It’s Official!

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by Johnathan Lee Allen, Mar 17, 2019.

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  1. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    My wife and I are going to be seeking full membership at Westminster OPC near by. After reading John Murray’s “Christian Baptism” she’s fully adopted covenant theology. This has been a year long journey for both of us, but we’ve arrived.

    Here’s a prayer request:
    Please pray for us as we tell our pastor and elders that we are actually quite settled on the matter (he was hoping to talk us out of it). We will have to take two or so months to finish some serving obligations.

    We love our church community very much and hope to maintain friendships. This isn’t an easy thing to walk through.
     
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  2. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    @Romans922 you keep faithfully pitching the RPCNA. Perhaps by the time I get out of seminary, I can join the RP. Should the Lord will it.

    Rejoice, brother. :)
     
  3. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    That's great! Welcome!
     
  4. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    Welcome to the OPC, brother and sister! It's a great place to be. My wife and I have had a similar journey. I spent years thinking, praying, and studying about this matter of infant baptism before I finally came to embrace it. My wife, I think, is still somewhat on the fence, but is comfortable with it, at least. She has not reached the stage of conviction about it.

    I am curious about this:

    What, if I may ask, convinced your wife from this piece? Was it the whole thing, or was there something in particular within it that Murray said? Like I said, I'm just curious.
     
  5. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    Absolutely. It has been no easy journey, I'm sure. Praise God!
     
  6. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    I would say it was the whole work, but she had concessions at each chapter. The turning point was Murray’s treatment on Christ bidding the children to come to Him. After this, she truly saw the continuity of Scripture advocated for by Murray.
     
  7. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    Today was really hard. I had a few conversations with friends where I stated that leaving was inevitable. I have felt ill about this whole thing. Today has been especially acute.

    Encouraging words and advice are greatly welcomed.
     
  8. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    I made the same move brother (1.5 years ago from a Church I had been at since I was 5, baptized twice in, and was married in). Leave on good terms... have the hard face-to-face conversations (especially with elders) and when you look back months from now, you will not have regret but peace that you tried to leave rightly.

    Further be expecting what I call the “baptist relapse” regarding embracing Paedo. You and your wife will likely need to remind yourselves of what convinced you, during your church transitional period, of Paedo.

    Keep your head high and protect your wife during the transition. Thats the most brief and best I got:detective:

    P.S. And again have the hard conversations and strive hard to leave on as good of terms as possible.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
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  9. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    What is the larger context and backstory?

    You and your wife were disagreed for some time on this issue?

    Did you have children and did you study this out so that you would be united as father/mother when you had kids?

    While I disagree in pedobaptism, I praise God you are both now on the same page and can live in greater unity.

    I think it is better to have two pedobaptists in a household than marital strife due to baptismal disagreements.

    And I am unsure of this, but I might make a case that a baptist wife ought to act the part of a good Presbyterian if demanded by the husband for the sake of a peaceful home and not always quarrel with him on the topic. Save the spats for important issues like how to hang the toilet paper (does it roll over or under?).
     
  10. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    Always, always, always over.
     
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  11. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Johnathan,

    Of course it is hard! You love your congregation. As a Christian, you desire unity.

    It's always difficult when someone decides to leave a church. It's natural for them to question: "How did we fail them? What's wrong with us that they want to go elsewhere?" Additionally, some baptists only associate paedo baptism with Rome. In this way, though misguided, the concern itself is legitimate.

    Reassure them that you love and respect them and desire their fellowship. Moving to another church allows you to worship and partake of the means of grace with a clear conscience, as they worship with a clear conscience in their current station.

    You may also want to consider terminology and how that affects the conversation. Presbyterians are not paedobaptists per se-- rather, we practice paedobaptism as we consider infants as part of the household. We are oikobaptist (household baptism). This phrasing (whether or not you use the sesquipedalian terminology) will shift the conversation back into the bibiclal language of households. It is not that you like baptizing babies so much, it is that you include all members of the household in the covenant sign. You are not trying to split the church and convince as many as possible of your convictions, so giving a clear and concise reason like this may rest some of their worries. They can ask for more details if they like.

    Also, since you will be there a while longer with your obligations, they will see firsthand that you are not writing them off but rather you care for them.

    My sister and brother-in-law started out their marriage in a baptist church. She was of a Presbyterian conviction, and he was leaning that way, though he grew up baptist. They thought they'd have time to "figure it out," but they ended up expecting their first child very soon after marriage quite unexpectedly. This forced them to face the issue sooner than later. (She would also have had to be "re-baptized" since she was baptized as an infant-- this didn't sit well.) They ended up going to a local OPC church where they are now members. They faced some of the hard feelings that you describe initially, but this all settled and everyone remains close.

