Confusion About my Church

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Bibo

New member
May 13, 2019
2
2
3
#1
I am a new Christian, and I attend a very large church. When I go to church, I feel invigorated, cleansed, refreshed, renewed, alive, in awe and filled with gratitude. Some sundays the sermon might fall flat, and I’m trying hard to understand my new faith, my church and how to bring what I’m learning into my life.
It’s all very confusing for me in so many ways... I have a very busy life with children and a full time job. I’m still trying to understand what it means to make god your first priority in your life.

My husband tells me that one of the greeters told us early on that, “it’s a nice place, but just don’t drink the kool-aid”. This was said in jest partially, but obviously this person meant something by it.

I attended a Wednesday service and it was dramatically different from the typical Sunday stuff. I was very early on in my bible readings so a lot of the in-depth references went straight over my head.
Then the head pastor started talking about demons and levitations and how the supernatural world he has been pastoring in has been a “wild trip”.
I was shocked... all the overwhelming positive feelings I had been having went down considerably... I went to different members of the church to seek understanding and I felt a little better but I still feel a little confused about it. Especially after my husband had a lengthy conversation with a former 25 year church member.
He asked her if she had ever seen a levitation and she laughed and said no.


My church teaches about speaking in tongues and I still have not gotten any further clarification about this.
They teach to fake jibberish and they call it speaking in tongues. They talk about it as being a gift that all people who are baptized should receive - but the bible doesn’t teach this at all! In fact there’s a whole chapter dedicated to how it’s a gift that some few people may receive and there should be a person present who can translate what is being said.
My church is teaching that tongues is a language only god can understand and therefore praying in “tongues” (jibberish) will bring you closer to god.


This woman that spoke to my husband said that the church is like a cult...


Should I be careful? Should I keep attending? Should I attend a different church? I don’t quite know what I’m looking for I just know that I want Gods truth, help understanding it, and a level headed approach on how to balance this world that I live in with the spiritual one.
 

Oncefallen

Idiot in Chief
Staff member
Jan 15, 2011
5,769
2,190
113
#2
Then the head pastor started talking about demons and levitations and how the supernatural world he has been pastoring in has been a “wild trip”.
This sentence would have me running out the door
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
2,103
2,253
113
64
#3
Hi @Bibo, since I see that you are new around here, let me first say, welcome to CChat :)

As for your OP, while there is no question that we have a very active enemy of our souls, and his demons are often a part of our daily Christian life/walk as a result (Satan doesn't really hate us, but he does hate the One we belong to and serve), I also wonder what your pastor means by some of the things he says, and about the things that he says he's involved in (the idea of him having something to do with "levitations" is particularly troubling :oops:).

Are you part of a particular denomination, or is yours a non-denominational church? (please don't answer if you feel uncomfortable doing so for some reason).

Thanks!

Praying for you!

God bless you! (Numbers 6:24-26)

~Deut

1 Thessalonians 5
23 May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
13,460
6,131
113
#4
Should I be careful? Should I keep attending? Should I attend a different church? I don’t quite know what I’m looking for I just know that I want Gods truth, help understanding it, and a level headed approach on how to balance this world that I live in with the spiritual one.
Given some of the things you've mentioned, you would be better served by attending another evangelical or fundamental church, which does not insist on tongue-speaking. However, take some time to read their Statements of Faith/Beliefs (which should be supported by Scriptures and which you should see for yourself).

And for a greeter to say what he said, and for the pastor to say what he said is frankly bizarre.
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
2,103
2,253
113
64
#5
Hi again @Bibo, a couple of things that were very useful to me when I was a young Christian were these:

1. Spiritual Boot Camp - it's a 4 part series that takes a close look at four of our principle spiritual disciplines, How to Study Scripture, How to Pray, How to Function in the Body (fellowship), and How to Witness. It will not only help you understand the purpose for them and broaden your understanding of them, it will also help you find practical, new ways to apply them to your walk. Go here to listen to and/or read each lecture. It's basic stuff, of course, but I'm still using some of what I learned from those tapes as a regular part of my Christian life today, 33 years later. BTW, they are free to listen to online. Just click on one of the lecture topics and have at it if you'd like to.

2. The Screwtape Letters - it's a collection of short stories by C. S. Lewis (that were originally broadcast on the radio in England by him back in the 40's, I think). I was having an extremely rough ride as a new Christian because I was constantly being attacked by Satan's demons back then. This book, though it is fictional, helped me to more quickly recognize his attacks for what they truly were, which takes care of one of the biggest problems we have, that of recognizing his attacks so that we can resist them (this is especially difficult for someone who is new to the faith).

