Born again Christians - did you have a sudden realisation?(24 Posts)
I've name changed for this. I was raised C of E. Although I believe in God, I've always found church services really dry and I've had difficulty connecting with God's Word. All of a sudden I have understood that many of the difficulties that I have experienced over the last 10 years are likely to be the result of spiritual warfare. I have always been very familiar with scripture but it makes more sense now. As I see it, God's Word is not a set of rules for us to live by just because (like the Pharisees) but to protect us from spiritual warfare.
I now need to find a church that suits me I guess. There is far more to this than what I have expressed here but I do feel as though my eyes have been opened.
I've name changed because I don't want People saying I've probably got mental health issues
I also wanted to ask how you chose a church - I don't think the one I was raised in has inspired me. Although I have not attended since this realisation. I have been wondering about an evangelical church near me.
"Spiritual Warfare" is often a phrase used to mean that good things happen because angels make them happen and bad things happen because demons make them happen. I don't know if this is what the OP means but this sort of superstition isn't particularly a part of the faith of most Christians I know.
In answer to your questions op for me it was like a series of small sudden realisations. Like you as a child I found the church of my childhood dry and dull but as a young adult something "clicked" and I started to feel a genuine relationship with God and was "born again". I certainly agree that God's Word isn't a set of rules - Christmas is the living Word who shows us that the Way is Love, nor a rule book. I left my parents church and joined an evangelical church. A number of years later I realised how much some evangelical churches use cynical psychological tricks to manipulate people emotionally calling that "God" and leading them away from the real thing. I was wounded much more by that than by any boredom I felt before I found faith, so now I'm back in a more traditional church but the old liturgy has become alive for me in a way it never was before I believed.
Wherever your spiritual journey leads you, God bless you OP.
Aaaargh autocorrect turned "Christ" into "Christmas" making a nonsense of my statement in the middle there.
Thanks Fish. I wouldn't say I mean superstition. It has to do with the fact that the spiritual state you are in can affect ones clarity to have a relationship with Jesus. I do have specific reasons for the way I feel about this but as far as I'm concerned, the spiritual realm is very real whether we can see it or not. So we have to learn to put on spiritual armour. I have heard that many Christian churches don't really speak about this though. It's like how some people can speak in tongues, but obviously this is the work of the Holy Spirit and would not be considered superstition.
OP- try an evangelical church it sounds like you are likely to enjoy it.
I had a faith from childhood through to my mid twenties. Now I'm more genuinely confused, but I certainly enjoyed my time in evangelical churches.
1 Corinthians 12 - 8 To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. 9 To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.
I am sure the Holy Spirit does give some a spiritual gift of tongues. But I am equally sure that there are some churches where people are encouraged into a hysterical delusion to believe they have this gift. If a church has twenty times more members who regularly speak in tongues than members who exhibit trickier things like healing, they may not be everything they seem.
I've only seen one person speaking in tongues. And certainly the Bible doesn't say that speaking in tongues has anything to do with salvation. Some Christians believe that it was not a gift that was given any more after the apostolic age but this is evidently why the approach of some churches suit some and not others I guess.
Op, please try to find a church that suits you and helps you grow in your faith . And don't get side tracked by people on Mn who don't believe but like to goad those who do .
I know lots of people who had a " moment " when everything made sense to them . And other for whom it was a gradual development of understanding / faith. We are all individuals and hear Gods call on our lives differently .
For me it was more of a gradual process. We chose our church due to a family connection, however I would urge you to return to church (either your old one or a new one) soon and speak to other Christians about how you're feeling. It's good to have fellowship with others.
'A number of years later I realised how much some evangelical churches use cynical psychological tricks to manipulate people emotionally calling that "God" and leading them away from the real thing. I was wounded much more by that than by any boredom I felt before I found faith'
Fish - I'm sorry I missed that the first time I read this. I hope you're still around but this is exactly the thing I wanted to know about. How do evangelical churches do this? Someone pointed me in the direction of the US church 'Gateway' (the online sermons)
I am no further forward in trying to decide which church I need to go to.
