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Going To Church


The Rhino
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As some of you know I have been thinking about attending at church. but I have some hang ups.

 

None of the churches in my area are what I would call progressive, at least not from outward appearance. I don’t want to go to one as a hypocrite but I do want to attend church. Eventually I would love to be confirmed as a Christian, (I was baptised as a child) but how can I do this if there is so much in many denominations that I don’t agree with? Such as not agreeing with same sex marriages for example. Or believing that people go to hell for believing in the wrong thing.

 

I consider myself a Christian because I think there is a lot in Christianity that make sense. Forgiveness, Love, Personal sacrifice. But there is so much that most denominations seem to lump in there as well, that stick in my throat.

 

Is it hypocritical to go to church and get confirmed in a church you are not fully committed to?

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Hi Rhino,

 

Have you considered the possibility of house church? You and your wife could set aside a formal time on Sunday mornings to read scripture or uplifting poetry, sing along to some hymns or favourite uplifting songs, pray together, and open your hearts to God.

 

When my son was growing up, we often did this with him on Sunday mornings. It was a very safe, cozy, happy family time -- very different from the High Anglican church we officially belonged to at the time.

 

When Jesus was teaching and healing, there were no churches. It seems he sometimes went to synagogue, but other times he met with people of faith in fields and on roads and in private homes. So I think he left it pretty wide open for us.

 

I don't think it's hypocritical to go to a church you're not 100% committed to. I doubt that many people are ever 100% committed to a particular church. We go because we feel a need to share our faith with other people who are also struggling with uncertainty.

 

If we had all had to meet the 100% test, not only would there be almost nobody in the pews, there'd be almost nobody in the ministry. To be honest, I'm always a bit suspicious when individuals claim to have no doubts. If Jesus hadn't had doubts about the religious laws he grew up with, we wouldn't be having this discussion today.

 

I think your questions and your thinking faith are very positive. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Rhino,

 

This is a tough situation. I go to a church where I disagree theologically with many of its members. I also disagree with some of the United Methodist doctrine. For example, their official stance against same sex marriage. I attended a very progressive church for 15 years. I loved going to a church where everybody agreed, but I felt that I was missing something. As I started exploring a relationship with Jesus, and studying the Bible. I found that I was increasingly at odds with people. Many progressive reject much of the Bible, or at least the orthodox views of it, and the notion that Jesus could be something other than a wisdom tradition.

 

I left to take a job as a music minister at a more moderate church...also Methodist. I have actually found that I was more free to explore my faith there than in the "open minded" church. Both Progressives and Conservatives can both be rigid and dogmatic. Even though I'm a progressive, I've found that a moderate church which encompasses a greater range of belief in its members has been better for me.

 

I would also add that Presbyterian Church USA is one of several churches that support gay marriage. PC USA is a good place for progressives because the conservatives branched off into 2 other Presby denominations. Worth a try!

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