A Question I Was Asked:

Can My Healed Father Attend Catholic Mass?

...My father has been healed and commented to me that he would like to go to Catholic mass to thank God about his improved condition, he also accepts going to meetings with our own Biblical brothers and sisters, but would his going to Catholic mass be a sin for us? .... I also want your opinion on ecumenism. As you know, in the past some Protestants have got together to have talks with the Roman Catholic Pope, but also [in some cases] with Jewish people and also with moslems? Thanks a lot for your explanations to me.

UK Apologetics Reply:

Regarding your father, if my understanding is correct, he would not even be allowed to take part in their mass service as a non-Catholic (unless Roman Catholic practices differ in your country to mine). All you can do is to try to explain to your father that Catholic mass, while unquestionably a sincere act for thousands, is a step back in understanding for a Protestant. We have many articles which explain how and why this is so. Your father might still go. Allow him to go without reproach. It might be an interesting experience for him. But you might try to explain to your father that he was healed by God - but within Protestantism - because of the will of God, and the faith of several Protestants; therefore God would surely now expect him to deepen his Bible knowledge within that context, i.e., Protestantism.

For similar reasons, Ecumenism is not a good thing. It is an attempt to be friendly with Roman Catholicism, but why? God is able to look down from Heaven and evaluate us all and where we stand with Him in our own sphere of understanding. It does not matter that we have different denominational names. Ecumenism, on the other hand, is an attempt for certain (very liberal) Protestants (almost always Anglicans) to get back on friendly terms with the pope and hope he might accept them, but maybe in a different manner. We should not be concerned with what the pope thinks of us but what God thinks of us! Protestantism separated from Catholicism for very valid biblical and doctrinal reasons. Nothing has changed there. These people - to my way of thinking - seem to feel that it is more important to be friendly with the pope than with God.

Regarding moslems, there is no possibility of a change there until they themselves change their opinion of us and stop viciously persecuting Christians which they are doing at this very moment in several countries. Islam might loosely accept the Old Testament and even accept Jesus as a prophet but their rejection of Him as Messiah and Saviour of the world means that the two religions have irreconcilable differences.

Similarly, Judaism is a different religion and we just have to accept this fact. True, we use some of the same Scriptures (Old Testament), but not all (they, of course, reject the New Testament). There is no reason why we can't be friendly with Jews - or members of any other religion - in our own communities, but as regards religion and religious observance, we must remain faithful to our Christian calling. I'm afraid that Ecumenism always has been a compromise position only supported by liberals. The truly biblical Christian, in my opinion, should have no connections with it.

Robin A. Brace. July 25th, 2014.