The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Does the church you choose really matter?


#1

I never went to church when I was a kid. In college at BYU I became LDS. Then I converted to Catholicism. The rest of my family is still LDS. If you are a Christian universalist does it really make any difference which church you belong to as long as you affirm Christ’s atonement and resurrection? Is theology regarding matters like the Trinity really important? Understanding that acceptance of Christ’s atonement and resurrection is essential, is how you live more important than what you believe? I know none of us lives perfectly, but is what you do more important than questions of theology?


#2
  1. Living righteously is certainly more important than holding correct doctrine.

  2. That said, correct doctrine is extremely important. What is true is true, regardless of innumerable falsehoods.


#3

Our unity in Christ is not based upon philosophical or theological agreement.

Our unity in Christ is based upon discipleship, mutual submission to the authority and teachings of Jesus:

After having given instructions in how to live (Matt 5, 6, and 7), Jesus said:


#4

Depends on what your idea of the church is.

I don’t ‘go to church’.

I believe that whatever church Jesus said he would build… it had very little to do with a Sunday Religious Social Club.

Living Stones.

“The Lord Most High does NOT dwell in temples made with hands” - Acts.

For me, fellowship with genuine believers can be had in the home, at the beach or down at the cafe.

Jesus is the centre of the fellowship.

No need to salaried-to serve ‘Pastors’… or ‘Elders’ to facilitate religious meetings.

I just don’t see this anywhere in the NT.

All from Rome.

Don’t need it.


#5

Welcome to the forum PATH. In your intro thread you said you come from a Pentecostal background. I have never attended a Pentecostal church. What turned you away?


#6

It depends. Sometimes, we like to identify with a church that emphasizes something:

A bible church that emphasizes the bible
A Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican or Lutheran church - that emphasizes the Eucharist
A Pentecostal church that emphasizes the “full gospel” or gifts of the spirit
A Quaker church that emphasizes sitting in silence, waiting for the spirit - to guide us to speak.
A church that emphasizes the sermon and an expert giving it.

Etc.


#7

I don’t think it matters in terms of soteriology. The main postmortem punishment texts in the Bible are about the consequences of not accepting Jesus as Lord and savior, and not loving others as ourselves. Do we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, confess Jesus is Lord, etc. That said, there are certain types of churches I wouldn’t attend. This doesn’t mean I think their members are going to be hopelessly punished.


#8

Hi qaz and randy. :slight_smile:

It’s true, and I certainly ‘did the rounds’ and checked out a bunch of different types along the spectrum.

In regards to why I left the Pentecostal Church I was a part of…

I came to a point where I didn’t believe that the ‘slaying in the Spirit’ was actually from God.

There was a bunch of stuff going on which made me question the integrity of the ‘movement’ in regards to the way Churches (in general) are established, managed etc.

It’s all big business.

Butts on seats required to pay salaries for those who like to give themselves Titles and distinguish themselves from the rest of the passive mob who are only really needed to sit down and open up the wallet.

To me, being a member of the Body of Christ means I’m a member of something universal. The ‘meetings’ or ‘gatherings’ with other believers need not be in a formally established institution with a big fat cross on the top of the building.

I understand that some people feel the need to go to a place to ‘worship’ God, but I don’t believe this to be the concept of worship we see in John 4.

I worship God within my person, not in a building.

When Jesus said he would build his church I get the impression he wasn’t referring to the crazy bunch of religious social clubs men have built for themselves, and making a tidy little income off of.

If you get my gist.

If you identify with Jesus, you’re a sibling to me. We’re family. You’re welcome in my home. Whatever I have, it’s yours. That’s how I view the ‘church’. We’re one big family in Christ. His temple… His Body. His people, and place.

Hope this helps clarify where I’m at right now. :slight_smile: