I read several blogs and also read some fb comments from friends out there who are Baptist, Lutheran (very conservative), Presbyterian of the reformed style, Calvinists, Arminian (at least one staunch one), Catholic, Nazarene,and non-denominational garbledy gook (some might be emergent/seeker driven puposey peoples…others don’t buy that garbage). I grew up attending the nearest Protestant church because I was from a broken home, so much of what I believe had to be discovered in the Bible. I did go to youth meetings in high school and Navigators in college. I was taught altar calls, the bridge illustration, say a prayer and accept Jesus in your heart, get baptised at birth but no…get baptised after you accept Jesus. I was taught you have to be born again but you shouldn’t share your religion. I was taught win, build, send and do and go. I was taught believe, receive, and confess. I was taught so many things, and believed some of them. I was taught Jesus lives in my heart and cleans up the closets. I was taught to surrender to him, and trust him. I loved Jesus and did believe in him from an early age, and yet I knew I could not be perfect enough for him.
Growing up in a family who drinks and cusses, who beat me and called me stupid (followed by cuss words) and who exposed me to rated R movies with sex, rape, violence, and the like…I struggled as a Christian girl. I was very immature in my faith, but was strong willed about my belief in Christ. Somehow, despite my environment, I knew I had to beleive and trust Christ. I prayed every day and night before sleep. I read through my bible and sought other believers. I sought older women to try to learn. I joined bible study groups. I fought every chance I got to be the Christian I had to be. I failed a lot at perfection, and yet knew I was forgiven.
So my husband and I married in our immaturity and began our family. We joined bible studies and attended church. Non-denoms attracted us because of the mix of protestants. We were careful to go to the classes for membership and asked questions. We found a church that proclaimed what we believed. Trinity, Jesus died and resurrected, the Father created, the Holy Spirit was sent as a deposit. To be a Christian one needed to believe in Christ, repent of sins and pray to Jesus. I believed this was important, still believe you should acknowledge Christ and come to him in humility…begging for his mercy. I do believe God is the one who does the work and saves.
Our non-denom was quickly becoming a purpose driven nightmare, and was leaning into spiritual formation. This stuff blew us out of that church. Now I am trying to figure things out. I read all these different articles and comments. Some insist on being Reformed, and I think this has merit, we need to go back to the bible for our doctrine. Some insist on the baptism of babies, some insist communion has the presence of Christ. Some don’t want songs to come from a human perspective (Jesus I Adore You would be too man centered for these…it’s about the person’s feelings and not Christ). I see all these things and cannot decide if we’re doing the right or wrong going to a baptist church that seems to have reformed leanings.
I just want to get back to basics, clean and free. I know it’s not about feelings and yet my feelings are flat. I need desperately to get into the bible. I find when I’m reading the bible I’m still analysing things. I do enjoy my time in the scriptures, but I don’t feel free yet. I still feel the former church and the errors haunt. What church best represents Christ and best preaches the bible as the Father would like? Where should we make our home? Are we there? Am I wrong to want friendship with beleivers? I want to socialize and love and be loved. I want to feel good when I’m in church. I want to feel like I’m getting closer to home. I want to feel that music is not just part of the menu but is meaningful. So much gets in the way. I want my spirit to be comforted. I want peace. I want peace. I want peace.