My church will not be holding regular service this upcoming weekend.

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Jonathan95, Dec 25, 2019.

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  1. Jonathan95

    Jonathan95 Puritan Board Freshman

    This is a strange thing to me. Apparently, every year on the Sunday during the week of Christmas, my church holds a potluck instead of regular service. So no sermon, nor worship. Just a get together in the space that we rent to sit, eat, and talk together.

    I am not sure why I find this discouraging but I do. Can't really explain it well though. I was curious if this would bother any others here even slightly. Also, I've been wrestling with different theological differences I've noticed that I have with the church.

    They have female deacons and some people will skip church because they have to work on the Lord's day. They don't really have a solid teaching on what the Sabbath entails. I don't know if they fully understand the 2nd commandment either. I say this because I've noticed a small nativity set in my pastor's home.

    So all of these things just tend to rub me the wrong way and I am unsure of how to proceed with these feelings of discomfort. Or am I just making mountains out of molehills?
  2. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    You are not making mountains out of molehills at all. These are serious problems. Anyone who would say otherwise needs to seriously reconsider the place the Ten Commandments occupy in their religion—specifically the second and the fourth.
  3. Jonathan95

    Jonathan95 Puritan Board Freshman

    That's good to hear. I have brought this stuff up in the past and have been called legalistic and pharisaical. Two things that I most definitely do not wish to be known for... But it seems like my beliefs on these topics are held by a minority when compared with Christian evangelicalism throughout my country(USA).

    And being in Boston makes it harder to find believers that think this way seeing as how liberal it is here. I left my church a long while ago for allowing women to preach and now I'm seeing issues with this church and I do not wish to be known as a church hopper or as someone who is overly critical of fellow believers.
  4. Regi Addictissimus

    Regi Addictissimus Completely sold out to the King

    This is far from being a small issue, brother. Preaching and worship should never take a backseat to a potluck on the Lord's Day. It is the Lord's day. I would not attend. In this instance, it may be worth going somewhere with a proper worship service that day, even if it is a bit of a drive. Do you have transportation?
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  5. Jonathan95

    Jonathan95 Puritan Board Freshman

    I do not have a vehicle, but the train runs pretty far out. Either way, there is a PCA church smack in the middle of the city that I'll head over to.
  6. Regi Addictissimus

    Regi Addictissimus Completely sold out to the King

    I will check it out and report back.

    Are there any brothers or sisters in Boston on here that can take our brother?
  7. Jonathan95

    Jonathan95 Puritan Board Freshman

    They are PCA, but it seems they also have deaconesses. They have written their own confession as opposed to affirming the WCF. So yeah. I can check it out but, perhaps in terms of membership I should look elsewhere?
  8. Seeking_Thy_Kingdom

    Seeking_Thy_Kingdom Puritan Board Freshman

    As others have already said this is not a small issue, it is in fact a series of serious ones. I will be praying for you!
  9. Jonathan95

    Jonathan95 Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you very much.
  10. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior


    You have my sympathies, brother, and, more than that, my prayers. I know this cannot be easy for you.

    I understand, also, that to speak against this is difficult as well. You have mentioned that you've been called legalistic and pharisaical. Clearly, whoever is saying those things has no idea what they mean.

    I do hope you can find a more faithful church to attend. Truly, no church is perfect; there are degrees of error in all. But to forsake the worship of God? That is a serious breach.
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  11. Jonathan95

    Jonathan95 Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you my friend.. yes it is a disappointing thing. Why on Earth would we forsake teaching the Word of God in order to eat and fellowship with one another? The pastors will be there as well as the church congregants. There is no reason to forego the teaching and worship.

    Ah but yes, I know the reason that is given. It is for a "lack of time". Tis the season for fellowship after all. The only reason that time is "lacking" is because there are those in the church that must be at work by noon.

    This is due to not understanding what the Sabbath entails. I cannot tell you how much it has bothered me that people rush out of service to make sure they can get to work on time..

    It is because no one spends time together due to their jobs that the church feels the need to set aside the worship service in order to make room for people to have time to spend together. Time they should've carved out themselves if they understood the 4th commandment.

    It is truly saddening. This is not the way things should be.
  12. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    @Jonathan95 - It would be a good idea to speak to your pastor and ask him why he thinks it is okay for the church to skip having a worship service for an entire week when the Bible clearly states that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together? This problem seems to be the most obvious one you are facing in your church right now. Try to address it first then work back from there to address related issues pertaining to the second and fourth commandments.

    Sadly, in most otherwise faithful conservative evangelical circles, their understanding of what the second and fourth commandments require of them is highly lacking (and that comment is being very charitable).
  13. Jonathan95

    Jonathan95 Puritan Board Freshman

    I just finished mentioning this issue to a deacon in the church. I believe their answers would be similar. That no one is forsaking assembling together. We will still be assembling, but for a different purpose.

