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Featured What to say to a sister who attends multiple churches and small groups?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by sccs, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. RickardoHolmes

    RickardoHolmes Member

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    I too see nothing wrong with attending various churches. I even attend classes and meditations at a Buddhist temple, in addition to weekly Masses on Wednesdays at noon at the Episcopal church
    I embraced the idea of being involved in multiple churches decades ago. It works well for me, but it may not be right for everyone.
    The point is, you have to make her feel welcomed and loved. If she knows you want her there and that you value her time and attendance then she will keep contributing her talents and you will ALL grow together.

    I remember though the great Quote from Groucho Marx
    "I would not want to be part of any club that would have me as a member"

    There is some hidden truth therein....comical though the intent may be.

    I think of it also as dating. Although I am married now, I shopped aorund until I found the right lady. If the right church ever came along , then I might consider being part of it only, but since that has never yet happened nor do I think it likely ever will, then there is nothing wrong with pitching in at a few different congregations and helping out as I can afford to.
     
  2. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Except we don’t know that this is the case because the OP didn’t offer an speculation of this sort. Yes, it is possible that she has run into some mean-spirited pastors, but it is just as possible that she does not want to commit because she has met wonderful people at all the churches she has visited and she likes spending time in the company of so many different people. We don’t know.

    I do hope she pays a visit to my ELCA church—we welcome visitors! Of course, I don’t know where this is taking place.
     
  3. PeterJames0510

    PeterJames0510 New Member

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    I'm definitely not trying to be mean spirited to you or disrespectful to your beliefs.

    But it's not clued in on you that the reason why you are able to go from church to church and Buddhist Temple to Buddhist temple is because there are faithful people keeping each afloat? And that if they all had the mentality that you did, they would not even exist?
     
  4. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Veteran Supporter

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    But the fact is that not everybody is going to start church hopping. Many, perhaps most, like having a home church. As I said earlier, we have people at my church who have been members since the church was founded 70 years ago.
     
  5. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Veteran Supporter

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    And for the record, I’m not trying to start a debate because this is an advice forum, just pointing out that we don’t know all the facts.
     
  6. PeterJames0510

    PeterJames0510 New Member

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    I get it ... but the fact that "not everybody is going to start church hopping" and "we have people at my church who have been members since the church was founded 70 years ago" ought to teach us something about faithfulness.

    Otherwise, I see it as riding on the coat tails of another person's faith, not our own.
     
  7. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Veteran Supporter

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    And as I said earlier, most Christians like having a home church. My guess is that at some point this young lady will find a church where she feels comfortable and put down roots. Until then there is nothing wrong with what she is doing.

    And if she never finds a home church, God won’t care
     
  8. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The story of Mary and Martha comes to mind. Yes, churches need Marthas, the people who work and ensure that all the work for the church gets done. But churches also need Marys, the people who just want to sit and learn. Note that Jesus did not rebuke Mary for not helping her sister with the work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  9. Gregory95

    Gregory95 You will know them by their fruits

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    Should one submit to the tradition of men or doctrine of Christ?
     
  10. Gregory95

    Gregory95 You will know them by their fruits

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    When I try churches I find very little Biblical teaching and mostly tradition of men, the priests always give me unBiblical run around answers when I ask why.
     
  11. justme6272

    justme6272 Newbie

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    I'm not a floater due to wanting to be entertained. I don't even consider anyone's liturgy to be entertaining. I'm a "floater" cause different churches are teaching different things at different times, at the discretion of the decision makers, without input from me, so you have no choice but to accept their decisions and go with the flow, lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness. Having so many churches with online sermons available for streaming on demand has been a God-send for me. Small group Bible studies don't have that, so you go here, go there, listen to this, listen to that, and with the right strategy, you might actually learn something new instead of hearing the same warmed over stories over and over where pastors lift each other's ideas.

    I finished reading the book of Joshua for the first time and found things I'd never heard in any sermon, because churches want to preach warm and fuzzy feel good sermons that make you want to come back. It's all about numbers of warm bodies and the money that they give. It's not about making sure you know that Jews not only went to war with non-Jews, but were ready to go to war with each other, if necessary, should they dare sin, or build the wrong kind of alter. I had no idea of this until I read the book for myself.

