Attending Church & Being a good Christian

page: 1
0

log in

join

posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 09:25 AM
link   
I was wondering what other Christians out there felt about attending church and generally being religious. I don't go to church every sunday for a couple of reasons. One is that I don't want to end up being one of those "weeked warrior" types, though I don't think I would be. And also because I feel that I don't HAVE to go to church to have faith in God. Personally I think good works are more important than showing up on Sunday, sitting through a boring service, paying some money, then going home. During the week I pray at night, and I try to be a good person, the way that Jesus taught us to be, and personally I think that is enough.

What do you guys think? Are good works more important than reading the Bible 24/7? Is it that important to go to church? I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and I'd appreciate any feedback =)

Also, I was just thinking about this and thought I should add it here... I don't believe literally, half the stuff in the Bible. I don't think the world was created in 6 days and my ancestors are Adam and Eve. I don't think hell is a place of fire and brimstone, and I don't really think there is a true being named Satan. I think a lot of the Bible is stories and myths created to explain things to ancient people, but I believe the underlying messages are what should be taken most seriously. Especially with regards to how we're supposed to behave and act morally.

Does this kind of thinking make me a bad Christian? Does it make me non-Christian? To me, Christian means that I beleive in Jesus and follow his teachings, not that I believe everything the Bible tells me and I go to church everyday. Am I wrong in thinking this, or is this ok?

[Edited on 9-8-2004 by Faisca]




posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 10:34 AM
link   
I go to Church to learn more about God. Also, I like going to Testimony and Sacrament because I get to hear how He has helped others in their lives.

Jesus taught us to pray in our closets, but we are also taught to spread the Word and to learn and strenghten our knowledge through Christ.

There are a lot of people that just can't get to Church sometimes. And I know what you mean about some meeting being boring, it was like that at every other Church that I went to and I didn't like going. Now I am going for the right reasons (I did a lot of introspection over the past 2 years) and I have been finding Church much more enjoyable, and now I look forward to going.

Keep up your self study, and "no" that does not make you a bad Christian...

[edit]
As far as not believing that the Bible is literal. Well, I hate to break it to you, but the Bible has been manipulated through time. I have no clue what it used to say, or how much of it has been messed with (either by the Church during the Apostasy or by temple theives). It never says "six 24-hour days", but I'm not a Biblical scholar. I do believe that we descended from Adam and Eve, and that the stories are as factual as we have them today. But that doesn't make you a bad Christian either...

[Edited on 8/9/2004 by petey_pongo23]



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 07:19 PM
link   
I grow up in a devoted Christian home and as a child, I found it boring, but I knew better so I did what my parents told me to do.

Now as an adult my views and feelings had change, my father is still devoted Christian and he now retired is an elder in his church he also preaches. I respect his religiousness and I thing that works for him and it makes him happy, he gets to socialize and do all kind of activities.

My mother does not share my father's religion she is Catholic, they seem to handle this well and has done it for years, my father devotes the Saturdays to church and my mother the Sundays.

Therefore, you imagine how it was to grow up in my home we were practically in church all the time.

I don't feel like I am a bad person for not going to church I think it has to do we preferences and church may be my parents way to feel close to God, but for me I manage my spiritual grow just fine in the privacy of my home.
ome.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 07:44 PM
link   
I am copying my thoughts on this from another post since it is pretty much answering the question.

I go to Church because "Remember the Sabbath & keep it Holy" makes a lot of sense to me. For all I have been given, not the least of which is life, is it too much to ask that I devote some time to just Him at LEAST once a week?

My husband was raised in one of the Protestant faiths that don't see weekly church attendance as a requirement. I view this kind of along the lines of the following.

You got a dad who gave you everything, loved you so much it hurts and you never say thanks, never stop by to say hi, just basically take him for granted until you need something. Well, you show up at the end to collect your inheritance and do you really deserve it? Yeah, you might get it anyway (the prodigal son thing), but if he gives it to someone else, can you blame him? Just some thoughts of mine.

