picking a church

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Victor 9 years, 12 months ago.

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  • #821

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    For non-Catholic Christians what is the criteria for picking a church? I’ve often heard it said that you pick a church in line with your beliefs. Is this true? I would like some insight to the non-Catholic world. <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    #2939

    nordskoven
    Member

    For a non-Catholic Christian, picking a church can mean also picking a shepherd, leading to a kind of self-shepherding-sheep paradigm. Catholics are led by a local ordinary, or bishop, and are pastored under his authority by their parish priest, defined by territorial bounds, not doctrinal differences. Christ prayed for unity as close as that He shares with the Father. Let us join the Lord in His prayer “that we may be one.”

    #2941

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:v8ahiq49]For a non-Catholic Christian, picking a church can mean also picking a shepherd, leading to a kind of self-shepherding-sheep paradigm.[/quote:v8ahiq49]

    Well yeah, that’s what I was getting at. Picking a church already in line with your beliefs or one that you agree with is no way to be ministered to and discover the truth of Jesus – it only affirms what you already believe and it would seem to me that there is no growth (spiritual and whatnot) in that kind of a situation.

    #3889

    Elkabong
    Member

    Hi, I’m Elkabong, haven’t been here for awhile, and I’m a member of a Presbyterian church (PCUSA).

    Protestants don’t like to admit it, but tradition carries as much weight with us as with Catholics. Tomorrow, I will march in our Palm Sunday procession in the neighborhood of the church. We will join with a United Church of Christ, a Lutheran, an Episcopalian, and a Roman Catholic church to do this. We enact this, despite feeling silly and conspicuous, because it is Tradition. Even with the papists! (grin)

    So, “choosing” a church has more to do with finding a church that enacts traditions similar to or that resonate with those you’ve been exposed to all your life. I don’t know what to say about those who come from an unchurched background and start looking. They may end up in what my wife calls, “shake your patootie” churches.

    #3894

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    Elkabong, I greatly respect your view since you are not Catholic. I really appreciate you sharing your experience.

    The Presbyterian tradition is considered one of the “traditional” Christian denominations if I am not mistaken so your comment makes much sense.

    The type of Christians I am thinking of are the Fundagelicals or the ones that go to “Bible churches” and are fairly independent of one another. I don’t think these types of people have the deep rooted traditions that your church and mine have. Many of them are springing up new all over the place.

    I do see your point though. I think I was just reacting to a combination of comments I’ve heard and decided to start this topic.

    Please excuse my ignorance.

    #3897

    i know alot of “bible christians” who choose a church based on the music. if its not lively then “the spirit isn’t there.”

    #3904

    Elkabong
    Member

    I trust that subject title won’t offend, but my wife uses it about every “Bible” church and “spirit-filled” church out there, and it is as specific a description as I think you can find, so I’ll use it.
    I see what you mean about traditional churches. Mine couldn’t exist, frankly, if there had not been the Roman church first. True, isn’t it?

    Jon, I have come to the conclusion, after half a century of life, that there isn’t a nickle’s worth of difference between the major Christian groups. That will likely provoke response, too, but it is an honest statement.

    Picking churches can have as much to do with where you live as anything. My mainline church is dying, right now, because we’re in a downtown area and Richmond, VA’s downtown hasn’t just died, it committed suicide. The folks with kids and the ability to work and contribute to help a church grow have all moved to the suburbs, and to the ensemble music churches. The kind that don’t have hymn or prayer books, but project the words of their choruses on the wall, and encourage dancing and what have you. Shake your butt, as my wife would have it. Don’t get it. As Elizabeth Achtemeyer pointed out in her autobiography, the number of times the word “I” gets sung in those choruses outnumbers the times God gets mentioned…

    Sorry, was I ranting?

    #3908

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:2s77o1by]I see what you mean about traditional churches. Mine couldn’t exist, frankly, if there had not been the Roman church first. True, isn’t it?[/quote:2s77o1by]
    For sure. <img src=” title=”Wink” />

    [quote:2s77o1by]Jon, I have come to the conclusion, after half a century of life, that there isn’t a nickle’s worth of difference between the major Christian groups. That will likely provoke response, too, but it is an honest statement.[/quote:2s77o1by]
    Yes, this is going to get a response. <img src=” title=”Very Happy” />

    My opinion is that it might seem that way from the outside looking in, but when you get down to the nitty-gritty there are some stark contrasts.

    For instance, the number of sacraments, who can be ordained, who can receive communion, authority and other things.

    I’m going to assume that by traditional churches we are talking about Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Methodist.

