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ConfessionalLutheran

Please Pray for My Discernment

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Hi.

 

I would appreciate your prayers. I'm thinking about leaving my local Lutheran church and going back to the Baptist church of my upbringing. If faith is the key, as I believe it is, then I don't see how the Baptists ( who were right in teaching me this) could be wrong in some of the other things they teach, such as the Age of Accountability, Biblical infallibility, soul responsibility and everything else. Please pray for me.

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Hi.

 

I would appreciate your prayers. I'm thinking about leaving my local Lutheran church and going back to the Baptist church of my upbringing. If faith is the key, as I believe it is, then I don't see how the Baptists ( who were right in teaching me this) could be wrong in some of the other things they teach, such as the Age of Accountability, Biblical infallibility, soul responsibility and everything else. Please pray for me.

 

Praying for your discernment ConfessionalLutheran.

 

But on the subjects of your concern, faith is the key, but the majority of our debates seemingly center on whether faith is enabled by God through regeneration (monergism) or whether it is man's own doing. As far as any age of accountability (which I never get a straight answer as to the age), I can only imagine that this is being addressed from the baptist view of baptism (you do a wonderful job at teaching people on this subject). No doubt we are all held accountable, and as we grow in faith, knowledge, understanding, and spiritual wisdom so does our accountability and responsibility. Are we not judged according to the truth we reject or affirm?

 

I'd also like to turn you towards a great debate between an Orthodox Presbyterian and a Reformed Baptist, though both are Calvinist, the center of contention is the Particular baptist's leaning of the baptist's opposition towards Paedo, Covenant, and Household baptism:

 

 

I can't imagine you going back to the "Baptist church", there are too many discrepancies, and mainly, they center around Arminianism and Dispensationalism. You may also be interested in knowing that John Calvin married an Ana-baptist. She was later converted to Presbyterianism. I can only imagine the debates that surfaced in the Calvin household.

 

God bless,

William

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Praying for your discernment ConfessionalLutheran.

 

But on the subjects of your concern, faith is the key, but the majority of our debates seemingly center on whether faith is enabled by God through regeneration (monergism) or whether it is man's own doing. As far as any age of accountability (which I never get a straight answer as to the age), I can only imagine that this is being addressed from the baptist view of baptism (you do a wonderful job at teaching people on this subject). No doubt we are all held accountable, and as we grow in faith, knowledge, understanding, and spiritual wisdom so does our accountability and responsibility. Are we not judged according to the truth we reject or affirm?

 

I'd also like to turn you towards a great debate between an Orthodox Presbyterian and a Reformed Baptist, though both are Calvinist, the center of contention is the Particular baptist's leaning of the baptist's opposition towards Paedo, Covenant, and Household baptism:

 

 

I can't imagine you going back to the "Baptist church", there are too many discrepancies, and mainly, they center around Arminianism and Dispensationalism. You may also be interested in knowing that John Calvin married an Ana-baptist. She was later converted to Presbyterianism. I can only imagine the debates that surfaced in the Calvin household.

 

God bless,

William

 

What an absorbing debate this is! Thank you so much for sharing this. :) I think I might have to pull a " Berean" and search the Scriptures myself regarding these questions. I'd say the " Age of Accountability" would begin around age ten, when people begin to understand that their actions have consequences. I adhere to the monergistic view of faith. God does all the work in the heart of the believer. We are indeed judged according to the truths we accept or reject, but it is the Holy Spirit Who opens our hearts to such truths. I'll be attending church with my mother this coming Sunday ( already arranged) and we shall see how things go. John Calvin and an Anabaptist lady? One can only imagine the debates at the supper table.

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What an absorbing debate this is! Thank you so much for sharing this. :) I think I might have to pull a " Berean" and search the Scriptures myself regarding these questions. I'd say the " Age of Accountability" would begin around age ten, when people begin to understand that their actions have consequences. I adhere to the monergistic view of faith. God does all the work in the heart of the believer. We are indeed judged according to the truths we accept or reject, but it is the Holy Spirit Who opens our hearts to such truths. I'll be attending church with my mother this coming Sunday ( already arranged) and we shall see how things go. John Calvin and an Anabaptist lady? One can only imagine the debates at the supper table.

