Read the Bible & Research Online
Here's the harsh reality of many people. If someone walks up to a person and says, "I'll give you $100 if you read this book". Not the Bible, just some book consisting of a thousand pages. Most will accept. You say, not me. You'd do it for $1,000? For $10,000? Example this internet ad pays people $200 to read a novel. The point is, most would do this for an amount of money, but don't have time to read the Bible. So many are not realizing the significance of this! The value of our relationship with God, which leads to eternal life, is priceless. How do we seek God? He is in the Bible.
God will not excuse you for not knowing to do the right thing to mature spiritually. Download any audio-enabled app to your device, and listen to the Bible always. It comes in many languages and versions. Then research difficult verses online. God will guide you to answers when you're truly seeking Him. And of course be careful with the fluff and misleading info on the internet.
I encourage you to get your Bible facts from the Bible, not from other books or movies about the Bible. They all have their agendas, modifying the scripture to fit their plan. All it takes is a small modification in a movie you watched, and you're going down a completely different path than God intended. Do your own Bible reading; get it from the source. This is how we seek God. If it makes you feel better, stay in the church at first, and supplement with your own bible reading at home.
Back in the early days of the Christian church, when literacy was very low, people had to rely on the church for their spiritual needs. But today we have all the resources in front of us. Literacy near 100%, social media, internet, etc.. All provide answers to our spiritual questions. All we have to do is read the Bible with our family and friends, and God will sure be in the midst and guide us. That was the original intention of the Jesus instruction in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.” He did not want us to go off creating denominations, and wars between them "us and them..." People locked themselves down the wrong paths with earthly loyalties to churches. The sooner we go back to what God intended the better for all of us. Then true "peace on earth" will come.
Most people are too lazy to read the Bible. Of course they're willing to read whatever is needed to make a few Dollars. But read the Bible? "I don't have time..." Some people read books daily, but not the Bible! Most think they're so smart they'll just watch a movie about the Bible and basically "get the gist of it". I personally avoid watching any movies or shows about the Bible to keep from poisoning what I learned from the Bible. We're human, our brains can get mixed up with the different information. My advice in today's world: tithe 10% of your time by reading the Bible in that time. Trust me, God will love you much more for it:
I don’t want your sacrifices - I want your love; I don’t want your offerings - I want you to know me.
There are some nice free Bible apps today that offer audio. You can install one on your smart device. And listen to the Bible, example when driving (Helpful app trick: I set the audio speed to 0.75. It gives me more time to absorb). Available in many versions. My favorite is CSB or NIV. Because (1) it is in plain English so we can easily understand, and (2) the interpretation is good, for example, when the term "righteous in the eyes of God" is used, the wrong interpretation would say something like "did good things in the eyes of God". But the correct meaning is, "a righteous person" is one who was perfectly good all their life, which is impossible to achieve. This is why when our sins are forgiven is when we truly achieve that "righteous status". Therefore, because it is impossible for anyone to be sinless all their life, "a righteous person" means "his/her sins were forgiven". This is why this particular word meaning is very important not to be misinterpreted by a Bible version. This was one example; there are more like this that can be misinterpreted by a Bible version. We have to be cautious with this; not be taken lightly. How do we discern things for ourselves? The wisdom comes from God as we mature in the scriptures.
Concerned about the consequences of leaving the church?
Here's my view on these concerns:
Thousands of years of debates on Christian subjects thrown out - They were already worthless and invalid, because the people debating were not filled with the Holy Spirit for the reasons noted in Time to Leave the Denominations. So really these debates were nothing more than social / political activities; nothing spiritual about them.
Where will we go to do our christenings, weddings, and first-communions? Any venue; doesn't have to be a church. And have someone from the family read a few related paragraphs from the Bible. Then celebrate. If you're truly seeking God, then this is all you need to do from a Biblical perspective. No need for any ordained people. Who ordained them? Certainly not God. Read Time to Leave the Denominations. And you don't need first communions. It was invented by the Catholic church. You can start teaching your kids to say the Lord's Prayer, and mean it correctly, anytime at childhood.
What becomes our position on controversial subjects? Do you really need to have a position defined? Just keep genuinely seeking God, and He'll reveal things to you in His time.
Is Baptism required? Not required for salvation, but is a good symbolic declaration of belief in public. So, is it sufficient to be baptized at childhood, Christening? Or also need to at adulthood when one makes one's own decision? It's really your call. Not required for salvation; it's an act of obedience. It would be far more beneficial to spend time understanding the true meaning of the Lord's Prayer than wasting time on debating the Baptism subject.
What is our position on abortion? God is against abortion. So we are too. This is not to be mistaken with endorsing a particular political party. Because if you look close at the details of political parties, the water is muddied on both sides.
Focus more on God, and less on worldly foolishness. God will bless you beyond your imaginations. Did you know these Bible verses even existed? Is any church teaching them?
You unfaithful people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world's friend becomes God's enemy.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
I don’t want your sacrifices—I want your love; I don’t want your offerings—I want you to know me.
Are You Still Tithing 10%?
Should be more like 0.01% today. The 10% tithing was advised by God in the days of Moses and the 12 tribes of Israel, where one tribe, the Levites, did not get a land inheritance and instead was given 10% of goods from the other 11 tribes. Because the Levites had a tough job to execute hundreds of requirements in the temple of God daily, and had no time to work the land. Today's church, in comparison does nothing, except preach on Sunday what their predecessors preached. And is still pressing their members to tithe the full 10%. Also in comparison, the ratio of people-to-church-ministers is more like 1,000 to 1, vs., the Jews was 11 to 1. About a 1,000 people per church on average, compared to 11 tribes to 1 tribe in the Jewish days. So a more fair tithing number today would be 0.01% of income, and this is more than enough for the inefficient preaching churches do. Donate the rest of the 10% to charity.