Was joining your particular religious order your own choice?

Namaste Jesus

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One of the members of our Temple is also Catholic and attends regular Catholic mass. Afterward however, he often stops by our Temple to pray.

I asked him on one occasion why he did this. He told me that he felt more comfortable praying in our Temple because no one told him how to pray, what to pray for or when to do it. He went on to say that he didn't really approve of Catholic doctrine, but his parents, grandparents and spouse were Catholic and that it was expected of him.

So I was wondering if anyone else out there had joined their faith for similar reasons?
 

Willys

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Somewhat yes. I was raised in Baptist and Churches of Christ, along with Sunday schools and the summer church thing. I actually was never comfortable in either and was always scared scatless that I was going to get struck down for breathing wrong. And a near my age but older sister was a bully who intensified the fear of God over me.

As an adult I started my own journey to find my truth, different churches, eastern sects. Probably the church I appreciated most was the Berachah Church in Houston where the lessons dealt more with re-interpreting poorly translated or otherwise mangled older transcripts.

I finally settled on the Episcopal Church, I suspect due to some hidden influence from having attended a catholic school for English speaking children near Lisbon in my early youth. But I have nothing to do with churches or religions today, being satisfied with a spirituality that works best for me. If someone approaches me with some religious incantation they realize quickly that they've come to close.
 

Quirkybird

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My siblings and I were forced to attend the Pentecostal church my parents went to , it certainly wouldn't have been my choice. The sermons were very long, up to 1.30hrs and very frightening!
 

Namaste Jesus

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My siblings and I were forced to attend the Pentecostal church my parents went to , it certainly wouldn't have been my choice. The sermons were very long, up to 1.30hrs and very frightening!

Yikes! :D My sermons seldom last longer than 20 minutes and are followed by a meal. Everyone in attendance is also allowed to speak if they wish.
 

Quirkybird

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Yikes! :D My sermons seldom last longer than 20 minutes and are followed by a meal. Everyone in attendance is also allowed to speak if they wish.

Our Anglican Priest daughter's sermons, or talks, which is a better way to describe them, are about 15 minutes long. They are usually very memorable and the congregation just love them. If they see me on one of my daily walks, often tell me what our girl got up to by way of illustrations!:D Only she could crack open a raw egg on a man's bald head (with his prior permission of course) to make a point. The congregation were still talking about that one months later. :D She has been promoted and is moving to take charge of a very large parish about six miles away from here; her present congregation are devastated!

This is a photo of her present church. The priest in the 1830 must have had a lot of time on his hands and decorated it throughout with murals. He even did the stain glass windows, and the carving on the lectern. The church is open on a Saturday afternoon once a motnh for people to view the interior of the church.
 

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voiceofwood

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I was raised, Christened and confirmed in the Anglican tradition but left this denomination, though not loosing faith entirely, always felt a connection. I studied the teachings of the Bagavad Gita, and many other religious teachings. Despite some direct experiences my faith did not really grow until I travelled around in East Africa, I remember a local man asking me, "Are you not afraid to travel in this matatu, late at night in rural Tanzania, there are bad people here" Answering in the spirit I said, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."

Back in UK, I walked into a Baptist Church, choosing this. That day my wife to be, a foreign national at the time, happened to be giving a talk. A few years later I was baptised
 

Frrostedman

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Care to elaborate?

I'll elaborate as much as you want, but, only if asked. Meanwhile, baby steps.

I quickly converted from ignorant Agnostic with an axe to grind vs. Christians, to a bible-believing Christian. The event was a shock to me more than anyone but the effects spread outwardly. I had never read the bible and suddenly I thirsted for the Word. I couldn't put the bible down and every word was like music. Many friends abandoned me. My wife thought it was a psychotic break.

My answer is no, because I never asked to convert to Christ, in fact I despised even the thought of it. But it happened anyway. That was 11 years ago. And I'm still just as passionate a believer as I was from the start.

I know, I know. It doesn't sound very believable. Don't worry. I get that all the time. It's ok.
 

