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mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey all,

I’m new to Puritan Board. I have been recently convinced about Westminster covenant theology and that includes infant/child baptism.
My wife and I currently are members at a baptist church that teaches the Doctrines of Grace (they aren’t reformed baptists per se). We are very happy at our church and have established solid relationships.
With my new conviction about wanting my children baptized (ages 4 and 5), I have been struggling with what I should do. It would cause more damage to uproot us and move us to a reformed Presbyterian church, but I want them to be baptized and to sit under elders who hold to the Westminster confession.
My wife isn’t really into theology as much as I am and she tends to follow whatever I teach her, but I do know that it would hurt her to leave our chcurxh since we’ve all built many bonds there.

Any advice would be appreciated.

-Jordan
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
I would probably stay if they are teaching truth and you guys have a great relationship with the church members.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Hey all,

I’m new to Puritan Board. I have been recently convinced about Westminster covenant theology and that includes infant/child baptism.
My wife and I currently are members at a baptist church that teaches the Doctrines of Grace (they aren’t reformed baptists per se). We are very happy at our church and have established solid relationships.
With my new conviction about wanting my children baptized (ages 4 and 5), I have been struggling with what I should do. It would cause more damage to uproot us and move us to a reformed Presbyterian church, but I want them to be baptized and to sit under elders who hold to the Westminster confession.
My wife isn’t really into theology as much as I am and she tends to follow whatever I teach her, but I do know that it would hurt her to leave our chcurxh since we’ve all built many bonds there.

Any advice would be appreciated.

-Jordan
What damage would come from transferring your membership to a Presbyterian church? Is it that you just don't want to leave your brethren at the Baptist church, or is there more to it?
 

mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks :)
I’m leaning that direction. But then should I raise them as believers with the same presuppositions as if I had baptized them?
 

mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
What damage would come from transferring your membership to a Presbyterian church? Is it that you just don't want to leave your brethren at the Baptist church, or is there more to it?
It’s that we recently moved to this city less than 2 years ago and in that time period we visited many churches. We finally landed at the one we’re at and my family have built great relationships there. My wife was tired of moving around already and she would be pretty sad if we left. Plus my kids would wonder why we’re moving to another church again. Therefore, I think it’d do more damage than good, but I’m still missing out on being around like minded brethren as well as having our kids baptized.
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
Jordan:

Your children are in the covenant of grace by virtue of their birth. I am thankful that you have come to see that they should be reared as such and that they should receive the sign and seal of being in such a covenant: baptism, by which sacrament they are solemnly admitted to the visible church.

As you and your wife pray about and discuss this together (she really needs to see this as well; work patiently and lovingly with her in that regard), I would urge you to establish a relationship with a minister from one of the NAPARC churches local to you (others--Edward?--are likely to give specific suggestions). You can work with him better to understand your newfound convictions and how to transition out of where you are to where you need to be so that you can live as a Reformed/Presbyterian believer.

Having come to the convictions that you have, you'll ultimately not be satisfied remaining where you are and you shouldn't be. Again, I rejoice in the place to which you've come and pray for you and yours as you transition into a place that supports and fosters your convictions.

Peace,
Alan
 
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mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you for your encouragement, brother. I’ve heard OPC are the most solid reformed Presbyterian churches. What differentiates the one you mentioned with the OPC?

Also, which Presbyterian denominations should I stay away from?
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
Thank you for your encouragement, brother. I’ve heard OPC are the most solid reformed Presbyterian churches. What differentiates the one you mentioned with the OPC?
Jordan:

The OPC is a denominational member of NAPARC, which is an association of North American Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, which would include PCA, URCNA, RCUS, RPCNA, ARP and other churches that have members on this board.

If you wish to check out the OPC and find the one nearest you, you may do so at www.opc.org.

Peace,
Alan
 

N. Eshelman

Puritan Board Senior
I would not stay at a Baptist church, not with unbaptized children. It's important that you obey the Lord and have them baptized.

If you in Orange County, I would consider All Saints Reformed Presbyterian Church in Brea. They have a number of young families and people who are newer to the reformed faith, like you are.

https://allsaintsreformed.org

You can email me if you need more contact information. N DOT P DOT Eshelman AT Gmail DOT com
 

mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
That’s awesome thank you! I just need to get my wife on board. She would have to fully understand this issue and be on board for this to be a smooth transition. She doesn’t see it as that big of an issue as of yet.
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
That’s awesome thank you! I just need to get my wife on board. She would have to fully understand this issue and be on board for this to be a smooth transition. She doesn’t see it as that big of an issue as of yet.
My counsel, brother, is to be quite patient and loving with her. Your consulting with a good Reformed/Presbyterian pastor will help you in this regard.

This is the direction toward which you should work: transitioning out of where you are to a place in which you and yours can flourish in your newly-discovered views. It's better that it be done carefully and deliberately than hastily and haphazardly.

