How do you know if your faith is alive with physical evidence?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Mary Diana Lynn Harper, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Mary Diana Lynn Harper

    Mary Diana Lynn Harper
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    I just wanted to know how is it that one knows their faith is alive if they have not works except their writings? They go to church, but do not actively participate in the church. They read the Word with joy in their heart at their home, they love going to church but don't actively participate in church because they don't feel called at the church. Is their something wrong with them or is it the church not filling that need?:tear:
     
  2. dan e.

    dan e.
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    I think that one can definitely look for fruit in the lives of believers as evidence of their faith. That, however, does not mean that if someone goes through a period of "less fruit", or even "no fruit" than they may not be a believer. That does, I guess, depend on how you define "fruit". I'd say some evidences that you can look within yourself that are not outward, are the convictions that you have. I'm talking about convictions about your actions, past or present. A desire to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus is an inward indicator. I believe that the struggle that you have on the inside is also an inward indicator. Paul talks about a war that goes on between your old self and your new self. Not if you never make mistakes, but if you feel a fight going on between the desires of your flesh, and the new creation God has made you to be. This is not to say it is okay for there to be no outward evidence. Often times I think people look soley for outward evidence.

    Serving is important, and ought to be expected of every believer in the church. Being a member of a local body of believers is important, and ought to be expected of every believer in the community. Finding the right church may take some time, but it is important to be a part of a church, and to be in fellowship with other believers. Christianity is not a faith of "loners", but a fellowship of believers. Your church ought to be the ones to help you discover your spiritual gifts based upon your desires that God has given you, and the type of person they see that you are. Often times people don't serve, or don't care to serve, because there is no opportunity for them to serve according to their gifts. It is a good idea to meet with your Pastor, and other friends, about some ideas for serving. If God has given you passions and gifts, don't ignore them, but find ways to use them. Offer ideas if there are currently nothing going on that you feel God wants you to do. I'm not sure if I answered your question at all, or if I sparked more questions, but my main encouragement is not to miss out on the blessing of BEING A BLESSING through however God has gifted you.
     
    #2 dan e., Oct 27, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2006
  3. Mary Diana Lynn Harper

    Mary Diana Lynn Harper
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    I don't know

    See, I believe that people are led to be apart of the church, but I don't think the church is feeding that spiritual need in my sole. When i read the Bible, God talks to me through His words. I feel uplifted within my spirit.. When I go to church I feel dead? but i know that I must go to church. Is it my fault? or is the real need of my spirit not being fulfilled, should I look for another church? It is a small church and I would hate that it lose my membership and they can not afford to lose anyone, on the other hand I feel there is no life in it? The people there are the older generation and very good people as I, :godisgood: but I feel like I want to shout in church and tell them to wake up. I want to wake up and shout and sing and praise God, but I feel unnessary in the church. I feel like I have let the church down, but I know they don't want to shout and praise God in this church.. I hate to feel this way cause when I read the Bible it comes alive in me. I shout and praise God in my home. Why can 't I do that in church? It is a delima. Cause I know that God is so great and wonderful.
     
  4. dan e.

    dan e.
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    The church is not there to feed anyone. It is important to keep in mind that it is not about consumerism. We don't attend a church based on how it can meet our needs. So it may be a matter of understanding that point, and you stepping up as a new leader, to take the lead on some new direction as far as how that church serves.

    Or, it could be a matter of traditions you are not comfortable with. I say that because of the age difference you mentioned. Keep in mind, try not to think in terms of "they can't afford to lose anyone". Although their attendance may be low, it isn't a business that must keep its customers in order to stay in business. If it has to do with traditions/denominational differences, than maybe it is better for you to leave. If it has more to do with opportunities within the church, maybe it is time for you to take the lead on something new for the church. There may be some who feel as you do. The church can benefit from each other. Just because it may feel dead to you when you show up, doesn't mean that God can't use the people there. Maybe it may take a bit more effort to build relationships with the other believers there. I'm just brainstorming based on the info. you gave. But hang in there, ask God what you should do. Pay attention to the desires God has given you. Maybe you should leave for something different, or maybe you should wake them up. But don't feel bad about whatever God asks you to do.
     
  5. Mary Diana Lynn Harper

    Mary Diana Lynn Harper
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    Maybe

    Maybe I should find another church, but something in my spirit says hang there, its about to change. I keep going and going, like the bunny rabbit, but I have so much to offer but the congregation is the older group. Most of the congregation has died off. Does that tell you anything. There are maybe 3 children who attend the church, no young people so the church is literally dying off. I hate that, these elders, believe me, I am right behind them in age, in fact I believe I am the youngest member at 55 yrs old. How do you tell them it is time for a change, let us shout to God to bring in the sheep, but as always I sit in reverance of their ages. They are my elders and they must be respected at all cost? I was tought to respect my elders and a woman must keep quiet in church. So I keep quiet. What Happens to a church when it has no new members and is set in its ways? Old ways. :sleep:
     
  6. dan e.

    dan e.
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    Don't misinterpret what a woman "being silent" means. There were reasons for that statement, and I don't think that statement applies in the way many insist it applies today. Suggesting some new things is not a bad thing. Expressing your passions and some ideas on how you would like to serve is a good idea. As hard as it may be, if they are unwilling to recognize the state of the church, than it may be time to look for another church. I would first make attempts at suggesting some ways you may serve, if none exist already. This will take some searching and praying to see what God wants you to do. But if it is time to look for another church, I think it may be appropriate based on their reaction to your suggestions.
     
