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Just ONE more church-related question then I promise I will stop.


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So let's say you and your dh were of a certain denomination and you lived in area where there were NO churches of that denomination and in fact there were primarily ONLY churches whose doctrinal beliefs you did NOT agree with ... what would you do?

 

Would you attend church and sit under teaching you do not believe?

 

Or not attend church and do family worship at home?

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Worship at home. Thankfully my denomination has lots of resourses online (lesson manuals for the Sunday Schools and the like), so I would be able to give my children the same Sunday School lessons other kids of our faith would be recieving (and then I wouldn't have to make up a Scripture study curriculum on my own :lol: ). I would hope there would at least be one or two families of our same faith that we could fellowship with, but if not it wouldn't be the end of the world.

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Okay, I guess I am the one who is different here. We have repeatedly changed churches and don't choose churches on being just like us on theological grounds. We move and most of the time, we can't find anything that aligns with us on theological grounds exactly. This time we probably could but but dh and my daughters didn't like the church. Okay, we move on. It just doesn't matter to us. Like I have said many times on this board, we have worshiped in three different Presbyterian denominations (and four, if you look at current status of two churches we attended and know that it wasn't they who changed but the main denomination), and also United Methodist twice and two types of Baptist. Now we didn't attend the one Baptist for too long since our differing views on Baptism were too great but in two cases, we attended chapels where the main chaplain was Southern Baptist. Did he do infant baptism? No, but we had no infants at that time and since they were chaplains, they didn't speak ill of us paedo-baptism people.

 

Are there congregations we wouldn't join? Yes, Catholic since the theological difference is too great, pentecostal type churches since we wouldn't feel at home in that kind of worship, and of course, any church that we consider not to be really Christian based on our traditional view of Christianity (so no LDS, JW, etc). But I could see us attending an Anglican, a Lutheran, as well as the churches we have already attended. Why? I have older children and they all have come to accept a Reformed point of view and Reformed vs Armininian theologies just aren't the usual topic of sermons. In fact, in 24 years of attending Protestant services, I don't think I have ever heard a sermon discussing these differences.

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Are there congregations we wouldn't join? Yes, Catholic since the theological difference is too great, pentecostal type churches since we wouldn't feel at home in that kind of worship, and of course, any church that we consider not to be really Christian based on our traditional view of Christianity (so no LDS, JW, etc). .

 

Well let's just say that the type of churches on this island are almost all of one of the denominations you listed above.

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We attend a nondenominational church and are Reformed in our beliefs. Our children attend service with us and we are able to talk about any doctrinal differences that crop up in the sermon. Thankfully, our pastor preaches line-by-line so we even often do Bible study with the children on those passages in advance of the sermon.

 

It does make it difficult though to be fully involved in the everyday events of the church (especially youth activities) but we prefer it to home church. We NEED fellowship with other believers.

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Forgive me if I've missed something, because I haven't read all your religious question posts, and really, I've got no business discussing religion at all. But I"m confused about something---aren't you the principal of a religious-based school? Are you not seeing yourself as aligned with the teachings and/or beliefs of the school sponsors? Where do your fellow educators attend? Maybe they'd have some insights about places for your family to worship?

 

 

astrid

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I think I'd lean toward the most-biblically-solid of the not-my-theology churches; specifically to search for one where it was obvious that the people there loved the Lord and were working on loving one another. Meanwhile, I'd be praying for God to link us up with like-minded folks in order to plant a church (home-based or otherwise) with more solid teaching.

 

It would be too easy for "home worship" to just fall apart in our house, if it were just our family. We need the solid leadership, teaching, and accountability of trained, spiritually gifted pastors/elders.

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Have you considered looking through seminary-alumni lists? Many (if not all) seminaries here in the States have lists showing where their grads have ended up. Here's an example. (Sorry, no Malaysia on this list.) It might also be worth an email to certain schools, as their lists go out of date from time to time, and they may have someone ready to graduate who is praying about where God would send him.

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So let's say you and your dh were of a certain denomination and you lived in area where there were NO churches of that denomination and in fact there were primarily ONLY churches whose doctrinal beliefs you did NOT agree with ... what would you do?

 

Would you attend church and sit under teaching you do not believe?

 

Or not attend church and do family worship at home?

 

I would relocate. And we did just that. :001_smile:

 

 

Certainly not a possibility for everyone but God certainly opened this door for us. I know God will lead you to the right situation for your family.

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I would relocate. And we did just that. :001_smile:

 

 

Certainly not a possibility for everyone but God certainly opened this door for us. I know God will lead you to the right situation for your family.