By the way, though I don't understand why he doesn't get this, neither do I insist he go to church, even though I know if I did he would do it for me, but that isn't the right reason to be dragging him along.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 07:50 PM
link   
I'm not so sure if there are "good" christians and "bad" christians. Like you said there are christians and non christians.

A question for you Faisca, do you remember a moment of time when, on purpose you talked to God(Jesus) and meant it,( by that I mean it was your choice to do it, you weren't just doing it because someone else wanted you too), and asked Him to forgive you of your sins, and to come into your life and be your Savior and Lord. If you did then you are a christian and saved and the promise of eternity with God is yours. Now your relationship with God is either growing or not growing.

There really is no other way to say it but Bible reading is a must for any christian. Without it you cannot expect to fully come to know who God is and what He desires of you and learn about the past and future. You can talk(prayer) to God anytime and anywhere. Just make sure you're not always doing the talking but listening also. Good works, make sure you are doing them because you are saved not because you believe they are part of the basis of your salvation. Going to church. If you are physically able to go to a church that teaches the Bible, you need to go. Are you going to make it every Sunday, no. But you will learn. And you will meet people who God has set up for you to help and be helped by. You will also learn faithfulness by regular attendance. And who knows you may find yourself being used by God to teach Sunday School someday and/or being on a church board.

Just throwing my 2 cents in on the 6 day creation. After God made something and declared it good we are told that the evening and morning were the 1st day, 2nd day, etc. There is no reason to believe these are not literal 24 hour days. God could have made all of creation in a millisecond, but chose not to. But He did make a young universe that appears to be old. So He did it this way for a reason. Now this is one of those things that your salvation is not dependent on. But it is one that can be studied and discussed and learned about to find out who God is. Ex. Some would say that it's not literal days so they can bring evolution in and make everybody happy. But that also diminshes God. God did not need to use evolution(which is false anyway) He is powerful and great enough to make it in a millisecond like I said before. People limit God. God isn't a small God but an AWESOME God.



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 02:25 AM
link   
My mother is Lutheran and I was raised as such. Dad is Catholic, but would follow Mom anywhere...so Lutheran it was.

I remember being oh-so-young and being "forced" to go to church every Sunday. Sunday school was a nightmare for me. The teachers there didn't take kindly to my questioning their every teaching and spoke to my parents about it. Which resulted in a wicked scolding and spanking when we got home. Even at that tender young age I just knew that there was alot more to God and this Universe than met the eye. But as most kids I did what my parents expected and proceeded to attend church most Sundays with the family.

When I turned 14 I finally put my foot down. I had a surprisingly candid and controlled conversation with Mom and Dad about why I didn't want to go to church anymore. They were disappointed, but I was given the choice to go or not. I never went again even though they tried to remind me that God wouldn't be happy about me not going to church. Ironically, over time my younger sisters also demanded the right to choose whether or not they wanted to attend church. Within a few months the entire family slept in on Sundays. I'll admit that initially I worried a bit and wondered if God might actually be angry at me for not going, but I couldn't accept that a loving God would hold such a thing against me. It just didn't make sense.

Then when I was 16 the lives of myself and my family would be altered forever. My Mom was quite ill and had her first (of numerous) near-death experiences. I don't want to get off-topic here, but suffice it to say that we all learned that it really doesn't matter if we go to church or practice any religion at all. In fact, the only thing God really cares about is that we love one another. If we live in love...the rest will follow.

I feel sorry for people who practice religion or go to church in fear of losing their souls to hell. It just isn't going to happen. God's not like that and I wish everyone could know that.



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 09:34 AM
link   
Thanks for the replies, all. Instead of responding to each individual, I'm gonna respond generally.

I do know that the Bible was written by men for men, which is why I don't take it literally, and which is why I question and feel bad for people who do.

All this talk about having to read the Bible a lot, learn how I can be saved, learn how God wants to save me, learn how I can get into heaven, etc; why is it so important? I think it's kind of selfish. The only reason you're (in general, a Christian) doing any of that is not for God, it's for you, so you can feel better about going to heaven in the afterlife. Everyone says you need to find God and he'll bring you salvation, but why do you want that salvation? Because you don't want to go to hell, no other reason than that. I see this as selfish, and that's another reason that I question the idea that I have to go to church and read the Bible all the time.