    I have no apologies to anyone whatsoever for being a "floater." I accept it as a badge of honor while others simply "go through the motions of doing church," clueless about what's even contained in most of the Bible, sitting in pews all their lives accomplishing little, all the way up until the day they die.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  12. PeterJames0510

    PeterJames0510 New Member

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    Therein lies our difference. I believe God is working in and through local New Testament churche; not a broad overreach of a supposedly "invisible" or "visible" "universal" "Church". I see it clear through the book of Acts, through the body metaphor of 1 Corinthians 12, and through the clear admonitions to the seven churches in Revelation that God wants to intimately know and take care of His flock through a local assembly. [Take note in Revelation that Jesus does not walk through 1 candle stick; rather, He walks through 7 candlesticks, individual candlesticks representing local church bodies. If there were a universal church, then we should rather have seen a menorah, which we don't see in Revelation.]

    That doesn't preclude wisdom in finding the right church home, using internet if there are no other choices, making sure you are not in churches that abuse, etc.

    But it does preclude the notion that going from one church to another is good. This isn't a matter of whether "most Christians" like having a church home or if the statistics in psychology points to the fact that most Christians stay with one local church body.

    The point is - does God work in and through local churches, or doesn't He? If He doesn't, then sure - wander all you want. If He does, however ... someone might want to ask oneself why they won't settle down. If it's due to church abuse, that is a totally different bird that needs to be approached cautiously. But I did not get the indication in the OP this is what it's about.

    As far as Mary and Martha - even i f I were to believe the story was a literal metaphor for church operations (which I don't think I buy) - how is this any different from the body metaphor of 1 Corinthians 12? Your analogy would have worked better if Mary were not sitting and learning, but she was jumping from one Rabbi to another.
     
  13. Gregory95

    Gregory95 You will know them by their fruits

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    Dose God not work through His elect, through each individual who has the Holy Ghost? I'm NOT saying believers shouldn't get together , we all have a purpose in the Church and not all have the same purpose (all the elect are who make up the true Church not some who are in a building) I would love to find a local group but I refuse to trade sound doctrine for traditions of man thus I am never allowed to partake or even get baptized.( you must join "their "church to be baptized) one should be baptized in Christs name not in a doctrine that was made by man ie denominations
     
  14. PeterJames0510

    PeterJames0510 New Member

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    God works through the local church; I don't like the word 'elect' to describe the saints because today's understanding of 'elect' is normally Calvinistic 'unto salvation' 'election'. Nonetheless, God does not work 'independently' through individual believers any more or less *differently* than Jesus did when He was with His disciples. Both Jesus and the book of Acts are great examples of how churches work "interdependently" with each other as a group or individually.

    Individuals may very well discern a certain will of God; the church authorizes them to go and, while yes they depart - they are still held accountable to the group of people they left from because the group commissioned them.

    You talk about the "true Church" and that is a difference; I'm a local church Baptist and I believe the term 'catholic' (whether it is used in reference to Roman Catholic Church or whether it is used in reference to a generic 'universal' church) is simply not biblical. Difference so noted, we move on.

    I actually prefer denominations; the type of situation you are describing creates a lot of difficulties as can be seen in simply trying to give advice to the OP in this thread.

    Tell me up front your Catholic; your Lutheran; your Baptist; your Presbyterian; your Church of Christ; your Church of Christ in God; your Pentecostal; your Eastern Orthodox; etc. Then I can understand where you are coming from and respond and react accordingly. Heck, I'm Independent Fundamental Baptist and am completely fine with that label.

    But when someone says, 'Well, I'm a Biblicist, I only do the Bible ...' - that does't tell us much. What are you thoughts on baptism; church polity; ordinances or sacraments; Calvinism or traditionalism; Real Presence; absolution; ecclesiology, etc?

    The problem with saying 'I just follow the Bible, not the traditions of men' is that all the denominations are saying the same thing. The Lutherans are saying 'There is Real Presence and all the other denoms are the traditions of man' (for example). Therefore, are you part of a denomination or aren't you? If you're not, what characterizes your faith journey other than believing denominations are bad?

    Nah ... I'd much rather the denominational labels. It helps Christians see the perspectives of others a little more easily in my opinion.
     
  15. A Realist

    A Realist Living in Reality

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    This a first for me. Most IFB members I've talked to swear up and down they are not a denomination.

