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What do you look for?
09-07-2009, 12:57 PM
Post: #1
What do you look for?
My Q. What do you look for in a Christian Church? Even if you do not consider yourself a Christian, (agnostics and atheists welcome), what would you like to see IF you went to a Christian church?

Passionately Sharing Jesus at http://www.apperson.blogspot.com
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09-07-2009, 03:42 PM
Post: #2
RE: What do you look for?
Wow that is a loaded question.
Personally I look for a church where the Holy Trinity is alive. A place that believes in the body ministry concept. Some place that is not judgemental against other religions, knowing that everyone has their own cross to bear. A church should be a family. (my belief) A church where the pastor isn't getting rich from the tithe. A tithe belongs to the church. I think a church should produce the fruits of the spirit and hopefully receive the gifts of the spirit.
This is just my take on it.
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09-07-2009, 04:18 PM
Post: #3
RE: What do you look for?
Thanks godlover. As a pastor myself I also agree pastors should not get rich from the tithe. In fact I take no salary and hold a PT job.

So what place does addressing sin have in your viewpoint? How would you like to see that happen?

I like the body ministry concept and we try to do that as much as possible.

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09-08-2009, 03:06 AM
Post: #4
RE: What do you look for?
RickD~
I believe that sin should be addressed within the church. My pastor says that as a "Christian" if I see a fellow "christian" sinning i should address the sin with the sinner. I have a difficult time with that strictly because when Mary was on her knees at Jesus' feet he said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". I don't believe that it is in my place to point out another's "shortcomings". Unfortunately I am a sinner as is everyone else. I understand what he is saying but have not gotten to the point in which I agree. With that being said it is probably in a book of the Bible that I haven't read yet.
When it comes to addressing sin it depends are you talking to "Christians" or people that have no concept of God?

I think as Christians we need to understand that throughout the Old Testament sin has been dealt with by God and his wrath. In the New Testament we experience the grace of God. I think if Christians are reminded that the Fear of God, the Wrath of God and the Grace of God are all tied together it is easier not to sin. Something that I truely believe is that everyone should read the book 'Are We Living in the End Times'. This book changed my life. The tribulation is the ultimate Wrath of God and a much deserved wrath.

When it comes to non-Christians telling them they are going to hell does not scare them. They have no concept of it. I think letting them know that we have all sinned and that we were all in their shoes at one time may help them. I don't believe that hard core preaching will help them. You can lead a horse to water but you can not make them drink especially if your dumping it down their throat. Love them, accept them and try to understand them. Jesus does. They need the acceptance more than anything else.

I am sure that you understand what I am saying. This is just my take on it.
I wish everyone who does not know the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit could just understand that with The Holy Trinity their life would be so much better and easier. Not to say that life trials will go away but having the faith that someone else leads you in your day to day life takes so much away. I would so love to be the poster child for how your life is changed once you are saved and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

I would love to share stories with you anytime however there is not enough room on this site for all of my "God" moments.

Sorry my explanation was so long and drawn out~ I get like that sometimes

It's not about you or me. It's about GOD.
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09-08-2009, 09:36 AM
Post: #5
RE: What do you look for?
Thanks godlover. Yeah I think I get what you are saying. My life has changed in that way as well. If you get the chance, on my blog, on the sidebar you can hear a part of my testimony via audio and read part of my testimony how God worked in our marriage.

Recently I talked about sin, hell and salvation at church. I am not a stand in the pulpit and tell you what to believe kind of guy. My messages tend to be interactive. Even this one was. I started out asking what people considered to be sin or wrong. After taking their answers I read 4 descriptions of hell as found in the Bible and then talked about Jesus death and resurrection. Ny the end 2 people accepted Christ.

No yelling, no screaming, just talked it out.

I like long explanations by the way.

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09-08-2009, 10:16 AM
Post: #6
RE: What do you look for?
To be honest, the best church I ever went to was the church I did go to. Yes, it was fundamentalist in the extreme, but that was because our pastor was an incredibly logical, rational man. In fact, the only false premise he could not seem to shake was that "The Bible is True". He never questioned that, but he often talked about how vital it was to use logic and reason in application to the Bible. He was the one who taught me the vital importance of checking the original languages, of looking at the historical context, and of constantly testing your beliefs to ensure that they stand up and have no flaws.

Of course, I doubt that he ever expected me to actually apply his lessons to the Bible itself, thus leading to my inevitable atheism, but I still remember him fondly. As much as I blast fundamentalist Christians for being dangerous, violent, and hateful (and we were, believe me, for logically, if the Bible is literally true, most ethics fly out the window,) that dedication to reason and logic made that church the best one I have ever been in.

I'm back baby! Thanks for everyone who sent me PMs asking what had happened to me.
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09-08-2009, 11:48 AM
Post: #7
RE: What do you look for?
Ah but see I don't think ethics fly out the window if the Bible is literally true. I think, if you model Jesus Christ, your ethics would be right on!

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09-08-2009, 03:15 PM
Post: #8
RE: What do you look for?
If the Bible is literally true you would own slaves (which include anyone with a pierced ear,) you would never allow your women any rights (for they are to submit entirely to their fathers until they are married, then their husbands afterward,) you would kill people who committed adultery, cursed their parents, worshiped another god, or belonged to certain Arab bloodlines, oh yes, and you would kill all the male gays too (though not the lesbians, strangely enough. Right on god!)

Oh yes, and do keep in mind that if you violate these rules or dare to question god or do not worship Jesus then you will forever burn in eternal fire and torture for not loving god enough.

Now, do you find any of that ethical?

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09-08-2009, 05:59 PM
Post: #9
RE: What do you look for?
Jesus said we operate under a new covenant. Submission is an issue that has been abused. It does not give the man the right to run roughshod over a women. If a husband treated his wife like Christ treats the church than women would actually have MORE rights when they submit, not less.

Jesus while not condoning sin, did tell the "religious" people of the day that they should only throw the stones if they were without sin themselves.....

Yes Hell is the ultimate destination of those who don't believe in Christ. I will not apologize for that. Yet esus loved us enough to die so that we don't have to have that outcome!

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09-08-2009, 06:50 PM
Post: #10
RE: What do you look for?
Paul talked about submission, slavery, and the demeaning of women in the New Testament. That's your "new covenant". Jesus always maintained that the law, both Roman and Jewish, should be followed. Jesus himself was a very devout Jew. To claim that the "new covenant" invalidated the old law is a gross mistranslation and misinterpretation of the passages involved.

Furthermore, how can you claim that an all powerful, all knowing god who allows evil is ethical? I do believe you responded on my "is god all-knowing and all-powerful" thread with an affirmative. Well, unfortunately, this means that everything that happens is god's fault, logically. If god knows everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen, and if god has the power to change everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen, then god is responsible for everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen.

God created Satan knowing he would rebel. God created Adam and Eve knowing they would fall. God created you with the knowledge that one day you would be on this message board debating me, and he created me with the knowledge that I would disagree with you, refuse to turn back to God, and spend an eternity being tortured for it. He KNEW all this going in, according to your religion. He pre-programmed you and me for it. By your own belief you admit that.

Tell me something, Rick. Would you ever lock your children up in a basement and torture them with fire and pain because you did not feel that they loved you enough? Would you? Would that be right? Would that be just? You brought them into the world after all, doesn't that give you the power to abuse them like that?

Now answer me this - if you had dictated every single thing that they did, would it still be just to punish them so horribly for doing the very things you had made them do?

How ethical are you? If you have children, let us hope you are more ethical than your god.

I'm back baby! Thanks for everyone who sent me PMs asking what had happened to me.
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