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  1. Yes, it's God's command to collectively worship. That is, to pray for and with one another, to support and encourage and care for one another. It's not God's command to appear in a building every Sunday morning. That's something that has evolved over time, but I will let that be. If God is speaking to you through your personal time with Him alone and you feel that you are growing, it's possible that this is what He wants, even if it's only for a season. Relax and let Him guide you but be sure you're listening closely. Don't depend on others to tell you what you should do when you have His guidance for the asking. Going to church or not going to church doesn't prove anything. Only the Spirit of God within you makes you a Christian in the fullness of that term.
  2. And Melanchthon and Zwingli and even Calvin had a part in it. The point is that God raised up men who freed His people from the bondage of the Roman Catholic Church.
  3. The RC had to have done something good over time, I suppose. Not allowing the Bible (the Truth) into the hands of the people was probably the worst of it but by no means all of it. God sent the likes of Luther to break that bondage. The church got rich on the backs of those they kept ignorant and fearful.
  4. What I meant was that the Roman church ruled by fear of itself. It forced people to "believe" whether they did or not. They were afraid to not follow the rules and regulations set up by it.
  5. I think I can address this. I am elderly, I live alone and I don't go to church for various reasons. I do love the Lord and He is the only thing that keeps me going at times. I questioned at first, cried about it, wondered about it, but nothing changed and God didn't seem interested in answering any prayers about it. Over time, I realized that He WAS answering other prayers and He was and is teaching me things I would never have learned from someone else, not even a pastor. God is your teacher, He is your companion, He is your Father, your Husband, your Help, your Counselor and more. For me, I find it hard to get past the clamor of what this person believes or that person believes and to look and hear God's voice through the Bible and through prayer to know what I believe and understand. This solitary life makes that possible and awesome. I don't know if this is a passing phase in your life, but accept it and enjoy it and thank God for it. You could be blessed far more than you realize.
  6. "Why is the desire to be with the person you love or to be intimate with that person, a sin? Well, I kept thinking I wanted to say something, but there are some very good replies here. I do have a little to add. First, what this is really saying is that you don't want to change, you want an excuse to continue in your sin. Secondly, if and when you really do want to change, God will back you, 100%. I have had enough experience with various problems to know that it can be a long and hard battle but if you really do look to God to bring you through, He will not ignore you. You have to make the choice, though, and if you're unwilling to do that, you will never find an answer that gives you real peace.
  7. It's hard. I had a similar problem, not about a person but a life change that seemed to have been stripped from me and I kept wanting to "go back." The truth is that anything we desire (whether we consiously want to or not) can stand between us and a good relationship with God. Give your heart totally to Christ, trust in Him and there will be no room for anything else. It might not happend immediately, but He will fill your heart so full that you won't need anything except what He gives you and you will know without doubt that it's from His hand.
  8. I went through a long series of lectures via Youtube by Ryan Reeves, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He covers more than the Middle Ages, but spends a lot of time on them. I was surprised at some of it; how the popes and priests jockeyed their way into position and the liberties they took. I knew they weren't perfect, but my goodness, it was hard to realize what a downfall public Christianity took, especially after Constatine. The Roman Catholic Church is at the center of Medieval Church History and ruled by fear.
  9. Short answer: Yes. He can help you and He will if you expect Him to. Most of our troubles here are caused by our attitudes. You are loved by God and you are not alone if you know Him personally. What should you do? Count your blessings. We often forget about the things we do have in counting the things we don't (or don't think) we have. What do you have? I can tell just from you post that you have access to the internet and you have an education of some sort. That's a beginning. Apparently you have a place to live, probably electricity and running water. God has been good to you. Practically speaking, forget your college degree and go out and try to find a job of any kind, doing whatever you can find to do. Help someone somehow. Reach out, not for friendship but to help someone else who needs it. If nothing else, volunteer. Don't let the devil beat you down.
  10. I smoked for 30 years. I tried over and over and failed over and over. Sometimes I would make it a week, sometimes a month, sometimes longer, but I always failed. What worked for me was that I finally came to the place where I really and truly wanted to quit. That's where you will do it, too. When you are at that stage there won't be any crutches, not the faintest thought of going back or failing. I quit back when nicotine patches were available only through prescription. They helped, but they didn't do it all. True determination is what it takes. That's probably not what you want to hear, but that's what it took for me and that's what the "experts" say is true, too. The real, almost desperate "want to" is the key.
  11. Let God deal with them. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4 That's easier said than done, I know, but while we must pray for these people and be willing to speak up when God tells us to, we have to know that God is bigger than we are and has big shoulders. We feel offended, but they are offending God, not us, so let Him deal with it. I have found that when I try to take on God's responsibilities, my peace leaves.
  12. Praying in tongues isn't something you should try to bring on yourself. There is too much danger of "other spririts" taking advantage of that. Instead, concentrate on the Lord, go deep into prayer and let yourself be lost in His presence and you will begin to speak in tongues naturally, the way the Spirit intended. Don't try to create the experience on your own and it will come to you.
  13. Do these words carry no weight? " Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? " Luke 1:34
  14. I think that every Christian goes through dry periods where it seems like we're just not in tune with God. For myself, I sometimes find that I am trying to lead God instead of allowing Him to lead me. I don't know if that makes sense but it's how I feel at times. Also, it helps at times to read the Bible out loud to myself. It makes me concentrate. As far as the job goes, have you asked God if you should? Just a thought.
  15. These things have no power over you if you are in Christ. Why be afraid? They supposedly connect to gods that are no gods. There is only one God and He is all powerful.
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