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post #16 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 10:54 AM
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Re: Christian churches?

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You're an atheist and think you're going to be comfortable in a Christian church?

Christians aren't supposed to be comfortable with people who lead a lifestyle that is against what the Bible clearly says is wrong.
But meet a real Christian and you WILL find that no matter your choices in life or "sins", you will be loved as a person and they will treat you acvordingly.

You're an atheist. Every person in that church would likely be praying for you if they knew you were.
I have a friend who is super religious. She knows I'm atheist, and she loves me all the same. I know she prays for me, but we don't talk about that.

But she doesn't try to convert me anymore, which she did when she thought I was agnostic. We had to have a talk about that, because it was pissing me off, and it made me not want to hang out with her anymore, because in addition to the fact that I hate proselytizing and not just being accepted for who I am, it made me feel like she was judging me. It turned out that she was personally having a hard time accepting that someone like me--who she views as good and kind--wasn't "saved" and wasn't going to be. I think she talked to her priest, who helped he make peace with it.


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post #17 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 10:59 AM
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Re: Christian churches?

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Originally Posted by Evinrude58 View Post
You're an atheist and think you're going to be comfortable in a Christian church?

Christians aren't supposed to be comfortable with people who lead a lifestyle that is against what the Bible clearly says is wrong.
But meet a real Christian and you WILL find that no matter your choices in life or "sins", you will be loved as a person and they will treat you acvordingly.

You're an atheist. Every person in that church would likely be praying for you if they knew you were.
The problem is usually meeting REAL Christians. I respect those that practice what they preach.

Problem is growing up Catholic and attending Catholic school most to me seemed to care more about appearances and trying to LOOK like good christians than being one. But I admit that is not the case for all and I am jaded in that regard.

That and using the bible too much IMO. A book that contradicts itself too much and imo could be boiled down to most of Jesus' teaching and cut down immensely.

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post #18 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 11:04 AM
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Re: Christian churches?

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Aren't Christian churches considered all inclusive?
It really depends on the pastor and customs and beliefs of the top elders. There are two "Church of God" churches about 12 blocks from each other in my city. Twenty years ago, they both claim to be directed directly by God, but [because they have different leaders] have a very different set of beliefs. A few years ago, a Lutheran pastor told me that he considers himself to be more of a Buddhist. Therefore, if you want to regularly attend church, you'll need to shop around for one that most closely fits your views.
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post #19 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 11:10 AM
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Re: Christian churches?

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It turned out that she was personally having a hard time accepting that someone like me--who she views as good and kind--wasn't "saved" and wasn't going to be. I think she talked to her priest, who helped he make peace with it.
I understand the feeling of your friend because if I truly believed that any of my friends (or enemies for that matter) were going to be tortured endlessly after this life, I would do absolutely anything to try to keep them from that horrific fate.
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post #20 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 11:16 AM
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Re: Christian churches?

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I understand the feeling of your friend because if I truly believed that any of my friends (or enemies for that matter) were going to be tortured endlessly after this life, I would do absolutely anything to try to keep them from that horrific fate.
Yeah. She came up with this idea that I didn't need to be part of one faith because she sees that I'm connected to all of humanity on a higher plane or something. Like I don't need religion, because I've already evolved or found what most people seek in religion? Something like that. It made her feel better, anyway.

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post #21 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 11:20 AM
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Re: Christian churches?

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I understand the feeling of your friend because if I truly believed that any of my friends (or enemies for that matter) were going to be tortured endlessly after this life, I would do absolutely anything to try to keep them from that horrific fate.
And this was one of the reasons that I turned away from organized religion. From the time I was very young, I found it very troublesome and illogical that good, kind people would be sentenced to hell just because they weren't Christian... that strikes me as antithetical to everything that Jesus taught. I simply cannot put faith in something which I find hypocritical.

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post #22 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 12:54 PM
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Re: Christian churches?

Of the protestant churches today , the "evangelical" churches (the various Baptists, Assemblies of God, Pentecostals and "Full Gospel" churches, etc.) are going to tend to be the most fundamentally conservative. These denominations are generally what are described as "word" churches, in that they believe that the Bible is the sole, complete, and unequivocal message of God and that no other man-made dogmas or cannons can exist in conjunction with the Bible. "Word" based theology insists that the Bible says what it means and means what it says, and when the Bible says that gays are accursed and are to be utterly shunned, they mean it. These denominations believe in the existence of a literal physical Hell and Satan, and many do indeed teach that unrepentant gays and lesbians are on the fast track to the cooker. Methodists used to be in this group, but from what I have seen they have slacked off on their "word" based theology and have become increasingly secular in their teachings, allowing more liberal teachings and theology to mix with their fundamentalists beliefs over the last fifty years or so. That is rather amazing, in that the Methodists, back in the 19th Century, were revered as the most hellfire-and-brimstone, Bible-thumping denomination in existence. My how they have changed.

