Cals, type of church do you attend?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Gina B, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I know many Cal Baptists have a hard time finding a church in their area.
    Have you managed to find one?
    If you haven't, do your beliefs cause you or others problems where you are?
    Since I list my church in my profile, I wanted to make sure that I do not misrepresent it.
    My church believes in free will, and appears to view Calvinism as a (very) false teaching.
    They haven't yet burned me at the stake though. [​IMG]
    Gina
     
  2. Ron Grove

    Ron Grove
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    I attend an SBC church here. The decision dates back to pre-calvinist days, though, so it wasn't a part of our decision. I am comfortable here. I am openly calvinistic, but it hasn't become an issue. Most people just don't know what that means and quite frankly, don't care to know what it means. I lead our young married's Bible study and while my opinions are always consistant with my theology, it has not been an issue. I have also been invited into the meetings to decide what next years Sunday night material should be which indicates to me the staff doesn't have problems with my positions. At least it was handy when they wanted someone to teach a Reformation class on Sunday nights earlier this year. A former Catholic that is now a reformed Baptist! Boy do we have the class for him to lead! :D

    In Christ,
    Ron
     
  3. Major B

    Major B
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    I attend a church where the pastor is openly calvinistic, and so am I. We run around 1,000 in attendance on Sunday mornings, and had 65 baptisms last year.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    My home church changed to calvinistic beliefs about 6 years ago. Eliminated the "invitation system" and moved into stronger doctrinal studies. We have seen great growth among young adults 18-25 - so much so that I had to be introduced to a number of who been regenerated and joined in the 14 months I was gone on an interim.

    Don't think that the older generation has really changed at all. But the difference with the pastor, preaching, service and influx of young adults shows a totally new direction.
     
  5. Primitive Baptist

    Primitive Baptist
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    Most people ask me what I am, and I tell them that I am a Primitive Baptist. They ask me what the difference is between a Primitive Baptist and a regular old Baptist, and I tell them that we are Calvinistic. They say, "Oh, okay," and have no idea what I mean!
     
  6. dianetavegia

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    A pastor at our last church began a series on Sunday nights to explain the C/A stands but he left the ministry before he finished. I agree, most of us don't know the difference or are so 1 point, 3 point of one, the other or both. I don't label myself any of the above.

    Diane
     
  7. tnelson

    tnelson
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    The church I attend now hold to the Doctrines of Grace openly. As far as I know it is the only one in west AL. My family and I drive 35 miles one way to hear the Word of God preached. Last week I counted the chruches we pass by, (12).

    I did not find out until 3 years ago I was Calvinist in my few of the Bible. I had never heard of the word. I was ask to leave my home church of 39 years. The paster also was forced out. This happened a little over 2 years ago and they can not leave it alone. The sad thing about it is they still don't know what a Calvinist is.

    ps. please pray that their hatred will stop. [​IMG]

    pss. I love my new chruch home. [​IMG]

    may God have mercy on us all
    mike
     
  8. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
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    1. I know this is not what you meant, but I feel the need to be difficult tonight. Primitive and Old Baptist are the same thing. ;)

    2. I'm glad you said Calvinistic instead of plain Calvinist. There are many points of Calvinism that we don't agree with. As many on here are so happy to point out, we are more hyper-Calvinistic. Since you said calvinistic, I guess I don't need to have you excluded. :D ;)
     
  9. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Sorry - no help here. Gave up and became a Presbyterian. God's best to you all though.
     
  10. Frogman

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    The most openly Calvinist of them all; LOL [​IMG] to ya Spurgeon's Friend.

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  11. Pete Richert

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    My wife and I just started attending a Indepedent Reformed Baptist Church in Austin TX: called Dayspring Chapel. (We just moved to TX). IT is the first openenly Calvinistic church we have attended, indeed, the first time we have attended anything remotly Calvinistic. It is so central to the beliefs of the church that the pastor (though he teaches the Bible verse by verse, John 14, Hebrews 11, and Job 12 right now), seems to mention Calvinism in every sermon.
     
