I am hoping someone can help me find my way. I was raised in the church of Christ. I quit attending church about 12 years ago. I recently started going again, but am unsure if this is where I need to be. I am questioning some of the things I was brought up to believe.
What is it that’s troubling you? perhaps visiting your local parish/church, and talking to the pastor.
Right now, I don’t really belong to a church. I’m kind of searching for what is right for my family. I don’t feel I can go back to the church I was raised in. My dad is an elder there, but I am having a hard time agreeing with everything they believe. (i.e. if you don’t go to a church of Christ you can’t be saved.) among other things. We have attended services at another church, we all really like it, except it is an hour drive from our house.
It is wonderful that God is calling you back to Him, and that He is challenging you to seek the Truth. That is what all of us are seeking, and when we find it, we are filled with joy.
Right now it sounds like you are looking at the fundamental beliefs of your faith and comparing them with what you learned as a child. That’s what you should be doing. Our faith is only OUR faith if we own it, not simply inherit it.
Maybe a starting point is to write down what you believe and why. Your “why” should be based on Scripture and the teachings of the early church fathers (what we Catholics call Tradition). You say that you don’t think those outside of the Church of Christ are not saved. What do you believe about salvation and why?
Another thing you might do is to look around at people whose faith you admire. Learn how they developed their faith. I know many faith-filled people, and not all of them are in the Catholic Church. But they are all inspirations to me as I grow in my faith.
I am Catholic because I believe what the Church teaches. I believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist (what a GREAT gift!). I believe that our church fathers began the teaching that is continued today in the Magesterium, and that they know what they are talking about. I also believe that I am responsible for understanding the teachings of the Church so that I can explain it to others and so that I can better follow our Lord.
I encourage you to spend time in prayer each day asking God to enlighten you about where you should be worshiping. Be patient, especially when you don’t think you’re hearing an answer.
You mentioned your family, which is often why people turn back to God. It can be tempting to choose a church that is easiest for your family to accept, but that’s not what we are called to do. We are to choose what we know to be the Truth. For example, many churches have lots of things to keep kids entertained. That may make it easier to get the kids to attend church without a hassle, but it shouldn’t be driving our decision.
You can begin to attend a church without becoming a member. That may be a good start as you explore the different doctrines and creeds of a particular denomination. It also gets your kids into the habit of going to church.
I’ll pray for you as you move forward. Praise God for calling you back!
Truly, I don’t know if any one here can give you a “right” response. As an Orthodox, of course I might tell you to go to Orthodoxy. Since it’s a Catholic forum, many people might want you to go to Roman Catholicism. Heck, there may be some Church of Christ members who will come in and tell you “Keep the faith!”
Truly, only God can guide you in this situation. However, you must also be discerning of what is truly guidance from God and what is temptation. About two years ago I was in the same position you were, wondering where I should go, and I was visited by Mormons. However, it was by the guidance of the Lord that I was educated enough both scripturally and historically to know that what they taught was false.
This may be a long, difficult time for you spiritually, but do it in continual prayer and study. Don’t let yourself be the deciding factor, but the guidance of the Lord. He will lead you home.
Thank you both for your encouragement. I think I will try writing down what I believe and why. Maybe that will help shed some light on the subject. I will definitely keep praying. My sister has been very supportive in my soul searching. She too left the church we were raised in and now goes to a Baptist church. My brother also left and now attends a Christian Church. (Yes, there is a difference between church of Christ and Christian Church.) Please pray for me to find the guidance I need.
If you have never read “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis, this may be a good time to do so. It is not an authoritative source of Christian teaching, but it is, in my view, very helpful in positioning one to approach a serious study or questioning of the Christian faith.
As strange as it may seem, since these times of questioning can be quite disturbing or painful, God is loving you by turning your attention to the Christian faith. It is advisable to let Him. May you be strengthened by His grace as you grow in His love.
I have found so much encouragement here. I feel so much better in my search. I have learned that just about everything I thought I knew about other churches was wrong. Doesn’t surprise me though. My mom and dad were my only source of info on things like that for all of my childhood. Turns out what mom and dad believe has no leg to stand on. I really got irked last week when my 11 year old son said his mamaw was telling him things about my sister’s church. Turns out non of them were true. Deciding to do this soul searching has led me to take a look at the c of C from the outside and man does it look a whole lot different. Thanks again for everyone’s help. I will keep you posted on what my search reveals. Pray for me.
