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I'm trying to become a Christian but I can't

Discussion in 'For New Christians' started by Windir, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Windir

    Windir New Member

    20
    +19
    Sweden
    Non-Denom
    Single
    I want to convert to Christianity but both internal and external circumstances are giving me a hard time. I have confessed Christ, and I do pray, but I lack the baptism. I'm yearning for the social and ritual part. I am still a 'heathen'. For all my life, I have been solitary. I have never felt at home in the world. My father is Turkish (with Greek roots) and my mother is Finnish. I am a cultural crossbreed and wouldn't know which church to choose. I grew up in the west, and feel 'spiritually connected' to both Lutheran and Orthodox traditions. But this is not my only problem. I don't have a good relationship with my father, and my association with Christianity seems to estrange me further from him. Although he is secular and liberal, he comes from a Muslim country. He does not like me becoming involved in religion which he sees as divisive (although he is not against it per se). Our relation is already broken and I don't know if I can fix it regardless if I become a Christian or not. If I go to the Orthodox church, convert and change my muslim name to a Christian name, it will further estrange me from him. I feel too much social pressure and I'm struggling with personal demons. I am reaching out to Christians, anyone who can give advice and help. Thank you for reading.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  2. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

    +16,012
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    Hi; John chapter 3.1-16 shows how; and it's not by human effort or supposed merit. God bless His Word to you!
     
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  3. TzephanYahu

    TzephanYahu Member

    71
    +50
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Married
    Shalom Windir,

    I'm sorry to hear about the time you are going through. It sounds like a confusing and trying time, so I can imagine your frustration.

    Am I right in thinking you only recently became a believer? If so, I would recommend going on serious time out with the Bible. This should be your top priority, before anything else, to really understand God, His Word and His ways. Everything else will fall into place thereafter. If you don't really know where to start or how to do this effectively, check out this short helpful guide and beginner reading plan HERE

    Now secondly, your next priority needs to be baptism and, most importantly, baptism in the Holy Spirit. After your "Bible Retreat", you need to seek this above all things.

    The Spirit gives us joy, and peace and a confidence deep inside that minimises the impact the world affects us. The whole world could be falling down around us and I'm sure there would still be an inner peace and security. The Spirit also brings a joy that connection with the Father that is indescribable. Walking or trying to walk as a Christian without the Spirit is hard, demanding and exhausting. But, with the Spirit, each day is a joy in its own way and the time you have walk - an honour.

    If I'm right, it sounds like you need to do these things IF... you're a recent believer, unfamiliar with the Old Testament, unsure if you have the Spirit.

    Again, please check out that page if you don't know where to start on the Scriptures. It helped a new believer friend I know and you might also find it useful.

    Stay focussed on Him and His Word, and you will find rest soon.


    Love & Shalom
     
  4. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +23,782
    Anglican
    Married
    We will pray for you. In the meantime, I recommend that you continue to study the faith privately. God often works in ways that seem slow to us because we mortals want instant answers to everything, but it is entirely likely that he is leading you to him at what he knows to be just the right time. Don't despair that this may depend on events as yet unseen.
     
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  5. AllDayFaith

    AllDayFaith Active Member

    306
    +225
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    Hello, nice to meet you. We are here for you, you have a new family now, and we are all believers in Christ. Matter of fact, because you have chosen to believe, you are now a Christian. The baptism is not really needed, in case that gives you comfort. Don't feel lonely any more, because where ever you go, God is there with you. To be honest, I have yet to find a church that I feel welcome in. I have tried and tried again, but no luck. If your father is angry at you for choosing Christianity, then maybe he should change because you are not doing anything wrong. If changing your name causes your father anger, he needs to address his issues so that he can maintain healthy relationships with others. I am struggling with demons also, but you know what makes them flee? The Word of God. Start reading the Bible in its entirety and you will have all the answers you need when it comes to demons.
     
  6. Greengardener

    Greengardener for love is of God Supporter

    406
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    Dear Friend, the thing you seek is the Only Eternal God. It's not a religion and it's not a denomination. It's Him, the Eternal One. I agree that seeking Him in the pages of the Bible and seeing Him through His Son Jesus Christ is important - do this first and foremost. The rest of your steps will seem brighter and your path easier to see after that. We are here for you.
     
