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Can someone help me out here re:Christianity - Page 2

post #21 of 37
The Unity Church and the Unitarian Universalist church are two different things. They have some things in common though. I sometimes attend a UU fellowship but have yet to get to a Unity church.

They both tend to be considered pretty liberal, open and affirming to all (gay/lesbian/trans). That might be her issue. And therein is the answer...or at least it would be for me. It is her issue. I wouldn't attend an evangelical church if you paid me. And I wouldn't require that my relative plan a trip to a church that fits all my needs and none of their own.

Perhaps you guys can do something else together? Or she can look up churches in the phone book and attend the one she likes alone.
post #22 of 37
I would probably just not even go. It doesn't sound as though the beliefs your sister has and the ones that you have will be those of any one particular church/relgious group.

Add me to the list of those who think her intentions are to attempt to convert you. If she just wanted to attend any service, she wouldn't be so picky, but that's JMO. It's hard to explain all of what I am thinking regarding this situation. :innnocent
post #23 of 37
I wouldn't go. I'm a Christian and I while I would invite my host to attend church with us, I wouldn't make anything out of it and I certainly wouldn't put it upon them to pick the church! :

If you feel comfortable going to a church of her choice then go in the name of sisterly bonding. If you don't then don't!! I'm not sure what it would "accomplish" anyway. You'll end up being annoyed the whole time - the best basis for sisterly affection!
post #24 of 37
i wouldn't go with her.

you went out of your way to help make the situation into an enjoyable event.

i do not think it is "against her religion"...perhaps she misunderstood.

either way. i'd just tell her you aren't interested in attending.
post #25 of 37
I have attended a Unity church, and I have been a conservative christian, and these two things are polar opposites.
I totally see why she would be offended.
Unity teaches that each person is God because God is everywhere. That is a HUGE problem for evangelics,and it would go against her religion to worship in a place like that.
They also follow the teachings of Marianne Williamson.
I am not saying you did anything wrong, because you didn't know, just trying to explain her side of it.
Also, if you are not comfortable going to her church, dont go. Evangelic churches can be VERY uncomfortable places for non christians, as uncomfy as the unity church would be for her
post #26 of 37
Different branches of Christianity believe very different things. For many denominations of Christianity, attendance at a different church would not be a problem theologically speaking. So long as the church believes in basically similar things, then that would be OK.

I grew up ELCA Lutheran, got confirmed Methodist, attended a couple of Baptist and non-denominational churches for a few years, then started attending a Lutheran Brethren church. :-) The biggest doctrinal difference between them was that the Baptists don't do infant baptism. But all shared the beliefs most vital to my faith (role and teachings and resurrection of Jesus). As long as they were professing the same basic tenets of faith, that was fine w/ me. At a glance, these different churches had hugely different types of worship services. Some were huge, some just a dozen people in the congregation. Some were very traditional and some had rock bands playing worship music. Some were much more conservative in dress and conduct. But I could separate myself, my own personal dress "code", my own degree of literalness or lack thereof, my own personal style of music, from that of the church. It was the doctrine that mattered: just what does the church teach about God and the Bible?

Even though all these different sects call themselves "Christians" all variations of Christianity would not be seen as "OK" in the eyes of all denominations. There are some sects which I would not feel comfortable with (I am not comfortable with those which require head-covering for women or which do speaking in tongues and the like) and I know some Christians would be uncomfortable in my church.

In my experience, Evangelicals tend to be more conservative and literal in their interpretation of scripture. Having read the description you posted in the link, my guess is that the doctrine of the Unity church differs too much from her own beliefs (ideas that jumped out at me were the "metaphysical" interpretation of the Bible and the emphasis on living by principles of Christianity rather than emphasis on a personal relationship with Christ and salvation by grace). The latter emphasis (personal relationship, salvation by grace) have been the hallmarks of the Evangelical churchs I have attended. And to an individual who believes that salvation comes through grace and a personal trust in Jesus Christ as one's savior, attending any other worship service might be uncomfortable and feel insincere at best and downright wrong or blasphemous at worst. I am only generalizing and speculating though, so before taking my interpretation as correct, you'd best talk to your sis to find out specifically what she feels about this.

