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Author Topic: How to Choose a Church  (Read 1813 times) Average Rating: 0
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Marat
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« on: January 11, 2012, 11:28:27 PM »

I was reading on FB earlier today and a friend posted this:

Quote
If you are looking for a new church, I would definitely recommend checking about Brooklife Church in Mukwonago. Rockin worship team! Youth Pastor had on the coolest DC shoes ever! This is a JEAN wearing church!

This fascinated me. I read on here far more than I post but I've read so many faith journeys on here that I thought the ones HERE were typical. Now I'm thinking I've been in a bubble too much and that a search for truth is a minority approach to religion.

My friend and those who responded were not looking for a historical or original church. There were no debates over the church fathers, the filioque, sola fide, sola scriptura, or church councils. Instead, they only wanted a church that offered entertainment (a rockin' worship team!) and a non-dress code (a JEAN wearing church!). Maybe DC shoes too although I've never heard of them before her post.

Is this the typical approach, if there is such a thing, in the search for a church? Should we try to reach out to those of this mindset to help them see there are more important things than wearing jeans? If so, how? These churches aren't evil or anything but for someone who is hungering for an encounter or relationship with God, does being entertained really help? Also in the responses, I read of another trend that I have also observed in person. That is, there seems to always be a "hot" church at a given time and this hotness seems to rotate around, almost like the way there is always a hot new club to go to in any city. This is why I question how helpful being entertained for worship is since people continue to search for the next new thing rather than focus on internal growth.

I feel like I'm being very critical of others so forgive me if I sound judgmental and harsh. I don't mean to be but I would like to understand it better and maybe possibly being of use to someone in their spiritual journey as they search for meaning and purpose in life.

Any thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2012, 11:40:47 PM »

A lot of my classmates said the same thing in a class discussion we had on liturgical worship. Most of them really like the whole contemporary entertainment thing in church. It kind of made me angry that this is now a socially acceptable expression of the Christian faith. Sad
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 07:35:59 AM »

Yes, you are living in a bubble.  It's quite discouraging really.  While I don't encounter people so concerned about shoes (silly!) I definitely have friends who are more concerned with an emotional experience than Truth.

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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 08:54:21 AM »


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Is this the typical approach, if there is such a thing, in the search for a church?

Yes, I think it is. I daresay there are people who attend Orthodox churches for the same basic reason: they enjoy the "style" of worship.

The counterpoint is found amongst the teachings of the Desert Fathers especially, summed up by St Anthony the Great's saying:

Whoever you may be, always keep God before your eyes. And whatever you do, do it from the witness of the Holy Scriptures. And in whatever place you live, do not leave quickly (or easily). Keep these three things, and you will be saved.
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2012, 04:48:53 PM »

I'm in the US and this type thing seems not at all uncommon.

I feel blessed to pray at a humble little Church that some might see as plain or even boring in regards to being 'hip' or 'rockin' lol You can get away with dressing up a pair of jeans though! (its sort of out in the country Wink)
I am blessed because I am surrounded by warmth and love there, and we have a pastor that delivers the fundamental Truth in a straight forward yet non judgmental way, without fear or guilt. For me personally the plain no frills atmosphere is best for I seem to be distracted by the contemporary approach. That is me though. To each their own.

My point is perhaps the attire worn, music played, or how hip the place is shouldn't be the concern? The question is are they teaching the fundamental Truth of our Lord Jesus Christ? If so great! However they are attracted to that truth is secondary. God created many types of people and I suppose there can be different ways of reaching all. If they are not being taught the Truth however, or a watered down version of the Truth, or God forbid a 'hip' church with a primary goal of extracting their money, then that is what should be addressed. Choosing a church based on how hip it is seems dangerous to me but if it leads them to the Truth of God... glory be to God. 
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2012, 05:39:20 PM »

Maybe DC shoes too although I've never heard of them before her post.

...

Any thoughts?

They make some good shoes for skateboarding.
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2012, 01:23:14 AM »

One thing I might add is that it's hard to judge these churches from the outside. It may be that the church itself is that shallow, or it may be that they do have more depth but realize that many people have more shallow reasons, as noted above, for choosing a church. If so they then may hope that by appealing to those more shallow reasons they will attract some who come for the jeans but get more than anticipated and wind up staying for the deeper relationship with God. Call it a marketing strategy if you will.

Of course it's still not Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2012, 02:02:52 AM »

put a map on the wall and throw a dart at it?
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2012, 04:26:22 AM »

If you need to find a church, the website Orthodoxy in America lists a ton of them.  Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2012, 01:13:45 PM »

If you need to find a church, the website Orthodoxy in America lists a ton of them.  Smiley

That's how we found our church.  Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 10:03:15 AM »

A lot of my classmates said the same thing in a class discussion we had on liturgical worship. Most of them really like the whole contemporary entertainment thing in church. It kind of made me angry that this is now a socially acceptable expression of the Christian faith. Sad
I experience a lot of the same things with my classmates.
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 10:06:23 AM »

If you need to find a church, the website Orthodoxy in America lists a ton of them.  Smiley

That's how we found our church.  Smiley

Currently the EA directory seem to be more accurate.
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 12:20:45 PM »

We should by all means rebuke this contemporary attitude, but be understanding and patient with the people. Many of those people really do have a desire for God and want to know Him. The only problem is that their way of worship is so screwed up that we should feel sorry for them. I doubt that they mean to do this out of disrespect; they simply just do not know. Teach them the good news of Orthodoxy Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2012, 12:57:49 PM »

I was reading on FB earlier today and a friend posted this:

Quote
If you are looking for a new church, I would definitely recommend checking about Brooklife Church in Mukwonago. Rockin worship team! Youth Pastor had on the coolest DC shoes ever! This is a JEAN wearing church!

