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6 years ago  ::  Aug 08, 2008 - 8:34AM #1
mrbeanfan
Posts: 1
For a long time, I have attended a fairly conservative evangelical church.  I wanted to  be closer to God, wanted to know things were ok...wanted a good experience for my kids as they grew up.  We attended a few times and the people were so warm, caring, we fit right in.

We have been there for 8 or 9 years.

In the past two years, I have really experienced a transformation in my political beliefs.
I used to  be a very solid conservative republican.  The more I read, think, and absorb, the more liberal I become.  I see how we have so many people in our midst that are suffering.  It's not right.

I have questioned teachings at my church as well. Not publicly, but in my mind...like when the pastor has said what we really want is a theocracy---well, not me. 

I believe the Bible is God's message to us.  The key messages are:
1.  God loved us all so much, he sent his Son to die so that we might live.
2.  Love your neighbor.  Be kind.
3.  HELP PEOPLE!

I don't believe God said:
1. Don't have a few beers on Friday night.
2.  Don't dance.
3.  You have to vote for people just because your faith said they are the right one.
4.  Don't smoke or use tobacco.
5.  You must constantly show that you are in agreement.  Raised hands, saying amen, etc. Also, the continuous process of questioning whether or not you are saved.  I was baptized as a baby.  I "recommitted" my life to Christ many years ago.  Several times.  It's almost a constant thing of hearing that if you are not right with God, here is your opportunity.  ....

Another thing that I had trouble with is a Bible study that we went through that basically said that mental health issues are all spiritual.  Whoa!  I have anxiety and OCD.  I take medication to control them.  I am really glad God provided a brain to the people who study this, because it really helps.  But a lack of faith or lack of a relationship with Christ is not why my mind is not wired right.  This might have been the point where I began to really question the teachings of the church.

Things I notice in a conservative evangelical church
1. Emphasis on being of one voice on political issues. 
2.  Emphasis on "obedience"  To whom? 
3.  Very little preaching on caring for others.

I am just beginning this journey of definition. 
I live a very rural area.  There aren't many choices here.  I don't think I would ever stop attending my church just because I like the people and families so very much.  But I do reserve the right to in my mind sit back and say--wait a minute...

mrbeanfan
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 08, 2008 - 10:10AM #2
AppleMan
Posts: 348
Welcome to the Forum, Mr. Bean Fan! You are asking all the right questions. Let us know if we can help in any way.

There is a book by Marcus Borg called "The Heart of Christianity"/ It really helped me.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 08, 2008 - 12:31PM #3
devout_sinner
Posts: 266
[QUOTE=mrbeanfan;676654]But I do reserve the right to in my mind sit back and say--wait a minute...

mrbeanfan[/QUOTE]

Welcome, Mr. Bean Fan,

That's a good right to reserve.  Keep asking questions.

Peace,

Jeff
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