Discernment or being critical

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by SolaSaint, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
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    I need some help please. I feel I have been called to be an apologist. I have studied for about four years now trying to develop or renew my mind in God's word to help discern truth from error. Where I'm having difficulty is, I feel I may over-step my calling sometimes and end up being over-critical. We are searching for the right church right now and I seem like I never can find the right fit. This is where I feel I may be getting critical. I consider myself Reformed in theology although I'm no hyper-Calvinist, and I feel like I end up criticizing all the churches we visit because I find a flaw here-and-there in their theology or methodology. When I do this I feel I'm being discerning and want to find the right fit for my family, but I'm getting signals from by better-half that I may be going too far. How do we know when it's time to be discerning without ending up being over-critical? I know "unity in essentials, liberty in non-essentials and charity in all things," this is what Augustine said, should this be my guide? :confused:
     
  2. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Yes. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

    That doesn't mean you settle for any church, but there are some things you're just going to have to let go. You may have to sit under the leadership of those who are your lessers, and just hold your peace when things are said you don't agree with. That would be a good lesson in humility. (You may find out they were your betters after all.)
     
  3. jcjordan

    jcjordan
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    I see you're in Missouri. I have a good friend that is on staff a a solidly reformed SBC church in the St. Louis area. If you're in that vicinity, send me a message and I'll put you in touch. I'm very much like you.
     
  4. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Yes, absoslutely. Discernment mandates, however, that one be able to know the difference between what is an essential and a nonessential. Look at this bb as an example, and see how many people are making issues (sometimes even salvific issues) over nonessentials.
     
  5. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    Now this is a point I whole-heartedly agree with!!!!:thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  6. Berean

    Berean
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    Discernment is when you agree with me, if you disgree that is being critical.
     
  7. donnA

    donnA
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    You probably aren't going to find a 'perfect' church, where you find no problems with anything they teach. Don't nit pick them to death, pray where God would have you serve Him and stay there. Even if it doesn't feel like the perfect fit.
    What Aaron said.....
     
  8. Johnv

    Johnv
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    If such a church exists, don't join it!! The moment we do, it will cease to be perfect!! :laugh:
     
  9. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Only you and God Know
     
  10. nodak

    nodak
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    When the Billy Graham crusade was in Lubbock in the mid 70's, friends from church invited us to go with them. It was about 100 miles each way, giving time for lots of discussions.

    Two people I then and still admired deeply for their wisdom and faith discussed a whole host of topics, and I listened.

    They did not see eye to eye on much of anything. One was very fundmentalistic and Calvinistic. The other was very dispensational and what back then was termed a moderate.

    They were always gentle, respectful to each other, and never got all worked up. Each stated their beliefs on the topics and quoted scripture why. They other person would do the same.

    No debating, no fussing, no fighting. Best witness I ever saw.

    As we would pull into the crusade both would pray for God to save souls that night.

    One of the souls turned around was my dh.

    God make me "that kind of Baptist" and gives us millions more.
     
  11. donnA

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    Thats true.
    What I meant wasn't sinless, but doctrinal, is that what you meant also? I thought this is what he was saying, but maybe not.
     
  12. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Yeah, I'm in agreement with you. While we should strive for doctrinal appropriateness, there's no such thing as a doctrinally perfect church, or, for that matter, a doctrinally perfect person (specifically in regards to nonessentials). We apply scripture in our lives to the best of our imperfect human ability. Paul addressed a small portion of this somewhat, when he said "let no one judge you... let each be fully pursuaded according to his own mind". But what we often do is try to get each person to be fully pursuaded accourding to our mind.
     
  13. SolaSaint

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    Thanks everyone for the great advice, There were some very awesome replies in here and I appreciate it. It's a difficult thing as we grow in Christ and in discernment and see others heading in directions we believe to be in error and then to know the correct way to approach them. But if God has truly grown us to be able to discern, then we should use this gift or ability to help those in error, but as many have said in here, with LOVE.
     

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