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Elspeth 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 09:31 AM
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Since we are an eclectic community here, I thought it might be fun to share what denomination we are and/or have been. Maybe share a little of the beliefs of that denomination and why it is you connect with that particular church.

I grew up in The Church of the Brethren. It is a denomination that began in Germany at the time of the reformation. It was a denomination of the people, mostly farmers. It never had any great leaders like Luther or Calvin so it is little known. They believed in nonviolence and they didn?t believe in government. Hence, they were targets for persecution and emigrated from the area that is now Germany/ Belgium in the very early 1700?s to come to Pennsylvania.

They are cousins to the Mennonites and used to be known by their plain clothes and plain speaking. They didn?t believe in fighting so when the draft came into being, the Brethren church countered with Brethren Volunteer Service. Men of draft age who were conscientious objectors could serve in this instead of the military. In the 50?s my uncle did his service time in BVS, going over to Germany to help rebuild after the war.

Their recipe for living has been said as ? Take your religion seriously; make it practical in everyday matters; don?t force it on others; live at peace with your neighbors, those next door and around the world; work hard; live simply; and always be prepared to lend more than one helping hand to someone in need.

When we began to have children, we wanted them to be able to go to church with the same kids they went to school with. So, we looked for a new church and settled on the one a block away ? Presbyterian. It seemed a good compromise. My husband had been Catholic ? High Church ? and I was Brethren ? very Low Church ? Presbyterian seemed right in the middle.

There are some differences, but not much. One difference is baptism. I was baptized as an adult (13) by immersion. It was seen as a symbol of a person asking Jesus to be the King of their life. My husband was baptized as a baby and later confirmed. My two oldest children were dedicated as babies in the Brethren church and later baptized by sprinkling when we joined the Presbyterian. The younger two were baptized as infants. My oldest son will be confirmed in a few weeks.

It is a little strange sometimes to be of two denominations. I am sad my children probably will never know the experience of baptism by immersion. But I try not to get caught up in the details, the differences. The main point is we all follow the same Lord.

It is funny when I started looked closer at my family tree to find that our choice of the Presbyterian Church seemed to not be such a coincidence. Close to half of my ancestors probably were Presbyterians. So, it feels like I am have embraced two parts of my heritage in the two different churches I have been a member of.


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maisky 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 10:02 AM
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This is a good question, ma'am. While many people are in the religion they grew up with, many more of us got where we are indirectly. I was raised LDS (Mormon) until I was 12. At that point, my questioning and seeking truth got me in trouble with the local church leadership. I switched to Episcopal when I started Jr. High in the big city of Blackfoot, Idaho. In college, I studied Islam, Confucism (sp?), Judaism and others. I am now (for 22 years) a Buddhist. Sometimes I think that having the "seeking spirit" is the important part, rather than the destination.


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Eamon 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 12:30 PM
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I was raised what my Grandmother called "Irish Catholic" which seemed to mean that we ate fish on Lenten fridays, but didn't go to church much at all. I wandered away from the church and consider myself Chrisitian. Incidentaly, I did try and go back to the church, but during a conversation regarding that issue, the priest told me rather pointedly that he didn't want Catholics of my type attending his church. I was a bit peeved...

Eamon


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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 01:27 PM
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It's unfortunate, Eamon, that the priest told you that. Unfortunately, it seems fairly common for priests in the Catholic church to not want "part-timers" in their church. They're more worried about the bottom dollar of how much money they bring in a week, and they can't count on the amount of money they get from those who don't come regularly. That "cold shoulder" feel that I'm getting from the Catholic church is starting to turn me off as well...and I actually go regularly and my kids are in school there. It all depends on the church, the priest running it, and the people attending. I actually found a Charismatic Catholic church where the people were very warm and kind, but the priest was not. Don't give up just because of the 1 church. Keep searching!!


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Shamalama 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 01:46 PM
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I was raised a Southern Baptist in the US. But during the 80's-90's there was a huge fundamental/conservative uprising within the association, and whereas Baptists have drawn their strength from being a locally autonimous congregation, the "national" and/or "state" body began telling the individual churches what to believe and how to act.

I left the church that I wsa born into, that my parents were born into, that my grandparents were born into, and helped found an independant congregation. While 50% of us were raised Baptist we are a congregation of former Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Congregationalists, and others. We believe that Jesus gave a new commandment, to love each other as Christ loves us, and that because of such love all will see that we are followers of Christ.

As a matter of fact I am the Music Minister for the congregation. You can find us at http://www.havenfellowship.org/





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Raven 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 02:22 PM
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When I was very young I went with my family to a Presbyterian Church, and I guess somewhere around that time they (my mom and dad) began to spiritually search (after a disagreement with the pastor) and so we studied with the Watchtower for a while. Dabbled in buhdism, and various forms of metaphysics. When I went to high school I was intent on playing college and then pro football so I went to a Catholic high school as this school had a great football program. As a result I had 4 years of Catechism. Upon graduation I became a confirm Agnostic but I went to a Baptist church with my older sister and went to their bible studies where I was more of an antagonist than an agnostic wink.gif .

I also took out a fire insurance policy with this church and got baptised. I then continued with my agnostacism until I heard a sermon by a Baptist preacher on the radio about prophesy one day that provoked me to actually read the bible. I started in Genesis and Matthew simultaneously (I found a reading plan reading Old Testament in the Morning and New Testament in the evening) to my wife. We were driving tractor trailers at the time so I would read while she drove (she comes from a Weslyan background)

I started reading the Bible with the attitude of a sceptic and expecting to see all of the contradiction and error that I had heard was in it. 9 months later we finnished the one year program and independantly of each other made the decision to become Christians.

