My faith journey

Are you Christian? Any other faith? No faith? Tell us just a bit about the role "faith" plays in your life. Don't seek to evangelize here. This is a "story-telling" forum. All submissions are equally valued if given in a positive spirit. New Comers please post here.

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My faith journey

Postby IreneF » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:50 am

My faith journey has been very problematic and is currently in a state of great change. Having said that, my faith in God has been what has taken me through many, many challenges. At present I am being blessed by the teachings of Franciscan friar, Richard Rohr. He is giving me a much clearer understanding of the character of God, his vast, unconditional love for all people - and so much more. I no longer go to church - the abuse and betrayal experienced there has taken its toll and at last I have stepped back from what has been a dreadfully unsafe experience for me. However, having said that, if I could find a small group of fellow believers who love the Lord Jesus Christ and want to learn of him, I would feel so blessed to join with them for mutual support and encouragement. I haven't found that yet, but maybe I will.

That's my faith journey in a very small nutshell.
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Re: My faith journey

Postby c.o. » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:08 pm

Hi Irene, and welcome to CNV!

I have read your other two posts, but rather than respond to each, i'll just do it here.

I'm very sorry for your nasty church experience. Many of us have had them, although probably under different circumstances. Praise God that it seems to have drawn you closer to him rather than driven you away (Satan's intent).

In my case, it wasn't EXACTLY a bad experience that has me reluctant to join another fellowship, but the breakup of one of the best assemblies of redeemed sinners i've ever known. (And it's possible you and i are in the same stage of elderliness :-).) While working on it, i still haven't gotten past the thought that i'll get close to another group of people only to lose them again. Probably stupid, and probably disobedient, but i'm trying. After about 4 years of staying away completely, i have found a place to regularly worship. My problem now is that "XYZ Bible Church" appears to be less about the Bible and more about programs. Grrr.

I don't know what the "church" count is in Queensland, but i really hope you can find a God-loving, Christ-honoring, Scripture-revering and Bible-teaching assembly. Remember that the Church is comprised of imperfect people, some of whom are even tares among the wheat. But it's not so much the people of the assembly you join, but it is the Lord's PLAN that you attach yourself to. There are probably many churches that could use your gifts, even if they don't yet realize it. The thing is, GOD knows your heart, your motivations and the reality of your worship, no matter what else might be going on around you.

All of His people are "members of His Body." All of us have a function, a godly purpose to serve. If nothing else in the interim, i'd encourage you to be praying a lot about where God might lead you. Then be willing -- no matter what you might perceive as the risk -- to follow His lead. And while reading what godly people say about the Lord, i'd also encourage you not to neglect reading and studying the very words of the Holy Spirit in a translation that suits you.

I'm glad you found us, and hope you benefit by joining us, even from an ocean away.
Life will leave me with what i deserve.
Grace never will.
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Re: My faith journey

Postby jjsledge » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:12 am

Your story sounds familiar. I too have been betrayed by "church". Large churches and home groups can all suffer from the same problems.My reason for leaving the church was not because I lost my spirituality, but because I wanted to preserve it. Done with "church" but not with Jesus. I am one of the "dones". http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thegodarti ... community/
Those who judge the motives of othere are simply revealing what's in their own hearts. Frank Viola "Revise Us Again" p.89
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Re: My faith journey

Postby Jim » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:00 am

IreneF wrote:My faith journey has been very problematic and is currently in a state of great change. Having said that, my faith in God has been what has taken me through many, many challenges. At present I am being blessed by the teachings of Franciscan friar, Richard Rohr. He is giving me a much clearer understanding of the character of God, his vast, unconditional love for all people - and so much more. I no longer go to church - the abuse and betrayal experienced there has taken its toll and at last I have stepped back from what has been a dreadfully unsafe experience for me. However, having said that, if I could find a small group of fellow believers who love the Lord Jesus Christ and want to learn of him, I would feel so blessed to join with them for mutual support and encouragement. I haven't found that yet, but maybe I will.

Thanks for sharing, Irene.

When I was in grad school in Cincinnati, Ohio, I used to go to worship occasionally with New Jerusalem Community. This was founded and led by Richard Rohr. He once came and talked with the small household community I was part of. He is a gifted man.

I also have experienced hard times with a number of Christian groups, but haven't given up yet. You might want to look at house churches. Here's a directory, but I don't know how up to date it is: http://www.hccentral.com/cgi-bin/dir.cg ... h+Registry
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Re: My faith journey

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:52 pm

IreneF wrote:..... At present I am being blessed by the teachings of Franciscan friar, Richard Rohr. He is giving me a much clearer understanding of the character of God, his vast, unconditional love for all people - and so much more.
I probably took that statement a bit too literally until I realized that you were probably referring to his writings :lol: So I put his name into Wikipedia and discovered that was in fact the explanation. He has a whole page about him that someone has posted on wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Rohr

IreneF wrote: I no longer go to church - the abuse and betrayal experienced there has taken its toll and at last I have stepped back from what has been a dreadfully unsafe experience for me.
That is so sad ! But I can certainly understand and commiserate with you. In my own case, a rather cultic leader led my eldest daughter and eldest son into his cultic church group and banned them from communication with me and my wife, lest I should lead my children away from him! And now that my eldest son is dead his widow has made sure that we cannot even have contact with our 4 granddaughter that my son had. So there are certainly toxic church situations and leaders out there.

