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Question about churches/Denominations

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I think that it is often very easy to confuse what salvation, christianity and being in a relationship with God really are. Most people think that being a good person is the goal or requirement. But honestly being a good person just doesn't factor into what the foundation of christianity is. If you would like to learn some basic of the christian faith without nonessential additions, I would recommend reading mere christianity by c.s. lewis.
No, I understand.

Romans 3:10-11 New International Version (NIV)
10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God."

It is all about Jesus. Right? I disagree. It is all about your temple; how you think, what you say, what you do; mind, body, and spirit.
 
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No, I understand.

Romans 3:10-11 New International Version (NIV)
10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God."

It is all about Jesus. Right? I disagree. It is all about your temple; how you think, what you say, what you do; mind, body, and spirit.
It is all about Jesus's love for us.

If you like we could discuss this more in depth.
 
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I attend a Lutheran Church with my boyfriend. It is very formal, and there are not any young people around our age. (We are in our 20s) I would like to suggest for him a different church. We live in a big city, so I am sure there is something of that kind. Can you suggest for me some churches, or denominations that are a bit informal and at the same time welcoming to young people who are very new to the faith, or perhaps in the process of becoming Christians ?

Thank you,

I've been reading this thread and wanting to chime in, but the discussion is pretty heavy. BubbleFlower you remind me of myself in many ways....a younger version of myself. I'm 53 but I don't mean to infer that my age means I know more than you....I don't, but I do know 'different' than you, if that butchered syntax makes any sense :smile: And you likewise know different than me.

In reading through the thread you strike me as what I call a seeker....someone seeking spirtiual fulfilment, and you've meandered into the Jesus store so to speak....to see if perhaps you can find something or somethings that fit. If I'm reading your messages correctly it seems you've found some things that don't fit....there are some pretty brutal passages in the Bible, especially the Old Testament. Take David's story of Bathsheba....how he bedded the wife of a good and devoted man and then had that man murdered to cover up his sin. Or how about Moses arriving at the end of a battle and admonishing his military leaders for not killing the women and children, suggesting that any virgins could of course be taken for concubines. Pretty brutal stuff.

So why is that stuff in the Bible you might ask? It sounds more like something from a tabloid paper. Here's the way I look on it now, which isn't the way I always looked upon it. Its life, and David and Moses and everyone in the Bible save for One Person, they're all imperfect. But even in our in imperfection God wants to have a relationship with us, His creation. And we want to have a relationship with Him. I don't think you could name a culture or a people in the entire history of humankind that hasn't developed some spiritual belief system, some way to try and connect to the divine.

My faith tells me that God is perfect, and my life tells me that I am not. How can something imperfect be reconciled with something that is perfect? That's where the person of Jesus Christ comes in.....He washes me clean of my imperfection, of my sins, and he did that by going to the cross.

I quoted your original post because you muse about finding a church that would be welcoming of those who are 'perhaps' in the process of becoming Christians.

In reading your thoughts in messages that follow though, I was wondering if you could expound on how you would define someone who is a Christian? I have my definition.....and its pretty standard. Belief in Jesus as the son of God, that he went to the cross for the forgiveness of my (and everyone's) sins, and that he rose and then ascended into heaven.

I'll end it here because I don't even know if you're still following this thread.
 
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PEOPLE IN THE BIBLE WERE NO DIFFERENT THAN WE ARE NOW. WE ALL SIN AND WE ALL NEED SALVATION. AND GOD IS SHOWING US THAT NO MATTER WHAT WE'VE DONE / WHERE WE'VE BEEN -- WHEN WE ACKNOWLEDGE OUR NEED FOR HIM / HIS SALVATION -- REPENT AND ACCEPT HIM AS OUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR -- HE CAN / WILL USE US. AND EVEN WHEN -- AS A BELIEVER -- WE FIND OURSELVES IN MESSES -- HE CAN AND STILL DOES FORGIVE US.

YES, IT'S THE CROSS OF CALVARY -- THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. SALVATION IS THERE AND NO PLACE ELSE.
 
