Awesome church experience!

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by evangelist6589, Aug 1, 2016.

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  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Visited my parents church yesterday. Pastor preached a message on Romans 10 in their study thru Romans. The gospel and evangelism was a central theme in the message. The pastor hit on total depravity, Limited Atonement and in previous messages on Unconditional Election. The music was awesome being a blend of praise/contemporary. The tract wall was filled with tracts from Living Waters which was completely awesome and a sight to see!

    I picked up a CD of the message however I can also listen online but the CD is nice for the car.

    Doesn't it feel so much better to be in a church that you love? Are you in a church that you love? Or one that is not so good? How do you respond? I am not in the best church so I remain neutral. Anyone in my shoes? A Calvinist in a non-Cal church?
     
  2. InTheLight

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    Yep.

    Yep.

    Nope.

    With praise and thankfulness.

    Nope.

    I thank God he predestined me to be a non-Cal.
     
  3. Salty

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    Why is everything with you C vs A?
     
  4. JonC

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    I am actually in the process of considering a change in terms of local church membership. My wife and I have been wrestling with this decision for about 7 years now. The difficulty is that we love our current church (the people) but are dissatisfied in several areas (which is another thread all together). I think we've been led out of that church for years but resisted because of their youth program. Anyway, that's my boring life.

    It does feel better in a church that you love. We should, of course, love what ever church in which we find ourselves (but I get what you mean). I am leaving one church that I love for one I believe I belong. I have never attended a "Calvinist" or a "non-Calvinist" church, and I think that I may leave if one defined itself along those boundaries. There is a degree to which I would attend a church and differ with it's doctrine, and there is another degree to where I would leave a church over it's doctrine. Calvinism is not, for me, that deciding point (depending on the overall climate of the church). And, of course, I always strongly hesitate to talk poorly about God's children (regardless of their faults).
     
  5. evangelist6589

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    So you would attend a church that thinks you can lose salvation? That's what you just said.
     
  6. Van

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    Calvinists seem like Puritans, wanting to change their church to reflect their views, whereas non-Cals seem more like Separatists, wanting to leave churches that teach Calvinist doctrines. Many modern churches present ambiguous doctrine (see post # 4.)
     
  7. TCassidy

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    No, it's not! Good grief!
     
  8. JonC

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    If I were a member....well, then the whole church wouldn't think that I could. ;) And that isn't what I said (I didn't identify what would or would not make me leave a church...and certainly not all non-Calvinistic churches teach that salvation can be lost).

    I have noticed that there are some people who have very strong theological convictions, who have astounding clarity of belief, yet their actions seem completely void of any evidence of knowing Christ. They seem to know a lot about Him, but if this knowledge is anything but cognitive there is no evidence.

    I’ve noticed other people who have poor theological structures and weak doctrinal understanding, yet who seem to exude a Christlikeness that is both biblical and atypical of normative “Christianity”.

    If I had to choose between a church that taught eternal life but belonged to that first category of "believers", then I would much rather worship with those people who live in fear of losing their salvation - at least they have an appreciation of the reality of sin that seems to be lacking in churches today. I could (with a little practice) worship with more charismatic minded people who had a genuine heart and mind for Christ than I could with some "proper" churches who place correct doctrine over knowing Jesus Christ.
     
  9. JonC

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    Nothing ambiguous there, Van....just saying that you'd even be welcomed as a brother :Thumbsup.

    There is a difference between taking a stand for what one believes and having everyone take a stand for what you believe. Those churches that I spoke of are not exactly ambiguous in doctrine, but I understand how you could have mistaken my comments to indicate they were. The issues that have arisen are not related to the doctrine that is taught.
     
  10. Van

    Van
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    If from the "what we believe" brochure you cannot discern whether the church is Calvinist, it is ambiguous.

    The reason I have been welcomed at dozens of churches is because I come to worship and learn, not teach.
     
  11. JonC

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    If you are saying that Calvinism is the paramount doctrine that local churches should use to define themselves then we do disagree. In the overall scheme of things, I suppose it is good that there are churches that define themselves along such post-Reformation lines (either for or against Calvinistic doctrine) as the Church as a whole benefits from what both sides may bring out. I just choose (or have been predestined) not to attend a church that finds it's identity along those lines. This does mean that I've had disagreements with some brothers within my own church, but these issues did not result in division as Christ, not Calvinistic soteriology, was the Object of our unity.

    So yes, as I understand you, in terms of Calvinism our church is a bit ambiguous. In terms of biblical teaching and walking through Scripture, it is not (regardless as to whether that walk leads to a Calvinistic view, a non-Calvinistic view, or a degree of variance in interpretation).
     
  12. Van

    Van
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    LOL, here is the Van rule: If a sentence starts with "if you are saying" then 100% of the time what follows is not what I said. :)

    I said you can tell whether a church is Calvinist by reading the "what we believe" brochure. And if you cannot tell, then the church position is ambiguous.

    The problem with churches that hide their theology is Christ said our yes should mean yes, and our no mean no. We should try to be clear and not force others to infer.
     
