The Bridge Chicago is a way to offer the resources of Mission:USA to help people do good ministry.
I know that Christians should only date fellow Christians, but does that mean they should only date their same denomination? Can a baptist Christian date a Catholic? Things like deciding what church to go to and how to raise your kids would be a bit difficult being from two different denominations. Does it say anywhere in the bible that you should only date/marry someone that is not only christian but same denomination as well?
There is actually nothing about denominations in the Bible at all. There is a tendency with Christian culture to assume that it was all handed down from on high, but that isn’t the case. For the first 15 centuries of Christianity, there was no such thing as a denomination. In 1517, when Martin Luther nailed up his 95 theses and unknowingly kicked off the Reformation, that idea was born. Before that, the only difference in churches was geographic, what we know as the Catholic Church in the west and the Orthodox church in the east. There was one church in the parish and if you went to church, you went there.
While there are some theological differences between mainstream Christian denominations, they tend to be very minor. If churches can agree on the basics (sin, salvation, scripture) then there is room for some disagreement on things like predestination and transubstantiation. The differences between Protestant denominations tend to be more geographical and historical than they are theological. For example Lutheranism has roots in Germany, Episcopalianism in England and Presbyterianism in Scotland. People typically stay in a denomination because they are used to the way things are done and like the culture, not because of any grand divide in ideas.
All that background to say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with dating or marrying someone of a different denomination. Your point about picking a church and raising your kids is a good one, but it is not a huge obstacle. Picking a church should hopefully be about finding a place where you feel accepted and loved and fed spiritually. That comes from the people in the church, the pastoral staff, and the leadership much more so than from denominational affiliation. You might have been Baptist all your life and move to a town where there isn’t a Baptist church that connects with you, but there is a Presbyterian church where the pastor is awesome and the people are warm and welcoming and you love it. You should go there because that is the stuff that matters. The denominational fine print pales in comparison. The switch between Protestant and Catholic would probably be more intense at first, but the same thing applies.
Your walk with the Lord is your own, and no loyalty to a governing body is more important than finding a church, or spouse that is right for you. Remember, if any one denomination had perfected church, then everyone would just be what they are. Every group has their good and bad points, the important thing is to find what works for you.
-Matt from The Bridge