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Old 05-05-2010, 06:13 PM
 
180 posts, read 440,119 times
Reputation: 87

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Hello,

I am not new to being a Christian, but I am new to attending church regularly. I am unable to drive, and my old living situation did not enable me to be near a church. I have recently relocated, and would like to start attending a church, but am not sure how to pick one based on denomination.

My family, who is not real religiously savvy, has always basically had two categories of Christian denominations, Catholic and "all the others". And that is how I was raised. My beliefs are based on what I learned in the bible, and the other beliefs found in each denomination just feel like "extra".

Since I have never really been tied to a particular denomination, how do I know which to choose? Location is of importance to me due to not driving, but I have several choices. Within a mile, I have two Baptist churches, a Luthern church, a Methodist church, a Presbyterian church, an Assemblies of God church, and a Church of Christ.

With all these churches to choose from, I feel I should understand the basic differences before I show up. Each church will feel that their ways are the right ways, and I will be expected to feel that way too. Are they basically the same, or do they frown on one another? Is one more accepting of outsiders who may not be as devout as long-time members? I am afraid of showing up and being told "you are not a true Baptist, or Methodist, or Luthern etc...

So, I am seeking some advice and info on the differences between these churches, and what I might expect if I should attend.

Any help would be appreciated, and thank you in advance!
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:49 PM
 
2,910 posts, read 3,895,769 times
Reputation: 2401
Why restrict yourself to denominational churches, when today's fastest growing and most vibrant type of church is non-denominational?
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:14 PM
 
Location: arizona ... most of the time
11,825 posts, read 9,826,600 times
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The most important aspect about any Christian denominations is: doctrine.
John 17:17
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

The next most important aspect...doctinal unity amoung the believers (especially among teachers\ministers\faculty)

1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

And finally but not the least: the message that is preached.

1 Corinthians 1:23
but we preach Christ crucified:

Ephesians 2:8-10
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast


To find a denomination that teaches and holds to this will be:
  • first and foremost Christian
  • believes in the Triune God
  • teaches that the Lord's Supper "is" and not "represents" Matthew 26:26
  • teaches that baptism saves 1 Peter 3:21
  • teaches God holds unbelief accountable
  • teaches Amillennialism
based on that..the denomination would be Lutheran...WELS, ELS or many MLS
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:25 PM
 
180 posts, read 440,119 times
Reputation: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheelhombre View Post
Why restrict yourself to denominational churches, when today's fastest growing and most vibrant type of church is non-denominational?
A non-denominational church is not an option since there are none close to where I live. I will be walking, so location is important.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
2,031 posts, read 2,689,533 times
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Why don't you research each denomination and see where the Holy Spirit leads you? You can always visit each church a few times before you decide if it's the right fit for you. I'm going through the same thing right now.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:50 PM
 
1,897 posts, read 1,723,242 times
Reputation: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by CantWait2Leave View Post
Why don't you research each denomination and see where the Holy Spirit leads you? You can always visit each church a few times before you decide if it's the right fit for you. I'm going through the same thing right now.
I agree with CW2L because people posting on this forum will just tell you what they have been taught and it will get confusing.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:03 PM
 
352 posts, read 476,747 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdc1211 View Post
Hello,

I am not new to being a Christian, but I am new to attending church regularly. I am unable to drive, and my old living situation did not enable me to be near a church. I have recently relocated, and would like to start attending a church, but am not sure how to pick one based on denomination.

My family, who is not real religiously savvy, has always basically had two categories of Christian denominations, Catholic and "all the others". And that is how I was raised. My beliefs are based on what I learned in the bible, and the other beliefs found in each denomination just feel like "extra".

Since I have never really been tied to a particular denomination, how do I know which to choose? Location is of importance to me due to not driving, but I have several choices. Within a mile, I have two Baptist churches, a Luthern church, a Methodist church, a Presbyterian church, an Assemblies of God church, and a Church of Christ.

With all these churches to choose from, I feel I should understand the basic differences before I show up. Each church will feel that their ways are the right ways, and I will be expected to feel that way too. Are they basically the same, or do they frown on one another? Is one more accepting of outsiders who may not be as devout as long-time members? I am afraid of showing up and being told "you are not a true Baptist, or Methodist, or Luthern etc...

So, I am seeking some advice and info on the differences between these churches, and what I might expect if I should attend.

Any help would be appreciated, and thank you in advance!
It shouldn't really matter. Church is a place to go worship God and give thanks and glory to Him for all the things He has done for you in your life. Church isn't for us to "get something out of" or what people generally associate with church. We're there to worship God. Having said that, you need to study your Bible, pray to God for enlightenment of His true values and doctrines, and make sure that the church you go to doesn't deliberately teach something that is unScriptural or deliberately violates God's will. That can only be determined by you, your study of the Bible, and God's teaching you. I can tell you one thing, if these people say that you are not a true (blank), you should know to get out of there. A church is a place for believers to come before their God to worship and enjoy fellowship; if they would turn you away simply because you don't believe all that they do or you are still too young in your faith to fullly understand what God wants from you, then leave that church because they are not accepting you as Christ accepted them. Good luck and God bless.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:20 PM
 
180 posts, read 440,119 times
Reputation: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nero777 View Post
It shouldn't really matter. Church is a place to go worship God and give thanks and glory to Him for all the things He has done for you in your life. Church isn't for us to "get something out of" or what people generally associate with church. We're there to worship God. Having said that, you need to study your Bible, pray to God for enlightenment of His true values and doctrines, and make sure that the church you go to doesn't deliberately teach something that is unScriptural or deliberately violates God's will. That can only be determined by you, your study of the Bible, and God's teaching you. I can tell you one thing, if these people say that you are not a true (blank), you should know to get out of there. A church is a place for believers to come before their God to worship and enjoy fellowship; if they would turn you away simply because you don't believe all that they do or you are still too young in your faith to fullly understand what God wants from you, then leave that church because they are not accepting you as Christ accepted them. Good luck and God bless.
I agree that church should be a place for all believers in Christ to gather and worship. But if it is as simple as that, then why do denominations even exist, much less so many of them?

I would certainly never stay at a church if they made nasty remarks or did not accept me for not being exactly like me.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Pikeville, Ky.
13,467 posts, read 21,225,367 times
Reputation: 17687
My advice would be to attend them all and not be in a hurry to feel you have to "join"..

Wait patiently, as you pray, read and fellowship at the different places of worship..
Let God place you with the people He wants you to be with..
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:18 AM
 
352 posts, read 476,747 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdc1211 View Post
I agree that church should be a place for all believers in Christ to gather and worship. But if it is as simple as that, then why do denominations even exist, much less so many of them?

I would certainly never stay at a church if they made nasty remarks or did not accept me for not being exactly like me.
Denominations exist because people are more concerned with their belief system being the right one (legalism) than they are about worshipping their Creator (relationship). Like this forum, ETers and URers are fighting harder than ever to prove themselves right; this is how it is with many churches and their denominations. Once we get over the technical stuff and focus on what matters (Jesus), then we won't worry such much about denominations.
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