Finding a church is hard but if God wants to get in touch he has lots of ways to do so! Friend shared a picture with me once when I was stressing about this - I said I don't know which way to go- it's like I'm at the bottom of a huge mountain with no map - friend said God has a jeep, sat Nav even a helicopter he can radio down if you get lost! Try googling- most churches have websites too x
re finding a church - I've had to kiss an awful lot of frogs...
Just keep going, try different things, enjoy yourself - you learn something wherever you go - even if it's learning what you don't want.
That does mean, sadly, that you can get very hurt, even traumatised, sometimes. But keep going - if you've been hurt you have a unique view on how
not to treat people; what you do/don't believe.
I am currently at a tiny gathering I am really enjoying and feels like home - for now? It's taken over 30 years to get here if that isn't too disheartening! I've learnt a vast amount along the way though. Some of it I'd rather not have learnt, thanks.
btw your thread title and your op don't appear to have any connection lol.
Either under this username or another I think Iv shared my experience of evangelical churches.
On the one hand I would like to put you off - swiftly. Having been through them and out the other side. I still experience manipulation and guilt trips from those I once considered family (spiritually) because we are now split into a them and us mentality.
I'd say go into it with eyes wide open but I don't think that's possible as faith and belief is fickle and very much a heart thing, not a logic thing. You don't believe today what you believed 10 years ago and you probably won't believe in 10 years time exactly how you do today. Evangelical churches are very fixed in their beliefs, there is no room for your faith to evolve really from where it's at the day you start. Of course you'll feel your growing closer to God as it offers a more tangible Christian experience in the modern day world than other churches
On the other, it was beneficial to where my faith was at the time and it sounds like it may be beneficial to where your faith is currently.
I expect Iv come across arrogant and that's not my intention so please forgive me if I haven't explained things well.
Churches I enjoyed most would be perhaps Hillsong, abundant life centre or NewFrontier types. Hillsong is at the dominion theatre in London (or was when I last went - they do move and branches pop up in other cities) I still miss the Hillsong songs and occasionally put on an album. I interpret the lyrics very differently now and couldn't in good conscience attend a service - but they do have something to offer
Churches I'd stay away from altogether would be things like Gilbert deya, mountain of fire and miracles, jabula, and churches which consist of a pastor who pops up with his own mission under nobody. Usually you find those types in warehouse buildings, driving flash cars and wearing expensive suits. Anybody can set themselves up as a pastor if not ordained by an organisation, and quite a few see it as a get rich quick scheme.
Well, yes, pigeon. It's not as simple as that a lot of the time re some churches get caught up in the prosperity gospel - and that can get out of hand, just like anything can (and does). It doesn't mean they're entirely full of rubbish - there can be some good stuff in there, too, in amongst the bad stuff. Just like any church.
But I agree with you wholeheartedly to find out to whom any church leadership is answerable/accountable. Even if there is some 'good stuff' initially, it has to be within a sound and hopefully broad structure or it'll go off. Also look out for transparent accounts - if there are none then steer clear. Relations, even good relations, with a broad sweep of churches/fellowships is also a generally good sign.
If you are greeted with suspicion when you ask the above questions (in relation to eg joining the church) then head for the door.
I had a 'moment', but because I found the right church. Keep looking!
To clarify the churches I have named and suggested staying away from has nothing to do with being caught up in a prosperity gospel. I think Hillsong are somewhat prosperity gospel. And I don't really mind prosperity gospel as such, there's nothing wrong with being prosperous - only if you are getting prosperous by genuine deception.
The reasons I'd avoid has Everything to do with control. And getting more caught up in witchcraft hunting than God. There's a lot of cross over from other religions - ancestral worship/voodoo and witchcraft. Unintentional. But it's there, unspoken imho. Not wholly taken from the bible but small parts taken from the bible and expanded upon by people influenced by prior encounters with such religions. To the point it's accepted as being biblical... Like demonology
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