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prisonchaplain

Worship in a different church

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A little over a year ago I had the opportunity to join a few 10-thousands of LDS members in worship. The church rented Safeco Field (or it may have been Centurylink), and I got an invite by one of our officers to join him and his family. President Nelson spoke, as did a few other leaders. The music was classic hymns, and the messages were delivered in a conversational style, with messaging that could easily have been accepted in most Evangelical congregations. Participants seemed so pleased to hear from church leaders live. Perhaps the most interesting aspect was that, despite the venue and presence of dignitaries, the service felt like what I suppose happens most Sundays in wards. The lack of need for special effects etc. was impressive. People went to hear leaders speak and to have church--not to be entertained or "wow-d."

So... have you ever been to a non-LDS service, and what were your impressions?

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53 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

A little over a year ago I had the opportunity to join a few 10-thousands of LDS members in worship. The church rented Safeco Field (or it may have been Centurylink), and I got an invite by one of our officers to join him and his family. President Nelson spoke, as did a few other leaders. The music was classic hymns, and the messages were delivered in a conversational style, with messaging that could easily have been accepted in most Evangelical congregations. Participants seemed so pleased to hear from church leaders live. Perhaps the most interesting aspect was that, despite the venue and presence of dignitaries, the service felt like what I suppose happens most Sundays in wards. The lack of need for special effects etc. was impressive. People went to hear leaders speak and to have church--not to be entertained or "wow-d."

So... have you ever been to a non-LDS service, and what were your impressions?

I attended an evangelical church today. Wooo! Rock band! Strobe lights! Noise! Noise! People standing and swaying to the music and clapping hands. A thinly veiled sermon on the correct political party for the upcoming election. After 3/4 hour I thanked my friend for the invite to the blessing ceremony for her young relative and I fled. And lots and lots of coffee! Coffee fumes! Coffee fumes! 

The people were exceptionally fun, kind, and interesting. Another flavour of Christianity and other than the political prompting from the pulpit, a positive experience. If the LDS decided to change the service to be similarly lively, I am sure that I would get used to it. Lovely people 💜  

 

Edited by Sunday21

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1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

A little over a year ago I had the opportunity to join a few 10-thousands of LDS members in worship. The church rented Safeco Field (or it may have been Centurylink), and I got an invite by one of our officers to join him and his family. President Nelson spoke, as did a few other leaders. The music was classic hymns, and the messages were delivered in a conversational style, with messaging that could easily have been accepted in most Evangelical congregations. Participants seemed so pleased to hear from church leaders live. Perhaps the most interesting aspect was that, despite the venue and presence of dignitaries, the service felt like what I suppose happens most Sundays in wards. The lack of need for special effects etc. was impressive. People went to hear leaders speak and to have church--not to be entertained or "wow-d."

So... have you ever been to a non-LDS service, and what were your impressions?

I went to a large church with about 4 services with 3,000+ members at each meeting. 45 minutes of a Christian rock concert, 15 minutes of various baptisms, and 30 minutes of one of the best lessons (or sermons) I have ever had. 

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Guest MormonGator

I had some friends invite me to their church, an Evangelical megachurch in Ocala. They were kind to invite me and I appreciate the offer, but I was so uncomfortable there. The "church" was like a community college. You checked in by a kiosk in the front of the church. They had a cafe and bookstore in the main building. It was incredibly strange. From their own admission the main "pastor" didn't know the majority of his flock on a one on one level. They had about six (!) associate pastors who took care of that. My friends are nice people and we are still friends but I was so uncomfortable there. 

The Baptist church I went to (our neighbors church) was totally different. The pastor actually knew the parishioners, the people were friendly and treated you like family-even if you didn't look like them or were much younger. The music was also traditional gospel and very beautiful. Had a great time at that one. 

Edited by MormonGator

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1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

So... have you ever been to a non-LDS service, and what were your impressions?

I have been to many over the course of my lifetime. My immediate family are the only Latter-day Saints in my extended family, and I've had the pleasure of attending a wide variety of different Christian worship services. Of the ones I've been to, I most enjoyed the services in the Russian Orthodox and Methodist churches. While my experiences have run the gamut of really good to really bad, I generally feel comfortable in other churches, and I frequently hear good lessons taught in them.

Edited by Midwest LDS

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I went to a few Brazilian Evangelical churches on my mission, though unfortunately I had neither the humility, open-mindedness, nor security in my own faith to recognize the services for what they meant to the congregants.  I don’t visit other congregations now, primarily for lack of time.  I may start doing it a bit in 10-20 years as life slows down. 

