Please help me, I need advice



Please help me, I need advice

Ok I have alot on my mind and I am looking for some advice and will welcome any and all suggestions anyone may have without taking any offense. I was raised Catholic but I was never taken to church by family, I went to Catholic school so that was when I got to go to church, I always loved the church experience, I loved the beauty of God's house, the kindly priests and nuns, and just the experience of feeling safe, happy and close to God, but as I grew up I began to associate religion not so much with Christ but with the particular school/church I was at which happened to be extremely conservative and always asking for money and I turned away from Christ. Many years later I kept feeling as if I was being called back to Christ and I started looking for a church again. I attended an ELCA Lutheran Church which I really enjoyed mainly because of the friendly accepting people who made me feel welcome (I am a pretty shy person) but I recently had to move and so I had to try another church. I tried going to Catholic Church again because I met some very kind welcoming people again and I found myself missing the Catholic Mass experience that just made me feel good somehow, but the majority of the Catholic beliefs are not intune with my personal beliefs. I then found another church that was just a Christian church that I thought might be more liberal but I am beginning to find they are more conservative than I thought. I don't know where I belong but I feel that I must belong somewhere. I consider myself to be an extremely liberal person, I am very open and accepting of all people and all walks of life, but, I still find myself clinging to certain Catholic ways such as wanting the sacrements and prayers I am used to and the beautiful churches where I feel closest to God, perhaps its odd but I find myself unable to pray in the Bible Church where I go now, I feel far away from God there but in the Catholic church I was at I felt so close to God but I also felt like I was lying to myself attending Catholic church when my beliefs were not in line with the Catholic faith. these are my beliefs:

- Divorce is allowed and accepted
- Gay/Lesbian people should be accepted
- Meditation, Yoga, Accupuncture, Etc. are allowed and accepted, I don't think all new age activities are gateways to demons and evil (as I was told at a Catholic conference that scared me away from the Catholic faith)
- I love beautiful large churches that make me feel close to God
- I enjoy contemporary worship music, but dont mind liturgical music either
- I believe in God, Jesus, etc
- Sex should be taken very seriously and be between loving partners in a commited relationship but not necessarily married
- I believe in forgiveness and acceptance of all people who want forgiveness and acceptance
-all should be accepted for who they are and welcomed as followers of God

I guess I would best describe myself as being a liberal, new age, nature and life loving person, I am by no means a devil worshipper and I believe there is only one God, a speaker at a Catholic conference scared me away from the faith when she told me that the things I love like yoga and meditation and the like are all evil and I do not agree with that. I believe they are positive ways of exercise and healing and relaxation and I believe you can enjoy them and still be a faithful follower of God. I also accept all people and believe as long as we love others and treat each other with respect that is what Jesus would do. When I read the bible and learn about Jesus I imagine a person who would be accepting of everyone as long as they want to be good people and want to believe and work to improve their faults. I just dont know if my clinging to certain Catholic ways is because I was brainwashed or because I just loved how they were to me or what it means but my beliefs are so different from the Catholic faith, i just will not let go of who I am and what I enjoy especially when it helps me to feel peaceful and happy, I dont think that is what the God I read about in the bible would want me to do, but I want to find a place where I belong and people who are like me that i can talk to.

Sorry this was so long if anyone needs any clarification just let me know and I'd be glad to give it to you! thanks!
Hi Jenny.

Your post has truly touched my heart. It is a blessing to see a person with such faith in Christ.

I'd like to address a few things. Then I will follow up with a more detailed post. I wanted to respond to you first so that you don't feel like no one is listening, but a thorough response to the many points (good points) you have made, will take a little more time. :)

I also felt like I was lying to myself attending Catholic church when my beliefs were not in line with the Catholic faith.
Good for you. That is the sign of a true heart. 2 Corinthians 13:5
Each of us need to examine ourselves and remain faithful to the teachings of the Bible's pure doctrine and the proper administration of the sacraments.

- I love beautiful large churches that make me feel close to God- I enjoy contemporary worship music, but dont mind liturgical music either
It comes as no surprize to me to see that you were comfortable in Lutheran churches. During the reformation there were a number of heresies addressed, however those issues that were not in question were not changed and continued on into the Lutheran faith. Much of the liturgy is still unchanged and that is why it is still so familliar to you. The archetecture and much of the order of service is still the same.

But don't let any of that serve as a stumbling block to you. Many denominations today still practice the "High Church" services and traditional liturgical worship styles. You will find a comfortable worship style in just about any denomination.

Just to be clear, doctrinally Lutherans are miles away from the Roman Catholic faith, (For that matter, WELS, LCMS, and ELCA are miles apart as well. :D ) but in terms of Adiophora, (Things neither commanded nor forbidden) they may appear to be very simmilar.

but the majority of the Catholic beliefs are not intune with my personal beliefs.
That's an important statement.

What I mean by that is this... Are you seeking a church that fit's "YOUR" wants? or are you seeking a church that adheres to and teaches the Bible, in it's entirety?

Are you looking for a church that is 100% devoted to the glorification of Christ Jesus and to the teaching of Gods Holy Word?

Or one willing to deviate from the authoritative truth of scripture in order to conform to the desires of our ever changing society?

Our tendancy is to look for a church that tells us what we want to hear. A church we can take our friends to and not have to worry about anyone getting offended, a church where we can get away from the troubles of this evil world for a while and hear good news. We especially like it if we don't have to change anything about ourselves.

But that is not what the church is.

Jenny, before I post anything more, I am going to post a forum regulation for anyone involved in this converstation just as a reminder so that we do not let this discussion fall into a negative light...

3.2b has a wide variety of members from around the World. This Forum does not allow the elevation of one Christian belief system over another. This is a violation of Regulations 3.1 and 3.2 in demeaning and belittling the beliefs of other Christians while promoting another system so as to create an atmosphere of superiority. Any such posts or threads will be removed and a reminder, warning or ban issued as necessary.

I am not accusing you of violating that rule, I am only posting it here as a reminder to all of us. :)

Jenny, I will try to respond some more today, but as I said, I at least wanted you to know you are being listened to.
FYI, I was also raised in the Roman Catholic Church, and I can understand much of your frustration.

I left because there were teachings that I felt contradicted scripture.

If any teaching conflicts with Holy Scripture, (No matter what the denomination) then it is false teaching.