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How can I find a religion most suitable for my beliefs?

You might start by examining how you came to those beliefs. If it was through a certain church during your childhood, then that church (or its local affiliate) might be a good place to start. Our beliefs change as we mature and experience more of life. It could be that you have moved away from, or even outgrown, the church of your childhood. But knowing where you were formed can be a helpful first step.

It could be your beliefs were formed by exposure to preaching or reading in a way other than Sunday worship. Such ways—pamphlets, articles, books, television, and other—usually have a sponsoring denomination, congregation or organization. If your beliefs were shaped by a certain preacher on television, for example, you could seek out a local congregation of his or her denomination.

Your beliefs might have been formed by exposure to a certain missionary work, such as Habitat for Humanity or feeding the hungry. You can look for congregations that support those same missions. Watch for articles in the newspaper.

Whatever your first step, be prepared for a time of wandering. Every congregation is different, and a healthy congregation is always changing. If your beliefs are lively, then they are changing, too. In the end, a faith community is about people, not doctrine. Finding a perfect doctrinal match won’t matter as much as being among believers whom you respect and to whom you are bound in mutual affection.

--Tom Ehrich



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