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  13. JonC

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    :Laugh yes...I suppose your rule is normally correct as typically if I ask it's because I think I might have ya wrong.

    Yes, I agree. You can normally tell what positions a church affirms or takes a stand on many issues by reading their declaration of belief. If it's not addressed, then the church may very well not take a hard stance on the issue (or they may allow liberty of interpretation on the topic).

    The issue may be that what is important to you is not important to the congregation in terms of defining their faith or forming an identity. Many churches could care less about one's Calvinistic leanings. Many do not hold to a specific standard of dress for women. Many don't view contemporary music as evil. Many don't take a hard stance on the rapture...or drinking alcohol....or the extent to which Christ suffered "our punishment",...or a "literal" view of Genesis...or whatever one's pet doctrine/anti-doctrine may be.

    Our "pet" doctrines may differ. Mine is more along the lines of rejecting what I believe to be cultural evils. I don't mind if I can't tell what a church believes in terms of Calvinism (they may not have a common ascribed view for the congregation). But I try to see where they land on contemporary issues (such as abortion, SSM, etc.). And when churches are ambiguous about those issues I tend to think the worst and avoid them. So I understand your comment about local churches not drawing a firm line regarding the doctrines you are concerned about here...but at the same time I know that many (most?) churches allow for more liberty than you may feel warranted in those areas.
     
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  14. Van

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    Yes, JonC, I am guilty as charged. I am a virulent anti Calvinist because from my side of the street, any other view is like tolerating Jezebel. But, as you know, I also do not cut much slack for Arminianism either.
     
  15. JonC

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    And while we disagree on some points (and agree on others) I do think that you bring out sides of issues that need to be considered. We will never quite agree, for example, on penal substitution (as you've related it as a Trojan horse for limited atonement). But I believe that your position illustrates circumstances where doctrine can be taken out of biblical proportion. You cause me to re-examine my own views and although we disagree I am still the better for the dialogue.

    I believe that local churches benefit from diverse understandings/theologies depending on the makeup of the congregation. Anti-Calvinists and Anti-non-Calvinists are probably better suited to like-minded congregations (on that issue). But there exists a much broader landscape than these two types of churches (and these two types of Christians). We all have lines that we have drawn in the doctrinal sand.
     
  16. evangelist6589

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    Then what are you then?
     
  17. Van

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    I am a professing Christian, and my views reflect what the Bible actually says.

    The bible says we are chosen for salvation through faith in the truth, thus a "conditional election." 2 Thessalonians 2:13. This understanding is shared with Arminianism.

    The bible says Christ laid down His life as a ransom for all, thus Christ died for everyone, those who become saved, and those who are never saved. This understanding is shared with Arminianism.

    The bible says once we are born anew, our faith is protected, and thus once saved, always saved. This view is shared with Calvinists, and many Arminian leaning believers.

    Where I part company with the theology of many, is I believe we are chosen for salvation during our physical lives and therefore not before creation. Before creation we did not exist and therefore did not have faith in the truth. Before creation we were not "rich in faith" and heirs of the kingdom promised to those who love God. Thus my view that the gospel provides the opportunity for salvation to those who hear and and accept it, is shared with most Christians.

    And lastly, I part company with the theology of many because I believe some people seek God and can understand the milk of the gospel, the second, third and fourth soils of Matthew 13.

    The bible says God sets before us the choice of life or death, not the illusion of such a choice. I am a bible believing Christian.
     
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  18. evangelist6589

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    Your interpretation of the Bible that is. You can't with authority claim CAlvinism wrong.
     
  19. Van

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    Sure I can, if I demonstrate from scripture that it is wrong. It is not "my" interpretation that 2 Thessalonians says we are chosen for salvation through faith in the truth. Just read it.

    It is not my interpretation that says Christ laid down His life as a ransom for all. Just read it.

    It is not my interpretation that says men were entering the kingdom of heaven, but were blocked. Just read it.

    It is not my interpretation that says God sets before us the choice of life or death. Just read it.

    Your doctrine asserts "unconditional election" without any verse or passage to support it, whereas the biblical doctrine teaches conditional election in several passages, including 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.

    Your doctrine asserts "limited atonement" without any verse or passage to support it, whereas the biblical doctrine teaches Christ died for all mankind, in several passages, including 2 Timothy 2:4-6.

    Your doctrine asserts no one at any time seeks God without any verse or passage to support it, whereas the biblical doctrine teaches people seek God again and again, including Matthew 23:13.

    Your doctrine asserts we do not have a choice, we are compelled to Christ via irresistible grace, or we unable to seek God because of total spiritual inability, but the biblical doctrine teaches God sets before us the choice of life or death, as in Deuteronomy 30:15-16.
     
  20. evangelist6589

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    What hogwash. I am on vacation and away from my book "The five Points of Calvinism defined and defended." It lists plenty of verses to support the five points. I will post a defense when I get access to the book. You will say that I am using a book instead of the scripture, but I am using the scripture, its just the book lists many verses to defend Calvinism that I cannot remember right now.
     
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