At least where I live, the novelty of wearing jeans and sneakers to church wore off sometime in the 90s. These days it's not something you advertise, as it's generally expected.

Yes, I think it is. I daresay there are people who attend Orthodox churches for the same basic reason: they enjoy the "style" of worship.

I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, because the form matters. If a church teaches the right theology but with an anything-goes "style", that is not Orthodox. Part of what drew me to Orthodoxy was the more formal atmosphere.

When I was growing up as a traditional Protestant, I remember it was scandalous when the pastor stopped wearing a suit jacket to church.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 01:03:38 PM by age234 » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2012, 11:55:53 PM »

I was reading on FB earlier today and a friend posted this:

Quote
If you are looking for a new church, I would definitely recommend checking about Brooklife Church in Mukwonago. Rockin worship team! Youth Pastor had on the coolest DC shoes ever! This is a JEAN wearing church!

This fascinated me. I read on here far more than I post but I've read so many faith journeys on here that I thought the ones HERE were typical. Now I'm thinking I've been in a bubble too much and that a search for truth is a minority approach to religion.

My friend and those who responded were not looking for a historical or original church. There were no debates over the church fathers, the filioque, sola fide, sola scriptura, or church councils. Instead, they only wanted a church that offered entertainment (a rockin' worship team!) and a non-dress code (a JEAN wearing church!). Maybe DC shoes too although I've never heard of them before her post.

Is this the typical approach, if there is such a thing, in the search for a church? Should we try to reach out to those of this mindset to help them see there are more important things than wearing jeans? If so, how? These churches aren't evil or anything but for someone who is hungering for an encounter or relationship with God, does being entertained really help? Also in the responses, I read of another trend that I have also observed in person. That is, there seems to always be a "hot" church at a given time and this hotness seems to rotate around, almost like the way there is always a hot new club to go to in any city. This is why I question how helpful being entertained for worship is since people continue to search for the next new thing rather than focus on internal growth.

I feel like I'm being very critical of others so forgive me if I sound judgmental and harsh. I don't mean to be but I would like to understand it better and maybe possibly being of use to someone in their spiritual journey as they search for meaning and purpose in life.

Any thoughts?

Could I please have a screenshot to post on my own timeline for mockery purposes?
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2012, 12:00:21 AM »

In any case, I am sure the pastor is, in actuality, incredibly uncool and is probably a lame thirty-something trying to be "down" with the "youth of today" by "speaking their language" and wearing last season's sneakers.
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2012, 12:05:04 AM »

In any case, I am sure the pastor is, in actuality, incredibly uncool and is probably a lame thirty-something trying to be "down" with the "youth of today" by "speaking their language" and wearing last season's sneakers.

I have a cousin considering attending a Protestant seminary in the Valley; you described precisely the pastor I fear he would be.
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« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2012, 12:09:30 AM »

In any case, I am sure the pastor is, in actuality, incredibly uncool and is probably a lame thirty-something trying to be "down" with the "youth of today" by "speaking their language" and wearing last season's sneakers.

I have a cousin considering attending a Protestant seminary in the Valley; you described precisely the pastor I fear he would be.

Oh, James, the Lord have mercy on him (and on me, for my mockery).

When will people realise that all this kitsch just makes the actually-cool people incredibly sour towards Christ and his Church?
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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2012, 12:30:28 AM »

In any case, I am sure the pastor is, in actuality, incredibly uncool and is probably a lame thirty-something trying to be "down" with the "youth of today" by "speaking their language" and wearing last season's sneakers.

I have a cousin considering attending a Protestant seminary in the Valley; you described precisely the pastor I fear he would be.

Oh, James, the Lord have mercy on him (and on me, for my mockery).

When will people realise that all this kitsch just makes the actually-cool people incredibly sour towards Christ and his Church?
This bringing people to Christ and His Church is wonderful--as long as the integrity of the faith and the true purpose is never lost in the process.
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« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2012, 12:38:01 AM »

In any case, I am sure the pastor is, in actuality, incredibly uncool and is probably a lame thirty-something trying to be "down" with the "youth of today" by "speaking their language" and wearing last season's sneakers.

I have a cousin considering attending a Protestant seminary in the Valley; you described precisely the pastor I fear he would be.

Oh, James, the Lord have mercy on him (and on me, for my mockery).

When will people realise that all this kitsch just makes the actually-cool people incredibly sour towards Christ and his Church?
This bringing people to Christ and His Church is wonderful--as long as the integrity of the faith and the true purpose is never lost in the process.


The point I am making is that DC sneakers inspire some and alienate others.
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« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2012, 12:45:29 AM »

Are you looking' for a church where the priest looks like he's from ZZ Top? Man oh man have I got the church for you. Are you into the Lord of the Rings, wizard-looking folk and plenty of opportunities for LARPing? This ain't your parents' church!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 12:45:47 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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