A Cup Of Tea

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I know, I know. It doesn't sound very believable. Don't worry. I get that all the time. It's ok.

Why isn't it believable?
My first through was that you had something unresolved with Christianity if you had never read the Bible and was yet on a war against it. But that's just my psychobabble.
 

chongjasmine

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I was raised a Taoist.
But I always believe in an omnipotent God, who I refer to as the 'unknown God'.
I pray to this unknown God to reveal Himself to me.
Somehow, I become sure He is the same God as the christian God.
I gave up on Taoism and becomes a christian.
I have not regretted my choice since. God is real to me and He guides my life on a daily basis.
 

Namaste Jesus

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I'll elaborate as much as you want, but, only if asked. Meanwhile, baby steps.

I quickly converted from ignorant Agnostic with an axe to grind vs. Christians, to a bible-believing Christian. The event was a shock to me more than anyone but the effects spread outwardly. I had never read the bible and suddenly I thirsted for the Word. I couldn't put the bible down and every word was like music. Many friends abandoned me. My wife thought it was a psychotic break.

My answer is no, because I never asked to convert to Christ, in fact I despised even the thought of it. But it happened anyway. That was 11 years ago. And I'm still just as passionate a believer as I was from the start.

I know, I know. It doesn't sound very believable. Don't worry. I get that all the time. It's ok.

Thanks for sharing that with us Frrostedman. I find it rather heart warming.
 

Jayhawker Soule

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I an not too sure how the concepts of "religious order" applies to Judaism but my choice of Reform Synagogue was certainly a conscious and informed choice.
 

Irene

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Frost! OF COURSE I BELIEVE YOU!! Because the same thing happened to me!! I was a so-called lukewarm Christian most of my life. I was a Christian because my parents were, and we went to church every Sunday [mostly for socializing], and got baptized as a child [without really understanding the significance of it] -- because my friends were getting baptized, I wanted it too.:p My image of Christ was something close to "Prince Charming" who'd take me to Heaven on a big shiny cloud someday ...

One day, I realized ... even though I call myself a Christian, I don't know the Bible well enough ... you know, other than the basic story of Jesus, some punch lines and nice parables ... So I thought, ...k, I'll read the whole thing ... it may take a few months to go through it all ... but once I do, I don't have to worry about it again ...

Frost, you know the rest ... I'm no longer lukewarm ... I'm a deadly serious one now ... And I think I know what you mean ... I didn't ask for this change either... it just happened ...

I created a thread upon joining this forum,
Researching How People Come To Faith
You can elaborate your story all you want there, when you feel like it. ;)
(No one has posted yet. I'm assuming most people here probably practiced a religion growing up one way or another, like I did.)
 

Frrostedman

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One day, I realized ... even though I call myself a Christian, I don't know the Bible well enough ... you know, other than the basic story of Jesus, some punch lines and nice parables ... So I thought, ...k, I'll read the whole thing ... it may take a few months to go through it all ... but once I do, I don't have to worry about it again ...

Frost, you know the rest ... I'm no longer lukewarm ... I'm a deadly serious one now ... And I think I know what you mean ... I didn't ask for this change either... it just happened ...


Well, well. We have a similar testimony then and that certainly brings us closer together. Hallelujah! There are so many things I can attest to about my whole conversion experience but honestly, not only would it sound completely made up, but, it would quickly bore everyone to death. Sort of like why Cher's book on her dreams was a complete flop. No one is interested in Cher's dreams and their significance to her... no matter how important she thinks they were. But I'll post to your thread eventually and maybe, if coaxed, I'll give all of the story. It was such a powerful experience, my Agnostic wife, witnessing it all first hand, was compelled to renounce her disbelief and be baptized. It was just so... undeniable. I had finally gotten all the proof I ever demanded as an Agnostic... but not until after I professed the faith! Only later did I discover that this is very typical of how God operates.

And you can definitely understand this one. Don't you agree with me that... looking back at who you were pre-conversion, and who you became instantly upon conversion... was a miracle in and of itself.
 

