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Old 01-19-2011, 09:34 AM
 
Location: New York
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as a newbie to the US I am amazed by how many different churches there are.

In the UK it was pretty straight forward. A church for all the diff religions, Jewish, Buddhist, etc and Catholic and C of E fairly close in their Christian beliefs.

Here I have about 10 diff 'churches' within a 5 mile radius of my house.
I have Assemblies of God, Episcopal, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Apostolic, Baptist, Bible, Brethren, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Later day Saints, Reformed.... and if I look further afield a whole heap more. Are they all really different in their beliefs ??

I am not so curious that I actually want to go to one..... but was just wondering.
I might google them all one day....... but if anyone can recommend some reading material that might shed some light I would appreciate it !!
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
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I have never been to Europe and I am a life-long atheist, so maybe I don't know what I am talking about when it comes to religion in Europe. However, I do have my opinions.

I think Americans have less trust in authority than Europeans, who are more likely to follow the teachings of existing churches. Many Americans have the attitude, "I can read the bible and think for myself." That leads them to separate into different sects.

Sorry, I don't know of anything to read to help you understand religion in America. I can tell you some great books about golf, which is almost a religion to many of us.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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Because the US never had an established religion, and conversions have pretty much always been tolerated, religions ended up "competing" in something of a "religious marketplace." So we do have a plethora of denominations and many switch around. Also the US is a "land of immigrants" in a way Europe traditionally isn't.

Still I think Britain does have Methodists, Presbyterians, Mormons, and maybe Lutherans. Methodists and Salvation Army both started in Britain as did the Presbyterians. I'd think you'd have some Reformed as I thought you had some Dutch living amongst you. Granted I think we likely have more Reformed and Lutherans than you likely do.

Still there are some churches that are, or became, somewhat more uniquely American or fairly limited to the Western Hemisphere anyway. Mormonism was of US origin and the non-LDS Mormons, like Community of Christ, are mostly US I think. LDS evangelized in many nations though and I believe the South Pacific is the most LDS place in the world right now. Still Christian Science, the Holiness Movement, and Adventists largely started in the US and are plausibly rarer in Europe. Then there are Anabaptist groups that started in Europe, like the Amish and Hutterites, but have largely died out there. I think even the Mennonites aren't that common in Europe.

Do you have any questions about a specific denomination that you want answered?
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:24 PM
 
Location: New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
Do you have any questions about a specific denomination that you want answered?
Thanks - No specific questions. I will do some googling. Its just seamed like every church was a different one to the last one I saw when I was driving around and I couldn't get over how many there were......

I grew up in manchester UK which is a fairly big city but can't remember seeing any Presbyterian churches however now I think a little more I do remember there being a Methodist church..... I guess I never really paid too much attention.

I was brought up a Catholic and always had lots of questions about their belief and acceptance of others ( personal experience ) and never really believed - thought they did a good job at school of brainwashing us.....and haven't been to church for years nor did I feel the need to 'find' another church.

I have only met a few people whilst living here but of those I have met a surprisingly high number have suggested I visit their church as a way to make friends..... which feels a little odd as I have never been invited to anyones church ever before wherever I have lived.....and it feels a little like they are trying to make up their friend referral quota as these people know nothing about my values and beliefs. ( If they did they'd probably burn a crucifix on my forehead - but thats another story )

Maybe its just the people we have met so far but the church plays a bigger role than I expected. I have made may friends in various countries and apart from a few relatives who randomly go to church only know one other person - who is buddhist - who practices any religion.

Moderator cut: orphaned response

Last edited by Miss Blue; 01-19-2011 at 05:09 PM.. Reason: response to a deleted post
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Missouri
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As another Brit who has lived in Missouri for the past few years, it can be quite a shock coming from the UK with its secularism and general apathy about religion to the Midwest and to be asked by every other person which church I belong to. That is a question I have never been asked in England.

You are right, there seems to be a church on every corner and they obviously have a ton of money, judging by the size of them. The church is far more the centre of social activity here than in the UK, so I am not surprised that it has been suggested as a way of making friends.

I never felt it necessary to tell people in the UK that I am an agnostic or have ever felt uncomfortable about it, but here its much more of a big deal and what I dont like is that Christians of whatever denomination feel they have the right to talk to me as if I am automatically a believer, and seem genuinely shocked if I tell them I doubt Gods existence. Its like they have never contemplated, much less come across such a strange and distasteful phenomenon!
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Northern Va. from N.J.
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There are a lot of people that live in the northeast so you will find a lot of churches
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:11 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Well I live in NY (in fact, I'm currently one block away from St. Patrick's Cathedral) and while Iwon't be caught in ANY church for their services, I love stepping into the old ones to take pictures. I love the architecture.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swisswife View Post
I might google them all one day....... but if anyone can recommend some reading material that might shed some light I would appreciate it !!
For some accurate information on Mormonism, I would suggest The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
For some accurate information on Mormonism, I would suggest The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Thank you for sharing that. I've accually been very comfortable with the Mormons for a long time now. I've met many Mormons and have read many things written by Mormons and know we are serving the same God... of course. My journal, the only journal I've ever had which I bought used (lol) from a thrift store, had D&C stickers with messages on some of the pages. I only had to scratch the original owners name out since it had'nt been used yet. It took me like two years to figure out what those stickers were and why God gave me that journal.

There's this book I read that I guess was written by a Mormon sister and it was awesome. It was a large paper back and it was all about Jesus. Maybe her name was Helen? Not sure but wow after reading that there was no doubt in my mind about Mormons. From my experience Mormons refuse to let the world corrupt them - generally speaking, about the ones I've met. They are Holy people and obey Christ.

Does anyone know that book.... AAAAAAHHHH, I just remembered. It's called "The Desire of Ages". Is that Mormon?

Oooops, that's "The Desire of Ages" by Ellen G. White - Seventh Day Adventist

Still, I've researched the Mormons and have met many. When I asked them the critical questions they gave me some great answers.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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Which leads me to discuss another denomination - the Seventh Day Adventist's

The one's I've visited lately are straying away from the original teachings/beliefs (the ones I've been too) but I love the Seventh Day Adventist church. And if you want to read a GREAT book you would be doing yourself a huge favor to check this out:

The Desire of Ages - online read
The Desire of Ages

Oh and the SDA's don't believe in the eternal torment. Nothing wrong with that.
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