Grace and peace to you!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ChananBachiyr, Nov 11, 2016.

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  1. ChananBachiyr

    ChananBachiyr Puritan Board Freshman


    I've been reading various articles and discussions on PuritanBoard for a long time now, so today, I figured I'd join!
    I suppose a brief testimony is in order.

    The of June 25th, 2012, I was alone in my home and had an urge to read my Bible I hadn't picked up in at least 3 years. Started reading the Pslams and made it to the 10th, but couldn't finish it.
    God smote my heart with the words "4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him;" "7 His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue." "11 God will never notice; He covers His face and never sees."

    I was saved by the gracious act of God that night... after a shameful weekend of drunkenness... the good Shepherd found one of His lost sheep.
    This is one of the main reasons why the doctrines of grace have hit so close to home with me, because I started to realize some of the details shortly after I was saved; how I wasn't seeking Him... but I can remember how He was drawing me for months prior with unusual Facebook posts, unusual conversations among friends and unusual grace in the midst of my stupors.

    I started studying Calvinism early on, probably a year after I was saved, maybe even sooner. I remember when I brought a Romans 9 passage to my interim pastor at the time and he sternly told me "Daniel, you don't dare believe that God would choose some over others for salvation, that's a heresy called Calvinism and don't you believe it!" :think:

    About mid 2014 or early 2015 I started looking into this "reformed theology," and soon realized that its basically synonymous with Calvinism, which was fine by me at this point. However, I recently read an article from a beloved pastor and teacher who has been an incredible instrument in my growth in Christ, Dr. Joel Beeke, about the history of the reformation and found out that Calvin himself preferred "Reformed" because he didn't want a movement to be named after him. I dig that.

    My wife and I recently left our IFB church of 3 years back in April of this year due to... well... they're IFB and God is showing/teaching me the truths of reformed theology so, it was not compatible. I dealt with it for as long as I could, but when my pastor thought it wise to bring our private conversation about Calvinism to the pulpit in the form of a sermon series on TULIP, and we sat through the first sermon basically being called heretics, I couldn't go back.

    So, Arminianism is an epidemic where we live. Churches on every block yet we have to drive an hour at minimum to get to a reformed congregation with orthodox doctrine and polity. SMH... :doh:

    Just listened to Dr. Matthew McMahon's "Basic Covenant Theology" lectures last night and for the first time, I can understand where Presbyterians get the idea of infant baptism! This is a huge step for me because I've struggled with this for the past few months and just couldn't get it!
    So from the looks of it, I'm on my way to becoming an OPC Presbyterian! :lol:

    Looking forward to learning and growing with the body of Christ in this place!
    God bless you all in the Lord Jesus Christ
  2. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner


    If you are driving an hour to the OPC church in Gastonia, you are probably bypassing some ARP churches; if not, you are going to be bypassing some PCA congregations. Trading fellowship for incremental purity can bring its own costs.
  3. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Welcome, Daniel!
  4. PhilA

    PhilA Puritan Board Sophomore

  5. Cymro

    Cymro Puritan Board Junior

    Come on in! Welcome.
  6. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

  7. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Welcome Brother!

    That is why you are coming to grips with Calvinism as true from the Bible, as your new life in Christ a poster boy for that!
  8. ChananBachiyr

    ChananBachiyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you, sir!
    Indeed, there is one PCA church that is very close, but I don't believe that's where I need to be. I visited once... maybe its me, but it wasn't good for me and I know my wife won't like it.

    As far as ARP is concerned, I just discovered its existence yesterday while reading through some posts on here lol! So, I'd like to study up on the differences between OPC and ARP! I know my views are quite conservative and my theology is leaning toward the covenantal side, that is the main reasons why I figured OPC would be the right choice. That PCA church was my first time ever being in a Presbyterian church, so I really don't know what to expect from any of them.

    Lots of study to do!
  9. ChananBachiyr

    ChananBachiyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks everyone, for the welcome and encouragement!
  10. ChananBachiyr

    ChananBachiyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Edward, just wanted to thank you again. Did a little research on ARP since I had never heard of it and found that there is an ARP church between here and Gastonia! I visited today and it was a great blessing with plenty of welcoming people and several people ready and able to answer questions, although with all the greetings we didn't get a chance to discuss much. Which is fine by me, Lord willing, there will be more opportunities to discuss things along with more time for personal study between now and then.
    So thanks for suggesting other possibly compatible branches!
    I've got to get used to the "Genevan" worship style with the structure and creeds and all... but man, it was a blessing to be with the body of Christ, as always!
  11. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    I can understand that. Without knowing any particulars about that congregation, there is a huge range in the PCA these days from 'excellent', to 'good', to 'should be avoided at all costs'.

    The range is smaller in the ARP, although they are not without their own problems. The biggest problem I have with them is the ordination of women as deacons. But there are a number of ARP congregations that don't do that, and the ARP can be a viable option for many. OPC tends to be, at this point, more of a known quantity and generally safe. But as my first comment indicated, driving past one church to get to another that is only incrementally brings its own costs.

