Met with elders regarding membership

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by johnbugay, Dec 21, 2009.

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  1. johnbugay

    johnbugay Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi all -- I interviewed tonight with elders from my church (along with two of my kids, 14 and 11) -- the three of us are scheduled to make membership vows in front of the congregation on an upcoming Sunday.

    This is the first time in my life that I've been a member of a Protestant church.

    I had left the RCC as a teen. The route I took was first through a Catholic Charismatic group, then (briefly) a Protestant Charismatic church. After college in 1981 (contending with a recession), I took a job with Jeff Steinberg (The Jeff Steinberg Team - You're A Masterpiece In Progress!), as his driver, sound man, and personal assistant. I briefly attended a Southern Baptist church -- and there I gained a lifelong friend in the Pastor of that church. In my travels, I met some nice Catholic folks who were part of the pro-life movement at the time, and went back into the RCC, where I remained until the mid 1990's.

    It took several years, but through the ministry of James White, I came to understand the true Gospel, and that I could not remain in the Roman Catholic Church. Over the years, I've participated in several online discussion groups of Reformed believers. I've had pastors encourage me to join a church. The nearest church to home is an Assembly of God church, but that kind of freaked everyone out. My kids and I attended an OPC church for a couple of years, in the early 2000's, but some bad luck prevented us from moving any closer to that church. (They had a fire, and the congregation ended up going in several different directions). My wife has never professed to be anything but Catholic, although I thank God that she is not at all a very good Catholic.

    For the last year and a half or so, I've been attending City Reformed in Pittsburgh. My older kids have attended off and on, and I've invited them to come, but they seem to be interested in such things (though they've each expressed a kind of faith to me in the past). My three younger kids are regulars with me though; they are the ones who want to continue to maintain a relationship with the church. The four of us (my littlest is 5 years old) have been participating in the family group the last four months, and getting to know some of the folks pretty well, and tonight, as I said, my 11 year old daughter and 14 year old son each made a credible profession of faith.

    I know that y'all don't know me very well, and sometimes I come off a bit harshly when writing about Catholicism. But in my heart of hearts, I'm a husband and father of six, and tonight, I'm rejoicing.
  2. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor


    Welcome, and congratulations.

    You may find very helpful, particularly where you are now, the video series Dr. Sproul is offering on-line free, "What is Reformed Theology?" in the beta test of his new web site.
    What Is Reformed Theology? Teaching Series by Dr. R.C. Sproul | Watch and Listen to Reformed Theology Teaching Series at

    This 12 lesson series builds from a foundation of what reformed theology has in common with the church universal, with evangelicals in particular, and then goes into reformed distinctives.

    While we do share some truths in common with the Roman system, there are some essential differences that are absolutely life changing in terms of being discipled in the Christian life. Chief among them:

    1) Justification by faith alone (which is the gospel)
    2) The (supreme) authority of Scripture

    There are other significant differences, but these two make much difference in the faith and practice of a believer.

    As you understand this, you will have opportunity to refute the error of the Roman church in these central doctrines. But also remember, God has appointed your circumstances- and you will have access to people caught up in this. God will use you to engage those, with the difficulty and blessing that comes with that.

    All to the Honor and Glory of our God!
  3. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    John, I am a divorced Dad of three wonderful boys who have been damaged by their father and mother. It amazes me that they even want to go to church. We floated a bit after the divorce 8 years ago and float some now. We are mostly back with the Church they grew up in for 10 years of my marriage. But we also attend a F.I.R.E. Church ever now and again. Two of mine want to move there. I advise you plant yourself and stay. I made the mistake of letting them decide because I wanted them to be motivated. I had the cart before the horse. And I am paying for it now. But at least they love good teaching. I am impressed by their discernment. That only comes from God's goodness and not my right decisions.

    Praise God for His goodness to you and yours.
  4. johnbugay

    johnbugay Puritan Board Freshman

    Scott, thank you for the link to the R.C. Sproul teaching series, which I hope to watch with my kids, and for your counsel.

    Martin, thanks, too, for your honesty and your advice. I do see that "letting them decide" was probably not the best thing, although I had been "floating" too, as you said. But I've continually looked at this church membership as a long-term thing; I told my daughter last night that my hope is that she'd be married in this church (she's 11 now). And I've told her she can't get married till she's 30!!
  5. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Wonderful. Congratulations. I'm rejoicing with you.
  6. johnbugay

    johnbugay Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks Rich.
  7. A.J.

    A.J. Puritan Board Junior

    Rejoicing with you brother, and praying for your family. :pray2:
  8. ReformedChapin

    ReformedChapin Puritan Board Freshman

    Great, I am working on membership at my OPC congregation myself.:up:
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