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Your church

theFijian

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I love the mature, intelligent debate that you are having with non Christians. Certainly makes me look inept ;)

Well yes your shallow and hackneyed attempts at discussion certainly do make you look inept. Clearly you are incapable of identifying and/or analysing the presuppositions that people bring to a discussion making you unable to debate effectively so you can only fall back on worn out truisms or deflections. Exhibit A: Post# 24
 
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Well yes your shallow and hackneyed attempts at discussion certainly do make you look inept. Clearly you are incapable of identifying and/or analysing the presuppositions that people bring to a discussion making you unable to debate effectively so you can only fall back on worn out truisms or deflections. Exhibit A: Post# 24

Merry, Happy, Graceful Christmas and New Year :thumbsup:
 
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ebia

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How did you choose the church your currently attend? What influences your decision making process?

Is it your local church - i.e. the church geographically the closest to your home?
If not, why do you not attend your local church?


My answers to the above:

I attend our local church i.e the one that it is physically closest to my home

Would you do that no matter what church it was?
 
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DanielGarneau

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Hello fellow members of CF,

This is a huge topic. I'll just share on some personal aspects of it for now. Circumstances and the people I happenned to know have always been very important in leading me to a local Church rather than another. When I chose to turn my life over to Christ, my father had a friend who introduced us to a Baptist Church start up of 50 who grew up to 500 or so.

Having grown in that Church, and done a BTh in seminary, I was eventually mandated by that local Church to start a daughter Church. We grew from 20 or so to somewhere around 50 or 60 including children. But then situations came up that made me believe I should leave full time ministry. This was a huge decision with important impacts of all sorts, like the need to get training...

I wanted to stay in the same Church, but when members came to me because they did not like the orientation taken by the new pastor on practical issues involving how we relate to other denominational groups, I decided to leave that Church for the sake of not interfering with what the leadership wanted.

I was not ready at the time to go back to the mother Church, so we joined a mid size Church that focused part of their meetings on members sharing between themselves about what God did in their lifes. The leadership and many members there were from a Christian Brethen background. There were also several from a Baptist background, as well as Christian alliance and non denominational groups. We knew many people, and stayed for several years.

Then I got home sick, and wanted to go back to my Baptists roots. A new lead pastor seemed to be doing a good job at preaching relevant expository Bible messages. This appeared to be helping the Church move away from some of its most hindering characteristics, and towards maturity and growth in character. It was great to be back with so many old friends, and especially the visiting pastors or evangelists from the denomination whom I knew from previous years.

We had not been there a year yet when we became aware of this church struggling over leadership issues. At the same time, we realized that our oldest college age daughter did not at all understand some of the features of that Church, which to her seemed "artificial".

This is when I was approached by the leaders of a non denominational start-up, former Baptists themselves, to join their group. When they explained their project, I immediately knew it was the right move to do at that time in the context of our family history. So that was 1998. And we have been with that group ever since.
 
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OopsyDaisy

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How did you choose the church your currently attend? What influences your decision making process?

Is it your local church - i.e. the church geographically the closest to your home?
If not, why do you not attend your local church?


My answers to the above:

I attend our local church i.e the one that it is physically closest to my home

What I can put up with.
Without a lot of tolerance, within reason, there would be no fellowship possible with anybody, and that ain't right, me thinks.
My choice, is 'suck it and see', trying out churches, then leaving, when I could take no more.
It was the most obvious at first, such as Zionism, during war crimes perpetrated by the Israelis, that was the main reason for leaving, the more new fangled charismatic protestant fundy sort of sects. But over the years, I have done much of that there book learnin' and my understanding of religion has changed so much, that I am no longer, 'Orthodox', or conforming to the historical path which Christianity took.
Now I have become conspiratorial, and I think that they are all in on it - the establishment, in the UK. And that is the reason, one of the reasons, for the dearth of religious faith in England - it's deliberate.
But then, with the world being so fallen, I think it is surprising that any sort of 'Christianity' made it, at all, even in its present form of 'Judaism Lite'.
So for me, it's what I can stand, and what I cannot stand - no Roman religion, no Zionism, no fundamentalism, and I keep hopeful, that they will keep the obligatory lectures of biblical rubbish down to a minimum, and grin and bear it, when they do sermons on people who never existed, or if they did exist, were brutal thugs, unworthy of mention, within any Christian context. Or that wretched pseudo christian rant, the book of Revelation - unholy gibberish, and much other untruthful muck contained within the new testament.
Church of England, evangelical wing, for me, or nothing.
 
