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5 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2009 - 5:23AM #1
TudorRose
Posts: 2
Events in my life in the past year has led me to question my faith and beliefs - and more to the point...do I even have any anymore....

I was not brought up on religion and I am unsure what I believe.....

In short...I dont know what religion I am.

How do you know what you believe in?

Is there a website that explains all about the different religions....?
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2009 - 3:27PM #2
Goyboy
Posts: 232
[QUOTE=TudorRose;1022540]Events in my life in the past year has led me to question my faith and beliefs - and more to the point...do I even have any anymore....

I was not brought up on religion and I am unsure what I believe.....

In short...I dont know what religion I am.

How do you know what you believe in?

Is there a website that explains all about the different religions....?[/QUOTE]

TudorRose, at the moment, I would say that you are an agnostic.

I would also say that you are the kind of person that Beliefnet was created for.  I recommend that you visit the various faith communities here at Beliefnet.  Try one of the belief quizzes offered by this website.  Whatever you do, please don't abandon your search.

If you have specific questions about Christianity, then continue posting on the "Welcome:Christianity" board.

The best (in my opinion) female contributor to discussions about Christianity goes by the name "Tawonda".  It is likely that she will respond to this thread.

I am open to receiving questions about the Christian faith, also.  I do my best to treat each person with gentleness, and I try not to preach.    Some of my answers to questions about Christianity can be read by clicking here.

I wish you well in your search for answers.
Feel free to e-mail me if you wish to ask a question in private.

May God's peace be upon you.

- David W. Robertson
davidwrobertson@yahoo.com
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 5:56AM #3
Basil1951
Posts: 202
TudorRose,

I would recommend you look into yourself and try to discover what were the "faith and beliefs" you had which you are now questioning.  That should give you a reference point and give you some direction in which to go.

When I was a teenager, my family attended a church where we were fortunate enough to have two priests.  One had been a parish priest his whole ministry and the other had been a monastic for twenty years.  When the latter felt "called" to be a parish priest rather than a monk, he "came back to the world" and our bishop assigned him to our parish to learn the "nuts and bolts" of being a parish priest.  One of his duties was to teach high school-level Sunday school class which became very well attended in large part because of his teaching. 

The most important lesson the taught us was for us to question our own faith, every day, and find answers to those questions.  This is the means by which one refines one's faith by strengthening those parts that one finds to be true, and correcting those parts which on finds to be false or in error.  I have tried to do so every day since then and continue to do so.

I was raised in a Christian household and am thoroughly convinced that Christianity is true, right, and correct.  My faith is very important to me and how I live my life.  However, for my siblings, religion seems to be much less important or irrelevant to how they live their lives.  I have friend and acquaintances who are from many different expressions of Christianity.  In addition, I have friends who are very devout Jews and who possess a very deep faith in Judaism.  I also have Islamic friends who are very devoted to their faith. 

Your own faith is one of the few things over which we each have virtually absolute control.  One can be tricked, convinced, or coerced into saying anything but that which you hold in your heart is for you and you alone.  It is the part of freewill that is beyond control of others; others can influence you to change your beliefs, but you must do the changing.

Start with your own heart and begin from there.

May God have mercy on us both.

Basil
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 6:42AM #4
TudorRose
Posts: 2
I know that I am Christian.

What I struggle with is Baptist, Episcopalian, Anglican, Protestant, Methodist etc.
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 11:29AM #5
Jupiter
Posts: 99
TudorRose 
I know that I am Christian.

What I struggle with is Baptist, Episcopalian, Anglican, Protestant, Methodist etc.


