Possibly moving my membership, but not a horizontal move,

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Frogman, May 12, 2004.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    This may be off base here in this forum, but I thought I would post it, if another moderator wishes to move it, please do so.

    I am seriously given prayerful consideration of moving my membership from the missionary Baptists. The move will not be able to be paralell because all I see among missionaries is a lip service to the Sovereignty of God, claiming to believe all the tenets of the Doctrines of Grace, yet practicing through statemtent and otherwise things that prove they really do not believe what they claim.

    I am weary of the claims too that only missionary minded churces are scriptural NT churches, but the willingness and sometimes desire to receive the baptism of others though traditionally viewed as anti-missionary.

    I have given at least the last two years to serious studies of these questions and concerns regarding the Biblical teaching of Sovereign Grace, of ecclessiology, and many others. there are many that I have not gained a clear understanding nor have received a full spiritual peace, however, I am a finite creature. My heart continually draws me toward those who declare no more than the Sovereign Grace of God.

    I am of course speaking of our PB brethren. though were I to join them, for some time there will remain some differences in understanding, I am more and more convinced that much of this is due predominantly to language, dialect and regional influences more than differences in belief.

    In fact, five years ago, when I joined the missionary Baptist church I am now in, I thought these guys were the celebrated hardshells I had heard of all my life but had thought they had disappeared.

    I am disappointed more and more to learn I was in error. I cannot deny what my heart declares to me, it is certain above all else the heart will betray the man, is it not?

    I ask your prayers in this matter in a most solemn way it is possible for a mere man to ask of those of whom he does and will continue to hold in dear respect in regards to each of our personal witness as eternal members of the Household of God.

    Remember me not when it is well with you, but most especially when your spirit is troubled and you have not the words to utter on my behalf.

    May God continue to bless each of you in your walk and service with him.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     
  2. massdak

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    i have read some of you post and it seems that you are in the calvinist camp of doctrine. your move must be because of the arminian slant that many baptist churches have. i am not sure what the PB believe but it seems they too are calvinistic. i myself would like to find a church local that is not so arminian. they seem hard to find in my area.
     
  3. Frogman

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    the PB aren't calvinistic because they deny the gospel as a means ordained of God other than to awaken the quickened child of God to the knowledge of his/her position in Christ and to prompt in them humble repentance and submission to the headship of Christ through immersion and membership into a local body of believers. As I said, there remains many differences, but I cannot deny my heart, even as Calvin once stated that he would rather stand before God and claim the leadership of the scripture and the drawing of his heart rather than the claim of popery, or in my case, other administrations not too far down the road from the road to rome, imho.

    I pray you are able to find a sound local church in your area. There are still Sovereign Grace churches around that are not PB, but they are growing few and far between and much confusion is permitted to abound in their teaching for the sake of not offending the world, imho.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  4. massdak

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    thank you, sounds like good advice.
     
  5. rsr

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    Bro. Dallas, I think the opposite is true. The Doctrines of Grace are finding a renewed emphasis in the SBC (check out Al Mohler of Southeastern Seminary and the Founders movement.)


    Whether you think this is a good thing depends upon your viewpoint.

    FOUNDERS MOVEMENT
     
  6. blackbird

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    rsr!! The "Frog" man can be lured to "our side" of the force---the SBC---a little friendly persuasion is in line

    www.albertmohler.com
     
  7. blackbird

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    There! That ought to persuade Frogman----I met Brother Mohler the other day and he has the same "disposition" and "intellect" as our very own Frogman!!
     
  8. Gina B

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    To be honest Frogman, I don't think it will matter much where you move to.
    I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've church hopped and finally decided to stay put as long as I can stand it because my only other option is to start a church myself.
    The problem is not with a specific denomination. The problem is that Christians are spiritually weak, no matter what knowledge they may have or whether their said doctrine is solid as a rock.
    The problem is even more exaggerated in America because we don't HAVE to be strong. It's really an eye opener when one wonders why He allows persecution to happen. It's scary to think where we'd be spiritually without it. :(
    Gina
     
  9. Frogman

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    Poor man :D

    Brother Dallas

    BTW, I do appreciate the links very much, I have already started reading through the Founders, and I have read some from the Founders Journal onlilne, I think, is that related?