I guess my outlook on practicing religion is like this. Apparently, God created angels first, and he made them his servants(right?). Then God created man and he gave us free will. The way I see it is that we have the free will to worship God however we want; leave the absolute devotion to the angels. Jesus didn't come here with a plan to start the religion of Christianity, normal men formed and created the religion (by stealing rituals and ideas from other religions, mind you).

To me, the message is all that matters. Do good deeds, live a moral life, and try to make the best of the gifts that God gave to you. In the end I think that if I live my life in the way that God intended me to, I really don't think he's going to be too upset that I didn't go to church or read the Bible all the time.



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 12:32 PM
link   

Originally posted by Faisca
I do know that the Bible was written by men for men, which is why I don't take it literally, and which is why I question and feel bad for people who do.

All this talk about having to read the Bible a lot, learn how I can be saved, learn how God wants to save me, learn how I can get into heaven, etc; why is it so important? I think it's kind of selfish. The only reason you're (in general, a Christian) doing any of that is not for God, it's for you, so you can feel better about going to heaven in the afterlife. Everyone says you need to find God and he'll bring you salvation, but why do you want that salvation? Because you don't want to go to hell, no other reason than that. I see this as selfish, and that's another reason that I question the idea that I have to go to church and read the Bible all the time.


The bible contains important lessons. Whether something happened in 6 days, 40 days, or 3 days, and whether things happened in twos or threes or twelves are not all that important. The lessons are important.

You make an excellent point about selfish motivation. I will simply say that bible teaches many lessons. If your goal is to find out what God wants from you, or to love God, you can discover "how?" and "what?" in the bible.

If all you know is "God is. Love God. Live God.", then that is enough for you. However, there may come a time in your life when you may have to teach this to another, possibly even your children. Questions will be asked. Answers for these questions are important. If a question is left unanswered it leads to confusion. Confusion leads to rejection.

I no longer read the bible to answer my own questions. I read the bible so I can teach the answers to those questions I haven't asked, so someone else might benefit from my understanding. I do not go to church for my own sake. While I may learn something while I am at chruch, I go because someone else might benefit from my understanding.

I will not say you need to read the bible or go to church. However, there is no point at which you have learned enough, and you should share your understanding with others so that they may learn.


I guess my outlook on practicing religion is like this. Apparently, God created angels first, and he made them his servants(right?). Then God created man and he gave us free will. The way I see it is that we have the free will to worship God however we want; leave the absolute devotion to the angels. Jesus didn't come here with a plan to start the religion of Christianity, normal men formed and created the religion (by stealing rituals and ideas from other religions, mind you).


Angels were also created with free will. Free will is the choice to love God or not. There is only one type of unconditional love. Jesus came here to teach us "How". He knew his teachings would have a radical effect on the views of men. Christianity was founded by Jesus. It was founded without buildings. The buildings are not important. The teachings are important.


To me, the message is all that matters. Do good deeds, live a moral life, and try to make the best of the gifts that God gave to you. In the end I think that if I live my life in the way that God intended me to, I really don't think he's going to be too upset that I didn't go to church or read the Bible all the time.


"God is. Love God. Live God." is important. But it is not all that matters. It is also important to be able to answer the questions that will inevitably be asked by your children.

.



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 12:46 PM
link   
Well don't get me wrong. I've read the Bible, grown up in a Catholic family, gone to private Catholic high school and now, read on my own, studied and researched. So I'm pretty well versed in what's going on, and I think I can answer a few questions. I see where you're going with what you were saying, and it's good advice. I'm glad to hear something different than the "read the Bible or go to hell" argument that some people give. Thanks =)



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 06:55 PM
link   

Originally posted by Faisca
Well don't get me wrong. I've read the Bible, grown up in a Catholic family, gone to private Catholic high school and now, read on my own, studied and researched.


Some of this means nothing to me.

Knowing 2+2=4 is not the same as understanding why 2+2=4.

During my 6 years of private Catholic school I learned how not to ask non-secular questions unless you wanted to spend hours in the office being lectured by the school/parish priest. The schools I went to did not teach understanding. They taught tradition. They taught doctrine. They taught to accept "hidden mysteries" on blind faith.