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A. Christian

You say it is all about Jesus's love for us. I do not think that theology/belief/idea is great for our society. It encourages irresponsibility towards the Self and others. Christianity also contradicts itself on the concept of love all the time. You have an eternal hell for those who do not believe, even if they were good and decent. Am I wrong?

StrugglingInCanada

Hello there. I am born Canadian. It is nice to meet you. I follow the thread, but I am slow sometimes. College leaves me no much time.

I am sure some of my philosophical ideas will change. I evolve as I grow up and I question my beliefs all the times. What I believe now might be different from 10 years from now.

I validated my beliefs many times but I do not go to others and tell them to follow my path.

You said, "I don't think you could name a culture or a people in the entire history of humankind that hasn't developed some spiritual belief system, some way to try and connect to the divine."

We are all influenced by Christian concepts in our society. There is no way around it. Most people believed because they were told so. Nothing more than that. If you were told green was red as a child, you would definitely believe that for a very long time. I was not born in any religion. My mother allowed me to think for myself and even my ideas today differ so much from what my parents believed. It is true people created spiritual belief systems to connect with the divine but most spiritual paths today look the same to me. I do not distinguish between Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and these new age religions. They are all the way in the south and me up in the north.

My spirituality is individualistic. My goal is far away from connecting with a divine source. There is nothing supernatural in my path. I am connecting with forces in nature the same way my ancestors did. There is no deity, but the Self.


Sue,

Calm down. There is only a piece of hair between Christianity and me actually. I even spoke to my mother about that possibility of becoming a Christian. It is my love for my partner. None of you could even grasp tiny pieces of that love, yet some of you claim to understand what Divine love is! This cognitive dissonance within the religious mind amuses me. You really think I can be a Christian in a blink of eye! Repent and accept! Wow! You do not question your beliefs or validate them. I do all the way.

I am gentile. Jesus's Spiritual teachings is what I value, not his blood. My sister died of leukemia. That is a cancer of the body's blood. Every year in the U.S. alone there are more than 15,000 children between the ages of birth and 16 years of age who are diagnosed with cancer. You have no idea what kind of pain my family went through. If your God is the only one in existence, I do not think this God; this Jehovah loved my blood much or the blood of those children. You started this blood thing again. It is very inappropriate and sounds cultic. I will not say more. I have to take your age into consideration, but you are from Texas, you should be able to take some of heat. Do not tell me it is provoking again. I respect your path, but we all need to co-exist. What do you mean he can use you? I do not get that one.
 
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@BubbleFlower -- my keyboard is back to normal. No more all caps. Apparently the All CAPS made it look like I was upset. You requested that I should calm down.

I'm sorry to hear that your sister died of leukemia. And, I'm aware of what that disease is. Cancer of the blood. So you're saying that you believe that God does not like blood very much because He allows people do die from blood cancer?!
Would you say the same thing about bone, breast cancer?

Yes, I'm aware of the pain that the death of a loved one is like.

And, yes, the God of the Bible IS the only One who really does exist.

No need to take my age into Any consideration. And, yes, Texas Can be a very hot state. So???? I don't intend to get into any 'heated' discussions. At least not here in open forum. Exchanging points of view, yes, Arguing no.

I was married to my husband for 46 yrs. so, yes, I DO know what love feels like for a spouse or that of a very special person in one's life.

And, yes, a person Can accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and be saved in an instant.

God's Word tells us the one and only way to be able to enter heaven. salvation is Not about a person's good works. It's God's Word that tells us about heaven and hell. And it's all about Jesus Christ dying on the cross in our place. It's all about His blood being shed for us.

My Grandmother on my Dad's side of the family decided that Christianity was not for her -- she said it was a bloody religion and she didn't like blood. I was very sorry to hear that.

Take a look at Hebrews 9:7 - 15.

Life is in the blood. Through the blood of Christ -- God sees us as though we'd never sinned. It's called justification.

There's a Big difference in Christianity -- Christianity has the only Risen Savior. Christianity is what Jesus Christ has already done on the cross for us.

Why are my comment inappropriate and sound cultish -- talking about blood 'again'.

