I decided to attend some Christian services. One of which was held at a local Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church, the other was held at a Roman Catholic Church.
First thing is to briefly summarize some key points of the SDA religion. It is a Protestant Christian denomination most often distinguished by its practice of observing the sabbath on a Saturday, instead of on a Sunday like most other Christian denominations.
Formally established in 1863 it formed out of the Millerite movement in the United States following the teachings of Ellen G. White. It is similar to most other Christian denominations with regard to the belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ, the trinity, and the infallibility of the Bible as the word of god.
Aside from its Saturday observance, it is distinguished by a belief in the unconscious state of the dead, a doctrine of investigative judgment, an emphasis on diet and health, culturally conservative principles, and its promotion of religious liberty.
The Roman Catholic Church is the first Christian church and traces its own origins to the community of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, more specifically Peter.
Like other Christian faiths this organization is similar in its belief in the holy trinity, the divinity of Jesus Christ, belief in one omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipresent god, salvation through the teachings of Jesus, and an emphasis of love and charity to others.
It is different from other Christian Protestant faiths in some other insignificant differences that aren't worth reviewing now.
Now, back to my experience. First the SDA service, it started out just like any other religious service. Various individuals, whom I assume to be people of power or influence within the organization, made a point to welcome me. I also assume this will be so that I am encouraged to attend again. There was singing, a march of children that disseminated into the congregation and requested money so that they could continue to run their youth program, there was a quotation taken from the Bible, there was a sermon, and there was another collection of tithe.
All in all, it seemed like any other Christian church but to be fair, I have not attended a religious service in quite some time so I could be mistaken in that regard.
What I found unfortunate was the sermon. The pastor preached about "God's Amazing Zoo". He (of course it would be a man at the head of the church) explained that god was so amazing because he had created, through intelligent design, a vast array of creatures that were to be cared for.
He explained how before, that infernal woman Eve condemned us all to lives of sorrow, the people lived alongside the animals. He spoke of how Adam and Eve could ride atop the backs of lions, bison, bears, and even giraffes. He even explained that there was no such thing as predation among god's creatures. I shudder to think how many young impressionable minds believed what he was saying.
After this service the organization hosted a lunch, which I understand happens after every service. People ate and talked. The pastor even came to my table and commented on how great it was for him to see the church's future leadership sitting together. I hadn't thought of it at the time but that may have been a joke because currently women may not take the position of an ordained minister, and I was sitting with women.
I'll write about my Roman Catholic experience next time.