The one odd by interesting thing about this book is that Lewis wrote it from the POV of the demons ("Screwtape is, in fact, a demon), so if you see the word "Enemy" being used in this book, it is referring to God. What you'll learn about their attacks, and how they use lies and half-truths to deceive us into believing all kinds of wrong things, makes the reading more than worthwhile. That said, it is also a Christian classic because it is such an interesting read. Quite frankly, it was hard for me to put it down :)

The best version is the 50th Anniversary Annotated Edition that you can get at here at Amazon if you'd like to (there are lots of important extras included in this edition, as well as all the various prefaces, etc., from the many revised printings that have been done over the years. You can also read it for free online here.

~Deut
 

Bibo

New member
May 13, 2019
2
2
3
#6
Hi @Bibo, since I see that you are new around here, let me first say, welcome to CChat :)

As for your OP, while there is no question that we have a very active enemy of our souls, and his demons are often a part of our daily Christian life/walk as a result (Satan doesn't really hate us, but he does hate the One we belong to and serve), I also wonder what your pastor means by some of the things he says, and about the things that he says he's involved in (the idea of him having something to do with "levitations" is particularly troubling :oops:).

Are you part of a particular denomination, or is yours a non-denominational church? (please don't answer if you feel uncomfortable doing so for some reason).

Thanks!

Praying for you!

God bless you! (Numbers 6:24-26)

~Deut

1 Thessalonians 5
23 May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
.
I am not part of any particular denomination. On the church website it says they are non denominational but another site says they are evangelical.
I don’t know what denomination I should “belong” to if any. Jesus was clear about us not being divided. I think this is important but unfortunately that’s not the reality we live in.
I attended this church because it is so big I thought if it had grown this exponentially in only 40 years, there’s got to be a reason for that. They have two services every Sunday each attended but at least 200 people... the building is massive and all the pastors seem to be very well off. There’s got to be a good reason for their success.
My kids are only one year apart and the children’s church is so huge they are in different classes! But since we’ve started going, my four year old has developed an unhealthy fear of death. She talks about it a lot and has a lot of questions.
I did attend a church for a short time as a child but I don’t recall ever even learning that Jesus has suffered on the cross, we learned about his miracles instead. I really don’t think a four year old is ready to understand that.
What is happening in this place? And how do I find another church?
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
2,103
2,253
113
64
#7
Hi @Bibo, I would start by searching the Internet to find a different church. I'm not Presbyterian any longer, but if you want to join a conservative, Bible-centered church, you probably can't go too wrong if you find a Presbyterian church that still holds to the Westminster Standards as their confession, and believes that the Bible is both inerrant and infallible.

I found a website for you that is informative about the Presbyterian Church of Canada: http://www3.telus.net/rdr/update5.html

There is also the Presbyterian Free Church (of Scotland), but they may be too far away from the kind of worship that you're used to (I believe all their singing is A Capella, for instance, but hey, why not check them out too: https://fpchurchvancouver.ca/ (just FYI, Presbyterian churches are generally not charismatic, but that is not true of all of them)

I don't know where you live, but most denominations have church finders on their websites. So, look for a church/denomination that seems to have the kind of things that you are looking for in a church on the national level first, then find a local church within that denomination to visit and see what you think.

I didn't mean to focus on Presbyterian churches only, but that's where I started and, unfortunately, I need to go right now, but at least this will give you a place to start :) I hope to be back later today (Dv).

~Deut
p.s. - is your husband ready for a change? And how about your kids? Have they made close friends at your present church? (these are some questions for you to consider, not answer online .. unless you want to, of course). One last thing, size does not necessarily equate to a church being a good church. Many of the biggest churches got that way because they have activities that their members like, and they preach sermons that tickle the congregation's ears, but that's not what a church is supposed to be all about!
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
34,982
12,548
113
#8


As a "new" Christian, I was attending a number of churches, one of which was quite large
and charismatic; that is where I was baptized after completing the Alpha course they
hosted. It was Pentecostal, and I was also attending a local Vineyard church, and
a Baptist church. I attended a service or two at other denominations which seemed
very Catholic to me, such as Lutheran and Anglican, which did not feed my Spirit at all,
and left me feeling as you describe, flat, and confused.


I eventually left the large church where I was baptized, because they brought in a new pastor
who was not teaching the Word of God on a regular basis, and Bible studies seemed more
focused on telling whom we should hate (homosexuals) which I found offensive, also.


The Baptist church was lovely, and also had many opportunities for fellowship
aside from Sunday morning, though I did eventually settle in a non-denominational
church that was seeded from Baptist churches in Kansas of all places.


