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    Christian Advice Requested - Thread: Doubts in my Church

    1. #21
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      Quote Originally Posted by Stravinsk View Post
      If you must attend 'church' - and 'church' as it is typically defined and practiced in the west (Sunday or Saturday services, communal worship, and listening to the 'leader' (aka Rabbi, spiritual pastor etc), then wherever you go, you are likely to be disappointed in something about that church. It may cause you less angst and confusion than your present one, but for the sake of fellowship I think you'll find that something's got to give. You may hold certain doctrines dear, and the church you feel comfortable in may have different views of them.

      I don't want to say I fully appreciate your current situation (as I cannot possibly know all the details of it), but I can say that I have attended a variety of churches in my life (Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal) and while I felt more comfortable in some rather than others for varying reasons, there was always something that didn't sit right with me - in terms of doctrine or conflicting doctrine or just plain double mindedness with some biblical matters.

      It took me not attending any church for a long time to see the problems, but that doesn't help you at all. As you are asking advice under the presumption that you will be attending some church, then you will have to pick one, and whichever one it is, there will be some level of conflict (in doctrine) and some level of confusion (because of it). Different denominations focus on different writings, often to the exclusion of others even if it's not so stated - that is a fact.
      Yep, I am pretty happy at the pentecostal I just dont care for the few strange doctrines about tongues and sustaining salvation, Holy living I can deal with I believe we will all eventually get there in time but tomorrow is not guaranteed and thats why I think they should go easy on a sister if she wears pants lol

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    2. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by DHoffmann View Post
      I just moved back from Spring last year. The crime rate in middle class neighborhoods are alarming thats why I moved out of it. Especially during the holidays, they follow you home from Christmas shopping and they pull up to you at night when you stop (before you turn off the ignition) and at gun point you are forced out then they drive your car away, by the time the cops locate it all of your stuff is gone. They have to pay cops extra just to drive through more often but its still bad, also in the bumper to bumper traffic you got a lot of hookers, drug dealers and scammers coming up to you its not good at all.

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      some parts of FM 1960 were like that when I was younger. But, if you really wanted to see strange stuff you had to drive down to Montrose in Houston. i'm talking strange stuff.

    3. #23
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      some parts of FM 1960 were like that when I was younger. But, if you really wanted to see strange stuff you had to drive down to Montrose in Houston. i'm talking strange stuff.
      Yup 1960 is pretty horrible. About Montrose lol believe me I know, have not been there in a while but I can only imagine how its gotten since all this transgender business started.

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    4. #24
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      Quote Originally Posted by DHoffmann View Post
      Yup 1960 is pretty horrible. About Montrose lol believe me I know, have not been there in a while but I can only imagine how its gotten since all this transgender business started.

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      Yep, it was transgender before that was even a word

    5. #25
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      I pray that you find a good church to attend @DHoffmann, God be with you.
      Saint Jude, author of the new testament letter.

      He is the patron of impossible causes because the scriptural Letter of St. Jude, which he authored, urges Christians to persevere in difficult times.

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    6. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      I pray that you find a good church to attend @DHoffmann, God be with you.
      Thank you MC, I like what you said in another thread about hypocrisy, how we divide up ourselves to separate our views from other churches because of something rotten that might have happened in that church, we are all actually equal in sins when it comes to a "right" church, something like that, thats at least what i kind of got out of it. Its very true and it actually helps me with being more open, im already tired of dwelling on the bad things about denominations, anything negative is always bad, so i'll focus on the good things about Gods churches and what makes us Christian

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    8. #27
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      Quote Originally Posted by DHoffmann View Post
      Sometimes they say things that are irrational and unbiblical.
      IMO, a church that states things in theology that are unbiblical is a church we should leave.....

      There may be things abiblical (things the Bible neither confirms or denies).... we may disagree with applications.... we may disagree with things expressed as OPINION.... we may be okay with views NOT binding on us..... but if it's dogmatic - we should run.



      Such claims "no tongues no salvation", we can "lose salvation through bad works" or "sustain salvation through good works", no "salvation outside the church" etc.

      IMO, Drew, these are major false teachings......



      In my case I needed answers and went straight to the source many years ago before even trying to seek a church.
      You can discuss some of those topics here....


      So my question to a Christian would simply be... Church suggestions? lol

      Well, I was Catholic and ended up Lutheran - but that's MY faith journey....



      - Josiah
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

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    10. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
      IMO, a church that states things in theology that are unbiblical is a church we should leave.....

      There may be things abiblical (things the Bible neither confirms or denies).... we may disagree with applications.... we may disagree with things expressed as OPINION.... we may be okay with views NOT binding on us..... but if it's dogmatic - we should run.






      IMO, Drew, these are major false teachings......





      You can discuss some of those topics here....





      Well, I was Catholic and ended up Lutheran - but that's MY faith journey....



      - Josiah
      Yep, the statements I listed are very bold but thats not how they word them, I just notice in retrospect how they would mingle with my arguments in this forum because they werent my original ideas.
      For instance "maintaining/sustaining salvation by good works" is never outright pronounced by them but when I piece the "hints" together I see the big picture. They might sugar coat it by throwing in "but by grace" yet my idea of "grace" might get blurred since this particular church claims you should constantly be right with God which according to them goes something like "ladies you shouldnt wear makeup and pants not because its right for the church, but because its right with God", these little statements add up.
      These types of statements however only come from a few preachers, one in particular, im not sure if it reflects the churches doctrines or not as the other preachers refrain all together from these ideas. They seem to be brought in by traveling preachers which concerns me because they will stick to some local preachers after they have passed through.

