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I could get over some differences in doctrine, I've found we believe a little different than others & we're okay with that. What I can't get over is the priorities of many churches. I believe the true priorities of a church, like an individual, can be seen in how they allocate resources. Most, in my opinion, don't match up with scripture nor do they reflect the needs of the church in a larger sense. Most kids growing up in a Christian homes going to church regularly won't be Christian into adulthood. The statistics are appalling but most churches are either blissfully ignorant about it or don't care. They have Zumba classes & travel groups though! They continue to staff youth groups with the most inexperienced staff & keep feeding the kids the same dribble they've been feeding them, never getting to the meat of anything. They never learn why Christians believe what we do or why the Christian worldview is best. While we are in a battle for the hearts, minds, & souls of our youth, the pastors are telling stories & cracking jokes in the pulpit & busy trying not to offend anyone. I can't, in good conscience, be a part of it nor will I allow my kids to darken their doorsteps.

I would LOVE to be an active member of a church. A REAL church that's making disciples, feeding the flock, ministering to needs, & is salt & light in this dark world. I would love to be volunteering large amounts of my time & resources supporting such activities. I'm not looking for perfection, I wouldn't fit in very well, heck they can even have a Zumba class. Unfortunately what I see are country clubs you can write off your taxes. So instead I volunteer & fellowship in a Christian mothers of preschoolers group & a Christian homeschool group, listen to Worship music, & listen to several different preachers on CD & radio. :dunno:
I feel the same. Most churches won't even preach about what is going on in the world today, in fear they will hurt someone's feelings. My father in law is a preacher. Quit going to his church. Was only going cause I felt I had to. People were very welcoming. Then I became secretary. That was it for me for volunteering. I felt they held the dollar a bit to close to their tight gripped fist. Then when I started to feel society as a whole is falling farther and farther away from God. I asked my fil why he doesn't preach about what is going on in the world today and how the Bible tells us we should approach, act, etc and he said he can't preach politics! I could have fallen over.
Then I started to research into some denominations and where there money goes. I am now going to write to the church of my childhood and some of my adult life to revoke my membership. Their principles are no where near mine. Even though I am not active in that church I still do not want to be affiliated with them.
It is very hard to find a church. Pray for guidance and he will show it.
 

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I feel the same. Most churches won't even preach about what is going on in the world today, in fear they will hurt someone's feelings. My father in law is a preacher. Quit going to his church. Was only going cause I felt I had to. People were very welcoming. Then I became secretary. That was it for me for volunteering. I felt they held the dollar a bit to close to their tight gripped fist. Then when I started to feel society as a whole is falling farther and farther away from God. I asked my fil why he doesn't preach about what is going on in the world today and how the Bible tells us we should approach, act, etc and he said he can't preach politics! I could have fallen over.
Then I started to research into some denominations and where there money goes. I am now going to write to the church of my childhood and some of my adult life to revoke my membership. Their principles are no where near mine. Even though I am not active in that church I still do not want to be affiliated with them.
It is very hard to find a church. Pray for guidance and he will show it.
This is very interesting to me. My church does not preach about what is going on in the world today, because we don't really care what is going on in the world today. The ruler of the "the world" is Satan (2 Cor 4:4) and it will never be anything but darkness and death. Too many Christians get caught up in the world when their focus should be on the Word. Our church has two basic scriptures that we stand firmly behind: 1 Corinthians 2:2 I resolve to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified - and - Isaiah 26:3 God keeps in perfect peace all whose eyes are fixed on Him. My God is bigger than presidential elections, He is bigger than bathroom considerations, He is bigger than dead gorillas, He is bigger than transgender issues, and He is bigger than financial collapse. He always has been, He always will be. God is GOOD, ALL of the time.

Big denominations have always set aside the Word of God for command and control. And I want to believe mostly with the good but misguided intention of saving souls. In more recent years they have added selective scriptural interpretations, political correctness, and feel good politics to become common place as well. When that happens it ceases to be a Church and it becomes a social club. This is why the US is seeing a resurgence in small churches and especially Grace-based churches. But through it all our church (which is deeply grace based) grows and flourishes not because of what we say or what amenities we have (and we do have amenities), but by people looking at the lives of our congregants and wondering how they too can be so blessed. We have drawn in more people by simply being a light ion the darkness than we ever could by knocking on doors and handing out pamphlets. Our services have almost no pomp & circumstances, they are 90 minutes of sermon which are more like instructional interactive lectures than sermons, you will see as many iPads with a bible apps as you will bibles, we have no membership, we take communion every day, we do not beg for money, and live with the confident expectations of good. We focus solely on the Word in its literal form, and it is life changing.
 