    SBC? I don't know Blackbird, are you ready to use the fruit of the vine? ;) [​IMG]

    God Bless each of you brethren in your concern for me and my current condition. I have very simply grown tired of what I have witnessed of double talk, political shenanigans among deacons, pastors and others all claiming to be in the old paths, claiming a heritage from the Welsh tract, sandy creek, etc. etc. but not clinging to the whole of that heritage.

    I have discussed this with my pastor several times in the last two to three years; he continues to seem to desire to ignore the issue; I have been censured by deacons for my belief in limited atonement; and now the issue is beginning over the order of regeneration; I simply cannot deny my heart for the satisfaction of others. I am beginning to think they would be as well off or better without me to contend with.


    I have told them, and many agreed, I am perhaps too particular in these matters, what can I say, if I am not what I am, then what am I? :confused:
     
  10. Ronald

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    I believe your best move would be to the reformed Baptist church, if you hold to believer's baptism. If you hold to covenant infant baptism, then simply a reformed Church will be sufficient. Both denominations hold to all five points of Calvinism.

    Most Regular and Independent Baptists denominations hold to only FOUR points. Some Southern Baptists hold to three points. All these denominations maintain that Christ is the Savior of ALL men, especially to those that believe.I Tim 4:10. I fall into the latter group.

    Primitive Baptists are primarily 5 pointers and very STRICT in their autonomy. They claim the Baptist churches have ALWAYS existed all the way to the time of Christ himself. One would be hard pressed to find a Baptist church in Jesus' time, when he existed in a JEWISH community of believers? The "Trail of the Blood" written by B.H.Carrol is somewhat inaccurate as well. For the groups he cites as existing alongside the Roman church for the first 700 years could hardly have held to all the Baptist's beliefs of today.

    Remember one thing, when you willingly join a STRICT denomination you place yourself under THEIR authority and so if you have any doctrinal differences you will not be so able to express your feelings as if you were in a Regular Baptist church or an Independent one. I know. When I was very young I attended a PB church and got into a discussion with one of the elders about their origin. He claimed they started with John the Baptist. I tried to explain to him that Christ founded the church and not John the Baptist. But because John was called a Baptist, that was his claim for identity. Unbelievable? But that is a true story. So go at this very s-l-o-w-l-y. Words of advice from an old timer.God Bless.
     
  11. Bro. James Reed

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    Well, since John was the first to baptize, as Christ's was the first New Testament baptism, I guess the claim to be descended from the first minister, John the Baptist, could be true. Of course, the church was founded upon and by Christ so that claim might be somewhat troubling.

    Also Bro. Ronald, remember what you yourself said, we are strict in our autonomy. Just because one elder somewhere said something does not mean that all of us hold to it.

    I too am of the belief that we are descended from the church started by Christ. I know there was no Jerusalem Primitive Baptist Church, but I also recognize that scripture teaches that there'll always be a remnant of the church, so the church could never have gone out of existence. The scriptures also teach what constitutes a valid baptism and that preachers are to be ordained by other ordained men.

    If one is to believe that he is in the true church, and I think we all believe we are or we would be somewhere else, then they must recognize that the validity of the ordinances carried out in the church must be by the proper administrator, one who is a direct line from the apostles and all the other ordained men of the time.

    This elder was wrong about the church being founded by John the Baptist, but I would not hold that one thing against him as he would probably recognize the truth were it pointed out to him.

    Bro. Dallas, I will certainly be praying for you. I have been praying that the Lord would impress upon your heart to know whether you are meant to change your church or not. Mind you I would be happy for you to join the PB church, but I also recognize that it is not the right choice for everyone, as everyone has different levels of understanding in the scriptures.

    I will simply say, listen to what God is telling you and follow in the direction which He leads you. If that is to stay with your current church then that is what you should do. If that is to join the PB church then that is what you should do.