Most of my extended family are not Mormons, so I’ve been to Evangelical, Catholic, Lutheran,   Methodist, and Episcopal weddings (and Methodist and Baptist funerals).  The older I get the more I appreciate them; though if compelled to pick a favorite I’d have to confess myself a sucker for high church-type liturgy.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Just a couple of quick responses... coffee and coffee fumes will be staples at most Evangelical and Baptist churches. The wealthier ones have baristas, and mine, of course has the old 50-cup Folgers pot going. "Rock concert" music is very common place. The lyrics are amazingly sound, in most cases. Smaller churches will have more traditional music, or, like mine, a mixture of a couple hymns or choruses and three or four more contemporary songs. I did have a co-worker, who was not particularly religious, tell me that the large church experience seemed more like a show, and was professional, yet off-putting.  I suspect most LDS would be far more comfortable in churches that were maybe 100-800 people or so, vs. the larger ones. On the other hand, the Yoido Full Gospel Church (Seoul, Korea) has 840,000 members, yet the primary worship service happens in homes, includes much prayer, and is made up of 12-20 people. These "home cells" feed the main church, which is pretty awesome in my always humble opinion.

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2 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

The lyrics are amazingly sound, in most cases.

I've made the mistake of going to a few of the rock band services.  So far, I've only heard two types of lyrics; awful theology, and so incredibly bland that it would be hard to fit bad theology in.  As in "sin is bad, Jesus is good" was pretty much the total depth.

Now get a pianist or organist who's well versed in New Orleans jazz and a Cokesbury hymnal, and it's going to be a great service.

Edited by NightSG

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5 hours ago, NightSG said:

I've made the mistake of going to a few of the rock band services.  So far, I've only heard two types of lyrics; awful theology, and so incredibly bland that it would be hard to fit bad theology in.  As in "sin is bad, Jesus is good" was pretty much the total depth.

Now get a pianist or organist who's well versed in New Orleans jazz and a Cokesbury hymnal, and it's going to be a great service.

This megachurch barely mentioned Jesus. It was more of a place where you go to feel good on Sunday morning. Very odd experience. Very odd 

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13 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

So... have you ever been to a non-LDS service, and what were your impressions?

I have attended Catholic Mass, Episcopalian, Methodist, Presbyterian and Pentecostal services, Jewish synagogue holiday services, and a "Charismatic Christian" prayer circle. My impressions have changed over the years; currently they are that we find the same personality types in all congregations and God loves all His children. The only unsettling experience was the "Charismatic Christian" prayer circle (which my college girlfriend's parents invited us to after she was baptized) since i wasn't accustomed to several people praying at once and speaking in tongues, and I was young. I think life experience has made me a bit more comfortable in new situations (if there are any left by now! LOL :) ).

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There are a number of things I enjoy.  Science, religion, politics, history and a good story.  I do enjoy learning about and experiencing religious things.  One of the Articles of Faith says that if anything is virtuous, lovely or a good report - we seek to learn more of it.   As I travel, I like to visit religious places.  I appreciate invitations to worship with others.  The only worship services I have not accepted have been with a Satanic worship congregation and a group in the Seattle area called the "Venusian Church".

I must be honest though - I have run out of any desire to pay to enter another Traditional Christian Cathedral in Europe.   Sorry if that offends anyone.  I am the most impressed and have learned the most (about spiritual things) with Buddhists and their metative center of listening and being aware through meditation.   Many religions encourage prayer but few encourage or teach listening (especially how to listen) to divine things.  Next to Buddhists - I find Jews very enjoyable.  Not just in their Sabbath worship but as a way of living day by day and their openness to experience their culture (yes - I have been stuck in a Sabbath elevator on Saturday).

I was pleasantly surprised with the worship in an Islamic Mosque which is mostly about prayers - I was very surprised to be asked to speak  (I spoke about the natural man and the spiritual call for all to a divine nature).  It is the only worship service outside my own faith in which I was invited to speak.  It is interesting to me the in Islam a Mosque is for all to worship G-d and not a specific Islamic sect - unlike Christians that believe a church is dedicated to Catholic, Baptist or whatever.

Another event I was pleased to be a part of - followed 9/11 when local churches gathered for  -special prayer services.  But because of the culture I was raised with - I am a little put off with a come as you are attitude - flip flops and tee shirts just does not seem like Sunday best "worship" in  a upper middle class economic community.  I was impressed with a Baptist sermon where the minister asked, "If you were to be accused of being a Christian in a court of law - would there be enough evidence to convict you?".  I also like a youth speaker in my own ward that stated, "Going to church on Sunday will no more make a person a disciple of Christ than sleeping in a garage will make someone a Ford".

I am very thankful that where I choose to worship; the most common Sabbath activity is centered around an ordinance of preparation for the coming of Christ.

 

The Traveler

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I went to church with a friend once. They went on about how other churches were wrong.  They didn't talk about what they believed,  just how others were teaching wrong things. I think she told them that I was coming with her and he set out to prove how wrong our church was.  I have no plans to ever go to another church again.

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Over Labor Day weekend, I was out of town with my wife and kids.  My wife got very sick and I ended up taking her to the ER and she stayed in the hospital for a week.  On Sunday, she was in ICU and I didn't want to go to far to go to church, so I went to the Mass (my first time) they held in the hospital.  It was interesting.  I had imagined that part of it would still be in Latin.  :D I enjoyed the messages in the lessons/sermons.  

