You still will not be able to have ‘the conversation’. The leadership will never be able to publicly reach out, in services, to acknowledge the truth of doubt in a completely inclusive way without fear of frightening the horses. Which they couldn’t if they tried actually.
Finding a church that supports scientific evidence of the natural world
This thread’s title had me perplexed. But the opening post that what is being looked for is a church where one can be moved by the spirit for God and an evidence believing person where science is concerned. I don’t think anyone is looking for an understanding of God based on science.
Not so. At our Easter services, our last rector would point out that doubt is a part of faith.
Also, an elderly man in our congregation explained quite openly that he was an agnostic. But what a wonderful guy he was! Very courteous and intelligent. Attended church and theology class regularly. He even took all the classes at a seminary in the city. He knew his stuff. I don’t know why he missed out on the gift of faith. He was a valued member of our community, a real seeker and pilgrim, and I expect to see him in the kingdom.
For me I have found that once you clarify that you agree on the essentials of the faith (authority of scripture, the creeds, etc.) and that you are not challenging any core values, most people at the churches I have attended have been willing to hear me out on my views, even very conservative churches, even if they do not agree with me. Once I assure them that we agree on the essentials of the faith, most people don’t appear bothered by my views on evolution, climate change, etc. I guess how I cope is by knowing that people in the church might disagree with me on certain things, but they still accept me as a brother in Christ. If I do not feel that this is the case at a particular church, which has also happened, then I simply do not attend that church. I know that others have had a lot more trouble finding common ground and I do not mean to imply that this is easy. On the other hand, I think that many people in the church are more willing than we might realize to hear us out once we have established that our views are not a threat to their faith.
Well done. That’s the first I’ve ever heard of. I expect to see everything that’s ever suffered in the kingdom. Or nothing.
It’s exhausting and eroding to hear comments in the foyer or in Bible study that start with “I don’t know how someone can be a Christian and think….” and complete the sentence with the very thoughts in my Christian head.
Good question. Not first, but somewhere in the mix for all of us. I have some pretty fundamentalist friends who go to fundamentalist churches, and they would most definitely not choose to attend my sort of moderately conservative church, and I would feel uncomfortable at theirs. I think we do best when we can at least be as authentic as we are comfortable being and not worry about offending or being offended at worship. Sometimes we are not aware of when we offend, and serve as obstacles to those around us. On the other hand, I heard someone say this week that in order to practice patience and love, sometimes God places those who try our patience and are difficult to love in our paths.
Might try the clergy letter project website and see whether any of the clergy have churches in North Carolina near you (unfortunately not sorted by state but search on “, NC” should find them).
Be careful in praying for patience, especially for yourself! Then you’re given more opportunities to exercise it. On the other hand, if there is someone you’re not particularly fond of who is impatient…
I can relate to that “I don’t belong here” feeling. Our family has built relationships through several churches in town and we love the people, but something always felt off while in the group. I can definitely relate to the “you talk about the weather” comment.
We essentially gave up on our local offerings and
since mid-2020 we have done “church at home” aka online church. This opens up the world to us, and we are now remote members of the church of my youth. Obviously, it’s not the same as in-person meetings but after weighing the trade-offs we ultimately decided that we wanted to be where God is moving and in a culture of grace when it comes to the non-essentials. So our challenge changed from finding a church with right culture - which was proving next to impossible in our town - to our current struggle, which is to find fellowship in an online church world. We hope that is tractable but the jury is still out.
I’m not saying this is for you. My wife and I have been around long enough to develop relationships through various churches we have attended, and we are immensely grateful for those even though the broader culture had its issues. But if you are looking for a place with more like-minded people it seems online is where to find them.
Online communities can be a blessing although they do not replace the need for offline contacts and common services. During the covid restrictions (no live meetings, only online), it became quite evident that there is a difference between attending live meetings or only online. It would be great if there is a possibility to combine the advantages of both. Maybe even a possibility to start a home group or something like it?
What about a “Home-zoom Church”. Regardless where one lives, times can be posted somewhere, by mutual agreement, to “zoom to church”, no gas, no collection of offerings even. take recommendations for sermons or even hold “'Sermon-study” zoom meetings"
One has to walk the inner Dao whilst kow-towing to the Confucian herd mentality group think. Which is inevitably socially conservative.
Maybe after the coffee has kicked in and the big yeller bus has collected the Y. D. I’ll try this again…
While getting to physical church requires transportation, getting to zoom church requires robust internet. That’s much harder to find around me. It’s been extra windy here the last few days. Internet is in and out.
If only American exceptionalistic pride could be applied to solving a problem like that! The Michigan economy and desolate places could be lively, sustainable and enjoyed.
Home-zoom is perhaps better than one-way approaches. Zoom and comparable programs are used much in distance teaching and meetings. Good ways to tell information and discuss about it but cannot fully replace live meetings. In discussions, zoom does not show all nonverbal messages. There is also something special when believers meet together to worship and serve the Lord, online cannot catch everything about it.
I hope thats decaf…its a sin to drink cafene…drugs are bad you know, they come between you and the guiding whisperings of the Holy Spirit …you know, the still small voice that says, “what are you doing here Elijah?”
I’m not a Mormon and rejoice in the availability of well-dosed caffeine in delicious preparations. So, I’m heading now for my third cup. Almost conscious now,
“Meetup - Stepping out of the boat in bad weather”
- Sign in,
- Search for “Religion & Spirituality” Meetup near you and begin to realize there are none,
- Start one, yourself.
Sometimes coffee can be the little thing that keeps you awake during the sermon - it is much harder to listen to what the Holy Spirit tries to tell you through the sermon if you are not awake…
Living without caffeine would probably be more healthy, although opinions and the results of research projects differ in respect to coffee - one cup probably does not have great effects but are four cups per day good or bad for your health?
Anyhow, sometimes a little help in the form of coffee can be helpful when staying awake is important. Probably healthier than medication with other stuff that keeps you awake.