The Possibility of Moving On

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jack Matthews, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews
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    We've been involved in a Baptist church for about 7 years or so, mainly because of its youth ministry. In that regard, it has been great, and that aspect was of high importance. In other ways, for my wife and I, there have been some aspects of it that weren't so great. We've had a few issues with some doctrinal perspectives, though nothing we couldn't live with, and with the lack of a small groups ministry other than a Sunday School class that lacks intensity and rigor. Having originally been exposed to Christian faith in a Disciples of Christ congregation, and then a non-denominational church, being in a congregational structure was great, though I've since discovered that, in our church, there's a small heirarchy of individuals, including the pastor, who usually push an agenda and get their way. The main thing that I contend with, though, is that there is an attitude of superiority, of thinking that we're right, and everyone else is inferior to what we believe and how we do church. It was very subtle, but it works its way into the pastor's sermons, and we noticed it when people found out we were attending a small group Bible study on Sunday night, instead of coming to church. Right wing politics also works its way into a lot of the preaching and teaching.

    So, as it turns out, we are moving to the Washington, DC area after the first of the year. Depending on how housing works out, we will most likely be in Adams Morgan in the city, or in the Chevy Chase-Silver Spring area. For those who post on this section of Baptist Board, here's a question for you and a chance to make a recommendation from your own perspective. What would you recommend with regard to searching for a church? I'm not necessarily asking for specific recommendations of local churches, just a general overview of possibilities related to different denominational perspectives which we might find compatible. We haven't ruled out a Baptist church, though our current experience makes that an unlikely possibility. As a starting point, because of our small group, we're considering the Society of Friends, and the Church of the Nazarene.
     
  2. Salty

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    First, keep in mind that virtually no two Baptist churches are the same!

    Second with the Net - you can check out some churches on the web.

    Then don't select the church on only one virtue. Yes, a great youth program is great - but then again you could go to a small church and help start a youth program!

    As I just posted in another thread -
    P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens
    and as the Lords Prayer says -
    Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth
    It may not be what we think is - good - but what is His will.
     
  3. The Biblicist

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    The common mind set is about finding a church that suits ones self rather than seeking one that suits God. The kind that suits God is superior to those who do not suit Him. However, that kind will not think of themselves superior although they will think of their beleif system superior to false ones and won't be shy about teaching that. The truth is always superior to error and those who know the truth are often charged with claiming to be superior to others - not because they claim it about themselves but claim it about the truth they contend for over that which opposes that same truth.
     
    #3 The Biblicist, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2012
  4. Earth Wind and Fire

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    That whole area is rich.....er, rich with possibilities....big churches, small ones. Look around and take your time doing it. View it as an opportunity.
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    The fact that you are considering these two groups declares that you don't understand the true gospel of grace or the first step of obedience which is water baptism because if you did they would not even be a consideration as both pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ in regard to baptism alone.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    IN DC it is highly likely you will find the liberal church your looking for.
     
  7. Michael Wrenn

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    Both of these are good, although personally I couldn't be a part of the very conservative and very liberal Friends.

    The Nazarenes might be a good fit - unless you like an occasional glass of wine. :)

    The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has several congregations in and around the D.C. area.

    Best wishes on finding a church.
     
    #7 Michael Wrenn, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2012
  8. The Biblicist

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    Of course coming from one liberal to another!
     
  9. Crabtownboy

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    Check out the Church of the Saviour.

     
  10. Michael Wrenn

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    Of course coming from a false accuser.

    Anybody to the left of you is a liberal in your eyes -- which includes almost everybody.
     
  11. The Biblicist

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    Michael, you can be a nice person, but your theology is horrible and obnoxious in the sight of God. Yes, I will always be an accuser of Satan's teachings. Teaching comes from only one of two sources - the spirit or error or the spirit of truth and yours comes from the former not the latter.
     
  12. Michael Wrenn

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    And what you have just said is an egregious lie and should be grounds to ban you from the forum, but I bet you won't even get a warning.

    You are a false accuser and the most self-righteous person I have ever encountered. There is something in you I like, but not this.

    I'll have to suspend the argument for a while, as I have papers to grade. No break for me this week.
     
    #12 Michael Wrenn, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2012
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Mark Deavers church in DC right?
     
  14. The Biblicist

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    Not a single solitary word I spoke had any tinge of untruth but every syllable can be fully substantiated by what is in black and white already posted on this forum.

    And no, I won't get an infraction because the moderators don't give infractions for simply stating the truth.

    However, on a personal note, don't work too hard or maybe you have to work hard so that you can enjoy thanksgiving.
     