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Danny777

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What I can put up with.
Without a lot of tolerance, within reason, there would be no fellowship possible with anybody, and that ain't right, me thinks.
My choice, is 'suck it and see', trying out churches, then leaving, when I could take no more.
It was the most obvious at first, such as Zionism, during war crimes perpetrated by the Israelis, that was the main reason for leaving, the more new fangled charismatic protestant fundy sort of sects. But over the years, I have done much of that there book learnin' and my understanding of religion has changed so much, that I am no longer, 'Orthodox', or conforming to the historical path which Christianity took.
Now I have become conspiratorial, and I think that they are all in on it - the establishment, in the UK. And that is the reason, one of the reasons, for the dearth of religious faith in England - it's deliberate.
But then, with the world being so fallen, I think it is surprising that any sort of 'Christianity' made it, at all, even in its present form of 'Judaism Lite'.
So for me, it's what I can stand, and what I cannot stand - no Roman religion, no Zionism, no fundamentalism, and I keep hopeful, that they will keep the obligatory lectures of biblical rubbish down to a minimum, and grin and bear it, when they do sermons on people who never existed, or if they did exist, were brutal thugs, unworthy of mention, within any Christian context. Or that wretched pseudo christian rant, the book of Revelation - unholy gibberish, and much other untruthful muck contained within the new testament.
Church of England, evangelical wing, for me, or nothing.

Can you give me an example of a church that ticks your boxes?
 
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ebia

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No - some notion of the gospel would have to be present during Sunday morning services
Much as I thought.

It always seems to turn out that people who make a big thing of just going to their most local church don't really do so just because it's local - it's just that the most local happens to fit their other criteria.
 
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Danny777

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Much as I thought.

It always seems to turn out that people who make a big thing of just going to their most local church don't really do so just because it's local - it's just that the most local happens to fit their other criteria.

I don't think Ian's making a 'big thing' out of going to his most local church...
 
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ianb321red

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Much as I thought.

It always seems to turn out that people who make a big thing of just going to their most local church don't really do so just because it's local - it's just that the most local happens to fit their other criteria.

There has to be a litmus test of some kind otherwise you'd end up in the local mosque or temple.

I wouldn't got to the nearest church if it was clearly un-biblical, distorting beliefs in anyway, or indeed if the church members were seemingly cold and/ or unwelcoming....
 
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Wevrul

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I've tried a few different churches in my life. I was raised Evangelical and went to the main Evangelical Cathedral in Glasgow, where I was born.

After I moved through to Edinburgh I tried a few churches; a baptist church, a pentecostal church and a local parish, Church of Scotland/Presbyterian church. All of these churches had parts that I liked and parts that I didn't like so much.

To this day I still have a lot of swinging and swaying with what church I should be a part of and still can't find one that suits me 100%.

It's just a shame that a church can sometimes be affected by the personal biases of the minister conducting the sermon.
 
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theFijian

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It's just a shame that a church can sometimes be affected by the personal biases of the minister conducting the sermon.

And the one hearing a sermon can sometimes be affected by their own personal biases, so what's the solution?
 
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Wevrul

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The solution to me is self study at home, until I find a church that I can connect with.

A lot of it for me is the friendliness and welcoming attitudes a church has, I can usually come and go with biases - my own included, naturally, I'm not claiming to be perfect and never will. Far from it if anything - but the friendliness has to be there.
 
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OopsyDaisy

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Can you give me an example of a church that ticks your boxes?

I went to the Anglican Evangelical service last week. It was a 40 minute sermon on a fictional character from the Jewish religion - Joshua, who if really existed, (and he didn't) was the worst example of school-yard bully, zero compassion and all-round cad.
I thought "I can't believe it.. more junk from stuff that I don't believe is true".. they must be doing it deliberately to drive away normal people, who have not yet got around to having the full frontal lobotomy.
"Perhaps I'll stick with it and try to ignore the sermons" - "nah - enough already! I've had enough of it - they need to do some basic study and pull themselves into this century. My findings on Dionysus go even deeper, so that I wouldn't mention it here.
So what to do?
Well, there is another Anglican Church, which on the internet description says 'broadly Evangelical' and shared services with the Methodists - perhaps the Methodists will influence out any of that Roman religion which I can't stomach - without the church going all Protestant with their long sermons, obsession with money, and dead services - the dry shell from a revival back in the 18th century, and yet another splinter group away from the Church of England.
Just to rub it in, the Evangelical-Anglican church last did a sermon on David, dancing and bringing the supposed ark of the covenant into Jerusalem, and about some woman who didn't approve - what's that got to do with anything? Who cares?
And then before that - the book of revelation -
So, I am moving. But there are things which I cannot put up with - Judaism, passed off as Christianity - Judaism Lite - without the Torah and stoning and all that (why not stoning or the law? Anybody?) And the book of Revelation. And lectures on why we must tithe -
I was reading up on why Christianity is on the decline in the USA - across the board - conservative, liberal, catholic, progressive - I think it is a mix of things - education, affluence, removal of state religion and societal pressure to conform - its not just Darwinism, and the conservative reaction against Darwinism - although Darwinism does destroy Christian faith absolutely, except for some who carry on and pretend that it doesn't.
 
