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Old 04-11-2002, 12:11 PM   #1
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Religion on your own terms?

Something that has really been bothering me is that people seem to want religion, want salvation, but they want it on their own terms! They don't want to follow the rules, they want to make their own, make it more acceptable to them. To me, that sort of defeats the purpose. I don't like to hear someone say, for example, (no names mentioned) but a certain person will say that he would like to go to the Catholic Church but can't because he disagrees with some of their views. Well, then find a church that caters to your views or accept theirs. Sorry, that makes me angry. What is religion for if you want it to change to be what YOU want to hear? I know some churches do that just to get people to come and give money, and it's wrong. The word of the Lord is there, for you to accept or deny, your will is free. But don't expect it to change and come to you so you won't have to feel you are a sinner. That's not how it works.

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Old 04-11-2002, 12:20 PM   #2
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I agree. God doesn't change. So man shouldn't change the truths for Him, or water down the message, just to get people in the doors.
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Old 04-11-2002, 12:24 PM   #3
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Thank you!
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Old 04-11-2002, 02:56 PM   #4
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But What are the truths? There are dozens if not more christian denominations..and they each emphasize different aspects. I personally believe that Christianity consists of believing that Jesus Christ 2000 years ago lived a life sinless and blameless...exhibited unconditional love and grace...and knowing my and all human kinds estrangement from God...died for my sins. I believe that in gratitude for this gift..I want to live like his son and make my father proud. That is the essence of my beliefs...but lots of denominations agree with that much..it is the details that they disagree on.....
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Old 04-11-2002, 05:39 PM   #5
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I personally have rejected "religion" because it's too convoluted. As popsadie said, there are many denominations and they all have a different emphasis. To me, the denominations confuse the message so much that the church itself is creating "religion on it's own terms". I used to attend a Baptist church, but because of the way they practiced their beliefs (ie. they ostracized my mother because she had "sinned" in the eyes of the members of the church, regardless of what the Bible says) I can no longer attend that church. This doesn't mean that I am averse to religion. I just find that attending that particular church conflicts with my understanding of the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ. So, as a reasoning human being, I took myself out of a situation that was a drain on myself and my spirituality.

And I would like to point out that one can accept and practice a so-called religion without being a member of a specific church congregation. For example, I am a Christian, but I do not have a church home because of the reasons I stated before. Unfortunately the churches I have attended have not fulfilled me spiritually, so I stopped attending. One can be "religious" without conforming to a certain set of beliefs held by a denomination, which, in my opinion, convolutes the word of God to suit its own needs.

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Old 04-11-2002, 06:14 PM   #6
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hippyactress,
I definitely understand what you're saying, but I'm really not talking about a certain religion or certain traditions held by man. If the Baptists expel someone for drinking, I think that's wrong, and I would stop going to that church because it's not biblical. The Bible doesn't say "don't drink alcohol". It says don't get drunk. What I'm saying (and what I think Veranda was saying) is that it bothers me that people "pick and choose" parts of the Bible that they really want to apply, and so they get offended when the truth is spoken, so they church-hop until tehy find the right one. For instance, people who think that preachers shouldn't precah against pre-marital sex definitely wouldn't feel comfortable in my church, because the truth on that issue is spoken. There are some sins that I try not to but do commit that I sometimes come under conviction about while sitting in a church service, but I'm glad, because it spurs me on to giving that sin up. I guess you could boil all this down to an aversion to "watering down teh message" in an attempt to get church membership up.


[This message has been edited by 80sU2isBest (edited 04-11-2002).]
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Old 04-11-2002, 07:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
What I'm saying (and what I think Veranda was saying) is that it bothers me that people "pick and choose" parts of the Bible that they really want to apply, and so they get offended when the truth is spoken, so they church-hop until tehy find the right one.
Well, if that's what you meant, then I'm in agreement...but it sounded to me like people were being criticized for not sticking with a church whose beliefs they did not like. Thank you for clarifying.

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Old 04-11-2002, 09:44 PM   #8
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I'm not trying to proselytize, recruit, market, or anything, but...

for those of you who have felt "uncomfortable" in various Christian denominations, I would like to suggest your local United Methodist Church. The one I attend lives up to its motto of "open minds,
open hearts & open doors" AND stays true to Messianic Christianity.

~U2Alabama
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Old 04-11-2002, 09:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by hippyactress:
Well, if that's what you meant, then I'm in agreement...but it sounded to me like people were being criticized for not sticking with a church whose beliefs they did not like. Thank you for clarifying.
Oh you're welcome. I'm glad that misunderstanding is cleared up, because I left one church on bad terms after 4 years, but it was because I felt that certain things they were doing were detrimental to the cause of Christ.
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Old 04-12-2002, 06:17 PM   #10
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Well, this is a rather conflicting topic to me. So many things factor into this, first of all my newly discovering religion hampers the amount of knowledge I carry about it. Secondly, my family is a Proto-Catholic family. This has made me want rather desperately to shy away from the tiny differences althogether.

