Joining a church...

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Joining a church...

Postby big d note » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:12 pm

My wife and I are in the process of joining a local church. She grew up going to church and church schools all the way through high school, so it was very much part of her life. I was the opposite - never went to church, and I'm not even sure if I was baptized. Since we've been married we haven't really gone to church on a regular basis, but now that we have a kid she wants to get back into it, which I understand. I'm willing to go with them and participate, but I'm still not keen on getting baptized and being an official member. She is of course worried about how this will affect our son, and what happens when we die and they're baptized and I'm not. I could go through the ritual and everything, but how does that help either situation if I don't really believe? She also worries about whether the church will be accepting if I don't go through the whole process and become a member.

Anybody else have a similar situation? How did you handle it?
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby SteveO » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:35 pm

Did you talk much about this before you got married... had kids??

I'm guessing not... it's basically one of those "It wasn't ever a problem... until it was a problem."
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby stlmark » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:48 pm

Honestly, screw the church. You don't need to prove you were baptized to join the church. The whole church thing gets on my nerves. You're no better or worse a person if you don't join or believe in their beliefs. Ok, did I say to much?

You're your own person. No Ma'am! :mrgreen:
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby stlbluz » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:09 pm

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Re: Joining a church...

Postby big d note » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:12 pm

Prngr44 wrote:Did you talk much about this before you got married... had kids??

I'm guessing not... it's basically one of those "It wasn't ever a problem... until it was a problem."

We talked about it some, but it was one of those "we'll figure it out later" issues. It's not even that much of a problem to me now, but it's really concerning to my wife. I'm willing to go to church, I don't object to my son going or being baptized or any of that, it's fine. But I'm not going to lie and take Communion and say I believe in Jesus when I really don't feel that way, and I don't see myself being converted anytime soon, to be honest.

I know there are couples out there where one parent is Jewish and the other is Catholic and they make it work. I wonder what sort of compromises they've made.

edit: Thanks for your feedback too, stlmark, no you didn't say too much. And LOL at the Thor picture! :mrgreen:
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby stlmark » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:51 pm

big d note wrote:
Prngr44 wrote:Did you talk much about this before you got married... had kids??

I'm guessing not... it's basically one of those "It wasn't ever a problem... until it was a problem."

We talked about it some, but it was one of those "we'll figure it out later" issues. It's not even that much of a problem to me now, but it's really concerning to my wife. I'm willing to go to church, I don't object to my son going or being baptized or any of that, it's fine. But I'm not going to lie and take Communion and say I believe in Jesus when I really don't feel that way, and I don't see myself being converted anytime soon, to be honest.
I know there are couples out there where one parent is Jewish and the other is Catholic and they make it work. I wonder what sort of compromises they've made.

edit: Thanks for your feedback too, stlmark, no you didn't say too much. And LOL at the Thor picture! :mrgreen:


This is how I am. My wife wants to go to church with our 2 kids and I'm fine with that, but I refuse to chant or take communion. It's just not me and I made her understand that. For a while she had a problem with that, but I told her to f*cking bad. She understood after a while.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby big d note » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:16 pm

stlmark wrote:This is how I am. My wife wants to go to church with our 2 kids and I'm fine with that, but I refuse to chant or take communion. It's just not me and I made her understand that. For a while she had a problem with that, but I told her to f*cking bad. She understood after a while.

I thought just me going and participating would be enough, but apparently it's not. I could stay home and refuse to go. I'd rather sleep in on Sunday mornings if I had the choice. When my dad was a kid, his parents used to drop him and his siblings off at church and leave. :lol: We don't want to listen to this BS, but it's good for you kids!
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby ksbluesfan » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:51 pm

I'm an atheist, but I'm willing to go along with my wife's faith because I agreed to do so when we got married. Granted, I was a Christian when we got married, but I'm willing to stand by my promise. My kids won't know that I'm an atheist unless they're over 18 and specifically ask me about my faith (or lack of faith). By that time, they will have been given 18 years to develop their faith with my wife's guidance. If they ask before then, I'll tell them to talk to their mother.

It's up to my wife to guide them, pick a church, take them to church and all of that. Whatever she wants me to do, I'll do (short of take communion, do the chants, etc) for the sake of giving the appearance that I'm the same as the family. Luckily, she's not a motivated person and has yet to pick a church or ask me to go to church since I told her I no longer believe.

Don't do anything that goes against your beliefs, but don't undermine your wife either.

Life is a lot easier when you have something like that in common. We used to argue about it pretty often. Now we just avoid the topic. I'm open-minded, but I'm not willing to be insulted.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby Mellanby_equals_grit » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:43 pm

big d note wrote:
stlmark wrote:This is how I am. My wife wants to go to church with our 2 kids and I'm fine with that, but I refuse to chant or take communion. It's just not me and I made her understand that. For a while she had a problem with that, but I told her to f*cking bad. She understood after a while.