  12. Southern

    Southern
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    Gina,
    I have not read all of the responses to your msg, but just wanted to say that I am in your position also. I am in a rough situation also due to the fact that I am the only one in my congregation who hold to these glorious truths.

    Grace alone,
    Bobby
     
  13. Molly

    Molly
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    We have been southern baptist all of our lives,but now drive 1 hour to a baptistic reformed church that holds to election,saved by faith alone,practices church discipline,etc. We agree with the teachings of the church and became calvinists before we knew what it was....when people ask and we tell them what kind of church we attend,they say a what? I believe it is because the Word is not taught in it's entirety to them. We have no church in our town that has an expository preacher. We began driving for the teaching,now we love the church and the people. The people truly live out the Word...it is so different from the sbc churches we have seen.

    We are still studying on the points of calvinism,so I can't say,I am 100% lining up with it,but we do find we agree with it more as we study.

    Molly
     
  14. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Molly,

    How do you balance and justify your 1 hour drive with the concept of doing ministry in a local church??? Obviously preaching is important, but it is not the only part of church life. Doing local ministry and service in a community is a definite and necessary part of local church life. I find it hard to imagine that I could give of my time to a local church within a community if I was living an hour away.

    This is part of the problem I have found in some more Reformed-centered churches -- the people who attend there often have a "what am I receiving from the pulpit" mentality. That mentality seems a bit ironic in a system that is supposed to be more God-focused than me-focused. To illustrate, just look at the posts above. Most are concerned primarily about what they can receive and not what they can give.

    I am not saying you fit the stereotype (although some of your posts show the vital signs [​IMG] ).

    Just wondering.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Good post, SBC. I share this concern about local church ministry adn involvement. IT is very hard to reach your neighbors by asknig them to attend church an hour away ...
     
  16. Gina B

    Gina B
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    That's a confusing situation and a difficult decision. On one hand, you can stay within your community and be active in a local church but have your children and yourself hear the doctrines you hold as truth slammed as false lies of Satan. It can be very discouraging, and a discouraged Christian isn't of much use to God's work.
    On the other hand, you can drive an hour away, come home, and still be active as a Christian in your home area.
    Then again, you can move to where you're going.
    To me, disagreeing on this particular issue isn't enough of a reason to warrant moving to a strange place or driving an hour away for services. On occasion when I hear this or that said, I may get upset but I get over it. We all still believe in God and in the sacrifice Jesus made for us, in being active in our Christian lives, the church, and in the community, and that's the most important thing to me. I'd choose the church I'm in over a Calvinist one that didn't believe in evangelizing or that wasn't as accepting and willing to work with other churches as ours is.
    Gina
     
  17. Molly

    Molly
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    Pastor Larry and SBC,

    This was a very difficult decision for us and we see these concerns as well...in fact,we have just discussed serving in our church and how this is an area where we are trying to seek what God would have us do. We have always been very active in our local churches before(AWANA directors,teaching youth and newly married couples,working with children in vacation bible school,and serving in other low key areas.

    We feel God gives us spiritual gifts for the edification of the body and so we must serve as He has gifted us.

    Our church has many areas where we can serve...AWANA(but most people are already in plce and doing a fabulous job),other teaching positions...youth,children,etc. We have only been in this church about a year,and the people who are teaching are very capable and gifted men or ladies if it is ladies bible studies. Our church also does not hire out anything...so there are oppurtunities to clean bathrooms,vacuum,etc...if one is gifted in service.

    My husband is gifted in the area of administration and teaching and mine is mainly exhorting and maybe teaching(emphasis on youth,children,and maybe ladies....)But if you could see the caliber of the people already teaching,you could see why we hesitate...they are some great spiritaully mature folks here and they are the ones that should be in teaching positions now.

    We have a few families from our town who travel,so we minister to one another,meals,etc when baby is born or someone is sick. These are ways to build up the household of faith. I am helping in the nursery some. We do what we can and if a need arised,we would try our best to help.