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8 minutes ago, dprh said:

I had imagined that part of it would still be in Latin.  :D

If you had gone before 1969, I believe the whole thing would have been in Latin.

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13 hours ago, NightSG said:

I've made the mistake of going to a few of the rock band services.  So far, I've only heard two types of lyrics; awful theology, and so incredibly bland that it would be hard to fit bad theology in.  As in "sin is bad, Jesus is good" was pretty much the total depth.

Now get a pianist or organist who's well versed in New Orleans jazz and a Cokesbury hymnal, and it's going to be a great service.

In my chapel services, which range from about 8-15 in attendance, we sing to CD's, using licensed lyrics. The songs put out by WOW (a mixture of popular contemporary Christian songs) and artists like Lauren Daigle have some pretty solid lyrics. It may help that we are looking at the words and singing along, since most are conditioned to hear contemporary music and assume the words are vapid.

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8 hours ago, MormonGator said:

This megachurch barely mentioned Jesus. It was more of a place where you go to feel good on Sunday morning. Very odd experience. Very odd 

BUT it was cool, right? :cool: I mean, like, the band really rocked it and you could feel an awesome vibe. Made some cool friends...and the coffee was off the charts, dude! . . .

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4 hours ago, LadyGunnar said:

I went to church with a friend once. They went on about how other churches were wrong.  They didn't talk about what they believed,  just how others were teaching wrong things. I think she told them that I was coming with her and he set out to prove how wrong our church was.  I have no plans to ever go to another church again.

If it's any consolation, that happened to me once. My aunt had a positive conversion to Christianity, and attended an independent Baptist (read: much more conservative than Southern Baptists) church less than a block from mine. So, I went one Sunday and the minister spoke quite a bit about the faults of Pentecostals. Afterwards I went up to shake his hand and thank him for discipling my aunt, and he openly told me that the message was directed at me, because he knew I was coming. So, yeah. . .

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Guest Scott

I joined the military on my 17th birthday and in the field we had non-denominational church that I went to.    I also visted the Catholic Church a few times.

I have attended Catholic services a few other times so I could see the cathedrals.

I have also participated in Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh services.  

I have also visited several other Christian churches for things like activites, daycare, pre-schools, soup kitchens, weddings, etc.   

I have been to mosque too.  

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I have attended worship services at a Methodist Church, a Non-denominational Church, Baptist Church, Lutheran Church, and some other Christian worship services but not sure the name.

My "Pa" was Methodist, and I think she would ask my parents to attend her church when we lived with her some Sundays. As a young person, eight years old, the grape juice for sacrament was awesome. I had hope we would go back every Sunday because they offered grape juice instead of water. Primary (not sure if that is what they called it) was lead by a wonderful middle-aged woman. She was very kind in teaching us about the gospel.

Lutheran services I attended once a week for two years. I attended a Lutheran private school during my middle school years. I participated in all the worship services that happened every Wednesday. Ash Wednesday I participated in receiving the ash on my forehead.

Baptist church was only for  brief 10 minutes. A friend, as we drove by the church, said, "Let's visit and worship for a moment. We went in and the people were very friendly. One of the couples in front of us noticed we did not have the Bible with us. He turned around and offered me his scriptures, and made a gesture that his wife had her so it was OK. The sermon was what I thought a Baptist sermon would be.

Any service I attended that had rock bands always interrupted the spirit. I couldn't pay attention with heavy metal playing a spiritual tune. Fingernails on chalkboard.

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Guest MormonGator
55 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

I couldn't pay attention with heavy metal playing

Son, the music they play at church-even the most progressive church-ain't heavy metal. 

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2 hours ago, Anddenex said:

Any service I attended that had rock bands always interrupted the spirit. I couldn't pay attention with heavy metal playing a spiritual tune. Fingernails on chalkboard.

Welcome to the Worship Wars. Most large churches decided a couple of decades ago that there was a crisis amongst the young, and that all efforts must be made to retain. Let the elders grit their teeth. They are mature, and can deal. We must keep the youngins! Still, as a pastor, before I would say the music interrupted the Spirit--or the worship--I would want to see what most in the congregation are doing. Are the 'rockin' to the tunes? Are they being entertained? Or...are they worshipping. It is sometimes amazing to hear music I consider a bit much, but then to see most--yes, especially the young--lifting hands to the heavens, mouthing the words, with apparent adoration of the LORD as their countenances. Then I look to the words, and often they are actually sound and solid and deep. Sometimes it is hard to discern...especially when there seem to be fingernails rubbing against chalkboards. :cool:

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Guest MormonGator
1 hour ago, Anddenex said:

Then you and I went to a different church. ;)

Indeed. One day, many years from now, I will sit you down and explain to you the difference between "heavy metal" and "stuff they play at church." 

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