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Old 06-07-2009, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
1,084 posts, read 1,342,953 times
Reputation: 497

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
i liked the music they had
i liked the style of the preacher
i liked that there were a lot of gay people in the congregation
i liked the classes they offered
someone i was interested in dating went there
i liked the hiking group they had
i had a dream that recommended trying a place i would NEVER have thought of on my own
I'm curious. Did you look at the doctrine of the various churches? Was the doctrine one of the criteria important to you? Looking at the list that you described alone, it seems to me that you were more looking for a social club than a church that would strengthen your relationship with God.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
1,084 posts, read 1,342,953 times
Reputation: 497
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
also a general rule of thumb is doing something because you are told you "should" do it is a poor reason for doing it. Doing something because you choose to do it, or want to do it, or it sounds fun or appealing or inviting in some way is an excellent reason for doing it.
Sounds pretty circular to me. "Should" is the reason why we wake up at 6:00 AM in the morning to fight traffic for 8 hours of drudgery.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:45 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,899 posts, read 43,041,257 times
Reputation: 57771
Are the surroundings jarring, or comfortable? I have trouble getting in the spirit in a hotel meeting room.
Is the congregation warm and welcoming? But don't expect me to give you my life story the first day.
Does the service give you what you need? I'm not into arm waving, snake handling or loud modern music or other types of intrusive noise.
Does the minister have a message you can agree with? Or is he a self created expert on religion who's on a power trip?

I don't think there is a thing wrong with going to a church which makes you feel comfortable rather than guilty or uncomfortable for always falling short.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Oviedo, Fl formerly from the Philly Burbs!
1,012 posts, read 2,363,231 times
Reputation: 365
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I don't think there is a thing wrong with going to a church which makes you feel comfortable rather than guilty or uncomfortable for always falling short.
Agreed, guilt is a negative motivator...Positive motivation is much better for most. I never felt like a good enough Roman Catholic, but I always feel like as an Episcopalian, that God loves me no matter what, altho I am always being challenged to do better. Positive messages of encouragement rather than discouragement.

I think one has to agree with the basic doctrines of a faith, and then, whatever draws you, social life, music (a big draw for our family), adult formation, children's activities, neighborhood outreach, ministries available, Preacher's sermons, warmness of the congregation,...all that comes after the core beliefs.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:14 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,381,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrotrosie View Post
Agreed, guilt is a negative motivator...Positive motivation is much better for most. I never felt like a good enough Roman Catholic, but I always feel like as an Episcopalian, that God loves me no matter what, altho I am always being challenged to do better. Positive messages of encouragement rather than discouragement.

I think one has to agree with the basic doctrines of a faith, and then, whatever draws you, social life, music (a big draw for our family), adult formation, children's activities, neighborhood outreach, ministries available, Preacher's sermons, warmness of the congregation,...all that comes after the core beliefs.
I have to agree with you. My wife is a former Catholic, and she was really gratified at what she found in an Episcopal church, namely a great emphasis on Christian education. Not just saying what each verse means (Or what the priest or pastor says it means), but a more in-depth study. She was also amazed at the accessibility of the clergy, due to the fact that Episcopal churches try to keep their parishes smaller and more intimate. According to my wife, there was very little connection to the Catholic church other than show up for mass, take the Eucharist and leave. Very little fellowship or education to speak of.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,870,061 times
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Has anybody ever considered changing denominations within Christianity, and then wondered if Christianity is in fact the "true" monotheism?
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Oviedo, Fl formerly from the Philly Burbs!
1,012 posts, read 2,363,231 times
Reputation: 365
I have changed denomoninations within Christianity and have no doubt that Christianity is THE true monotheism. For me at least. I believe the denominations arise from the frailty of the human condition, not the imperfectness of God.

I also believe that God takes different forms in different cultures...for example, I have no doubt, that the Jewish people will go to Heaven with me, as will people of Eastern faiths who believe in their God. I believe God has taken different forms for different people through out history, and it will all be sorted by deeds and heart on the last days.

My God states clearly Judge not, lest I be judged. So, I love all of God's children here on Earth! (as best I can...some it's not so easy to love! lol)
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,870,061 times
Reputation: 35910
How many of you, seeking a new church, have ever walked into a non-Christian place of worship, and asked a Hindu or a Muslim or a Buddhist to explain how the word of God has been revealed to them, and why they are sure it is the truth?

I wonder if it's like walking into a gay bar, for a person who is afraid he/she might like it.

Last edited by jtur88; 06-08-2009 at 11:35 AM..
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:05 AM
 
12,549 posts, read 13,167,971 times
Reputation: 8969
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
How many of you, seeking a new church, have ever walked into a non-Christian place of worship, and asked a Hindu or a Muslim or a Buddhist to explain how the word of God has been revealed to them, and why they are sure it is the truth?

I wonder it it's like walking into a gay bar, for a person who is afraid he/she might like it.
then it would be a joy to find out they like it!

the way to find out is to do it
the way to do life is to do life, not to "wonder" about doing life, or "talk" about doing life, or "read" about doing life

fear keeps us small
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:08 AM
 
12,549 posts, read 13,167,971 times
Reputation: 8969
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartalx View Post
I'm curious. Did you look at the doctrine of the various churches? Was the doctrine one of the criteria important to you? Looking at the list that you described alone, it seems to me that you were more looking for a social club than a church that would strengthen your relationship with God.
my relationship with God governs every place in my life,
so when I follow my intution, when I follow the compass of my heart,
when joy leads me, I am in step with God's will for my life

a person gets to god through their heart, not through their mind
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