She's in Malaysia under contract and has an adopted daughter that she can't bring to the US yet due to legal tape she's dealing with.

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I would visit any churches you are considering and see how much your theological differences are apparent. Let's say it's Catholic. Maybe once you spent some time there it wouldn't seem so different and you would be more in agreement than you thought. Also look into what the denomination believes on paper versus what you think they believe versus what is practiced. It's worth a try. Then maybe invite another couple of families for a midweek Bible Study. It sounds like you are in a difficult place. I pray something works out for you.

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If I was in that situation (no churches except Catholic, pentencostal types, and what I consider alternative religions but not Christianity (LDS, JW, Unification Church, etc), I would home church for most SUndays but would find one of the first two categories to attend occasionally. I think some Pentecostal type churches may be more acceptable to me if there wasn't what I consider strange happenings in church. I would want to attend for Christmas and Easter, for example. I would want to leave the area as soon as I could though.

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Family worship at home.

 

I couldn't sit under teaching in a church where I didn't agree. I would feel that I was being fake, but, also, it runs the risk of being divisive.

 

The other way of looking at it is, we have always made sure before we moved there was a church we could attend with an open heart. It didn't always line up with what we were raised believing, but, it wasn't anti-scriptural either. Always they were a blessing and I hope that we were a blessing to them as well.

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Forgive me if I've missed something, because I haven't read all your religious question posts, and really, I've got no business discussing religion at all. But I"m confused about something---aren't you the principal of a religious-based school? Are you not seeing yourself as aligned with the teachings and/or beliefs of the school sponsors? Where do your fellow educators attend? Maybe they'd have some insights about places for your family to worship?

 

 

astrid

 

Our school is non-denominational and our staff comes from just about every christian denomination. It has nothing to do with the school and the school is independent and not sponsored by any denomination (not for the last 10 years).

 

The problems is that we live on a small island and there is a catholic church (we are not catholic) and then about 20 other churches that are almost all of the same denomination (I am being deliberatly vague so as not to offend) and its teachings are VASTLY different than what we believe. And these teachings are pervasive in every service and every ministry so it is not something we can even work around. It is kind of depressing to be honest as we LOVE fellowshipping with other believers.

 

I did hear today that there is a Methodist church somewhere on the island so maybe we will try to find that one!

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I'd probably attend the Catholic one then, at least on holidays.

 

Katie

 

Our school is non-denominational and our staff comes from just about every christian denomination. It has nothing to do with the school and the school is independent and not sponsored by any denomination (not for the last 10 years).

 

The problems is that we live on a small island and there is a catholic church (we are not catholic) and then about 20 other churches that are almost all of the same denomination (I am being deliberatly vague so as not to offend) and its teachings are VASTLY different than what we believe. And these teachings are pervasive in every service and every ministry so it is not something we can even work around. It is kind of depressing to be honest as we LOVE fellowshipping with other believers.

 

I did hear today that there is a Methodist church somewhere on the island so maybe we will try to find that one!

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I would (a) keep looking and (b) worship at home.

 

You have young children, Heather, and I think it would be very difficult to have re-train and re-educate every week. And then you have to consider what kind of experience your dc would have under those circumstances...

 

I would worship at home for the most part, and pray for some like-minded folks to join you on your island!!!

 

Anne

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Depends how far off in beliefs the nearest church was. I do think that there is an important aspect of fellowship in church. I would not do anything sacramental at another church, though.

 

:iagree:

 

Heather, I was guessing that you were referring to reformed vs. not. (LOL, what am I supposed to say, non-reformed?!) We are not reformed, and I would not regularly attend a reformed church. I can't sit through every.single.sermon looking for a slant that contradicts what I believe.

 

After reading your post with more info, I'm praying for clear direction for you with the Methodist church, if it's there!

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It would be too easy for "home worship" to just fall apart in our house, if it were just our family. We need the solid leadership, teaching, and accountability of trained, spiritually gifted pastors/elders.

 

 

I have read or heard this comment made about worshiping at home many times, and I have to say, while it may be true for some, it doesn't hold true for many families. To me it's like saying learning at home (homeschooling) just won't get done if the kids are taken out of school.

 

We worshiped at home for many years and never missed a Sunday of worship. We are committed Christians and we had the discipline to follow God's word and worship every Sunday. As for leadership and solid teaching, these can be found in many different resources. For accountability we have God.

 

We are currently attending a church, mostly for fellowship, but we are running into many issues with the sermons and are concerned about some of the things our kids are hearing. I also have to say we were growing more spiritually when we were worshiping at home.

 

Just wanted to offer another perspective and my humble opinion.

