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Old 07-19-2005, 04:02 PM   #16
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The one thing I look for in a Church happens to be the one thing that's the hardest to find in most...


















God.
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Old 07-19-2005, 04:26 PM   #17
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There have been some great comments made here and I can't add to them. I particularly agree with melon's comments about love. I happen to be Catholic, and when I went to confession last week my priest actually said I judge myself too harshly. This is something I struggle with every day. Also I think churches should make it clear that disabled people are welcome and have a valuable role to play in the faith community.
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Old 07-19-2005, 04:28 PM   #18
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Excellent!... A chance to push my ideals and agend... Ahem... I mean...uh... what a good topic... Here are my thoughts.

btw, "long time listener, back-again caller". I am a Prodigal Son Catholic. I've gone full circle. Ended up feeding the swine and eatin some of it too while cursing a non-existent God... that I was not worthy to be loved by anyway.... that was of course before I was pulled up out of the mud onto a firm rock.

Anyway, I once heard a learned man say:
"If you have come to church to get something,... If you have come to church to get re-energized; to get fed; to get a good feeling from the choir; to get a good homily (sermon)...
If you have come here to "get something"... You have come to the wrong place!


We don't come to church to get fed, to get re-energized, to get anything!
We come to church to glorify God! To thank God! To praise God!

... Now God comes to do something... And you WILL be fed, you WILL be re-energized. But it is God that does it... Not the rite, not the priest (pastor), not the choir... God does it. And you'll only experience it, as much as you are willing to meet God halfway."

There is a lot to be said for having an alive, friendly, inviting, and energetic church community (as I have been blessed enough to have found in a Catholic... yes! Catholic Church... Go figure!), but should it not have boundaries to it's teaching and its beliefs based ON scripture (if it is to be based on the teaching of Yeshua... The one who would turn son against father, daughter against mother...)? Religion always excludes at some point.

You know... I want to go to a U2 concert without having to buy a ticket, without having to stand in line. I want to be at the very front of the stage. I want them to play what I want to hear and I want Bono to like it that way.

Anyway... In case youre wondering, here's an interview with the learned man I quoted:

www.
uscatholic.org/2002/08/featd0208.htm


Peace and blessings.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
The one thing I look for in a Church happens to be the one thing that's the hardest to find in most...


















God.
I agree with you - very much so.

Too often church members feel they need to mimic the world to gain numbers and forget God in the process.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:45 PM   #20
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I agree with you - very much so.





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Old 07-19-2005, 08:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
The one thing I look for in a Church happens to be the one thing that's the hardest to find in most...


















God.
Excellent post. Some days, I leave my church feeling that I have met God. More frequently though, I just feel like I've had a pleasant time. That's not all bad though. I spend enough time on my own worshipping, praying, studying, etc. to maintain a close relationship with God. If I didn't do that, and I depended on the few hours that I spend at church each week for spiritual health, then I'd be severely lacking intimacy w/ God. That being said, I still feel that attending and serving my church is an integral part of living out my faith.
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:31 PM   #22
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Personally, I prefer a more traditional worship style and a focus on the church as a community rather than so much focus on the actual church services. Of course, going for the first few times, you don't really know the people so you're going to be more focused on the worship style so I need to feel comfortable and I prefer a more reverent style. I also like to have a wide spread of ages. As a 20 year old, I'm really not into contemporary churches geared towards us younger generation. To me personally, theology is very important and on principle I can't attend a church that either doesn't even have its own theology sorted out or has some theological position that I can't reconcile with my own.

These days, I find more and more churches are trying to figure out how to make themselves or their services more relevant to contemporary culture. However, my motto has always been that it is OUR job to make OUR lives relevant to GOD...not the churches job to make God relevant to our lives.
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:33 PM   #23
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Well, I think the services are often the hardest part.

Personally, I'd love to forego the services altogether and break into smaller study groups. Kind of more like the relationship between a rabbi and his students common during Jesus' time.

Melon
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:55 PM   #24
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Originally posted by melon
Well, I think the services are often the hardest part.


It's what keeps me from church alltogether. I don't have the attention span to sit there for an hour and follow along. I had the same problem in lectures at school as well.
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Old 07-19-2005, 09:07 PM   #25
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My ideal church would focus on spirituality rather than politics or being obsessed with sin. It wouldn't make anyone feel like an outsider.

