Me and my ex-Catholic Pentacostal DIL

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Registered: 08-26-2000
Me and my ex-Catholic Pentacostal DIL
6
Tue, 06-15-2004 - 10:15pm
My stepson (who had 2 Catholic minimally practicing parents when he was growing up) married a young lady who was a cradle Catholic. She brought one child to the marriage, who my stepson plans to adopt, and they have 2 more little girls under the age of 2.

Somewhere in between meeting each other and getting married, they started going to different churches and have finally decided on an Assembly of God one. The oldest child was baptized Catholic, but the 2 girls have not been baptized at all. We have gotten past that as best we can. (though I'm not sure MIL didn't 'baptize' them in the bathtub)

We have tried talking. DH has talked to DSS, but they are happy at this church which seems to be a bunch of young families and don't feel that they are missing anything by leaving Catholicism.

Here is my thing. I would be happy just to leave the issue of religion alone. I do not agree with them, but I'm not going to change any minds at this point in the game. I am very happy with Catholicism, my children are happy at their Catholic school, and I am trying to do the best I can to impart Catholic values and traditions. I would be happy just to have a conversation about how the kids are doing, how the summer is going, etc. But EVERY conversation with her has to include what great programs they have at their church for the children, what wonderful classes and bible studies they have for the adults, what interesting things she is learning, etc.

Today she got started on how she doesn't use the bible that my stepson's mother gave to her because it is a Catholic Bible and has EXTRA books. Attempting to keep the conversation light, I said that maybe hers was MISSING some books - better to have too many, than not enough. Oh, no, she assures me, some MAN added them in.

Then the subject of Protestantism as opposed to Catholicism came up. She tells me that she's NOT Protestant - she's Pentacostal. That Protestantism was it's own denomination. Well, last I heard - Protestantism encompassed Baptists, Methodists, etc. To be honest, I'm not sure it encompasses Assemblies of God and what not, but I always THOUGHT that we were all Christian. Within Christianity, you have Catholics and Protestants. Are there other branches of Christianity that I've missed?

Do any of you deal with this sort of thing within your family? Truthfully, I'm not looking for a debate with her. I don't have all the answers (and maybe this is God's way of telling me that I need to educate myself better), but I do have some of them. She's not really interested in hearing what I say. I've gone head to head with my stepson on a few occasions and feel more comfortable doing that - but I'm not going to change any minds. I feel like I have a better chance of changing his mind, than hers. SHe is very gung-ho with her new church and spouts about how she HATED atttending Mass as a child. Her parents have also joined a "Bible based church" recently. With her, I'd just like to have a pleasant conversation about other things.

Some of the stuff that she comes up with is downright stupid - like trying to tell me that Cub Scouts was started as a Catholic organization. (Scouting came to the US by way of England, and I doubt very much that it was a Catholic organization in England.) This is significant to her because they have their own little scout-like group (Royal Rangers) through their church. Personally, I don't care. Scouting only acknowledges "duty to God".

Thankfully, we do not live near by, and when we visit, we find a Catholic church to attend, while they do their thing.

So I guess to summarize:

1. Why do we have extra books/why do they have missing books?

2. Am I right about Christians being either Catholic or Protestant?

3. How do you deal with this in your family if you've had similar experiences?

Karen

 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 9:07am

First I'd give her a wide bearth since AoG is very new to her and their members are very enthusiastic and infectious.

"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." - Thomas Jeff

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 06-18-2004 - 10:36am
1. About the missing books: when the Church established the Canon, it included some books in the Old Testament that were inspired writings and deemed to be worthy of inclusion, but that are not in the Jewish Torah, for various reasons. The Protestant Old Testament contains all the books in the Torah, but rejected the other books in the Catholic Bible.

2. While I (and you, and probably most Catholics) divide the Christian world into Catholics and Protestants -- because at one time all Christians were Catholic until some "protested" and left the Church, eventually spawning all the other denomonations we have today -- I think some demoninations consider Protestants to be those belonging to denomonations that were formed during the Protestant Reformation (e.g. Lutheran, Methodist, etc.) and don't include those formed later. A third group would be the Orthodox, whom I don't consider Protestant.

3. As for how to deal with it, it sounds like you're doing just fine. Just make it clear to her that you're happy with her faith and help her come to the conclusion that she can't change your decision. You can also tell her about the programs at your church, just to balance the conversation. You may also want to do some research about Catholicism -- sometimes we learn things as children, and then never get the chance to revisit them when we have the life experience and higher understanding of an adult. The result is that many Catholics forget how to defend their faith when they get in these situations. Someone says, "well, you believe this" and we say, "No, not really..." but then are at a loss of how to explain what we DO believe.

