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JosephN

Hello From Salt Lake City

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JosephN    1

I was raised in the Mormon church but left several years ago after coming to the conclusion that I didn't believe any single "true" church existed, let alone one so historically and socially problematic. Since then I have considered myself an atheist, but recently began to wonder if I gave up god and spirituality a little too quickly. Eventually I found myself attending a local Episcopal church and have generally found the experience very enjoyable; I was rather surprised how much I missed the music and ceremony. The community has also been very generous and welcoming. I am hoping I can find some understanding of god that makes sense to me and would allow me to regain some sense of spirituality.

 

Looking forward to learning from the perspectives here.

 

Joseph

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thormas    20

Hi Joseph, welcome.

 

Sometimes when I'm back in NYC, I stop in to one of the great New York churches (of course the name escapes me right now) and attend their 'high mass.' The music, the ceremony, the 'occasion' - all bring me back to Catholic masses when I was a kid and, in themselves, they are beautiful. However, we always leave at the sermon because that is when they seem to go back to an understanding that I grew out of or for which I found more meaningful explanations years ago.

 

Again, welcome.

Edited by thormas

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JosephM    0

Welcome from another Joseph,

 

There are no shortages of perspectives on this site. Hoping you will find it comfortable and refreshing and of some benefit in meeting your needs.

Joseph

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Burl    3

I was raised in the Mormon church but left several years ago after coming to the conclusion that I didn't believe any single "true" church existed, let alone one so historically and socially problematic. Since then I have considered myself an atheist, but recently began to wonder if I gave up god and spirituality a little too quickly. Eventually I found myself attending a local Episcopal church and have generally found the experience very enjoyable; I was rather surprised how much I missed the music and ceremony. The community has also been very generous and welcoming. I am hoping I can find some understanding of god that makes sense to me and would allow me to regain some sense of spirituality.

 

Looking forward to learning from the perspectives here.

 

Joseph

Welcome!

 

Good point about the music and ceremony. These are vital in healing and unification

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Vicar1#    1

Hello Joseph, good to find you on the journey of faith. I am an ex pastor of an Evangelical/Fundamentalist church. When I began questioning church beliefs I soon discovered that I had fallen into church heresy, and was on my way out. Mormonism, to the best of my knowledge, is sister to typical American Evangelical/Fundamentalism, a tough nut to crack. Like my old E/F church, the old southern Church of Christ, to question doctrine is itself a heresy. Since being "disfellowshipped" in 1984 my experience in the wider world of religion and Christian faith has been continually refreshing. I hope your search for faith is as satisfying as mine.

 

Blessings, Robert Gutleben

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Burl    3

An old Emo Phillips joke:

 

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. I immediately ran over and said "Stop! Don't do it!"

 

"Why shouldn't I?" he said.

 

I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!"

 

"Like what?"

 

"Well ... are you religious or atheist?"

 

"Religious."

 

"Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?"

 

"Christian."

 

"Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?"

 

"Protestant."

 

"Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"

 

"Baptist."

 

"Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?"

 

"Baptist Church of God."

 

"Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"

 

"Reformed Baptist Church of God."

 

"Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?"

 

"Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!"

 

To which I said, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushed him off.

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PaulS    111

Welcome Joseph,

 

I hope you enjoy participating here and that the forum is a useful tool for you on your journey.

 

Cheers

Paul

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JosephN    1

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone.

 

 

Hello Joseph, good to find you on the journey of faith. I am an ex pastor of an Evangelical/Fundamentalist church. When I began questioning church beliefs I soon discovered that I had fallen into church heresy, and was on my way out. Mormonism, to the best of my knowledge, is sister to typical American Evangelical/Fundamentalism, a tough nut to crack. Like my old E/F church, the old southern Church of Christ, to question doctrine is itself a heresy. Since being "disfellowshipped" in 1984 my experience in the wider world of religion and Christian faith has been continually refreshing. I hope your search for faith is as satisfying as mine.

 

Blessings, Robert Gutleben

 

Mormonism was itself an interesting journey for me and included serving a proselytizing mission (white shirt, tie, name tag) and attending BYU (church sponsored university). Being immersed that fully in doctrine and culture, questioning doctrine wasn't exactly heresy, it was unthinkable. Though I have had trouble accepting God all my life, the thought of leaving the church never occurred to me until I started grad school and began living without any "church supervision" for the first time. I was fortunate to be raised in a somewhat liberal family, and while my faith journey has been difficult for them, it has fortunately not strained our relationships past the breaking point.

 

Thanks again everyone,

 

Joseph

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Vicar1#    1

Joseph, I came from an ultra conservative denomination, initially known as the old Disciples of Christ or the Restoration Movement. As Joseph Smith moved ahead with the establishment of the Mormon Church there was a somewhat short lived connection between our traditions. It is interesting to note that there are only three denominations indigenous to the U.S.. One was the Mormons, the Restoration Movement, and the Seventh Day Adventists. All three share in their Evangelical/Fundamentalist view of both Scripture and controversial approaches to Christianity. The Restoration Movement was based on Biblicism which took the position that "we speak where the Bible speaks, and are silent where the Bible is silent. They read Scripture literally, and tried initially to convince other denominations to drop their individual creeds and hermeneutics and join them in their "pure" interpretation of Scripture. The problem was that the Bible writers often used metaphors and wrote within the context of their history, culture, and faith. It doesn't take rocket science to see that to restore the church to its initial "pure" beginning would mean worshipping on the sabbath in Jerusalem, not to mention keeping the law of Moses. The explanations offered by my church's teachers was too convoluted and absolute for me to accept. I had to leave.

 

If you are still traveling the road of trying to find a faith or God that makes more sense, You might try reading The First Coming by Thomas Sheehan and The Folly of God: A Theology of the Unconditional by John D. Caputo. These books do a deep exploration into the historical Jesus, and a God beyond the limitations of current Christian theology.

 

May you find fulfilment along your way, Robert Gutleben

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soma    186

Joseph salutations to the courage and spirit within you to follow the Divinity within and the whispers you feel are right. Being in infinity no way can we get lost or on the wrong path. Keep up opening to the truth it is guiding you no matter what path you take.

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