 

Shannon

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So let's say you and your dh were of a certain denomination and you lived in area where there were NO churches of that denomination and in fact there were primarily ONLY churches whose doctrinal beliefs you did NOT agree with ... what would you do?

 

Would you attend church and sit under teaching you do not believe?

 

Or not attend church and do family worship at home?

 

I absolutely would not attend a church if I did not believe their doctrine to be scriptural. No way, no how. Never.

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If beliefs are drastically different (which I've gathered *is* the case), church at home. And why not consider that as a ministry and reach out within your community...church plant. :)

 

(scrolled back through a bit and saw this already mentioned, ie. 'not being alone for long')

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I couldn't go to a chuch that I didn't agree with but then again I'm Catholic so I wouldn't feel right in any church but a Catholic church. I don't see what I'd get out of going to chuch on Sunday that I didn't agree with. It'd be more frustrating than uplifting.

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John Wesley founded the Methodist church so it is, to my knowledge, the original Arminian branch. Now, Joseph Arminius himself is from the 1500's of course so perhaps there was something predating that I'm unaware. But I was raised with an Arminian perspective and the Arminian type churches trace to Wesley/Methodist originally. Thus, I can't imagine Methodist fitting if it's that you must have a Calvinism perspective. I guess it's worth a try though. It may be different in Malaysia? Or perhaps that particular church will fit close enough. I think it's worth a try certainly if it's that or nothing. I'm wondering also if there might be other options you're not yet aware of as well. I hope you find a like minded body of believers for fellowship. No existing denominations exactly fit us and the closest one I know of isn't in our area. I find that those seeking God and living love are good fellowship despite different theologies. I might, though, have a different view if my only options were diametrically opposed to my convictions as in your situation.

Edited by sbgrace
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We would have family worship at home. In fact, we have been doing that due to the rampant hypocrisy in the churches in our surrounding area. In a related post on church authority, people were referencing that people need accountability to leadership. In point of fact, the leaders are accountable to the people (and to God) for their behavior. Our ultimate authority is God, not someone in the pulpit who may or may not even be righteous, much less doctrinally sound. In any case, I certainly would not attend a church whose doctrinal positions did not comport with my beliefs.

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Hey Ladies, I do not think that Heather's issue is about Arminianism vs. Reformed with these churches. Just like I mentioned, I have attended and joined both Methodist and Presbyterian churches and not have had any problems because the teaching of these differences is not the usual focus of the Sunday sermon. She is talking about that churches are totally different in aspects that are very, very obvious. I don't know which denomination she is referring to but I think it is something that traditional Protestants (Baptist, Methodists, Lutherans, Anglicans, Presbyterians, etc, etc) would all have a difficulty going to services. The Catholic church is a bit different since that church would not be accepting of Heather and her family (they couldn't partake of communion) without their conversion and the only reason they would be attending is because there was no more acceptable church.

 

I hope the Methodist church turns out to be a good alternative for you.

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It does make it difficult though to be fully involved in the everyday events of the church (especially youth activities) but we prefer it to home church. We NEED fellowship with other believers.

 

I always thought a homechurch was more than one family? You invite whoever is interested in worshiping and studying together. This is what I picture when I hear homechurch, however, I suppose one family doing studying at home are also a homechurch of sorts. Agree with you regarding needing others. We a re made to connect with others.

 

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Just to clarify, I wasn't trying to generalize. For my own family, I could see it happening if it were just our crew -- Dad not having time in the evenings to study and prepare a lesson, etc. If we were meeting with others in a home church, I think we'd be more consistent.

 

Heather was asking what we'd do, so I just told her what my own choice would likely be.

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Nope, we wouldn't attend. We're not afraid of home church. Worshipping in the home with your family is great. We've done/do it when we don't attend church for whatever reason. We believe the sabbath is holy no matter where you are at. It's a time for worship.

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If at all possible i'd try and find a body of believers to become a part of. The church body, even with all of its flaws, builds each other up and is meant to come together. Also, Hearing the word preached, taking communion and seeing baptisms are very important.

we drive 30 min to go to a church that isn't even in our denomination, but the pastor preaches Christ. It is hard for me to not sit in the pew and think about everything I wish were different or that I disagree with. I told myself one morning that I was being part of the problem if I kept thinking that way.

Yes there are big differences, we teach our children different things at home and they are exposed to the fact that there are differences in the body of Christ and that we can be in fellowship with them despite of those differences.

In town there was a church that was closer to what we wanted but because of closed communion we couldn't partake. I would encourage you to really try and find a group, but some situations can be really tough. I hope you find a fellowship somewhere.

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