If her faith is vital to her and if her set of beliefs is at odds in some way with the church you're comfortable with, then it seems it would be best to find another alternative. If this is the only church that feels acceptable to you, then perhaps it would be best to politely decline to attend with her. You can make sure she has the opportunity to attend a church and even loan her a vehicle or drop her off and pick her up. Let her know you support her. Just that you are not comfortable with attendance and hope that the two of you can maintain mutual respect for one another's feelings.

I really hope this doesn't become a point of contention between you two. If your sis is like many of the Evangelicals I know, then your salvation is an extremely important matter to her. B/c she loves you, she fears that if you are not saved, you will suffer eternal damnation. And that causes sincere fear and heartbreak to her. It may be something that weighs heavily on her heart all the time. (Again, I can only speculate, but I'll offer the perspective as some food for thought since I know this to be true of some Evangelicals I have met). And I promise I'm not telling you this in an effort to "convert" you, but simply to try to offer you some insight that could make it more comfortable to deal with your sis and to know what to say and how to handle things. Hoping it may make dealing with all of this easier if you just tried to keep that in mind. She's your sister. I assume she loves you. If she's an evangelical, she probably believes it's the single most important thing in your life that you be saved.

If you're not interested in hearing this message, you should let her know now b/c she's likely to continue as long as she has the will. How you talk to her about it is up to you. You can give an ultimatum, but it might really hurt your relationship. Instead, I'd suggest that you try to graciously find a way to express to your sis that you understand and appreciate what she has to say and how she feels, but that you feel stressed and uncomfortable and irritated (or whatever it makes you feel like) when put under religious pressure. If you're OK with it, you can give her your permission to pray for you if she wants to (you may be surprised at how well some people accept this). But let her know if her direct pressure makes you feel driven away more than attracted. And if you feel comfortable doing so, you could share with her whatever spiritual or religious beliefs you have yourself. I'd try to keep from getting into debates though, unless you want to stir the pot.

I dunno if I'm coming across the right way or not. I am a middle-of-the-road sort of Christian, but have experience with both ends of the spectrum (very liberal UU Christians and very conservative Baptists) and have found that understanding people's motivations and beliefs helps me get along better with all of them and respect them, even when we're "different". Understanding them helps ME cope. Ykwim? It would be easy to turn differences into fodder for debate and fuel for arguments. But unless there's something to be gained from it, I wouldn't waste the energy.

Bottom line: Your sister is coming for a visit. Enjoy the visit. If you are comfortable going to a church of her choosing, by all means go. You don't have to convert just to go listen. But if going to her church of choice will make you uncomfortable or violate your own personal beliefs or standards, then do not go. And when church is over, try to get past the religion thing and enjoy your sister for who she is. Perhaps you can make a polite truce to keep religion out of the conversation if it causes strain?

Good luck!
post #27 of 37
here is a good link concering the Unity Church, written from a conservative perspective:
http://www.thepropheticyears.com/cults/unity.HTM
post #28 of 37
Yeah, as people have mentioned, there are lots of "flavors" of Christianity and to the people who make very concious choices, the differences are real and profound.

I might politely point out to her that you are not a Christian and that you were/are not familiar with the nuances of the different demoninations and that you were not trying to offend. If you are open to at least learning in an academic sense about the differences, you could ask her to explain them to you.

After that, I would tell her you would be supportive of her religious activities, but that you are not comfortable with attending church with her.

You could invite her to synagogue with you . Once a Jew, always a Jew !
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by boysrus
here is a good link concering the Unity Church, written from a conservative perspective:
http://www.thepropheticyears.com/cults/unity.HTM
Yikes. I find that site to be highly offensive.