IreneF wrote: However, having said that, if I could find a small group of fellow believers who love the Lord Jesus Christ and want to learn of him, I would feel so blessed to join with them for mutual support and encouragement. I haven't found that yet, but maybe I will.
I cannot speak from knowledge about Australia, but here in the U.S. There are several Naturist resorts that have chapels with church services, maybe you could find such in your country. That would potentially be a safe reintegration into a congregational setting as those congretations are somewhat small, personal, and ephemeral and consist of people sufficiently committed to their religion to not skip it while on vacation, plus they won't freak out when you come to church naked :wink: . Just remember to bring your "Sitting Towel". :wink: That fellowship should be fairly safe.


IreneF wrote:That's my faith journey in a very small nutshell.
Thank you for sharing. :D I am sure that you have the concern and prayers from more than one here for your spiritual healing. When, and only when, if ever, you should feel confident enough to share any more details on that obviously painful experience, You might find yourself to be able to share that account with others who are experiencing similar abuse to show them that recovery is possible and how it might be brought about. Judging by what I sense about your strength and resilience, at some time I expect that you will be able to bless others that way, but not yet maybe.
I never met anyone that I could not learn something from.
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Re: My faith journey

Postby naturaldon » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:26 pm

IreneF wrote:However, having said that, if I could find a small group of fellow believers who love the Lord Jesus Christ and want to learn of him, I would feel so blessed to join with them for mutual support and encouragement. I haven't found that yet, but maybe I will.

Hi again, Irene. It will be very good fro you to find a groups with which to fellowship. May you find the right one. Pray that God will reveal and lead you to it. Fellowship with other brothers and sisters can be a great blessing.

You're among Christian friends here and I hope you begin experiencing that fellowship now, and can find a face to face group in the days to come.
-Don
He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)
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Re: My faith journey

Postby Petros » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:15 am

A lot of people - some relatives - have found Richard Rohr helpful, though he is not always as deep as I might like.

In our case, more often churches have walked away from us - or died on us.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: My faith journey

Postby bn2bnude » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:35 am

IreneF wrote:My faith journey has been very problematic and is currently in a state of great change. Having said that, my faith in God has been what has taken me through many, many challenges. At present I am being blessed by the teachings of Franciscan friar, Richard Rohr. He is giving me a much clearer understanding of the character of God, his vast, unconditional love for all people - and so much more. I no longer go to church - the abuse and betrayal experienced there has taken its toll and at last I have stepped back from what has been a dreadfully unsafe experience for me. However, having said that, if I could find a small group of fellow believers who love the Lord Jesus Christ and want to learn of him, I would feel so blessed to join with them for mutual support and encouragement. I haven't found that yet, but maybe I will.

That's my faith journey in a very small nutshell.


Hi Irene and welcome... I love Richard Rohr's work.
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If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: My faith journey

Postby RMOlson » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:21 am

Welcome Irene, you are in my prayers.
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Re: My faith journey

Postby Englishman » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 pm

Hi Irene,

Thank you for joining us. I'm a bit of a newbie myself so I understand how much effort it takes to tackle those first 3 posts.

Sorry to hear your journey has been a tough one. My hope & prayer is that you will find a place where you can rest in Him & enjoy all He has for you. I'm also praying that you receive His healing & that your pain will be eased & then erased by His grace. Welcome. :D
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Re: My faith journey

Postby jochanaan » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:34 pm

Hello, Irene, and a long-delayed welcome! If you ever find yourself in the Denver area (Colorado, USA), you will be welcome at the Bible study I and several others attend. And yes, it is a naturist Bible study! :D
You can live your life in fear--or you can live your life.
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Re: My faith journey

Postby OzTech » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:24 am

Irene,

Good to hear from another Ozzie... not so good to hear that you've had some troubled times. I guess everyone goes through tough times at some stage but I keep thinking that it just means we need to fall back upon the love of God for us... and for those people who do not know Him then it really seems to me that He is trying to get their attention. During my divorce and loss of access to my children it was only God that keep me going. (I told Him that if He wanted me to have a fatality then that would be ok... guess He didn't... I'm still here... He must still be working on me). It may be difficult to trust again but, as far as I can see, Christianity is really all about relationship... first relationship with God and then relationship with His family... i.e. other Christians. I hope that you will be able to get to know and trust (perhaps just a little initially) other Christians that you meet over this next period of your life.

As for places to go... the only suggestion I have for your location would be... if it's not too far away from you... Pacific Sun Friends at Donnybrook (near Bribie Island). James Bishop has (or did have... it's been a while since I was last there...) some Christian commitment in the running of the place and he might be able put you on to other Christians... even some ministers... that may be sympathetic to your current journey and who are within your general area. Queensland, as you are probably aware does not have any officially recognised clothes optional beaches. You'd need to head to New South Wales (Byron Bay) for them.

The Lord bless,
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