    That being said.........now back to the OP!
     
  16. PeterJames0510

    PeterJames0510 New Member

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    Yeah, I know. It's kind of hard *not* to use the term ... actually, it's a fine term. Some of my brothers in the movement disagree ... but we're all 'Independent' thinkers, so I'm fine with it. I try not to be a jerk. :)

    Sure, back to the OP ...
     
  17. danbuter

    danbuter Member Supporter

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    And there are a bunch of other denominations that would disagree with anyone going to your particular church. It's best for someone to find a church where they fit in.

    I personally don't go to any Church, as I've found all of them filled with self-important busybodies who like to judge others while ignoring their own faults. I just read my bible and pray at home. I'm pretty sure God is ok with me doing that.
     
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  18. PeterJames0510

    PeterJames0510 New Member

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    And it's totally cool with me that other denoms don't like me or my church; no problems. A Christian should go where their conscience allows them.

    Having said that, the New Testament is devoid of examples of people doing it on their own ... as tempting as it is in American Christianity.
     
  19. Gregory95

    Gregory95 You will know them by their fruits

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    I use elect as in its true form from Scripture, if I had to put a label other then Christian this I don't understand as didn't Paul say not to divide Christ , isn't denomination s the same thing . in both instances there is people siding with a mans ideas (Lutherans side with Luther Methodist with John Wesley Catholics with the pope etc) . Instead of all believers holding the same label of Christian and seeking Christs doctrine above all. If it helps to understand where I'm coming from i am a man who was far from Christ my testimony is on my page if you wish to see it. At rock bottom I received a nudge (only way I can explain it) and for the first time in my life I seeked after God and my journey began once I was born again. I don't see how saying one is. Biblicist is not clear wouldn't it be simply if its in the Bible they believe it?
     
  20. PeterJames0510

    PeterJames0510 New Member

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    Saying one is a Biblicist is not clear because all the denominations are going to say that.

    The divisions of 1 Corinthians was a division within the local church in general. The problem was not so much people 'preferred' other teachers, but that those teachers were being pit up against Apostolic leadership, specifically Paul. Notice Paul said it was equally as bad to say "I'm of Christ" not because we shouldn't be of Christ, but because that was being used as another way to say "See, I'm better then you followers of Paul because I'm a follower of Christ" arrogantly.

    I'm not here referring to your particular faith journey, though we all have fallen in the pit and will go back into the pit without Christ.

    I'm speaking of our doctrinal understandings that under gird our faith; teaching is incredibly important. If you believe in the Sacraments, I'm going to approach discussions with you differently than if you say 'Lord's supper is just a memorial service, there is no specific grace imparted by observing it.' This is just one of many questions.

    When we say we don't take a stand on any particular issue or denomination or a church, we're opening ourselves up to 'eclectic' religion, which I believe is **very** dangerous. In 'eclectic' religion, we simply accept what everyone's telling us. We have no real anchor in any real church; we have become an island unto ourself and we pat ourselves on the back saying "I follow Christ and the Bible and to heck with denominational churches". We do ourself a dis-service because if the basics of Christianity is true (we are all sinners without Christ), how can we trust our own ideas and interpretations? How can we know we're not deceiving ourselves or making an idol of God by own own fanciful scriptural interpretations?

    Well, we have the Holy Spirit ... and the Holy Spirit is spoken of as being intimate with God's churches (again 1 Cor 12). He is the one to guide us into all truth.

    Now, I'm not suggesting don't think for yourself; I'm not suggesting go join a group like Bruderhof (as alluring as it may seem). I 'm not saying allow yourself to be abused by pastors or people.

    But I am saying that without a church, you wind up trusting yourself and hoping that what you believe is the truth. You can't bounce that idea off of someone else and, worse, you can't help others propagate the same truth you've discovered to the world.

    Basics: salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone and His redeeming work alone. From here, we should pray what church God wants us in because He is using each denomination that believes solely in the Bible and Christ to His glory. In my scenario, I am not limiting God by insisting believers join local churches. I am expanding by suggesting God will lead us to the right denomination. I do not consider orthodox denominations to be 'factions' of Christ when everyone realizes - hey, we're trying the best we can going along with the Scriptures and staying true to our personal beliefs. We may have differences; that's okay. We may not necessarily all get along, but we can disagree amicably.
     
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