This thread belongs in Spirituality, anyway.
post #30 of 37
the things said on that site come nowhere near my personal beliefs (as a very liberal Christian who believes a lot of what Unity teaches), but I know for a fact that many conservative Christians do believe that way, to the point where they believe something like Unity is a cult, so I thought it showed that side pretty well
post #31 of 37
Either it's a huge misunderstanding/miscommunication or she is just being a total brat. Give her the evangelical churches in the phone book and let her go. If it looks like somewhere you would feel comfortable going, go. If not, don't go. I would try not to make it a huge issue or it will just drive a wedge between you and make the visit distancing rather than bonding. Try to have a good time with er, hopefully she doesn't spend the time trying to convert you.

DH's father's side of the family is notorious for this. We can't do anything with most of them, not even talk on the phone or email without it becoming a major prostelytizing event. They are especially horrified that DH married a jewish woman. They think it's my fauly he isn't christian anymore (he was atheist many years before I even met him, he was actually very anti-christian before he even finished school, catholic school LOL!) and are always praying for him and sending him cutesy jeusy emails. Poor DH!
post #32 of 37
She's hoping to convert you. Hand her the phone book when she arrives and tell her you'll have breakfast waiting for her when she gets home from church.
post #33 of 37
i agree with alphaomega2213 and:

Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyKat
She may not want to "convert" you, it's possible she just wants to share the joy she experiences with her family that she loves.

I am an evangelical Christian too, and I have to say that I would not attend a "Unity church" as described in the wikipedia article. Some of their "core beliefs" directly contradict my beliefs about what the Bible teaches. Since the teachings of the Bible are the basis of my beliefs, I am most comfortable and "ministered to" by worshipping with a chirch that shares my beliefs about the Bible as God's word, and who God is.

I wouldn't go to Nestle for breastfeeding advice.
I wouldn't ask Ferber for advice on co-sleeping.
I wouldn't go to a jewish temple to ask questions about islam.
I wouldn't go to a Unity Church to worship God as an evangelical Christian, though I might if I were involved with "Christian Science" because it seems more closely related to that belief system.

If you really feel that it goes against your conscience to go to an evangelical church with your sister, perhaps you could give her a list of local evangelical churches, and tell her you're really not up for it, but you are glad she's happy with her beliefs?
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
She may be trying to convert you, or she may feel that only a certain kind of church is spiritually fulfulling for her and she wants to go to a church that's meaningful for her. It would mean a lot for her to not go alone but to have a loved one attend with her.

I'd give her the benefit of the doubt. However, I still wouldn't attend church with her if you two can't agree on a church you're both comfortable with. Let her go to church alone and you can meet up for brunch afterwards.
that too.
post #35 of 37
and clynnr said things that i agree with as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeys4mama
Different branches of Christianity believe very different things. For many denominations of Christianity, attendance at a different church would not be a problem theologically speaking. So long as the church believes in basically similar things, then that would be OK. ...

In my experience, Evangelicals tend to be more conservative and literal in their interpretation of scripture. Having read the description you posted in the link, my guess is that the doctrine of the Unity church differs too much from her own beliefs (ideas that jumped out at me were the "metaphysical" interpretation of the Bible and the emphasis on living by principles of Christianity rather than emphasis on a personal relationship with Christ and salvation by grace). The latter emphasis (personal relationship, salvation by grace) have been the hallmarks of the Evangelical churchs I have attended. And to an individual who believes that salvation comes through grace and a personal trust in Jesus Christ as one's savior, attending any other worship service might be uncomfortable and feel insincere at best and downright wrong or blasphemous at worst. I am only generalizing and speculating though, so before taking my interpretation as correct, you'd best talk to your sis to find out specifically what she feels about this.

If her faith is vital to her and if her set of beliefs is at odds in some way with the church you're comfortable with, then it seems it would be best to find another alternative. If this is the only church that feels acceptable to you, then perhaps it would be best to politely decline to attend with her. You can make sure she has the opportunity to attend a church and even loan her a vehicle or drop her off and pick her up. Let her know you support her. Just that you are not comfortable with attendance and hope that the two of you can maintain mutual respect for one another's feelings.