Good luck.

Polly

Avatar for mending
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2003
Tue, 06-22-2004 - 12:29am
I also, think you get a more in-depth study of the way Catholics believe, as opposed to the simpler version of the common Christian, by reading the Deutero-Canonicals/

Apocrypha. I never have really studied the Catholic Bible, just because I didn't relate it to the commonwealth in my church attendance. Just reading a summarized version at http://netbible.bible.org/ I think the Catholic Study Bible has even better readings that anyone can sink their minds into. Helps me to understand the reasoning behind the way Catholics think in my own family, at least, better (such is my common sense!)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Fri, 06-25-2004 - 2:04pm
these are very short summations of long and involved answers!

1. Why do we have extra books/why do they have missing books?

The books of the bible in which the Catholics call canonical are from the Septuagint the Greek translation of the bible. The early church used this collection of books because Christianity was spreading through the Greek speaking world, those gentiles turning to Jesus. At the same time as the Septuagint the Jews whether Christian or not used only the Hebrew translation of the bible. In short some of the books in our bible were written in Greek and not in Hebrew. Now to answer your question: At the time of Luther and his protest of the Church, he declared that the only books of the bible that should be recognized as canonical are the ones from the Hebrew Bible. So the protestant bible is based on Luther’s protest of what books should be recognized as truly inspired by God.



2. Am I right about Christians being either Catholic or Protestant?

There are Christian churches that are not Protestant. The Orthodox Church or Eastern Church is the best example. A good way to gauge whether a church is in protest look at how they used the Bible, if the bible used does not include the books first written in Greek than most likely they are in protest of the Catholic Church, whether they know it or not.

3. How do you deal with this in your family if you've had similar experiences?

The turning away from the Catholic Church is very common. When someone does not understand the teachings of the church or its history, strict bible based churches are a way of coming closer to God. It may sound silly but some people need rules. When looked at literally the Bible gives you very strict rules to live your life according to God. My point is if someone turns away from the church to seek God in other Christian churches let them they will most likely come to understand Jesus and his relationship with his followers through his sacrifice on Good Friday and return on Easter is best lived out in the eucharistic teachings of the Church. If they have any sense, they will recognize what the Church truly has to offer.

Best of Luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 06-27-2004 - 8:37am
More on the books?

"The books of the bible in which the Catholics call canonical are from the Septuagint the Greek translation of the bible. The early church used this collection of books because Christianity was spreading through the Greek speaking world, those gentiles turning to Jesus. At the same time as the Septuagint the Jews whether Christian or not used only the Hebrew translation of the bible. In short some of the books in our bible were written in Greek and not in Hebrew. Now to answer your question: At the time of Luther and his protest of the Church, he declared that the only books of the bible that should be recognized as canonical are the ones from the Hebrew Bible. So the protestant bible is based on Luther’s protest of what books should be recognized as truly inspired by God. "

"At the same time as the Septuagint the Jews whether Christian or not used only the Hebrew translation of the bible"

The version of this story that I've read is slightly different. What I've read is that the Jews in Jesus' area, including Jesus, were using the Septuagint.

At around 100 AD, decades after Jesus was crudified, Jews decided to go exclusively with the Hebrew version - with fewer books.

OT references in the NT are taken from the Septuagint.

Luther didn't like some of the OT books, because they support Catholic theology. So, he went with the Hebrew OT, claiming that it was more valid because it's what the Jews use. However, in Jesus' time, and in that area, it was the Sep. that was used. Some say that the Jews' settling on the Hebrew version (with fewer books), was in part a repsonse to Christianity, because the Christian argument for Jesus as Christ is supported in those books. Also supported in those books is the idea of Purgatory and praying for the dead. Luther, in repsonse to abuses of indulgences, rejected the idea of Purgatory all together, and of course, denying that the part of the Sep. that supports it was invalid.

Anyway, can someone help me out here. Was the Sep. used before and at the time of Jesus, or was it a later translation?

Joan

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Mon, 06-28-2004 - 8:43am
According to all of the sources I have read the Septuagint was used prior to and during the time of Jesus and was ommitted later for all of the reasons you cited.

"Bitter people never prosper."

"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." - Thomas Jeff