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Love

“I’m Baptist, He’s Catholic…Should I Take It Further?”

I actually have a genuine frustration I’m struggling with right now and I have no idea what path to follow. So, I like this guy. We’ve been close friends for years, but I’m Baptist and he’s Catholic. We both have pretty much the same beliefs in God and Jesus, and both strive to follow Christ, but my parents tell me that there’s such a big difference between the Baptist and Catholic religions that it wouldn’t be right for us to get together. Would it be wrong if I told him I like him? Because I’m kind of starting to think he likes me back, and I don’t know what to do or if it would be wrong. I mean, we’re not serious or anything, it’s just a crush, but I don’t want to take it any further if I’m not 100% certain that it’s going to be okay with God.

Girl, this is one tough position to be in!

Scripture is clear about not being yoked with unbelievers, but both Catholics and Baptists are believers, right? And when it comes to two different Christian faiths, I feel that it can work out, but only if you come together in unity regarding your faith. But what does that mean?

Your parents are correct. While some Christian denominations have few differences in their beliefs, Baptists and Catholics are way different. And if both you and your crush are strong in your faiths, this could cause conflict. Baptists and Catholics share some similarities, such as the Trinity and salvation through grace alone, but they differ when it comes to baptism, communion, confession, and so many other things. And all these issues would affect marriage. For example, it puts into question the church you get married in, the church you attend on Sundays, the way you bring up your children, the schools they may go to and so on.

The reality is that in order to make this work, someone has to sacrifice their faith for a future spouse. Are you willing to do that? Is he? Or will you both become indifferent toward your own faiths just so it doesn’t cause conflict in your relationship? These are things you need to think about before “taking it further” with anyone of a different denomination. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that it couldn’t work. People do it all the time…but with a lot of sacrifice.

Anyway, here’s what I think you should do.

  1. Determine what kind of relationship you’re looking for and if you’re ready for it. Dating should be the first phase in meeting your spouse. Anything less is just a complicated situation that usually ends with someone getting hurt.
  2. Learn more about the Catholic faith. Doing so will give you a better understanding of the differences between your faith and his. Catholicscomehome.com is a great resource for learning more about Catholicism.
  3. Understand that within a marriage, spouses should be united in their decisions, and faith plays a huge role in these decisions.
  4. If you’re still interested and you think you could make it work, discuss it further with your parents. They will likely offer you insight about the situation in a way you may not have considered.
  5. Learn more about your crush and his faith. How important is it to him?
  6. Take your time. You’re still young, so you should really take the time to know your crush better before considering taking a friendship further. This applies even if you and he were the same denomination!

Good luck and God bless!

Need some advice? Ask your relationship questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!

Image: Project Inspired

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32 Comments

  1. bandgirl

    Posted by bandgirl on June 6, 2015 at 17:51

    Well girl, I’m a pentecostal pastor’s daughter and have been interested in a Catholic guy before. The pentecostal denomination I am part of is very much like the Baptist. It didn’t last long at all because of the major differences in opinion. However my aunt is catholic and happily married to a Baptist…it really depends on if you can work out the differences in my opinion. That beings said, if your parents aren’t comfortable with it then honoring them and their opinion comes above everything else.

  2. wakeamy1995

    Posted by wakeamy1995 on June 6, 2015 at 05:19

    Um….Catholics do not believe in Salvation by grace alone. That’s the largest discrepancy between the Baptist and Catholic faith. Catholics believe in works-based salvation, that you have to do good deeds coupled with your faith and God’s grace to get into heaven.

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on June 6, 2015 at 15:30

      Hi Amy…just to clarify, Catholics do believe in salvation by Grace alone. They believe that works are important because God created us to perform them, but Catholics don’t believe that doing good works gets them to heaven. Just wanted to share that with you. You may also be interested in the post http://www.projectinspired.com/5-truths-about-good-works/ Blessings, TMG

  3. LeannahBanana

    Posted by LeannahBanana on March 24, 2015 at 19:48

    My Aunt was raised as a Baptist, and married a Catholic man. For the first 14 years of her oldest son’s life, my two cousins were raised Baptist as well, since my Uncle was away with the Army for the majority of those years. After my Grandma, her Mom, died, my uncle got PTSD and my youngest two cousins were born (11 years after her former youngest), my Aunt was persuaded by my Uncle’s parents to switch over to the Catholic church full-time, to raise the younger two kids. Unfortunately, as a result, her oldest son, James, became very confused, and refused to believe anything anymore. Since they settled 4 hours away from where I lived, I couldn’t always bring James and Carla (his sister, not the little ones) to my church. James still refuses anything to do with the Catholic lifestyle, and he’s fallen off the path almost completely. Luckily, they recently moved closer to me. My Aunt is still confused as to what she believes because of this. The moral I learned from all of this is one that cannot be stressed enough – Don’t get into a committed relationship with a person unless your initial foundation of beliefs has been settled. As in planted, smoothed out, and dried sufficiently. While opposites attract, don’t let anyone (especially a boy) compromise what you believe.

