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#31 of 48 Old 01-24-2012, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I will, thank you.  smile.gif


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#32 of 48 Old 02-03-2012, 05:41 PM
 
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How are things going? Did you do some church hunting?

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#33 of 48 Old 02-04-2012, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well to be honest I did feel God dealing with me about judging people.  I've only ever lived around really conservative people and every once in a while I just go crazy and think I can't do this anymore, these people are nuts.  I posted on FB in what I thought was a private page about looking for a more liberal church and turns out everyone from my current church saw it and they were asking me why would I want to go somewhere else.  As for now I am still there.  I was asked to take over our orphan ministry and try and gain support for it.  If I didn't step up and do it no one else would have.  I still don't really like my church or feel I fit in, but my husband does not feel the same so it's hard to try and debate with him about how I feel.  So for now I guess I keep going and hopefully we get orders to Hawaii soon.  Crossing my fingers.


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#34 of 48 Old 02-04-2012, 07:29 AM
 
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You are not nuts for wanting something else. As we grow in the Lord we will see things differently. I really hope things work out for you.

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#35 of 48 Old 02-05-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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Well, I'm here a little late, but if you are looking for people to do God's work with, and are not too picky about exactly what they call themselves, the Baha'is can always use another pair of hands.  I know you said don't suggest Unitarian, but the Baha'i Faith is definitely not Unitarian.  Right now there is a focus on improving neighborhoods, so that people get to know each other, and can work together.  That means that often many of the people at Baha'i gatherings are not actually Baha'i.  They are just people who have come together in service, prayer or study.  They organize Baha'i or interfaith devotions, classes to promote spirituality in children, study classes for adults to discuss spiritual matters, or to organize youth into service clubs.  These "core activities" are always in need of people to host, to bring refreshments, to generally organize, and there is no requirement to be any certain religion.  Although training is required if you want to facilitate a gathering.  Make no mistake, they are teaching Baha'i principles and using Baha'i scripture.  Well, what else would they use?    Anyway, this website may be helpful in finding people to serve with  http://www.bahai.us/  I don't know where you are, but the Baha'i Faith is one of the most widespread religions in the world, and these gatherings are happening everywhere there are Baha'is, so your chances are good.  Good luck!

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#36 of 48 Old 02-05-2012, 03:01 PM
 
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I am a newly declared believer in Jesus as the Son of God.  What has been most difficult for me in making the choice is that I have a very worldly view of other religons and cultures and belief systems.  What I had to understand for myself is that what is important is MY RELATIONSHIP with Jesus and that all of the believers including myself are really on their own path.  I'm learning to stand up for myself and say what I believe in a much more conservative church than what is in my heart.  I think God is the only one who ought to judge and I just remind myself of that and then feel that as long as I feel that I am living by God's Will, then I can be ok with having different understandings of scripture or world views. 

 

Our church has become really big in believing that we should all be out and serving one another--believer or nonbeliever.  We should all be serving so that others see God in us and are brought to Him by our deeds, not just words.  For you, in particular, maybe a personal ministry would be to use scripture to support your passion for taking care of the earth (or other ministry idea).  I think that living life for Jesus is not just about declaring your belief and trust in Him, but in taking care of all our brothers and sisters as He would have done. 

 

Don't be too frustrated--the church is changing and will always be changing.  Keep the love in your heart and you'll stay strong. 

 

You might be interested in checking out the Quaker church, FYI.  I am not a part of that church, but LOVE their ideas and the people I know that participate are all peace loving-nature taking care of-wonderful people.

 

Sarah

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#37 of 48 Old 02-09-2012, 01:59 PM
 
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Well to be honest I did feel God dealing with me about judging people.  I've only ever lived around really conservative people and every once in a while I just go crazy and think I can't do this anymore, these people are nuts.  I posted on FB in what I thought was a private page about looking for a more liberal church and turns out everyone from my current church saw it and they were asking me why would I want to go somewhere else.  As for now I am still there.  I was asked to take over our orphan ministry and try and gain support for it.  If I didn't step up and do it no one else would have.  I still don't really like my church or feel I fit in, but my husband does not feel the same so it's hard to try and debate with him about how I feel.  So for now I guess I keep going and hopefully we get orders to Hawaii soon.  Crossing my fingers.
 

