1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Reformed Baptist Vs Presbyterian

Discussion in 'Semper Reformanda' started by MKalashnikov, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. MKalashnikov

    MKalashnikov No longer a member of CF. As per Romans 12:9

    Messages:
    2,780
    Likes Received:
    129
    Faith:
    Calvinist
    I am a Reformed Baptist, can someone explain how the PCA Differs from Reformed Baptists. I know infant baptism is one, and Church Government is another, anything else?

    Could someone explain that Presbyterian form of Church Government, and explain how it differs from the Reformed Baptist model?

    Can someone also explain the Presbyterian understanding of baptism as it compares to the Reformed Baptist understanding.
     
  2. rmwilliamsll

    rmwilliamsll avid reader

    Messages:
    6,007
    Likes Received:
    162
    Faith:
    Calvinist
    i am interested in a particular piece of church government so i will say something about that.

    3 major forms of church government.
    hierarchical-RCC and the pope for example
    congregational-most baptists
    presbyterian-most presbyterians, *grin*

    start with the local church body-the congregation, enough people to fill up a small auditorium. and someone to preach to them-the pastor. It is functionally at this level that congregationalism operates. each church sets its own budget, buys its own building, and hires and fires its own pastor. There are no higher judical courts, no levels of authority etc.

    hierarchical hook together a say-city wide group into a bishop's diocese. Then a group of dioceses into an archbishopric etc. until you hit the top man-the pope. The operative level is that a lone person governs each subsequent group, and there are groups of groups that is levels of authority. think of it as the military chain of command model. you have 1-platoon leader, 1-company commander 1-battalion etc etc.

    presbyterian is harder to explain. There are levels. session/classis, presbytery, general assembly.
    but multiple people operate in each level. ruling and teaching elders at session level, usually 1 teaching elder from each congregation at presbytery, usually 1 ruling and 1 teaching from each congregation at GA.
    what makes presbyterian such an interesting and effective governmental model is this multiplicity. authority is vested in a group. versus the hierarchical model of a single person. the group must reach a consensus to do anything, at each level. The biggest drawback in congregational forms of govt. is that the pastor has no peer, he doesnt have anyone to talk to and to be accountable to. lone stars dont make good pastors any more than isolated individuals are good conversationalists, no opportunity.
    it is this multiplicity and mutual accountability that interests me. for it does justice to several important theological topics: sin, mutual submission and accountability, many counselors, gifts etc

    one of the interesting side effects of presbyterian organization is that presbytery is a church, that is a congregation. and our pastors have their membership there, not in the local church. a pastors family are members of the local church, but his fellowship is his peers, those who get paid for, and work full time in the ministry. therefore he is accountable to his peers, those with similiar interests and most of all, similiar experiences.....
     
  3. rnmomof7

    rnmomof7 Legend

    Messages:
    18,865
    Likes Received:
    339
    Faith:
    Calvinist
    Cal gal has a very good grasp of the Presbyterian form of church government .As a fairly new Presbyterian with a Baptist heart I am still working on it
     
  4. calgal

    calgal New Member

    Messages:
    2,000
    Likes Received:
    46
    Faith:
    Calvinist
    Allrighty I will try. The local church is governed by the Session which is comprised of the Ruling and Teaching Elders. Teaching Elders are pastors ordained through Presbytery. In larger congregations there are Deacons to assist the Ruling Elders and there are also trustees to oversee financial stuff. Session is accountable to the Presytery of the area the church is located in. Presbytery regions depend on the denomination but these folks are the ones who call a pastor to a congregation. The Teaching Elder(s) are hired through Presbytery (not sure about Intern or Assistant Pastors but the Head Pastor IS a member of Presbytery although his family does join the local body). The reason for the pastor not being a member is to protect him and the congregation from abuse. In the PCA and OPC, the Synods are not used but the Presbyteries in the OPC are nominally divided into Synods (regional orgs: Don who is PCUSA could explain this level better than almost anyone else here). The General Assembly aka GA is an "all church" meeting described in the following link: http://opc.org/GA/standingrules.html (these are the criteria the OPC uses).

