be a heavy dollop of pop psychology included in the mix. Difficult theological concepts may have to be relegated to Sunday school classes (that are attended by both children and adults) or just ignored entirely.

Finally, Evangelicals, by definition, emphasize the preaching of the gospel. Their goal is to get as many people “saved” as possible. The mainstream of Evangelical thought teaches that once a person is saved, he has eternal security. While the believer should ideally grow in the knowledge of Christ, it is not, strictly speaking, a necessity. Therefore, if doctrines involving the sacraments, church authority, and worship receive little emphasis, it doesn’t jeopardize the effectiveness of an Evangelical church’s mission.

In this type of environment, the topic of corporate unity necessarily takes a back seat. Evangelical leaders tend to view any denomination that preaches the “essential doctrines” of Christianity (such as the divinity of Christ, the repentance of sins, and faith in Christ) as falling within the pale of orthodox Christianity. Evangelicals reason that because the Christian churches share this fundamental agreement, there is unity, even though it is not corporate unity. While this approach provides a fig leaf for the lack of unity of Christians, it puts Evangelical leaders in the precarious position of having to decide which of the doctrines taught by Christ are essential. It also fails to create the kind of unity that is necessary to win the world for Christ.

Despite the hurdles to unity that Evangelicals will have to overcome, there actually has been significant progress toward unity as well. The most notable is the 1994 document, “Evangelicals & Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium.” The document, signed by American Catholic and Evangelical leaders, is groundbreaking because it actually recognizes fundamental agreement on the doctrine underlying the Protestant Reformation, the doctrine of salvation. The Catholic and Evangelical leaders agreed that “we are justified by grace through faith because of Christ.” While this might appear minor, it is a major step toward unity because it means that Evangelicals recognize Catholics as brothers in the faith. We can hope that the Evangelical and Catholic leaders of today will continue to build on the foundation laid by the authors of “Evangelicals & Catholics Together.”

Of course, when it comes to unity, the entire burden isn’t on Evangelicals. Catholics, too, have a significant role to play. Catholics must continue to evangelize and catechize other Catholics. The most potent motivation to unity is the witness of Catholics that are on fire for Christ. Similarly, the most powerful reason for Evangelicals to adopt liturgical worship is the example of Catholics who participate in the Mass with their whole heart. If Catholics and Evangelicals both continue to grow in Christ, the unity that today seems remote will one day become a reality.

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avatar About Joseph Pavicic

Joseph Pavicic is an attorney who writes from Virginia where he lives with his wife and newborn son.

Comments

  1. Excellent piece! What prompted me to comment was your reference to Evangelicals and Catholics Together. We are coming up on the 20th anniversary of ECT (hard to beliveve!), and I am pleased to see that there are still people reading and discussing it. In fact, your post makes me think that there really needs to be a fresh round of publicity on it to keep the work going in a productive direction.

  2. avatar Chuck says:

    Thank you for this. As an evangelical in the low church tradition, who is not altogether comfortable, to say the least, with the style of a typical evangelical service, you have made some good arguments for adopting, at least, some elements of historical liturgies. As someone in the Wesleyan-Methodist tradition, what would be most obvious for us would be the Anglican liturgy, so familiar to the founder of our tradition, John Wesley, and which still lives on (modified) in the liturgy of the United Methodist Church.

    A couple points of clarification: for Wesleyans, the Eucharist is also considered a means of grace, even if many Wesleyans don’t know the specifics of our Eucharistic theology. As well, Wesleyans do not historically believe in eternal security. Obviously, you will find variations in the beliefs of individual members, but “once saved, always saved” is not part of the Wesleyan tradition.

  3. avatar Mitch F says:

    You state many things that I try to tell my fellow Catholics. Many Catholics who have “fallen away” do so because of poor catechisis. I converted to Catholicism in 1990 and have since dove into understanding as much as possible all aspects of the Church. What I have found is that the teaching of scripture and tradition have almost been nil. If you need to find anything out it is up to you. While it is true that an individual is responsible for know his faith, better care should be taken by the Church leaders to teach the faith. When I run into friends that were raised Catholic and left and teach them all that is involved in Catholism they ALWAYS say “I was NEVER taught that!” Growing up as protestant I was rich in scripture. Now with scripture and tradition together I have a fullness that can’t be explained. A convert professor from Evangelical to Catholic that is really good to listen to is Scott Hahn.

