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My priest announced my parish is starting the alpha program

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Fenwick, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. Fenwick

    Fenwick Faithful then, faithful now!

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    I sat on an e-mail to him expressing my disapproval but I never sent it because "who am I?"

    Alpha is protestant garbage that undermines Catholic teaching and it has no business within a mile of a Catholic parish. But this just further presses the stuff Voris was talking about in a recent video (which I'll create a separate thread for).

    I find it absolutely incredible that with all the many thousands of brilliant resources that have been produced within the confines of the Church, that any right-minded Catholic would look externally for material. I didn't make the long trek into the Catholic Church to be lead back into protestantism.

    It's OFFENSIVE.

    Now, this isn't being offered or requested of everyone, but it sounds like it's being aimed at college students and other young adults. At 32 I may or may not qualify as, not that I care.

    EDIT TO ADD:


    Criticism:

    Alpha has been criticised for a charismatic emphasis. A particular problem for non-charismatic evangelicals is what is seen as Nicky Gumbel's emphasis upon the person and work of the Holy Spirit.[citation needed] As a result, some churches have chosen to teach a different view of the Holy Spirit, although this is discouraged in Gumbel's book How to Run the Alpha Course.

    More conservative critics (especially from a Reformed and evangelical perspective) have complained that the course does not adequately define sin and therefore does not properly explain the reason for Jesus's death and resurrection.[citation needed] The alternative Christianity Explored course is an attempt to go beyond what Alpha teaches on sin.

    John Vincent of the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield has suggested that Alpha presents too narrow a version of Christianity and one too centred on what theologians have said about Jesus rather than allowing students the freedom to draw their own inspiration from studying Jesus' life and teaching. "The Alpha course, because of its didactic style, its narrow-mindedness and its closed nature, doesn't facilitate alternative views", he says. "I happen to believe it therefore leads people into a self-centred religion which is not the same as the genuine Christian discipleship."[26]

    Some Catholics have criticised the fifteen-session Alpha in a Catholic Context version of the course for being unbalanced without sufficiently presenting some Roman Catholic doctrines, which instead need to be added afterwards in additional sessions.[27]

    Alpha course - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  2. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What exactly is this Alpha Program?
     
  3. Fenwick

    Fenwick Faithful then, faithful now!

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    It's an "introductory course" to Christianity originally created by evangelical Anglicans and mostly used by evangelicals/non-denominational folk.
     
  4. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    This the link. The program is meant to share the tenets of Christianity in a comfortable setting. Our discussions were held over a shared meal. I was one of the facilitators.

    I’ve shared my experiences and the group of homeless men I ministered to through the program. Watching them turn their lives around was incredible to behold.
     
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  5. Fenwick

    Fenwick Faithful then, faithful now!

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    I grew up non-denominational evangelical and in 2006 I went checked out Alpha to see if it would be something I'd ever recommend to someone who was converting. The answer then was no, and now as a Catholic it's an even stronger one. The theology is tepid and does a disservice to the Catholic faith.
     
  6. pdudgeon

    pdudgeon Traditional Catholic

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    I've been through the Alpha program. It was forgettable. I've been through charismatic Protestant weekend retreats that were better, But the best program that I've been through was my RCIA course that used the Symbolon program (parts 1 & 2) by Augustine Institute.:oldthumbsup::oldthumbsup::oldthumbsup:
     
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  7. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In the words of C. S. Lewis, there is such a thing as "mere Christianity."

    Have you read that book, btw?
     
  8. Fenwick

    Fenwick Faithful then, faithful now!

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    I did actually, back in the summer of 2005.

    'Forgettable' is a good way of putting it. More charitable than the adjectives I use (or would use).
     
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  9. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    It's supposed to be tweaked through/to a Catholic perspective.
     
  10. pdudgeon

    pdudgeon Traditional Catholic

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    but if it needs "tweaking" in order to make it Catholic, why not just go for the real thing???

    Honestly, in trying to think of other examples of things that are specifically found in a Catholic church vs, a Protestant church, the differences in the liturgy/ beliefs that we hold in common versus things that we differ on, et cetera, trying to be inclusive on the one hand while teaching things that are diametrically opposed to each other???
    All you're doing is confusing the students so that they can't tell what is acceptable to God versus what men think is acceptable.

    That's not what RCIA is supposed to be about. RCIA should be about dispelling false teachings and giving the students a clear picture of what it really means to be a Catholic Christian.

    There is an old saying that says "You are what you eat." The same is true of the various teaching programs of RCIA.
    In other words, if you want the students to come out of RCIA as healthy, knowledgeable Catholics, the first thing you have to do is to give them good, healthy, clearly Catholic material to learn from. Not something that is a watered down hybrid, that is homogenized to make it acceptable to all, and is filled with artificial additives.

    Please! honor their wish to be Catholics, and give them material that will help them to accomplish that desire.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  11. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    At some point, you may have to decid which is more important ... preserving the "features" of you faith, ... or delivering the message of God to the dying.

    I am amazed at how "featureless" was the faith of the Apostles ...

    Jailer - "What must I do to be saved ?"

    Paul - "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, ... and you will be saved."

    How absolutely featureless ... and salvific ...
     
  12. Stabat Mater

    Stabat Mater Jesus Christ conquers! Supporter

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    Why dont we just leave protestantism to the protestants? its pretty obvious that they're better at it than we are anyway...
     
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  13. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    I remember a few years ago when Rick Warren's 'Purpose Driven Life' was making the rounds at my parish. There were even study groups. Go figure. *shrug*
     
  14. Stabat Mater

    Stabat Mater Jesus Christ conquers! Supporter

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    Well, we haven't had any shepherds since Vatican ii. Things like these are bound to happen.
     
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  15. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    I'm continually disappointed in the lack of unity and discipline in the Church. Lord have mercy.
     
  16. Lady Bug

    Lady Bug Let's get real Supporter

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    I don't want to digress into a VII discussion but judging from this one video I watched, the Church used to have way more backbone against heresy and false Protestant doctrine. Some previous Popes might have sounded harsh for today's standards but they probably wouldn't have stood for this type of stuff.
     
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  17. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    I remember one guy on-line who had just been through RCIA, and been received into the Church, asking if he had to pray the Rosary as a Catholic, as he was not comfortable praying to Mary. My mind (as a Baptist) was blown, and I wondered what the heck they actually covered in his RCIA class for him to even be struggling with this...
     
  18. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    I can speak from experience that many converts from Protestant backgrounds struggle with this regardless of sound teachings of the Church. It takes awhile to become deprogrammed. A Protestant can become a fervent Catholic and still struggle with Marian prayers. Some overcome it and others don't.
     
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  19. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't think Alpha will be a disaster for you. It all depends actually on the people who will be leading the groups. If they are solid Catholics, they can steer the discussions in a very good way. If they are themselves uncatechized they will steer the discussions to the Alpha default, which at best is C.S.Lewis' 'Mere Christianity' and at worst is meh. This too shall pass.

    What seems to work the best is an adoration chapel. Even if it isn't perpetual. See what you can do if you don't yet have one. We have for 25 years now and it has been ... miraculous. Alpha will come and go. Don't get too bent out of shape over it. Maybe you should offer to be a group leader so you can do some good around it rather than just complain about it. But do see if you can have adoration. The hours in front of Jesus are the best in my life.
     
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  20. Lady Bug

    Lady Bug Let's get real Supporter

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    I feel awkward saying this in this forum but I haven't overcome it yet. This one aspect of communion of the Saints I'm still looking into. That one part of Revelation. I have a question about it but I think it's better in its own thread.
     
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