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This is very interesting to me. My church does not preach about what is going on in the world today, because we don't really care what is going on in the world today. The ruler of the "the world" is Satan (2 Cor 4:4) and it will never be anything but darkness and death. Too many Christians get caught up in the world when their focus should be on the Word. Our church has two basic scriptures that we stand firmly behind: 1 Corinthians 2:2 I resolve to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified - and - Isaiah 26:3 God keeps in perfect peace all whose eyes are fixed on Him. My God is bigger than presidential elections, He is bigger than bathroom considerations, He is bigger than dead gorillas, He is bigger than transgender issues, and He is bigger than financial collapse. He always has been, He always will be. God is GOOD, ALL of the time.

Big denominations have always set aside the Word of God for command and control. And I want to believe mostly with the good but misguided intention of saving souls. In more recent years they have added selective scriptural interpretations, political correctness, and feel good politics to become common place as well. When that happens it ceases to be a Church and it becomes a social club. This is why the US is seeing a resurgence in small churches and especially Grace-based churches. But through it all our church (which is deeply grace based) grows and flourishes not because of what we say or what amenities we have (and we do have amenities), but by people looking at the lives of our congregants and wondering how they too can be so blessed. We have drawn in more people by simply being a light ion the darkness than we ever could by knocking on doors and handing out pamphlets. Our services have almost no pomp & circumstances, they are 90 minutes of sermon which are more like instructional interactive lectures than sermons, you will see as many iPads with a bible apps as you will bibles, we have no membership, we take communion every day, we do not beg for money, and live with the confident expectations of good. We focus solely on the Word in its literal form, and it is life changing.
Maybe I didn't explain enough or maybe you and I think differently. The way the world is today and the way we humans are today compared to 39 yrs ago. I feel a church should preach about sin, sin that we today think is ok compared to the Bible. Don't sugar coat my sin and the worlds. Tell me, the Bible says xx and if you are going along with xxx then you are sinning. Not that I am dumb and don't know when I sin. But shake me up. Don't tell me that's ok honey, you will be fine. Don't tell me to sit back and let God do the work, he has greatness in store for you. I do believe he does, but I have to get off my butt and chose a path to take. Maybe I am not explaining this right, you a might be more confused then ever. Just shake your head and move on, lol
 

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Maybe I didn't explain enough or maybe you and I think differently. The way the world is today and the way we humans are today compared to 39 yrs ago. I feel a church should preach about sin, sin that we today think is ok compared to the Bible. Don't sugar coat my sin and the worlds. Tell me, the Bible says xx and if you are going along with xxx then you are sinning. Not that I am dumb and don't know when I sin. But shake me up. Don't tell me that's ok honey, you will be fine. Don't tell me to sit back and let God do the work, he has greatness in store for you. I do believe he does, but I have to get off my butt and chose a path to take. Maybe I am not explaining this right, you a might be more confused then ever. Just shake your head and move on, lol
My guess is we think differently, or if I may (with respect) we have different understandings of the Word based on experience, tradition, and preference.

All of the evil in the world today was there 39 years ago, 390 years ago, 1390 years ago, 2390 years ago, etc., etc. All the way back to the Garden of Eden. But sin has not been a factor for 2000 years. Not since one man redeemed us all by becoming the propitiation of sin (1 John 2:2). Since that day God no longer sees your sin (Hebrews 8:12 & Isaiah 43:25) nor does He keep record of them, nor is He concerned with any sin sans the sin of disbelief. Sin is now a tool used by preachers to control their flock. When a preacher talks about sin, we hear sin, we think sin, and we live in sin. When a preacher talks about Christ, we hear Christ, we think Christ, and we live Christ (Romans 6:11 & Proverbs 18:21). The "problem" in the world today is not sin, it is identity. People do know who they are or who Christ made them to be. They do not know they are perfect and pleasing, that God loves them regardless of their imperfection, that the covenant we have with God is not based on your behavior but on His glory (Romans 12:12). One you know who you are in Christ Jesus, you can let go of fear, worry, doubt, shame, and sin. You can live in hope, happiness, mercy, and grace. And that my friend, is an amazing place to be. But getting there takes times and it takes faith. But it does not take much faith. (Matthew 17:20 & Philippians 3:16)

And just so you know, I do not claim ANY of this wisdom to be mine. It is the word of God, which is why I will not make a claim without providing scripture to support it. If you do not know them, I hope you take the time to look them up. And I hope you read them out loud when you do. Because faith does not come from reading the word, it comes from hearing the word (Romans 10:17).
 

