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Christian having doubts

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, I haven't been here in awhile.  I'm seeking out advice from someone who maybe has been through a similar situation. I've been a Christan for 10 years now. I've been invested in every church we have been members of.  Recently I started feeling like I just couldn't do it anymore. Like I just don't fit in and I'm pretending.  I believe in God and Jesus and that they are who they say they are.  I'm not going to explain this very well but I feel like I don't want to be part of a group anymore that doesn't care about the environment, and social justice, one that looks down on you if you aren't Republican or think a little differently.  I know there is a movement of more liberal Christians but that doesn't seem like the answer either.  I'm not sure what the answer is. I know that I love God and want an authentic relationship.  Anyone have any advice?  No offense but please don't advise me to go to a Unitarian Church, I can't get with their beliefs.  Thank you.

post #2 of 48

Best advice, take what you believe and how you feel and honor god by your actions.  A lot of times you begin to notice that those around you do not actually seem to be honoring god with their actions and with their lack of acceptance.

 

At one point, I taught Sunday school, lead a praise and worship team and a bible study.  One day I looked around and thought, who are we kidding?  It felt like I was hanging out in a game of "Who is the better Christian".  And it began to feel like a clique.  That's not what I wanted.  When I spoke with my pastor about this he told me I was my own problem and doubting the church is was like doubting Christ.  I was also told that if I left the church and thought I was better off on my own, that I was hurting Christ.  They would always except me back with open arms though... so not to worry. 

 

I remember teaching a class about sin.  I got really stuck.  In one hand god viewed all sins the same, but in the Law of Moses, there are two types of sin.  Confusing texts always got to me.  Since adults did not question... children did.  I had a kid that would ask questions after questions.  And while I appreciated his part in class, other parents were not pleased that they had kids coming out of my class telling their parents that so and so asked this and Ms. (Me) told him this and that.  We actually would look through the bible together and try to answer his questions.  I was told to stick to the stories.  That I was causing confusion and allowing the kids to question gods work. 

 

Go about blindly I guess.  I do understand the environmental stance and the political junk to be an extreme issue.  We had a woman in our church that voted for Clinton... OH THE NERVE!  She told people she voted for him to.  The pastor decided we would all pray for the President even though he's not what we wanted as Satan had won out... How did Satan win out?  Anyone?  Anyone? 

 

After 10 yrs of pushing the negative out of my life I have become more spiritual and I have a stronger belief in God.  The church was bringing me down.  The money never being used for anything but newer chairs and a nicer sound system.  Rarely did I see or know of widespread giving.  And there should have been a lot, since that church brought in so much. 

 

Once you get away from the negative aspects of church that affecting you and devote time to understand your faith, rather than be fed what is on the calendar for the month of January, things become clearer and you can understand you're not wrong for questioning any or all of the practices in your church.  Or any other church for that matter. 

post #3 of 48

I don't fit in at church and I feel out of place most of the time. So I know where you are coming from. It can be hard to hear things that are out of place from where you see God/Jesus. For me I love to listen to a great teacher. Wayne Monbleau he is all about Jesus and NOT ALL THE EXTRAS that "people" want to add. Here is his web site....

 

www.lovinggrace.org

 

I hope that helps

post #4 of 48
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your replies, they are helpful.  I do feel as if I am going through the motions.  As a social event my church is great, but as a means of spiritual fulfillment it is no longer doing that for me.  My husband doesn't understand where I am coming from.  He asks why would I want to go to church with a bunch of people who are exactly like me. I don't, but I would like to go to church functions and not overhear how gay people are the scum of the earth and Obama is evil and destroying America, that would be nice.  I'm over exaggerating, but I am starting to question the whole idea of church anyway.  I used to be excited about God. 

post #5 of 48

Is the town you live in quite conservative? Is there a more liberal town nearby? I ask because where I live is SUPER crunchy, and there are TONS of Christian churches (missionaries were some of the first whites to come here in droves). So there are a few liberal and/or crunchy Cristian churches. There are also the "gays are trying to lead our young people to Satan" churches, but I can think of at least two churches in my area (small town), one of which I believe has sort of more middle-class educated liberal types (lots of same sex couples at that one is my understanding) and then another church is the more crunchy hippie church, with the home birthing, homeschooling off the grid families. In the (small) city 1/2 hour away, there are more mainstream but still very positive, inclusive congregations. I also saw this when I lived in another crunchy town in the Bible Belt. So while my answer doesn't address your question of faith, what I am trying to say is that you might be able to find a church more aligned with your beliefs by looking towards a larger community that shares your sentiments and finding a church there, rather than looking within your church to find people like you. Does that make any sense?

