Church question. Weird?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by JustMe, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'll spare you the whys, but I'm experiencing this slight pull to attend church a time or two even though I don't necessarily believe what is preached. Note, I grew up in church going multiple times a week and being very involved, but I stopped going four or five years ago. Has anyone or does anyone attend church despite not fully identifying with the church's faith? There are no "universalist" churches around, by the way.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I dont attend church regularly, but go when 'the spirit moves me'. :love: I may not be the most faithful to all of my chosen religion's teachings, but I do feel a relationship with God and going to church sometimes is a part of that relationship for me.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Thanks for responding. Good to know, and that makes sense to me.

    I guess I fear I'll feel like an imposter...
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dont be hard on yourself.No one should judge you about your attendance...regular or not. I believe God keeps the door open.:hugs:
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I, too was raised in church since I was little to go every Sun & stopped cold turkey, but not due to not believing certain aspects of my religion. I was just in an extremely busy time in my life & that was the first thing to stop...I know, no excuse. I have gone every yr only on Easter for the past 4 yrs though because I feel I owe it to God for all He's done. I go to a different church on Easter than I used to all along.

    I don't know, maybe you subconsciously feel this inner need to praise, get advice from, get a comforting feeling from, etc. a higher power.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I started going to a local church for awhile last year. Like you, I grew up in an extremely religious family but drifted away from that as I got older. It's hard for me because I still somewhat identify with the religion, but on the other hand there are some things that I just can't believe and/or believe are wrong. My feeling is that if you don't believe parts of the bible, how can you believe any of it?

    Last year I went to a "mega church" that had a very different style of services. They really were very interesting and engaging, and I liked going because of that. However, I was going by myself and I just wasn't really able to meet anyone because it was so big. I got tired of always being alone there so I eventually stopped going.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Appreciate the responses.

    Ms. I, I think I'm craving the comforting feeling I used to experience while in church. I usually "connect" through being out of doors and or meditating, but then there is this new pull...

    water, I am curious about mega churches. There are none close enough for me to attend, but I am not comfortable going to church in my own county. Too small town and gossipy, I fear.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You might need to try a few to find a good fit.:love:
     
  10. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    On a related note but kinda off track...yes, I had been feeling the pull for some spirituality in my life, but not necessarily from a church. I decided to check out a Buddhist Center and I was hooked almost immediately. Why not check out a church, even if you're unsure, and see what comes of it? If you're feeling judged once you're there, it's probably not the right place for you. Try another one :) The decision to scope out my Center really had dramatic, positive results for me. I hesitate to label myself as Buddhist even though I'm an active member there, attend classes, and offer my time volunteering every week. The worst thing that can happen is you'll realize church isn't what you thought you were missing?
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I value many Buddhist teachings, but there are no centers I could get to.

    I'm familiar with all the churches in our county and there is one I might like to attend again. I really don't crave fellowship, so honestly I don't know why I would care if others are questioning my attendance or return.
     
  12. bison

    bison Habitué

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    (Disclaimer: non-church-goer here)

    Is it possible that you're looking for the community aspect of church, since you don't necessarily believe in the teachings? Maybe some other kind of positive community organization would provide the same comfort. Volunteering, book club, bible study, religious class, etc? :)

    Edit: Just saw you mention meditation. Perhaps you can find a place/group to do this in a group setting. That might be a comfort.
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Actually, I especially DON'T want the community/fellowship aspect of church. I'm not a social person whatsoever. I would prefer to just go to church alone, just be there myself, but I've discovered my two childhood churches which always remained open when I was younger are now locked. :(
     
  14. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Oh. Well then. Nevermind. :)
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't think it's weird at all. I occasionally find myself with a slight itch to head back to church. I was raised Catholic. While I agree with a lot of the teachings, there are several BIG ones that I feel are morally wrong. It puts me in a strange position, appreciating the rituals and good teachings of the Church, while at the same time being actively opposed to certain extremely big issues.

    There is nothing wrong with church-shopping. There will be a church out there that fits your needs. It's too bad that there's not a UU church nearby, because that sounds like it would have been a perfect option for you.

    I don't like those mega-churches because I don't like the fundamentalist/born-again vibe that most of them have. For me, they wouldn't be the right fit. For others, many others by the look if it, they are perfect. You just have to find what works.
     
  16. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Have you considered going to a Baha'i temple or a Buddhist temple?
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would if they were close, orangetea.

    Caesar, I think I would enjoy a UU church. My aunt works for one, but again...too far away.
     