We recently amalgamated with a Mennonite church, which originally caused me
some concern, though none of my fears were well-founded at all. I love my church!
The people are lovely and our elders and pastors stand on solid Biblical teachings.
We have community groups for Bible study throughout the week, as well as other
outreach and support opportunities such as prayer meetings.


I hope you are able to find something similar. Don't give up the search! :)
 
Mar 21, 2019
487
163
43
#9
I am a new Christian, and I attend a very large church. When I go to church, I feel invigorated, cleansed, refreshed, renewed, alive, in awe and filled with gratitude. Some sundays the sermon might fall flat, and I’m trying hard to understand my new faith, my church and how to bring what I’m learning into my life.
It’s all very confusing for me in so many ways... I have a very busy life with children and a full time job. I’m still trying to understand what it means to make god your first priority in your life.

My husband tells me that one of the greeters told us early on that, “it’s a nice place, but just don’t drink the kool-aid”. This was said in jest partially, but obviously this person meant something by it.
Warning sign #1.

I attended a Wednesday service and it was dramatically different from the typical Sunday stuff. I was very early on in my bible readings so a lot of the in-depth references went straight over my head.
Then the head pastor started talking about demons and levitations and how the supernatural world he has been pastoring in has been a “wild trip”.
Warning sign #2.

I was shocked... all the overwhelming positive feelings I had been having went down considerably... I went to different members of the church to seek understanding and I felt a little better but I still feel a little confused about it. Especially after my husband had a lengthy conversation with a former 25 year church member.
He asked her if she had ever seen a levitation and she laughed and said no.

My church teaches about speaking in tongues and I still have not gotten any further clarification about this.
They teach to fake jibberish and they call it speaking in tongues. They talk about it as being a gift that all people who are baptized should receive - but the bible doesn’t teach this at all! In fact there’s a whole chapter dedicated to how it’s a gift that some few people may receive and there should be a person present who can translate what is being said.
Warning sign #3.

My church is teaching that tongues is a language only god can understand and therefore praying in “tongues” (jibberish) will bring you closer to god.
Warning sign #4.

This woman that spoke to my husband said that the church is like a cult...
Warning sign #5.

Should I be careful?
Yes.
Should I keep attending?
No.
Should I attend a different church?
Yes.
I don’t quite know what I’m looking for I just know that I want Gods truth, help understanding it, and a level headed approach on how to balance this world that I live in with the spiritual one.
I counted 5 warnings that this place is some kind of a cult (or at least, a bible-rejecting church) in the text you posted.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
8,268
5,457
113
Anaheim, Cali.
#10
I am a new Christian, and I attend a very large church. When I go to church, I feel invigorated, cleansed, refreshed, renewed, alive, in awe and filled with gratitude. Some sundays the sermon might fall flat, and I’m trying hard to understand my new faith, my church and how to bring what I’m learning into my life.
It’s all very confusing for me in so many ways... I have a very busy life with children and a full time job. I’m still trying to understand what it means to make god your first priority in your life.

My husband tells me that one of the greeters told us early on that, “it’s a nice place, but just don’t drink the kool-aid”. This was said in jest partially, but obviously this person meant something by it.

I attended a Wednesday service and it was dramatically different from the typical Sunday stuff. I was very early on in my bible readings so a lot of the in-depth references went straight over my head.
Then the head pastor started talking about demons and levitations and how the supernatural world he has been pastoring in has been a “wild trip”.
I was shocked... all the overwhelming positive feelings I had been having went down considerably... I went to different members of the church to seek understanding and I felt a little better but I still feel a little confused about it. Especially after my husband had a lengthy conversation with a former 25 year church member.
He asked her if she had ever seen a levitation and she laughed and said no.


My church teaches about speaking in tongues and I still have not gotten any further clarification about this.
They teach to fake jibberish and they call it speaking in tongues. They talk about it as being a gift that all people who are baptized should receive - but the bible doesn’t teach this at all! In fact there’s a whole chapter dedicated to how it’s a gift that some few people may receive and there should be a person present who can translate what is being said.
My church is teaching that tongues is a language only god can understand and therefore praying in “tongues” (jibberish) will bring you closer to god.


This woman that spoke to my husband said that the church is like a cult...


Should I be careful? Should I keep attending? Should I attend a different church? I don’t quite know what I’m looking for I just know that I want Gods truth, help understanding it, and a level headed approach on how to balance this world that I live in with the spiritual one.
I am quite familiar. I too got involved with a mega church when I was a new Christian unfortunately mega churches draw big crowds and big money goes along with it. Mine had a lot of good ministries like witnessing groups, a men's and a women's Christian boarding house, a telephone suicide prevention ministry. Free concerts and plays. Very good bible studies in specific subjects. Television and radio ministries too.