    • avatar MGM says:

      The beginning of my hearts conversion to really see, feel, know the richness and fullness of my faith began with Scott Hahn not his books or tapes but he and his wife came to Long Beach after conversion must have been 1990-91 and spoke to troubled teens. The church was packed. I was somewhat invited even though the church was a stone throw away from where I live. The person who invited me was from a far away city who is coming to Long Beach because the Hahn s are speaking there. Through him, he introduced more converts telling us about their conversion stories. The 300 people became 3000 the next year, then to 8, then to 12 so we had to do it in a stadium. Its called the Annual Catholic Family Conference. I as an immature Catholic was on fire because of them. I learned a lot and appreciated a lot about my faith because of them. I want to make a comment why we Catholics seems to be content do not read the bible, do not seem to be interested is not because of poor catechisis because some of us do not even have one. Where I come from is a country 90% of which are Catholics. A priest say 1 mass in 5 different places in one day, no Sunday School like yours, no summer camp, no one to one teacher, no books, no nothing to read about our faith. We are lucky to have one Sunday mass once in 2 months so after baptism, we stopped there. As children, we longed to see the visit of that priest again, to hear him speak or teach but none. We grow up to go to school and schools are far from home. We still go to mass and attendance at mass is like attendance at school but doubled because of the public coming i n too so its more hard to learn about scriptures. I think today that those converts who are coming in and flooding the church are somewhat providential. They studied the bible, we did not, memorized scriptures, we did not and they are guided back to us to teach us because that is all we are missing.

    • avatar Dan says:

      I find that a person gets out of it what he/she puts into it. Scripture is presented every mass and is expained as best as can be done in 15 minutes and applied to our current everyday life. There is plenty of opportunity now for people to absorb more on the readings either through the Internet or Catholic raido and TV shows, let alone the many bible study groups going on at numerous parishes. Catholics are waking up to the fact that obedience to the Sacrements of the Church is just a start to understanding their faith.

  4. avatar David says:

    Good article. I wonder though if there is not a foundational issue or two that precludes worship in Protestant Churches. First, the center of a Catholic Mass is the Holy Eucharist, which re-presents Calvary and the true presence – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity – of Christ. Thus, if most Protestant Churches don’t believe in this True Presence, why would they make the Eucharist a central part of their Worship. In fact, wouldn’t including this in a Worship service possibly be hypocritical or worse since they typically don’t believe that the Eucharistic Host is Christ and thus they don’t worship It (Christ). Second, even if some Protestant Churches do believe in the Real Presence, in most cases – because of a lack of Apostolic Succession going back to Peter – this belief would not translate into the Real Presence. In other words, it takes more than just believing in something to make it become a reality. Again, in this case it requires that link with Peter, the first Pope. So, with that said, I’m having trouble getting my arms around why Protestant denominations would have a Eucharistic-centered worship service.

  5. avatar Terry says:

    The problem here is the complete absence of any neccesity of converting to the Catholic Faith. The Catholic Faith is either the One True Faith or it is not. Let us not forget what the founder of the Protestant Reformation Martin Luther said in regards to the Mass :
    “The Mass is not a sacrifice … call it Benediction, Eucharist, the Lord’s Table, the Lord’s Supper, Memory of the Lord or whatever you like, just so long as you do not dirty it with the name of a Sacrifice.”. The Catholic Faith is Truth. We can learn from our Traditions which we have completely forgot about.

    • avatar John says:

      I completely agree. There are things they can learn from us. Like, you know, everything! The Catholic Church has the fullness of the truth! They should convert, and we should help them to!
      We do have certain things we can learn from evangelical Protestants, such as more zeal and whatnot, but other than that, we have it all! We just have to tap into it.

  6. avatar John Wabl says:

    Dear Mr. Pavicic,

    Thank You for the excellent article.

    My Catholic friends and I celebrate all Christ-based religious followers because we are all in pursuit of meaning within God’s love. The misunderstandings, misconceptions and miscommunications (of truth) are many, causing the perpetuation of the divide between we Catholics and our Protestant brothers and sisters.

    As we continue to witness the erosion of faith and goodness within our culture, I perceive that all Christ-loving disciples will experience greater motivation to “find” one another, more will seek Him through the graces of humility and full-dedication, and our stumblings to disseminate Christ’s authentic teachings will, through the work of the Holy Spirit, produce abundance in the harvest.

    God Bless You!

  7. avatar MGM says:

    Actually there is a book coming out entitled EVANGELICAL CATHOLICS by George Weigel. The last 15-20 years had been amazing years. Through the internet, a divine communication tool if used properly had been utilized by many non-Catholics to read, search and research what is the the true church that Jesus found while on earth and where is Mathew 16 today? Finally most came home to Rome. We have them speaking from one conference to another, state to state and it was from them who got me fired up about my faith. Maybe that’s another providential gift where our brothers/sisters who choose to be in a lot of denomination, learned scriptures and be brought back to the church and teach the catholic Christians who are very much into worship and liturgy but not evangelical. Today they inspire me to go out there and proclaim the good news.

