My spritual jouney...HELP!

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Christ Bearer, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. Christ Bearer

    Christ Bearer
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    Okay, I hope I've put this in the correct forum. But anyway, here goes.

    I must first say that I am one of the most easily influenced people that I personally know. And, at the same time, there are many beliefs I can't be swayed from.

    One example of this is when I see a profession on television that I know that I could do (i.e. librarian), I want to instantly go do what it takes to become that.

    Once I research something however, and am satisfied for myself on the answer I've discovered, it is very hard to persuade me to any other view.

    Religion is not one of these things one way or the other. What I find is that I can't figure out what I believe (what denomination, I have always believed the main precepts of what C.S. Lewis called 'Mere Christianity').

    I was raised in a Baptist church, and for the longest, anything that differed from the views I received there I automatically assumed wrong. However, as I've grown (up or down I guess, depending on your viewpoint), I've ranged from attending and wanting to be a member of the Charismatic Episcopal Church to going back to the church I grew up in and falling in love with it, to now condering being a Catholic.

    If I discussed these things with the pastor of the church i grew up in, he would automatically tell me I belong there and the Catholic church is evil, basically. I don't know if he'd show me why he felt this way, or not.

    The question I really have though, is this...How can I settle, for myself, this all-important topic of what to believe and where to attend church? I obscess with this. I ave filp-flopped so often that my wife is very likely to never become a Christian. I just feel, most of the time, as though I'd be better off if I didn't believe in God at all.

    [ December 08, 2005, 02:39 PM: Message edited by: Christ Bearer ]
     
  2. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Start with what you know.

    God is real.
    The Bible is true.
    Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and died as an offering for us and then was raised from death.
    We who believe this are to go tell it to the world.

    Now, pray about this, and then go find a church in your aread that believes those basic things. One God, the crucifixion and resurrection, and that we must go tell it.
    Get a copy of their doctrinal statement.
    Look at the doctrinal statement and see what it says.
    If you have any questions or doubts about any of those statements, take out your bible and read what it says. Do not read verses only, read everything surrounding the verse that talks about your question.
    If you discuss it with other people, and you should, do it with your bible on hand. Never trust or believe something doctrinal that cannot be shown to you in the scriptures. Not in commentaries, although they can used for explanations, but in the scriptures.
    Keep praying about it. Your learning will never end. You will never know all that there is to learn in the bible. Your concepts of doctrines will forever be forming,taking shape, and growing deeper, but after you've studied and come to a faith in the basics, they will not be shaken easily because they will always remain right there in your bible and you can look at them and see them.
    You need a firm foundation. If you do not have one, it will because you haven't studied enough, and that may be coupled with a distrustful nature. A distrustful nature is not bad in and of itself, in fact it can be a very positive thing because you learn more from all those questions, but you do need to set down a few basics and not waver from them. Do what it takes to get to that point, but also realize that as humans, most of do not have 100% solid faith even in the ground we stand on. Don't resent yourself if you cannot have 100% faith in everything you look at. 95% faith and 5% doubt still tips the scale quite nicely and seeing it from that perspective adds the element of common sense, which tells you that the 95% weighs more and can be trusted.
     
  3. NateT

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    Also, it seems to me you've already answered the question. You said once you've done research, you've settled it in your mind. That being said, go research what the church(es) you want to join believe and compare that with what the Bible has to say. At that point, your mind should be made up [​IMG]
     
  4. Christ Bearer

    Christ Bearer
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    Thanks guys for the advice...I think, as NateT stated to a point, that my mind is pretty much already made up. Generally speaking, when I try out other churches, it is either out of an obligation that I feel to a person there, or a novelty they offer. (A novelty in the sense I use it here means many things, such as being able to find a church in the particular denomination anywhere in the world, among many others.)
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Christ Bearer, see if some part of this applies to you. (I don't know that it does.

    Monroe Parker, one of my mentors, wasa wonderful evangelist, scholar and missions leader. He used to use this as a sermon illustration.

    He would take a handkerchief, representing feeling, or emotion, and put it on the pulpit. He would put on top of it a songbook, representing faith. On top of that he would put the Bible, representing fact. Many people base their life on feeling, even their faith. They would then look for Scripture to back up their feelings and faith: feeling, then faith, then fact.

    Then he would put the songbook on the bottom, with the handkerchief next and the Bible on top. Other people base their whole life on their faith. If their faith is weak, this will affect their emotions, and they will leave the facts of God's Word till later: faith, then feeling, then fact.

    The Biblical way to life is to make fact (the Bible) the foundation for your life, then base your faith on that. The feelings (joy, peace, etc.) will then be stable and constant, and the believer will not wander: fact, then faith, finally feeling. [​IMG]
     
  6. Brother Ian

    Brother Ian
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    You need to study the Bible for yourself. Very often, you will find the answers yourself. I have rarely been persuaded by other viewpoints without first studying for myself.

    You admitted you are easily swayed. You must build the foundation of faith as the Bible says, not as a church says. As others have said, research and find a church that holds the Bible to be true.

    I see very little in joing a Catholic church as many things they do are not in keeping with the Scriptures. The Catholic church will not help you draw yourself to Christ.