Presbyterians (Church of Scotland), Lutherans and Episcopals (Church of England) are what can be described as "State" churches, in that these churches came about largely as a coordinated union between the church and state as a way of giving kings and governments control over church mandates and teachings. These churches have never stuck strictly to Biblical word, and through the centuries have changed their rules and dictates with the times, and have been more accepting of what would be considered "liberal" ideologies and practices. I once heard an Episcopal sermon that was so secular the pastor did not even mention God or the Bible. It sounded like the message was taken from a Better Homes and Gardens article.

Then there are the Catholics. I cannot speak for Catholics as I know nothing really about the religion. Individual Catholic churches seem, in my experience, to have varying degrees of acceptance and tolerance, which I can only assume are determined by the individual Pastor's beliefs or the stance of the diocese under which those churches fall. Most Catholic pastors I have been acquainted with did not believe in the existence of Hell or Satan, which makes it handy for the LGBT community.... one less thing to worry about.
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post #23 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Christian churches?

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Originally Posted by Evinrude58 View Post
You're an atheist and think you're going to be comfortable in a Christian church?

Christians aren't supposed to be comfortable with people who lead a lifestyle that is against what the Bible clearly says is wrong.
But meet a real Christian and you WILL find that no matter your choices in life or "sins", you will be loved as a person and they will treat you acvordingly.

You're an atheist. Every person in that church would likely be praying for you if they knew you were.
All those prayers wouldn't hurt me a bit! lol Believe it or not I like the power of unified prayer, I think it generates a positive energy.
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post #24 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Christian churches?

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Originally Posted by FeministInPink View Post
I have a friend who is super religious. She knows I'm atheist, and she loves me all the same. I know she prays for me, but we don't talk about that.

But she doesn't try to convert me anymore, which she did when she thought I was agnostic. We had to have a talk about that, because it was pissing me off, and it made me not want to hang out with her anymore, because in addition to the fact that I hate proselytizing and not just being accepted for who I am, it made me feel like she was judging me. It turned out that she was personally having a hard time accepting that someone like me--who she views as good and kind--wasn't "saved" and wasn't going to be. I think she talked to her priest, who helped he make peace with it.
One of my best and longest known friends is a Baptist, he even considered going into the ministry as a career. He and I have traveled together many many times over the years and have spent hours talking religion. He just doesn't understand why I can't simply have faith and believe, and I simply don't understand how he can so blindly believe in something so outlandish. But we respect each other and respect each others opinions, we have had some great conversations. He always tells me I believe but just don't know it because of the way I live my life and the fact that I occasionally attend church, I tell him I'm being careful....in case I'm wrong. lol

Last edited by Cooper; 02-21-2017 at 05:52 AM.
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post #25 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Christian churches?

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And this was one of the reasons that I turned away from organized religion. From the time I was very young, I found it very troublesome and illogical that good, kind people would be sentenced to hell just because they weren't Christian... that strikes me as antithetical to everything that Jesus taught. I simply cannot put faith in something which I find hypocritical.
I sure agree with you Feminist!

I have always been a logical person. People are biological life sources, when those functions cease working that is the end, it's like flipping a light switch off. What I do believe is we all have a bit of "spark" or energy in us, as we go thru life we share that energy with the people we love and come in contact with. When we die a tiny piece of that "spark" remains in the memories of the people we encountered in our life, that is my idea of life after death. So again the light analogy...look at a light bulb and flip the switch to off, see how that image remains imprinted in your mind for a time? So it is with our life cycle, we burn brightly, we go off, and our memory slowly fades away.

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post #26 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 06:26 AM
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Re: Christian churches?

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The problem is usually meeting REAL Christians. I respect those that practice what they preach.

Problem is growing up Catholic and attending Catholic school most to me seemed to care more about appearances and trying to LOOK like good christians than being one. But I admit that is not the case for all and I am jaded in that regard.

That and using the bible too much IMO. A book that contradicts itself too much and imo could be boiled down to most of Jesus' teaching and cut down immensely.
That's because all of us are imperfect.

All of us have vices (sins).

All of us screw up.

All of us fall short of the glory of God.

There has been only one perfect man.

Therefore, all Christians could have the hypocrite label place upon them if they so much as judge one person.