It would also incorporate the whole history of Christianity, including the first 300 - 500 years. Those years seem to be forgotten by all denominations, except when mentioning the Romans presecuting Christians and when Constantine made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. Other than that, every church ignores that period and acts like Christian history only goes back a few hundred years. I think the early years of Christianity were a good time for theology, spirituality and even mysticism, something that is really missing from Christianity today. I don't know, I just think an ideal church should teach the whole history of Christianity to its parishoners, so they would also know about the religion they are inheriting.
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Old 07-20-2005, 05:09 AM   #26
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It's been ages since I've gone to a church.

But if melon built one, I'd happily travel there. You pretty much took the words out of my mouth with your post, melon...that's exactly the kind of thing I'd want in a church .

Also, to BVS's post...I'll agree with that as well.

Angela
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Old 07-20-2005, 06:59 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Personally, I prefer a more traditional worship style and a focus on the church as a community rather than so much focus on the actual church services. Of course, going for the first few times, you don't really know the people so you're going to be more focused on the worship style so I need to feel comfortable and I prefer a more reverent style. I also like to have a wide spread of ages. As a 20 year old, I'm really not into contemporary churches geared towards us younger generation. To me personally, theology is very important and on principle I can't attend a church that either doesn't even have its own theology sorted out or has some theological position that I can't reconcile with my own.

These days, I find more and more churches are trying to figure out how to make themselves or their services more relevant to contemporary culture. However, my motto has always been that it is OUR job to make OUR lives relevant to GOD...not the churches job to make God relevant to our lives.


Like anything, understanding the traditional service must be taught. It really doesn't take much, but for the person who has had no exposure to church, a traditional service may be deemed "boring".

But everything has meaning and the richness of the services often are missed.
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:19 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
The one thing I look for in a Church happens to be the one thing that's the hardest to find in most...

God.

I hate to be the only one that goes against the grain of this popular post. (... no I don't... Not really. It gives me a chance to stroke my ego in the name of... witnessing, I guess. Who am I kidding??)
I mean, I know exactly where you come from. I used to live there. For me, it was a very lonely and bitter place.
"Most all churches suck. Most all church-goers are hypocritical holy-than-thous (Have I now become one of them!?). It's all about money. Because it is all not perfect and welcoming, to hell with it all... I throw it ALL away."

I don't know if it takes going through the "meat-grinder" of life, like I have, to come to some terms about God, religion, worship, and "me as a sinner" like my brother and sister.
Most folks don't like people like me. It's mostly the same folks that hate that some convicted criminals in prisons turn their lives over to Christ and so they believe to be assured an everlasting life with Him.
"Sure... Now you go there! huh!!"

Anyway, at some point in my own "lil' prison cell", I realized that church is NOT full of saints, but actually full of sinners, like me.
And while I may feel that some churches don't follow God as I would, can I honestly say that God is not there. Who am I to say that? Is God not everywhere? Is He not only in the darkest most horridly sinful places on this earth as well as in the heart of a joyful child at play?

"Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them".

If at least two or three truly honest and contrite broken people are attending a ridiculously lavish Vatican Mass, or a Creflo Dollar service, or a non-denominational worship gathering at a rented Rec Center, is God not there in their hearts despite what one may see as a total lack of God all around them?

"Seek and you shall find..."

Perhaps the first place I can look for in a church to find God is my very own heart,... then in the heart of the guy sitting next to me who I just assume is a self-righteous jerk.

I know that 10 years ago if someone would've told me this, or posted this, I would have told them to kiss my *ss.

You can too, I guess... But don't expect me to comply.


Geez, I think I should change my name to "Acrobat" (but I know its taken) or perhaps "BigFatEgoFix"
I'm not sure this posting stuff is good for anything but my ego... which I'm supposed to be starting a landslide in..

Anyway,
Peace.
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:21 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Personally, I prefer a more traditional worship style and a focus on the church as a community rather than so much focus on the actual church services. Of course, going for the first few times, you don't really know the people so you're going to be more focused on the worship style so I need to feel comfortable and I prefer a more reverent style. I also like to have a wide spread of ages. As a 20 year old, I'm really not into contemporary churches geared towards us younger generation. To me personally, theology is very important and on principle I can't attend a church that either doesn't even have its own theology sorted out or has some theological position that I can't reconcile with my own.

These days, I find more and more churches are trying to figure out how to make themselves or their services more relevant to contemporary culture. However, my motto has always been that it is OUR job to make OUR lives relevant to GOD...not the churches job to make God relevant to our lives.
You would not believe how much I agree with you.
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:23 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Landslide


Anyway, at some point in my own "lil' prison cell", I realized that church is NOT full of saints, but actually full of sinners, like me.
Well, actually, Paul would refer to you as a "saint".
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