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Picking a new denomination

Discussion in 'Looking for a Church' started by Lifelong_sinner, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. Lifelong_sinner

    Lifelong_sinner Member

    187
    +91
    United States
    Calvinist
    Single
    Hello all. I have a question concerning picking a new church. For most of my life, i attended a disciples of Christ church. I left that church about 8 or 9 yrs ago. I have begun looking for a new church, and in the last 2 yrs have really started to study theology. I feel that the CoC church isnt what i believe to be true doctrine. Here lately, i have been attending a baptist church. I like it, its small, very informal, and with a hint of calvinism mixed in.

    My research seems to show that presbyterian churches are some of the most calvinist, which is what i want. But i havent visited any yet because i’m confused about something, their view on baptism. I dont believe babies should be baptized.

    so my question is, baptists tend to be more in alignment with my beliefs, but arent as calvinist in doctrine.
    Presbyterians are supposed to be more calvinist, but i disagree with their baptism views. How much can you disagree with a church and still support it??
     
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  2. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

    +4,320
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    There is a large amount of variety in Baptist churches since they are congregational. You might talk to the pastors at the various Baptist churches in your area if there are more than one. Some are more than a little Calvanistic. And others not at all.

    Also, in some Baptist churches they allow you to hold a variety of views. I attended a Baptist church that included both freewill and Calvanist adherents. It makes for more interesting Bible studies!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  3. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

    +6,124
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    To start, you say that you disagree with the Presbyterian view on baptism. Which one of you is correct? What is the truth?
     
  4. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

    +3,377
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    I think some beliefs are more important to an individual than others. Only you can say whether the issue of age of Baptism is so important as to become a "stopper" for you. As for me, it wouldn't be a problem. If I didn't believe in infant baptism, I wouldn't have my infant batized. Problem solved. And, if I didn't have an infant I wouldn't care much about what the church believed about this.

    I think if a person waits to find a church with which they have 100% agreement, they'll find themselves with lots of free time on their hands come Sunday mornings.
     
  5. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

    +42,625
    United States
    Calvinist
    Married
    Hello Lifelong_sinner, the Presbyterian denominations that you should probably be looking into (if you are interested in a conservative denomination that holds the Bible as infallible and inerrant, as well to the Westminster Confession of Faith, or to another, historic/conservative confession) is either the PCA or the OPC, ~not~ my former denomination, the PCUSA.

    Remember too that Presbyterian churches do NOT teach that infants (or adults) are regenerated in the waters of baptism (like Catholics and Lutherans do), so the baptism of infants in this case is similar to the child dedications that are done in Baptist and Evangelical churches, far more so than they are to the baptisms that are preformed in churches (like the two I mentioned above) that believe/teach that the waters of baptism are salvific.

    All that said, perhaps a Reformed Baptist church is the best place for you (if you can find one near you, that is)?

    God bless you!

    --David
     
  6. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +7,446
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    A couple things:
    • Presbyterians are pretty fragmented. You can have some solid ones, and you can also have some very liberal ones. My grandfather was Presbyterian for many years, but the fragmentation became a dealbreaker for him when he was visiting inmates at the jail. They'd ask him what kind of church he went to, because they saw that he was the real deal. He'd cringe because of some of the shenanigans going on in that denomination with other Presbyterian churches, so he became an Evangelical Free (very similar to Baptist) instead.
    • Baptism is a crucial doctrine to get right. It informs other Christian beliefs. If you want to raise children or teach children in this church, you don't want to be teaching them A about baptism at home while the church teaches them B. This will have both spiritual and social consequences for them at church.
     
  7. Paulomycin

    Paulomycin Well-Known Member

    +363
    United States
    Reformed
  8. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +29,695
    Anglican
    Married
    Then that church is not the one for you.

    In principle, you should be completely in agreement with the church so far as its most essential doctrines are concerned, and the sacraments certainly meet that standard. But in reality, many, many church members disagree with their own denominations on some important matters, rightly or wrongly.

    After all that is said and done, however, you probably should have a chat with a Presbyterian minister and put your concerns to him. Then you'd have the answer about whether the issue is as you think it is and, also, whether you still hold the same view of it after hearing his explanation.
     
  9. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,608
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Depends on what is being disagreed with.
    Example my church policy was not to use anyone in positions of authority or trust if they were not a church member.
    One of my friends had been hurt as a member in a hasty church split and as a result would not ever become a church member.
    Yet he attended our church every Sunday, was at prayer meetings, work nights, gave generously. He was a church member in all but name.
    He ended up as one of our deacons looking after the church fabric.