Irene

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Well, well. We have a similar testimony then and that certainly brings us closer together. Hallelujah! There are so many things I can attest to about my whole conversion experience but honestly, not only would it sound completely made up, but, it would quickly bore everyone to death. Sort of like why Cher's book on her dreams was a complete flop. No one is interested in Cher's dreams and their significance to her... no matter how important she thinks they were. But I'll post to your thread eventually and maybe, if coaxed, I'll give all of the story.
Bore me? Never! I would never ever get tired of hearing stories of people coming to faith. Their eyes widen beaming with excitement, as if they just won a million dollars (which they did in a spiritual currency!) ... they can't stop talking about it. It is often the case when I invite a newcomer to our church to our home for lunch, we'd end up talking several hours straight, and have dinner together too. This brethren kinship is priceless. We often say to each other, "I know we just met ... but I feel like I've known you for 10 years!"

It was such a powerful experience, my Agnostic wife, witnessing it all first hand, was compelled to renounce her disbelief and be baptized. It was just so... undeniable. I had finally gotten all the proof I ever demanded as an Agnostic... but not until after I professed the faith! Only later did I discover that this is very typical of how God operates.
That is just so wonderful that you brought your wife to God too! Oh, I'm tearful ... The story of Lee Strobel comes to mind. He was a strong atheist, his wife an agnostic when they got married. Then his wife converted, which got him so upset that he even considered divorce. But he tried to understand his wife and spent a few years investigating Christianity. (He was a journalist for The Chicago Tribune.) Now he is one of the most passionate Christian apologists.

And you can definitely understand this one. Don't you agree with me that... looking back at who you were pre-conversion, and who you became instantly upon conversion... was a miracle in and of itself.
Absolutely!!! There are no words to describe this miraculous experience ... but if I try ...

"One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see."

[ youtube] Was Blind, but now I see - YouTube [ /youtube ]

I hope I coaxed you enough ... but I also know we all need a right moment to pour our heart out ... because it is an extremely emotional endeavor ... Particularly for men ... generally speaking, women are more comfortable being emotional. We're not ashamed of crying.;) Men shouldn't either, but I understand they deal with their emotions differently. So, no hurry ...

And thanks for teaching me how to post a YouTube video. :)
 

Irene

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Oops, I guess it didn't work... but at least you can click the link to see the video, right?
 

Frrostedman

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Oops, I guess it didn't work... but at least you can click the link to see the video, right?

don't put the spaces in the youtube brackets, I did it in my example to prevent a link from forming! remove the spaces and it should work.
 

Thomas

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Well, I was cradle Catholic. As a kid I told my parents I wanted to be 'Church of England' because they don't have to go to mass on Sundays! Suffice to say that was not seen as a sufficient reason ... although they went to great lengths to explain to me why we do.

When I was older I made my own decision, and walked away.

I was a New Ager, Jesus was a teacher, but that's all.

In my twenties I joined what is now referred to as a New Age Cult.

By my late twenties I was disillusioned enough to make the break. My beloved and I are the only couple we know who met there, and stayed together after they left.

In my thirties I was still looking, deepening my understanding of the Hermetic Arts.

One day I was thumbing through a book in a bookshop (duh!), got the call to rejoin my family (they hit the fashion shops), put the book down and walked out. Then a thumping migraine started (my first and only), and every step I took it got worse. "Got to buy I book," I said, and went back to the shop. The migraine subsided with each step.

The book was my introduction to the Perennial Philosophy, and that became the focus of my next decade. I was also moving towards Soto Zen as a practice.

The writers of the Perennial Philosophy opened my eyes to interfaith dialogue at a very high level, to Greek philosophy, to metaphysics and to symbology (a language I know by instinct). They also introduced me to the Catholic Church's best kept secret, the Patristic Fathers.

Inspired by them, I went back to the Catholic Church, but this time searching it for what fuelled them.

Had a standoff with the Man Upstairs.

Got told I was exactly where I needed to be.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

So to me, it was a series of personal choices, accompanied by a series of coincidences and affirmations.

So I chose my Tradition, but there is an old saying, "The Tradition calls the man", and I wouldn't dispute it.
 
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