    I have never had to decide anything like this before because I have loved the PB church since I can remember, but I have seen other people struggle with this type of decision. It's not usually an easy one to make, and may times people will have regrets for some time after following through, usually because of the vast differences in practice between our churches and other groups. All I can tell you is follow the Lord and you will not be led astray.

    I will continue to pray for you and your family to be comforted in your decision.

    Follow the Lord.

    God Bless you and yours.

    Brother James
     
  12. Frogman

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    Thanks Gina, I appreciate your words, I posted in reply to your post, but the post was lost in the WWW, so I will just say thanks.

    Thanks Brother Ronald,
    I am now a believer in the strict landmark belief of ecclessiology.

    This belief teaches that true Baptist churches have existed since Christ first established his church from material prepared by John the Baptist.

    I respect your belief in Reformed theology and ecclessiology, but I don't agree that the true church ever had a need of being reformed.

    Thanks for your post and your encouragement to me.

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas

    Thank you for your prayers Brother James.
     
  13. Mitsy

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    Frogman,

    I don't believe that the PB church is the "only" true church, and I am also wrestling with the issue of "re-baptism" for already baptised believers who want membership in the PB church. That said, I will point out some wonderful qualities of the PB that I truly love. I have found the people in the local congregation to be some of the best, most welcoming Christians I've met anywhere. I'm 43 yrs. old, and the majority of the people there are quite a bit older than me. I think the couple closest in age is about 50. So, for me to keep going to a church with virtually no one my age (and actually forgetting the age difference once I get there) is a real big compliment for the local church. I've received NO pressure to join. Of course, I know they would like for me to be re-baptised and join, but that is something I am still mulling over in my mind.

    Our church meets every other week, and on the "off" Sundays, many people go to the out of town churches where either the regular minister or special speaker will be preaching. I've gone several times now with the one couple I've become quite close to.

    The worship service is simple, but easy to be a part of. There is about 30 min. of singing before each sermon and then at the end of the service, they have a song and hand-shaking. That is a trademark of the PB (extending the hand of fellowship).

    The church always has a fellowship meal afterwards.
    When we meet at my local PB church, I take a dish and sometimes a dessert for our fellowship meal, although I'm not the cook that others are. When we go to the out of town services, we don't take a dish and we don't expect visitors to our church to bring a dish either. It seems to work out well.

    If you like good food and close fellowship with people who truly care about you, you'll probably like the PB people. Sadly, lack of meaningful fellowship was one of the reasons I left the E-Free church I had been a member of for many years. Everyone at the E-Free church seemed to have a "job" or duty they had to perform. Many of the women were teaching Sunday school or were helping in children's church. I seldom had many conversations with any of these sisters as they were simply too busy to stop and visit. To me, fellowship should be a big part of the church environment. The PB do not have a "Sunday School" class, so you won't be asked to teach or help with that. At our local PB church, there is no offering plate passed, so you don't feel obligated money-wise either. Anyone who wants to donate, gives to the deacon personally. I'm not sure if that is better or worse than just having the plate or box in the back of the church, but that's the way they do it where I attend.

    I's say give the PB a visit and see what you think. Also, maybe visit some other churches and just check them out. Keep us posted. Blessings.
     
  14. Frogman

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    Thanks sister for your summary. I have been visiting and discussing things among them for a little over a year now.

    There is not alot of differences between these and where I am now at, at least in the beginning of that churches history, they would have at the very least been identified with the Regular Baptist.

    I do appreciate your thoughts and prayers on my behalf.

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas
     
  15. HankD

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    Also (if not already mentioned) the Primitive Baptists have no Sunday School, practice foot-washing and don't have a paid "clergy" and frown upon those with a Bible School or seminary education, though they wont disallow you to speak especially if you wern't a Primitive Baptist when you were educated.

    Another thing I've heard/read from more than one source: some Primitive Baptists (a small element?) are "no-hellers" or in regular terminology, universalists. They believe God will eventually save all men, through the finished work of Christ and personal acceptance of that sacrifice of course. I don't know too many more details.

    HankD
     
  16. Ronald

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    Will the real church please stand up

    I am a ardent student of Philip Schaff and his history of the Christian Church. He has no axe to grind and simply reveals the truths of the matter.

