This is new territory for me. When I was ready to go to church as a young adult there was no question where I would go. The Episcopal Church. Not that I was raised in the Episcopal Church but because it is the first church I remember going to as a child and it was familiar to me in that we always said we were Episcopalian. I do love the Episcopal Church and I remained there for quite a few years until my oldest son began attending an interdenominational church and invited me to check it out.
I’ve been attending that same interdenominational church for the past 6+ years and I have learned so much. However, there are just times when you feel a nudging to move elsewhere. So now I’m hunting which is hard to do considering that I work Sunday mornings so I have to find a place where I can go only on Saturday or Sunday nights…possibly only Wednesdays even.
What I am looking for is a good, solid, Bible based church. I believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of tongues and all the gifts of the Spirit. Not that they are essential for salvation but that they are essential as tools in the faith. When I want to pray but I dont’ know what to pray, I pray in the spirit. When I pray in my own language and understanding it is still just as good and effective but praying in the spirit is a tool that takes my own wants and desires out of the equation so that I am praying the perfect will of God in the situation.
I want to go to a church where the baptism of the Holy Spirit is welcomed but not one that over sensationalizes it. I want a nice, peaceful, service where I am free to lift my hands in worship and be taught straight from the Bible. Not one that relies heavily on the people praying in tongues, interpreting them, and prophecy during the service. There is a time and a place for those things but I’m uncomfortable with it in corporate worship.
And on the subject of interpretation of tongues…I personally have never interpreted anyone elses but I have been blessed to be able to interpret my own from time to time. And, no. No big revelations have come from it for me. Usually it’s just a simple little something like a reminder that I’m Gods child or if my prayer is about some thing or situation, or if it’s adoration for God the Father. There is nothing mystic or strange about it. It is not losing self control. There is no difference in praying in the spirit and praying in my own understanding except that words are spoken in a language I’ve never learned.
Anyway, I don’t want to go to a church where I would have to deny my experience with The Holy Spirit. I believe the Word says that if I deny Him, it will be unpardonable and I refuse to pretend that this is not real. But I also refuse to pretend that it makes me better than anyone else or that it’s something that all Christians must do. While I believe it’s given to all who ask for it even if it takes some people a while to be able to recieve it, it is not prerequisite for ones salvation. Only believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord brings salvation. We dont’ have to agree on the Holy Spirit baptism for both of us to get to heaven.
Anyway, I ramble. This looking for a new church is not going to be easy for me especially since leaving my interdenominational church is like leaving home. Sad. But a new chapter is soon to open in my life. Wonder where God is leading?