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Edgar Lopez

Parent,

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Is not God everywhere?

Why must I go to a church, which is a registered business, while God is in all places. I believe that as long as I keep an active relationship in prayer with God, I am OK? Would you please help me out?

FYI:I was raised Catholic and my wife was raised Non-denominational, but her dad is a retired preacher. :(

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    Jul 29 2011: God is not only everywhere but his goodness is easily seen in all things. Church can be seen more as a hospital for those who need help and want the support. Those who are perfect have no need of church and the support of others. I am not perfect so I need the support of others. Yet, if we look at history you have the Desert Fathers that lived as Hermits so they could be closer to God. There are the mystics that seek a closer relationship with God that live alone in the wilderness. There are those who leave the church to dedicate more time to prayer for the world and live in groups. That is the great thing about God is he supports you no matter where you go and as David says "If I ascend to the depths there you are...
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      Jul 29 2011: i agree with this, i use to think i was close to god but then i stoped going to church. that and a few self discoverys has me feeling closer than in the past.
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    Jul 28 2011: It's about your beliefs, of course. I'm a so called Muslim and I have to pray, worship throughout the day. But no. I find it inessential. I respect those who are Muslims and do their parts but I think, if you believe in god and you feel "it", you can find it everywhere. When you work, you sit, travel, read... It's in your head and heart after all.
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      Jul 29 2011: Please help me to understand how one can be a " so called Muslim"? I am under the impression that you are either a Muslim or you are an infidel in the teachings of the Muslim religion? Do I have a bad understanding?
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        Aug 3 2011: I am not a Muslim, i don't feel like Muslim. But it says on my ID that i am Muslim and in school they tought me "Islam". That's why i define myself "so called Muslim". In other words, yeah i am an infidel.
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          Aug 3 2011: thank you for helping me to understand where you are. I really do appreciate it.
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    Jul 28 2011: Yes,I agree with you.But as Muslims, we pray 5 times a day and therefore, we need a clean place to do it.Thus, mosques are built everywhere in our place.However, it is undeniable that God is everywhere and like you, I do think that having a good relationship with God is already enough.What matters most is that you never forget Him.If you do that,I'm pretty sure you'll never go wrong.Have a nice day,Edgar!
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    Jul 28 2011: Ah. How discouraging. I wrote a bunch of stuff and it's all deleted. :'(

    So let me recover my words. :)
    I had pondered upon the same question once, and read a bunch of Christian books looking for some answers. R.T. Kendall, Shane Claiborne, Francis Chan, etc. They all had different perspectives, but in essence, they were saying the same thing.

    So it said: All of us, humans, are fragile and easily-tempted, and we're faced with different dilemma each day that tries our principles and for believers, faith in God. God is everywhere. But do we SEE him everywhere? Can we?
    Even when we think we're in active relationship with God, it is possible that we slip away from our faith once in a while. And because this connection is not visible, it's difficult to keep track of the intensity of our faith.

    Basically, when the bible says keep the sabbath holy and we interpret it as go to church every sunday, we should actually add a hint of suggestion. The ten commandments are NOT rules, (although we made them as such in christian world), but they shape a way of living. God tells us to go to church every sunday and spend time with him regularly so that we may keep or strenghten our faiths. This is out of his concern for us, and although we're not obliged to follow it, we could choose to do so.

    Being in prayer with God is definitey more important than physically being at church. But being at church and sharing faith with other fellow christians can help us look deeper into our faith. If you think you can be in active relationship with God without encouragements and connection with other christians, then ok. But just as it is easy to lose contact physically and emotionally with your friends when they're away, you can easily, and unknowingly turn from God if you don't spend time with him regularly.

    Faith is love, and love is time.
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    Jul 28 2011: Hey Edgar,

    I really agree with you on this one. I think that a person's religious faith is a very personal thing, and I think everyone has their own individual method of tapping into spirituality for that extra bit of support in their life. I don't think any idea of religion should be constrained or limited to a certain place or time. Rather, I think it is more about finding a place that you individually can connect on a spiritual level, and if you find that you are able to do that best in your own time on your own, good for you!
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    Jul 31 2011: God is Spirit, and we worship God in spirit and truth. Just as Light is everywhere, so God simply IS. The word GOD is simply used to "personify" the Universal , Divine Mind to whom we are all subject to and inseparable from. The wave cannot be apart from thee ocean, neither can we be apart from God. The wave is of the same substance as the ocean, so we are of the same substance as God, because we are of the Truth, of Spirit and of Love

    The churches in our lives are there to be discerned as to their credibility and their right understanding of the message of salvation to anyone seeking spiritual enlightenment.

    We have to go through a season in our lives when making our first spiritual enquiries. Usually early in life we are lead to a body of religious people also on the same path. Listening to One's heart while knowing Peace of Mind at the same time can in most cases guide one to the right source of church membership.