The love of money however is the root of all evils. So they invited traveling evangelists that often contradicted each other resulting in hokum and nonsence being presented along with the truth. Visiting ministers and speakers legally are allowed to split the collection 50/50 with the venue tax free. We must put it all to the test of the word of God.

1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3. but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.


Jeremiah 14:14
"The prophets are prophesying lies in My name," the LORD replied. "I did not send them or appoint them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, a worthless divination, the futility and delusion of their own minds.


Jeremiah 23:16
This is what the LORD of Hosts says: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are filling you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.



There's nothing wrong with being careful, in fact scripture urges us to. We as humans are easily influenced and/or seduced by words the tickle our ears and tug at our heart strings. All of us have feet of clay and falter as we go. If anybody tells you different, RUN! Being as I don't know who or where you are talking about I would be WAY out of line to judge. Regarding spiritual gifts. Let 1st Corinthians 12:1 thru 13:13 be your guide. Read it all!

Welcome to the Lords family.:love:
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
6,442
2,923
113
#12
I am a new Christian, and I attend a very large church. When I go to church, I feel invigorated, cleansed, refreshed, renewed, alive, in awe and filled with gratitude. Some sundays the sermon might fall flat, and I’m trying hard to understand my new faith, my church and how to bring what I’m learning into my life.
It’s all very confusing for me in so many ways... I have a very busy life with children and a full time job. I’m still trying to understand what it means to make god your first priority in your life.

My husband tells me that one of the greeters told us early on that, “it’s a nice place, but just don’t drink the kool-aid”. This was said in jest partially, but obviously this person meant something by it.

I attended a Wednesday service and it was dramatically different from the typical Sunday stuff. I was very early on in my bible readings so a lot of the in-depth references went straight over my head.
Then the head pastor started talking about demons and levitations and how the supernatural world he has been pastoring in has been a “wild trip”.
I was shocked... all the overwhelming positive feelings I had been having went down considerably... I went to different members of the church to seek understanding and I felt a little better but I still feel a little confused about it. Especially after my husband had a lengthy conversation with a former 25 year church member.
He asked her if she had ever seen a levitation and she laughed and said no.


My church teaches about speaking in tongues and I still have not gotten any further clarification about this.
They teach to fake jibberish and they call it speaking in tongues. They talk about it as being a gift that all people who are baptized should receive - but the bible doesn’t teach this at all! In fact there’s a whole chapter dedicated to how it’s a gift that some few people may receive and there should be a person present who can translate what is being said.
My church is teaching that tongues is a language only god can understand and therefore praying in “tongues” (jibberish) will bring you closer to god.


This woman that spoke to my husband said that the church is like a cult...


Should I be careful? Should I keep attending? Should I attend a different church? I don’t quite know what I’m looking for I just know that I want Gods truth, help understanding it, and a level headed approach on how to balance this world that I live in with the spiritual one.
I often find it strange that people who read the Bible and see false teachings being promoted in the church they attend stay there and accept the false teachings... If i was ever in a church that was teaching something that sounded totally un-biblical to me i would do my due diligence and investigate the issue to the point of being certain that teaching is un-biblical and then that's the last time you would ever see me attending that church..
 
Mar 21, 2019
487
163
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#13
I often find it strange that people who read the Bible and see false teachings being promoted in the church they attend stay there and accept the false teachings... If i was ever in a church that was teaching something that sounded totally un-biblical to me i would do my due diligence and investigate the issue to the point of being certain that teaching is un-biblical and then that's the last time you would ever see me attending that church..
And where do you go? Not everyone is as fortunate as you, where there is a biblically-sound church on every street corner.
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
6,442
2,923
113
#14
And where do you go? Not everyone is as fortunate as you, where there is a biblically-sound church on every street corner.
Where do you go? ... Let me ask, do you think your salvation is dependent on your attendance at a Church? I don't..

If there are no Biblically sound Churches in your area then don't attend any of them..
 
Mar 21, 2019
487
163
43
#15
Where do you go? ... Let me ask, do you think your salvation is dependent on your attendance at a Church? I don't..