    #3919

    Elkabong
    Member

    You know, there may not be as many “official” sacrements in my church, but we still do ’em. Marriage? I got married again two years ago (first wife left me for her boss). You can call it what you will — they ACTED like it was sacremental. The same case can be made for the others.

    Calvin insisted there was no change in the wine and bread, but just let an elder drop some when serving…!

    We argue about justification, but, according to what I understand from the Catholic catechism, you guys just use the words differently. Okay, for the sake of brotherly unity, we do.

    I find myself in agreement with many of “your” guys — Chesterton, Belloc…

    I stand by my statement! :lol:

    #3995

    Victor
    Member

    Elka, you are right that we use the same words but mean different things by them. Hopefully we can get beyond that and change the tone of dialogue that has been around for hald a millenium and just move forward. Although even once terms are clarified there still is differences; but not as big as many people seem to think.

    In Christ
    ~Victor Mesina

    #4014

    Elkabong
    Member

    I agree with that. I was brought up on the belief that the Roman church taught a work’s salvation message, which was counter to the gospel.

    I finally had to read the Cathechism for myself to see that wasn’t exactly what the church taught.

    I’ve read much — Newman, Chesterton, Belloc, Scott Hahn, Patrick Madrid, Thomas Howard, Mark Shea, and others — and, the more I do, the more I see that folks from my tradition and the Roman tradition have much to celebrate. It is a particular joy to me that my Presbyterian church joins with Lutherans, Episcopalians and Catholics on Palm Sunday. Even though I had to confess, when I became a deacon, that I look to no one (we’re talking Pope here) to stand between me and God.

    So, now I feel something like a Cathlotyrian!

    #4985

    [quote:1fajil78]For non-Catholic Christians what is the criteria for picking a church? I’ve often heard it said that you pick a church in line with your beliefs. Is this true? I would like some insight to the non-Catholic world. <img src=” title=”Smile” />[/quote:1fajil78]

    Do you mean a church as in a parish or as in a ‘denomination’? If you mean the latter, as I’m Orthodox I have nothing to say on the subject really. If the former, well if you’re Orthodox in the west you often don’t have much of a choice so you just go to the nearest one.

    If you are lucky enough to have a choice you might choose one based on jurisdiction (given the choice – which I luckily now have – I go to a Romanian parish and avoid Greek ones), language of the liturgy (Romanian or English in my case), or you migt just like a particular priest. There’s probably hundreds of reasons for choosing a particular parish.

    James

    #5359

    dobberda
    Member

    The story with myself goes like this. I was looking for a church as I a christain without out a designated house of God. My search was conducted as such; I would listen to representatives of each church and hear their explanation of how and why their beliefs are proper and other denominations arent. Also, I’ve done countless hours searching valid sites such as this and learning about other denominations and thier belief structure. Ive found out alot about each denomination and I was never satisfied with one persons story, I always search for 2nd third and even fiftieth opinions. And I have yet to find a church that does not outlandishly interpret the bible towards their beliefs, or completely ignore its teachings. so for this reason, I have yet and probably never will be a member of a denomination. I have prayer groups and several followers of christ come together, and in doing so, Jesus is with us, and in turn, we have created a house of God. If something is unclear to us, we seek answers from God, not men. No man is infallible. One was.

    #5360

    Victor
    Member

    [quote:39igw2vn]The story with myself goes like this. I was looking for a church as I a christain without out a designated house of God. My search was conducted as such; I would listen to representatives of each church and hear their explanation of how and why their beliefs are proper and other denominations arent. Also, I’ve done countless hours searching valid sites such as this and learning about other denominations and thier belief structure. Ive found out alot about each denomination and I was never satisfied with one persons story, I always search for 2nd third and even fiftieth opinions. [/quote:39igw2vn]

    You have to start somewhere.

    [quote:39igw2vn]And I have yet to find a church that does not outlandishly interpret the bible towards their beliefs, or completely ignore its teachings.[/quote:39igw2vn]

    Although I agree with you here, how is it that you come to a proper understanding? What are you doing different from all those millions of Christians that are also reading the Bible?

    [quote:39igw2vn] so for this reason, I have yet and probably never will be a member of a denomination.[/quote:39igw2vn]

    Never say never… <img src=” title=”Wink” />

    [quote:39igw2vn]I have prayer groups and several followers of christ come together, and in doing so, Jesus is with us, and in turn, we have created a house of God.[/quote:39igw2vn]

    So I suppose this is your church or non-denominational church, right?

    [quote:39igw2vn] If something is unclear to us, we seek answers from God, not men. No man is infallible. One was.[/quote:39igw2vn]

    You and millions of others say this and still get different messages from God. What are we to do?

    ~Victor

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