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  7. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,935
    United States
    Christian
    In Relationship
    A heartfelt hug! Jesus Christ of Nazareth never said it would be easy to believe in Him as a matter of fact He stressed that we would be hated and persecuted, as proven over and over in scripture. The first thing one must do is accept this because one must put Jesus Christ of Nazareth first among anyone or anything of this world. Once you receive the "good news" you will receive His Holy Spirit which will give you the strength, wisdom and understanding because "God is with us" in the Body of Christ, The Kingdom of God.
    Blessings
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
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  8. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

    +1,295
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    I think it is very important, especially given your loneliness and estrangement from your father, that you find a loving home in God's church. Find a church that loves you and will grow you spiritually, that is more important that dotting every i and crossing every t. Second, pray for your father. When he comes after you, tell him you love him. When he condemns you tell him you love him. Respond only in love to him. Visit an Orthodox church, visit a Lutheran church, visit the church down the street keep visiting until you see the love of God in that church. Anything less than love is a clanging gong.
     
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  9. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

    +4,120
    United States
    Christian
    Private
    US-Republican
    What denomination, if any, you choose to join to, and how well you get along with parents run far distant seconds to your relationship with Christ. Romans 10 tells us the essentials of Christianity are to confess Jesus as Lord and to believe God raised Him from the dead. If you sincerely do that, you're in, and then the rest is obedience.

    Identifying with Christ in your heart is the beginning of your new life in Him and transformation into His likeness. This should be done without delay, without waiting on knowing what church to fellowship at or trying to figure out how to have a better relationship with your father. Chances are very good that the family strife is at the core of some of your problems, and it probably cannot be resolved without having Christ at work in you, adding new perspective and directing your steps.

    Jesus loves you, and that love is greater than any obstacle (Rom 8). There is no need, and it is not wise, to put off accepting Him as Savior and Lord and giving your life to Him if you believe. Put off the old man and "put on the new man, which was created according to God in righteousness and true holiness" (Eph 4:24). It is when you are safely ensconced in Christ that you will have protection against the assaults of the evil one (Eph 6).
     
  10. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Fire for the Earth! (Luke 12:49) Supporter

    +5,913
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    Windir, you can be a Christian without changing your name, so I'm not sure that part or your situation has to be seen as a problem.

    Moreover, and directly to the point, in being a Christian, one doesn't have to conflict with one's relatives. While we as Christians should remain resolute in our faith, we are to be peaceable as we do this, so there shouldn't be any reason for family conflict and there should be no reason for deep conflict. Is your dad an abusive father, by chance? Because if he's not really Muslim but a liberal, I'm not seeing why there HAS TO BE a problem or conflict.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  11. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

    +6,321
    Non-Denom
    Single
    If you want to become a Christian, simply pray to God that He forgive you of all sins through the gift that His Son Jesus Christ has provided for you through His death and resurrection, and that He come into your life and gives you guidance. God will take care of you from there. Yes, also read the Bible, especially the New Testament. And keep coming to this forum and fellowship with Christians here if you don't have a home church. It's very helpful to converse with people who are looking for the same things you are. I wouldn't worry so much about what you refer to as the "ritual part". Religions are often big on rituals without focusing on what's in our heart, which is what's important.
     
  12. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

    +2,534
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    We can all throw the worst-sounding of each other's sacred writings at each other, and I don't think that will be productive. I'll agree to look at Islam at its best if you'll agree to look at Christianity at its best.
     
  13. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    +3,039
    Canada
    Baptist
    Married
    CA-Conservatives
    No one has what it takes to be a Christian. That's why God has to work in us to bring us to Christ and salvation. And He not only has to get us to the place where we believe the Gospel but He must continue to transform us inwardly, over time making us more and more like Jesus.

    Imagine how difficult conversion was for the first Christians who were often imprisoned and killed in horrible ways because of their faith!

    Christianity is about Christ, not ritual and community. If you have Christ, if the Spirit of Christ dwells within you, you have the best and most important thing God can give to you.

    And this has been awkward for you? It has kept you socially isolated? Or are you maybe a withdrawn, introverted type of person?

    When you stand before God at the Last Judgment, it won't be your denominational affiliation He'll be asking you about. You are God's quite apart from what denomination you adhere to. It is Christ who is the important thing and whether or not you know him as your Lord and Saviour.

    There is always a cost to walking with God, to being a disciple of Jesus. He warned us in the Bible that this would be so.

