A question for the Reformed Baptists

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shackleton

Puritan Board Junior
To you who are Reformed and Baptist, is the church you attend Reformed? Or just Baptist in the traditional sense? If it is not Reformed, is this a problem? Either for you, the pastor of the church or the people? Is it a friendly relationship? Are you actively trying to make it more Reformed?
 

shackleton

Puritan Board Junior
I should also add, if it is dispensational how does that work out? Is that a problem for you or them?
 

Ivan

Pastor
Interesting situation at my church. There a number of us that are believers in the doctrines of grace. Others have a okay stance toward that. No big deal. I did not come to the church, which is Southern Baptist, and tell them that we were going to be part of the Founders Movement and shun any other church that wasn't. Of course not.

I told them when I started (with four members) that I was going to preach biblically. They were use to topical sermons on the order of Osteen. Happily, they were tired of that. I told them that we were going to look at what the Bible had to say. I chose smaller books of the Bible and preached through them.

When I covered a doctrine of grace, not calling it that or calling attention to Calvinism, they agreed that what the Bible said, the Bible said. I've built it from there, but by no means are we where we need to be yet. Patience is a virtue.

As to dispensationalism, that may be the last hurdle, but I don't think it will be a big one. I'm historical premil so it's not all that bad. For me it's not a huge bone of contention. About the only time we talk about the Second Coming is at the LORD's Supper, which is once a month for us. What I find it that they don't want to give up the idea of the rapture and pre-tribulation idea.

I tell them that one day this world will come to an end and through it all the LORD will take care of His people.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Acknowledging that there is a good natured debate about the definition of "Reformed", ours identifies itself as thoroughly Reformed. Our Pastor has said numerous times if he were required to choose between "Baptist" and "Protestant" for his religious affiliation, he'd choose Protestant.
 

JM

Puritan Board Professor
To you who are Reformed and Baptist, is the church you attend Reformed?
No. My wife and I are the only Particular Baptists in our Church. Some folks in our Church are vocally anti-Calvinists and others are unwilling to commit to the doctrines of Grace.

Or just Baptist in the traditional sense?
It's a fundamental, independent, slightly KJVO, somewhat Dispensational, Arminian Baptist Church.

If it is not Reformed, is this a problem?
It can be difficult at times.

Either for you, the pastor of the church or the people?
It's difficult for all I would have to say.

Is it a friendly relationship?
It is a friendly relationship with a few years of being misunderstood.

Are you actively trying to make it more Reformed?
I give out Bible studies with a Calvinistic slant, the Baptist Catechism and nicely printed 1689 Confessions.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Acknowledging that there is a good natured debate about the definition of "Reformed", ours identifies itself as thoroughly Reformed. Our Pastor has said numerous times if he were required to choose between "Baptist" and "Protestant" for his religious affiliation, he'd choose Protestant.

Good on him.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Our Pastor has said numerous times if he were required to choose between "Baptist" and "Protestant" for his religious affiliation, he'd choose Protestant.
Could you elaborate? I'd have to think about that.
Sure, he uses the term in the old way, the way the 16th century reformation Germans and other Reformers used it, not the generic modern way. (You'd have to know him.)
 

Matthew1034

Puritan Board Freshman
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan
So how it is for you in your church as a believer in the Doctrines of Grace?
Amen, brother Ivan. Thank you for taking interest in my thoughts! I enjoy PB for the simple fact of its members' sincere desire to honor God.

As for your inquiry, I ought to first state that my home church is not officially reformed or wholly-Calvinistic. I will next state that God has truly used experiences in my church to shape my understanding of the Doctrines of Grace. A year ago I thought Limited Atonement to be heresy, but now it is to me an example of the power of God and actually affects my evangelism. The same can be said of Irresistabe Grace and Perseverance.

Believing the doctrines of grace and attending a non-Calvinist church may seem conflicting, but God has used this for my good; I have been learning of Him patience and longsuffering; I have known and loved the church's people for many years, and now being enlightened [of tulip] I wish not to forsake them, but rather stay in the church and share the salty flavor, if you will. God has taught me to be patient during certain conversations when I myself want to basically argue with the person about their error and on behalf of the doctrines of grace.

And the good Lord opened the door for me to lead the youth group of the church, so there I am able to test myself in my presentation and overall understanding of the gospel of grace, in a more practical setting than alone in my studies. This is where the Founders article impacted me, reminding me that I am accountable to God for my presentation of Him, not just accountable to the church.

And, although my church is not wholly-reformed, I do not feel confined to their practices and precepts, but I know [more and more surely] that for freedom Christ has set me free. I do not feel as though it is a burden to attend a non-Calvinist church, or that I am somehow missing out on a greater church experience, but I see my planting there as a great opportunity to refine my beliefs and strengthen my trust in God. Maybe another paradox!