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DanielGarneau

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Hello everyone,

I have just been reading through this thread from my own response, posted Dec 19, 2014, up to the post preceding this one, Jan 10, 2015, where examples are provided of what are considered irritants playing against the choice of a local congregation over another.

Someone close to me tried to help me step out of the obscurantist views I was alleged to have about the Bible being God's Word and the importance of interpreting it as it intends itself to be undersood. Since that person got her information from the theological faculty of a prestigious local university, I chose to study those criticizing my position.

My response to those criticism that have to do with the Bible itself are going in two complementary directions: first, the reliability of Scriptures, second, the need to become thoroughly familiar with the text of the Bible, beginning from the New Testament, and seing how Jesus and the apostles treated the old testament. I will close this post on the need for personal commitment when one tries to chose a Christian local Churches to meet one's growth needs.

ABOUT THE RELIABILITY OF THE BIBLE

One of the things I found is that some authors have a tendency to use name-calling instead of dealing with facts, positions, perspectives, and interacting with those. I documented this in an essay titled «Comment donc comprendre la Bible aujourd'hui?» (How then are we to understand the Bible today?). After writing it (in French), I found some English language material that follow the same path, showing that there are valid reasons to take the Bible seriously and to understand it as it tells us we should understand it.

You can find this French language essay and short English language video documents at www savoiretcroire ca. From the Knowing section choose the What about the Bible sub-section.

ABOUT FAMILIARIZING ONESELF WITH THE BIBLE TEXT ITSELF

I would suggest anyone with a bias against the validity of the Old Testament to begin reading the Bible by tring to understand the main message of the Gospel of John, asking, what would I have to change in my life is this were true, and if ever I concluded it were true, would I be willing to trust Christ with my views of life and with the way I conduct my personal and profesionnal affairs?

The entire New Testament should first be read with that sort of attitude, accompanied by an attitude of prayer that would go along the following lines: «God, Christianity as I understand it now turns me off. I believe it is off base. Please help me turn my eyes away from those who have led me to this belief, and help me understand Christianity from the teaching of its only true Chief, Jesus Christ Himself, and from those He mandated to represent Him, called apostles throughout the New Testament. God, I am willing to change my mind, my attitude, and my entire life, if I turn out to believe what they said».

The Bible says it requires the Spirit of God to understand the truth of God, so ask God to lead you through His Spirit so you will gain some understanding that is now elluding you.

Once you have gone through the New Testament at least once and perhaps several times with the basic attitudes I just mentioned, then I invite you to go back to the text and see how Jesus and the apostles considered the statements made in the Old Testament. You will see that they took it as history and not as myth. Looking up the Old Testament passages quoted in the New Testament will help you understand better what it talks about.

BE PERSONALY COMITTED IN YOUR INVESTIGATING LOCAL CHURCHES

Then, find a Church that takes the Bible seriously and that at the same time shows respect to its members and visitors. Then participate in it truly, and get involved in what it has to propose for your growth as a Christian. And don't shun the commitment part that you will be invited towards as you understand what Christianity is truly about.

Some of the posts I read today seem to take a sight-seeing approach to Church evaluation. You can't really know what is going on in a Church unless you truly get involved. So first impressions are important and must be taken into account. But one has to move further into his or her investigation before drawing conclusions, either about the Church's teaching or community life.

God bless all the readers of this thread.
 
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Liberasit

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How did you choose the church your currently attend? What influences your decision making process?

Is it your local church - i.e. the church geographically the closest to your home?
If not, why do you not attend your local church?


My answers to the above:

I attend our local church i.e the one that it is physically closest to my home

I was invited by a friend.
 
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