A few years ago -- there were half a dozen or so ladies from church who had breast cancer. Hmmm -- I brought that up earlier in this post. Will let you respond back to that.

I was just looking back at what I'd shared. God can use us no matter what kind of mess we've been in. You asked what I meant by that comment. God has a plan for each one of us. He uses 'us' to reach others for Himself -- to help spread His Word. To comfort one another. When we 'mess up' -- it doesn't mean we're put on a shelf somewhere and ignored.

God's love can feel like a mystery. Unconditional love. "For God so loved the world, that He Gave. ...."

Lots of Society looks at 'love' in a sexual manner. Love can be shown in many ways. Our love for our Grandparents is shown differently than love for our puppy or chocolate cake or our spouse or our children.
 
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StrugglingInCanada

Hello there. I am born Canadian. It is nice to meet you. I follow the thread, but I am slow sometimes. College leaves me no much time.

You said, "I don't think you could name a culture or a people in the entire history of humankind that hasn't developed some spiritual belief system, some way to try and connect to the divine."

We are all influenced by Christian concepts in our society. There is no way around it. Most people believed because they were told so. Nothing more than that. If you were told green was red as a child, you would definitely believe that for a very long time. I was not born in any religion. My mother allowed me to think for myself and even my ideas today differ so much from what my parents believed. It is true people created spiritual belief systems to connect with the divine but most spiritual paths today look the same to me. I do not distinguish between Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and these new age religions. They are all the way in the south and me up in the north.

My spirituality is individualistic. My goal is far away from connecting with a divine source. There is nothing supernatural in my path. I am connecting with forces in nature the same way my ancestors did. There is no deity, but the Self.
BubbleFlower....you seem to be in pretty much lockstep with the culture I believe, there is no deity (God) but the self. I would submit that self worship is all the rage right now, everyone has their own existential reality and the concept of universal or absolute truth is considered yesterday's thinking. The Christian influences you say influence our society, I would argue that those few that still exist, that they are in steady decline. I'm sure you're aware of 'confirmation bias'. For non-Christians I imagine that they're typically sensitive to anything Christian in the broader culture, and they point and say..."Look, there's another one...its everyhwere"!!! Christians on the other hand tend to notice when things disappear, like prayer in the public schools, and we think: "Goodness me, there's nothing left". As is often the case, reality likely lies between the two extremes.

As for people believing what they're told to believe...'because they were told so'. That is certainly true to a large extent, most Christians have parents who are or were Christians...and likewise with Muslims, Jews, Hindus and other faiths. I'm a Christian, and I was brought up attending church....and although I spent my 20s and 30s largely removed from the faith....since about the age of 40 I have been working my way back into a relationship with Christ Jesus. I spent a lot of the time wandering in the desert and examining other faith traditions and beliefs...pagan, Buddha, Zoroastrian, new age eastern philosophies etc.

I'd like you to consider Christianity at its infancy however, some 2000 years ago after Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension.

When Christianity first appeared it spread like wildfire throughout the known world....all over Europe, North Africa and into Asia. But people weren't TOLD TO follow "the way", quite the opposite....many if not most at that time followed Jesus at risk of persecution, imprisonment and death. My youngest son, (he's 6 now, born after I remarried 7+ years ago) is named after a Roman Centurion by the name of Hadrian. It is said that Hadrian asked Christians due to be executed why they simply didn't reject their faith and acknowledge the Emperor as God so that they could live. After hearing the testimony of these doomed Christians Hadrian converted and was executed with his remains burned.

What compelled Hadrian and countless others to convert to this new "pagan" religion (the Romans considered Christians to be pagans, or a new sect of Jews) and risk so much?

I think I know, and its not because of religion, but relationship......Christ calls on us to be in communion with God, to call him Father, Abba or Daddy. While compared to other faiths, Jesus taught that to lead meant to follow, that the first was to be last. Jesus didn't send someone else to the cross as a human sacrifice, He went Himself. That is in direct contradiction to pretty much every other faith of which I'm aware....leaders of other faiths don't serve, they expect to be served...dressed in finery and living in luxury. Do note, I'm placing Jesus as the head of "The Church", not anyone else.

