Should Christians attend non-Christian worship services?

Is it appropriate for Christians to attend worship services for a different religion?

I think few Christians would object to the idea of learning about or reading up on another religion, but is there something special about a dedicated worship service that makes it spiritually unwise for Christians to attend? Is there a clearly identifiable line between attending such a service, and participating in the worship?

Share your thoughts!

3 Responses to “Should Christians attend non-Christian worship services?”

  • Well this is an interesting question and one that came to my mind yesterday in the midst of an online furore about a blog post we had done on whether woship music annoys people. Its here

    The reason I was thinking about non Christian worship services was because of one of the comments which said that the muslim act of kneeling with heads bowed down was the more biblical. See here if you don’t want to wade through loads of comments

    I have no idea whether its “OK” for Christians to attend services by other religions but I do know that Jesus spent most of his time hanging out with people that his fellow Jews felt were really out of order. And there was huge controversy in the NT church in trying to integrate “God Fearers” from non Jewish cultures/religions into Christianity.

    Thanks for raising a good question. I look forward to seeing what others have to say.

  • Robert Cragg says:

    In my opinion no because first I believe it would be offensive to our God. Exodus Ten Commandments 20:5
    you shall not bowdoun to them (refers to #3 “You shall not have no other gods before me. #4 refering to carved image…)

    Also you could open the door in your life to Denomic Spirits.

  • Michelle says:

    A friend of mine was faced with this dilemma recently for a class of hers in a secular college. She was taking a humanities course, & one of the assignments was to attend services of faiths & religions different from her own, if a student was an adherent of a particular faith. She prayed over this & talked to different Godly people she highly respected & trusted, including myself. I had no answer to give her, but I did join with her in praying about this.

    She did talk to her teacher to see if there was an alternative if a student felt strongly enough that it was wrong for her to attend services of another faith, & the teacher said that this made up a huge chunk of her marks. If she wanted to get permission from the dean of the department, then something else could be arranged. Otherwise, she’d either have to attend or lose huge marks. This didn’t help her quandary.

    She received varying answers, from “Absolutely not! You’ll be worshipping their gods!” to “Yes, it’s fine, as long as you just sit & observe & don’t participate at all.”

    In the end, she came to a place of peace about the decision she made – she was free to attend the other services, but she would not participate at all; just sit & observe. Part of the assignment was that the student would have to participate in the service as much as a non-adherent was allowed. She realised that that was the part she had trouble with, except in the Jewish service, & so she didn’t at all. She did participate in the Jewish service a bit, but not in any of the others.

    Yes, she got a lower grade because she didn’t participate, but she knows that she did the right thing. She actually made some friends from some of these places & has been able to witness. One of her Muslim friends, made through this experience, came to a saving knowledge of Christ.

    Because of this, I’ve come to the conclusion, & through doing study of Scripture on my own, that it’s fine to attend the services of other faiths, as long as you do NOT participate in their acts of worship. I wouldn’t make a habit of it, & it would also depend on how strong you feel in your own walk with God. If there’s an assignment, like my friend had, then go for it, but don’t participate. If there’s a wedding or a funeral, feel free to attend, but don’t participate in any of the acts of worship – as Robert Cragg said, that would be participation in idolatry, & that’s wrong.

    As far as there being a difference between attending & participating, yes, there is. If you ATTEND something, it means that you’re there. You could just be an observer & just watching. You’re present in a given situation, & your presence is accounted for. If you PARTICIPATE in a service, than you’re actively involved & going through the acts of worship. Even if your heart’s not in these acts, you’re still performing them, & that’s idolatry.

    Sorry being a long answer, but I just wanted to give some idea of this in an actual life. :)