Peace,
Alan
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Thanks :)
I’m leaning that direction. But then should I raise them as believers with the same presuppositions as if I had baptized them?
Well, given that it is a command to apply the sign to our children, that may be hiding behind a high hedge of sorts....
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
We know a local Calvinist Baptist pastor who went to WTS and understands the other side, and has had no problem sending a few folks to the local Presbyterians to get their babies baptized even if he isn't comfortable with doing it himself. He also does not require rebaptism for membership if you come from a paedo background and believe your baptism was a true baptism. Some folks do want to be baptized as believers. Ask your pastor if he is comfortable with you attending but getting the kids baptized. (He should be.)

My opinion is that this should be a secondary issue choosing a church. I know PCA guys who are Federal Vision. I used to go to a PCA church where some influential people (not the pastor) were staunchly old age earth/theistic evolutionist. That was considered a non essential, while for me it is an essential (a real Adam and Eve).

Preachers differ, pastoral giftings differ. I would get the kids baptized if you are convinced of that but stay in your church if it is sound doctrine, good teaching, and a good place.

Since your kids are 4 and 5, read this, and see if your pastor would agree that he himself should baptize them. A great piece. Don't let the title scare you.

https://frame-poythress.org/indifferentism-and-rigorism/
 

mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you :). Before I posted this thread I called a local OPC church and spoke with the pastor and he said he doesn’t know if anyone who would baptize if not a member. So for me, that out of the question. Also, I’d like to be with like minded brothers and sisters who view their children the same as I believe the Bible does. I will read that article thank you! I love John frame.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
It is possible to maintain relationships with people without attending the same congregation as them. Culturally, it may be difficult (depends on the church culture, e.g., do they only see each other on the Lord's day? are there other events during the week, whether sponsored by the church or just private families socializing?), but it is definitely socially possible. If the bonds are that strong, there may be more motivation to continue to keep in touch in various ways.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks :)
I’m leaning that direction. But then should I raise them as believers with the same presuppositions as if I had baptized them?
Hi Jordan,

Chiming in as a baptist, I wonder only what presuppositions are different if you baptize the children? Confessional baptists and Presbyterians both raise their children the same way: teaching them the law of God, attending church, telling them that they must be born again if they would see the Kingdom of God. You yourself cannot presuppose that they are elect--you must hope in God for their regeneration, you must pray for it, you must raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Baptized or not, this is your duty; baptized or not, it is God and God alone who saves.
I would advise against leaving lightly a church if it is solid in all other ways.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
Do not go against conscience, to do so is sin. Thankfully the Lord is Lord of the conscience and He has commanded children of believers to be baptized. If God has so commanded, then who are you to disobey Him?
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Brother,

You've got some good counsel here. Jacob had to leave Laban, but he also had to go at a pace that his family could bear.

Our children get baptized this coming Sunday, and we're excited! I look forward to hearing of you doing the same :)
 

mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
Some really great advice here. Thank you.
That is one thing I was wondering about. We really enjoy having a home bible study mid week where we get together with the same families each week. It helps us to build close relationships.
Do most reformed Presbyterian churches only meet once a week?
 

mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
Brother,

You've got some good counsel here. Jacob had to leave Laban, but he also had to go at a pace that his family could bear.

Our children get baptized this coming Sunday, and we're excited! I look forward to hearing of you doing the same :)
Oh yeah brother some really great advice. I’m super happy for you! Is this your first covenant child?
 

mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
It is possible to maintain relationships with people without attending the same congregation as them. Culturally, it may be difficult (depends on the church culture, e.g., do they only see each other on the Lord's day? are there other events during the week, whether sponsored by the church or just private families socializing?), but it is definitely socially possible. If the bonds are that strong, there may be more motivation to continue to keep in touch in various ways.
I relied in a separate message below by accident because I’m a nooby. You gave some solid advice.
Do Reformed Presbyterian churches only meet once a week or is it typical to have a home group mid week?
 

mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
Do not go against conscience, to do so is sin. Thankfully the Lord is Lord of the conscience and He has commanded children of believers to be baptized. If God has so commanded, then who are you to disobey Him?
Man, that’s heavy duty right there.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Thank you :). Before I posted this thread I called a local OPC church and spoke with the pastor and he said he doesn’t know if anyone who would baptize if not a member.
Technically, you don't have to be a member for a child to be baptized in a PCA church. PCA BCO 56. But it's going to be a bit difficult to fulfill the parental vows, particularly the third one.

I'd recommend following the advice of Dr. Strange. He administers truth in a pastoral manner.
 

mrhartley85

Puritan Board Freshman
Technically, you don't have to be a member for a child to be baptized in a PCA church. PCA BCO 56. But it's going to be a bit difficult to fulfill the parental vows, particularly the third one.

I'd recommend following the advice of Dr. Strange. He administers truth in a pastoral manner.
What vows would I not be able to administer?
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Also, which Presbyterian denominations should I stay away from?
Avoid the PCUSA, the various Cumberland Presbyterians, and ECO.

Use great caution and discernment with the EPC.

Use some caution and discernment with the PCA.

The other NAPARC Presbyterians are generally going to be OK, although you can find a few outliers with any group.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
What vows would I not be able to administer?
I was thinking mainly of this clause: "that you will
endeavor to set before (him) a godly example".

I see some issue with the example being set of going to a church for social reasons when you have significant theological disagreements with what is taught there (assuming that there is a viable better alternative within reasonable range).
 
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