by Aleta Kay
How does anyone choose a church? How do you know which one is the right one? Should it be Catholic or Baptist, Methodist or Presbyterian? Maybe Episcopal or Lutheran? How to choose?
The answer is not simple. Anyone raised in church comes with pre-conceived ideas of what church should be like. Some people are more comfortable in a big church. Some people prefer a church with rites and solemn ceremonies. Still others look for a church that is filled with excitement and has lots of programs going. Some people (like me) prefer a traditional, old fashioned kind of church.
My personal opinion is that you first need a relationship with Jesus Christ so you can discern truth from fiction or fantasy in the pulpit. Beware of churches whose primary focus is on your comfort and enthusiasm. Those churches might make you feel good while you are there but they won't help you grow in your relationship with God. I'm not saying the church should be boring, but there needs to be a good balance of preaching that makes you examine your own life and help you see places where you need to change, and some enthusiasm. Church should also invoke a sense of awe and wonder toward our creator.
Church should make you feel like you are part of an extended family. Find a place in which you can contribute to the well-being of the church. Sing in the choir if there is one. Help in the nursery, be an usher, make the coffee, help clean the sanctuary. Find a place where you are needed. Get on a prayer chain or get involved in a Bible study.
There is a lot differing opinion over which Bible is the right one. I won't go into all the reasons for all of the various reasons for the opinions. The bottom line is: the Bible warns in the book of Revelation that trouble is bound for anyone who adds to or takes away from God's word. Not all "Bibles" are God's word because most of them change the words, leave out verses, passages and chapters, thus changing the meaning of God's word. Our enemy, Satan, wants us to have a "feel good" religion and not have much of the truth. I believe the King James Bible is the only valid, unchanged, un-messed with word of God in our language. It has helped me grow in my walk with the Lord, convicts me when I'm wrong, helps me understand the history of God's dealings with people, and gives me a love for the Jewish people, God's original chosen people. Jesus was a Jew.
I attend a church that uses the King James Bible and encourages me to read along in my Bible while the pastor is preaching. When he gives a scripture reference I look it up. After all, the pastor is human too and is capable of misquoting or misreading scripture. I need to see it for myself. I am accountable for my understanding of the Bible. I am responsible for how I present it to others. Therefore, I need to read and study it for myself. I attend a church that has a close-knit fellowship: no gossiping, back-biting, criticizing. We enjoy each other's fellowship and genuinely care about each other. It really does feel like family. I feel as if I belong.
Bottom line: 1)Pastor should preach from the King James Bible.
2) The church should teach and preach that a. God created heaven and earth; b.God is a triune being (Father, Son and Holy Ghost); c. Jesus was the only perfect man that ever lived and He willingly died on a cruel cross (or tree) for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day, and now sits at the right hand of the Father; d. Jesus will one day return (no man knows the day or time) to take His children out of this world, hopefully before God unleashes His wrath on this wicked world; 3) Jesus was born of a virgin; 4) one must be born again according to the Bible in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven; 5)the Bible is the inspired word of God from beginning to end, no passages, words or verses that were not inspired (King James Bible); 6) once born again the believer must be baptized by immersion; and 7) must preach righteous living, not because Christians are better than anyone else, but that the Lord might find us pure upon His return and that we might be a living witness to the rest of the world of God's power to work in our lives.