[COLOR="Navy"]Dear Tudor Rose,
Instead of concern about denomination I would look for a church that reflects your values.  There is not a guarantee about the concerns of individual ministries so the best thing to do is check out a number of churches in your area and see what appeals to you. 
Some of the factors you may notice:
[LIST]
[*]exclusive or inclusive, tolerance, (God loves all vs God loves only "true believers"),
[*]outward-inward looking),
[*]emphasis on "Satan" vs emphasis on responsibility and "improving life for all",
[*]literalist Biblically (fundamentalist) vs reading the Bible critically, intelligently, and understanding it's historical and cultural contexts (most mainstream religions),  Methodists are the best in my town for Biblical educational programs featuring historical, literary considerations ("Living the Questions" course). 
[*]legalistic vs non legalistic, (Jesus death seen as legal payoff to angry God keeping track of human transgressions)
[*]orientation toward justice, humanitarian programs, (Biblically prophetic orientations)
[*]involved with international campaigns to help humanity, (Lutheran World Reiief, Catholic Aid, etc...)
[*]believe in an anthropomorphic God vs a God outside of time and material boundaries,
[*]self seeking (born again, salvation) or seeking peace and concern for all creation. 
[*]Many of the churches will give you opportunities to serve God by serving your fellow man through meaningful service in community (versis pew sitting) .  (Community kitchens, (FAITH) justice concerns in your community working with other churches, shelters for the homeless), Quilting, and other service projects)   
[/LIST]

From personal experience, in my area, I find the Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ and a variety of African American Churches to be most oriented and involved in serving God through community justice projects though some pentacostals are seen at the soup lines.  This will vary in different parts of the country.  Locally, with some exceptions, it seems to me that "saving souls" and "Being Saved" seems to be the primary mission of the "non denominational", Evangelical, and pentacostal churches.

You should be able to find churches in any mainstream orientation that meet your particular interests.  Finding God by serving his will to me is the greatest blessing. 
[/COLOR]
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 4:18PM #6
Basil1951
Posts: 202
TudorRose,

Jupiter gives a good overview of Protestant denominations but do not overlook the Roman Catholic Church or any jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church.  The former provides a great deal of structure and support for someone coming into it.  The latter has a very different understanding of the faith and will enable you to understand more of Christianity.  Both have many avenues for social outreach.

Keep an open mind and keep questioning your own faith.

Basil
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 21, 2009 - 8:13AM #7
Jupiter
Posts: 99
Basil is right.  The Orthodox Church should also certainly be checked out.  I love the Orthodox Church - it is the oldest Christian Church and full of subtle tradition and insight. 

The reason I did not mention it is because there is not one in my area.
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2009 - 12:58PM #8
Goyboy
Posts: 232
[QUOTE=TudorRose;1024645]I know that I am Christian.

What I struggle with is Baptist, Episcopalian, Anglican, Protestant, Methodist etc.[/QUOTE]

TudorRose:

I was in your situation for many years.  What helped me in my search for a church home was my own study of the Bible.  I decided to visit various churches and find out which ones were best at conforming to the Bible's teachings as I understand them.
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 25, 2009 - 11:01AM #9
Semachiah
Posts: 97
Shalom,

[QUOTE=TudorRose;1022540]Events in my life in the past year has led me to question my faith and beliefs - and more to the point...do I even have any anymore....

I was not brought up on religion and I am unsure what I believe.....

In short...I dont know what religion I am.

How do you know what you believe in?

Is there a website that explains all about the different religions....?[/QUOTE]
Faith is not about you.
It is not about the things that have "happened" to you.
It is about your relationship with YHVH.
Luk 23:34       Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
When you have a proper relationship with YHVH and HE is actually the ONLY god in your life then you can go through your personal cross and arise victoriously.
When there is ONLY one god in your life and HE is YHVH then you will remain steadfast in...
Luk 22:42       Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 25, 2009 - 11:01AM #10
Semachiah
Posts: 97
Shalom,

[QUOTE=TudorRose;1022540]Events in my life in the past year has led me to question my faith and beliefs - and more to the point...do I even have any anymore....

I was not brought up on religion and I am unsure what I believe.....

In short...I dont know what religion I am.

How do you know what you believe in?

Is there a website that explains all about the different religions....?[/QUOTE]
Faith is not about you.
It is not about the things that have "happened" to you.
It is about your relationship with YHVH.
Luk 23:34       Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
When you have a proper relationship with YHVH and HE is actually the ONLY god in your life then you can go through your personal cross and arise victoriously.
When there is ONLY one god in your life and HE is YHVH then you will remain steadfast in...
Luk 22:42       Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
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