I mentioned in my last blog that I have faced many new experiences and challenges throughout the last few months. One of which, I brought upon myself. I attended a Baptist church my entire life. For 18 years I walked through the doors of Faith Baptist Church in Huntsville and it was a great place to be; a good church family and great friendships and memories were had there. Mind you, this was the only church I ever went to for a service, for youth, for anything.
So when it came to finding a new church to go to while living here in Newcastle, it would make sense to just attend Josh’s family’s church. It was a Pentecostal church, and although I have nothing against Pentecostal’s, I didn’t want to make that church my new home. In fact, I didn’t want to make any church my new home.
Everyone seems to have opinions about different denominations, church buildings, and their people. They’re too traditional. They’re all too old. They’re all too young. They only sing hymns. Their worship has too many electric guitars. They are trying too many new ideas. They don’t reach the youth with programs. They have nothing for seniors. Their pastor/reverend/priest is boring. He spits when he speaks. All he talks about is wealth. All he talks about is classic bible characters. He doesn’t speak on anything that relates to me. Their pastor/reverend/priest is a woman. They baptize only adults. They baptize only babies. They drink wine for communion. They all drink from the same cup. They eat crackers instead of bread. They wear robes. They wear casual clothes. Their’s has a choir. Their’s has a gym. Their’s has stain glass windows. They speak in tongues. They raise their hands. They just stand there. They cry out in the service. There’s no one there I know. They have homeless people who attend. They are all rich. They have a balcony. They are all rude. They are too cheery. They don’t care at all. They don’t tithe. They have pews.
You see, we hear these things all the time. I’ve heard them all my life about different churches, and had no choice but to just take peoples word for it because I had never experienced these places. For this reason, when I moved here, I wanted to challenge myself. Every week I would attend a different church. Not so that I could be the one to pass judgement and try to alter other peoples views of churches, but rather so that I could create opinions and views of my own and be open minded. I don’t want to just pass off so many denominations just because of what others have said about them, I want to experience them for myself. And I’m not saying that I go to one church and then generalize everything they do as to categorize all of that denomination together. Every church functions differently, and I want to witness and experience these different ways. So far I’ve gone to an Anglican, Pentecostal, Christian Reform, Free Methodist, Presbyterian, United and many other churches.
It’s been really interesting to visit them all. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t make any of them a new church home for myself, but just experiencing all these different ways churches function have opened up my eyes and have taught me a lot. I am in no way trying to show off what I’m doing, but I do want you to think about your views on other denominations. How did you come up with these views? Were they passed down to you, are they reliable or biased? Have you ever thought about other denominations, or have you just stayed where you are comfortable in your church? Do you even have opinions about other denominations? If not, why not look into some others, do some research and find out what differentiates those denominations from yours. Or do something similar to what I’m doing and just explore. Just go for a drive Sunday morning and when you see a steeple, head in that direction and go to that church. You might be very surprised.