    Actually, there was NO Baptist church in existence until at the time of the reformation.The primary church for over a thousand years was the CATHOLIC church divided into the west and the east. The BEGINNING church in Jerusalem was made up of Jews who still held to their heritage, but trusted in Jesus as their Lord and Messiah.God chose Paul as a minister to the GENTILES. Because of his efforts many, many gentile churches were established. Even so, whether assemblies of Jewish believers or gentile believers there were NO NAMED denominational churches, ONLY where they were located.

    The title CATHOLIC was a Latin term meaning "universal" and so the whole church LATER ON was thereafter called was the CATHOLIC CHURCH. Even in the Nicene Creed the phrase "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church" appears. So the there was only ONE name church and that was the Catholic or universal church.

    Originally, this primitive church held to the doctrines of grace and practiced believers' baptism, but as pagans flooded the church just a couple centuries later they brought in false teachings INTO the once primitive and pure church. Then in the 3rd century the Emperor Constantine LEGALIZED Christianity and so Christianity BECAME A STATE CHURCH. A religious-political state run church. After that the Papacy arose with great power and Maryology,as well as images were erected and even more heresies entered the church.

    Few people know that a great pagan philosopher who converted to Christianity had a powerful influence on the dogmas of the state run church. His name was Augustine. His writings were revered as much as the bible. Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk at one time and John Calvin borrowed much of his theology from Augustine.

    The Albigensian and Waldensian were prominent during the time of Luther, but were not Baptist in their total beliefs. The Baptists started in ENGLAND under Roger Williams. Williams’s criticism of the existing authorities, coupled with his outspoken demeanor, resulted in his banishment from New England in 1635. He fled southward in January of the following year, where he bought land from the Indians and founded the colony of Rhode Island. He named its first settlement Providence in recognition of God’s help and guidance. Soon after this time he founded America’s first Baptist church in 1639

    Now one can deny all these truths, but true history cannot lie. One poster claimed John the Baptist was a member of the church. No, he wasn't. He was a chosen prophet of God's choosing to preach to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL baptism and repentance and to herald the wonderful news of their coming Messiah. What we call the church did not really come into being until Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was first given. That was the church's birthday. Christ and the apostles are the FOUNDATION of the church and John the Baptist was not an apostle.

    Now some Baptist brethren feel the church didn't begin until after Paul's ministry began which would be after the first dispersion of the Jewish church. This was believe by O Hare, E.W. Bullinger and now C.R.Stam and the grace brethren movement of today. Irregardless, the church BEGAN after Pentecost and not before.

    I just wanted to post this because I feel a lot of folks read misleading books that deny the real truth of church history. That's all.
     
  17. HankD

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  18. pinoybaptist

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    by Ronald:
    Interesting. So, Jesus Christ was speaking in the future tense about something not created yet when he said what he said in Matthew 18:17 ?

    HankD:

    Where in the Bible does it say anything about a Sunday School, there are PB churches who do not do foot-washing but that is not a test of fellowship for us. Also, what is the Scriptural basis for Bible Schools or seminary education ?

    I'm not trying to be testy here, but since you bring these up, I would like to know.

    As for the no-hellers, yes, we do have our small share of extremists just like any other non-PB church but that is a test of fellowship and from them the mainstream of PB churches (even the Progressives) separate.

    A few years ago, we had a deacon in church whose father was a PB pastor and a no heller. He was much loved and respected. Quite a remarkable young man, too. Knew all, and I mean all, the songs and a good songleader. Until he brought to the fore his beliefs. It is extremely hard to sit on the pew and listen to the preacher expound passages on hell and eternal punishment and the election of a definite number of individuals unto salvation instead of all men being saved, and not squirm and twist inwardly, and I guess he just had enough, so he started giving away materials and stuff.

    Much as all of us wept at his going, we had to exclude him from church.
     
