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Why We’re Afraid to Explore Our Faith — 33 Comments

  1. I just loved this story. I was raised Lutheran and when I was about 12 wanted to go to what my mom called a “holy roller, swing from the chandeliers” church. It was an interesting journey to discover where I felt most comfortable. The Lord has also led me out of my comfort zone to churches where I felt out of place and I have seen him move in marvelous ways. Thanks for sharing

  2. I was encouraged by your description of your mother as your spiritual mentor. What an amazing legacy she is passing down. From the sound of it, your daughter will grow up and be able to say the same of you. Beautiful post.

    • Stephanie, It’s the cry of my heart, that I can be a spiritual mentor for my little girl. That she might realize more and more the depth and width and height of God’s boundless love for us. Thanks for your kind words!

  3. I went to a Catholic mass once, because my husband was raised Catholic. He didn’t tell me I couldn’t get communion, so I went up. I was unsure what to do and the priest was starting at me, so I just grabbed the water and moved on!!! We still joke about how I stole from the Catholic Church!

    This is such an important piece though. Often we stay in our comfort zone, and it’s hard to expand our faith when we stay put!

    Jessie
    http://www.onelostcoin.com
    Your Story Matters

    • What a good story! I’m sure God knew you didn’t mean to “steal.” 🙂 You bring up an important piece. When we stay in our comfort zone, I think we can almost fall asleep there. Like our favorite recliner. It’s only when we wrestle, wander, explore our faith in some way, that it stays aflame.

  4. The Church after all, is one. As long as we’re like the Berean Christians, and confirming with Scriptures, we should be extending hands of fellowship. Our prayer these last days should be for the unity of the Church. Thanks for this post, Traci. Blessings to you.

    • I agree with every word you wrote here. Often, we spend so much time in our own small church bubble, and forget the call from Jesus and Saint Paul to be one church. I’ll join you in praying for this very thing!

  5. What a beautiful post! It reminded me of the time I spoke to the women at a Methodist church and I was asked to administer the communion. Being Non-Denominational mixed with a bit of Southern Baptist, I quickly saw they did things differently.

    However, I jumped in and did as I was asked. I stood up front, offering each woman the grape juice and bread. As they dipped the bread in the wine, I said, “the body of Christ given up for you.” I said this to a number of women, at first I was just following orders, then suddenly I saw each woman as precious in God’s eyes. The words I said over and over became tender words of Jesus speaking to each lady with love. It was a powerful moment. As you said, we can learn much from others if we are open.

  6. Love this! What a great point that attending churches that worship in different ways is growing for our faith. As long as – like you pointed out – we examine the Scriptures so we can understand what lines up with God’s truth!

    • Emily, A part of me hesitates to encourage all believers to do this because there are false teachings to be aware of. The more I consider it, though, I feel as if we’re responsible for studying Scripture and asking God for discernment. There’s a lot to learn if we’re discerning!

  7. Dear Traci!

    That’s a beautiful description of your mother. Your blog post reminded of the fact that we do things differently in different church communities, but that this shouldn’t take up much of our time.

    I like to focus on the big perspective.

    I’m also a Protestant, a conservative one 🙂

    I like the thought that what’s going on in a church can be confusion; it’s a strength, not a weakness, as I see it. A church room should be different from all other rooms.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I was encouraged by reading about you and your mum.

    Blessings!
    Edna Davidsen

    • Big perspective, I think we can be fearful of confusion. We long for faith to be black and white, and it’s just not. One of the biggest surprises I’ve had in learning about other Christian traditions is they can often point to Scripture to explain their activities. It’s a matter of interpretation. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here Edna!

  8. Such an important message! There can be a lot of danger when we stay in our own ‘bubbles’ and not explore and/or seek to understand others. That definitely includes how other Christians worship and do church. And criticism can creep in too, of the way other’s do church which can cause division among fellow believers. I grew up in the Catholic Church, and though I don’t attend it now I’m still drawn to quieter services and hymns, and overall reverence. This has spilled over to ministries I lead where we quietly soak in scripture. God takes us on amazing journey’s to grow us, doesn’t He?

    • Lynn, I appreciated how you look at the other side of the coin, the negatives that can take place when we stay in one tradition exclusively. I’ve brought so many new practices into my faith walk by exploring!

  9. This was a rather interesting post. I never knew there were churches that used actual wine for communion. I think we often accept the practices of our church without giving it much thought. We should definitely question its practices to ensure that it lines up with the word of God.

    • It was a Lutheran Church that offered wine or juice. I don’t know if all do that. One of the biggest gifts exploring my faith has given me is a desire to understand what and why I practice faith as I do. There is more common ground than we think!

  10. I love this post. This message is so important for the Church today. We really need to get over ourselves and the idea that our way is the only way to honor God.

    I visit my son’s Catholic church a few times a year–and I consider his priest a dear friend. Thanks for spreading the love of Christ in a creative way.

    • Nancy, I am in complete agreement – we need this as a Church. As I’ve studied Judaism, I discovered they have a much greater tolerance for differing opinions. Interesting to consider.

  11. Traci, I loved that your article encouraged people to attend different churches and churches within different denominations. We can learn so much about ways to serve and worship by participating in other’s services. We have moved around a lot and as a result attended many different churches, in a number of different denominations. I, like you, have learned so much about how other church worship and in every church there were beautiful aspects to their service and worship practices. I too loved the liturgical aspects in the Catholic and the Anglican. I love hearing different forms and types of worship music. I deeply enjoying hearing different preachers and their perspectives. It has been both informative and enriching to learn about the dffierent theological beliefs and practises. And through these experiences one learns to be thoughtful and questioning and discerning about what one believes and how one is drawn to live out and practise their faith. Thanks for your great post!

    • Anne, Moving around forces us to experience this kind of thing to a certain degree, doesn’t it? That’s part of my story too. I loved your outcomes – discerning and thoughtful and questioning. All true!

  12. Yes! Excellent thoughts! I think it’s so easy to get comfortable with sameness. Some of the best times of spiritual growth in my life have happened when I’ve been challenged to worship in a new way, do church in a new way. It’s wonderful you took your mom and daughter to experience it. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’ve found the same to be true, the more out of my comfort zone I go, the deeper the experience has been. My mind is blown again and again!

  13. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I love exploring other churches as we can learn so much about the good differences and those things that are not bible based.

    • Yvonne, It has made me study my Bible and other faith-based books a ton more. I needed to know the difference between unbiblical and only different from me. I have loved this part of my faith journey!

  14. Our daughter-in-love is Catholic. Son is not Catholic. Son and daughter-in-love were married in Catholic church. They have their differences in church but are a happily married couple and have blessed us with our first grand baby. We have learned about the Catholic church from our daughter-in-love.

    • Melissa, I grew up knowing a few couples like your son and daughter-in-love. It’s very doable and I love it when they can learn from one another.

  15. Enjoyed the story and post, Traci. I smiled at the thought of your mom getting in the communion line. But you are right, we are uncomfortable with what we aren’t used to when it comes to church and worship. Love this line and tweet, “I believe there’s more of Jesus to be found when we leave our nests and soar.”

    • I’ve been so pleased to feel a new intimacy with Jesus as I learn new-to-me things that are often thousands of years old in the church. It’s a matter of getting past the discomfort.

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