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blueberry_kid's avatar

What are the conflicts to a Religion change?

Asked by blueberry_kid (5906points) August 3rd, 2010

Okay, I have thought very long and hard about this, and right now I am just studying Judaism. My mom said, whenever it comes to Religion, you can do whatever you like. Im also thinking about converting to Pentacostal. My mom, grandma, aunt, and grandpa are catholic. But my whole other family like cousins and great aunts on my moms side are Pentacostal. My whole fathers side is Catholic but i am not in much contact with him. So Im wondering what should my descision be.

I have been thinking long and very hard about this.

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35 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well if you have been thinking long and hard about this, go with your heart and your gut – after all, it’s just between you and god in the end, ain’t it? I’m an atheist, btw, but I encourage journeys in people that will bring them closer to their personal truth.

YARNLADY's avatar

Parents/relatives will not uderstand

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@YARNLADYmight not understand.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I agree with @Simone_De_Beauvoir. Whatever you feel in the deepest part of your heart, outside of what anyone else thinks, is where the answer lies. Don’t think about what other people currently are – just focus on what you wanna be. :)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

If you pick the wrong one, you might burn in hell forever and ever and then some. That’s a pretty big conflict to a Religion change. Better pick the right one!

Ron_C's avatar

Let me see if I have the question right, you want to know which fallacy should you choose to run your life?

Rarebear's avatar

Why have a religion at all?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ron_C @Rarebear Listen, boys, that’s not what the OP is asking, is it?

JLeslie's avatar

Why do you feel you have to choose now? Is it that you feel like you are searching? That you want to be able to identify yourself religiously to others and for yourself? Did you turn 18 and you feel like it is time to choose?

How religious are you? Do you want to follow a religion to the letter as well as you can? Go to church every week?

You mention Catholicism, Judaism, and Pentacostal. I know nothing about Pentacostal.

My opinion on Judaism, I am Jewish, is it is a very earthly religion, which is what I like about it. We do not dwell on death. We believe all good people can go to heaven. We are taught to question, and to embrace analytical thinking. You can be an observant Jew and keep a kosher home and follow closely to the Jewish rituals, or you can be reformed and go to synagogue or not go, and there are even more options like being a conservative Jew. You can make it kind of fit what feels right to you, and be accepted.

I happen to like Catholicism too. Not in the strictest sense, but most Catholics I know are open minded loving people. I guess to really be a Catholic you are supposed to follow the rules, they don’t have exceptions like the Jews. I don’t think you can be an atheist and be accepted as a Catholic by other Catholics. But, I have always felt very comfortable around Catholics for some reason.

Have you visited the various churches and temples? Spent time experiencing the religions and not just studying about them?

Ron_C's avatar

O.k., I did ask for a clarification but sans additional information, I don’t see the point of selecting a particular religion. Why not study as many as you can. Just make sure you don’t get stuck in a cult like the Moonys or Jehovah Witnesses.

Any religion that insists that all your family and your friends must follow that religion and you should shun those that do not is a cult.

Some cults like fundamentalist Muslims recommend that people that quit the religion are guilty of apostacy and eligible for the death penalty.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Why do you have to identify with anything? It can be comforting to belong to a group, but none of those groups should define who you are. When I was a Christian, I thought of myself as a Christian in general rather than a part of the denomination my family is a part of. Make your beliefs dynamic, changing as your available evidence changes, and don’t consign yourself to a particular belief system.

Changing your belief system can be a traumatic experience, which is why I recommend a more dynamic, slow, considered change. You should never reach a point where you think you know the truth, simply because you will always be exploring your point of view further. When I became an atheist formally, I had been questioning for years, and skeptical for several months. While the new title was a big change for everyone around me, I didn’t feel a whole lot different because I had known it was coming, and it was simply a matter of telling other people what my opinions were.

lillycoyote's avatar

Really, as far as religion is concerned, it seems absolutely fundamental to the process that it is about what you believe; you either believe one thing or some things or you believe something else. What could possibly be more about belief than religion? What do you believe? That’s what matters, isn’t it?

Rarebear's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Fair enough, you’re right. The only conflicts of a religion change are the ones you create within yourself.

Seek's avatar

Stay as far away from Pentecost as you can.

Unless of course you like the idea of giving up any shred of individuality you may possess in fear of hellfire. I could give you a list a mile long of mortal sins preached over the Pentecostal pulpit. According to them, you will burn for eternity for such atrocities as wearing open-toed shoes to church, getting a haircut, or going on a date with someone without first asking the pastor’s permission.

< 15 years – United Pentecostal Church, International. >

JLeslie's avatar

I just read a little about Pentacostal and if you ask my opinion, I prefer you don’t pick that one, but of course your choice should really have nothing to do with my preference. If what I read is correct they are evangelicals, and take the bible literally as the word of God, word for word. People who believe that fail to acknowledge that the bible has been translated, it was not originally written in English and things are always lost in translation. Even if it had been written in English it would have been an old English, and if you have every studied Shakespeare you would know that English has changed drastically over time, and there is room for misinterpretation even in our own language. Plus, it seems they are focused on the second coming and the apocalypse. They sound kind of radical and fundamental to me. But, I don’t personally really have any experience with the religion, it is just what I read on the internet.