  18. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Treat it like looking for a new school. Look in the nearby communities an hour away or closer. Many newspapers list church service times and lots even have websites now. Go shopping. Since you may not be attending multiple times a week or even multiple times a month, the distance won't be such a huge factor.

    I think you'll find what you're looking for but it may be hit or miss for a while.
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I do buy identify with my church's faith, so I may not be the ones you were hoping would respond.

    But the God I believe in welcomes all who seek Him. He doesn't have issues with "imposters" unless they're doing so to trick someone. That's not the situation you described.

    Go, and try it on for size.

    I can't imagine anyone questioning the motives of anyone who suddenly started coming to church. Friends of mine have recently started going to church after the birth of their daughter. Our response, and the response of all who know them, has been "Welcome!"
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I appreciate all responses! They've allbeen helpful. :)

    teacherintexas, I have driving limitations which is why an hour away is really out of the question, unfortunately.
     
  21. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    I think if you're feeling a "pull" to attend a church, then go. Maybe look around your neighborhood and find some churches and then see if they have a website; check out their website and see if their philosophies are aligned with yours.

    You may feel like an impostor, but I can assure you that God won't think you're one. :)
     
  22. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    JustMe, another idea.

    If you're not crazy about the fellowship part, have you considered checking into a TV/Internet sermon service?

    I suggest that because I watch In Touch each Saturday and I enjoy the teachings and the pastor. I can do it in the comfort of my own home and can pause/replay/etc. something I didn't quite understand (I follow along with my Bible).

    Just wanted to toss that out there.

    Oh...and no need to drive to it! ;)
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Good idea. I love Joel Olsteen. I like his positive energy. :)
     
  24. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    I'm a Mormon (please be respectful and don't criticize). There are times when church leadership says certain things that are difficult for members, including myself to accept. At these times I find it important to take the matter to my Heavenly Father in my own personal prayer and scripture study to gain a testimony of what is being taught for myself.
     
  25. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I have been attending church regularly since I was 25. I attended the same church sporadically with friends since I was 12. I enjoy my time there, although I don't do as much volunteer work there as I used to do.

    I will have to say that I do my best spiritual thinking in my own house all by myself.

    I go to church to learn more about the belief system, even if I find that I don't necessarily agree with it personally. Most of those things aren't fundamental religious practices, but practices put in place by the people interpreting it.

    I'm not one to blindly follow things, so I will always be one to learn and question. And I know that some people don't like that when it comes to religion. I question things, and that doesn't go over well in some instances. But I want to learn, so I will question.

    My mom was raised in Fundamentalist Baptist/Pentecostal churches. My dad was raised in a Presbyterian family. My ex-husband was raised in a more modern Baptist church, but he works at a Methodist church. I've been to services at all of them. I find religions of all kinds interesting. I like being exposed to different ones from time to time. I think they all have something to offer.

    However, I feel the most drawn to my current church, which is a non-denominational Christian church, so I attend services there regularly. I'm considering a Bible study at another church, also Christian, but different that mine.
     
  26. BumbleB

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    I feel the same exact way. I just want to worship by myself, not feel obligated to attend potlucks and craft circles, or have people hovering over me asking if I'm coming back next time.

    I tried a UU church for a while, but it was a little TOO out there for me. And they were just as "clingy" as any other church I have tried.

    I think there are a lot of people out there like us. People who want to have some relationship with God, but don't feel the need to make our entire being revolve around church activities. I just wish there was a place for us!
     
  27. BookButterfly

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    I go to my husband's church sometimes--they're Catholic, which initially put me off based on some fundamental disagreements, but I found that his church preached love, not hatred and, while I don't agree with everything, the homilies help me to reflect on where I am, who I am, and what I'm doing.

    Through this, I've managed to have a personal relationship with God and my own beliefs, but with some guidance from outside of myself. It's worked pretty well--find some place that jives with your ideas or at least, doesn't oppose them, and you might find it works out alright. Just a thought!
     
  28. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I am a member of a performance group at a church although I am an atheist. However, I'm still a "registered" Methodist and I attend church when the group performs. I also support many of the efforts of the UMC, socially and policy wise, I just don't do the whole Jesus thing anymore. I do still find it comforting to attend services, because the music and the rituals are so familiar.
     
  29. Blue

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    I am not sure how to say this clearly. The people who should be in church are those who have questions and doubts.
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oops, misread that the first time.

    I think that anyone and everyone who wants to be in church belongs there, whether or not they have doubts.
     