 

Enjoy your worship service this coming Sunday!

 

God bless,

William

 

 

 

 

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Enjoy your worship service this coming Sunday!

 

God bless,

William

 

 

 

 

Thanks, William! I guess I should bring a copy of the Bible with me ( been carrying one around all day today. Read the Gospel of John, Romans and 1 Corinthians) for the service. We'll see if there's any insight to glean from the preacher's sermon.

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I will pray that God will give you the wisdom to know which church you should attend.

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I will pray that God will give you the wisdom to know which church you should attend.

 

Thank you, theophilus. :) The sad thing is, this wouldn't even be an issue if there weren't some persistent rumor mongering going on. I still believe in the Lutheran Confessions, but after two years straight of whispers, innuendo and ostracism, I'm thinking I need to leave. Apparently, small churches aren't for me.

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My prayer for you is that you should encounter God personally and by so doing the Holy Spirit will guide you better. My strong believe is to associate with a Christian group or denomination that preaches the undiluted word of God. Saying it exactly as it is written or spoken in the Bible, doing away with man's doctrine.

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My prayer for you is that you should encounter God personally and by so doing the Holy Spirit will guide you better. My strong believe is to associate with a Christian group or denomination that preaches the undiluted word of God. Saying it exactly as it is written or spoken in the Bible, doing away with man's doctrine.

 

Thank you, Tony and amen. That might be exactly where the Lord is leading me.

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Thank you, Tony and amen. That might be exactly where the Lord is leading me.

 

You are welcome. May God strengthen you and help you to serve Him better.

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Thank you, theophilus. :) The sad thing is, this wouldn't even be an issue if there weren't some persistent rumor mongering going on. I still believe in the Lutheran Confessions, but after two years straight of whispers, innuendo and ostracism, I'm thinking I need to leave. Apparently, small churches aren't for me.

 

ConfessionalLutheran,

 

Are these rumors and whispers (gossip) about you? Even if not, this sounds like something that should be brought before the church. If they are about you, and they have merit, you may want to consider James 5:16 to end them. I'd definitely address the gossiping though. It kinda amuses me when it comes to congregational prayer, we are instructed not to gossip, but some use the prayer intention as a moment to voice gossip about another. For example, Mary, ya know she had sex with another outside of marriage? I'd like to ask everyone at this time to pray for her! Point being, these things need be addressed, Mary's sins, if the congregation and especially elders get wind of them, then church discipline is in order, but how that came to light may also need addressing by disciplining the congregation.

 

I don't consider my church small, but I know that one member led me to confessing my sins before our study group. I was compelled by listening to the member confess by an example. Confessing our sins is directly from the source, rather than through the prayer rumor mill.

 

Just thought to share my take on the matter with you. Though I do not know the full situation and content of the rumors, I hope that I may be of help.

 

God bless,

William

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ConfessionalLutheran,

 

Are these rumors and whispers (gossip) about you? Even if not, this sounds like something that should be brought before the church. If they are about you, and they have merit, you may want to consider James 5:16 to end them. I'd definitely address the gossiping though. It kinda amuses me when it comes to congregational prayer, we are instructed not to gossip, but some use the prayer intention as a moment to voice gossip about another. For example, Mary, ya know she had sex with another outside of marriage? I'd like to ask everyone at this time to pray for her! Point being, these things need be addressed, Mary's sins, if the congregation and especially elders get wind of them, then church discipline is in order, but how that came to light may also need addressing by disciplining the congregation.

 

I don't consider my church small, but I know that one member led me to confessing my sins before our study group. I was compelled by listening to the member confess by an example. Confessing our sins is directly from the source, rather than through the prayer rumor mill.

 

Just thought to share my take on the matter with you. Though I do not know the full situation and content of the rumors, I hope that I may be of help.