Is that the way "The Church" is now? It depends on how you look at it. After Rome co opted the Christian faith as the state religion there were a lot of changes of course. The old Roman Republic had something called a "Pontiff". a member of the most illustrious of the colleges of priests of Rome's polytheistic religion. Whenever a body like the Roman Senate was considering something like military action they would consult these high priests, the pontiffs in turn would engage in divination, practices like gutting pigs and reading the entrails for omens and signs from 'the gods'. As I'm sure you're aware Rome brought in a Pope and the college of Cardinals....and after centuries of abuse the faith splintered into all manner of reformation movements. Even some reformations led to further reformations, something that continues even today....But I would submit that no movement or denomination is superior to the true head of The Church who is of course Jesus Christ.

I attend a Reformed Church in Canada, and it is far from perfect....if it was perfect then it ceased being so as soon as I started attending. With that being said I believe it helps build my relationship with Christ and brings me into closer communion with God.

I am enjoying this dialogue....it helps my faith to proclaim it, and an advantage to doing it on a social media site such as this....it allows me to work through my thinking without interruption or attempts at argument.
 
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Yes, Christianity is all about Relationship. God wants relationship with us. It's only possibly through Jesus Christ. And Christianity is what Jesus Christ has done on the cross For us, in our place. His blood being shed for us.
 
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@ Sue D.

Ok. Glad it was your keyboard. I thought you were angry with me because I do not believe in your faith. I guess my experience with my boyfriend's parents made me think that way but so far, all people here who posted are kind. I am not perfect. I can say mean things. I feel insecure when it comes to my boyfriend. I was thinking about becoming a Christian only to protect this relationship. That is why I read the entire bible in about a year. I do not think I can be a Christian, instantly. It is also NOT the bloody things or the harsh things people did in the bible. It is more about the philosophy and the teachings in the bible. They are not for me. It destroys the Will and kills the instinct within us.

No. I do not believe God does not like blood, because he allows people do die from blood cancer. I just meant to ask why; why he does not stop these things from happening if you believe he is the only God there. I do not believe the Christian God exists to blame him for anything. I am a deist for the most part and I do not believe in literal Gods. I believe in Spirituality.

Can you tell me more about you Grandmother, and how you dealt with something like that in your family? Did you love her and accept her way? I ask these questions because in my relationship, I encountered something like that with my boyfriend. His parents think he is making a deadly mistake dating me, and I decided to cut all ties with his family. This is why I insisted on a different Church. I want to protect my relationship.

-- I meant that we talked about this "blood" thing before, if you go to the first page.

It is this link: ( Click here )

You said, "Lots of Society looks at 'love' in a sexual manner."

I often see contradictions about this. Sex brings a couple closer in a relationship. When you have sex with someone, you are making love together. I am very sexual woman. Sexuality is one of my best features.

Of course, Christianity does not like sexual things. The church want women to be powerless. This nearly destroyed my relationship in the past. When I first met my bf, we had sex one or two times, and then later in this relationship it stopped completely. I talked to him and I found out he suffers from sexual guilt. I had to drag him with me to counselling. He needs treatment.

If there is something that really makes me hate religions in general, it is this cognitive dissonance every time. I am disgusted to know how people are divorced from nature in this world to the point where they think sex is wrong, until you marry that person. I was born and my parents were not married, until way later. Probably, I was 5~6 years old. It did not make any difference to me. Marriage is a ritual and a tradition. It is about the relationship with God, not the ritual and good works, right? Now tell me about it more. How comes that does not apply in my relationship?

By the way, the Song of Solomon is one my favorite parts in the bible. If that is not sexual, then what is sexuality to you?
 
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@ StrugglingInCanada

It has nothing to do with culture. I am taking about the True Self, not the self. The self is the only thing that can evolve in my Spiritual philosophy. The act of worship itself is self-degrading. The Divine (God) dwells within the mind, the spirit, and the body of the individual in a Spiritual process called initiation.