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by taitertot27 on March 24, 2015 at 15:24

    If you guys are open minded and willing to ask questions about what you believe, then I think it can work. Before you do anything, my advice is to really pray about it. If you feel like God might be leading you to this person, then my advice is to answer all the tough questions first before starting a relationship.
    I am a Catholic and I dated a nondenominational Christian for almost two years. Long story short, we rushed into the relationship without talking about any potential issues that could arise. For a while things were great. We read scripture together and prayed together. Little did I know that the entire time we were together, he was trying to get me to leave my own faith and start going exclusively to his church. He had been brought up to believe many misconceptions about Catholicism, and thought he was “saving” me from false doctrine. We are no longer friends, and while I still get sad thinking about it sometimes I definitely learned that should I pursue a relationship with a non-Catholic, we need to really take our time and I need to know that he will be more supportive and understanding of what I believe.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by Soccerfan99 on March 24, 2015 at 09:47

    My moms Catholic, my dads Christian though he was raised Catholic. They got married in a Catholic Church. Sunday mornings we attend our Covenant church and Sunday night my mom, little sister and I attend a catholic one. My little even is a alter server, she helps the priest during mass. I view myself a Christian, but I am currently working on doing my first communion and confirmation with a Catholic Church. Yes, my parents argue over who’s religion is right about what but they love each other and they know where to stop with the arguing

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Soccerfan99 on March 24, 2015 at 09:53

      I also meant to put that my parents have been together for more than 13 years and married for 9. I mean, pray about it, see what God says. Idk how great the difference between Baptist and Catholic is but once again pray. I think it might help if you talked to your crush about it, see how he feels and what he thinks.

  6. gracegirl7

    Posted by gracegirl7 on March 23, 2015 at 21:32

    I have recently gone through a similar situation. I had a crush on a Mormon guy and I did not know a lot about the religion about after researching it I learn how the LDS religion beliefs really contradicts the bible and how their beliefs appose Christianity and how they decipher the actual meaning of the bible to fit their beliefs in the Book of Mormon . After researching their religion I realized that guy was not the kind of guy God intended for me to date and I may not know it now but God has a guy for me for me who will strive to bring me closer to him and instead of bringing me away from him.

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by PSALMS_27 on September 29, 2014 at 23:46

    Honestly my view is it depends on their faith personally like honestly a lot of the comments aren’t looking at everyone but one person they knew I know a few Catholics who asked Jesus as their savior me and my boyfriend do incredible in our faith we talk about religion all the time and I am fully Baptist and he is Catholic so like I said everyone is different he even comes to church with me in youth group every other week he alternates and he loves my church and is always excited to learn more he is a strong Christian who Is continuing to grow in his faith so everyone is different it just depends who God places for you at what time and how long they are meant to be there for but so far and I’ve talked to him everyday for ages we are doing incredible in our walk with God we pray, talk about God and our views on what we agree on, go to youth together and live a Christian based relationship and we couldn’t be better 🙂 it depends how committed he is in his personal walk with Jesus in my opinion

  8. pinkkitty523

    Posted by pinkkitty523 on July 18, 2014 at 18:01

    Oh! My brother dated a Catholic and we grew up Baptist, I would say it’s totally fine as long as you feel that’s what God wants right now.

  9. Grace_F

    Posted by Grace_F on May 2, 2014 at 15:11

    There is a big difference. I would talk to him about it, because he’s probably struggling with it too. Also, dating is for potential marriage right? So think about how you want your kids to be raised, and take into account his feelings too 🙂

    Being Catholic, if I was in that situation(but the guy was Baptist) I would not take it further

  10. Trinity

    Posted by Trinity on April 26, 2014 at 17:38

    Personally, when I tried it it didn’t work out. But that had a lot to do with who he was as opposed to his religion.

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by sunshine954 on April 25, 2014 at 13:22

    If I were put in this situation, I’d go for it! I’m not big on being Christian (I’ve skipped half of Mass on Easter Sunday with my mom) and I’d feel fine about giving up being a Catholic. But even if you are big on being Christian, you can still date him for a while. If you can’t sacrifice your religion and he can’t sacrifice his, you break up.