  8. avatar john6:53 says:

    I enjoyed this.I want to read the book now.I’m a devout Catholic who loves scripture and Catholic Apologetics..I enjoy worshiping with Evangelical very much..We can learn alot from them as well..I love a good relavent sermon with dynamic preaching.Evangelicals do a great job althought there are alot great Priest who can hold their own ! We need more of them..I always invite my Catholics friends who enjoy a spirit filled service to attend a Catholic Charismatic prayer meeting all my Evangelical friends enjoy it as well…We can all LOVE JESUS TOGETHER !!!

  9. avatar Bill says:

    Mr Pavicic, I thank you for trying to explain what Catholics can learn from our Prodestant friends. They are going to teach the Catholic Church how to better understand Our Book. The Bible belongs to The Catholic Church ,The Liturgy of the Word and The Liturgy of The Eucharist come from Our Book the Bible..,it is the only Church Jesus Christ started ,all other denominations , some 35,000 and counting were started by man. This is a hard truth to digest, however the biggest denomination out there next to practicing Catholics are fallen away Catholics, who claim they were not being fed .. Jesus is the True bread come down from Heaven ,If you do not eat the Flesh of The Son of man you have no life within you. These are Jesus own words.The reason many Catholics leave and others stay but are flat ,is because they do not know or Experience Jesus intimately in The Eucharist. It is really Him… One other thing I know that in Heaven everyone is Catholic ,because everyone will Love Mary and Know Jesus for who He really is The Living Bread come down from heaven.. 1Tim. 3;16 The Church is the Pillar and foundation of Truth. First it was passed down by word and tradition then The Church put together the Bible . You are reading my book and trying to explain “Our Mother The Church,s” teaching to us Catholics. The Holy Spirit inspired The Church to put certain Books in ” The Bible”. all of you search for Truth , it is found in The Holy Roman Catholic Church .Those that left was because they didn;t like a teaching, but the truth be known they did not believe in the Eucharist and therefore had nothing to keep them there. Luther was right in some things ,because the Church was and still is made up of sinners, but he took it too far and Calvin took it further .And now as I said 35,000 denomations and still yet there is only ONE Holy Catholic Church. One Church has it right The one Jesus Christ started when he gave the Keys to the Kingdom to Peter Our first Pope . Praise God He is always Faithful..God Bless all Bill

  10. avatar john t. says:

    Only God knows the answer to this question but I suspect it so.

    Might it be possible that the various Christian Churches are guides to salvation, with some having a better knowledge of the route to be taken, due to practical experience and possession of all the tools and supplies and weapons required for success? Some guides will be successful but their charges will experience a more arduous journey that takes longer and includes more suffering.

    As a life long Catholic, I trust this Church has all the tools, supplies and weapons necessary for the safest and most direct path to the final destination. I fully expect I will meet with those who took other guides and when our stories are compared I will be glad to have chosen the Catholic guide.

  11. avatar Kent says:

    Nicely done. Posted to reddit /Christianity, /Catholicism.

  12. avatar Chris says:

    Amazingly thoughtful article, thank you for the post.

    I will say, scrolling through the comments, a point is being missed… or perhaps not? Perhaps the article is in favor of everything being said in the comments below. Or perhaps, neither of the two. Maybe this is an article simply to begin (or further) the dialogue of a unity among believers. If that is true, I believe what I have to say and have thoughtfully prepared is a vital part of that dialogue.

    I am the “rock worship leader” that you all heard stories about over in the Evangelical church. No, I didn’t accidentally find this article… I’ve been studying the Catholic church in order to bring reverence back into the Evangelical liturgy.

    Anyways, all of that to simply say the following.

    A unified church body (Evangelicals and Catholics) can exist. However, it’s vital that the entire bible (which you Catholics through divine inspiration compiled) be used to create that perfect church.

    This means the following.

    My Christian brothers must accept the teachings and doctrines set in place by Paul and the early church. After all, the earliest church was Catholic, and there are important teachings and traditions Evangelicals need to accept within that.

    But, my Catholic brothers, you’re not free from bending a bit as well. Let’s not forget, or take for granted, the teachings of Paul and the teachings and doctrines he set in place which the Evangelical church does an excellent job of practicing.

    As we stand, and to humor you a bit in truth, Catholics are “Team Peter” and Evangelicals are “Team Paul”

    The true unified church would be a church that holds Christ at the center, and where Peter and Paul are equals, under the grace of Christ, who spoke directly to them both giving them the teachings of the church we are supposed to be today.

  13. avatar Thomist says:

    Chris says:
    February 13, 2013 at 1:48 am
    “But, my Catholic brothers, you’re not free from bending a bit as well. Let’s not forget, or take for granted, the teachings of Paul and the teachings and doctrines he set in place which the Evangelical church does an excellent job of practicing. ”

    The Catholic Church “forgets” nothing because She has been instituted by Christ as His Church with His Magisterium which safeguards and offers all of His truth by His command. There are no true “doctrines” outside of Her teaching.

    What do you have in mind?

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