    I said all this to simply say...it is a struggle for us and we do not attend church just for what it can give us...we desire to be serving,helping,etc. We really do and maybe God can show us the areas of service we can be a part of. Right now,my ministry is my children and my husband wants me to focus on that without a lot of outside committments. I respect and appreciate that.(I m homeschooling 2 children and have a new baby)

    The teaching is great and we feel so blessed to have it! It is defintely a plus for us because we have been in very weak teaching churches before and we have grown so much being under this teaching...the drive is worth it and we are striving to serve they the best we can! God wants us to grow and learn more about His Word. We have to be fed so we can grow...but there should be a balance with being fed and serving the body.

    Good thoughts pator Larry and SBC! [​IMG]
    Molly
     
  18. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Molly, I think you have missed a major point in this discussion. A major role of the church is salt/light evangelistic influence within a particular community. Ministry & service are not just about what I do within a local body of believers. The Great Commission forces us outside the body and into the culture. For that reason, I have strong beliefs that we should be involved in a church where we can invest in the community around us through evangelism, discipleship, ministry, and service. Again my concern is reflected in many Calvinistic-driven churches. They become so internally-focused (right preaching, right music, right teaching, right doctrine, etc.) that they fail to fulfill the "go" aspect. The very accusation many of my extreme Calvinist friends make against the more seeker-sensitive groups are the same problems they face. It is simply from a different perspective and angle. A church/Christian can become very "me-focused" in an attempt to be "God-focused."

    Just some food for thought.
     
  19. Molly

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    I understand what you are saying and I would have to disagree and agree...Sharing Christ is done where we live through our life,words,etc...we are not doing it to get them to come to church but to share with them the gospel and how to know and love God...this is how God grows the church. We can point them to a bible believing church,but they may not go to our church and that is okay. We would welocme them if they did want to,though.


    You do have it all wrong with this church though...it is the most other church we have been a part of...there is a balance of good solid teaching which has led to an outward focus...to serve others,do for others,and lead others to an understanding of the gospel. The church really minsters to one another,there have been many who have given testimony to this and they are doing it God's way...which we really appreciate. Esp after being a part of the typical bring your lost friend to church mentality.

    I agree that living in a different town can have its drawbacks. Many of which we have strongly considered. Without a church in our town that teaches expositorally,we have had to llok outside our town.

    Many people in larger cities drive this much to go to church and it is normal. Iy really is not that far for us and we have driven much farther for less valuable things.

    Molly
     
  20. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Molly,

    It is not about sharing the gospel as an individual with those around you. What I am talking about is the fact that part of the church's responsibility is evangelism, ministry, etc. within their local community. And my question is: can a person be active in such ministries of their local church and live so far away? Maybe you can. As a pastor, I encourage people to find a church closer to them in which they can serve. If their spiritual growth is left up to my preaching, I am failing in my task anyway. Spiritual growth should not be determined largely by a pastor's expository preaching (or lack thereof). It should be generated through personal Bible study first and foremost.

    On a side note, what is wrong with people wanting to invite friends & family to a church where they know that person will hear the gospel? Like it or not, most Christians are not comfortable with or knowledgeable enough to share their faith in an effective manner. For that reason, I have promised my people that we will seek to create an atmosphere where they can know their unbelieving friends and family will hear the gospel. That does not mean what we do is tailored specifically for that purpose all of the time, but it does mean my preaching should help create a passion for spiritual growth in believers and communicate the essence of the gospel to unbelievers.

    I think you will have a difficult time persuading someone that driving an hour to a church does not have a "what I need and want" purpose behind it.

    See Molly, you are purpose-driven after all. As Warren says, "Every church & Christian is driven by something." You are simply driven by a need to hear what you feel is the most effective style of preaching and therefore you are willing to sacrifice other necessities of the local church life to satisfy that need. :D

    That is your choice but be careful about labeling others as "man-centered" when the same (but slightly different) motive causes you to drive an hour to church.
     

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