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Austinn 04-08-2016 01:59 PM

Need Some Advice
Hey guys! Don't know if anyone remembers me or not, but I'm that ignorant kid who was on about 2 years ago saying we should boycott Jars of Clay! Yeah. . . I was pretty stupid. . .
I guess life has really kicked in since then and I've had a chance to reevaluate everything. I started reading the Bible to see what I believe (for myself) and I found some pretty surprising things. . .
I'm a pastor's kid and I've grown up in a baptist church all my life. Last summer I did a lot of research and prayer and now find myself to believe with the Assembly of God church, but I don't know what to do.
My girlfriend, whom I've been dating for 3 years, is just like me. She's been raised in a baptist church. I'm pretty sure she'll drop me hard when I tell her, but how do I do it? When do i do it? Her dad is also a pastor and he miraculously let her come to my church because he really likes me. If we break up, all of her friends at my church will never see her again and probably hate me.
Plus my family really likes her. If I break up with her, they'll all be asking why, and I was planning on not revealing my denomination change until I'm 18, but I don't want to lead my girlfriend on for that long. . . I don't know how my girlfriend or my family will react. I'm really scared about it, but I know that God is calling me to the AoG church.

mtlmouth 04-08-2016 03:59 PM

Glad to have you back! It's great to hear that you're thinking critically about what you believe and why you believe it. A few questions:

1. How old are you? (I'm guessing you're 15-17.) Your answer may somewhat change the advice we have for you here on CGR.
2. I'm not terribly familiar with the specific statements of beliefs held by the Baptist and Assembly of God churches. How far apart are they, theologically? Do they differ on major, core beliefs, or primarily on smaller details? Are there specific points of disagreement that are particularly bothering you?
3. What makes you think your girlfriend will dump you for exploring your beliefs and changing your mind on some issues?
4. You said you don't know how your family will react, but it sounds like you're expecting it won't go well. Why is that?

It looks like you're jumping to a lot of conclusions about if/when/how you'll break up with your girlfriend, how her friends will never see her, that they'll hate you, and that it will cause drama with your family. Let's take this one step at a time here. It may not be so bad. :)

Austinn 04-08-2016 08:28 PM

1. I'm 16. Still young!
2. The biggest difference is that of OSAS (once saved always saved) and charismatics
3. Because many think that charismatics are crazy, her family is in that category.
4. When I say that my family is baptist, I mean REALLY baptist. Full blood! I have a great great grandma that was Pentecostal and they still talk about how crazy of a woman she was.

mtlmouth 04-08-2016 10:09 PM

Would it be possible to discuss some of the questions you're having with your dad, since he's a pastor? Maybe frame it as "could you tell me more about why the Baptist church believes [Baptist position on an issue]? I've heard that some churches believe [AoG or other denomination's position on that issue], and wanted to know more." That might help you find out more about the basis for those beliefs, as well as size up how your parents may react to some differences of opinion you're forming.

For what it's worth, I've attended a variety of denominations over the years. The Mennonite church is probably closest to my beliefs, though it's not always a perfect fit. I think a lot of people find that their positions on issues don't perfectly line up with one denomination's set of principles - it's more about finding a pretty good theological fit with a body of believers who help you to grow in your faith, and a place where you can give back to the community in service as well.

Attending churches of different denominations can expose you to different perspectives on the Bible, as well as different Christian traditions, and can help you grow. I have friends from a bunch of different denominations, and we may differ on some details, but those core principles of Christianity are the most important things. (I suppose I'd want a slightly closer match in a significant other, but even then, you probably won't agree 100% of the time.) As long as we're on the same page about key issues, we're good.

Austinn 04-08-2016 10:23 PM

Trust me, I've done my research. I know both sides of all the arguments for charismatics and OSAS. I've even read many books against my beliefs on these topics and I'm still not swayed. I understand the baptist position on all the issues, but I don't agree with it. . .
And I think it's great to attend different denominations and be associated with people of other denominations than you, but I'm telling you, my family is NOT like that. I wouldn't say that they completely rule other denominations as unbelievers or something, but they definitely look down on them.
I'm almost positive (if I know anything about my girlfriend) that she will break up with me once she knows that I do not believe the same way she does.
I wish they were more understanding in these areas, but they are not. . .

Austinn 04-08-2016 10:29 PM

And to be completely honest, I'm not really that close to my dad to be able to talk to him like that. We don't have that type of relationship, and this isn't really the thread to go into the whole sob story of why that is.