  15. Salty

    Salty
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    Whoa boys - this discussion is about someone finding a church.
    You have brought up some interesting points - but do that in another forum.

    In fact the OP stated "We haven't ruled out a Baptist church, though our current experience makes that an unlikely possibility." Yes, Baptists love to fight - and often that can lead to problems.

    And now back to the actual OP
     
  16. mont974x4

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    My advice, having moved a lot in my life:

    1. Pray. God will be faithful and lead you to the church He has for you.
    2. Know what you believe and why. This can cut down on your search list a lot as it helps avoid churches where obvious disagreement can occur.
    3. Make 3 visits per church. Unless you find a huge red flag on the first visit plan on 3 visits per church. That helps get a better feel for the church. I have visited churches and ended up being there for a guest speaker or special service. Those did not show me much.
    4. Meet the pastor. If you find one you are leaning towards make an appointment to meet with the pastor. I prefer meeting over pie and coffee. This is a time when you can ask direct questions about the issues important to you.


    Pray, and pray some more. Talk to your bride. Pray some more.

    We should desire a church where the pure Word is taught and no verse is ignored. We need good food for good spiritual health. We should also desire a church where we can serve. God have us gifts to minister to others. This is another spiritual health issue.
     
  17. Salty

    Salty
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    Monty, just a clarification -when you say three visits do you mean 3 Sunday am services - or would Sun am, pm, Wed pm count for your 3 visits

    Otherwise some very good advice

    and if you find a church, you are very comfortable with, would you recommend you invite the pastor to your home for Sunday dinner ( and not for a preacher roast !!!!!)
     
  18. mont974x4

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    I would recommend AM main service visits, as well as Sunday school. Find out what curriculum they use in SS and other small groups, if applicable.

    I have had a pastor and his wife in our home. I have also met at a restaurant with just the pastor. There is no reason to not be flexible on this. The point is to spend that time together to get to know the pastor a bit and to learn about the church. This is generally when I have found out where major needs are in the church and you can discuss how you may be able to serve. Remember this is a time where the pastor gets to know you as well.
     
  19. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews
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    Jesus is Lord.

    I am fully aware of the fact that it is the Holy Spirit who puts churches together and holds them together. What we will be seeking is the church where our spiritual gifts will be complimentary to the rest of the body, and where we will be the part of the body that the Holy Spirit is building.

    I've always felt that we wound up where we are now because that's where we were led. God knew we had a need, and he put us in a place where that need could be met. At the same time, he helped us develop our spiritual gifts to be part of that particular body. We're now looking at a move, and asking questions in order to find the place where we're being called to do ministry, because I believe that's the primary reason we're moving. The job is just our tent making enterprise.

    When people discover God's truth, and they enter into a relationship with him through Jesus, it manifests itself in their life. They live truth, it shows in their character that they've got it in their heart.

    Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous to do good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them nor be troubled but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. I Peter 3:13-17 ESV

    The emphasis on gentleness and respect is mine. Led by God, having his truth doesn't come off as arrogance. When it does, it's a sign of human weakness, perhaps insecurity, perhaps something left over from childhood, or a dysfunctional family, or a broken relationship with someone who claimed to be spiritual and faithful. It can also be the result of someone seeing the church as an opportunity for personal gain or control, so they come off like they have some kind of a corner on the truth market. That's the attitude that subtracts from the church's credibility, along with its fragmentation and division into factions, which was clearly something Jesus wanted to avoid. His harshest words and his strongest emotional reactions were applied to the Pharisees, who exhibited the exact same attitude.

    We'll find a church, because we are genuinely seeking, and the Spirit will lead. Though it might be difficult to filter through the rhetoric, someone here might yet provide some beneficial advice.
     
  20. drfuss

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    Suggest you take your time in selecting a church. About 30 years ago, we moved from Maryland to Southern Virginia. At that time we did not consider a Baptist church because of the I'm right, you're wrong attitude in the Maryland Baptist churches in our area. So we attended a church of another denomination for about 12 years. When a new pastor came and made significant changes in that church, we looked for another church. We ended up in a Baptist church which we knew a lot about, that did not have the narrow Baptist attitude that you talk about. Yes, there are some laymen there that have the narrow attitude you talk about, but they are not in the leadership. We have been in this Baptist church for about 20 years.

    Since you had the negative experience in the Baptist church, I would be careful about going to another Baptist church. In my experience, I would consider a Christian Missionary Alliance Church as a prospect. They preach the Gospel, but are not as narrow about others as some Baptists are.

    I have found that most practical differences in doctrine among denominations is only a matter of definitions and terminology, so the denomination is not important to me.
     

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