  7. Martin

    Martin
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    ==What do you mean by "feel called"?

    The Bible says nothing about being called to be involved in a local church. As a believer in a local church your "job" is to attend (Heb 10:25) and encourage fellow believers (Heb 10:24-25). Warming a pew is not church. Now you don't have to be one of those people who is doing everything. However you should find ways to serve your brothers and sisters in your local church. There are many different ways to do that. Maybe you should talk to your pastor, Sunday school teacher, deacon (etc) to see if there is an area where you can put your gifts to work. It does not have to be "big" or anything like that. Sometimes the "little" jobs are very important. Maybe you could hand out morning bulletins, or if your church does coffee and doughnuts maybe you could help with the preparations, there is the nursery, cleaning, there maybe a prayer team, or other types of jobs that need to be done. I am sure the people in your church would be thrilled to have you get more involved. I am also sure the Lord would be thrilled as well. But you know what? Once you get more involved you will be thrilled as well. Don't jump ship on your church until you have at least tried.
     
  8. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    You have two options. If you believe it is sin for you to discuss the future of the church with those in authority and your time at this church is not helping your spiritual life, then it is time to move on to a place where you can serve and be fed at the same time.

    Unlike dan e., I believe the church is there to spiritually feed the body of Christ. When the church stops feeding the sheep (as Christ directly told Peter), then the church will die. The church's primary goal is to facilitate the worship of God among believers. That can't be done if the Word is not preached or what is being preached is not meaningful.
     
  9. Mary Diana Lynn Harper

    Mary Diana Lynn Harper
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    i guess you are both right

    maybe it is time to move on. And you are right, my spiritual life is not being fead through the church but when I read the Bible, I am being fead by the Words of God. I once told one of the older members that letting a young child run all over the church and crawl under the pews, pull on other members while the parents act like there is nothing they can do, was making me wonder if the pastor should say something to the parents, this child is 4 and does know what sit down means. Well, the other day in church the pastor said he did not mind the children running over the place while he was preaching. My thought was my God, they told the pastor and I felt like well you know. this is one of the 3 children that come to the church. Am I wrong to want to listen to the pastor without children crawling under the pews. I don't think I will go back to church. I feel out of place now. Sorry, I am sorry I ever told one of the members but I feel that it is wrong to let children run all over the church. :1_grouphug:
     
  10. Gofwd

    Gofwd
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    I'm no theologian or nuttin,
    but I do try to follow the guidance of the Spirit which is what I think you are asking about. After prayer, Bible reading and maybe fasting I am sometimes answered in one of two main ways.
    The first is I cannot stop thinking about what and how to do something. One time the Sprit laid on me that our church needed to have a special thanksgiving service for the healing of a child. I spoke to the parents, the preacher, the deacons, they were ok with it but nothing seemed to be moving. It got to where I could not get it out of my mind so finally after several months I told them we REALLY needed to do it. They did and it was great, I'm sure the Lord was in it.
    A couple of times I have been awoken out of sleep with a thought or instruction ringing in my head.
    I hope the Sprirt will reveal a clear path for you.
     
  11. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob
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    I believe the church is there to feed the sheep and lambs. Our sisters praise the Lord during services when the Spirit directs them to. It is the best part of the services when a Pastor through the Spirit is able to lift up the congregation to a feeling of rejoicing if that is what you are talking about. If you are talking about preaching or something then you left me.
     
  12. dan e.

    dan e.
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    Just a clarification, when I said that the church is not there to feed the people, I was speaking moreso to the consumerism that many people approach church. I should have clarified when I said it. I did not mean that the church should not be discipling, or helping it's people grow. I was speaking mainly about the "what programs do you have to offer me" mentality. My bad about the misunderstanding. If you still disagree...than that's fine. I just didn't want you to think that I believe the church shouldn't be feeding the people in any sense.

    I agree with Martin about trying before you just leave the church. It's important to be used by God with that group, especially if they need it, as you suggest. You could bring a fresh picture of service which could get the wheels in motion for more opportunities of reaching people and growing the church, both spiritually and numerically.
     
  13. Soulman

    Soulman
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    If you rely on your church to get most of your spiritual food you will starve. Church is Sunday dinner for the soul. But you must eat daily on your own in order to keep the spirit strong.

    There are dead churches out there where it is all politics. People stop soul winning and serving. It becomes all about pot lucks, clicks and judgement of each other. A busy church is a contented happy church. A busy church is usually a well fed church as people have a good balance.

    If your church is dead with a bunch of old fuddy duddies just warming the pews, move on to a church with a vision. A good church will have a definate direction and will be growing. A church that doesn't grow is a church that is dying.
     
  14. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I'm not sure we have enough information to draw any conclusions about Mary Diana's problem with her church, but I am getting some signals from her comments.

    Whenever I hear somebody say about their church, "I'm not getting fed," or "the church is not meeting my needs," it bothers me. What I hear is, "I'm pretty spiritual but the church I attend is not." And it could very well be true, but the attitude I get from this is pretty self-centered.

    The question we ought to ask with regard to our church membership is not, can this church meet my needs, or feed me spiritually. It is not, can I be happy in a small church with a bunch of old fogeys who aren't as spiritual as I am. Rather, the question is, is this where the Lord wants me to serve and exercise my gifts?

    Now I could be wrong, and her description of the problem could be right on the money. Mine is a subjective reaction based on the information I gleaned from her posts. But the principle remains the same--church membership and service is not about me, me, me.
     

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