December 3, 2020

Real Differences Between Catholics and Evangelicals

My wife spent an hour in the sanctuary today contemplating the Eucharist.

I spent an hour in the sanctuary fixing the projector.


  1. God bless you for being able to keep your sense of humor, Michael. Really.

  2. Michael:

    I’ve been Catholic all my life, and I can assure you that the priests are much happier when I’m fixing something than when I’m just doing Eucharistic “adoration.” Women can get away with the latter much easier. 😉


  3. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    No, that’s the difference between The Sons of Mary and The Sons of Martha, by Rudyard Kipling.

  4. Heh.

  5. This time I actuall laughed out loud.
    You crack me up.
    Usually it takes me to crack me up.

  6. Too, Too funny!!!

  7. Hahaha—I assume you were both in the sanctuary during the same hour. I think it’s nice that you were there, each doing your own thing, but with each other.

    Sometimes it seems like if my husband and I didn’t do different things together, we’d hardly ever do anything together.

  8. Bry McClellan says

    I spent an hour in a small Episcopal church contemplating the Eucharist. There is no need for a projector or sound system in this church which can be so distracting. There are just a few people there for this early service and all were gathered for one reason. I go here to prepare myself for the noisy chaotic atmosphere of the Baptist Church that I have been a member of for 30 years. I get little from the Baptist service but that is probably my fault. I have the belief system of a Baptist but the heart for worship of an Episcopal. What is one to do but attend two churches?

  9. Here’s a real difference that made me want to weep instead of laugh.

    The author is Greg Kandra, who is a deacon of the Catholic Church in Queens, NY, and also, in his day job, a producer of Katie Couric’s programs at CBS-TV. Some great stuff over at his blog sometimes, but this wasn’t one of those times (for me).

  10. Sorry, that should be deacbench, not deaconsbench….

  11. Dan Crawford says

    Michael, thanks for the best laugh in a month.

  12. I find it amazing that Catholics can find so much meaning and devotion in such a quiet, simple ceremony like eucharistic adoration, but evangelicals need PowerPoint, DVD sound-bites, YouTube viral videos, and MTV-style worship videos. It has all become so complex. And it results in sensory overload – flooding the senses with neuron triggers, but to no particular end or ultimate meaning.

    Either way, the Quakers are probably laughing their heads off.

    There’s a George Carlin skit in this somewhere (a la baseball vs. football).

    Knowing your situation, it probably feels more like a scene out of the movie, “Ladyhawke”.

    God’s blessings.

  13. Dude, you have a Servant’s Heart.

  14. Memphis Aggie says

    Read the Deacon’s homily Bob – and liked it but thought it was more proper for today than yesterday. Yesterday was “The Exaltation of The Cross” and Mary’s part is taken up today in the Feast of “Our Lady of Sorrows”. As Catholic devoted to Mary I think you have a good case that devotion to her goes too far whenever it interferes with the glorification of Christ. The Deacon here used a feast day of Christ to focus on Mary, and in that context I think it’s a fair critique.

    In fact that’s how all Marian visions and practices are judged: do they point to Christ? Do they bear good fruit? Just last week the Vatican imposed an heavy penalty on a priest associated with a recent Bosnian Marian vision that’s had positive results. These visions are always watched closely and regarded as potentially false. St John of the Cross warned against such visions.

    In general Marian practices do occasionally go too far , but the Church polices the worst excesses, and offers guidance on it that’s clear.

  15. Memphis Aggie says

    Oops that Bosnian Marian vision has NOT had positive results – That’s what I meant to say

  16. Well, Michael, St. Benedict did say “Laborare est orare” 🙂

  17. Wasn’t it Karl Barth who said something along the lines of, “Wherever there is Marian adoration the church of Jesus Christ ceases to exist?”

    Dumb Ox, we are not laughing our heads off, we’re just shaking our heads in wonder at it all. Remember in the O.T. God spoke to Elijah with a still small voice. How can you hear the still small voice with all that noise/distraction?

