Ultra-Reformed?

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Reformingstudent

Puritan Board Junior
I have a question concerning an individual who although claiming to be in the Faith refuses to fellowship with other believers simply because in her opinion, there is no one close enough who is "reformed" enough to worship with. In other words this person does not attend church anywhere simply because she believes she is too Reformed to associate with other believers.
What I would like to know then is this, is this person sinning against the Lord by not accepting other believers because she considers her self superior to them simply because she may have more knowledge of the ways of the Lord and a deeper understanding of the Reformed faith. This same person also believes that true Christian don't sin even though she has sinned many a time against others and has refused to acknowledge any wrong on her part. Is it wrong for a true Christian to refuse to worship with other Christians simply because they are not as reformed as we may be? Is this not sin also?
 

Philip A

Puritan Board Sophomore
This same person also believes that true Christian don't sin...

The entirety of the Reformed confessions are unequivocal in asserting that all believers are to unite themselves to true churches, despite the fact that the churches have many failings. They are also unequivocal in stating that all Christians still sin.

Of course, if this person were to join a confessional Reformed church, she would shortly come under discipline for her false doctrine, i.e., perfectionism. If sinless perfectionism is Reformed, then I'm a helicopter.
 

Theoretical

Puritan Board Professor
Nothing ultra-Reformed about her - just Wesleyan Perfectionist, with a predestinarian and exceptionally sectarian flair.
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
Does the obligation to affiliate with a local church include the obligation to sit through 2-hour services in a language one does not understand? In that case, would it not be better to listen to Christian music and sermon tapes with a few others who have a common language?
 

jambo

Puritan Board Senior
I think of Pauls comment about the Colossian believers who had a love for all the saints (Col 1.4) Loving all the saints can be difficult. There is no doubt that some of the saints are a pain in the neck but we are under obligation to love our brothers and sisters. At the last supper Jesus instructed the disciples to love another as he had loved them. Earlier on in the night the discples had been arguing about who was the gretest. I often wonder how a zealot like Simon got on with a tax colletor like Matthew. How did the ten other disciples cope with the Sons of Thunder?

I often wonder that if the Corinthian church was up the road, would I be able to have fellowship with it considering some of the things going on there? Would I be able to love all the saints in Galatia who were trying to mix the Law with grace? What about the other NT churches? Would we go to a church like Ephesus that was losing its first love? Do we just love and have fellowship with those who just think like us?

We need to be narrow enough to include the essentials but broad enough to accept the diversity within that band. By essentials, I mean that which is biblically essential, not what we arbitrarily deem to be essential
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The longer I have been a believer, the more I am convinced that we are to be patient with our brothers and sisters who do not completely agree with us on the secondary issues of our faith. I am also convinced that when I see the Lord, I will find out on what points I was completely wrong and on what points I was more accurate, and God will judge me based on how much I responded in obedience to His revealed Word.

We are to fellowship with believers who love the Lord and strive to follow Him with all their hearts. We are all at different places in our pilgrimage. That does not mean that we have to become full fledged members of those churches that are full of problems, but if that is all that is available, we should worship with those believers.
 

beej6

Puritan Board Sophomore
Not to mention that while we as Reformed believers may believe we have "the most consistent expression of the Christian religion," we cannot forget that there are true believers in other, true Christian churches and, if we find ourselves in the sad state where there are no Reformed churches nearby, still we should endeavor to find a suitable church for fellowship and edification.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
What troubles me about the original question here is a deep doubt that someone could claim to love the bridegroom (Christ) but reject his bride (the church). The most loving thing you could do for this woman is to go over the passages from scripture that most succinctly present the gospel.

As to whether or not one should attend somewhere when language is a barrier, that is largely different. On one hand, I would do everything I could to gather with those of like language and mind. At the same time, I would not totally reject attending even when language is a difficulty -- Christ himself promises to be present.
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Does the obligation to affiliate with a local church include the obligation to sit through 2-hour services in a language one does not understand? In that case, would it not be better to listen to Christian music and sermon tapes with a few others who have a common language?