Ivan, from the perspective of a Pastor, what effects, if any, have you see in your congregation from the so-called slide into liberalism in the SBC?
Ivan's response:

I think your experience is very typical of believers of the DoG in Southern Baptist churches. I have not established any kind of personal agenda as pastor of my church. I simply preach the Gospel. As different doctrines present themselves as you go through the Bible I address it. I have not had a problem with this approach, but not that I ever won't.

Taking a more irenic approach is the way to go for me. It's my personality. I have been able, through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, to guide people to embrace the DoG more and more. I pray always that it is done for the Glory of God.
 

Iconoclast

Puritan Board Junior
To you who are Reformed and Baptist, is the church you attend Reformed? Or just Baptist in the traditional sense? If it is not Reformed, is this a problem? Either for you, the pastor of the church or the people? Is it a friendly relationship? Are you actively trying to make it more Reformed?
I have been a member of 3 reformed baptist churches. I have had opportunity to visit about a dozen more.
In the smaller churches you find many who were in more traditional baptist churches in the past, but wanted more biblical teaching.They see where there is a more serious desire to search out the scripture in The Reformed Baptist church, compared to some Conservative, General, or Fundamentalist type churches.
The larger churches many times were formed around a group of families that were asked to leave the arminian type churches as they studied themselves into truth. These groups many times grow under the blessing of God,seek to have a plurality of elders,work through the confession of faith,and continue to search the scripture.
Many people become members without understanding enough about the confession of faith, and when trials come upon the church, or individuals in the church- sometimes there is a disconnect between what members thought and what the scriptures actually say.
What I mean is, from time to time you will hear someone say, when I used to be a Reformed Baptist I believed this, but now I believe.......thus and so
To me there is no "but now ". What they really mean to say is I never really new what the doctrinal differences were enough to make a biblically informed choice as to which church actually followed scripture as close as possible.
One of the advantages that the presbyterians have ,or should I say used to have is that for a long time adherance to the confessions,and 3 forms of unity went without question. That was a day before women and sodomites attempted to storm the pulpits, and openly rebel against The Lord of the Church.
You asked if we are trying to make it more reformed? What ever church we are in we should seek to edify one another, and always be personally reforming. Among fellow RB's we share books and sermons together and are more concerned with the topic we are trying to learn more about, than striving to maintain denominational boundries. I can lend out commentaries, books etc,without worrying that I have to qualify each one with a word of caution.
Most of my library is non baptists/and I have The Metropolitan Tabernacle,and New Park Street Pulpit:lol::book2: But apart from Pink, Dagg, White and a few others, they are outnumbered.
It is like posting here on the PB. If someone makes a good scriptural point, or offers correction from scripture, we should all be happy.:think:
 
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KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I don't even know what 'Reformed' means anymore. That said, our church is similar to Ivan's. I include passages from the LBC and Spurgeon in the bulletin and have not been chased out of town yet.

As far as eschatology goes, I stick with the LBC. It doesn't say much, but it certainly ain't dispensationalism.
 

Ivan

Pastor
Ivan, from the perspective of a Pastor, what effects, if any, have you see in your congregation from the so-called slide into liberalism in the SBC?
Maranatha has been in existence since 1996. It was started by a very conservative group. Hence, I do not see any effect on my church from the years of liberal influence within the SBC.

The problem this church had was with young pastors who wanted to play church. They would bring their friends in for worship service and sing praise choruses after praise choruses. I was told that it wouldn't be unusual to sing the same line twenty times or more. The former pastor had left some sermons on the church's computer. WOW! All I can say, if that's what they were hearing week after week the sheep were being feed pure junk food. It was horrible, pitiful. Actually, Osteen is better. And I'm sure the sermon could not have lasted much longer than fifteen minutes, if that.

After the pastor and their friends got tired of it they went on to somewhere else, often taking with them expensive equipment the church bought them. I've been at the church for 25 months and have been their longer than the majority of the former pastors. If I'm therefor three years I'll have been there the longest.

For the most part I haven't seen many liberal SBC churches in Illinois or Wisconsin. There are a few, but they have been the exception instead of the rule. Of course there are other problems that SBC churches have, just like other denominations.
 

JonathanHunt

Puritan Board Senior
My church is full of Baptists, even though it was planted by a Presbyterian. The second Pastor was a Baptist although he trained in the Church of England.

Are they all 'reformed'? I don't think so, but I don't believe anyone would pick a hole in the DoG. We have a variety of end-times views.

Our church statement of faith is an edited Westminster Confession with all the church govt and baptism and endtimes stuff taken out. Rather weird.

I am a 1689 baptist. So is the other elder. It is my hope that long-term we adopt a simple baptist statement of faith and require church officers to subscribe to the 1689. That may be a few years down the line though.
 

Jimmy the Greek

Puritan Board Senior
I was saved into a Bible church environment many years ago-- moderately dispensational but Calvinistic in soteriology. It is really a mixed bag. But we have stuck with it all these years even though I personally moved to a Reformed position in most areas (a la the LBCF). We love the people and love to worship there. The fact that there is not more doctrinal clarity and unity along Reformed lines is naturally dissatisfying, moreso for me than my wife. :um:
 
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