  12. desiree_moriah

    Posted by desiree_moriah on April 24, 2014 at 20:10

    So I’m Pentecostal and my boyfriend is from a Calvary chapel.. My parents thought they believed the same we did but after visiting a few times and having talks with my boyfriend we found that there were a few things that we didn’t believe the same.. We were together for over a year and I ended it. My parents told me I should , and it took a long while before I did. We chose to remain friends but I know he still has hope of being together one day. I don’t know what to say.. Honestly I want to be able to with him but my parents don’t approve and honestly I do wanna be with someone who’s into church and believes like me. He is very involved because he’s a pastors kid. He does loves The Lord.. But our beliefs arnt the same. Now if he’s somewhere I can’t go because my parents won’t let me for fear I’m gonna go back with him. I hear all the time “he’s not for me”.. I understand but I don’t. I wish my parents would have more trust and I wish I knew how to tell him that we probably won’t have that type of future together no matter how my we want it. Were friends now and I like that.. But he still has hope and my parents have a weird thing with him. I don’t want to lose my bestfriend (him) but I don’t want to hurt him either. What should I do?:,(

  13. ShanellElise

    Posted by ShanellElise on April 5, 2014 at 19:48

    I’m going to have to disagree with this post because i know of Catholics who are saved. As in they pray to Jesus and not to Mary. So it depends on the Catholic.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by ivyandroses on April 13, 2014 at 16:47

      All Catholics pray to Jesus. It is understand that all Catholics will keep a healthy prayer life with God, preferably every day. It is required to pray at least on Sundays in the form of the mass. You simply cannot call yourself a practicing Catholic if you do not pray to Jesus on a regular basis; it is part of being any Christian, and especially part of being Catholic.

      We also pray with Mary (not to Mary). We don’t ask her to grant us anything, only God can do that. We ask her to pray for us to God, because she is His Blessed Mother. We believe that her prayers are the most powerful, since Jesus honored her as his mother, and so we ask if she can intervene for us to God. At the end of the day, the prayer is for God, but if the Blessed Mother of God supports your cause, the prayer is so much more powerful.

      Just to clear up any misconceptions. 🙂

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by lilawe on March 23, 2015 at 22:45

        Thank you ivyandroses you put it very nicely! And totustuus, just by your username you are a strong Catholic. Woohoo!

      • totustuus

        Posted by totustuus on April 27, 2014 at 09:52

        @Ivyandroses you are so right! No Catholic worships Mary, worship is reserved for God alone. We honor her as our mother, Christ gave her to us to be our mother as He died on the cross. ( by the way, what does your uusername come from ivyandroses?)

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by cjgoatgirl on April 2, 2014 at 19:42

    I’m Church of Christ and my ex-boyfriend is Baptist. I had tried helping him learn about the Church of Christ but eventually he decided to stay Baptist with his parents. He is now dating a Baptist girl. What actually hurt the most is that he wouldn’t become a Church of Christ Christian. We’re just good friends now but he has done some things now he shouldn’t have that God doesn’t allow.

  15. murphylauren15

    Posted by murphylauren15 on March 28, 2014 at 15:07

    Actually, one person does not have to sacrifice their faith for the other. My parents didn’t have to! My dad is Catholic, and my mom is Protestant. And they’ve been together for 23 years! 🙂 They’ve had to make *some* sacrifices but probably not as many as you’d think. Our family has always alternated churches every Sunday. One Sunday we go to a Catholic church, and then the next Sunday we go to a Protestant church. So it isn’t like one of my parents has to completely give up going to their church. And while being a part of two churches (and not really being able to be completely part of one) was a bit frustrating growing up, and despite the fact that my parents don’t believe all the same things, because there definitely are differences between Catholics and Protestants, they share a love for Christ that has helped me grow in my faith. In fact, I think it’s been helpful for me having grown up Catholic AND Protestant because now I can understand their differences (and ultimately make a decision about which I’d like to be) but also appreciate that all Christians fundamentally believe the same thing. Just thought I’d share my unique perspective! Blessings!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by ivyandroses on April 13, 2014 at 16:10

      That’s an interesting position to be in. The Catholic church makes it clear that if two people are going to be married, they need to agree to bring up their children Catholic. That means catechizing them, taking them to mass every Sunday and HDO, providing them with all the catholic sacraments, and doing their best to set them forward on a path to Catholic living.

      That’s why it’s generally rare for a practicing Catholic to have a successful marriage outside of the faith, because if they do choose a Christian of another denomination, that person needs to be ok with their kids being raised Catholic with all the trimmings.

