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Finding My Faith And Religion....(This Is LONG!)


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  #1  
June 4th, 2009, 08:02 PM
foxfire_ga79
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Hello ladies!
I have been really struggling for years with my faith and honestly I'm at my wit's end. I don't know what to believe.
For starters my mom was a Catholic and my dad a Methodist. When we bothered going to church in my childhood it was to non-denom churches. In high school, I was very into witch craft and Wicca. I really like the traditions and rituals, almost feels like that's what comes natural to me.
As a younger adult my first husband and I went to and became members of a Methodist church. I'm remarried now and have converted to Southern Missionary Baptist.
So needless to say, I've received lots of conflicting teachings.
Personally, I believe Jesus is our messiah but I don't know why...It doesn't seem he fulfilled the OT prophecies. I don't like the rules the Baptists follow about women not being allowed to hold any offices. I think women don't preach, but I think women can be deacons and teachers, and it really ticks me off that women aren't allowed to speak during conference.
I really like having a rosary. I'd pray on it but I still haven't gotten around to memorizing Hail Holy Queen. But I don't pray in general to saints. I do have a patron saint.
I'm confused about baptism itself. I've been baptized 4 times. I don't know if it is supposed to be done for babies. My older 2 kids were done as babies but my youngest and this one won't be because the baptists don't do that.
I don't believe though that babies are born with sin and have to be baptized. I think everyone is innocent until they reach their age of accountability. I don't know if that's supposed to be called getting saved, or a confirmation. I think they're the same thing but people tell me they're not.
I don't think drinking is a sin, I take wine at communion.
SO, if you can figure out what church I need to start going to, feel free to let me know!

But maybe even before I try to figure that out, I need to try to get ahold of my faith. I'm mad at God a lot. He COULD fix things down here if he felt like it. He cures some people, but not everybody. So, why? I get not only upset about my problems but other people's problems bother me just as bad.
I want to serve Him, but in the same measure I don't know why I'm expected to. He's almighty, what does He need from ME? Most of the time when I pray, I'm asking Him to tell me what He wants from me.
I have a hard time apologizing for my sins. I feel kind of bad about them, but I'm exactly what I was created to be! I'll never be able to NOT sin.
I'm just so frustrated trying to figure out what to do with my spiritual life. I believe God is almighty God and Jesus was sent to save us. The rest of it feels impossible to figure out.

Ok this was really long. Sorry. But I need help with this, and it seems every time I talk to a preacher I just end up arguing because so many things don't make sense. Maybe it will be easier here.

Thanks for any insight!
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  #2  
June 4th, 2009, 10:48 PM
LindensMommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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im nak right now, so ill write more later but i think a non denominational church would be bestfor you!
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  #3  
June 5th, 2009, 02:46 AM
~InHisHands~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm glad you made it over here! How's the pg going?

I've been right where you are just a few years ago. I'm a fairly new Christian myself... I came to Jesus in Sept '07 & was baptized in Jan '08.

Bottom line, this is what you need to know...

Christians believe that men are sinners and thus have been separated from God but that God loved us so much that He sent His only son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins so that we may have a way to be united with God once again. After Jesus died on the cross, he was buried & after 3 days God raised him from the dead. All we have to do to accept Jesusí gift of eternal life is to put our faith in Jesus & trust Him to forgive our sins Ė thatís it. This is the part that I didnít really understand - I thought that being a Christian meant you have to go to Church, you have to do this, you have to do that, etc but it doesn't mean that at all - Christians do these things b/c once they accept Jesus these things are just their natural reaction to Jesus' love.

The Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord & believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved". All you have to do is sincerely pray to God this truth. For example, you can pray the prayer below...
God, thank You for loving me. I confess that I have sinned against You. I believe that Your Son Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins & that you raised Jesus from the dead. I now put my faith in Jesus to forgive me & save me from my sins. I confess that Jesus is Lord! Thank you for your gift of eternal life. In Jesusí name I pray, Amen.
Being a Christian is about having a relationship with Jesus not about the church you go to. Choosing a church is a personal decision & I chose mine based mostly on just where I felt like God was leading me. The moment I walked in I felt at home so I KNEW that this was the church for me. You won't find a church that is 100% free of problems (churches are run & populated by man, man is sinful), of course I'm sure you already knew that, so I wouldn't try. No matter what church you choose there will be things you don't necessarily like but that's okay. Church is about community & worshiping the Lord as a community. The one thing that I would strongly encourage is that you find a church that preaches Jesus & the Bible. The more you hear the Word, the more you learn & the closer you get to Him.