What is important is to love the person regardless of their sin. Sometimes love is tough love, but most of the time just loving is tough.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #27 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 07:34 AM
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Re: Christian churches?

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Aren't Christian churches considered all inclusive? Today a speaker talked about why we accept to be subjected to witnessing the "sin" of gays, or why we accept the "sin" of couples that live together without marrying. He even showed a picture from an advertisment of two women in a bathtub as an example of sin we should be disgusted with. I was shocked to the point I stood up and walked out.

I have been a casual visitor to this church many times but evidently was ignorant to their true beliefs and philosophies.

Is this an isolated issue or are all "Christian" churches like this? I might have to go back to being Catholic, at least they have shown some signs of evolution. lol
Most churches that believe the Bible is the infallible word of God will be like the one you describe. They would argue that it is kind of silly for God, who created the universe and the physical and moral laws that govern it, to be expected to change His mind about something being a sin just because is currently popular or accepted in part of human society.

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post #28 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bandit.45 View Post
Of the protestant churches today , the "evangelical" churches (the various Baptists, Assemblies of God, Pentecostals and "Full Gospel" churches, etc.) are going to tend to be the most fundamentally conservative. These denominations are generally what are described as "word" churches, in that they believe that the Bible is the sole, complete, and unequivocal message of God and that no other man-made dogmas or cannons can exist in conjunction with the Bible. "Word" based theology insists that the Bible says what it means and means what it says, and when the Bible says that gays are accursed and are to be utterly shunned, they mean it. These denominations believe in the existence of a literal physical Hell and Satan, and many do indeed teach that unrepentant gays and lesbians are on the fast track to the cooker. Methodists used to be in this group, but from what I have seen they have slacked off on their "word" based theology and have become increasingly secular in their teachings, allowing more liberal teachings and theology to mix with their fundamentalists beliefs over the last fifty years or so. That is rather amazing, in that the Methodists, back in the 19th Century, were revered as the most hellfire-and-brimstone, Bible-thumping denomination in existence. My how they have changed.

Presbyterians (Church of Scotland), Lutherans and Episcopals (Church of England) are what can be described as "State" churches, in that these churches came about largely as a coordinated union between the church and state as a way of giving kings and governments control over church mandates and teachings. These churches have never stuck strictly to Biblical word, and through the centuries have changed their rules and dictates with the times, and have been more accepting of what would be considered "liberal" ideologies and practices. I once heard an Episcopal sermon that was so secular the pastor did not even mention God or the Bible. It sounded like the message was taken from a Better Homes and Gardens article.

Then there are the Catholics. I cannot speak for Catholics as I know nothing really about the religion. Individual Catholic churches seem, in my experience, to have varying degrees of acceptance and tolerance, which I can only assume are determined by the individual Pastor's beliefs or the stance of the diocese under which those churches fall. Most Catholic pastors I have been acquainted with did not believe in the existence of Hell or Satan, which makes it handy for the LGBT community.... one less thing to worry about.
From an ardent United Methodist, please take it to the bank that Ol' John Wesley was definitely filled with profound love, but at the time of his Aldersgate experience, was definitely deemed as a "hell and brimstone" preacher!

The Methodists have largely evolved into a more educated and fiscally conservative/socially liberal denomination; but at its next general conference, will likely come to split over impending social issues!

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post #29 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Christian churches?

OP here again. I sent an email to the pastor of the church just to verify their views were the same as Sundays speaker (it wasn't the regular pastor).

Here is his response... "Thank you for your candid response. At xxxxxxxx we take our stance from the Bible and not from culture. We cannot apologize for that, nor will we change that fundamental belief. We strive to love everyone, but must call them to biblical repentance."

Honestly I'm Ok with their beliefs, it's just when I see words like "all welcome" and "inclusive" in their literature I interpret that literally so felt I was mislead. And I suppose they mean it literally, as long as you're willing to conform and repent. lol

Last edited by Cooper; 02-21-2017 at 01:57 PM.
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post #30 of 59 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 01:08 PM
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Re: Christian churches?

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OP here again. I sent an email to the pastor of the church just to verify their views were the same as Sundays speaker (it wasn't the regular pastor).

Here is his response... "Thank you for your candid response. At xxxxxxxx we take our stance from the Bible and not from culture. We cannot apologize for that, nor will we change that fundamental belief. We strive to love everyone, but must call them to biblical repentance."

Honestly I'm Ok with their beliefs, it's just when I see words like "all welcome" and "inclusive" in their literature I interpret that literally so felt I was mislead. And I suppose they mean it literally, as long as your willing to conform and repent. lol
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