I really hope this doesn't become a point of contention between you two. If your sis is like many of the Evangelicals I know, then your salvation is an extremely important matter to her. B/c she loves you, she fears that if you are not saved, you will suffer eternal damnation. And that causes sincere fear and heartbreak to her. It may be something that weighs heavily on her heart all the time. (Again, I can only speculate, but I'll offer the perspective as some food for thought since I know this to be true of some Evangelicals I have met). And I promise I'm not telling you this in an effort to "convert" you, but simply to try to offer you some insight that could make it more comfortable to deal with your sis and to know what to say and how to handle things. Hoping it may make dealing with all of this easier if you just tried to keep that in mind. She's your sister. I assume she loves you. If she's an evangelical, she probably believes it's the single most important thing in your life that you be saved.

If you're not interested in hearing this message, you should let her know now b/c she's likely to continue as long as she has the will. How you talk to her about it is up to you. You can give an ultimatum, but it might really hurt your relationship. Instead, I'd suggest that you try to graciously find a way to express to your sis that you understand and appreciate what she has to say and how she feels, but that you feel stressed and uncomfortable and irritated (or whatever it makes you feel like) when put under religious pressure. If you're OK with it, you can give her your permission to pray for you if she wants to (you may be surprised at how well some people accept this). But let her know if her direct pressure makes you feel driven away more than attracted. And if you feel comfortable doing so, you could share with her whatever spiritual or religious beliefs you have yourself. I'd try to keep from getting into debates though, unless you want to stir the pot.
...

Bottom line: Your sister is coming for a visit. Enjoy the visit. If you are comfortable going to a church of her choosing, by all means go. You don't have to convert just to go listen. But if going to her church of choice will make you uncomfortable or violate your own personal beliefs or standards, then do not go. And when church is over, try to get past the religion thing and enjoy your sister for who she is. Perhaps you can make a polite truce to keep religion out of the conversation if it causes strain?

Good luck!
and all of that too bolding is mine
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jokerama
I admit I am ignorant about christianity but please, someone help me out here?: : :
Not all churches are speaking true Christianity as in Believers in Christ Jesus according to what the Bible states that belief is.

I use Watchman Fellowship (not to be confused with the WatchTower, Jehovah Witness) to get an accurate picture from my beliefs of Christianity what the Unity Church is. http://www.watchman.org/profile/unitypro.htm

I will state that I would not attend a Unity Church, not that it is "against my religious beliefs to attend", but rather b/c the Unity Church does not support what I believe. The Unity Church falls under New Age religions, not Christianity from my view point.

4 major beliefs of Christianity -- the TEST
1) G-d is eternal and personal
2) Matter is created by G-d
3) Humanity is less than G-d
4) Salvation is of G-d

The first concept of the Unity Church is that G-d is All and All is G-d, this goes against G-d being the creator of all, He is not all, He created all. Biblical references Gen 1:1, Isaiah 44:24, John 1:2-3, Colossians 1:16 Thus we are His creation, not that we are also G-d.

I have attended Synagog with a df when we were in college. I went so she would make friends and continue to go. I've attended church with my SIL and her family, even though their church was not in line with my beliefs although still a Christian church (however that is slowly changing), and I would probably attend with my sister to where ever she went if she asked me to go. If she were mistakenly thinking that her church was preaching the message of Christ Jesus, then I would by all means explain to her as gently as possible why I believe what I believe.

I think you might feel better if you talked to your sister openly and told her you didn't know much and thought that this church was a nice place. I'm sure the people there are nice and wonderful. Ask you to help you understand, if she loves you, she will help you understand where she is coming from with grace.

HTHs I could draw it out more, but I don't want to offend anyone and I don't want to spend all night here at my computer.:

I hope you work something out with your sister.
post #37 of 37
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