    I don't know that converting to Christianity requires that you change your name. I don't see this anywhere commanded in Scripture.

    I would not place your eternal destiny second to a good relationship with your father. Rather, pray for your father. What he needs is God, not a good relationship with you. And if he finds God, truly finds Him, your relationship with him will be healed.

    Struggling with demons? How so?

    The help you need is not found in Christians but in the God they know, love and serve. You need His help which He will give as you ask Him for it.
     
  14. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

    +8,895
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Prayers, my friend. My interest in the Catholic Church has kind of damaged my relationship with husband and family. It's not fun. But I wouldn't trade what I have now for any amount of amiability, or acceptance. It is not easy, and I hear you on this. But once you take a step to be firm and committed, the courage and peace that Christ gives you is awesome.

    I would strongly encourage you to look into Eastern Orthodoxy over Lutheranism. There are tonnes of really awesome Eastern Orthodox Christians on this site, who can help you.

    The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox

    Here is their subforum. Please do check them out. God be with you, friend.
     
  15. Windir

    Windir New Member

    20
    +19
    Sweden
    Non-Denom
    Single
    Thanks everybody your answers so far, they have been helpful and encouraging. I will address you more individually at a later date when I feel up for it. I am going through a spiritual crisis of sorts and will digest this for now. God bless!
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
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  16. drich0150

    drich0150 Regular Member

    +381
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    US-Republican
    Do you have a bible?

    If not biblegateway.com is a resource that provides many different translations.
    for now this and a willing humble spirit is all you need. Do not worry about the rituals or the religious part. for now focus on reading the bible and trying to draw closer to God. God will work with you and begin to open doors, all you must do is when the time is right walk through them.

    God only requires from us whatever he gives us to work with. (parable of the talents) If you have access to live a life full on in the faith with access to the church then that is what He expects, if how ever you do not have access even if it is because your father forbids it then work with what God gives you.. like an internet connection and BibleGateway.com: A searchable online Bible in over 150 versions and 50 languages. or CF.
     
  17. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

    +1,042
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    Prayers for you. Just a note, I never changed my name when I became Orthodox, I believe that only applies to monastics.

    Maybe just take things one step at a time. Our important commitment is to the Lord and He tells us to keep His commandments & He will send the Holy Spirit to guide your conscience ( see John 14:15-18). Much of our Christian life can be basic daily living by the Lord’s commandments ( see Matthew 19:16-19, Romans 13:8-10). Charity & prayer are living out the Lord’s commandments ( see Matthew 6:1-15). Our basic theology can be found in the Nicene Creed The Nicene Creed - Personal and Devotional Prayers - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

    Even if we are not outward evangelists we can still support evangelism in prayer (see Matthew 9:36-38). As others have said, it is good to have a Bible.
     
  18. tampasteve

    tampasteve Steadfast Lutheran Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

    +2,808
    United States
    Lutheran
    Married
    US-Others
    MOD HAT ON

    Please note that this thread has been moved to a more appropriate forum and Off Topic posts have been removed.

    MOD HAT OFF
     
  19. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +5,625
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    What I'm not understanding is how any of this means that you don't have what it takes to become a Christian. If you have put your faith in Christ, confessed him as the Son of God, and made him your Savior and Lord, then you're pretty much there already. We're supposed to follow him of course, putting ourselves second.

    A common problem that is solved easily enough by trying out churches. I can't speak for the presence of either of those kinds of churches in Sweden, or what they are like there, but a good one will accept you.

    It doesn't have to be that bad. If you can remember the Christian instructions to be patient and humble and respectful, I don't see why a tolerant person would have a problem with it - and your dad sounds tolerant.

    I can't speak for what an Orthodox church would necessarily require of you, but Scripture does not require that anyone change their name when they convert. My church had a brother named Mohammed baptize a brother named Saad a few years ago.
     
  20. FanthatSpark

    FanthatSpark LImited Understanding

    +537
    Non-Denom
    This bluntness comes from love...

    You refuse to change a thing or two . However, you see it and admit it (in part) in OP and that is wellness to the Spirit :amen:. This board can endow you with encouragement but is that your need? Truth to situational awareness sounds harsh in this print format . Yet, truth is what frees us with willingness to looking into changing a thing or two.

    :pray: in hope.
     
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