You said, " I spent a lot of the time wandering in the desert and examining other faith traditions and beliefs...pagan, Buddha, Zoroastrian, new age eastern philosophies etc."

Can we discuss this? You said you were wandering in the desert. Can you please tell me why there was no water in any of these traditions and belief? Every one of them got great ideas that I liked when I was studying religions. I do not want to hurt your feelings, but I would choose any of those traditions you mentioned over Christianity. It is because I am born a woman. Christianity hates women so much.

I am not sensitive to anything Christian, but do not compare Canada to the US. I am born Canadian, I go there nearly every week actually, and I can tell you; you are more likely to meet someone on the street preaching to you in the US than in Canada. More religious bigotry you will find here in the US.

Here, in some states you probably should watch what you say around people all the time. You may lose your job just for stating your opinion about God, Gay rights, or abortion. I did not notice prayers in my public schools, but my mom said everyone around her was Christian and she told me everyone gave lectures to unbelievers. She had to hide what she actually believes. I probably will not speak publicly about God in Texas, I do not want someone to poison my lunch.

Regarding the public schools, it is worse sometimes. When I was around 14~15, I witnessed my teacher telling a little girl to hide her necklace. She did not tell the other kids who were Christians to do the same. I remember this vividly, because one of my friends wore a cross everyday. She only picked on that girl because she was a Wiccan. I could not count the times I witnessed Christians preaching in my university campus. They always try to pick on younger people from my generation. I have always avoided speaking to them. It is funny that I cannot avoid it now, because my boyfriend is a Christian.

You said, " When Christianity first appeared it spread like wildfire throughout the known world....all over Europe, North Africa and into Asia. But people weren't TOLD TO follow "the way", quite the opposite....many if not most at that time followed Jesus at risk of persecution, imprisonment and death."

The things you mentioned here about the Romans is not accurate and it contradicts the truth and reality. The Roman government, and the Romans in general were very tolerant towards most religions. History proved this. It is the Christians who were intolerant towards other religions! They were blaspheming Roman idols even in public! You know what happened next after the Christian faith took control; the crusades, the Catholic-Protestant wars, the inquisitions, the witch-hunts , etc… Christians burned other Christians alive only because they disagreed with them. If we were living in that age, you would probably try to kill me.

It seems you like the Roman history. I suggest you watch a movie called Agora. It is very interesting and one of the best movies I have ever seen. It shows how the Church has always fought against brave women in our history. You always say it is a relationship with Jesus, but there is also a destructive side to the story that you're trying to acknowledge about the Christian faith.

All religions and spiritual path originated in the stars and the planets. Jesus is God's SUN as I mentioned before on this platform. Let me now rephrase what you said before. You cannot name a culture in the entire history of humankind that has not developed a spiritual belief system based on these planets or stars in the heavens. I am a daughter of the stars.
 
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I'll have more to say on this later, but I wanted to share something written by Emperor Julian about Christians, he was the Emperor who followed Constantine....and Julian wasn't happy with the decision his predecessor made in making the Roman Empire Christian. For the first 300 years (give or take) the Roman Empire was not Christian and periods of persecution were interspersed with periods of tolerance. Here's the quote from Julian:
"Atheism [I.e. the Christian faith!] has been specially advanced through the loving service rendered to strangers, and through their care for the burial of the dead. It is a scandal that there is not a single Jew who is a beggar, and that the godless Galileans care not only for their own poor but for ours as well; while those who belong to us look in vain for the help that we should render them.”
 
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@ Sue D.

Ok. Glad it was your keyboard. I thought you were angry with me because I do not believe in your faith. I guess my experience with my boyfriend's parents made me think that way but so far, all people here who posted are kind. I am not perfect. I can say mean things. I feel insecure when it comes to my boyfriend. I was thinking about becoming a Christian only to protect this relationship. That is why I read the entire bible in about a year. I do not think I can be a Christian, instantly. It is also NOT the bloody things or the harsh things people did in the bible. It is more about the philosophy and the teachings in the bible. They are not for me. It destroys the Will and kills the instinct within us.