    However I think that over a period of committed enquiry on the Spiritual path, One is led to being guided by the Spirit of Understanding and Truth rather that holding onto the "right" church which is mainly and Egoic effort where one may never really get to Know GOD at all.
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    Jul 29 2011: thanks for the info. I am new and will probably make lots of mistakes.
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    Jul 29 2011: Blessing to you Tim. I have taken a more Celtic View of God and his presence in the world both physically and spiritually
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      Jul 29 2011: ah, same here! my girlfriend was really into celtic spirtuality and i very much enjoy it. BTW i think u are new, i have seen you try to comment other before. but like the instance below, if u hit reply to your own post, it will be posted under my reply, continuing a conversation in order. blessings to you as well :)
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    Jul 28 2011: I was not seeking advice from an atheist, thank you.
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      Jul 28 2011: There was a time when I was a Christian...
      And I had similar questions to those you are having.

      But I understand that I cannot really advise you in the matter.
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        Jul 28 2011: Well, with all due respect, why don't you get all your questions answered and reborn again? After all, been a Christian has some very cool benefits! As you can clearly see, I am no one to be preaching. However, I am an active Christian and a believer. Think about it?? And may God bless you! Ed
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    Jul 28 2011: Hmm... depends greatly on what you want, doesn't it?

    If you want to meet your fellow believers, you could go to church.
    If you want to talk to god, you can pray
    If you seek forgiveness, you can confess
    If you wish to follow the scriptures, you can read the Bible...

    but don't follow my advise, I think god is nowhere ;-)
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      Jul 28 2011: No. We should follow your advice. I'm not sure if i believe in god or not. Actually, I've stopped thinking about it. To be honest, i am no more interested in its presence...

      But your words are completely true. It's all about the "benefits" after all.
      "If you want to meet your fellow believers, you could go to church."
      Everybody -whether they are aware of that or not- go to the "worship places" because of socializing. It's a fact.
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        Jul 28 2011: Pinar, I totally agree with you. Let me tell you why I am not a fan of going to church...
        1. As you stated, it is a place where people pretend to go there to worship; but in reality they are ultimately there to socialize.
        2. It is a business. They pass the offering plate 2-4 times per service; ie, for youth ministries, VBS, offering, building expansions, school rooms, etc, etc. It is the best business to have!
        3. My in-laws found their lovers in the same church, got divorced and remarried accordingly.
        4. The next thing is about to happen to my wife with some dude that has the hots for her. So my wife says they are only "good friends". Whatever!
        5. Then you hear in Catholic churches of all the little kids that have been sexually abused by priests.

        The benefits I was referring to, were in the afterlife. As a believer, I do think that we can expect to have an eternal-magnificent life in Heaven.
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          Jul 29 2011: Hi Edgar

          I think you need to find a proper church.
          1. We socialise with the brothers & sisters with whom we will spend eternity. We learn from the teaching & praise God from our hearts.
          2. We never pass a collection plate. We have held many concerts etc where there is no charge. Even the tea & biscuits is free. We strongly support a church in Africa. We are not registered for tax relief.
          3. & 4. I have been a Christian for 26 years. I love my sisters dearly, & often drop in for tea, or maybe take them away on my motorbike etc., with husbands/boyfriends/Mums/Dads blessing. We are commanded to treat them as sisters; how could I think of risking judgement for getting this one wrong? Sure we get forgiven, but that's not the point. We are all on the same wavelength & sex is just a no-go area.
          5. Like I said you need a proper church.
          My church is just a gathering of a couple of dozen souls, most of whom love the Lord. We do interface with many other Christians in our private & corporate life however.

          I think one of the main reasons to gather together is that we can practice loving those people whom we dont really get on with. That is the only commandment we have. "Love God & love one another". We need to practice it. The world will recognise this love & know that we are God's people. If we avoid meeting one another, it just isn't going to happen.

          Hbr 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

          God Bless

          :-)
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    Jul 28 2011: I can bless my own bread and grape juice or wine here at home by prayer just as well as those men or priests at church. Tell me, how do they differ from me? Were they chosen from God? No! They are just like you and me -- regular humans. I can have community at my house by praying to bless the bread and juice or wine we would eat and drink as communion.
  • Jul 28 2011: That is typically how an average consumer looks at spirituality. When "I" feel like it, "I" will have it my own way.
    What ever happened to community?
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    Jul 28 2011: Hi Edgar,

    I totally agree with you that god is everywhere but in my religion worship in a group has better reward than doing it alone. that is why a place is made for group worship. like church or mosque.

    There are other benefits of worshiping in a group also. You get to know others, get to know their issues & if you could help each other.

    Maybe I tried to explain it in simple words I hope it is a help.


    Regards.