    Incidentally, Classis is the Continental Reformed (CRC, URC & RCA) equivalent to Presbytery. The local Session would be called a Consistory. If you do have more questions, do surf the pages of the OPC, PCA or any Reformed denomination and look at the Q&A page. Presbyterians LOVE to discuss this stuff! ;)

    Calgal
     
  5. Bradford

    Bradford Fool on the Hill

    Messages:
    36,206
    Likes Received:
    146
    Faith:
    Catholic
    It seems Calgal is discussing the OPC... I don't know how that varies from the PCA, do let's look there...

    PCA- we have three main types of officers

    Teaching Elders- Senior, Associate, and Assistant Pastor
    Ruling Elder- Elected by the congregation, examined by the existing Session.
    Deacons- Same method of selection as RE's

    It is also interesting to note, that above the local church, there is no allowed distinction between RE and TE

    A Brief distinction- Associate Pastors are members of the Session (As TE's). Assistant Pastors are NOT members of the session. (BCO 12-1)

    Now, how are the Elders and Deacons selected?

    Senior Pastors MUST be elected by the congregation They are ordained by the presbytery, but must be first hired by a vote of the congregation. This prevents the congregation from having a SP that they do not want there- which can happen in the RCC or UMC models.

    Now on to Associate and Assistant Pastors- and why we use both terms...

    That pretty much speaks for itself. Now, BCO 23-1 requires that for a Pastor, whatever the classification, to be removed from duty- he must be released by what body called him- SP's and Associates by the congregation, and Assistant's by the Session.

    Enough about Pastors- let's take a brief look at RE's and Deacons. BCO 24 is very long- but the basic idea is that both must be elected by a vote of the congregation.

    ABove this level- There is the Presbytery and General Assembly- but I don't have the experience there to discuss them. I'll leave them for someone else.
     
  6. rmwilliamsll

    rmwilliamsll avid reader

    Messages:
    6,007
    Likes Received:
    162
    Faith:
    Calvinist
    since the conversation seems mostly about the officers of the church i would like to point out that there are actually 5 potential ways to divide things in reformed churches.

    the oddest one is to have bishops see hungarian reformed church.
    it stretches presbyterians a little but the bishops are elective not appointed positions, however the crucial element of plurality at each level is missing/modified
    calvin had a 4 fold office structure: teacher, pastor, elder, deacon
    most presbyterians taught a 3 fold office of pastor-teacher, ruling elder, deacon.
    currently both PCA and OPC are 2 fold.

    trustees, board members are compromises with our legal system and property holding issues.
     
  7. calgal

    calgal New Member

    Messages:
    2,000
    Likes Received:
    46
    Faith:
    Calvinist
    Pretty similar AFAIK. And points for using the BCO. ;) And as a female, the workings of Session, Presbytery and GA are interesting but the true power is the WOC. :pink:
     
  8. MKalashnikov

    MKalashnikov No longer a member of CF. As per Romans 12:9

    Messages:
    2,780
    Likes Received:
    129
    Faith:
    Calvinist
    Thanks All,

    What exactly is the Presbyterian teaching on infant baptism.

    Other than Church Government and Infant Baptism what other doctrinal differences are their between the Reformed Baptist Churches and the Presbyterian Churches?
     
  9. Knight

    Knight Knight of the Cross

    Messages:
    3,457
    Likes Received:
    79
    Faith:
    Calvinist
    I'm not certain as I'm not a member of either denomination but I think that's about it.....
     
  10. Bulldog

    Bulldog Don't Tread on Me

    Messages:
    9,326
    Likes Received:
    58
    Faith:
    Protestant
    Presb's baptise infants, but not because it regeneratesm but because it is the seal of the new coveneant. (like circumcision was in the Old covenant)
     
  11. MKalashnikov

    MKalashnikov No longer a member of CF. As per Romans 12:9

    Messages:
    2,780
    Likes Received:
    129
    Faith:
    Calvinist


    Thanks, that is also what I understood from reading the Westminster Confession.