    They don't draw a correlation between assembling together and being taught out of the Word. We could all get together tomorrow to watch football or play golf and it would be considered "assembling together".
  14. Chad Hutson

    Chad Hutson Puritan Board Freshman

    I can't imagine a good reason to have a meal instead of worship. Shows the ignorance of the leadership, in my opinion. I would be wary of any instruction received from them if this is how they approach the worship of God.
  15. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    In which case, try to arrange a lengthy discussion with your pastor in which you politely, but firmly point out how ludicrous this argument actually is.
  16. Chad Hutson

    Chad Hutson Puritan Board Freshman

    Too many "churches" in America are like the people in Amos' day: they desire pablum and pudding! Scratch the itch of the flesh while ignoring the needs of the soul.
  17. Jerrod Hess

    Jerrod Hess Puritan Board Freshman

    Brother if that PCA is solid that you shared I would attend it instead, (and I say this as a Baptist.)

    If you also would like help in finding a faithful congregation near you feel free to PM me.
  18. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    As @Tom Hart said above, the people that say this have no idea what legalism or Pharisaism is. What this is in reality is a hatred for obedience in even the smallest detail of faith and life. This is something John Murray noticed, too:

    "If there is anything that is distasteful to the modern mind it is concern for detail, and particularly is this the case in the field of ethics. By a lamentable confusion of thought concern for detail is identified with legalism and insistence upon the authenticity of the Scriptures in detail is identified with a petrified orthodoxy."

    —John Murray, Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1957), 151.​

    Would these leaders consider rigorous obedience in the minutiae of biblical sexual ethics to be "legalistic"? Surely not. Such is the ridiculousness of their pick-and-choose hermeneutic.
  19. W.C. Dean

    W.C. Dean Puritan Board Freshman

    I also attend an SBC church in the mornings with my mother, and I do highly appreciate Southern Baptist's adherence to the Bible, but from what I've seen there seems to be a severe lack of any teaching whatsoever on the Sabbath within the Convention. If I were in your position I can't say I might refrain from attending that morning.
  20. BLM

    BLM Puritan Board Freshman

    My post below is sparked by your comment, but not necessarily in direct response to it...

    One thing I've noticed increasingly among newer church plants is the absence of "Baptist" (or "Presbyterian" for that matter) from their names in favor of something short and pithy. Furthermore, not only is this distinction absent from the name, but the statements of faith are often so bland and generic one is often unable to really discern what sort of denomination or voluntary association the church might be affiliated with. Take the church in question...assuming I found the right website I found zero mention to it being associated with the SBC at all. There are a couple church plants within a 50 mile radius of me that you would bet are non-denominational, but actually are SBC and receive support from the North American Mission Board (NAMB). The church referenced in the OP is nearly indistinguishable from them as far as web presence goes. I'm curious whether this church in East Boston also is supported by NAMB.

    Back to the OP, my heart aches (literally) at hearing how Jonathan's church will spend the upcoming Lord's Day. I'll pray for him to have discernment as we enter the new year.
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  21. Jonathan95

    Jonathan95 Puritan Board Freshman

    It is the correct website yes. My church is a part of the NAMB and the SEND network by the SBC. Also a part of the ACTS 29 church planting network.

    It's a shame because no on really knows we are Baptist.. and I mean, there are so many issues that maybe we aren't. People describe our church non denom, as if they are ashamed or something idk. I was considering becoming a member after attending this church for a little over a year but now I don't know. I'm very conflicted at what should be done next.

    And apparently the nearest reformed baptist church near me(which isn't very near at all, I'm referring to Austin square baptist Church in Lynn,MA) pulled out of the ARBCA due to "abuse" whatever that means.

    I'm very disheartened.
  22. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Be careful and use discernment with those new PCA 'City' churches. They tend to be liberal, even for the PCA. One of the better ones jumped straight to ECO.
  23. Jonathan95

    Jonathan95 Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes and it has high numbers plus female deacons so idk how it'll go but I can't travel TOO far unfortunately.
  24. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    If I were in your area, I would be at First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Cambridge. They also have instructions on how to arrive via public transport:
  25. Jonathan95

    Jonathan95 Puritan Board Freshman

    Maybe I'll check this one out instead thank you!
  26. Cheryl Watson

    Cheryl Watson Puritan Board Freshman

    When someone says "ARBCA" and "abuse," they are usually referring to the Tom Chantry abuse/coverup scandal.

    ETA that it looks like they left ARBCA in early 2017. If they left that long ago because of Tom Chantry, I would consider that a good thing. It seems kind of late if they are referring to what happened regarding Divine Impassibility (some left because they disagreed with ARBCA's stance, some left because they did not like the way churches who couldn't affirm ARBCA's stance were forced out). It could be a good option for you depending on what they are referring to as "abuse."
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
  27. kodos

    kodos Puritan Board Junior

    I can certainly recommend Pastor Noah Bailey to you. He used to be a minister in our Presbytery before he moved to Cambridge. He is a solid minister of the gospel and a tremendously gifted preacher.
  28. Jonathan95

    Jonathan95 Puritan Board Freshman

    I will go then! Thank you!
  29. Charles Johnson

    Charles Johnson Puritan Board Freshman

    I worshipped here last time I was in Boston. The service and preaching was very good and the people were very friendly.
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