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Old 07-01-2002, 12:02 PM   #1
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Denomination

I was just curious about what denomination's (or non-denominations) are represented among Christians here. Have you been part of one all of your life, or have you chosen a church for other reasons.

I was raised United Methodist and still attend that church, more because that's where my other family members attend than any philosophies, etc. that set it apart from other denominations. I admit I don't know a lot about the various branches of Protestant religion and what sets them apart. I tend to see their arguments as petty differences.

I'm about to move and will be looking to find a new church. I could easily just go to any other UM church but I'm curious about what else is out there, and if it really matters. I'd like to be part of a church that's not sleeping, but active in the community the way Jesus was active in the lives of others. I'm so impressed with the integrity and faith of some of you in this forum. So many of the beliefs shared here echo my own, even though I feel I couldn't put them into words so eloquently. I guess I'm curious to know if it has anything to do with your background or if it's just a willingness to seek things out for yourselves.
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Old 07-01-2002, 12:22 PM   #2
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I've gone to the Church of the Nazarene since I was 8 years old. I was raised Catholic, and went to the Catholic church until I was 8, and that was because that was the church my father went to when he was a boy, but when my parents divorced, my mom starting taking us to the church of her youth.

I love the Church of the Nazarene, and especially the church I attend, but if became a church that became more dictated by what men wanted instead of God leading it, I would move on to another church in a heartbeat.

Our church has been growing through great growth, and what started it was this question we all had to ask ourselves honestly, and that is: "If our church was suddenly removed from where it currently stands, would our community miss us?" That was a radical question, and internal look we had to answer, and it began a radical transformation of what we were doing, and how we began to pray and ask God to make us relevant by His Spirit in our community, and He has already began to do it!

So, I would say, pray and find a church that God will be able to use you and that church mightily for His glory, and particularly a church where you will not become discouraged. And never let anyone tell you that the church cannot be vital in your spiritual journey, because it can and should, and remember, you will never find a perfect church, so don't let such high expectations spoil the oppurtunity to be a part of a loving, growing fellowship that can help you tremendously in your spiritual journey.

Chris
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Old 07-01-2002, 12:35 PM   #3
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I am Catholic, and have been one my whole life.

I know things are rather unsettled with the Catholic Church right now, but I believe that the ctions of a few should not spoil the reputation of all.

The church that I go to is "sponsored" by the Jesuits (that's the priestly order that runs this church). I like going to this church, because of their commitment to issues related to social justice ... the willingness to reach out to those in need bth here in our city and around the world.
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Old 07-01-2002, 06:40 PM   #4
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I'm an ELCA Lutheran and have been for most of my life.
Mom's a Lutheran, Dad's a Catholic turned Pentacostal (I have no clue how THAT switch happened, lol)

The main reason I stayed with this denomination other than the obvious (agreeing with the theology) is the focus of the church seemed different than a lot of others in the area.

Grace and love are stressed, something I find really important.
Fellowship is big (we are the eating brethren! Wahoo!). As is outreach.

For example, we were with J2000 and all that, but Africa has been a priority for the church as long as I've been in it. So they had programs already set up. Yeah.

And we've kept up pretty good relations with the Catholics which, at least where I live (Bible Belt, baby), is rare within the Protestant churches.

The church is actually like a Jesuit order. Scholarship, Community, and Outreach.
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Old 07-01-2002, 10:25 PM   #5
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Halleluia! Can I get an amen?

Somehow, this little ditty popped into my noggin:

Grew up Congregational
then had parents turn Evangelical

that made me kind of hysterical
and living at home became unbear-ical

so i ran away to Dallas, y'all
and started livin 'self' and physical

i was downright hedonistical
cos I thought religion was really 'twistical'

but livin in the 'buckle' of the belt Biblical
i started listening to God from a disti-cal

then one day, feeling wisti-cal
and not sure about doing that ritual
God came upon me all kinda....mystical

i felt in my soul deeply spiritual
i knew no longer should i fear-itual

then i sort of became Baptistical
But now I'm inter-denominational!


my story in a nutshell! (or is that nut case???)
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Old 07-01-2002, 10:45 PM   #6
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I'm a United Methodist too!
Raised that way, my mom and many of my rels are United Methodist. I like it, its a good religion. And they seem to welcome ppl of all faiths. At least my church does.
They even have Hindi/Urdu and Spanish language services.
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Old 07-02-2002, 12:44 AM   #7
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Lutheran...altho checking a few other avenues at present...
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Old 07-02-2002, 06:32 AM   #8
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I am a Christian practicing as an Episcopalian and basically very happy with it indeed.
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Old 07-02-2002, 09:21 AM   #9
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Right at the moment, I'm a Christian exploring my options. Call me a skeptical non-demoninationalist.
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Old 07-02-2002, 01:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by spanisheyes

So, I would say, pray and find a church that God will be able to use you and that church mightily for His glory, and particularly a church where you will not become discouraged. And never let anyone tell you that the church cannot be vital in your spiritual journey, because it can and should, and remember, you will never find a perfect church, so don't let such high expectations spoil the oppurtunity to be a part of a loving, growing fellowship that can help you tremendously in your spiritual journey.

Chris
on a side note, thanks Chris- I needed to read this!
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:39 PM   #11
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I am also a member of the United Methodist Church, and the one we attend has also recently begun offering services in Spanish and we have hired a new associate pastor from Honduras. Every UMC I have attended has been very good about inclusion, whether it was inner-city needs, youth outreach, etc. And they don't condemn me for drinking beer!