post #6 of 48

Even if she finds a church more aligned with her beliefs, she'll still run into the same things.  The problem with churches now is that it seems it's okay to be judgey.  It's okay to openly accuse.  It's ok to flaunt your "stuff".  It's getting overwhelming.  Church should be about worship and learning.  Your clothes, your cliques and politics need not show up.  I had a friend that would buy a new outfit for sunday.  I didn't get it.  When we hosted another church for a week, we were required to wear the same colors, which prompted the pastors wife to organize a shopping trip... to Nordstroms.  Right...

 

There is too much inequality in many churches.  It's sad.  I really think that the good moral messages are swept aside in favor of the "Hot Topics"

Abortion

Gays

Chastity

Politics

 

Churches trying to get more in attendance by pushing for more secular sounding music is another issue for me.  I went to one here a while back and it felt like I was in the club. 

 

post #7 of 48

I'm talking about churches that aren't like that. That was the point. If you haven't been able to have a good experience in a church community, well, sorry, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist for other people

post #8 of 48

Jess... of course not all churches are like that.  I've been to numerous, if you read my original reply I've been in the thick of it.  I understand that the way churches are going and pandering to what's gonna get people in the door is deterimental to those who want to learn and grow.  It made me uncomfortable.  It felt wrong and it did not feel as though we were honoring god.  If I spoke against it that meant that I was speaking against the church.  I wasn't I was speaking against the mainstream ideals. 

 

I'm not church bashing.  I'm stating the reasons I went a way from the church and have decided to grow without "cool" music, gossip and money spent on SOUND SYSTEMS instead of actually doing gods work. 

post #9 of 48
Thread Starter 

I grew up in  a small conservative town.  We are military and have pretty much only lived in more conservative areas.  When we first got here to Virginia I sought out an emergent church, but it just didn't feel right.  It felt too hipsterish for me.  I honestly can't even imagine would it would be like to go to a church like you describe Jess.  Maybe that would make a difference.  Are you in Hawaii still?  My husband is from Ewa Beach and we are trying to get stationed there.  My friend goes to an awesome church there.  I've been influenced by Shane Claiborne and his movement, but there is nothing like that here.  The thought crossed my mind to try a Mennonite church also.  At one church we went attended they gave us a voting guide that listed why we should vote for George Bush, my dh said if our church pulls anything like that we are out of there.  Thanks for your replies ladies. 

post #10 of 48

The really sad thing is that most people that go to church are giving God/Jesus a bad name. Jesus came that we the church (the people NOT the building) would be one. Church was always meant to be

JESUS-HEAD

people-followers

 

Where did we go wrong? I'm not sure....but I wish/pray that one day we will follow Jesus again.

post #11 of 48

Have you seen the Youtube video Jesus Vs. Religion?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

 

This really spoke to me. I was saved in a pentacostal church and recently got out of church. I don't know where to turn next. I am reading my Bible and doing my best at this point.

post #12 of 48
Thread Starter 

I actually posted that on my facebook the other day and jokingly said yay Jesus wasn't Republican and a lot of people from my church didn't think that was too funny.  I like what he had to say. I feel the same way. 

post #13 of 48

me to.  So many people are so hurt in churches as was I. It's hard to enter into another church again for fear of being hurt. 

post #14 of 48

Please try listening to Wayne. I think that you might really like what he has to say.

post #15 of 48

While I agree that lots of judging goes in in churches, it goes on everywhere and I really hate to see that it is thought that MOST people who go to church give it a bad name.  I certainly dont believe that.  I believe that they are all human with tons af faults and sins - like everyone.  I am not saying it is right to judge, but instead of judging them for judging, you could attend the church and try to change their minds with yoour actions.  And, It is unfomfortable, but churches need money to function.  They cannot give all the money theu raise away because the church needs to keep up the building, salaries, etc so as to hopefully help encourage more people to join.  Cool musicand lazer shows may not be for some, but the purpose of the church is to entice all people to God, so if it gets other people excited about God and attending then more power to those churches who see that people come to Jesus is many different ways.