If there are no Biblically sound Churches in your area then don't attend any of them..
Do you think salvation is dependent on being biblically sound? I don't. So even though some Christians may be wrong about some things, we're commanded in scripture not to give up meeting together. So in many cases, I see attending a church that may have some doctrinal flaws better than no church at all. Although, some doctrinal flaws can be severe enough to be damnable heresies. I'm not saying one should attend those churches.
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
6,442
2,923
113
#16
Do you think salvation is dependent on being biblically sound? I don't. So even though some Christians may be wrong about some things, we're commanded in scripture not to give up meeting together. So in many cases, I see attending a church that may have some doctrinal flaws better than no church at all. Although, some doctrinal flaws can be severe enough to be damnable heresies. I'm not saying one should attend those churches.
How does one know they are following the real Jesus revealed in the Holy Bible?

One knows they are following the real Messiah Jesus when they know and believe in His Word..

Now if i remain an affirming member of a Chruch that teaches doctrine that is not from Jesus or if i remain an affirming member of a Church that refuses to affirm the true Word of Jesus Christ.. Who then is the jesus i would then be following?

Is it the LORD Jesus who has the real Authority and Power to Redeem me?

Or is it another jesus that does not exist and cannot save me?

If a person does not know the real Jesus then when they face the actual Jesus on the day of judgement and cry LORD LORD did i not attend church each week and worship you? Will the actual real Jesus that saves,, whom that person never actually believed,, then say "" I never knew you: depart from me ""

""some doctrinal flaws can be severe enough to be damnable heresies""
And what do you rely upon to make a judgement call on what false doctrines you personally think are unacceptable and what false doctrine are acceptable?

Personaly i will play it safe and draw that line on any false doctrine..
 
Mar 21, 2019
487
163
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#17
How does one know they are following the real Jesus revealed in the Holy Bible?

One knows they are following the real Messiah Jesus when they know and believe in His Word..

Now if i remain an affirming member of a Chruch that teaches doctrine that is not from Jesus or if i remain an affirming member of a Church that refuses to affirm the true Word of Jesus Christ.. Who then is the jesus i would then be following?

Is it the LORD Jesus who has the real Authority and Power to Redeem me?

Or is it another jesus that does not exist and cannot save me?

If a person does not know the real Jesus then when they face the actual Jesus on the day of judgement and cry LORD LORD did i not attend church each week and worship you? Will the actual real Jesus that saves,, whom that person never actually believed,, then say "" I never knew you: depart from me ""

And what do you rely upon to make a judgement call on what false doctrines you personally think are unacceptable and what false doctrine are acceptable?

Personaly i will play it safe and draw that line on any false doctrine..
Some Christians believe women can teach in church, others believe they can't. Some believe the Jews are still God's Chosen people, others believe God is finished with the Jews and is now dealing with the entirety of the Earth through Jesus. Some people believe in evolution, some believe God created. Some people believe the Earth is a ball, others believe scripture quite plainly teaches it is flat. There are scriptural and unscriptural answers for all the above. But just because some Christians may get the doctrines wrong, I don't believe that means we should give up meeting together. The meeting together of Christians is a commandment, and it is only when false doctrine affects salvation - e.g. through denying the deity of Christ, of salvation through His work, etc. that I would agree that withdrawing from that community is the biblical approach.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
8,268
5,457
113
Anaheim, Cali.
#18
I personally will not join a church that isn't a full gospel, bible believing, salvation by grace and faith, teaching fellowship. There's plenty of pseudo Christian churches that believe in junk like salvation by ceremonies or sacraments, salvation by works or race or birthright. Not to mention LDS, JW, Christian Science, Scientology etc. Pretending to believe just to be a part of something bigger is a lie. The Lord can see right through it. Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil!
 
May 17, 2019
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#19
I personally will not join a church that isn't a full gospel, bible believing, salvation by grace and faith, teaching fellowship. There's plenty of pseudo Christian churches that believe in junk like salvation by ceremonies or sacraments, salvation by works or race or birthright. Not to mention LDS, JW, Christian Science, Scientology etc. Pretending to believe just to be a part of something bigger is a lie. The Lord can see right through it. Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil!
 
May 17, 2019
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103
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#20
I totally agree with everything in this post. I attended church as a child through teenager, but did not know anything about a personal relationship with Jesus, accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, until my friend became a Christian when we were 18 and I saw the incredible changes that he went through.. evemtually becoming a Baptist pastor. I was in my 40's when I attended an ALPHA course, and learned about the power of the holy spirit! What had I missed all those years? Did I only hear what I wanted to hear? I don't know, but, I do believe that some churches are more interested in entertaining with uplifting music, and interesting sermons, than actually focusing on God. I was searching for a church, and attended a community church, and the pastor asked if anyone had a Bible! What kind of pastor doesn't even have a Bible?