It wasn't until after I "set aside" the tradition, the doctrine, and the blind faith, that I began to understand.



So I'm pretty well versed in what's going on, and I think I can answer a few questions.


Learning the lessons in the bible also never stops. Often there are times when reading one might see a lesson in a verse (or group of verses) that one had not seen before.

Personal learning never stops. Even if you only learn how to express your beliefs in a way that is easily understood, you are still learning.


I see where you're going with what you were saying, and it's good advice.


I will accept this as it was intended, but I do have a few things to say here to perhaps teach another lesson.

Stating something is "good advice" or "bad advice" requires passing judgement. It is a judgement that is not required nor desired. It requires pride to pass judgement.

The bible teaches to question all things and then embrace the good and push away the evil. Recognizing something as good or bad is not the same as saying something is good or bad.

The difference is subtle. Pride is subtle.

The nature of "the adversary" is a nature of pride. One should learn to recognize pride in its many forms and push away that pride. When one pushes away pride and one pushes away the adversary.


I'm glad to hear something different than the "read the Bible or go to hell" argument that some people give.


"Read the bible or go to hell" is such a simple statement. But it too requires passing judgement. Beyond this use of pride, it is also saying "If you do not read the bible, God will not love you." and "If you do not read the bible, you cannot love God." Love is unconditional. Love does not need words. Words are only needed to relay an understanding.


Thanks =)


You are welcome.



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 09:57 PM
link   
Raphael_UO,

The bible is a good book for the people that follow his words and get the answers they want and feel good about it.

However, just like any other things in life words are interpreted to fit your needs, most people have their own personal way of reading the bible and come with their own interpretations.

It is actually human nature to see things in a different way that other person may do. It may work for you but not for me.

One of the problems I used to have in bible school was that I could never agree with the teacher and the other children and I was always in trouble for that, the favorite punishment was to make you kneel on the corner and pray, for some reason I will come out with a different answer to the questions ask that the answer that was expected, obviously from early age I knew something was not right with the religious teachings I was given.



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 11:15 PM
link   
Marg6043,

I read what you wrote, and I am left wondering what it is you are trying to say. I'll go through your post piece by piece to respond. If I miss the actual message you were trying to convey, please let me know.




Originally posted by marg6043
The bible is a good book for the people that follow his words and get the answers they want and feel good about it.


If someone goes to the bible to prove his belief is right, then they will "get the answers they want". It is not until a person approaches scripture with an open mind, without preconceived ideas, that one can begin to understand the lessons which are taught.


However, just like any other things in life words are interpreted to fit your needs, most people have their own personal way of reading the bible and come with their own interpretations.


Again, if someone goes to the bible needing to prove they are right, each verse will have different meanings. You are correct when you say each can have their own interpretation.

However, when one builds a strong foundation and one seeks understanding based on that foundation, a person's interpretation comes very close to the truth.


It is actually human nature to see things in a different way that other person may do. It may work for you but not for me.


2+2=4. "Why does 2+2=4" can be explained many different ways. This is human nature.

Continuing to use this analogy, perhaps the question is closer to "What equals four?"
x + y = 4
or
x + y + z = 4
or
x^2 = 4

Perhaps the only thing that really matters is that the answer is 4, not 4.2, Not 4.1, Not 3.8, but 4.

If the 2+2 in the bible does not work for you, who am I to say "you are wrong"?

There is only one "right answer", but the equation used to find that answer is not something which I am particularly adherant.

I can explain my understanding of "why 2+2 does equal 4", and you are free to accept it or not.




One of the problems I used to have in bible school was that I could never agree with the teacher and the other children and I was always in trouble for that, the favorite punishment was to make you kneel on the corner and pray, for some reason I will come out with a different answer to the questions ask that the answer that was expected, obviously from early age I knew something was not right with the religious teachings I was given.


Religious teachings aka doctrine is create by man. Doctrine should reflect scripture. This is not always the case. Sometimes doctrine is not clear. It can lead to confusion. People who wrote the doctrine label it a "hidden mystery".

