Looking for a new church

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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby yjoeyh » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:25 am

We began looking for a new church in 2009 and it has been a lot more difficult and discouraging than I first thought it would be.

Nashville is obviously a church-rich area, so I thought the chances of finding a good fit would be easier. First off, we didn't have any delusions that we were going to find a a place that took all the same doctrinal positions we do, or that we were going to find a place with all the cultural aesthetics that made us feel comfortable, entertained, fulfilled or what have you all the time . Still, rather than measuring how well different churches stacked up, we found ourselves mining for basic common ground in only a few critical areas. It became really frustrating.

And I sincerely do not think we were being too picky. In fact, while we didn't want to become "church-hoppers" we committed ourselves to first setting aside theological differences where we could agree to disagree, then committed to taking plenty of time to really get to know a place before judging if it was really right for us. We said we would take at least three months to thoroughly check things out before moving on. In reality, each church we tried, we ended up staying about a year before making the final decision to move on.

Over the past 23 years that I've been a church-goer, I've been to Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal and Multi-Denominational churches. We currently attend a Presbyterian church which so far seems to be the best fit yet, at least from a doctrinal perspective.

Hopefully we can stay planted here for a good while. We're really tired of searching. It's worse than being back in the dating scene again.
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby mikedsjr » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:09 am

Joey, pca or pcusa?
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby yjoeyh » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:40 pm

mikedsjr wrote:Joey, pca or pcusa?
PCA
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby mikedsjr » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:33 pm

Pca is about as solid as you'll find. What did you feel you had to agree to disagree on?
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby yjoeyh » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:22 am

Mike,

At first with my dominant Baptist theological background, I opposed the doctrine of pedobaptism, but after some serious study of the issue, I did completely change my position on that and now agree with it.

Beyond that, the PCA seems to pretty much hold to the basic doctrinal beliefs I've had for a long time. Perhaps I tend to take a bit stronger Reformed, Augustinian view of things, but I've already resolved that I've perhaps over-compensated for what I considered some really bad doctrines taught in the Methodist and Pentecostal churches I attended as a young Christian and need to grow a bit in my way of thinking about some theological issues.
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby mikedsjr » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:08 am

yjoeyh wrote:Mike,

At first with my dominant Baptist theological background, I opposed the doctrine of pedobaptism, but after some serious study of the issue, I did completely change my position on that and now agree with it.

Beyond that, the PCA seems to pretty much hold to the basic doctrinal beliefs I've had for a long time. Perhaps I tend to take a bit stronger Reformed, Augustinian view of things, but I've already resolved that I've perhaps over-compensated for what I considered some really bad doctrines taught in the Methodist and Pentecostal churches I attended as a young Christian and need to grow a bit in my way of thinking about some theological issues.

Wow! Thats nearly me, but im leaning towards moving to Lutheranism. I attended one last week. My wife is a little less comfortable with the move. This has a lot more to me changing my view of baptist, but much more the evangelical seeker driven nature of preaching and sunday school for the kids.
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby mitchellmckain » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:02 am

Shifted my schedule so I can resume efforts to find a new church.
Today, going to the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake.


P.S. I don't think I mentioned the fact I did try visiting an Eastern Orthodox church as well as that Potter's House nearby. But I haven't been back.
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby Aaron » Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:09 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:Shifted my schedule so I can resume efforts to find a new church.
Today, going to the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake.


P.S. I don't think I mentioned the fact I did try visiting an Eastern Orthodox church as well as that Potter's House nearby. But I haven't been back.

A FBC? Mitch?! What's come over you???
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby mitchellmckain » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:32 am

Aaron wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:Shifted my schedule so I can resume efforts to find a new church.
Today, going to the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake.


P.S. I don't think I mentioned the fact I did try visiting an Eastern Orthodox church as well as that Potter's House nearby. But I haven't been back.

A FBC? Mitch?! What's come over you???


Why? Sounded like a pretty liberal church. Don't let the name "Baptist" fool you. There are many many kinds of Baptists.
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby spongebob » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:27 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:Why? Sounded like a pretty liberal church. Don't let the name "Baptist" fool you. There are many many kinds of Baptists.


Check to see if they are associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. If they are, there's a good chance you won't find them suitable.

Edit: Sorry, I didn't look to see what section this was in.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby Aaron » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:10 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:Why? Sounded like a pretty liberal church. Don't let the name "Baptist" fool you. There are many many kinds of Baptists.

So what'd you think??
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby mitchellmckain » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:18 pm

Aaron wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:Why? Sounded like a pretty liberal church. Don't let the name "Baptist" fool you. There are many many kinds of Baptists.

So what'd you think??


It is not the first time I went there. It is an old church and I even went a couple times as a child.