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My wife and I go to an Evangelical Free Church. We have an older pastor who knows the Bible. We have very in depth sermons right from the Bible. Lately we've been going through Luke. Before that we had a very difficult time finding a good church. I'm always amazed at all the people who will attend a bad church with bad preaching. We even went to one where the guy had nothing prepared. Just winged it for 5 minutes. What an incredible disservice to the congregation.

If you're a born again believer you need to be in church. You can try to feed yourself in other ways by listening to sermon podcasts, reading the Bible, and praying regularly. But you will not grow if you aren't in church. God commands us to worship Him and not to abandon meeting together with other believers. There are spiritual blessings that you won't get if you aren't in church. I was unchurched for 8 years so I have first hand experience.

My wife and I listen to the Thru the Bible radio broadcast/podcast. You can download his 5 year program for free at ttb.org. Dr J Vernon McGee died in 1988 but his teachings continue to go out to the world in more and more languages every year.
 

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BillM
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There was

There was a merchant who bought and sold pearls.

He bought many pearls until one day he found a pearl of great price.

He sold all that he had and bought the pearl of great price.

Perhaps you haven't found the right pearl yet ?

Don't quit looking until you find it because anything less will never satisfy you .
 

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I sold my soul to the internet
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I was raised in a small church, never like the ideal of a big church.
DW explained that big churches had more for children, so that were we go now.
 

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I was raised Episcopalian, the daughter of an Episcopal priest. My breaking point came at a time in my life when I was one step from homeless, barely able to feed my kids, but still brought them to church every Sunday. Instead of the Christian love and compassion that I desperately needed at that time in my life, I was met with criticism for not dressing up enough for church and not attending enough of the social events. I did not own dressy clothes, was working my way through nursing school, and trying to live on my VA education money ($492 per month). My step-father invited me to his church - a small Methodist church in the same community) and it was SO different. They were not worried about how we dressed, or if we attended the Saturday night soiree. They were not focused on what was happening in the world. Their view was that when Jesus said love your neighbor, he really meant it, and so the whole focus of that church was spreading the love. To this day, 30+ years later, I can truly say I've never met a more loving, caring, and giving community of people. I am still a member, even though I live across the country. I've not found anything like that church anywhere else. When I go home to NC to visit my family, I attend services there, and I feel as though I never left. The faces change a bit, but the love is still very palpable. To me, that is what a Church should be- the embodiment of Christ's love, and sharing that love with everyone who crosses your path.
 

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BillM
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Salvation vs Religion

Without salvation, all religion will come to nothing.

Salvation is something that happens between you and God.

It is a personal experience that can only be verified between the giver, (God) and the receiver, (Man).

If you haven't got it, no one can explain it to you.

If you have it , no explanation is necessary.

It only comes through prayer, (your own prayer) not someone else's.

Salvation is perfect.

All religions are flawed, (including my own)

When God saved me, it was not the result of me accepting him.

It was because he accepted me.

I begged him for salvation and he gave me unmerited grace.

I belong to a pretty good church but salvation was the thing that made me a fit subject for membership.

My salvation is the only thing that will take me to Heaven.

My religion won't be enough. :)
 

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As I read through some of these posts, I am reminded of this saying: If being hurt by church makes you lose faith in God, then your faith was never in God but in the people of that church. I have walked away from churches before, but I have never walked away from God. And there is a huge difference.
 

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So Ive been thinking about going back to church. I suppose Im just pandering for some encouragement. I was once a Sunday School Director and a member of the Church Council. When I went to pray about Seminary I was given no sign. Looks like 29 of the 30 of us did, but not me. I dont know just thinking too hard maybe.
Well bless your heart ,no pun intended. There are worse places you could go to.
 
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