Believing what you want is one thing, interpreting the Bible another. The words, though always constant, will mean something different to me as each day passes. That alone makes the words of the Bible more and more comforting to me. Whether I know the specific wording or not, I know what the Bible teaches, and I know what Christ taught. He taught love and forgiveness and tolerance and peace. These four things have been making their way into my life more and more and have made me happier in uncountable and untangeable ways.

My Proto-Catholic background tells me to overlook our differences and embrace our likenesses. We both believe in Jesus Christ and His undying love. We believe He lived and performed miracles and died for us---He sacrificed for US. And to some extent I understand the following of Church rules in order to show Him our thanks. On the other hand, I understand that the Bible can be and most definately needs to be kept up with our society. I just think it's difficult for us to determine, in the moment, what, if anything, we need to "add" to the rules. Indulgences being an extreme example of this. How do we know what to add? I suppose that is up to the highest ranking members of the Church to decide.

I view the "rules" as what separates us. What creates war in His name. What divides a country for more than 1900 years, makes generation after generation on one side hate generation after generation on the other side. But I understand the purpose for the rules. I know why they're there. It's a good purpose, really it is. I just wish we humans could realize that and embrace the peace and tolerance He teaches.

Choosing to accept and/or ignore rules, well that's up to the individual. Presently I'm taking the rules in as I learn them and am attempting to integrate them into my life. Like 80s, I commit sins. Like 80s, when I realize them, I feel immediately inspired to stop performing said sin. That, to me, is such a small sacrifice compared to His sacrifice. My predicament now is that I don't know whose rules to (for lack of a better suited word) accept. "Church-hopping" is sort of what I'm doing. I don't know if Catholocism is for me. I want to be able to (for lack of a better word) choose my religion. Not choose by their rules, but by something that is unexplainable (I'm sorry for my lack of competant wording here).

I want to be more of a Christian, I really do. I have been feeling His love more and more lately and am feeling stronger and happier because of it. I am confused. I don't know the truth, I don't know who I am let alone who I am related to Christianity. I want it in my life because I know what my life was like before letting Him in, and I don't want to go back there ever again. I'm searching, but I still haven't found what I'm looking for. I am growing up now and am realizing I need to be an adult. Be that as it may, I still feel lost. I am finding my way, but it will still take time to heal my past wounds and become a better Christian. Sorry for the blathering on here, it's just so hard to stop once I've begun.
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Old 04-12-2002, 09:19 PM   #11
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Lilly, that's awesome to read. Really cool. I don't know what to say to you except that you can take comfort in the fact that your salvation is based on your relationship with Christ, not your relationship with a church or with the bible. I really believe that if you are truly seeking to give him control of your life, to become more like him, these other things will come together.

Finding a good church can be tough, but I also think there are lots of good ones (especially in our neck of the woods ). I used to think my denomination was the only one that got it right. Well I discovered long ago that's not the case and that we don't get it right all the time. I say whatever church you're at should be teaching what the bible teaches, and we should be testing things against the bible all the time. If the things don't match up with Christ's teaching, then I think it's fine, even important, to find a church that does. Churches are made up of people, and are therefore imperfect. But God's love for us is perfect inspite of us.
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Old 04-12-2002, 10:16 PM   #12
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Religion has never been a fixed entity. Sure, we've been taught to believe it, but it is a lie. History is enough of a guide to show that. The New Testament, for instance, is a direct reflection of popular Greek philosophy. So much for bucking popularity, eh?

Melon

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Old 04-15-2002, 06:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Religion has never been a fixed entity. Sure, we've been taught to believe it, but it is a lie. History is enough of a guide to show that. The New Testament, for instance, is a direct reflection of popular Greek philosophy. So much for bucking popularity, eh?

Melon

But if you can change the rules to make it what you choose to hear, what's the point of it? It loses all significance. Might as well start your own cult like David Koresh.

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Old 04-15-2002, 06:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
hippyactress,
I definitely understand what you're saying, but I'm really not talking about a certain religion or certain traditions held by man. If the Baptists expel someone for drinking, I think that's wrong, and I would stop going to that church because it's not biblical. The Bible doesn't say "don't drink alcohol". It says don't get drunk. What I'm saying (and what I think Veranda was saying) is that it bothers me that people "pick and choose" parts of the Bible that they really want to apply, and so they get offended when the truth is spoken, so they church-hop until tehy find the right one. For instance, people who think that preachers shouldn't precah against pre-marital sex definitely wouldn't feel comfortable in my church, because the truth on that issue is spoken. There are some sins that I try not to but do commit that I sometimes come under conviction about while sitting in a church service, but I'm glad, because it spurs me on to giving that sin up. I guess you could boil all this down to an aversion to "watering down teh message" in an attempt to get church membership up.


[This message has been edited by 80sU2isBest (edited 04-11-2002).]
Exactly, that is what I was trying to say. Thank you.

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