  18. Christopher Lake says

    Dumb Ox,

    As a Reformational Protestant who doesn’t like to identify as an evangelical (because of the baggage in many peoples’ minds), I think that a lot of the “sensory overload” in church services today has to do with the abandonment (or simple rejection) of the regulative principle of worship. Why, oh, why can’t evangelicals look to the Bible for the content of their church services?? It would do away with so much current silliness….

  19. Aliasmoi, if we adored Mary, you’d be right.

    We venerate her, which is a different matter. But I’m not interested in fighting the battles of the 16th century all over again; just want to say it looks different from this side of the glass.

  20. Even Theologians like Karl Barth can be wrong after all only the Pope is infalable 😉

    He was also quoted as saying “This proves the infallibility of the Pope.” after hearing that Pius XII had paid tribute to his work.

    It is impossible to think of Mary without the reason for her veneration, and that is Jesus Christ.

  21. I’d just like to point out that Karl Barth, on a lot of subjects (like Christian ethics!), is That Dude.

  22. Aliasmoi:

    Agreed. I have the utmost respect for Quakers. At one particular fork in the road I passed in recent years, I seriously considered that path. I’m way too tacticle to be a good Quaker. I like “Smell and Bells”, but I would clarify that I don’t need them. I think so much of the audio-visual stuff has become mandatory. How can small churches compete? A good sound system, a video projector, and a computer system (and having someone who knows what they are doing to run all of it) is a lot of overhead for any church – let alone a congregation of 60-100 members. The church I grew up in had an organ and a little PA system with one microphone on the pulpit and one on the lectern).

    This may be off-topic, but here’s an article which might get people thinking. It’s called “Analog Powerpoint” by Bob Pease, who is a columnist with Electronic Design magazine. It obviously has nothing to do with theology, but everything to do with communication:

    And this is a follow-up comment from one of his readers, who describes how a drawing on the back of a drink coaster drew more attention than a conference full of Powerpoint presentations:

    I agree with the need for Biblically-based worship. I think the problem begins when we start thinking the answer lies inside the technology or rituals, rather than in scripture and the Spirit-lead heart and head. I’m not a positivist nor a Montanist, but I’m also not a skeptic; I’m still sorting out the difference.

  23. ha! this should be a series.

  24. The reason I always prefered small churches (and now a small meeting) is because of the absence of bells and whistles. When I lived in Richmond, I went to a church where the worship team was one guy with a guitar. But, it right from his heart. Therefore, it was beautiful. Also, it feels like it matters whether or not I show up.

  25. That made me laugh out loud, Michael.

    But, really, aren’t both those things actions of love? We need each other. 🙂

  26. There really isn’t that much difference: your projector is simply a Protestant sacramental. 🙂

  27. I use the projector for our liturgy at the traditional service, including the scripture for the sermon. No movies, etc.

    I wouldn’t go too hard on it. It’s in a good cause.

  28. Projectors are great, I love to use them to introduce the baptists I pastor to the concept of liturgy (they think they don’t have any…sigh). I also use it to illustrate the sermon – which means I have to spend less time illustrating points. It’s helpful.

    But if the thing blows up (and, actually, that did happen to us once) I deliberately prep worship so that we don’t skip a beat.

    Now if my liturgical introductions can just be used by the Spirit to make people long to celebrate the Eucharist every time we gather for worship I’d be very happy…

  29. Sorry, I got carried away with generalizations…again. I figured you had an honorable intent with the projector. I’m not a technophobe; I never meant to imply that things like projectors don’t have their place…I just…ok, shutting up.

  30. Heh. I spent four hours today buying loose leaf notebooks, folders, and other sorts of supplies, splitting them up among the Sunday School teaachers, and then organizing the curriculum grade by grade. I’m so tired I’d gladly skip church tomorrow, but I meeting with said Sunday School teachers right after the service, to conduct teacher training and orientation.

    I hope I stay awake during the sermon.

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