    May the Lord quickly bring you to the congregation where he would have you serve.

    Helpful tool put up by a fellow PB member here:,-85.0901153499999&z=5

    By the way - you indicated you felt a call to ministry. I'd recommend going slow, and wait until your elders have a chance to evaluate you and confirm your calling.

    You might well consider Reformed Seminary Charlotte as something you could coordinate with your present work and residence situation. But again, you probably should be thinking of waiting, praying and learning for several years before you go down that path.
  12. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome Daniel from someone in a brother Denomination. Encouraged by your testimony. God's word Converts.
  13. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Daniel, welcome to the board. Edward's observation is an important one. If there is not a major issue dictating a choice (like avoiding women in office, level of commitment to significant doctrines like the Sabbath, purity of worship, etc.), two hours on the road each Lord's day is a high price, which should be paid only if that is clearly the only choice. And you will want to support the worship of the church by attending the evening service, or help start that practice if there is none, and that kind of trek presents difficulties to say the least. If the PCA churches are not clearly identifiable as strictly confessional by their self admission, steer clear.
  14. hammondjones

    hammondjones Puritan Board Sophomore

  15. Parakaleo

    Parakaleo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Daniel, welcome! I have read your comments here with joy because your desire to honor Christ in your decisions is easy to see. I was also pleased to see you visited my dear friend's church, Boyce ARP. Nick Napier is a faithful man and also a member of this board. I concur with what has been said already about the ARP. I'll add that sometimes, it's wisest to judge Reformed denominations on the presbytery (not synodical) level. After all, the presbytery is the most immediate authority beyond the church session--not the denomination. There can be good denominations with rogue presbyteries (and vise versa).
  16. ChananBachiyr

    ChananBachiyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes sir, and thank you for your suggestion. With it, a light sort of went off in my mind as to what "Presbyteries" are for. That's another area that I must devote to study, Church Gov't. I feel as though the pastors and other men that have dealt with me for the past 3 years held a place kind of like a presbytery, but I am more than happy and excited to subject myself to a presbytery for help and evaluation!
    "A grey head is a crown of glory if it is found in the way of righteousness." (prov. 16:31)

    I've been excited to become a part of because it fits my budget, but I contacted the ARP and the Form of Gov't states that accreditation is required... so its back to the drawing board for me because I so can't afford seminary. :pray2:
  17. ChananBachiyr

    ChananBachiyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Yeah, I've been exchanging messages with pastor Nick for a day or so and listened to a few of his messages on SermonAudio; I like his preaching and he definitely seems to be an intelligent, godly man. I'm excited to get to know him and his family and congregation!

    The idea of a presbytery is a new concept to me altogether, but when Edward said that I will want to go slow and allow the presbytery to evaluate me, it was a great help for me to understand the purpose of a presbytery in general. I'm looking forward to receiving much instruction from godly men!
    As Spurgeon said, "He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains, proves that he has no brains of his own." :book2:
  18. ChananBachiyr

    ChananBachiyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you sir.
    Amen, indeed it does!
    Just as Paul said, I am what I am by the grace of God! (1 Cor. 15:10)
  19. ChananBachiyr

    ChananBachiyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you for your welcome.
    Indeed I definitely want to serve a church body with my time and I want to make use of the gifts that God has given me, edifying the church in whatever way that I can. That was one of the concerns that I had a few weeks ago when we were considering a church in Charlotte, an hour and a half away! I'd never be able to help in anything or anyone or even just fellowship with anyone... I don't like the sounds of that.
    40 minutes however, I can handle that :)

    A refusal to compromise or in a positive light, an active seeking of right doctrine and polity, is the reason my wife and I are having to go so far. There are plenty of PCUSA around here, but only 1 PCA. Plenty of Southern, Independent, Fundamental, you name it Baptists around, plenty of Methodists, plenty of Arminian soaked, every wind of doctrine the world is flocking to at the moment... but its worth the time and gas to get to a body of like-minded believers! Praise God!

    I'm just still praying to continue to learn about Presbyterians and all that comes along with them, testing all things to Scripture, praying for discernment in knowing when to stand my ground and when to know that my understanding is wrong and needs to change.
  20. ChananBachiyr

    ChananBachiyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for your welcome, friend.

    I'm really beginning to like this :)
  21. Parakaleo

    Parakaleo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Let me encourage you, brother. If God has called you to ordained service, it will happen in due time.

    Here's a little "secret". Study your way through the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, and Fisher's Catechism, in-depth, looking to the Scriptures and the system of doctrine contained in it, and you will be way ahead of many seminarians.
  22. ChananBachiyr

    ChananBachiyr Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you very much!
    I'm definitely taking advantage of the common means of grace, waiting on God to make seminary a financial possibility. Never heard of Fisher's catechism though, I'll definitely look that up.
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