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    12. #29
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      It's weird that they invite those then. I'd go find another church. Some of that stuff sounds like a cult I was in. If I came once a sunday instead of twice he'd preach that if we keep sinning wilfully theres no forgiveness possible anymore. sinning wilfully: not go to every service.

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    14. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by DHoffmann View Post
      So as you all know I attend a Pentecostal church. I believe I was called to this church because of something that happened to me out of no where 3 years ago that lead me there, im not sure why tho. I enjoy the intimacy of the brethren and the freedom of worship in the church. I love the sermons they preach as well, I agree with them as long as they dont trail off into boasting and works or lack thereof.
      Sometimes they say things that are irrational and unbiblical.
      If things appear unbiblical it's always good to make sure that the problem isn't that you misunderstood the Scriptures and the preacher/teacher has correctly understood them. It's a good sign if the preacher is willing to discuss why they said what they did. If they won't discuss it with you, or they become evasive, or they act in a way that makes it clear they consider themselves above being challenged by the congregation, that's a bad sign.

      Such claims "no tongues no salvation", we can "lose salvation through bad works" or "sustain salvation through good works", no "salvation outside the church" etc.
      "No tongues no salvation" is a teaching that would trigger me to leave the church in a hurry. There is no record of the thief on the cross beside Jesus who repented speaking in tongues, yet Jesus assured him that he would be in paradise. The thief on the cross who repented presents a problem to a few beliefs regarding what is required for salvation.

      The issue of works is a tricky one because James made it very clear that faith without works is dead. That said Paul talked of the man who entered heaven "as if escaping through fire", suggesting that the man with a nominal faith backed by nothing on the outside may enter heaven even if he does not receive as large a reward. The nature of the reward isn't entirely clear. "No salvation outside the church" sounds like something that could be interpreted different ways - if it means no salvation outside Jesus Christ then it's Biblical. If it means no salvation outside that particular church then it's a good sign the church is becoming cult-like, if it isn't already.

      A few weeks ago I was at a home bible study with a brother and a few sisters in faith. one of the sisters suffers from bipolar disorder and completely discontinued her medication because she was in fear that it was sinful and was preventing her "Holy living" necessary for salvation. It was a disaster, she was crying and got in a long debate about how she would rather burn in hell with her kids if they were going to hell for not going to church. She was upset about her loved ones who passed away because they were not baptised in the name of Jesus. She even asked if she could still pray for them and the brother said "no" and then feeling some conviction said "i dont know, only God can judge".
      The issue of healing by secular means is something where some on the ultra-pentecostal/charismatic side really go off the rails. The idea that God guarantees our healing and therefore taking medicine shows a lack of faith is, IMO, a hugely dangerous teaching. It always reminds me of the apocryphal tale of the man in a house as the flood waters rose, who had an unshakable faith that God would rescue him. While the waters were low enough a large 4x4 drove past and offered him a ride out, and he refused because God would save him. As the waters rose further a boat came past and again he refused because God would save him. As the waters rose further he took refuge on his roof, and refused help from a rescue helicopter because God would save him. Finally the waters washed him away and he drowned. As he entered heaven he asked why God hadn't rescued him, to which said he had sent a 4x4, a boat and a helicopter and wondered just what more he was expected to do.

      The point of this really is that God sometimes works in clearly miraculous ways, and sometimes God works in ways that appear utterly mundane. Elijah saw God send down fire from heaven when he defeated the prophets of Baal, but later God spoke to him through the still small voice rather than the wind and the fire.

      I remember my decision to leave the church I had truly believed was supposed to be my home church, based very much on similar butchering of Scripture and what can only be described as a total disconnect from reality. This was a church that preached prosperity but couldn't pay its bills, a church that declared deliverance but was permanently needy, and a church where people declared themselves healed (present tense, not a belief that they would be healed) while going to the doctor for the condition they allegedly no longer had.

      So my question to a Christian would simply be... Church suggestions? lol
      Focus on what is most important, and accept that no church will necessarily tick every box you would like ticked. The church I currently attend doesn't match everything I'd like from a church, but it does match everything that's particularly important. The teaching is sound and Scriptural, the pastor is a very humble man and certainly doesn't consider himself above being asked questions about what he has preached. The fellowship is good and the church is open to new ideas, and open to ideas from new people. The style of service is more conservative than I would choose - the church in general is more conservative than I would choose (I'm naturally inclined towards more contemporary music) but I can live with things that don't perfectly align with my preferences - it's not all about me.

      Personally I'd suggest you focus on the teaching first and foremost. If the teaching deviates badly from Scripture, look elsewhere. If it's some minor point and the minister can explain why they do what they do, that may not be an issue. If it's something fundamental about the nature of God, the nature of Jesus Christ, the nature of salvation, chances are it's time to find a different church. If it's a church that drifts (or has drifted) from being somewhat charismatic to being somewhat New Age, chances are it's time to find a different church.

      Since you, like me, seem to have a leaning towards things that are more charismatic one other thing I'd encourage you to test is just what happens when you "feel God's presence". If you only "feel God's presence" after an extended time of upbeat and repetitive music, there's a good chance what you're actually feeling is a natural state of euphoria that happens when we listen to upbeat music. If you also feel God's presence during times of silent reflection, times of prayer, there's a better chance that it's real. If you go to church seeking another "hit" because you only ever "feel God's presence" on a Sunday morning and by Monday morning it has faded, that's not a good sign. If you are guided by how often you "feel God's presence" that's also not a good sign - God promised he would be with us regardless of whether or not we get that warm fuzzy feeling.

      I hope you can find a church that meets your needs. If you have questions about a church's teaching you're always welcome to ask them here, although you'll need to read through replies from many different perspectives to conclude which one you find most appropriate.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

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