I fought in the civil war that unfortunately took place in my country…. When I returned home, I began to live a wild life of drunkenness, womanizing, and gambling, which caused problems in my marriage and suffering for my family…. For years I have believed that Jesus Christ is offering me the opportunity to change my bad habits, and I have sincerely offered Him my heart, trying to live like a Christian but without going to church because, in my opinion, there are no honest churches left after all the immoral scandals of the churches in my country….

Every time I pray, I ask Jesus Christ to strengthen me and give me confidence in His Word, as well as to fulfill the purposes He has for me. Please give me advice on which church I should attend.

Dear Friend,

We congratulate you on your decision to give your life to Christ and to follow His will for your life! As you get to know Him better and better, you will have the strength to resist temptation, which will certainly help improve your relationships with your family.

You are right to want to increase your confidence in God’s Word, the Bible, for it is the foundation of all that we know about God. As we read the Bible, we learn about God’s character. He is always honest, always dependable, and always faithful, even when we humans sin against Him. We learn from the Bible that God forgives us if we repent of what we have done and ask for His forgiveness. But sometimes, though we are forgiven, there are still natural consequences that we must face for our actions.

Many churches are facing the natural consequences of leaders who have not only sinned, but have also hurt members of their congregations. To make things worse, these leaders have covered up for each other repeatedly. As a result, churches have gotten a bad name.

Most sincere people have the same question that you do. What church is “safe?” Where are there honest leaders? Who can you trust?

The easiest place to start is by noticing which of your friends or relatives demonstrate God’s love to those around them. Which ones are different from the others in the way that they speak and the way that they act? A person who is in a relationship with Christ should become more like Him each day.

If you know someone like this, ask them where they go to church. Ask for a list of their beliefs (or search for them on the Internet) and make sure that those beliefs line up with yours. Find out how the church is governed, who makes decisions about money, and what accountability the leaders have. You may want to schedule a meeting with a church leader to get answers to your questions. If all of the answers are acceptable to you, then attend the church for a few services and ask God to impress you with whether this church is the right one for you.

You may have to repeat this process various times until you find the right church, but all your effort will be worth it. You need a church that offers good teaching and has true followers of Christ to whom you can be accountable so you can grow closer to God each day.

We wish you the best,