I stumbled by your post from the Radical Homemakers post  wink1.gif

My husband and I have always been heavily involved in para-church youth ministries which were supported by many, many, mostly conservative churches, and he graduated from a very conservative/evangelical bible college, so we just fell in line and had attended contemporary-evangelical churches (uncomfortably) for the past 14ish years.   Before we left, people would suggest that it was 'good' for me to be 'challenged' every week.  They really thought that I was in need of re-education and if I just hung in there, maybe I would eventually 'get' their idea of Christianity.  Like I was a 'mission-field.'  It made it very difficult to not hold bitterness against them; esp. since at our last church DH and I tithed, led worship, ran the youth ministry and were often a first call for other needs, on top of our parachurch youth ministry. See?  there I go. I know that sounds very judgy.  I tried really hard not to be nasty, but it was basically impossible for me to look at the work we were doing and know that the majority of the congregants still would not recognize me as one of them till I agreed with them politically. 

 

Part of the solution for me to attempt to live out Matthew 7:1 (judge not...) was to get out of the situation.   It was too easy for me to judge them - clearly this was not a good placement for them or us.

 

We recently started going to a Methodist church.  LOVE. IT.  The first service we attended was on the 4th of July (a day we normally skip church...)  the pastor (who shares pastoral duties with his wife) spoke a radical sermon on women in the bible and ministry.  We had talked about returning to a mainline church before-I grew up Catholic and still attend Mass from time to time- but DH grew up Lutheran and was hesitant to go back due to his own negative experiences as a kid. 

 

We did have a tiny little mini-group in our last church who we had more in common with.  Perhaps there is someone in your church who saw your facebook post that is feeling the same way and you can find each other.  Another thing that really helped DH and I pull through the times we were at those churches was our ministry group (outside the church).  We are closer to those people than our own families because we are 'in the trenches' together and had common values/interests in our youth ministry. 

 

Perhaps this new ministry of yours will gather up some like-minded people.  

 

I know it is really hard, but we all have our junk.  It is good that you identify God is working on you in this, but that doesn't mean you are wrong for feeling isolated.  I am sure you know this, but hang onto the knowledge that other people's acceptance of you is NOT a reflection of Christ's acceptance of you.

 

 

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#38 of 48 Old 02-10-2012, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your words Jes, that is really helpful to know that someone else has been in the same situation. I attended  a Methodist University and I really like it.  I remember in a theology class I had to take we talked about how George Bush was wrong in the Iraq war and I thought that was really brave for being in a small west Texas town. I will look into getting into a ministry group.  We are currently involved in one but it is not with like minded people and I sometimes hold back from saying things because I don't want to stir up controversy. 


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#39 of 48 Old 02-10-2012, 03:01 PM
 
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I know it can be kind of annoying when people throw a bunch of advice when you really just need to vent, so I'll try to keep this short.

 

Have you read Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne?  I am always giving his book away.  He is just a super model at exactly what you are talking about;  living differently without judging and becoming bitter (plus, he is way more hardcore than me, so I bet he could totally 'judge' me for not doing enough if he was the type).   One of the pastors at an old church used to always say that if you had an idea that no one else in the church shared, it was probably wrong. Authors like Shane Claiborne, Tony Campolo, Jim Wallace and Ann Lamonte help keep me grounded - that and a hand full of out of town friends; they aren't here, but at least I know they exist.

 

My favorite parable is that of the workers in the vineyard.  A priest gave a great homily on it once.  Some work all day, some work for half the day and some only work for a few hours.  In the end the master pays them the same, and the first workers were pissed, but the master said it was none of their business how he pays out his money.  The priest's point was that in the end, we all get there.  Some of us spend more time 'working' in the vineyard, and want to judge others for seemingly doing less.  What we need to remember that it is a blessing to 'work' in the vineyard, and those who came in later, or followed paths we didn't agree with, maybe missed out on that.  We need to rejoice for the opportunity to do Jesus' work.  That is the mantra I repeat to myself when I start to think no one else around me is really doing anything; its between them and Jesus, and I am blessed to get to work in the vineyard.

 

All that isn't to guilt you;  like I said, it is a mantra I have to repeat almost daily!

 

Blessings!