      My dad married outside the faith, and it didn’t work out. In the end, he left the Church altogether. That why personally, I’m just kind of wary of marrying outside the Church – it takes tremendous faith and a spouse that is pretty darned lenient towards their own religion.

    • ShanellElise

      Posted by ShanellElise on April 5, 2014 at 19:54

      I don’t think that it matters how long your married. God clearly addresses that Christians or those who are saved should not date or marry outside of their face. Regardless of people who think it’s fine, God doesn’t change and His word can’t be changed. Demonic strongholds exist and can only be broken through Jesus Christ. So if your not saved how do you expect to break them?

  16. iceKate

    Posted by iceKate on March 28, 2014 at 14:18

    I have a question. I am a Christian, and many members of my family aren’t. How can I witness to those who are older than me? It’s different when the person’s opinion doesn’t matter to me, but I want them to love me and I REALLY don’t want to offend my family. I know God says that we WILL offend people, but I want to keep it to a minimum where my family is concerned. But, at the same time, I want them to be saved, because I love them and want to see them in heaven. How can I talk about Jesus with older relatives?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by blackbelt312314 on July 10, 2014 at 21:53

      Share your testimony! It doesn’t put them on the spot as much. Also do it in private.

  17. ata9

    Posted by ata9 on March 28, 2014 at 13:59

    A good book you could read to find out more about the Catholic Church’s teachings is: “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic”

  18. Jester

    Posted by Jester on March 28, 2014 at 10:46

    I’m kinda going through the same thing, I’m Evangelical Free, and he’s a Methodist. I’m not ready to date, but I’d like to pursue a friendship in hopes that maybe one day we could be something more, not saying the only reason I’m friends with him is to date him but yeah… I believe strongly that no one should come between you and God, I had someone tell me once: If you really like me, why let something like go d come between us? LARGE red flag *Didn’t even like the dude…* I’ve been praying about it and I feel like I should at least go through with being friends. I’ve got a while until I want to be married *unless GOD say’s otherwise.* I just don’t know what to do. I feel drawn in many way’s but if I talk to my parents I’ll get the same speech I always get when I bring up a male friend, and that’s not what I need from them, I need advice and helpful, not no no no no… Advice???

  19. Project Inspired

    Posted by girl4godR on March 27, 2014 at 21:03

    Maybe even consider if religion or a relationship with Christ is more important-if you both are actively seeking and pursuing a relationship with Christ and he will encourage you in that then that’s good. If you feel his religion will pull you away from God then maybe take a step back and reevaluate

  20. vsmith21

    Posted by vsmith21 on March 27, 2014 at 20:15

    Personal experience it won’t work out.

    • Sydney_Andrews

      Posted by Sydney_Andrews on April 3, 2014 at 05:59

      My best friends dad is Catholic and her mom is Baptist and they’ve been married for almost 20 years. 🙂

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Mara Jade on March 28, 2014 at 11:08

      not everybody is the same 🙂 it has worked for some people before, obviously 🙂

  21. Project Inspired

    Posted by Anika S on March 27, 2014 at 18:53

    This is a tough spot to be in but if you’re really meant to be together it will work! My boyfriend is Catholic; I am Presbyterian. We have been together for nearly three years, are now in college together and are both devout Christians. Being different denominations has helped us to learn compromise and how to communicate better. Compromise because right now, I attend Mass with him and he attend church with me. Communication because when I don’t understand something that’s going on in Mass, I’ll ask for an explanation so that I can understand better. And we both are learning about the other’s denomination through trustworthy websites and literature. What we’ve figured out is that we’re both Christians, we both love God and that we really aren’t all that different. Best advice I could give you; pray, pray, pray before you start the relationship so that you know if this is the best path for you and him. And if you do start a relationship together, continue praying and be open to learning about each other’s denominations- not to convert but so that you know where the other is coming from. And finally, if you do start a relationship together and if at all possible, find a married couple who have been together a long time and who came from separate denominations. They could be mentors and help you through problems. For us, our mentors were our parents. My dad is Mormon but my mom is Presbyterian. His dad is Baptist and his mom is Catholic. Having them to be a help and guidance has been a huge blessing!! At the end of the day, any relationship is going to involve some compromise. But compromise is worth it if it means you found the one God wants you to be with.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by hollyjolly on March 28, 2014 at 12:12

      I’m Presbyterian, and I’m dating a boy who is LDS. This really helps me see a future together, especially with the questions of temple marriage, his mission, and all that jazz. Thank you!