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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so my friend basically accused me of being selfish. And the next few sentences will definately sound that way.

Heres the thing- church for me over the past three years have been hell. I don't know if theres any point going into detail, but I don't feel like committing to any one church at the moment- some churches are too stiff and strict, unloving and well, I don't know. Then others are too liberal, they want to please everyone, they are money and power obsessed, too worldly etc... I haven't been able to find a good fit.

I have gone to a few churches I have liked, but I have always felt like there's something missing. What church I go to is mostly going to affect me, and it should be my decision right? I've googled ''attending multiple churches'' and it seems most people are on my side, but they don't seem to have good reasons.

I don't want to be a church shopper, or be flaky. If I went to two churches, I would split the tithe 50/50- the thing is, I don't trust other people with my money- after going to Hillsong Conference, and reading some stuff online, I have become really skeptical, and by dividing my funds, it seems like it is more likely to help people that need it, rather than just line some pastors wallet or whatever.

The 1st church I want to go to is a local Baptist church. I feel like I have to go there because my best friend here is on the Worship team and really wants me there (in church, not on stage, LOL) and I would feel bad about leaving, but also, I feel like its a more family friendly environment, its down to earth, and they are more serious about sin. I like the idea of going to a church where the number of people is small enough that I can become aquinted with people, because I often suffer with social anxiety, and the idea of mixing with 800-1500 people every Sunday is slightly daunting. I like being able to enter church and not feel like a loner, because I can sit down anywhere, and wave to people as they go past, or know that a familiar face will join me, or invite me to sit with them in church. I like that the sermons are always straight from the bible, and I know they aren't twisting the scriptures to fit their own agenda.

The 2nd church I want to attend, is more youthful, and I think its a Pentecostal church. I'm a bit wary about all the spiritual stuff, like Speaking in tongues and faith healing, but I'm kind of open to it. I'm just not ready to experience it myself. I want to go there because the sermons are really inspirational and leave me in awe, the speakers make me laugh and their talks are a lot more interesting than what you hear at the Baptist church, the music worship is amazing, and I actually know the songs, and there's a real mixture of people my age, interested in all sorts of things- and there's always lots of social events.

I would describe myself as non-denominational- I'm not scared of commitment, but I can see pro's and con's to most of the denominations. I think if you ask for forgiveness for your sins, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you will be saved. I'm not planning on church hopping, I want to attend both churches every week, once I am up to it. One of the advantage of going to two churches, is that I will meet more people, and get more points of view. I don't agree with everything someone is saying just because they are holding a microphone in their hand- I read the bible and let the Holy Spirit guide me, then see what others are saying, and decide what I can take from it.

I think my friend sees me as being ''me me me'' but the truth is, I want to hear as much about God as I can. I am not a sheep, I hear other peoples thoughts, wisdom, opinions etc and make up my own mind. I think a lot of the bible is very simple and you should ''have the faith of a child'' instead of making it more complicated than it needs to be. I believe that there is only really one church, and that it is made up of people that believe in God, not ONE perfect denomination or whatever. I think we should look for similarities, not differences. Since there is one church, I don't really see how attending more than one service at different places is so bad- its not like I'm betraying God. Its better than not attending church at all, isn't it? The Baptist church only has two services in the morning, and thats it. The other church has three services a day, so I could go to three services a day in total if that was what I wanted.

I would like leadership opportunities, such as running a cell group, helping out at Christian camps/conferences (if I can't attend myself), helping out in the church daycare, or teaching others what I know. I don't mind if I just start out making tea and coffee, washing dishes or vacuuming. I just want to help out. I love being on stage and sharing, but its not as important to me as it used to be. I think I am more likely to get these opportunities in a small church.

I don't really get my friends judgement, because when we were in high school, she went to her parents church in the morning, and her friends church at night. She seems to have conveniently forgotten that.

There is a third church I have considered visiting occasionally, because they have really powerful teaching, straight from the bible, but some of their beliefs are really archaic, and I don't agree with their views on women, the world, modesty etc... I do find them interesting though. I also don't like the idea of home group meetings and singing in a circle, because their songs are really dorky, or make me uncomfortable (singing about the blood of the lamb for example), and I'm self conscious about singing in a group. Also, they are into courtship and stuff, and I find that a bit weird. I feel like if I went there too much, they would try and get me to marry one of the ''brothers'' and their form of Christianity isn't for me. I would rather be with someone slightly more laid back, and that can actually relate to non Christians.

Thanks for reading all this.
 

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There's no such thing as selfish, if someone tells you you're selfish it's either because they're jealous because they wish they could do what you do but they can't for whatever reason... or because they don't understand what you're doing... which is not YOUR problem, it's THEIRS...

Don't let anyone tell you you're selfish for doing want you want to do. If you want to find out why your friend thinks your selfish, you can look at her life and easily tell how she grew up and what she believes, most likely she's too closed minded to understand that people believe different things.
 

