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How do I choose a Reformed Church?

Discussion in 'Confessional, Covenantal, Creedal - Presbyterian' started by ChicanaRose, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    Hello. I feel that God may be calling me to the Reformed faith.
    However, I am confused about the differences between various reformed churches:

    Presbyterian
    Reformed Baptists
    Reformed Churches of America, etc.

    Please advise.
     
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  2. HeartenedHeart

    HeartenedHeart Member

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    I chose the church that follows the truth of the Bible - which is the Seventh-day Adventist movement, for that was the one God led me to personally after I asked Him on my knees for the truth - The Search for the True Church | Free Book Library | Amazing Facts

    Myers Media
     
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  3. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    If you are not in a large city or perhaps Michigan this may not leave you many options. I suggest researching position statements for each one. I wouldn't want to be in a church that claims to have more truth than all others.

    Here's an example of the kind of site I would want to research:
    Position Statements
     
  4. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    I also pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance and am not Seventh-day Adventist. Jesus is Who I follow.
     
  5. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Depending on what you value about being reformed, it may not matter. The church groups you've mentioned will have some minor differences. What are you looking for in a reformed church?
     
  6. pilgrim1999

    pilgrim1999 Newbie

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    It certainly can be confusing. They don't call Presbyterians "Split-P's" for nothing. And that's not counting the variety of Dutch Reformed denominations and various Calvinistic Baptist groups.

    What direction to go depends on if you are looking for something evangelical/conservative or if you are looking for something more liberal or mainline. I haven't been active here in a long time, but I've seen some of your recent posts. Based on that, I would think that you are probably looking for something on the conservative end of the spectrum. It also depends on if you believe in infant baptism or if you are baptistic. (Many Presbyterian churches will allow you to join even if you don't agree with infant baptism, so long as you aren't divisive about it.)

    Most of the confessional (i.e. subscribing to the Westminster Confession of Faith or the Three Forms of Unity) Presbyterian and Reformed denominations are part of NAPARC. That site should have links to all of the denominational websites. From there you can search for churches in your area. Some of these denominations would be very conservative when it comes to worship and not associating closely with non-Reformed churches, and others like the PCA are more broadly evangelical in outlook. There can be quite a bit of variation in the PCA especially.

    The Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) isn't part of NAPARC because they allow women to be ordained. But they are generally conservative compared to the PCUSA. Some of their congregations have women officers and some don't. They also are more accepting of charismaticism than are other conservative Presbyterian and Reformed churches, many of which are strongly cessationist. Many former PCUSA congregations joined the EPC when the PCUSA moved toward acceptance of same-sex marriage.

    The Christian Reformed Church (CRCNA) used to be very conservative but it had to leave NAPARC a few decades ago over their choice to ordain women. They have moved "leftward" on some other issues too, if I'm not mistaken. The other large historical Dutch Reformed denomination is the Reformed Church in America (RCA.) It is a mainline church similar to the PCUSA and others. The CRCNA used to be considered much more conservative than the RCA but from what I understand, they are not as far apart on some issues as they used to be.

    The main difference between Reformed Baptists and conservative confessional Presbyterians is their views on baptism and church government. Some Reformed Baptists are part of a denomination like the Southern Baptist Convention, some are part of a smaller association, and some are independent.
     
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  7. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    I am not too picky, but one thing is that I don't want the church to conduct same-sex marriage.
     
  8. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    What is liberal about Christian Reformed Church North America?
     
  9. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  10. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    This doesn't really narrow things down. Most conservative churches that are not reformed would satisfy you here. What is it about a distinctly reformed church that you're interested in?
     
  11. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    Have you ever looked into the Orthodox Church? They were the very churches established by the apostles that have kept the same teachings since the very beginning.
     
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  12. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    Have you read the Bible yet? This is really important before you choose who will be teaching you. The only way to know if what someone is teaching is truth is to go directly to the source. Then you will be able to determine if they are teaching God’s word or not.
     
  13. JM

    JM pre·des·ti·nar·i·an Supporter

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    Visit a bunch of churches in your area and check them out. Ask what they believe about the Bible, worship, evangelism, etc. I would also ask if they have programs for kids, teens, men, woman, etc. If they do I would be cautious. Too many programs often means the church is going to be divided and cliquey.

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
     
  14. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    The major differences between Presbyterians and Baptists is the form of church government and baptism (and the underlying theology behind it), while Reformed Congregationalist agree with Presbyterians regarding baptism and with Baptists regarding ecclesiastical government.

    Confessional Presbyterians beliefs are summarized by the Westminster Confession. Confessional Congregationalist have the Savoy Declaration. Confessional Baptist have the Second London Baptist Confession. Then there are others such as the Dutch Reformed who have the Three Forms of Unity (Belgic Confession, Canons of Dort, and Heidelberg Catechism).

    I would just take the time to learn a little from each.
     
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  15. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    Traditional, biblical marriage is held in Confessional Reformed Churches. This is taken from our church's confession (Second London Baptist of 1689)

    Chapter 25 - Marriage

    1. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman; neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time.1

    1
    Gen. 2:24; Mal. 2:15; Matt. 19:5,6

    2. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife,2 for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue,3 and the preventing of uncleanness.4

    2 Gen. 2:18
    3 Gen. 1:28
    4 1 Cor. 7:2,9

    3. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent;5 yet it is the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord;6 and therefore such as profess the true religion, should not marry with infidels, or idolaters; neither should such as are godly, be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresy.7

    5 Heb. 13:4; 1 Tim. 4:3
    6 1 Cor. 7:39
    7 Neh. 13:25-27

    4. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity, forbidden in the Word;8 nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful, by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.9

    8 Lev. 18
    9 Mark 6:18; 1 Cor. 5:1
     
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  16. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    I feel that in reading the Scripture, I cannot deny the theme of Limited Atonement. But the verse that struck me the most is Matthew 11:23:

    "For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day"

    If God knew the positive outcome that could have came from miracles being performed in Sodom, that the city could have been actually spared, why didn't He send Jesus or a prophet there back in the OT days to perform miracles?

    This is different from Abraham refusing to send Lazarus back to earth knowing the futile outcome, that the rich man's brothers would not believe anyway (Luke 16:31).
     
  17. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    Personally I see John 3:17 saying Jesus was sent so that the world may be saved. Not only a chosen elect group. I believe our decisions decide our fate and I believe verse 18 supports that idea.
     
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  18. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    So if you're valuing Calvinist soteriology and you want a denomination that doesn't ordain homosexuals then you could be happy in any conservative or moderate presbyterian setting (PCA, CRC, ECO, EPC) and also any reformed baptist setting.
     
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  19. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  20. rnmomof7

    rnmomof7 Legend

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    You may not have much of a choice ... it depends on where you live. Some "non denominational" churches hold a reformed position.

    In my particular area ( a mid sized city) there are no reformed baptist churches.. there is a Bible presbyterian and 1 PCA ..thats it..

    If you live in an area where here are several.. visit them, maybe go to a bible study ... listen to the sermons on line ...

    Churches have a "personality". Some use modern music for worship, some are Psalms only .. some use the regulative principals of worship, some are more free flowing ..
     
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