~U2Alabama
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Old 07-03-2002, 11:36 PM   #12
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Bama, I almost went to the UMC church down the road here the other day. I was up early to see the World Cup final and then figured I might just go to church for the first time in who knows how long and I even drove in and parked, but it was about 30 minutes before the service started and I didn't feel like playing 20 questions and feeling awkward standing around for half an hour. so I went home. Better luck next time. I was so close!
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Old 07-03-2002, 11:44 PM   #13
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Oh well, you are inching closer and closer to THE WAY (the United Methodist Church)! [JUST KIDDING]
I must admit, my wife and I have been a bit reluctant when visiting new churches; and we attended this one for 2 years before joining and getting involved.

~U2Alabama
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Old 07-04-2002, 01:50 AM   #14
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i'm a shannon practicing as uhm...yeah.

technically i'm a proto-catholic. my extremely irish family is cracked in two...catholics and protestants (so to accomodate, every other year is dedicated to a different religion. this is a protestant year, so we attend protestant church on easter and christmas).

i don't quite know what i am yet, but i like going to the norman churches (yeah, theres one uhh....an hour and 10 minutes from my house ). they are non-denominational and preach only what it says in the bible. it's very nice and open to everyone.
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Old 07-05-2002, 04:08 PM   #15
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The church I go to isn't part of denomination, but rather it's a member of an association of autonomous churches called the Evangelical Free Church of America.
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Old 07-28-2002, 07:33 PM   #16
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I'm Catholic. I come from a part of the world where Catholicism and culture are intermingled. Never thought of conversion.
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Old 07-29-2002, 11:23 AM   #17
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Re: Denomination

Quote:
Originally posted by DancingBarefoot
I guess I'm curious to know if it has anything to do with your background or if it's just a willingness to seek things out for yourselves.
Both, actually. I grew up Pentecostal, in a very churchy extended family, and a not-so-churchy immediate family -- you know, we were among the ones who stayed for the dancing at weddings, while the rest left after the food. *G* I drifted away from that church as my spiritual questions grew more intense (having found no answers in that community, especially about the arts), and explored through all kinds of philosophy for many years. I was not leaving God, nor even Christ, behind...I was simply seeking spiritual kin. Found it in the film Amadeus (a deeply religious examination of art), and in U2, of course...found it in Zen Buddhism, too, which explained existence and morality in lucid terms, in terms I related to, and ones that ultimately described Jesus to me. So I looked again to Christianity with clearer eyes.

Eventually, I found my way to Unity Church (born of the New Thought movement 100 years ago -- think Emerson and Thoreau), one that studies scripture in psychological and metaphysical terms -- perfect for a poet -- and asserts Self-actualization as a road to humility and to God, not to self-glorification. This distinction was critical to me as an artist who needed to understand how best to serve God, to sing my song loud (or, not to...) outside the seductions of ego...and yes, there's been no better teacher anywhere than Bono himself.

gratefully yours --
Deb D
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Old 07-29-2002, 08:11 PM   #18
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Denomination...my lifelong quest to find one where I belong.

I was baptised Lutheran but my parents were really not religious and never took me to church. My Dad was Catholic school educated in the 50's and developed a bitter hatred toward the church and chose Lutheran because it was my Godparent's religion.

I became Pentacostal in my early 20's and was really attracted to the passionate way they worshiped but my Catholic husband was not crazy about it so we left the church. We were later introduced to a small group of traveling evangelists and did home Bible study with them but I was torn because my husband was still a practicing Catholic but he was listening to these poeple tell him that Catholic symbolism was evil and the church itself was a cult...yet he would go to Mass each Sunday and faithfully recite the Rosary every evening. I felt it was hypocritical of him so I asked him to choose one church or the other. We ended up divorcing so it became a non-issue.

My current husband is also Catholic but had attended a non-denominational Christian church before we met so we tried his church for a while and I really loved it until the first time I saw that they ran a "homosexual turn-around" course to "bring gays out of evil and back to the Lord." I have several gay family members and close friends and I again felt like a hypocrite attending a church that was intolerant.

I have attended a few Church of Religious Science services with my sister-in-law and felt quite comfortable but my husband is convinced that its a cult and we are still debating that one.

I finally ended up going to a UMC where my niece/Goddaughter was baptised and I am happy that it seems to be a more inclusive church but I'm still not entirely comfortable. I guess I'm still searching.
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Old 09-15-2002, 09:09 PM   #19
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Roman Catholic - in fact I'm currently preparing a 2nd grade class to receive First Communion this year.

My father was baptized in a German Luthern Church in NYC as a child, grew up in the Episcopal Church and converted to Catholicism before he met my mother. My mother was raised by an Irish Catholic father and an Espicopal mother (kind of a Bono thing going there). As a child, I was raised in a part of the South were there were very few Catholics and where Catholics were viewed with a lot of suspicion. We had missionary priests from Ireland running our Church and very few programs and resources. I went with a friend to the United Methodist Church for Youth Activities, as they were one of the few Christian Churches in the area that didn't mind a Catholic kid tagging along.

I love my Church and pray desperately for Christian Unity. Through a family member, I joined the Pontifax (Bridge Builders) Movement. We started with dialogue between the Espiscopal and Catholic Churches and in recent years, the Lutherans and the Methodists have become part of the dialogue. I understand the Presbyterians have expressed interest in joining as well. This all comes out of the Vatican II Council on Christian Unity. I also pray for peace and understanding with all brothers and sisters of faith from all religions. I keep in mind Jesus' prayer, "Father, that they all might be One."
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Old 09-18-2002, 11:15 PM   #20
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Born Catholic
Then UCC Congregational
Then Nazarene (Graduated ENC in 1992)
Then UCC Congregational
Then Bapist
Then Back to Catholic


I have been reading and reading the Message and my Bible at the same time. More and more I am convinced that Christ came to free GOD from the "church".

I say this not to be sacreligious or offend anyone here. I am new to this place and I am just happy to read what believers in the Message are hearing and thinking.
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