The Holy Spirit is calling you to the Catholic Church. Welcome Home! If you are interested in reading about the Church, “Catholicism for Dummies” is a pretty good start. It is faithful to the teaching of the Church, but you don’t have to already be Catholic to understand it. Keep us posted and let us know if we can answer any questions.
So, I watched my first Catholic mass last night on EWTN. Very different than what I am used to at the cofC, that’s for sure. Still praying, still reading, trying to educate myself so I can make a decision. I found out yesterday that a close friend (also a cofc’er) has been looking into the Catholic church also. I may see if I can get her to go to mass with me, that way I won’t feel so alone. Think I am going to go to the parish that my dad’s family attended when they came here from Germany. It’s pretty close by.
You’re posting this on a Catholic Site, so I’m guessing that Catholicism is on the table. I think it’s a good idea to really think about what you believe, and the “why” is the most important. Do you believe these things because they feel right? Because it’s what you’ve been taught? Because these things seem that they “must” be right? Have you studied these things? Why is a very important question.
Good luck with your search. My only advice is to remember that this isn’t a race. You don’t have to make a decision immediately.
Wait, I have more advice. Don’t pick a denomination by location. Truth doesn’t necessarily reside next door.
Good luck. Take your times. Study.
May the Holy Spirit guide you, strenghed you and enlight your intelligence to discover more and more how much the Father loves you and calls you to embrace His family, your family, the Church!
Let the holy spirit guide you.
I’m praying for you and your family.
remember trust in the holy spirit to guide you, I do and has never ever failed me.
here is a short prayer for you. O Lord, My God and Savior help me, i do not want to be deceived. I want to hear the Truth, i want to see the Truth, and I want to speak the Truth. pray this many times a day with humility.
May our Lord guide you.
Thanks again, everyone. I learned over the weekend that my husband’s aunt attends the local Catholic church. I am going to talk to her this week about things. I will probably see if I can tag aong with her to mass. The more I read, the more I truly believe this is where I am supposed to be.
God works are so wonderfull.
Please keep us posted
Don’t forget that every Catholic is NOT an encyclopedia Catholicism. If you have any questions about what people say, that doesn’t sound quite correct, then feel free to research the answers for yourself. I have heard Catholics and Orthodox described as Sacramental Christians (Sacrament Latin sacramentum ‘solemn oath’; a religious ceremony imparting divine grace, such as Baptism or the Holy Mass). Most importantly keep praying. May the Lord Jesus be with you always.
**I was baptised Catholic 11 years ago in Utah. My wife said that if we are going to move to Utah for a job than you are going to learn the Catholic faith. Because I wanted to come to Utah and get rich I took her up on it. well I did not get rich with the job, it lasted 6 months. But as the scriptures say a man finds a treasure in a field, goes out and sells all he has to buy the field. I am now very Rich in our Lord Jesus. Here are some things that helped me when I was learning about the Catholic faith. I have saved them and have placed then on the www.utahmission.com site. I hope you enjoy this site, these writings. **
**Yes my name is Rich **
Talked to hubby’s aunt. The kids and I are going with her on Sunday! I can’t wait. I am so excited!
I’m also pretty excited for you and your family, jgajmom. I will only second another poster’s advice, take your time, learn, ask questions. I pray that you and your family will end up joining the Catholic Church, but there’s no rush to jump to any decisions and don’t let yourself be pressured by anyone. You are already in good hands, our Lord Jesus Christ is taking care of you!
One good reference book would be the Catechism of the Catholic Church. A printed copy is available at the Catholic churches and bookshops for less than $20, and I’m pretty sure the book is also posted on the internet (just search “Catechism Catholic Church”). The Catechism covers everything that the Catholic Church teaches. For example, if you want to learn the Catholic teaching about the salvation of Catholic and non-Catholic Christians as well as non-Christian people (people who have not been baptized), or what the CC teaches about baptism, the Eucharist, apostolic succession, the Pope, or anything else, you can look it up in the index of subjects at the end of the book.