  31. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    I agree this is one reason people should be in church.

    There are others who don't have doubts about their faith, but want to be strengthened by fellowship, worshiping their LORD, and just enjoying time with Him.

    JustMe, I do sincerely hope that you find someplace (at church, or on your couch :) ) where there is peace and contentment.

    We all could use that (peace and contentment). :)
     
  32. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I love this attitude!
     
  33. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    JustMe~I grew up in church like you said you did. When I was in high school, I switched churches and started going to a non-denominational church with some friends. I think I went until I was a sophomore in college. After meeting my husband, we started to go to church with my family and got married in the church I grew up in. After moving to the town I live in now, we shopped around for churches and found a Methodist one we liked (he grew up Luthern, me Presbyterian). We haven't been in 3 years. I don't feel like I have to go to church to worship God or to be close spiritually to Him. My mother-in-law and her family are very active in their church and they do somewhat pressure me to take my daughter to church every Sunday. And my daughter has said that she wants to start going back to church. I'm thinking of visiting one particular church that's non-denominational and seeing if my daughter and I like it.
     
  34. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Please forgive the minor hijack.

    It's funny. I've really fallen out of step with the Jewish community in my city because they're more conservative than I'm used to AND are almost exclusively situated on the other side of town (probably for those who don't drive on Sabbath). I have been sorely tempted to reach out to the Unitarian church in town, but to make that leap to anything that isn't Jewish is terrifying.

    What I'm missing most is community and ritual. Passover without a shared Seder has me so depressed I haven't bothered since my move to Ohio. I fast and reflect on Yom Kippur, but do so in near-isolation. Perhaps it's time for me to find a new community with some combination of ritual?
     
  35. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I don't really want to go to help me with The Big Questions or doubt...but I understand your point. :)

    I guess that's one reason is feels a little odd to me to feel a bit of a pull. I do not believe or agree with certain major teachings as presented and I'm fairly comfortable with my disbelief or disagreement...yet I still might enjoy being in what I consider to be a spiritual place.

    Loving the responses!
     
  36. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I am not a fan of the fundamentalism stuff either, and my church has a bit if a fundamentalist bend to it, though I have found my pastor has been mellowing lately. I really respect him, so I just ignore what I disagree with (and from time to time, I'll talk about it with him).

    My wife and I both have a very strong faith, but her health is often not the greatest in the morning when it's time for church, so we often attend Saddleback online as well. I really respect Rick Warren, though I don't agree with him on everything. I've found his latest series on How to Get through What You're Going Through particularly helpful as my wife and I deal with her chronic pain, the fact that their sermon stems from their son's battle with depression and recent suicide makes the series that much more relatable.
     
  37. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Just wanted to let you know I'm praying for your wife and her chronic pain.

    (Sorry for going off-track) :)
     
  38. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Thanks Ted :)
     
  39. BookButterfly

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    I go to church to reflect. I don't have too many huge questions or doubts--I'm not entirely *sure* of my faith, but it's one place where I can be quiet with my thoughts and feel the connection.

    Maybe that can be done anywhere, but it's easier for me there. And I hate talking to people.. xD I'm an introvert who poses as an extrovert.
     
  40. Tek

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    Interesting timing, this thread.

    4 years ago, when I just graduated with a teaching credential, I decided to take my 1st year "off" to sub and gain additional teaching experience while "taking a break/relaxing" after going to school for so long. I wasn't worried that I would be a year removed from the program when I finally look for a full time position, plus I felt like a year off could do me a world of good.

    Long story short, I fell into a mini-depression and after 25 years of life, I finally stepped foot into a church. I ended up being "struck by the spirit" and believing in God firmly.

    I went through the whole church life. Went to Africa for a missions trip. Even led a small group of young adults for a short season. I really got involved. My teaching career however got put off on the backburner.

    Finally, I applied full time 2 summers ago and got hired. Ever since I started teaching full time, I've lost my church life. I have all but stopped going. I go maybe once every couple months now. I just wake up Sunday morning and feel so tired from the school week that I rather sleep in or get some work done, or just chill and catch a ball game on the TV.

    I guess it's just the spiritual stretch I am going through right now. I still love God and believe in Him, but right now, I have some issues with church that I've been avoiding it and just not going.

    I trust that it will work itself out over time and I can return on a more consistent basis.
     
  41. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    It will. :)

    I loved reading your testimony. Thank you for sharing it.

    In the meantime, you could always just browse your Bible. You might be surprised how you're rekindled. :) Just a thought.
     

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