    You will have to check out the local churches in your town, talk to theminister about any differences and from that decide which local church to attend.
     
  10. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    +4,898
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    First, I think you need mature people who help you to know God's word and to live it. These are an example . . . sample . . . of what God's word means. If you find a younger pastor who ministers beneficially, you might try to find out who mentors the pastor, who is older and more mature, and get to know these people so you can feed on their example.

    If a group holds to certain beliefs, how do they live them? There might be good ways to apply free will or predestination, and very bad ways to hold to either, I can see. If people are very self-congratulating about their beliefs . . . this can have people too focused on ideas and not on personally sharing with God and finding out how to love as His family.

    And in case the doctrine leaves out how to become conformed to the image of Jesus . . . or if the emphasis is elsewhere . . . they could be elsewhere.

    "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

    This is what predestination is really about, by the way . . . not only about how much God controls people. And being conformed to Christ is the main focus of Paul's ministry, I would say, going by Colossians 1:28-29. But people who greatly praise Paul don't talk about this.

    But in our first sermon recorded of Jesus, where did He start? With how to be >

    poor in spirit

    meek

    merciful

    pure in heart


    I offer that He means these to be the way He is . . . so we are pleasing to our Father the way His own Son is so pleasing . . . growing in this, so we share as family with Jesus. And this will have us loving as His family > there is plenty of scripture which can help us to relate as Jesus Christ's family. So, this is also a basic of God's word (including Ephesians 4:31-5:2, and things like James 1:19-20), therefore getting plenty of attention in a Biblical church.

    So, if ones are mainly praising how they have the right doctrine and they are copy-catting on Sunday . . . it doesn't matter what label they put on their church.
     
  11. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    +21,093
    United States
    Lutheran
    In Relationship
    US-Others
    There are Reformed Baptists, Baptists with strict Calvinist theology.

    Though as far as your issue with Presbyterianism, it may be worth asking yourself why you have a problem with the baptism of infants--something that Christians have always done, and arguably, since the very beginning (even in Judaism conversion through ritual washing, the Jewish precursor of Christian Baptism, involves the conversion of infants and small children through said ritual washing). Historically God's People has never only consisted of adults, but of full communities consisting of adults and their children. Children have always been included in the Church, and that inclusion into the Church has always been through Baptism.

    If Baptism is the ordinary means God brings us into the covenant community of faith, and if God has never excluded children in the past, why would children of those in the Church be excluded from the Church?

    Now I'm a Lutheran, so I'd be of the position that Presbyterianism doesn't go far enough in the importance of Baptism; but even apart from my belief in the Sacraments as efficacious means of grace, at the very least Baptism is the means and covenant seal through which we become members of God's people, given for that purpose. And thus it is worth asking: Why should Christians deny to their children the promises and the words of Jesus Christ which are freely available here mingled together with the water of Baptism?

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  12. AdamjEdgar

    AdamjEdgar Member

    169
    +72
    Australia
    SDA
    Married
    I feel myself a lone voice crying out in the wilderness here...

    Have you considered visiting a Seventh Day Adventist Church?

    I can honestly say, our denomination simply follows the bible and take the 10 commandments exactly as they are written.
    We do not see the Old Testament as having no relevance in society today, its statutes and laws (Gods statutes and laws) are eternal and the moral compass by which sin is defined. We are not saved by the law, we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

    We do not have our own bible, we dont start from a position of doctrine then attempt to find a bible that suits said doctrines. Any bible (even the JW NWT) can be used to bring people to Christ.
    We are a relatively conservative Christian movement who do go a bit outside the box in that we worship on Saturday and do not drink alcohol.
    In terms of Baptism, our view is via immersion. Our model with young children is different, we believe that Christian parents should dedicate them to the Lord usually via a commitment from said parents and a simple prayer from our church pastor that can be in front of the church congregation or privately (usually in front of congregation).
     
  13. tampasteve

    tampasteve ✞ ✞ Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

    +5,137
    United States
    Lutheran
    Married
    US-Constitution
    ADMIN HAT ON

    This thread has been moved to a new forum that is more appropriate and a few posts that were Off Topic have been removed.

    ADMIN HAT OFF
     
  14. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

    +2,131
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican

    Visit neighbors of a church to see what their reputation in the area is.
    Look for churches that are known as servants.
     
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