No. I do not believe God does not like blood, because he allows people do die from blood cancer. I just meant to ask why; why he does not stop these things from happening if you believe he is the only God there. I do not believe the Christian God exists to blame him for anything. I am a deist for the most part and I do not believe in literal Gods. I believe in Spirituality.

Can you tell me more about you Grandmother, and how you dealt with something like that in your family? Did you love her and accept her way? I ask these questions because in my relationship, I encountered something like that with my boyfriend. His parents think he is making a deadly mistake dating me, and I decided to cut all ties with his family. This is why I insisted on a different Church. I want to protect my relationship.

-- I meant that we talked about this "blood" thing before, if you go to the first page.

It is this link: ( Click here )

You said, "Lots of Society looks at 'love' in a sexual manner."

I often see contradictions about this. Sex brings a couple closer in a relationship. When you have sex with someone, you are making love together. I am very sexual woman. Sexuality is one of my best features.

Of course, Christianity does not like sexual things. The church want women to be powerless. This nearly destroyed my relationship in the past. When I first met my bf, we had sex one or two times, and then later in this relationship it stopped completely. I talked to him and I found out he suffers from sexual guilt. I had to drag him with me to counselling. He needs treatment.

If there is something that really makes me hate religions in general, it is this cognitive dissonance every time. I am disgusted to know how people are divorced from nature in this world to the point where they think sex is wrong, until you marry that person. I was born and my parents were not married, until way later. Probably, I was 5~6 years old. It did not make any difference to me. Marriage is a ritual and a tradition. It is about the relationship with God, not the ritual and good works, right? Now tell me about it more. How comes that does not apply in my relationship?

By the way, the Song of Solomon is one my favorite parts in the bible. If that is not sexual, then what is sexuality to you?


Hi BubbleFlower -- Not sure How to respond to you, but here goes some of my thoughts.

Christianity is very freeing to those who accept It. I've never heard Christianity from you particular perspective. What Is 'spirituality' if it Isn't God -- our response to an inner need that everyone Does Have.

Unfortunately I was very young when she came to live with us. And she had already turned herself 'off' to most socialization -- she was hard of hearing. She was a staunch believer that as an Eisenhauer who's relatives came from Germany -- that she was related to former President Eisenhauer. She was widowed when my Dad was 14 yrs. old. I was only around her a handful of times. My Dad was raised in New Jersey -- by the time she'd gotten older, she ended up going from nursing home to nursing home. Apparently it was by mutual agreement that she moved out to Iowa where we lived. She stayed with my folks for a while until there was a home locally where she ended up in. I do remember that when my Mother would have her Ladies' group to our house, that Grandma would be included. But she'd turn her hearing aid off so that they couldn't hear any conversation. I never really knew about her after she moved out of our house. My parents were very Bible and we were in church all the time. Wonderful Bible teaching, church choirs,youth camps. A wonderful time to be growing up.

That which Bible teaches is that believers are only to marry other believers. That way God can be the foundation for their marriage. And sure there are Lots of marriages where that is Not the case. And the divorce rate is about 50/50.
 
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@ Sue D.

Ok. Glad it was your keyboard. I thought you were angry with me because I do not believe in your faith. I guess my experience with my boyfriend's parents made me think that way but so far, all people here who posted are kind. I am not perfect. I can say mean things. I feel insecure when it comes to my boyfriend. I was thinking about becoming a Christian only to protect this relationship. That is why I read the entire bible in about a year. I do not think I can be a Christian, instantly. It is also NOT the bloody things or the harsh things people did in the bible. It is more about the philosophy and the teachings in the bible. They are not for me. It destroys the Will and kills the instinct within us.

No. I do not believe God does not like blood, because he allows people do die from blood cancer. I just meant to ask why; why he does not stop these things from happening if you believe he is the only God there. I do not believe the Christian God exists to blame him for anything. I am a deist for the most part and I do not believe in literal Gods. I believe in Spirituality.