I thought just me going and participating would be enough, but apparently it's not. I could stay home and refuse to go. I'd rather sleep in on Sunday mornings if I had the choice. When my dad was a kid, his parents used to drop him and his siblings off at church and leave. :lol: We don't want to listen to this BS, but it's good for you kids!


So basically you're willing to compromise very heavily and she's not willing to at all? I'd make her see that.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby ViPeRx007 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:36 pm

big d note wrote:My wife and I are in the process of joining a local church. She grew up going to church and church schools all the way through high school, so it was very much part of her life. I was the opposite - never went to church, and I'm not even sure if I was baptized. Since we've been married we haven't really gone to church on a regular basis, but now that we have a kid she wants to get back into it, which I understand. I'm willing to go with them and participate, but I'm still not keen on getting baptized and being an official member. She is of course worried about how this will affect our son, and what happens when we die and they're baptized and I'm not. I could go through the ritual and everything, but how does that help either situation if I don't really believe? She also worries about whether the church will be accepting if I don't go through the whole process and become a member.

Anybody else have a similar situation? How did you handle it?


I wouldn't join a church just to join. You should actually believe in it if you want it to be rewarding for you and your family. I don't see anything wrong with just going for a while even if you aren't a member. How else are you supposed to figure out if the church you are going to is the right one for you? I think you'll find that most churches would be fine with it. As far as believing, I always think of James 1:5 when this question comes up. It says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

You don't have to be Churchy McGee to say a prayer. You never know what'll happen. Maybe nothing, or maybe not...It doesn't hurt to ask.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby glen a richter » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:04 pm

when my almost-wife and I have kids, the only reason we're going to subject our kids to religion class and church is to please their grandmother (my mother) because she'd have a major hissy fit if we didn't immerse them in it.

I could give a damn less because I think religion is something that's very clearly a choice. It's not like saying oh I don't like being Italian so I'll stop being Italian. I've chosen to question religion because there's a zillion unknowns, whereas science has knowns and verifiable theories. If my almost-wife wanted me to go to church with her weekly, which I'm 100% certain she doesn't, but if she did, I would because sometimes you have to suck shit up to avoid problems. I wouldn't like it though.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby cprice12 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:19 pm

My wife and I are not church goers and we are expecting our first child in September. So we'll have to deal with the whole baptism/Church thing in the near future.
My wife was raised Catholic by a pretty Catholic family...they are rather involved with the church and they go every Sunday, pray before big meals...stuff like that. And her aunt is a nun. (Funny story...we weren't married in a church...we won the all expenses paid Y98 Mega Wedding and got married in a flower shop...which was pretty cool. But her aunt doesn't recognize our marriage to this day because, 1) I didn't convert to Catholicism ... 2) We weren't married in a church. But whatever.)

I was raised UCC and I was baptized and confirmed...but after I was confirmed, I stopped going to church. It just wasn't for me. My mom enjoyed going to church, but my dad never went.

Neither my wife or me really back organized religions...it's just not something we believe strongly in. We made educated decisions based on our past experience with our religions. So...free will, right? :lol:

I know there will be pressure to baptize our child from both of our families...and I have no idea what we are going to do, or if we'll start going to church with our kid when he/she is old enough.

I'd rather not. When our child is old enough, I'd like to ask them if they would like to start going to Sunday school/Church. If they want to, that's cool...we'll probably go with them I guess. I guess that will buy me at least another 5 or 6 years of sleeping in on Sundays. :lol:
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby OS » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:48 pm

D-note... if I were you, not only would I object to getting baptized, I would refuse to allow my kids to be baptized. That is a choice a person should make on their own, not something that should be inflicted on a child because their parents say so. My wife and I disagree in our beliefs, but luckily I've found one of the few believers that see that organized religion is a farce, so she attends a church very occasionally and her praying is done where it should be, between her and her god.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby WaukeeBlues » Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:12 pm

I'm a Catholic, baptized, confirmed, all that- almost never go to church and not a big follower at all.

As I view it, the basic substance of any religion is that it is a tool of humans used to a) understand the world and b) a code of a higher standard to live by, which tends to be the promotion of happiness.

If you're joining a religion for others, not yourself, I cannot imagine that there is a less selfish reason in the world to be a member of a church. I'm sure every priest/clergy etc would all disagree with me, but eh, whatever.

If it makes the family atmosphere easier, I'd say go ahead and do it. My dad's side of the family are conservative Catholics and I fake it every Thanksgiving, Christmas, when we're all together and go to church, etc. I'm making things easier, easing tensions, and I learn a little something along the way. Your situation doesn't seem too much different. I'd say roll with it and join up.