I confess I didn't find it terribly interesting. The people seemed pretty wrapped up in themselves. There wasn't much use of the Bible. I am not very excited about speak and response practice which is common in these older churches. This is why I liked Calvary Chapel because they spent a lot of time studying the Bible itself even if they were a little conservative for my taste.
Last edited by mitchellmckain on Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby mitchellmckain » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:31 pm

spongebob wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:Why? Sounded like a pretty liberal church. Don't let the name "Baptist" fool you. There are many many kinds of Baptists.


Check to see if they are associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. If they are, there's a good chance you won't find them suitable.

Edit: Sorry, I didn't look to see what section this was in.


Definitely not Southern Baptist. I think these are American Baptists. But they seem to have quite a wide spectrum. See this article.

Here is what you find on their web page:
We are Baptists who worship an inclusive Christ…
We invite all people, regardless of color, gender, sexual orientation, or station in life, to be on their journey of faith, exploring what it means to follow Christ together. We deliberately work to make room for many different perspectives and life experiences; young and old, different cultures, different faith experiences, all coming together and sharing the richness of our faith with one another.

We are Baptists who are not too concerned with doctrine…
We are less concerned with doctrinal statements and dogma and are more concerned with seeking the wisdom of scripture, tradition and our own faith experiences in making sense of our lives today and counting on the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us.

We are Baptists who meet you where you are…
Whether you are a believer, a seeker or a doubter, we invite you to develop and foster your faith in an environment that is encouraging and safe.

We are Baptists who see faith as something you do…
Faith is not something you have, it is a call to action. In faith, we seek to be a community who love beyond our congregation to the community and the world, not to manipulate people into becoming one of us, but to do good for the sake of doing good and contributing to the world.

We are Baptists who don’t claim to be the only way…
We acknowledge that there are many different faith traditions and experiences that draw people into deep relationship with God. As Christians, we accomplish this through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, seeing Christ as the lens through which we make sense of the world and God’s activity in it.

We are Baptists who are building on a long tradition…
First Baptist Church has been an inclusive, progressive voice in Salt Lake City for over a century. We are committed to honoring that faithful witness by being relevant today and in the future.
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby Aaron » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:36 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:I confess I didn't find it terribly interesting. The people seemed pretty wrapped up in themselves.

You mean like a bunch of hipsters (is that an unfair thing to say)? I think I might know the vibe.

Mitch wrote:There wasn't much use of the Bible. I am not very excited about speak and response practice which is common in these older churches. This is why I liked Calvary Chapel because they spent a lot of time studying the Bible itself even if they were a little conservative for my taste.

I must confess it bothers me when I run into Christians who want to make the Bible relevant to today's culture, which more often than not seems like they don't read the Bible at all, or if they do it's just tweetable hip phrases thrown out. I need more. I think we need more. I realize everyone is different, but then again when I was really getting into salvation I remember the hunger I had and the desire I had to know the truth, and I wanted the truth, even if it was hard and straight and difficult, I had simply had enough of my self deception, my self manipulation, I just wanted the truth. Anyway, I feel like there's people out there who desire that as well and I think the most loving thing we can do is have truth at the ready for them.

But on the other hand, not everyone is the same as me and I am glad that Jesus is being proclaimed in many places, so I suppose I should just keep my observations to myself.
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Re: Looking for a new church

Postby Og3 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:31 pm

As I've mentioned, I am of the SBC ilk, and lean towards the CBF ilk. That is my "lens" on denominations.

With that said, you might consider UMC, as they have embraced the Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Doors sort of positions. For being somewhat not-unconservative, they are somewhat liberal (keeping in mind that even most "liberal" Christians are towards the conservative end of the scale). Methodists are fully Arminian, so your five solas position and your rejection of OSAS would fit nicely, imho. They tend towards social ministries and social awareness ministries in experience.

Moving slight further towards the liberal, you could also go to the root of the Methodist movement and hang with the Episcopalians. SOME Episcopalian churches are -- and even joke about being -- social clubs with hymns. Others are a bit more serious, but in general this would be a compromise between your five solas position and the RCC's social consciousness. Episcopalian churches have adopted many "liberal" practices, including the ordination of women and the ordination of homosexuals. Other churches have changed their affiliations at the archbishopric or cardinal levels to remain under teachings that forbid those specific ordinations. That should give a good spectrum of doctrinal liberalism, and you may well find a comfortable position somewhere along there.

There are rumors that the Presbyterian Church, North American Synod, is moving towards more liberal practices and positions, but I haven't had a chance to chat with my Presby friends in lo these many years.

I hope that one or more of those suggestions proves helpful.

(Okay, so why is an SBC so willing to help someone find a church that is not SBC? Well, very simply, I agree with Lewis, who was high Anglican: The Church may be compared to a large house, with a central hallway. Each room may have different rules and different views, but in the end, we are one house. It is between a man and the Lord of the House as to which room he may choose, or how long he may sit in the hallway without choosing. But in the end, it is good to choose a room, for that is where one finds food and warmth and fellowship. (paraphrased from the introduction to Mere Christianity, q.v.)
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