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Old 04-11-2002, 02:02 AM   #1
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Question about Evangelical Christian Church

I have a question:

Does a church of an evangelical nature ( such as a Covenant) consider you a christian if you say you believe in God? or do you have to go thru this born again stuff?

I hope this doesn't sound rude. I don't mean it to be.
I was raised catholic but not confirmed. ( if that makes sense!). I've always believed in God and prayed. I wanted to go to church and feel closer to God. So I started going to this church. Well, the singing and praise part I really enjoy. The pastor's sermon, or parts of it, make me a bit uncomfortable.

I'm interested in reading and learning about the bible. I signed up for this bible study class and in 3 days they have called me once and sent me a letter. Maybe I'm jumping the gun but I feel like I'm being railroaded. Is believing in God not enough for Evangelicals? Do I have to go thru this saved business?

Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 04-11-2002, 07:55 AM   #2
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I'm not sure about all these denominational terms, but this I know: as long as you have accepted Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Saviour (i.e you follow his teachings and accept that you now have eternal life because he died on the cross), you are saved.

[Just believing in God is not enough. Even Satan believes God exists. But the difference between the devil and you is what I mentioned above.]

Well, take care and all the best.

foray
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Old 04-11-2002, 08:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
I'm not sure about all these denominational terms, but this I know: as long as you have accepted Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Saviour (i.e you follow his teachings and accept that you now have eternal life because he died on the cross), you are saved.
[Just believing in God is not enough. Even Satan believes God exists. But the difference between the devil and you is what I mentioned above.]
Well, take care and all the best.
foray
Excellent answer, Foray. I would also add that 'being good" will never get a person to Heaven, because man can never be "good enough". It is only by accepting the free gift of salvation that a man can enter God's kingdom.
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Old 04-11-2002, 09:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by oktobergirl:
I have a question:

Does a church of an evangelical nature ( such as a Covenant) consider you a christian if you say you believe in God? or do you have to go thru this born again stuff?

I hope this doesn't sound rude. I don't mean it to be.
I was raised catholic but not confirmed. ( if that makes sense!). I've always believed in God and prayed. I wanted to go to church and feel closer to God. So I started going to this church. Well, the singing and praise part I really enjoy. The pastor's sermon, or parts of it, make me a bit uncomfortable.

I'm interested in reading and learning about the bible. I signed up for this bible study class and in 3 days they have called me once and sent me a letter. Maybe I'm jumping the gun but I feel like I'm being railroaded. Is believing in God not enough for Evangelicals? Do I have to go thru this saved business?

Thanks for any ideas.
Find a church where you are welcomed for who you are, not criticized for what you aren't.

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She's a little lightheaded, so check on her in a few minutes -- my podiatrist, about me (again), 2-11-02
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Old 04-11-2002, 10:54 AM   #5
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I understand what martha is saying, and I'm curious...is that's what's happening in this church, oktobergirl? Are you being criticized for what you aren't? While the Covenant church may teach some things that make you uncomfortable, I hope they aren't belittling you.

Anyway, it's cool that you've found a church where you can enjoy worshiping God. If there are parts of the sermons that make you uncomfortable, that may not be an entirely bad thing. Test what the pastor is saying. See if the Bible backs him/her up. The bible study seems like a great way to get into doing that.

Try not to get too caught up in the terminology of it all. The whole "saved" thing or "born again", might sound weird to you. But they're just terms used in the bible, so that's why the church is using them. The important thing is for you to investigate what they mean by those terms. Maybe what the pastor is teaching is exatly what you believe, but with different terminology. Maybe it's something different than what you believe. Either way, I say you test it against what the bible says. And don't be afraid to walk right up to the pastor and ask/challenge him/her about something from the sermon. They should have no problem with that.

Also, a word about them calling you and sending you a letter in 3 days. This may come off as total overkill, but I can also understand what the church may be thinking. I go to an evangelical church too, and I know that a concern is that people feel like they "fall through the cracks" at church....like they can go to church and they don't know anyone, and no one gets to know them. As a result, I think churches can go overboard trying to show people they are interested in them. This church probably just really wants you to know they are glad you're interested in the bible study. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's been my experience.
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Old 04-11-2002, 02:24 PM   #6
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This has been great advice, thank you all so much.

To answer your questions, no they arent saying anything that is against who I am, but in church last week they were denouncing the homosexuals as the sinners and the they could be saved if God lets them be saved. Well, that sounds like a choice the person has to make. ( I have several gay guy friends and I just don't see CHOICE as a real option). I'm not really cool with that because, I'm thinking to myself, hey what if there are gay people there at the service? How must that make them feel to hear that? They must not feel accepted, or what if there sons or daughters are gay? The whole lesson was on Grace and how a woman who was a prostitute in the Bible ( forgot what book) was saved and forgiven. That God has grace for everyone. Which is totally cool.

I don't know, I guess I feel that there is no room to judge anyone. Only God can do that , and when a pastor does it , it kind of offends me.

Like I said, I am pretty much a novice at this organized religion thing.

I might go to the Bible study to see what it's like. I know very little of the bible so it could be interesting.

Another thing, they have a meeting where they discuss that book What is So amazing about Grace? I have that book but I haven't read the whole thing. I was thinking that might be interesting.

I don't know. Im all mixed up!

[This message has been edited by oktobergirl (edited 04-11-2002).]
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Old 04-12-2002, 02:29 AM   #7
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oktobergirl,
you're in a really exciting place on your spiritual journey, and I think it's so cool you've posed this question.
What's So Amazing About Grace? is a GREAT place to start. In conjunction with a Bible study class, I think you could learn a lot. Yancey seems to have a gift for pinpointing where "tradition" (every church has them) diverges from what's actually in the Gospels -- I've just read The Jesus I Never Knew, after years of resisting the Jesus of my childhood (evangelical) church, and I am in love with Him all over again. (Just as I was after reading Tom Harpur's and John Dominic Crossan's analyses of the Gospels.) He is astonishing, and in so many ways, tradition has tamed Him.
To be "saved," regardless of the script a church might suggest, is simply to --willingly -- lose your heart to Him, to hunger for the purity of His example, to humbly desire His patient ear however unworthy you may feel (just like the tax-collector Jesus compared to the Pharisee in Luke 18). That is where Christ's church asks you to be.
Quote:
I don't know, I guess I feel that there is no room to judge anyone. Only God can do that, and when a pastor does it, it kind of offends me.
You call yourself "a novice at this organized religion thing," but you are obviously not so new at faith, or at understanding Jesus' mission. Which was simply to love... Yancey says it all so much better. Read and share him with others, and let us know how it goes.

Spiral_Staircase,
I really appreciated your response. As I was keen to read everyone's contribution to this discussion. Thanks, oktobergirl.

God bless,
Deb D
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