  19. Mitsy

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    The PB church I attend does NOT practice foot washing. As far as the "hell" issue, I do think they are much more open to the possibility of many people being saved (whether they are church goers or not, PB or not). I don't hear fire and brimstone preaching there, which has always been a turn-off to me. For the most part, they are more in line with some of my beliefs than many other denominations. I'm sure there are differences among the many PB out there. Every church is unique even if in the same denomination.
     
  20. Frogman

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    My point in seriously considering this move is where I draw the line?

    Here are some of my beliefs, some of which may or may not be commonly held among the PB brethren.

    </font>
    • The church has Christ alone as its founder and head</font>
    • The church is made up of immersed believers [which does not mean that anyone unimmersed in like fashion is not part of the Family of God]</font>
    • The purpose of the church in the so called 'great' commission is not and has not ever been in order to get people saved</font>
    • I am pre-mil, pre-trib, and I am looking for a future thousand year reign [this may be different than the majority of PB brethren, but many have told me this is not an issue of fellowship, whether it is so or not, I do not know]</font>
    • I believe in eternal punishment for any for whom Christ did not die [this means I believe in limited atonement, that it is not limited by anything short of the decree of God] This is a hard statement, but I believe it, fully affirming [with CH Spurgeon I might add, that if God had not willed my coming to Christ I would not have] This is the primary difference I find in myself and most missionary Baptists of today, while many do believe in limited atonement they make this limit depended upon the voluntary rejection of man</font>
    • I believe the Bible alone is full in all its intents and purposes for the feeding of the flock over which any God called preacher is made over seer. In saying this, and although I have been raised in Sunday School, I find no purpose necessary to the church of this activity nor any other like activity designed to present the power of God in a way that groups of people are able to grasp it in accordance to their intellectual capacity or ability, statements regarding that the church needs a youth pastor because the older pastor cannot relate to the youth, if holding any truth really should say it is time for the pastor to move on and for the church to receive the man God would have in his place.</font>
    • I believe God alone is instrumental in calling the elect to himself through Christ Jesus, I believe that all the elect will in time be taught of the Spirit and drawn to God, that they will be brought to the realization of their quickening through sanctification of the Spirit and that this will draw them to the preached gospel, not that they may be regenerated by hearing the gospel preached, but that they come to know their position in Christ</font>
    • I believe in closed communion, but I can forsee no difficulty in practicing close communion in as much as I am able to tell, it represents the same purpose to maintain fellowship and insure church discipline as closed communion would. Were in the case that myself fell from fellowship through sin from a local body, and that body is not in correspondence with another, well, what hinders the Spirit, if so be I possess that Spirit of truth in leading me to humble repentance?</font>
    These are just a few of what I believe, I believe each of these can be independently and collectively supported by scripture. I find my difficulties with what is called Sovereign Grace is not found in any person, but in the systematic teaching of doctrine.

    I have no desire to present myself a stumbling block to anyone, regarding their liberty of conscience, I shall defend that as a God given right in any capacity afforded to me.

    I have no desire to declare that missions are un-Biblical, but that they are Biblical in accordance to the Macedonian call and not the unction, call and unstable support of boards or societies.

    I have no desire to led men in my current place of leadership in so much as I would then be a sheep stealer. It is my purpose to not steal sheep, but to feed the sheep in accordance to the command of Christ.

    It is in my best ability to understand the Divine Word of God that all the elect will come to repentance and belief in Christ as their Lord and Saviour because he said he is the way, the truth and the life, but that as a gospel preacher, no man has the honor or glory bestowed upon himself as leading anyone of these elect to Christ, except that he is himself a servant of God through Christ and at best shall accomplish that to which God has called him and will yet in and of himself be an unworthy servant.

    If what I have written above is disagreeable to you, feel free to engage in discussion, I have provided to the best of my ability what I believe, without accompanying scriptural support, but believing in my heart that what I have written can be supported by the whole counsel of God.

    Your disagreement will in no way offend me and I pray that if my statements have offended any one of you that your reaction will first be to pray that God would have mercy upon me when I am judged. I am satisfied to have God alone as our common judge, Christ as our Lord and savior and in accordance to our understanding, our beliefs laid open on the table top.

    May God Richly Bless each of you in your walk and service with him.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     

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