Mary,

I understand how hard it is to worship in another language. A similar thing happened to my family when we were in Italy. We only did this for two weeks in a row, but we got a lot out of it, even though we didn't understand most of it. We thought it was a beautiful thing to worship with them. It was a very simple service, praying, reading, singing, and preaching, along with the administration of the sacraments. We knew that the people loved the Lord in the manner of what Paul is saying in 1 Cor. 14. and we could report that God was truly among them.

I would encourage you not to choose between these two things, but do them both. You will be edified twice if the Spirit is in it.

In Christ,

KC
 

jogri17

Puritan Board Junior
I've encountered people like that. They are the kind who call RC Sproul arminian, VanTil a heretic, and all infralasparians are reprobate. They have no discernment between primary issues and secondary issues and matters of technical theology. Also usually they are people with no formal theological education but read a few hundred books and think they are experts on something.
 

Reformingstudent

Puritan Board Junior
What troubles me about the original question here is a deep doubt that someone could claim to love the bridegroom (Christ) but reject his bride (the church). The most loving thing you could do for this woman is to go over the passages from scripture that most succinctly present the gospel.

As to whether or not one should attend somewhere when language is a barrier, that is largely different. On one hand, I would do everything I could to gather with those of like language and mind. At the same time, I would not totally reject attending even when language is a difficulty -- Christ himself promises to be present.

Someone has already tried that and they were booted out of her group. She does not take correction very well and when confronted she becomes very hostel. This person thinks herself as an Internet theologian and as long as she has her Internet friends (some of which are into hyper-Presbyterianism) to encourage her in her error she will just keep on going her way. I could feel sorry for her if not for the fact that she is a hateful person and just uses her religion as a veil for her wickedness.
 

ericfromcowtown

Puritan Board Sophomore
I play a 'game' whenever I am driving through a small town. I check out what churches this town of 500 or 1000 has to offer. "Catholic, United (ultra-liberal), and Lutheran. Well I guess if we lived in Greenview, we'd be worshipping in a Lutheran church." "Catholic, United, and Baptist. Well, I guess if we lived in Brownville, we'd be worshipping in a Baptist church." Perhaps in Greenview and Brownville you'd start to think seriously about connecting with other families who would like to plant a reformed church, but in the meantime you should be occupying a pew in one of the above.

I suppose that there might be rare occasions when worshipping at home could be justified, but I agree with the other posters that Christians have an obligation to worship together. We often draw our swords on the PB, and there is nothing wrong with heated debates on important doctrinal points, but we should remember that more often than not these are in-family arguments.
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
She sounds like she's in the same group as Fred Phelps.

Both of them are under the impression that their conception of a Christian is the correct conception, that they themselves fit it, and that only who they deem worthy can ever meet it. From that, they reduce the number of worthy, "true" Christians to themselves and whoever is in their living room that they don't think are going to Hell.

She is hardly Reformed. If she were Reformed she would be confessional. If she were confessional she'd attend worship. She does not, ergo, she's not Reformed. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news for her, but the Canons of Dort do NOT make one Reformed.

Edit: She sounds like she's in the "cage stage" actually. She may be a Calvinist, but nothing much else.
 
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Reformingstudent

Puritan Board Junior
She sounds like she's in the same group as Fred Phelps.

Both of them are under the impression that their conception of a Christian is the correct conception, that they themselves fit it, and that only who they deem worthy can ever meet it. From that, they reduce the number of worthy, "true" Christians to themselves and whoever is in their living room that they don't think are going to Hell.

She is hardly Reformed. If she were Reformed she would be confessional. If she were confessional she'd attend worship. She does not, ergo, she's not Reformed. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news for her, but the Canons of Dort do NOT make one Reformed.

Edit: She sounds like she's in the "cage stage" actually. She may be a Calvinist, but nothing much else.

I'm not sure about Fred Phelps but I know she considers herself to be a Covenanter. One of the reasons she gave someone for not attending church was the fact that most churches sing hymns and not Psalms and in her view singing hymns in church is sinning against God. I don't know of any Covenanters, especially here on this board who would hold to such a view, but that is what she has been led to believe. In other words, she has no need of those of us she considers enemies of the Lord because she has obtained a higher quality of worship and is more "reformed" then us mere mortals. :barfy:
 
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