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I don't think it's wrong as long as it's the same religion. It's just that different churches will focus on different things, which will possibly make you lose focus or concentration. It's just recommended to go to one church.
 

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Where you go to church is your decision. Nobody should be telling the "right" place to go to church.

Your faith is your own, and your knowledge and communion with God is your own. You should go where your faith is encouraged. I can't imagine why people are telling you that you're "attending church wrong."
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Some other points:
-The Baptist church only has morning services- I wouldn't be missing out on anything by going to the other church in the afternoon or night, because there aren't any other services happening anyway.
-I will have more chances to go on Missions Trips, to Conferences etc. I wanted to go to this big Christian music festival at the start of the year, but I couldn't find anyone to go with, because I didn't know any Christians that wanted to go.
-I don't like how Baptists are so traditional and only focus on some parts of the bible, and how Pentecostals are so spiritually focused... I want to be spiritual, but I want everything to come back to the bible. It worries me that people don't talk or consider the end times, or don't know about the New Jerusalem... their view of what happens after death is quite different to mine.
-The third church I mentioned above, uses the morning revival. It seems quite interesting.
-I prefer Mother Theresa to Televangelists and stuff, because she used everything she had to help people, and would always take the worst pair of shoes for herself, while the Televangelists profit greatly off their fans, often live the high live while their tithers are in poverty, they spread lies like faithful people will have their heart desires and will be rich if they are good enough Christians/whatever.
-I want to go to a down to earth church that can admit they aren't perfect, that they make mistakes, they are humble and down to earth. I had a lot of trouble about my last church and mentioned it to a few people (bullying, getting ignored when I had just started, having my prayer requests/faith reports ignored etc) and the church was extremely defensive to any sort of criticism. They were frequently saying they were the best church etc, while my original church never felt the need to say things like that. I think churches should be supportive of other churches, because we are all part of one body.
-I see going to more than one church, as having more than one interest, or going to multiple social clubs- if nothing else, the second and third church is somewhere to meet people that I wouldn't have known otherwise, and as a girl starting out in a new city, with barely any friends, I don't see how that can be a bad thing. I have one serious friend here, and about five potential friends that I need to spend more time with to know if there's more there. Instead of going to another church, I could just go to the movies or something. How is spending more time with God a bad thing?

I feel as though I'm missing something. Since I don't understand what is wrong with going to two churches or why it is selfish to do so?
Possibilities
1. I may only tithe to one place, or spread it out
My response: Well, it seems like most of the people I know that are my age, don't tithe at all, and I have had a lot less money than they do!

2. I won't be fully supporting my churches vision/mission
My response: So now I can't support two different charities, have more than one interest etc?

3. My loyalty should be to one church
My response: Why? I need a lot of things, and none of the churches are quite right. Sometimes I can't deal with lots of people, and I can't deal with the youthfulness, worldliness and superficial stuff at the Penetecoastal church, but sometimes the Baptist church gets too stuffy for me, I just want to hang out with people my age, worship to some good music and hear some funny stories. My loyalty is to one God, and I think that is more important than what church building I'm in.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't think it's wrong as long as it's the same religion. It's just that different churches will focus on different things, which will possibly make you lose focus or concentration. It's just recommended to go to one church.
To me, that sounds like telling someone they can't study Biology and Chemistry because they would get too confused, when they are both sciences, and can in fact compliment each other. Or that you can't eat two different types of ice cream, because you might forget what the other tastes like!
 

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To me, that sounds like telling someone they can't study Biology and Chemistry because they would get too confused, when they are both sciences, and can in fact compliment each other. Or that you can't eat two different types of ice cream, because you might forget what the other tastes like!
Whatever soothes your soul.
 

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Honestly, for me this is a non issue.

I think most people would find the way you look at it more reasonable than the other person's view.

That is simple.

The more relevant question is what is HER issue, and how can you help her.

It sounds a little greedy and controlling on her part. But obviously don't tell her that without patience and acceptance.
 

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Many churches want to indoctrinate a cohesive set of rules.

A church is not only a building, it is a formalized body of people with specific ideals, and they generally by definition want these ideals to be upheld and not undermined. This is how churches are, and this for the most part is their purpose.

Some of them are a more lax group of people with less rules, sure. But there are also many who do want to get into your personal life, the choices you make, and how you are upholding the precepts of the church. There are many churches who will look down on you, or not even accept you at all, if you do things that they feel undermine their precepts. For them if you are a member and do certain things, and they don't say anything about it and let you remain a member, to them this is like saying that this is ok which might very well be contrary to their doctrine.

So good luck in finding two or more that you can go to without hassle.
 

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I dont see anything wrong with what you are doing, and certainly dont see it as selfish. You want to learn and grow, and there is nothing wrong with that. IMO, I think your friend needs to get rid of the log in her own eyes, before she starts finding splinters in others.
 
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