 

God bless,

William

 

Yeah, William, they seem to be. It looks like my absence isn't exactly a matter of concern for anybody other than myself and the pastor, either. These rumors were kick- started by a girl half my age who assisted me in teaching a Sunday School class. Whenever there was a break in the lesson, she wanted to talk politics. She's super- liberal, she hates the South and her father serves on the Church Council. Shortly before I quit my position as a Sunday School teacher ( the kids cared nothing about the lesson, my assistant showed up when she felt like it and I was drained), I finally told her that I leaned to the right, I took the Bible very literally indeed and that I believed in the Lutheran Confessions. This was two years ago. When our new pastor was installed, once again I heard her call me a jerk. I've done nothing to her, said nothing about her. Apparently, she's been quite active in talking about me. Last Sunday, when I ushered, I got a dirty look from the person who solicited me to volunteer as an usher, the girl in question's father spoke to the president of the church council in my hearing and I felt severely uncomfortable. I emailed the president that I was going to be gone for awhile, emailed my pastor in Jacksonville that I was going to be visiting my mother's church because of some unwanted drama at Hope and spoke to our new minister. I didn't want to slink away, but tell the people affected that I was going to be gone and why I was going to be gone.

 

I contacted the people of my mother's Baptist church and have been examining the early Anabaptist- influenced Puritan movement that became known as the Baptist movement. I've been examining both sides of the debate at the Marburg Colloquy between Luther and Zwingli on the matter of the Lord's Supper and I've been examining the relevant Biblical texts. I've been keeping a journal, of all things, noting my thoughts on the subject.

 

The Lutheran congregation here is a small and aging one. The youth group is pretty small and the young woman in question was raised and confirmed in this church. She apparently keeps in contact with her peers in that group. If she was twenty two years ago, I reckon she's about twenty- two now. I haven't spoken to her since, I haven't said anything about her, nor have I sought out her company. Apparently I'm a jerk because I don't believe in gay marriage and I think that what passes for liberalism today is a sad joke. If she just kept that quiet, there would be no problem. When she interferes with my relationships on the church level by rumormongering, then I can't get anything done. Thank you for your advice, William. :)

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I contacted the people of my mother's Baptist church and have been examining the early Anabaptist- influenced Puritan movement that became known as the Baptist movement. I've been examining both sides of the debate at the Marburg Colloquy between Luther and Zwingli on the matter of the Lord's Supper and I've been examining the relevant Biblical texts. I've been keeping a journal, of all things, noting my thoughts on the subject.

 

We have some great videos in the Christian History section of the board by a reputable church historian (Ryan Reeves). Just pointing you to additional information that may help you make an informed decision:

 

https://www.christforums.org/forum/c...ts-and-quakers

https://www.christforums.org/forum/c...494-puritanism

https://www.christforums.org/forum/c...century-europe

 

Curious though, what are your thoughts about the Baptist government?

 

God bless,

William

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We have some great videos in the Christian History section of the board by a reputable church historian (Ryan Reeves). Just pointing you to additional information that may help you make an informed decision:

 

https://www.christforums.org/forum/c...ts-and-quakers

https://www.christforums.org/forum/c...494-puritanism

https://www.christforums.org/forum/c...century-europe

 

Curious though, what are your thoughts about the Baptist government?

 

God bless,

William

 

Baptist government is essentially congregationalism, I guess. Sometimes they affiliate and federate under a common banner, like the Southern Baptist Convention that serves an advisory role to member churches and provides an umbrella group. They believe in liberty of conscience and absolute separation of church and state. pretty much a generic Protestantism, I suppose. Thank you for the links, I'll get to them straightaway.

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I attended Mom's church today. The sermon was actually on point about the Church being Christians gathered together as the Body of Christ and the Bible being God's living Word. I was very gratified by the visit and I was actually interested in the contents of the sermon. Old Pastor Young at my childhood church couldn't keep his sermons that interesting.. I remember getting up several times to go to the bathroom throughout his talks. There were what are called evensong bells that were played and a violinist played " Seek ye First the Kingdom of God" during the offertory. Right after the sermon, there was a final hymn and a closing prayer. Two Scripture readings, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament were read. Later, we went to inquire about a Sunday School class, which I will visit next week. Thank you all for your prayers and please continue to pray for me during this time.