    It sounds like you need to become grounded in the Word and the only way to so that is to study (2 Timothy 2:15) the Scriptures. I believe it was the Berean church that searched the Scriptures daily to see if what they heard preached was true.
     
  7. webdog

    webdog
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    Before joining a Church or different denomination, see how they match up with what the Bible says. If a denomination says you are saved by works, what does the Bible say? If the church says you are to pray to other humans, what does the Bible say? I agree with the advice you have received here. Instead of "making up your own mind", pray that God opens your heart for His wisdom in discerning the things of God, compared to man made "religion". Then STUDY with an open mind!
     
  8. richard n koustas

    richard n koustas
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    since you like to do your own research, i recommend you read either book by James McCarthy The Gospel According to Rome and/or Letters to Catholics
     
  9. Christ Bearer

    Christ Bearer
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    I must say that sometimes, God works quite quckly. I prayed, admittedly not much, about the issues that was causing me to wonder if the Roman Catholic church was correct. These were namely salvation by works through Christ and in John 20:22 I believe it is, where is talks about the desciples remitting sins.

    The reason the works issue was causing me problems was James...faith without works is dead. The traditional reasoning in the Baptist camp didn't fly. But, I came across another verse where Jesus says, and right now I can't remember how, so I am horribly paraphrasing here, works come from the Father. Okay, so in order to get something from the Father, you have to ask in Jesus' name, He says so. In in order to ask in Jesus' name, he has to be in your heart. The only way for that to happen is for you to accept Him as your savior. Okay, so that problem solved.

    What about the other one. Well, using my Strong's concordance to look up remit, the only time in the KJV new testament it's used I think, and it solved that. It's basically talking about preaching repentance! (If you'd like, I'll post the actual definition later when I have my Strong's in front of me.)

    So, I now believe my old fashioned fundamentalist upbringing really was where Gdo wants me to be. Thank the Lord for showing me that!!
     
  10. buckster75

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    I would hope you find a church that teaches the Bible to be Truth and that is a standard for our lives. I see many denominations today that are pulling away from "absolute truth" allowing members to believe anyway thay want. These are the ones Scripture warns us of as "ear ticklers".
    I was once at a point in my life where I searched thru the many denominations and landed in a Baptist church because I found the teaching most like scripture. I have also left Baptist churches because they were not going by The Book. So it is not easy. You must let the Spirit guide and reveal.
     
  11. Aaron

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    First of all, crucify all the little feelings and emotions. Those will not help you at all. Second, pray without ceasing. And third, take your directions from the Scriptures and them only.

    God will guide you to the right church, even if it's not the first one you go to.
     
  12. Clean1

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    You believe what you believe but you don't know why you believe it. Yes you can say that you believe what the Bible says is true but why do you believe it? Why do you believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven and not works? Why do you believe that Noah was actually swallowed by a whale? Why do you believe...fill in the blank. Find Biblical truth on what you believe. I know that Jesus is the only way to heaven because that is what it says in John:14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." and in John 3:3, "Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again he cannot see the kindom of God." and not by works because...
    Titus:3:5,"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" I looked this up and now I know why I believe this. You should do the same. When people ask you about your faith and they contradict you ask them "Well... can you show me scripture where it says that?" But don't ask this without first looking up the right answer for yourself. Also what you said in James:2:20,"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" This talks about that if you don't excersise your faith, faith is dead. You had faith that God could save you from hell, faith that He will keep you safe, faith... you fill in the rest. If you don't test your faith then how do you grow in Christ? How do you know that He will always be there for you? If you base your beliefs on what the Bible says find a good church that believes the same things you do. Pray to God for guidance and knowlege. You know... Satan may be playing with you. He may be putting these thoughts into your head to keep you from serving Christ. As long as you allow this to go on your just going to get more miserable. I would suggest reading a chapter in your Bible everyday and "pray without ceasing." God used scripture to get back at Satan... I too use this method sometimes when Satan is attacking me; and it works.
     
  13. JackRUS

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    Christ Bearer.

    Start with what you believe about how to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. You must be born again.

    Here is a good article on the truth of what is correct on justification and how the Catholic Church is in error:

    http://www.the-highway.com/Justification-Gerstner.html

    I grew up a Catholic and went to Catholic school for 8 years so I know. Read 1 Cor. 1 about the cross and meditate on the last verse.
     
  14. martymaryk

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    Richard, I just went into Google and read an excerpt from the book you recommened-The Gospel According To Rome-read the chapter: Mary co-redeemer...INTERESTING!
     
  15. JackRUS

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    I agree. James McCarthy is top notch when it comes to the false gospel proclaimed by the Catholic Church.
     
  16. princessJJ

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    Just remember, life in Christ is not utlimently about religion. It is about serving, worshiping and obeying God and his commandments. A good church is important, but dont go so caught up you loose sight of the really important things. You will have to seek the Bible and God's will know what church is right for you and why.
     
  17. Christ Bearer

    Christ Bearer
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    You guys are all right. I get so caught up many times in "which way is the right way," when all I really need is the Bible and Christ. If my foundation is in the Bible I will end up in the right church. Thanks again for all the advice!
     

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