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WELS/LCMS Lutheran, Pentecostals, Niednagel Calvinism & ATI/Vision Forum, IFB, Calvary Chapel, ohmy!

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Hi all.  Old member returning here.  Some of you may remember my association with the Niednagel family.  Still trying to get my Christian views and living into perspective.  As with most things in life that are important, it hasn't been easy.

For those unfamiliar, I was actually raised in a happy, non-legalistic, broadly conservative Christian home (WELS Lutheran first and then vaguely Pentecostal later).  My brother had a tragic death in 1997, my late mother retreated into watching TBN even more than she did before (I learned later that this wasn't good, I know), my parents left church and did home-study for years after that (and became obsessed with the End Times, along with an idiosyncratic and completely unorthodox view that people can be saved after they die, hence no interest in evangelism per se), and I myself went through an agnostic period in my late teens and early twenties (2003-2005).

Around that time, I also became increasingly acquainted the famous/infamous Niednagel family through their Brain Types theory and a shared interest in basketball and other sports (my late mother and I were huge basketball fans), returned to Christianity in 2005 (though not because of the Niednagels, whose version of Christianity I was still ignorant of -- but because of a vision that I was leading a fornicating and unbelieving life and would go to hell if I didn't repent), later learned all about Calvinism and ATI/Vision Forum and the Stay-At-Home Daughters movement through the Niednagels (2007-2012), subsequently got completely confused over what type of Christianity was best (2012-2013ish and beyond), got disheartened over the perceived inadequacies of my alleged "Brain Type," attended Calvary Chapel for a few years (2013-2017), then attended an IFB church for half a year (2017 through early part of this year), witnessed my mother's passing (Feb of this year), and now am with the LCMS church (April to present).

My husband, whom I married in 2016 and met back in 2004 when I was agnostic, remains skeptical of theism, but has never dissuaded me from my faith when I returned to it in 2005.  My father still attends Calvary Chapel, yet his laid-back theism is essentially this: Jesus is the Only Way, but there are no hills worth dying on after that (and yes, he remains convinced that people can be saved after they die, and has no interest in debating politics and religion with people, though he is supportive of Trump and doesn't think transgenderism or homosexuality is right, but refrains from judging the eternal state of such people).  He's enjoying the single life, golfing, food, drink, and basically the "eat drink and be merry" type of life.  He could have no more gotten into the Niednagels' version of controlling and rigid patriarchy than fly to the moon.  They look down on him as a generic FCIR "Brain Type."  Contrary to what the Niednagels think, I don't think that's an entirely bad thing.

So I've pretty much seen and analyzed the whole spectrum of conservative Christianity, even as I approach merely my mid-thirties.

I'm now at the stage of, what is truly important?  I don't believe secularism, liberalism, or other faiths hold the answers from what I've perceived and studied -- but conservative Protestant Christianity is so divided that it's been tough to navigate the terrains, especially since my parents weren't exactly theologically rigorous themselves.  Becoming affiliated with the Niednagels, and witnessing the hair-splitting tendencies of Calvinists, really opened my eyes.  I also learned about all kinds of other things my less-than-systematic parents ignored, like how the Pentecostal dispensationalism my mother embraced for the final twenty or so years of her life is COMPLETELY at odds with the Wisconsin Synod Lutheran upbringing she touted so much, how my father is perceived as theologically weak even by Calvary Chapel standards, and just how little doctrine my parents imparted compared to other conservative Christian factions.  My parents were always like, "this doesn't pertain to salvation, so don't worry about it!"  Even in somewhat more stringent Calvary Chapel circles, the message always is, "it's a relationship, not a religion" -- way too fluffy for the likes of Calvinism!  The Niednagels and other Calvinists, instead, were always like, "you need to engage the analytic concrete left brain more, Christianity is about rules and regulations which you abstract right brainers struggle with meeting, you need to analyze Scripture in context with the left brain instead of your dominant right brain, God may be love but that is not all He is, holiness is a mandate, women are property" etc.

Not convinced either of these extremes are good anymore, tbh.

I wouldn't say my parents were outright Antinomians, but they were close.  And I do think there are Scriptural and practical problems with that.

But I'm also skeptical of the pride, hypocrisy, and legalism of the Niednagels and other Calvinists.  I don't think their way is Scripturally right or balanced, either.

I like the LCMS because I think their doctrines make the most sense, theologically and practically.

I don't want to write a treatise here, so if you want further analysis of these people and groups, and how their beliefs, doctrines, and practices pertain to Scripture (or lack thereof), feel free to ask.  I'm just giving background for context here to start.

Oh, and if you follow Michelle Lesley's web site, I was the one who recently asked about the Great Commission and women's roles.  :) 

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