Can you tell me more about you Grandmother, and how you dealt with something like that in your family? Did you love her and accept her way? I ask these questions because in my relationship, I encountered something like that with my boyfriend. His parents think he is making a deadly mistake dating me, and I decided to cut all ties with his family. This is why I insisted on a different Church. I want to protect my relationship.

-- I meant that we talked about this "blood" thing before, if you go to the first page.

It is this link: ( Click here )

You said, "Lots of Society looks at 'love' in a sexual manner."

I often see contradictions about this. Sex brings a couple closer in a relationship. When you have sex with someone, you are making love together. I am very sexual woman. Sexuality is one of my best features.

Of course, Christianity does not like sexual things. The church want women to be powerless. This nearly destroyed my relationship in the past. When I first met my bf, we had sex one or two times, and then later in this relationship it stopped completely. I talked to him and I found out he suffers from sexual guilt. I had to drag him with me to counselling. He needs treatment.

If there is something that really makes me hate religions in general, it is this cognitive dissonance every time. I am disgusted to know how people are divorced from nature in this world to the point where they think sex is wrong, until you marry that person. I was born and my parents were not married, until way later. Probably, I was 5~6 years old. It did not make any difference to me. Marriage is a ritual and a tradition. It is about the relationship with God, not the ritual and good works, right? Now tell me about it more. How comes that does not apply in my relationship?

By the way, the Song of Solomon is one my favorite parts in the bible. If that is not sexual, then what is sexuality to you?


Will continue -- I can understand why his parents would feel that he's making a mistake marrying you. There needs to be spiritual unity between the two of you.

For a married couple -- sex Does bring a couple closer together. Sex should not be 'making love' , but expressing the love that already does exist. God created us to be sexual people -- but the sex is Supposed to be expressed only in the confines of a marriage.

Your boyfriend does not need 'treatment' -- he Is responding to God's Word saying to not have a sexual relationship before marriage. So, yes, he Was experiencing guilt for having had the sexual experience with you Before marriage.

Not sure what you meant by 'cognitive dissonance' -- a psychology term probably.

It's part of God's Word -- sex is to be very special -- within marriage. And, yes, 'life' Needs to be about our personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And our salvation is Not about good works.

As a non-believer, you're free to marry any one you want to. And in lots of states, you could marry another woman if you wanted to. However, a person who wants to follow God's Way of living -- and its' really the best way -- we follow His guidelines for who to marry. Now -- in your particular situation -- you are the non-believer who's in love with a believer. 11 Corinthians 6:14 says "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" and I know that That sounds harsh. But try picturing two people / animals being yoked together. Back then, people were agrarian -- farmers -- they plowed their field with oxen. If there are two oxen of the same size , they will pull the plow at the same pace and the same direction. But if two of a different size are put together chances are that they will struggle most of the time as to the direction they are going. And so -- it makes more sense to have two who are working together -- the same size. Marriage can be difficult enough with two people having the same religious beliefs -- let alone trying to have one going one way and the other going Another way. And then when children come along. Well -- how does that child get taught / trained. And That is what brings a lot of families Back to church or To church in the first place. Cause it's no longer just about two of them -- but about 'them as a Family'.

And lots of people / couples probably have the same concept as your parents. And, of course it wouldn't make any difference to you. And yes, marriage Is a ritual and a tradition -- started by God, Himself. He joined Adam and Eve together and then they had children.

The Song of Solomon Is about Marital love -- and That Is beautiful. And, yes, it Is very sexual. Just the way God has meant it to be.

So -- if you really do love your boyfriend -- go talk to his pastor -- be on the same spiritual plane / level / as he is. Search your own heart. Separating yourself from his parents and trying to go to another church Isn't really going to solve anything. And, sometimes -- being a loving person Means to give up on a particular relationship. Sorry to say this -- but if he's a wise young man, he will see the wisdom of breaking up with you until you get your relationship with God where it needs to be.

Your willingness To read your Bible through in a year is commendable. have you asked God to guide your understanding?
 
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Sex is supposed to be expressed only in a marriage is a dogmatic nonsense. That is just so very absurd and laughable at the same time. I was in one of these open relationships, meaning I had more than one romantic partner.

