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Old 06-24-2012, 09:45 AM   #1
 
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Default Does going to church really make a difference?

Or is having a relationship with God, praying, living a good life just as good?

Thoughts opinions?
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:04 AM   #2
 
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I think it depends on the person. I feel closer to God when I attend church regularly. When I don't, it's easy to become more self-centered.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:21 AM   #3
 
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Attending church services makes a huge difference to the relationship between the church and your wallet.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:28 AM   #4
 
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It never made any difference to me, personally. Actually, there were times when I felt more alienated from God by going to church, so I rarely go. I'm much happier when I can define my relationship with God in the way that I want to, rather than how someone else wants me to.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
 
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Church doesnt make much of a difference in my faith but the fellowship with other Christians makes me happier but church camp and youth trips are what I find show god to me in ways I never thought possible


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Old 06-24-2012, 10:48 AM   #6
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I enjoy going to church. I always feel better after leaving. And I don't tithe so there's no relationship between church and my pocketbook.

And it depends on your denomination. Catholics, for instance, are obligated to go to Sunday Mass. I don't attend Mass regularly because I'm a quasi-Catholic (mainly cultural), but I think there is something to be said for the accountability that church and fellowship bring.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:20 AM   #7
 
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Attending church services makes a huge difference to the relationship between the church and your wallet.
Sadly, this has been my experience. My parish frequently sends me donation envelopes and letters noting that I haven't contributed to the "free" religious education program, even though my children are benefiting from it. Umm, no they're not. The moment I pulled my son and daughter from religion classes, I stopped allowing the parish to debit my checking account every month. The whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Sorry for the rant. To answer the original question, I don't think going to church makes a difference for me. I just do not feel comfortable worshiping publicly. I'm a spiritual person, but not religious.

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It never made any difference to me, personally. Actually, there were times when I felt more alienated from God by going to church, so I rarely go. I'm much happier when I can define my relationship with God in the way that I want to, rather than how someone else wants me to.
You wrote it much better than I could. Thanks.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:45 AM   #8
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I think when you attend a good church that's the right fit for you, yes, it does make a difference. Maybe not necessarily in your personal relationship with God, but (in my experience) it will help to strengthen what you do have, partially through allowing you to fellowship with other believers.

I love my church, and I love the people who I've met there, so I do think it makes a difference for me, personally. But in the end, attending church can't and won't take the place of what you establish outside of church.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:49 AM   #9
 
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I go to church for a few reasons.

1. I love God and with all He's done for me it's reasonable to give Him my time.
2. It's good to be around other believers regularly.
3. While I read the Word on my own, I need the Word that comes from God through my pastors. It offers different revelations that what I receive on my own.

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Old 06-24-2012, 11:58 AM   #10
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I guess no one finds value in meeting people that share the same values...you know, for friendship, support, and help when any of you are in need. The volunteer efforts to help those who are struggling...elderly, shut ins? I thought church was about a little bit more than you personally, but maybe that's because even though I never really went to church, I grew up in a Catholic family. Not that you have to do x, y, or z for people to go to heaven...or that you have to just believe x to go to heaven. I think it is more complicated than that.

As for the cost, I'm not sure how people think that the church is going to maintain their buildings. Catholic churches are especially hard to maintain...Maybe they should knock them down and worship in shacks? But I guess that wouldn't make for very nice wedding photos for those of you who really don't attend church for anything other than the opportunity to marry and have your funeral there.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:28 PM   #11
 
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I'm catholic, and I find huge value in going to church. I love the smells and bells, and I love being part of a community. There are people I love and people I don't care for, but that is the same everywhere. We are all at church because we all agree we have something to learn from what we hear each Sunday, so not a one of us is perfect. Also, as a "bible-believer" I place great stock in what the bible tells us God wants from us, and one of those things God tells us he wants is organized, public worship.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:35 PM   #12
 
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Yes, for many reasons. Fellowship, praise and worship, accountability, focus. But I really like my church. I find that my pastor and I have a lot of the same qualities and look at life the same way.