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I think, Confessional Lutheran, the point is NOT whether or not the sermon is interesting per se. I don't doubt that it was. The question though, is, which Church adheres to Reformation Principles best? I think you will find that that is the LCMS. You yourself have said you believe in the Lutheran Confessions, which means you accept the True Body and Blood of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I don't know how you can get around that. I am a ProTESTant, in the best sense of the word. I protest against the abuses of the Bishop of Rome.

 

But I also maintain the three Ecumenical Creeds, and honour the Mass, and Confession, and those things which should be retained for the good order of the Church. I certainly believe that man is saved through by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Scripture Alone. But to reject the historic Liturgy of the Church, and the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, is to rip the heart right out of the Ancient Faith.

 

I mean, look, Man, you don't have to agree with me. These are just my thoughts. But it is my point of view. You do what you want with it, of course. You can either respond to me here or in PM Land. Either one. I am happy to discuss this with you further. Peace be with you, and you are in my prayers.

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I think, Confessional Lutheran, the point is NOT whether or not the sermon is interesting per se. I don't doubt that it was. The question though, is, which Church adheres to Reformation Principles best? I think you will find that that is the LCMS. You yourself have said you believe in the Lutheran Confessions, which means you accept the True Body and Blood of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I don't know how you can get around that. I am a ProTESTant, in the best sense of the word. I protest against the abuses of the Bishop of Rome.

 

But I also maintain the three Ecumenical Creeds, and honour the Mass, and Confession, and those things which should be retained for the good order of the Church. I certainly believe that man is saved through by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Scripture Alone. But to reject the historic Liturgy of the Church, and the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, is to rip the heart right out of the Ancient Faith.

 

I mean, look, Man, you don't have to agree with me. These are just my thoughts. But it is my point of view. You do what you want with it, of course. You can either respond to me here or in PM Land. Either one. I am happy to discuss this with you further. Peace be with you, and you are in my prayers.

 

Thanks, man. You're right, on all counts. That's why I'm praying for discernment. Absolution and Holy Communion are critical. So is having a living, abiding faith in that same Lord Who gave His life for us and was resurrected for us. It's not easy for me to think about giving all that up for the sake of a bunch of needy children who have nothing better to do with their time than gossip, spread that gossip to adults, who in turn blurt all that out to church officials who do have the power to hurt my standing in the LCMS. Diego, there are so many factors playing right now that it's unendurable to think about them, but I must. I must. I must search the Scriptures to vet out the accuracy of both claims, that of the LCMS and the SBC. I protest the abuses of the Roman bishop, but I also testify for the truth of the Gospel. I must think about the relationships that are suffering right now in my local Lutheran church. I know my absence was noted and I made provision for that. I spoke to both the Pastor and the church president beforehand and frankly, while the pastor is concerned, the church president evinced no concern at all. I fear that while my views and that of my pastor is aligned with the Confessions, the body of believers have a more liberal view and they teach those views.

 

Church politics? Diego, they interfere with my work at the congregation! How can I do my job when I know that people are being unkind and murmuring, if not about me, then about at least five other people who don't exactly come from well- off families. Appearance? More money, more money and if you can't afford to give more than you're giving, you get ostracized? Personal comments from someone who neither knows or cares anything about you? The Body of Christ should not be a rumor mill. Personal comments getting repeated? Those comments spreading? Am I eager to flush nearly five years of a living, abiding faith in the Lord and His law and Gospel, the Word and Sacraments, because some &*(^&*(* doesn't know how to not stir up drama? This is a small, very nearly family run Lutheran Church in the Washington, DC area. I neither can, nor do I want to get around Christ's Body and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament, but I can't worship in solitude. I can't worship with two or three people glaring daggers at me. This is insane and everywhere you'll find people who won't like you, even in churches, but when things start to spiral out of control, you have to wonder: how is my presence here productive? Positively productive? Thank you for praying for me, Diego.

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Well, I tell you what? You are talking about the Capital City. I am sure there is more than one LCMS congregation there. In fact, just a quick Google search turned up at least four. I would consider trying a different parish. But DON'T give up on the LCMS. That way lies much danger, at least in my own opinion. You can't leave the Sacrament, and absolution from Pastors that are truly ordained servants of Christ.

