Which church to join

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    When I arrived in Zweibreuecken, Gy, there were 3 English Speaking Baptist churches ( American population of about 5,000). There was a SBC, IFB and a Landmark.

    I visited the landmark church, and was informally asked (before joining) to lead the youth group.

    Well, I do not believe in closed communion, among some other beliefs. I told them, I would be glad to teach the youth, but when that discussion came up, I would have to teach what the Bible says about communion.
    You know, I was never formally asked to be the youth director.

    In another thread Tom Butler said ( in post 201 - page 21 ) "Since nobody has yet told me what I must do to be unified with JSM17, and Methodists, and Presbyterians, I've been thinking about what I am willing to do". (note: JSM17 is COC)
    He said he would be willing to work with at a church who had a difference on musical instruments, frequency of communion, ect.

    My question is: would members in those churches be willing to attend and possibly serve in Toms church in spite of the differences?

    Myself, I could attend a Methodist, Church of Christ, ect and "fellowship" with them. It does not mean I agree with all thier doctirne. If I were in a area, say for less than 3 months, I could attend and worship with said groups. If I were to be in the area longer, I would consider statrting a Bible study.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. FlyForFun

    FlyForFun
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    We just ended six years at a church in a denomination that has women pastors, celebrates Lent, and is fairly wishy-washy/non-commital on any point of doctrine "soul liberty" trumps diligent searching of the scriptures).

    Yet, we became members, served in various capacities, and had fellowship. Eventually I took over the Adult Sunday School class and taught for a year.

    But after a while you get tired of fighting. The sermons were eisegetical (is that a word? :smilewinkgrin:), with the pastor imposing his desired emphasis rather than expositing God's words. The focus of ministry became "love one another," while the numbers declined. Spiritual formation and various other "ancient christian practices" (a tenebrae service, for example) were introduced.

    You can oly fight from within for so long, before you start to question everything and see heresy behind every corner. That becomes unhealthy and unproductive.

    So we are moving on -- though where has not yet been determined.
     
  3. annsni

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    MAN, I wouldn't have lasted a week in that. Good for you for trying to work with it but there are times you just need to jump off the sinking ship to save yourselves.

    For me, there are some non-negotiables. The 5 Solas are one of them. Accountability and transparency is another. I can deal with things like different frequencies of communion, different order of service, even a different style of music, although I really do love modern worship songs and would have to find an outlet for that. But I could not deal with KJVO, severe Pentacostalism, weak teaching, "social gospel" trumping the Biblical Gospel, women pastors. I'd also be very unhappy in a church with a weak children's and youth ministry since I feel that's one of the futures of the church AND it helps families.

    I'll have to think some more on what are my "musts" and "nots". :)
     
  4. Salty

    Salty
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    I suppose you would not feel comfortable in our church. At the moment we have no one under age 18. Not that we dont want any, but we are very small. We are seeking to bring kids in, but unfournately, many people feel the way you do - if there are no kids, we are not going for the sake of our kids. :tear:

    We are praying for a family with kids to visit, attend and join
     
  5. annsni

    annsni
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    I would not "not" go to a church with no children in it - but I would hope that if we began to attend, that we would be able to assist in setting up a children's program that was of such quality that it would possibly draw in other young families. I do know that there are those churches that are small - too small to expect that they would necessarily have even children there.

    So your church would still be on the list. Of course I tend to like churches that are a little larger but a small church can be such a blessing too. :)
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    Salty, let me clarify and expand on my post in the other thread.

    There is a big difference between attending a church and joining it.

    I have attended, and worshipped, spoken from the pulpit and sung at a number of non-Baptist churches. But I would never join any of them. And once they found out what I believed, I'd be surprised if they would want me as a member.

    I am surprised that the Landmark church asked you to lead the youth group without your being a member. And I'm surprised you'd even consider it. I do appreciate your candor with the church leaders about your beliefs.

    The things I listed in the other post that I would be willing to yield on, were certainly non-essentials in my mind. They are preferences. My intention was to demonstrate that JSM17 would probably yield on none of them, and is not really interested in unity except on his terms.

    If you were not Baptist, you'd still be welcomed in our church, and we'd try to make you feel at home. But unless you were willing to embrace historic Baptist doctrine and practice, you'll never be asked to join. In fact, you'd not be accepted if you wanted to.

    If you were sprinkled before, we'd have to dunk you. If you were dunked in a Church of Christ, we'd have to dunk you again.

    There are simply some things I can't yield on for the sake of unity.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    And unity is used by liberals as a means to be accepted in all their errors and distortions of scripture. It is their foot in the door.
     
  8. annsni

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    It's very interesting, in light of this thread, that Tabletalk magazine/devotional has "Unity" as the theme this month. There are some great articles about this. I'll try to post excerpts later.
     
  9. Salty

    Salty
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    There was a family attending, Dad would not join, because, they said he had to be scripturally baptized. He had been dunked in another church - scripturally, but it was not by a "baptized descendant" of John the Baptist !!

    I have more to add but Mrs Salty wants to go grocery shoping NOW!!!
     
  10. FlyForFun

    FlyForFun
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    We used to live in Lancaster County, the Buckle in the Bible Belt.

    Southwest PA is the exact opposite -- biblical literacy here is abysmally low and the churches reflect that reality.
     
  11. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    You certainly have your priorities straight.

    Later.
     
  12. FlyForFun

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    Some prefer we never argue, but always be united in one mind. This is certainly an admirable Scriptural goal, which is why it is so critical we form our minds and opinions and views around Scripture – not isolated proof texts, but the whole counsel of God as revealed in His Word. But the assumption that “no disagreements” equals “unity” is flawed.

    Controversy brings clarity – we learn by submitting ourselves to rigorous scrutiny why we think and believe what we do, or why we should change. There are clear examples of this in Scripture: Paul confronts Peter over his inconsistency about Jewish Law, Jesus confronted the Bible scholars of His day, and Paul, James, and Peter wrote epistles to confront various teaching “not in line with the Gospel.” It’s disingenuous to cry “unity!” when you don’t submit yourself to scrutiny. “I want everyone to be united in thinking exactly as I do...” is not unity – it’s control.
     
  13. Thinkingstuff

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    Southern Baptist Church should be the instant winner. Especially in Germany.
     

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