As far as questioning the faith, Galileo once said "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect, has intended us to forgo their use." I question damn near everything about Catholicism and believe very little of what it preaches. When I'm challenged on this by the same aforementioned dad's side of the family, I just shrug and say "If there is a God and He created me, He has intended for me to use the sense and reason that he gave me." They are annoyed but usually don't argue with me past that.

A skeptic and a religious person need not be mutually exclusive. Good luck bigdnote, it's a tough problem, I hear ya.

P.S.- as for your kids, I am vehemently against having any religion shoved down their throat. Most kids that have gone through that will likely tell you the same, especially in more recent times.

edit again: Take all of the above advice with a very large grain of salt- I am neither married nor have kids
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby section319 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:12 am

OS wrote:D-note... if I were you, not only would I object to getting baptized, I would refuse to allow my kids to be baptized. That is a choice a person should make on their own, not something that should be inflicted on a child because their parents say so. My wife and I disagree in our beliefs, but luckily I've found one of the few believers that see that organized religion is a farce, so she attends a church very occasionally and her praying is done where it should be, between her and her god.



What is the big deal with baptizing a baby? Not like you are forcing them into some time of commitment that they will have for the rest of their life. If they grow up to be religious they will appreciate it and if they grow up to not believe in God, well you dunked them in some water while they were a child. You aren't really inflicting anything on them..
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby Mellanby_equals_grit » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:24 am

section319 wrote:
OS wrote:D-note... if I were you, not only would I object to getting baptized, I would refuse to allow my kids to be baptized. That is a choice a person should make on their own, not something that should be inflicted on a child because their parents say so. My wife and I disagree in our beliefs, but luckily I've found one of the few believers that see that organized religion is a farce, so she attends a church very occasionally and her praying is done where it should be, between her and her god.



What is the big deal with baptizing a baby? Not like you are forcing them into some time of commitment that they will have for the rest of their life. If they grow up to be religious they will appreciate it and if they grow up to not believe in God, well you dunked them in some water while they were a child. You aren't really inflicting anything on them..


I'm with OS.. Something about it seems wrong.. Like you're deciding what the child believes before they're old enough to have beliefs. I've never gotten how religion is treated as being hereditary.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby KJVO_1611 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:10 am

Mellanby_equals_grit wrote:
section319 wrote:
OS wrote:D-note... if I were you, not only would I object to getting baptized, I would refuse to allow my kids to be baptized. That is a choice a person should make on their own, not something that should be inflicted on a child because their parents say so. My wife and I disagree in our beliefs, but luckily I've found one of the few believers that see that organized religion is a farce, so she attends a church very occasionally and her praying is done where it should be, between her and her god.



What is the big deal with baptizing a baby? Not like you are forcing them into some time of commitment that they will have for the rest of their life. If they grow up to be religious they will appreciate it and if they grow up to not believe in God, well you dunked them in some water while they were a child. You aren't really inflicting anything on them..


I'm with OS.. Something about it seems wrong.. Like you're deciding what the child believes before they're old enough to have beliefs. I've never gotten how religion is treated as being hereditary.
Infant baptism runs against scripture. You just don't see it in scripture. I think organized religion is a joke as well. Religion demands that you fulfill all these commands and then at the end tada fire insurance??!

I stress a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

We can't do anything to earn our salvation (Romans 6.23). Its a free gift. Performing the sacraments, sprinkling babies, praying a prayer, being baptized or going to Church will not see you to Heaven when you die. There are many people in Church who unfortunately believe their good works are enough to get them into Heaven. Kind of like skeeball tickets? But thats just not the case (Isa. 64.6, Rom. 3.10-12).

Fact is we will all die. I know without a doubt where I will be going when I do. I have done my homework, have you?

Forgive me in advance if any of you have felt any measure of disrespect in my comments.

Respectfully Submitted,

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Re: Joining a church...

Postby big d note » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:12 am

section319 wrote:What is the big deal with baptizing a baby? Not like you are forcing them into some time of commitment that they will have for the rest of their life. If they grow up to be religious they will appreciate it and if they grow up to not believe in God, well you dunked them in some water while they were a child. You aren't really inflicting anything on them..

That's my feeling on it exactly. I'm not going to object to having my son baptized, just because I don't want to be. I'm old enough to make that choice, but he isn't. I'm not going to be selfish and deny him that opportunity just because I don't believe.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby goon attack » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:19 am

church is great for social activities. but we aren't members of one, nor would we ever be for faith reasons.

You can teach your children about faith at home just fine.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby KJVO_1611 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:26 am

goon attack wrote:church is great for social activities. but we aren't members of one, nor would we ever be for faith reasons.

You can teach your children about faith at home just fine.
More important is the impact that Jesus has on the life of one who has been redeemed.

Shuffleboard can wait. :lol:

Actually, your supposed to teach your children at home and in the New Testament Church. In fact if you are saved you can't wait for Sunday to come along just so you can go to Church and then lastly its a scriptural command (Heb 10.25).

R/S

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