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@ConfessionalLutheran Hey Bro!

 

Did you join your mother today at her church? If so, maybe share your thoughts?

 

God bless,

William

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@ConfessionalLutheran Hey Bro!

 

Did you join your mother today at her church? If so, maybe share your thoughts?

 

God bless,

William

 

Yes, I did, William. I'll go over my impression of the service and also of the people. The service seemed truncated. They did announcements and morning prayer, then went right into the opening hymn. No absolution, no Communion. There was one New Testament Reading and then an Old Testament reading. It was only a few verses. No Gospel was read. No intercessory prayer. Here, I have the order right in front of me:

Classic Worship- October 23, 2016- 9:30 AM

Prelude

Welcome/ Ministry Opportunities

Call to Worship, a hymn sung by the choir

*Hymn

Scripture Reading- 1 Thessalonians 2:17- 3:5

Anthem

Joys and Concerns/ Morning Prayer

Scripture Reading- Isaiah 11:6-9

Evensong Bells ( a handbell choir)

*Hymn 295 Near to the Heart of God

Giving of Tithes and Offerings

Offertory prayer

Offertory

Message " GROWING TOGETHER IN CHRIST"

*Hymn 353 Living Stones

Closing Prayer

*Postlude

*Please stand, if able

 

As one might expect, the service pretty much led on up to the message, which was delivered by a guest pastor. His words were actually very engaging. he spoke of the necessity for Christians to gather as the Body of Christ and to move forward in the spirit of the Great Commission. He said that there was no such thing as a " Lone Ranger Christian." He said that the Bible was the living, breathing Word of God that we abide by. I pondered his words and found no fault with them. We are saved by grace through faith alone and that is what this guy was saying. Only the Holy Spirit moving within us could empower us to make a decision for Christ, so in truth, it's Christ making a decision for us. We are to gather, we are to prepare for the mission to the outside world by a firm grounding in God's Word. I picked that bloody sermon apart looking for heresy and I couldn't find anything.No altar calls at the end of the sermon, either, just a prayer that we would be firmly ground in our faith that we might be missionaries for Christ, to reach others and that we would together be One Body of Christ, as the intention was spelled out in Scripture, encouraging each other and growing together in faith.

Mom suggested I locate a Sunday School class to explore for awhile and so I did. I might go again next Sunday and see how things go. I'm going to report all of this to my Lutheran Pastor ( I told him I'd shoot him a weekly email) and get a Lutheran perspective back. I've made zero commitments to disaffiliate with the LCMS and to reaffiliate with the SBC and I've made that perfectly clear to both sides. Still praying for the little turds who've done their best to chase me away from the Lutheran Church. I did like the inward looking tone of this church, I'll state that much. I mean, I like their focus on their personal, inward spirituality in both an individual and a corporate way.

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Glad to here that you had an enjoyable experience.

 

I was in awe this morning, we received nine new members into the church! It was a blessed Lord's day!

 

God bless,

William

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Glad to here that you had an enjoyable experience.

 

I was in awe this morning, we received nine new members into the church! It was a blessed Lord's day!

 

God bless,

William

 

Such a blessed experience, receiving the water with the Word in Holy Baptism! It should be one of the first things that happens to a child, so they might grow in the life of faith.

 

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Well, I tell you what? You are talking about the Capital City. I am sure there is more than one LCMS congregation there. In fact, just a quick Google search turned up at least four. I would consider trying a different parish. But DON'T give up on the LCMS. That way lies much danger, at least in my own opinion. You can't leave the Sacrament, and absolution from Pastors that are truly ordained servants of Christ.

 

I'm looking at them too, yes. I said I don't want to give up on the LCMS and I won't. This might just be a faith- deepening detour for me.

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I'm looking at them too, yes. I said I don't want to give up on the LCMS and I won't. This might just be a faith- deepening detour for me.

 

That sounds fair enough.

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Sacramental withdrawal. Ready to go back home now. I'm a Confessional Lutheran, case closed. Thanks for those who have prayed for me. It was surprising at how quickly my interest in the Baptist tradition dissolved.. almost of its own accord.

Edited by ConfessionalLutheran

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