This is hard for me, because I don't know where to begin, I don't know what's the most important question to ask, and I also don't want to be viewed as coming from an argumentative standpoint. I am genuinely seeking answers, but have come across some roadblocks. I do not mean to offend or put anyone off. I hope I don't, as I'm doing my best to be respectful. I just have questions that I cannot find answers to on my own (yet), and I'm looking for some direction and other perspectives.
I have no support at home, my husband is an adamant atheist, and I don't know many other people. Which brings me to my first question(s).
How important is it to go to church, and how do you know what kind of church to go to?
A Christian church seems the obvious answer, but it's not as easy as that. There seems to be many different kinds of Christianity. How do you know which path is right? They all seem to claim that their way is 'the only way'. Does it really matter what denomination?
I have visited a couple of churches in my area, and the experiences have not been so great. I went to a UU Church, and they seemed to talk more about why Christianity was wrong than right. I went to a Pentecostal church, and maybe it's just inexperience, I don't know, but I got kinda freaked out. It wasn't what I thought church was I guess. Instead it was a lot of singing and dancing and laying hands and such, which ended up with them putting me on the spot right in the middle of everyone asking me to become a Christian and a member of their church. It was very uncomfortable to me, and they almost seemed offended when I declined. But there was no teaching at all - I went there to learn and didn't learn anything except the words to a couple of songs. I went to a Methodist Church and the woman (who coincidentally is my son's best friend's mother) who was ministering (I'm still unclear on what to call people - minister, pastor, preacher, reverend?) was very unsettling. She was nice enough, very welcoming, but I felt very judged. Very judged. Maybe that's just my own insecurities, too, though. I guess I just expected to feel more accepted than condemned. There weren't many people at that church though, so maybe I'm not alone in feeling that way. Then again - maybe I'm reading into it to fit my own agenda. It's hard to tell. I'm very confused. I live in a very Christian community, so there is no lack of churches to attend, it's just - how do you pick one, and how do you know it's the right one?
Are there any churches that actually teach? I feel like all the teaching is done in Sunday School for the kids, and being almost 35, I don't think I would fit in there. The Sunday services I have attended have been just reading a few verses (up to a chapter) out of the Bible and singing a song or three or four. No perspective on the readings, no other information given. I know the Bible says you're supposed to fellowship, but I can (and do) read at home. Why bother going if that's all there is? It probably sounds selfish, but I want (and feel I need) more. I honestly feel that I get more out of listening to Christian talk radio than going to church. But I have a desire and need to interact with others.
I have many more questions, and believe me, I will be asking, but I thought this was a good place to get started. I hope I haven't offended anyone by sharing my experiences, and I hope someone will be able to give me some guidance.