Baptism is symbolic of Jesus' death on the cross. When we go under the water, we die to our old self (our sinful self) & when we come up, we are born to our new self (our Christ-centered self). Now this doesn't mean you won't ever sin again b/c you will without ever really meaning to. You only have to be baptized once (but you can be baptized more than once) & it is a voluntary action on the part of the believer (that's why Baptists don't baptize babies (they aren't old enough) but they do baby dedications where the parents & church promise to teach this child about Jesus so when he/she is old enough he/she can come to the Lord on his/her own. Now my church (a Baptist church) will baptize children (I've seen very young children, maybe 6 or 7, get baptized)). To me, it's kinda like a marriage ceremony... it's just your way of telling the world, I love Jesus.

I'm not sure of the difference between a confirmation & being saved. DH was raised catholic & if I'm not mistaken, Catholics do baptize babies but then when they are old enough to say, "Hey, I love the Lord & I want to serve Him & be baptized (as we Baptists do) & follow Him" they *confirm* their earlier baptism with a confirmation. Now DH is in bed right now so I could run that by him when he wakes up but if I remember correctly that is what it is. Being saved is that moment in time (not necessarily Baptism) when you confess your sins to God & accept Him as your Lord & Savior. So for me, I was saved in Sept. '07 when I broke down in front of the computer one morning crying begging the Lord to come into my heart & into my life. But I wasn't baptized (public profession of faith) till Jan the following year. BTW, DH was baptized as a Catholic then again with us in Jan '08.

You're right that God can fix things down here. Why did it take me 3 years to get pg? Why couldn't I have gotten pg w/o having hypo? Why did he allow all the heartbreak in my life? Why did he allow this? He's our father & we are his rebellious children. He doesn't always fix our problems b/c He is trying His hardest to teach us something, to mold us in His image. I honestly think he used my infertility struggles to basically slap me in the face & say, "Hey, I love you, Amanda & I've loved you forever. Come back to me. You're my child & I don't want you to live in eternal punishment forever (referring to when I die). I want you here with me". He then, in my case, let it continue for a while to build my faith in Him. Whenever you face a mountain or feel that God has deserted you, He hasn't. He's there, holding your hand, facing the problems with you & along the way trying to teach you something or in my case, trying to wake you up or He could be doing it for other reasons... only He knows. But I do know this... he only wants to prosper us & not harm us (my fav scripture reference, Jer 29:11, I had to lean on it A LOT through my TTC struggles) so anything allowed into our lives is not to harm us but to give us a future.

There are a few other points you mention in your post... alcohol & women in the church that I just feel like I shouldn't go into at the present moment but will gladly do so at a later time.

Sorry this is so long (too) but once I got going, I couldn't stop! I hope you stick around & find your way! May the Lord bless you!
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  #4  
June 5th, 2009, 09:08 AM
*Angela*'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am familiar with the Southern Baptist traditions. The Southern Missionary Baptist is a bit more strict. In Southern Baptist women are allowed to speak at conferences and be teachers. I have been to a church that had a woman for a music minister. I agree that a non-denom may be the best for you but it would lake the traditions that you seem to like. Baptists don't baptize their children when they are born, instead they dedicate them; meaning you as the parent are dedicating yourself to raising your children in a Godly home. A book you might try is "Getting a Grip on the Basics" by Beth Jones. It walks you through what the bible says for being a new Christian. I will pray for you and your family while you struggle to find you place and what you believe. Once you find a church that you feel is right for you, be sure to attend Sunday School or Bible studies because that is where you will get the opportunity to dig into the bible and see where God stands on all the issues that you are questioning.
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  #5  
June 5th, 2009, 12:10 PM
bright future's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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What Amanda said... I couldn't have said it better.
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  #6  
June 5th, 2009, 12:43 PM
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First I want to welcome you to our board and I look forward to getting to know you and I hope and pray that you will grow in your faith with us here.

Amanda said it all so well.. what it really boils down to is that you believe that you are a sinner and that Jesus died for our sins and that you accecpt His gift of salvation for your life.. the rest is just details.

There are many denominations out there that believe that it is perfectly ok for women to preach and hold any other leadership role in the church. I attend The Salvation Army and we have many women pastors, including my SIL who was ordained in 2002. We also dedicate children as we believe it is the privelege/responsibility of the parents to raise their child to love and serve God. I know it is way easier said than done but what you need to do is find out the churches main doctrines and see what they believe about who Jesus was and go from there....and pray that God will open the door to the place that He wants you to be and that you will be receptive to that answer

This is just my opinion but God doesn't NEED us to serve Him, he allows us, it is an honor and a privlege to serve our Creator... it says in Luke that if we withold our praise that even the rocks will cry out and praise God...so he certainly doesn't need US as humans to do it but is so awesome that we can!

I wish I had answers as to why God doesn't fix all that is wrong with the world, certainly he could because he is God but he allows us to go through the bad times to bring us closer to Him as we should be relying on him to get us through those times...it strengthens our faith

I don't know if that was any help at all....but I am glad that you are here and I'm glad you are asking questions and I pray that you are able to find the answers you are looking for
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  #7  
June 6th, 2009, 02:04 PM
foxfire_ga79
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Well the pregnancy is going Ok. I can't say I actually enjoy pregnancy though. Heheh

So, yes I believe I'm a sinner and Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him. DH is a lifelong Southern Missionary Baptist, it bothers me that I really don't like it. I wish we could be comfy going to the same church.

I'll try and find that book. Whenever I read the Bible for myself (I've read the entire NT, and I keep on re-reading lots of it) I just always seem to end up with different conclusions than most other people do. I'm really trying but I just don't know if I'm ever going to be very strong in this.
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  #8  
June 7th, 2009, 10:59 AM
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Well, I didn't have the time to read all the responses (screaming baby and 3yr old.. lol) BUT- it is VERY important to remember...

He does command us to.. but most importantly, He WANTS us to! He loves us beyond what we can imagine and He DESIRES a relationship with us and wants us to love Him, above everything else. He gave us free will and it is our choice to use it how we will. If we were programmed to love Him, that wouldn't mean anything. He gave us the CHOICE to love Him. So, it is left to us to make the decision.

As a parent, imagine the love for your child/children... now imagine that times infinity. THAT is how much He loves us and desires us to have a relationship with Him. He doesn't WANT to hurt us or let bad things happen, but just like a parent, He has to allow things to happen to teach us.. and He has to allow us to make our own choices. He wants us to genuinely love Him... not just love Him because it's the "right thing to do"...

I hope that makes sense and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to PM me. I am open to talking about this more with you.
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  #9  
June 7th, 2009, 02:56 PM
~InHisHands~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
So, yes I believe I'm a sinner and Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him. DH is a lifelong Southern Missionary Baptist, it bothers me that I really don't like it. I wish we could be comfy going to the same church.
I do understand... this is how I would feel if I went to a Catholic church with DH. I've been once (way back before I met DH) & felt so out of place. I was uncomfortable the whole time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
I'll try and find that book. Whenever I read the Bible for myself (I've read the entire NT, and I keep on re-reading lots of it) I just always seem to end up with different conclusions than most other people do. I'm really trying but I just don't know if I'm ever going to be very strong in this.
It'll come, just give it time. Honestly, when I read the Bible, still to this day, I don't see what others see. A lot of it is still hard for me to understand/interpret. My fav thing is listening to our Pastor preach the Word. He takes the things I don't understand very easily & explains them in a way I understand. Another thing I love (but need to start doing again) is listening to Focus on the Family & Turning Point (you can either listen to the broadcasts online or find a local station & listen to them on your radio at home). They have also really helped me to grow & learn God's word. Another GREAT resource is an online Bible study that I JUST finished... Beth Moore, Believing God.

Hope some of that helps & I hope you grow closer & closer to our Lord each day!
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"Never confuse acceptance with approval. Without approving
all we do, Jesus accepts all who come to Him." ~
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  #10  
June 8th, 2009, 10:09 PM
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You have gotten some wonderful responses! I was raised Baptist and accepted Jesus very early on. There was a point in time where I lost my faith and couldnt understand why so many things were happening to me, I was just a kid and had horrible things happen to me. I tried so hard to study the Bible and learn what the Word truly said and meant but it just wasn't coming to me. I can promise you if you keep praying and asking God to help you, He will. I finally realized that it's not God doing these things it's the devil. God doesn't want to see us in pain, we are his children and he hurts when we do. My belief is that because Adam and Eve sinned we all are sinners, God allows us to make our own choices and we see so many people making bad choices, and sometimes they affect us. When bad things are going on in my life I know it's the devil trying to work his way back in, trying to get me away from God again. Just stay strong hun, keep praying and work on finding a church that you will enjoy. I agree that a non-denom would prob be best, and who knows maybe later you will find a denom church you enjoy. As a PP said most any church you go to you are going to find things you don't agree with, but thats ok. The most important thing about a church is that everyone worships God and His son! Please PM me if you ever want to talk...Im also in Northern Georgia (around Dalton). Tons of prayers for you and your family!
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