 

ETA:  Not the WHOLE purpose of church, of course, but part.  The rest is to act as God's hands and feet on earth.  It is hard to be hands and feet alone, but in a community more change and good can happen.  I don tlike gossip/judging/intolerance more than anyone else, I just also try not to let it get to me.  If you can "stay above the influence" then you could really be a benefit to your church. 


Edited by e&tsmom - 1/17/12 at 10:38am
post #16 of 48
Thread Starter 


I agree, I am judging the people I go to church with and I shouldn't.  I just came to the realization of why am I choosing to be a part of this group of people who I do not share many core beliefs with.  We share the common belief of Jesus yes, but I'm starting to question why and how I am supposed to be followers of Christ with people that I don't agree with on so many other levels.  My whole life I've been an outcast always standing up and trying to get people to see things from a different perspective, most of the time they think I'm a freak or a weird hippy.  So yes I could try and change their minds with my actions, but I'm questioning why I should have to do that anymore.  I know that church's cannot give away all their money away, but my particular church is upper middle class and we have not one outreach ministry in our church. We have a campaign to sponsor Russian orphans and no one will sign up for it.  As I said before I have been influenced by Shane Claiborne and when I see people like him I feel like they are living the way Jesus said to live. I don't see that when I look around at my church.  Thank you for your thoughts smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by e&tsmom View Post

While I agree that lots of judging goes in in churches, it goes on everywhere and I really hate to see that it is thought that MOST people who go to church give it a bad name.  I certainly dont believe that.  I believe that they are all human with tons af faults and sins - like everyone.  I am not saying it is right to judge, but instead of judging them for judging, you could attend the church and try to change their minds with yoour actions.  And, It is unfomfortable, but churches need money to function.  They cannot give all the money theu raise away because the church needs to keep up the building, salaries, etc so as to hopefully help encourage more people to join.  Cool musicand lazer shows may not be for some, but the purpose of the church is to entice all people to God, so if it gets other people excited about God and attending then more power to those churches who see that people come to Jesus is many different ways.

 

ETA:  Not the WHOLE purpose of church, of course, but part.  The rest is to act as God's hands and feet on earth.  It is hard to be hands and feet alone, but in a community more change and good can happen.  I don tlike gossip/judging/intolerance more than anyone else, I just also try not to let it get to me.  If you can "stay above the influence" then you could really be a benefit to your church. 



 

post #17 of 48

I only judge the people that say things that are so far away from the teaching of Jesus. SO many times I have tried to talk to the pastor/elder/sunday school teacher and they just look at me like I'm crazy. Jesus told the religious people that they were flat out wrong. Jesus told us how to be a church under Him. In JOHN 17 is Jesus praying that we would follow Him and be ONE.

 

I'm sorry if I come across as judging anyone. I'm more like lets get it together church. LETS start following Jesus and forget about the "other stuff". The church is the people of God following the Messiah and we are to love each other. We hear the voice of the Great Shepherd and we follow. The voice of a stranger we will not follow.

 

If I judge anyone it would be the leaders that are teaching the false stuff. Even Paul/Peter/John/Jude/Mark did this in their letters.

post #18 of 48

I really don't have any advice, I am just starting over in Christianity, I just wanted to offer hugshug2.gif

post #19 of 48

I think it's good to talk about this though.  If you were to talk about it with friends from church they may think we're not being faithful.  Church is full of man/women... they are not perfect.  They can cause more harm than good.  Not identifying with a church does not make you less. 

post #20 of 48

I am certainly not saying that I dont judge people, I think we all do, I just try to recognize when I do it and try to go a different route with my thinkging or try to see the issue from another perpective.  I hear ya though - " lets get it together, church."  We need to do better, there is much room for improvement.  And, False stuff should never fly with anyone.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nazsmum View Post

I only judge the people that say things that are so far away from the teaching of Jesus. SO many times I have tried to talk to the pastor/elder/sunday school teacher and they just look at me like I'm crazy. Jesus told the religious people that they were flat out wrong. Jesus told us how to be a church under Him. In JOHN 17 is Jesus praying that we would follow Him and be ONE.

 

I'm sorry if I come across as judging anyone. I'm more like lets get it together church. LETS start following Jesus and forget about the "other stuff". The church is the people of God following the Messiah and we are to love each other. We hear the voice of the Great Shepherd and we follow. The voice of a stranger we will not follow.

 

If I judge anyone it would be the leaders that are teaching the false stuff. Even Paul/Peter/John/Jude/Mark did this in their letters.



 

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