Giuseppe 04-09-2016 01:47 AM

I would tell my family that I've changed denomination. Even if they didn't like it, they deserve to know the truth and I should be open about my views.

I guess if you are waiting until you are 18 and independent (probably moved out from home), then there is not that much at stake.

Lying to your girlfriend so she doesn't break up with you also wrong. That your family likes her is not really an argument for anything.

Assuming that everyone around you would take it the wrong way seems very far fetched.

Austinn 04-09-2016 02:54 AM

I think you misunderstand me. . . I NEVER intended to lie to my girlfriend. We were already deep into the relationship when I changed denominations. I can't go much longer without telling her. I wouldn't be able to live in a relationship knowing that it won't work! I guess I'm just asking for some advice on how to go about telling her, and asking for prayer so that she will take it better than I expect.
As for my family, what I meant by "plus they really like her" is that when we break up, they will ask for details on why. I would prefer to wait until I'm 18 to tell them, but I'm afraid they both go hand in hand.
I never meant to use that phrase as an excuse to lie to her and continue in the relationship while knowing we don't believe the same.

Austinn 04-12-2016 03:42 PM

I guess what I'm asking is not, "if I should tell her", but "how i should tell her". I'm guessing it's a bad idea to just walk up to her and say "Oh! By the way, I'm Pentecostal!"

mtlmouth 04-12-2016 03:52 PM


Originally Posted by PKguitarist (Post 3916075)
I guess what I'm asking is not, "if I should tell her", but "how i should tell her". I'm guessing it's a bad idea to just walk up to her and say "Oh! By the way, I'm Pentecostal!"

"I've been thinking and praying a lot about what I believe lately, and there are a few things I disagree with the Baptist church on. I think an Assembly of God church might be a better fit for my beliefs overall. I don't know what that means for my future with the Baptist church yet." You could also ask her to join you in praying for wisdom regarding where God wants you to be, in your church or another church.

Obviously, you know the details of the situation better than I do, but I'd encourage you to discuss this with your parents first, and your girlfriend second. I know you said it would be difficult, but given that you think the conversation with your girlfriend might go badly, I think it might be wise.

Austinn 04-12-2016 03:55 PM

Well, overall I think both conversations will end badly. . . But I know what you mean. I'll definitely pray about it. Thanks for the help.

mtlmouth 04-12-2016 04:20 PM


Originally Posted by PKguitarist (Post 3916077)
Well, overall I think both conversations will end badly. . . But I know what you mean. I'll definitely pray about it. Thanks for the help.

Probably neither of them are going to be easy conversations to have. It's a frustrating part of growing up - you have to have a lot of uncomfortable conversations. Pray about it, approach the conversations with maturity and humility, and hope for the best.

Austinn 04-12-2016 04:24 PM

Ok thanks. Also, another thing is, do you think my last two years living at home will be awkward once they know?

mtlmouth 04-12-2016 04:32 PM


Originally Posted by PKguitarist (Post 3916083)
Ok thanks. Also, another thing is, do you think my last two years living at home will be awkward once they know?

"Awkward" probably isn't the word I would use. It really depends on how they take it, and without a crystal ball, I couldn't tell you. I imagine your parents won't be surprised to hear that their teenager disagrees with them on some things.

It also depends on what you want to happen after that conversation. Are you just saying "hey I disagree with you on this"? Do you want to exclusively attend an Assembly of God church now? Present your position, but respect whatever you're told, even if it's not ideally what you'd like right now.

Leboman 04-13-2016 08:23 AM

Please don't take this the wrong way because I am honestly trying to give sound advice.

1. As far as your girlfriend goes, you're 16. I realize that you can have very intense feelings for someone at the age (I sure thought so when I was 16) but truthfully, you're both still kids. Take that however you will.

2. Technically, you are still under the authority of your parents. Unless they are forcing you to do something that goes against Scripture, you really should respect them and obey them. That isn't always fun but I honestly believe that is what the Bible teaches. I would suggest that you at least try to have the conversation with them. Perhaps they will surprise you. If not, respect what they tell you.

3. In the grand scheme of things, you're not going to find too many huge differences in what you believe. That is, unless you insist that certain "gifts" are required for salvation. Some charismatic groups do believe this and I take issue with them. We are to respond to those who disagree with love and grace. That's what I suggest you do.

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