Since that time (1987) I have been on an independant study program that has included reading the Bible New and Old Testament cover to cover more than 10 times (I lost count actually but it is definitely more than 10 tongue.gif ) Systematic Theology, Biblical Apologetics, How science relates to the Biblical account, comparative religion, etc...
Also I have attended Baptist, Penticostal, Full Gospel, Methodist, Weslyan, Nazarene, Charasmatic Independant, the Vineyard, Calvary Chapel and now we attend a Presbyterian Church.

The main thing that I have discovered is that the contradiction and error come from man and his religion, not the Bible. The Bible and real science (real provable science not unsubstantiated theories or postulates) are in perfect harmony, and finally that I am glad that my faith is dependant on what the Bible has to say and what Jesus/God did and is doing for us as opposed to an organization/denomination as I would have left my faith far behind if I had put it in those (no offense to you denominational types wink.gif it's just not my bag baby)

So even though I go to a Presbyterian Church I do not consider myself a Presbyterian it is just a place where I can get along with both the doctrine and the people.

Peace

Mikel



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tsargent62 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 02:29 PM
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I'm kind of between churches right now. I was at one time, like Maisky, Mormon. I had fallen away from the church and from God for a time. It was during that period that I met my beloved wife. About 13 years ago we separated, I thought for good. I decided I needed to get back to church, so I found the nearest Mormon church. When we decided to get back together my choice of religeon became a problem. You, see, at the time, my wife looked at the Latter Day Saints (LDS) church as a cult. That's a common misconception. Anyway, she did some research and changed her mind about the church being a cult, but she still was against me going there. In short, I gave up my chosen church to save my marriage. I came from a broken home and didn't want my family to go through that.

So, now we're looking for a church. We went to the same Methodist church for about 12 years, but in the last year or so became real dissatisfied. The people were real friendly, but the number of people that came to church events started to dwindle. My wife and I organized several real fun activities that almost no one showed up for, no matter how many announcements we made. So we stopped going there. So, for now, we're churchless and demoninationless.


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maisky 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 02:37 PM
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Well, at least you aren't friendless. We love you anyway. biggrin.gif
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Eamon 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 02:55 PM
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QUOTE (Irish Stepper @ Mar 23 2004, 01:27 PM)
Don't give up just because of the 1 church. Keep searching!!

Thanks IrishStepper. It was an interesting exchange, as he told me the Catholic church had not changed in 2000 years. Being a bit of a historian, I reminded him gently about the little event called the Reformation and a more recent thing known as Vatican II. Thats when it became interesting. I belong to the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and there is a great Priest involved in our group who encourages me to go back. I have complete faith, its just the religion that I have some problems with.

Eamon
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tsargent62 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 03:37 PM
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QUOTE (maisky @ Mar 23 2004, 02:37 PM)
Well, at least you aren't friendless. We love you anyway. biggrin.gif

Thanks, my friend.
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Shamalama 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 04:07 PM
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QUOTE

Eamon: I have complete faith, its just the religion that I have some problems with.


You have no idea just how wise that statement really is. I wholeheartedly agree.

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MDF3530 
  Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 04:26 PM
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I am a Catholic. I consider myself a progressive member of the Catholic denomination. I still go to church every weekend (usually Saturday afternoon Mass) and observe the holy days. However, my views on certain issues differ with the more conservative of my religion. I believe that homosexuals should be allowed to marry. I find the Kevin Smith movie "Dogma" hysterical. I believe that if God intended for something to be a sin, then let Him punish them.


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Eamon 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 04:33 PM
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Shama, Mike and all;

As you may have noticed, I usually keep to the safe waters of "General Discussion" and the pub, but I felt like I could speak with you fine folks on CelticRadio and you all would understand. I am consistantly and pleasantly surprised by the depth of knowledge and good faith on this site. You guys are great.

Eamon
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 04:43 PM
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I've been born into the Lutheran Church in Germany but as we moved often during my childhood and youth we attended to several forms of the Protestants. There have been years when I completely turned away from God and and Christianity but finally came back to the Lutherans.
My guidance is the Holy Bible. I sometimes have my problems with the organisation "church" ( which is led by man) but not with what I'm believing in.


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oldraven 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 06:05 PM
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I was raised Christian, or Protestant, I guess, in a Pentecostal church. I went to that church from the first sunday of my life until the day I moved away to go to college. I used to be quite Pentecostal, and extremely blind about it. But what can you do when you're a child with no life experience but take what your pastor says as absolute.

It wasn't until my last pastor, (who looked and acted so much like Ned Flanders it isn't even funny), told me that I should base my faith on what I have found for myself. He also changed the name of the old church I went to from 'Bethel Pentecostal Tabernacle' to 'Bethel Community Church', so others who didn't fit the denomination would feel welcome.

My mother always said "Don't just take someone's word for it. Read it yourself and find out if it's truth." She said that growing up in the Catholic church she had been told not to bother reading the bible, because she would never understand it, and just listen to what the Priest says in mass.

These two people have influenced my faith in a massive way. The final change was when I began dating Angela, and talking to people of all walks of life online. I learned that in order to give my faith any credibility at all, I have to respect all religions, and not to discredit them. After all, all religion is simply theory. There is no definate proof that any one is truth. It's what is truth for you.

So after all that, I can say I'm a Christian. No more, no less. Doctrine seems to be the cause of split after split after split in a faith that should be completely united in worship of God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost, so I'll have no part in it. I find doctrine has more rules than the bible, and that's Man's coruption of something that could be perfect.


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We need more Stan Rogers.

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