Also, @Ron_C made a good point about cults, don’t get involved with one. If a churche demands you leave friends and family behind, discourage you from pursuing an education, or demands you ive over all of your money and possessions run in the other direction.

JLeslie's avatar

Seems @Seek_Kolinahr beat me to it by a second.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I always thought Pentecostals were the most liberal denomination of Christians!

Rarebear's avatar

Okay, I’m Jewish. Pick me! Pick me! :-)

Seek's avatar

The Snake Handlers are a sect of Pentecost. Not my family’s particular brand, but one of them.

Rarebear's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Our band sings a song about a Pentacostal snake handler. Great song.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Wow, I didn’t know that. People aren’t quite so radical with their religion over here, so Pentecostals generally teach a more general Christian message with a little babbling thrown in. Most of their churches seem to follow the Hillsong example, since they have become so rich and successful.

zophu's avatar

Well, you’re going to have to choose which god to forsake. Pretty big decision considering your immortal soul is at stake.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

hey that rhymes… no fair… the nerve making a jingle out of eternal damnation… some people… sheese!

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@zophu Probably not the best way to phrase it, or the OP mayfollow the religion with the scariest consequences, rather than the one with the best principles.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Rarebear LOL! But just wait until Zen gets a hold of you…

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear “Our band sings a song about a Pentacostal snake handler.”

Knowing you, it’s called “Reality Bites”.

zophu's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I plan on writing a children’s book.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Can I be the starchild?

perspicacious's avatar

So are you saying you’ve narrowed it down to Judaism and Pentacostal? There is nothing remotely similar there. I think you basing your decision on the wrong criteria. Study and learn to see where your actual theology places you. Aunts, sisters, and grammas shouldn’t be part of this decision. It’s not like joining a club, you know. Or maybe you don’t.

Buttonstc's avatar

This is really a matter of the heart and not the head.

There is nothing that says you have to make an irrevocable choice by a certain date.

Spend as much time as you need with members of each group. Go to the services of each and let them know that you are in a period of searching.

Perhaps also take a Comparitive Religion class in college to get a broad perspective.

Don’t allow relatives or acquantances to arm twist you into following their way or load you down with guilt if you don’t.

This is about you and God. Others don’t get a vote on your life. They only get to vote on their own.

JLeslie's avatar

Comparitive religion class is a great idea.

I will offer this. Some people convert, or decide to be a religion without much attention to the details of the religion. My husband converted to Judaism. We are both not religious, I am Jewish, his name is very Jewish, his fathers family is Jewish, but my husband was raised Catholic. I did not care at all if he converted, never asked him to, but he wanted us, our family to be the same religion. I feel like he followed his dads example who had converted to Catholicism for his wife. The difference is his mom and dad are both very religious. So my husband became a non-practicing Jew, and his father became a practicing Catholic.

For me, one of the big question when I was dating was how religious is the person, not what religion are they. So I would offer that deciding how religious you are might affect what religion you might pick also, besides the specific tenets of the religion. Some religions it is perfectly acceptable to kind of half practice, others have more judgement and scorn for those who do not participate, or those who question some of the beliefs that are held by that particular church.

I get the feeling you are very young? Does any of this wanting to choose a religion have to do with your friends wondering what religion you are? Or your family asking what you are going to pick? Or, is it purely a feeling inside of you that you feel like you need to choose?

Aster's avatar

I am with @Buttonstc on this. Go with your heart, read about each one and make your decision.
I can assure you that there are variations in each denomination. Let’s say you wanted to be Baptist. I could take you to 3 Baptist churches in my town and all 3 would have slightly different teachings. Some would be more fundamentalist, some would be more liberal. We have a super large Baptist church that is way looser than some of the tiny ones. @Seek_Kolinahr probably knows this, but there are actually Pentecostal churches that are a little more liberal than possibly the one she attended.
can’t get a haircut??

Seek's avatar

@Aster Indeed, there are nearly as many versions of “pentecostal” as there are any other denomination, and each has their own set of rules.

The United Pentecostal Church, International is the one I was a member of. They are the most strict. After that is the Assemblies of our Lord Jesus Christ. Very close (still no haircuts) but they for the most part don’t ban you from the pulpit for wearing red shoes. Then there are what those two organisations call “Charismatic Pentecostals”, which is pretty much anyone that calls themselves Pentecostal, yet believes it’s not necessary to speak in tongues to avoid going to Hell in a flowery handcart. “Charismatics” are more likely to allow women to wear makeup, jewelry, pants, have their hair cut, allow men to have beards and wear shorts, etc.

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