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#40 of 48 Old 02-11-2012, 12:29 AM
 
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I understand where you're coming from. I've been to a few of those style of churches and it just makes me glad I'm an Orthodox Christian. I'm a person who goes to church for the spiritual aspect of it and I feel spirituality there. And I'm what most in the US would consider a liberal and I would feel out of place in the average Protestant church in the US based on that alone. (There's actually an interesting article with statistics here about Orthodox Church members I found http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/orthodoxnews.html) But back to the spiritual feeling: that's really what church is about: help nurturing a spiritual connection. If you can't find it in the church, then that means it's not fitting you. There's nothing to feel guilty about. But I guess that's how I look at it and some might disagree with that. 


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#41 of 48 Old 02-16-2012, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Elizaveta, I did not know much about the Orthodox church.  It's very interesting. 

 

Jes h Thank you, I never thought about that parable from that perspective, it's helpful to think of it that way.  Yes, I read Shane Claiborne's book when it first came out several years ago and it changed my life. At the time I was living in a really small town and that book helped me so much.  I just wish I knew people in real life who felt the same way about things.  I constantly have to bite my tongue around people at my church when the conversation turns to politics or homosexuals or whatever the issue. I love Anne Lamott too.  I actually just picked up a new book called Still a midlife faith crisis by Lauren Winner.  It's been a good read so far. 


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#42 of 48 Old 03-24-2012, 01:04 PM
 
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Don't even worry about fitting in. Ultimately the journey to God is an idividual path rather than a social one. The best thing I believe in your case is to do all your praying or meditating in a quiet place where you are alone. Going within is the key to spiritual happiness. You don't need to fit into any group to achieve that.

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#43 of 48 Old 05-02-2012, 12:56 PM
 
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I didn't have time to read the whole thread, but from your OP, I wanted to tell you what happened to our family when we were feeling that way a few years ago.

 

Someone gave us a copy of the book Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola.  It led to us attending an amazing home fellowship for about three years (until we moved away).  It was small, very family friendly, and we all just grew so much. 

 

Things really took off when we all read The Kingdom that Turned the World Upside Down by David Bercot. I really truly recommend every follower of Jesus read that book.

 

Really, the church (institutional church in a building today) is mostly nothing at all like the early church.  I think this is why so many people feel out of place, feel like church is irrelevant today, etc.

 

Even if you don't agree 100% with everything in the books, I think they both are eye-opening reads, that will change the way you think of a lot of things.

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#44 of 48 Old 05-02-2012, 01:01 PM
 
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Okay, me again.  =)

 

I just went back and read more of the thread, and I saw that someone recommended Mennonites.

 

Honestly, I was thinking the same thing!

 

They believe in no war (who would Jesus bomb, right?), loving your enemies (non-resistance), and a lot of other things I think are really good. 

 

There are alllll sorts of Mennonite groups, to the ones who wear cape dresses and head coverings, to ones that wear jeans and make-up.

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#45 of 48 Old 05-03-2012, 04:43 AM
 
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I didn't have time to read the whole thread, but from your OP, I wanted to tell you what happened to our family when we were feeling that way a few years ago.

 

Someone gave us a copy of the book Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola.  It led to us attending an amazing home fellowship for about three years (until we moved away).  It was small, very family friendly, and we all just grew so much. 

 

Things really took off when we all read The Kingdom that Turned the World Upside Down by David Bercot. I really truly recommend every follower of Jesus read that book.

 

Really, the church (institutional church in a building today) is mostly nothing at all like the early church.  I think this is why so many people feel out of place, feel like church is irrelevant today, etc.

 

Even if you don't agree 100% with everything in the books, I think they both are eye-opening reads, that will change the way you think of a lot of things.

Pagan Christianity is a very good book.

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#46 of 48 Old 07-03-2012, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, I will check it out :)
 


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#47 of 48 Old 07-18-2012, 08:58 AM
 
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((hugs))  Have you read The Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claibourne?  It was what helped raise me out of the cloud of conservative Christianity.  I had finally found someone who else who realized that Jesus wasn't what churches teach him to be.  There is also a group on Facebook called The Christian Left.  You might find some solidarity there. 


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#48 of 48 Old 07-20-2012, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes I read it when it first came out, it messed me up, in a good way.  However, I did feel after reading it that I had some animosity towards many of the people in my church.  I don't think that was Shane's intention at all of course. It took me a long time before I could love them and see that they were blind to a lot of things like materialism.   I'm still really no closer to figuring out what to do.  Thank you for the suggestion. 
 


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