After experiencing a new environment in the religion aspect, I found that nondenominational is not that much different from catholic. Crossroads Church in Mason is a nondenominational church. This type of church is for “anyone who wants to seek God from those exploring whether or not God even exists, to committed Christ followers”. The church itself presents biblical truth as well as shows how they apply to an everyday life. Oakley Crossroad Church is located at 990 Reading Road. Mason, Ohio 45040. After conducting deeper research, I found out that Crossroads Churches are spread locally in Ohio. Attending the service, I did not feel like an outcast. The presence of the people was so companionable and comprehensive. It is truly an experience I will not forget because I grasped so much information that I will talk about. Crossroads moto is “Whatever your thoughts on church, whatever your beliefs about God, you are welcome here”. I found this saying to be captivating because it is relatable to a lot of people. Majority of the population does not know where they stand in regards with religion so it is warming to know that they do have a place where they can meet with each other and feel accepted.
The similarities that the catholic faith and the nondenominational faith share are shockingly close. Both religions believe that there is one God and that he is the only person they should follow. Another similarity is that the sacraments they receive could be during any time period of their life. Catholics typically baptize their children during the first six months of their lives. While the nondenominational church is not so strict on this belief they still go through the holy communion process. The reasoning behind going through with the sacraments are different. Catholics believe it to be a literal sense of getting to feeling of the body of Christ, while on the other hand the nondenominational approach these actions as more symbolic. The meaning of that is the nondenominational people are accepting the fact that Christ in fact did die on the cross for the sins of the people. Catholics use the word ‘God” in services as a more biblical term but nondenominational use the term with less biblical references. Another similarity is that they believe in the life after death and that they will go on after death to live in the world their soul corresponds with. Surprisingly, even though this is a similarity this is also a critical difference between the two. A nondenominational church believes the way a person gets into heaven is through believing in your heart that Jesus came down and died for your sins, and by praying to God that you accept Jesus Christ into your heart. The way Catholics believe that they get into heaven is through confessing your sins and through doing good in the society. Nondenominational and Catholics share the belief that the birth of Jesus was how he was conceived by Mary.
Although the similarities they share are more on the faith itself their differences do not compare. A nondenominational church focused more on the message of being a simplified version of other churches. Denominations of Christianity are just branches of the bigger tree which would be Catholicism. A nondenominational church is not part of a larger denomination but they do go by a variation of names and piggy back off of many beliefs (compellingtruth.org). Catholics would say that they were the authentic religion and were founded in the year 33 (allaboutreligion.org). With that being said, a nondenominational faith was not started until years much later. The reasoning for that is because majority of the population were not sure of going to church or felt as if it was a necessity. As of right now the number of nondenominational churches continues to grow and spreads all around the country. More of the population are speaking out about their religious faith and where they stand with God in life (themonestary.org). With the more public awareness of this type of faith the churches tend to get bashed and torn apart because of how different they are in comparison to other religions.
After getting the first-hand experience at Crossroad, I learned that the basics of religion for them does not have to start from the bible. In comparison, to Catholicism the religion bases their whole services and prayers around the bible. For example, if a catholic church would have discussed a service with someone passing they would have to follow the structure of the bible and get the message across to the people. Crossroads would have handled the situation differently. They would have stuck with the feelings of the person and genuinely grieved with them through the process. Crossroads is very distinctive structural when I walked in I noticed a welcoming and unintimidating environment. The Crossroads in Mason was a in an area that almost looked like it was made for a concert or small stadium. Compared to the church I attend back home, St. Gabriel’s, I am used to seeing crosses all around the walls, stained glass murals, pictures of Jesus and the 12 disciples. Crossroads churches are welcoming and accepting of all religions they are not so strict on the formal word of God in comparison to your typical Catholic church. I found it peculiar that in a nondenominational church that they do not address their prayers directly to Mother Mary but instead they pray collectively. The religions do have more differences but share similarities because the nondenominational branches off of Catholicism.
Being in my comfort zone has really forced me to reach out and experience a new religion. I learned so much about a nondenominational faith and their beliefs. I had to accept other people for what they are and who they believ11e in. After spending a weekend engaging and getting myself out there about the religion I enjoyed it. It is not as structured and in depth as I am used too but it is a possibility for other people out there. If someone is not into a strict religion I would highly recommend to them to check the place out. The services are high energy with a lot of motivation and empowerment that the speaker goes into. Excitingly, the communities are close and are accepting of a new member. Although, I enjoyed the immersion experience at a nondenominational I prefer the Catholicism faith and will continue my journey down there.
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