Marriage is a 'silly' ritual originated in pagan beliefs way before Christianity. It is not a Christian invention. Even the wedding ring represents Saturn. So here you go. If he did not have sex, I doubt this relationship would have lasted this long. That actually was the first necessary step to liberate him from all this religious sickness. He will thank me for it later. Sex repression is the cleverest idea religion came up with to control the masses. It is deeply psychological warfare.

Yes. He needs treatment, and he is getting it now because he agreed to talk about it with an excellent relationship Coach/counsellor. He is not the only one suffering from this and will not be the last one. We have a long way to go but he is actually happier now. We still do everything else in this relationship, but not the intercourse. It is all the same in the end. This is related to my field of study. Do not you trust that I would know something about guilt and other things buried deeply in the unconscious mind? Actually, I am working on a research paper about these things for the university. I am happy to share with you one of Sigmund Freud theories about the things we repress all the time. They are all still there. They NEVER go away. So what do you want him to do --- to look at pornography, instead? Maybe you should read something outside of your bible once.

I did more research on 11 Corinthians 6:14 than you can ever imagine before I came to these forums and even some Christians say this is not about dating or marriages. I do not care anyway. It is something he has to bear. The darkness is not evil. You cannot have light without darkness, ever. Same with love. You cannot have love without hate, ever. We all have dualities within us. Only religion like yours teaches that one duality is good and the other is evil. Of course, your religion claims you are on the side of good all the time, and others are the devil. Is that going to surprise me?

People are not oxen. Your example does not hold well. Many Christians are married to non-Christians and have successful marriages. They have children and are very happy. Paul thinks it is better not to marry even. So why do not you all do that? That is the end of the human race for you if you listen to all the nonsense Paul says. Paul is so strange and a bit cocky, too. Go figure what are his problems. I do not take my lessons from criminals. This is someone who God literally smacked him to change him according to the bible. I always found that funny.

By the way, I am in a very bad mood now, because of the last thing you said that my bf should leave me. I could spit on someone for saying things like that to me, but I will say only thank you. I was thinking that you are a decent good person, but I am not sure anymore. Do not you think that you are hurting many people like that?
 
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BubbleFlower -- I was wondering how you'd react to my comments. Not at all surprising. Very Sad, but not surprised.

Yes, Paul Did say that it's better to not marry -- but he wasn't meaning to live together and have sex. He meant that a single person is freer to do God's work and not be tied down to a wife and potential children.

You Did ask me for my thoughts on the subject of marriage and yourself. At least that's what I thought you were talking about.

I've only stated what God's Word says.

By the way -- I Do read a Lot outside of my Bible -- my keyboard / computer went blank for a moment or two. It's stormy outside.

I've found Sociology to be very interesting. And I've been into Psychology a bit, also. And Genetics, etc.

I Am curious -- how did you meet your present boyfriend? What drew the two of you together?

Okay -- in the past you've had more than one romantic partner -- at the same time? Aren't you concerned about potential disease?

so -- from your perspective -- not engaging with someone sexually would make porn the next best thing. Do you equate 'sex' with 'love' ?

Since 'this' Is on open forum -- not sure what's allowed on this subject.

Do you know how to access "conversaion' area or are you okay staying 'here'.

Another question -- who initiated the sex into the relationship?

You are very strong into a sexual relationship -- just wonder Why? I know we all have hormones and like to be expressive that way. But there's a reason For saving it for marriage. A great deal less disease -- God has set it up for one man and one woman for their life-time. Of course that's not how 'society' operates. But there's something about one man and one woman in a committed relationship that Does give a woman emotional security. And a lot of times 'chemistry' between two people is equated With love.

Well -- enough questions for now.
 
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Since 'this' Is on open forum -- not sure what's allowed on this subject.

Do you know how to access "conversaion' area or are you okay staying 'here'.
good suggestion Sue. It would be appreciated.


Bless you ....><>
 
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@ BubbleFlower -- I want to apologize for all those questions at you. Don't mean to sound like "20 questions" -- or the English version of "Spanish Inquisition" just my way of showing concern.
 

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