When someone tells a child something that is not clear, it is the nature of that child to ask "why?". When the answer to that question is either non-existant or confusing, a child will seek to understand. This search can take many forms.

I would say it is likely this lack of understanding which lead you to believe "something was not right".

This is one of the messages I was trying to convey. One must be able to answer the questions if asked.

.



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 11:44 PM
link   
I know that a lot of non-Christians feel like the only reason for religion is so people will feel better about death.

Personally, if you could guarantee me that existence ends with physical death, I really don't think that would change my attitude towards God.

For years, I struggled to find my place in the world; I was extremely lonely and negative. Trying to put God at the center of my life helps balance some of the other excesses of my personality.

I think church is important because God wants us to be a community of people who love each other, even in the midst of our imperfections.

You can live alone in a cave and worship God; but I'm not sure you can really be a Christian alone. Charity is rooted in love, and love requires the presence of other people who are trying to love you back. Sometimes the people we help don't know how to love yet. Sometimes, even the human members of church don't know much about love either.

But Christ built a community out of nothing, and I think he did that for a reason; that being that love requires the presence of other people. Look at the 12 that Jesus started with: Some doubting, some filled with pride, some looking to make a profit, some trying to manipulate and control Jesus. But he worked with this group of people, even though they had definite problems.

I don't go to church just because I need those people. I go because they need me.




posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 08:11 AM
link   
Raphael_UO,

What I mean is that the bible work for some people in search of awakenings and spiritual grow and that is fine.

But in my case it does not do that I see the bible as a book of tales and some are quite beautiful and others make you wonder.

I pursue spiritual grow in a different way and it works fine for me and actually I am quite contend with it and it is does not have anything to do with the bible.



posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 08:00 PM
link   

Originally posted by marg6043
Raphael_UO,

What I mean is that the bible work for some people in search of awakenings and spiritual grow and that is fine.

But in my case it does not do that I see the bible as a book of tales and some are quite beautiful and others make you wonder.

I pursue spiritual grow in a different way and it works fine for me and actually I am quite contend with it and it is does not have anything to do with the bible.


As I said, who am I to say you are wrong?

I will simply say that if "God is. Love God. Live God." describes your beliefs, and you (seek to) understand how pride and humility interact with love, then your path is not so far from my own.

One piece of advice: be aware of pride. It is subtile and prevents unconditional love.

I posted in this thread not to say any person should read the bible, but to say that any christian should read the bible.

Take care.



posted on Aug, 14 2004 @ 01:31 PM
link   
You don't have to go to church to be a Christian, the apostles gathered in houses. If you rely on good works you will be "cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth"...the only way is Faith in Christ. In order to get to know Christ... who He was, what He did, what He said, why He said it...you'd have to not just read the Bible but study it.


Since you don't believe there is a true being called Satan and yet Jesus said, "I saw Satan cast down as lightening"...then you believe Jesus to be a liar. Also you don't believe in the O.T. history that Jesus and the Apostles made reference to...again you're saying that Jesus is a liar.
About creation being 6 days..if you'd have read your bible you would have come across this fact, "a day to the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day".

I'd say this doesn't make you so much a bad Christian as an ignorant Christian. This phylosophy is Buddhist...their phylosophy is based on good works and self-love which is opposite of Christianity. Everything you said in your post relates to your self-seeking, self-justification, self-indulgent, self-righteous, self-love. Christians are to seek the mind of Christ...not the mind of man or the mind of self. Christians are to "diligently search."

Christian means follower of Christ, in essence we desire Him, His presence, His wisdom, His mind... we follow Him even to death, our thoughts are always on Him, our whole hearts desire is to know Him more and more each day.

You cannot be like Christ, you cannot even be good or even know good without knowing what God calls good...Christians know they can do no good thing, and they know that only Christ with His Spirit in us can do good...He does the changing. You just have to want it and pray for it..then shut up and wait.





top topics
 
0

log in

join


Haters, Bigots, Partisan Trolls, Propaganda Hacks, Racists, and LOL-tards: Time To Move On.
read more: Community Announcement re: Decorum