As for the money, I do admit that I sometimes I have a problem with that. But, my church is also the one of the largest givers in the city. As for churches go, i believe it is the top giver.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:45 PM   #13
 
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If it's a good fit for you, then yeah, church can be awesome. I've met some wonderful and dear friends through church, and the sense of community can be great, Plus, it's great to hear God's Word from another take (i.e. from pastors etc). I love when sermons get you thinking about something in ways you never would have before.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:50 PM   #14
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Attending church services makes a huge difference to the relationship between the church and your wallet.
Not always true. There are greedy people who will use the name of God and religion to pad their pockets. But there's just as many if not more people who are not that way. My pastor and all his staff have jobs Monday through Friday and they do not get any of the offering money. Neither do they push people to give. There's a collection bucket off to the side and people can give if they want to or not. There are no sermons on give, give, give us your money. They spend some of their own personal money on the church and other activities. I've witnessed first hand their willingness to help people and give what they have to someone else even if it means they have less theirselves. It's about loving, sharing and lifting other people up. It should be about money.

To the OP - it doesn't make me a better or worse person. I can pray, read my bible, and study at home. I like going to church to be around other people who believe the same and I can share my views/beliefs with.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:01 PM   #15
 
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I'm an atheist, so you don't have to listen to my suggestion, but when I was a Christian I much prefer "praising GOD" within my own home and throughout the week. Church usually made me super hungry (it lasted for hours and you cannot eat in there!) and I discovered that the people there had three faces. Always gossiping and stabbing people in the back.

My mother is a Christian but never goes to church. She's more spiritual. I feel like, you can celebrate GOD however you want. I think it'll be more beneficial to go on nature walks or hikes and just admire the beauty and things that you believe GOD created. And to be thankful for the positives in your life.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:18 PM   #16
 
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Attending church services makes a huge difference to the relationship between the church and your wallet.
This. LoL! The church I use to go to made sure our pastor had a brand new Caddy every 2-4 years! Talk about your tithes at work!

As for helping, maybe it helps some. But honestly I don't see a difference in people who regularly attend church. They are no more calm, no more helpful, no more compassionate... Nothing. They just talk about God when they wanna be right about something, and are as big a ba$tard as they were Friday when they come in Monday. So.. From what I can see, it definitely doesn't change them.

Might change you... Not them though.


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Old 06-24-2012, 01:46 PM   #17
 
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My relationship to God has nothing to do with any religion.

I am in his house every day, every minute. I worship him by revelling in the trees and ocean in my back yard. I feel as though I fly with him when I watch the eagles and herons above me. I am grateful. I see the truth of life. It is short, it is beautiful, it is a gift not to be squandered. It can be brutal and unfair. It is exactly what it is. It is all we have and it is so beautiful. I feel so incredibly loved that I was given the chance to witness and take part in this amazing world. And I thank him every day. I do not need to do so in a man made church, with rules written by man, who's deeds include heinous crimes against humanity and all that is good.

I just cannot believe that a book or religion, created by man, can be more important or more truthful than the truth and beauty and brutality of nature, which was created by God.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:27 PM   #18
 
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I guess no one finds value in meeting people that share the same values...you know, for friendship, support, and help when any of you are in need. The volunteer efforts to help those who are struggling...elderly, shut ins? I thought church was about a little bit more than you personally, but maybe that's because even though I never really went to church, I grew up in a Catholic family. Not that you have to do x, y, or z for people to go to heaven...or that you have to just believe x to go to heaven. I think it is more complicated than that.
You don't need to belong to a church to volunteer. I volunteer regularly through a non-profit organization that's not affiliated with any church. Being a church goer doesn't make anyone more or less compassionate that they were already. If you really don't want to give your time, hardly anything a pastor says is going to change your mind.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:35 PM   #19
 
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You don't need to belong to a church to volunteer. I volunteer regularly through a non-profit organization that's not affiliated with any church. Being a church goer doesn't make anyone more or less compassionate that they were already. If you really don't want to give your time, hardly anything a pastor says is going to change your mind.
Haha, yeah. I'm an atheist and I'm pretty active when it comes to volunteering at women's shelters and feeding the homeless. I plan on volunteering at the humane society this summer.

I think doing those things made me feel more productive and happy than going to church.

People should focus more on doing good and appreciating life
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:17 PM   #20
 
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Haha, yeah. I'm an atheist and I'm pretty active when it comes to volunteering at women's shelters and feeding the homeless. I plan on volunteering at the humane society this summer.

I think doing those things made me feel more productive and happy than going to church.

People should focus more on doing good and appreciating life
You are right about that!
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