Friday, December 30, 2005

Shopping for Church

A NYTimes story about (evangelical) Protestant young people who shop around for a church that fits their wants:

Emily and her parents, who are evangelical Christians, say her decision to
attend the megachurch, New Life, reveals the strength of her faith and the
profoundly individual spiritual course each believer follows.

"I saw that my parents' relationship to Christ and my relationship to
Jesus Christ were different, and my kids aren't going to relate to Jesus Christ
the same way we do," said Emily's mother, Tracy Hoogenboom, 49. "And that's to
be expected because Jesus Christ is your own personal lord and savior."

It remains unclear how many Christians attend several churches
regularly. Most young people who go outside their family church are Protestants,
from mainline denominations and evangelical churches alike. Some are from
mixed-religion marriages, Mr. Smith said, but many go simply because a second
church appeals to them.

It's good that these young people are looking for an authentic relationship with Christ. The thing they need to ask themselves is, "Is this church providing me with what Christ wants for me, or what I want from Christ?"

There is some Catholic shopping of parishes - mainly to find good homilists, but also out of liturgical concerns. But the beauty of the Catholic faith is that you can go anywhere is the world on any day and hear the same readings and participate in the same mystery.