Re: What kinds of churches do any of you go to?
Date: June 02, 2010 11:50AM
I have returned to the church of my childhood, Roman Catholic, which is dangerous because there are a lot of little cults inside that big umbrella, (especially among the retreat groups) but I have found a solid traditional Latin Mass and that has a lot of cult-protection built in. Traditional Catholics are not big on huggie-feely stuff.
The old Liturgy is not designed to affect emotions, in fact you have to work at participating. (The old tradition does not include the "sign of peace", for example, which the new Mass has imported from Protestant denominations) So it doesn't overwhelm with some of the cultic elements that can crop up in liturgies that are made up by modern people who may have their own agendas.
The present Pope has emphasized that this old Mass is legitimate and so there is no need to seek out one of the odd little groups that exist on the fringe of the Church claiming to have the sole Truth about this. (Some of them are cultic.)
I only recently became brave enough to enroll in a prayer group. My first effort at rejoing the Church was a disaster. I had enrolled in a Catechism class that turned out to be a total personality cult of a real nut-job. I got into such a knock-down drag-out fight over it that the Priest had to use a sermon to call off the lynch mob since this guy had quietly built himself a following and he was using them to block "conventional" Catholics from returning to the Church. (all us chickens who got caught up in the sixties cults are coming home to roost, now, *LOL*)
But this time everything is more peaceful. I watched the prayer group leader carefully for the first few classes and I noticed that he does not veer from the material in the books and our prayer is structured. (we study a certain Saint, read the relevant assigned portions of the Bible and the Catechism, and recite the set of prayers together for about ten minutes at the close of the hour-long class. No leader-guru games, etc. Very safe.) I looked into his background and he is a former policeman who went into ministry, and I noticed he does not push people to relate to each other.
I think this is a good method for many people: seek out a recognized Church that is related somehow to your natural heritage, and look for accountable structure and non-manipulative leadership in any activity you decide to join.