    I hope this was of some help and encouragement.

    Blessings,

    Tim
     
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  12. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Given that you are both settled on moving, it might be best to do so as soon as possible. If you may do so amicably now, why wait for relations to potentially sour? I realise that you mentioned having some obligations, but, perhaps, someone else in the church could take over from you?
     
  13. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    Your signature is interesting, by the way. I didn't know that Presbyterian churches did vespers. I assume that's more of an Anglican or Roman Catholic thing.

    Also: Welcome to the OPC!
     
  14. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    Grant,
    Thank you for this encouragement. That must have been tremendously difficult. I'm finding that it generally hasn't been easy for anyone making the jump.
    I can clarify whatever context you'd like. She and I were only a few months apart on the issue. I became convinced more or less a few months before her. I think she questioned it before I did though. We do have children. I think that's why we've taken this step carefully, did research, read Scripture, and spoke with godly men and women regarding the issue. I appreciate your respect despite your differing convictions.
    This is just a fact.
    This was very encouraging. I've only briefly thought of it from their perspective. They have been faithful Baptists and haven't failed. I have been greatly fed there. I really like that idea of carefully crafting my terminology as to help my Baptist brothers and sisters understand our views as we see told in the Bible.
    One of my soon-to-be elders asked about doing something to expedite the process, but I want to be very careful as to not leave folks in a lurch. Any Sundays when we aren't serving, we will be at Westminster for both services.
    Thank you for the welcome. The vespers thing is just what I've first learned it to be called. Bethel OPC in Wheaton, Illinois was where I first attended a Presbyterian church. That's what they called the evening serves for whatever reason. I've grown accustomed to calling it as such. The service is no different.
     
  15. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Yes I have it on good authority that the OPC stands for "Only Perfect Church" :)
     
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  16. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    I've been in the OPC for 23 years (since 1996). Wouldn't be anywhere else.
     
  17. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    I thought you said you were rethinking this?
     
  18. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    I worship with the Reformed Churches of New Zealand and they have a very warm sister church relationship with the OPC.
     
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  19. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I am. But I am still biased toward credobaptism.
     
  20. Susan777

    Susan777 Puritan Board Freshman

    Everybody knows that Arminians roll under.
     
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  21. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    Come on over! The water is fine. :)
    @ArminianOnceWas can you confirm this? ;) :)
     
  22. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    So you have been talking to an eye specialist about what coloured glasses suit you best? :lol:
     
  23. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    You say, "Come over, the water is fine"...but there is so LITTLE OF IT in Presbyterianism! I can't even jump in....some of us real dirty sinners need a credobaptist amount of water to cleanse us.
     
  24. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Maybe you've got Presbyopia.
     
  25. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    Hey man, I am happy for you to be joining a solid denomination. The OPC certainly is a great option.

    More importantly, I am happy that you have been taken from a dispensationalist background to a solid, reformed worldview. The most amazing thing is finally being able to read the Bible and have it make sense - seeing how God is forming one unified people in Christ. It is pretty neat to think of David, Samuel, Moses, Abraham, Noah etc. as our spiritual forefathers. :)
     
  26. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    Seems to be plenty!
     
  27. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

    ;)
     
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  28. Gabriel Barnes

    Gabriel Barnes Puritan Board Freshman

    Praying for an easy transition for you! Things like this can be difficult, speaking from experience as one who left one Presbyterian Church for another -- the relationship side of things was difficult for sure. Once again praying all goes smooth as you begin your transition.
     
  29. TomVols

    TomVols Puritan Board Freshman

    Praying for you in your transition.

    One small semantic tip. I explain to people that I embraced "covenant baptism" rather than paedo.

    Someone was quite correct - remind yourself why you have embraced this change. The filter that once caused me to dismiss covenant baptism, reformed thinking, etc., didn't go away overnight.
     
  30. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    An update:

    We’ve split our time between Westminster OPC and the Acts29 church in a way to ease ourselves into Westminster. We’ve also kept up with weekly meetings with our pastor-to-be there. This has been good for easing the transition. My wife highlighted to me the difficulty of “leaving Evangelicalism” and how that’s going to have a very real change in our way thinking and interacting with the world, therefore changing our lives.

    I was asked to draft a letter to rescind our membership at the Acts29 church. I’ll be giving it to the pastor in a couple hours. We then will have a follow up conversation next Saturday after he’s had a chance to discuss it with the elders. By the end of this month or sooner, I believe we’ll be members of the OPC.
     
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