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Old 06-04-2009, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,574,557 times
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This is intended to be a philosophical discussion (aka Great Debate) to address the question of whether you are obliged to accept the church that your God reveals and presents to you, or whether you get to pick and choose a church that lets you feel comfy, with no sacrifices necessary, to make your religion be what you would like it to be. Do you get to invent a religion, and then look for a church that doesn't ruffle your feathers too much?

For example, if you move to a new city, how do you decide what congregation to affiliate with? Within Christianity, how do you decide which denomination you are? Do you know enough about other faiths to be sure that you are not actually being called to some other religion, and not Christianity at all?
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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Well, as somebody who changed faiths, I can tell you that it's important first and foremost to agree with the theology of whatever denomination you choose. I don't care how friendly they are, and I don't care how uplifting the sermons are. If the basic theological stance of the church conflicts with your understanding of faith, then ultimately your choice will be a poor one.

So, if you are indeed on a spiritual quest, your first step is to think about who already represents your approach to faith. Once you do establish that, then you should visit several different churches of that denomination in your city if possible. For individual churches have their own personalities based on the clergy, the size of the congregation, and its overall priorities.
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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I thnik that you should pick a church that you agree with. But ifd youy feel unwelcome then there are others that will welcome you and have the same beliefs. Feeling part fo the church is very important because you can always observe sundays on your own and prey in a room by yourself.Why go to some where you are called brother and treated like a stepchild as the saying goes.One reason so many churches also prey for the sins of the church because its madeup of sinners.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:11 AM
 
12,460 posts, read 13,096,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
address the question of whether you are obliged to accept the church that your God reveals and presents to you, or whether you get to pick and choose a church that lets you feel comfy , with no sacrifices necessary, to make your religion be what you would like it to be. Do you get to invent a religion, and then look for a church that doesn't ruffle your feathers too much?
Over the years I have picked different churches for a variety of reasons including:

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

all these experiences turned out remarkably well for me, it was like gathering jewels and putting them into a basket, at every place I gained something that was beneficial and precious to me.

if something strikes my fancy I follow it, and it leads me where I need to go. After all, God's hand is in everything guiding my life, so all I have to do is pay attention to it. Listening to and following my intuitive compass is the best way to find fulfillment

i would say have fun with it, see what strikes your fancy, see what is whispering to you "how about this path?" no matter how trivial or unrelated it seems. God uses all those "this looks appealing" to put me where I need to be. One piece of advice that has served me well over the decades was when someone said, "What is just at the periphery of your awareness, trying to get your attention?" That is a gold mine.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:19 AM
 
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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.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,574,557 times
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I guess I didn't make my basic question clear. It is this:

Is Religion some universal truth, much larger than yourself, that you must shape yourself to fit into?

Or is Religion any suitable plug, only large enough to keep your soul from leaking out during your lifetime?

Is Religion a Big Picture, that you must fit into, or a Little Picture that must fit into you?
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,668 posts, read 19,920,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I guess I didn't make my basic question clear. It is this:

Is Religion some universal truth, much larger than yourself, that you must shape yourself to fit into?

Or is Religion any suitable plug, only large enough to keep your soul from leaking out during your lifetime?

Is Religion a Big Picture, that you must fit into, or a Little Picture that must fit into you?
I would say that religion has to be some universal truth. If there isn't some universal truth out there to be believed, why bother to have a faith?
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Ca2Mo2Ga2Va!
2,736 posts, read 5,790,231 times
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Interesting question...since we've had to find a new church home each time we've moved, what we've done is gone to local churches and continued with the one where we felt it was a comfortable fit. The last 2 churches have been Methodist. As for knowing about other religions and how do I know if I'm a Christian, well, I just know I'm a Christian just like I know I am straight. I don't feel the need to experience with other religions, that's not saying I'm not open to learning about them, but I just KNOW I am a Christian.
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Ca2Mo2Ga2Va!
2,736 posts, read 5,790,231 times
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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.
To me this sounds like an irresponsible way of thinking. To just do something because it's fun, appealing or inviting rather than doing something because it is the right thing to do.
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,574,557 times
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Yes, motivations fall into three categories. Someone told me to, its fun and/or profitable, and its the right thing to do. He seems to be unaware of the third one.
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