Reformed Baptist in a PCA

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Weston Stoler

Puritan Board Sophomore
I know this may be slightly off topic for this thread but I could not find where this would fit. Their are no Reformed Baptist Churches in my area and I plan to visit a PCA this Sunday. I have not been a member of a church since I left my IFB church, went to college, then came back here. So, I am wondering if becoming a member would be profitable even if I am not actually a presbyterian. Because I miss being in a body of believers.
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
I would say that joining a good PCA church is a much better option than simply sitting home on Sunday mornings, although they would probably not let you become a member unless you affirmed paedobaptism.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
There appear to be some Calvinistic Baptist churches in Huntsville, including at least one that says it holds to the 1689.

You can join a PCA congregation as a Baptist, but you would not be able to hold office and would not be able to spread baptistic views as that would necessarily be divisive.
 

Weston Stoler

Puritan Board Sophomore
There appear to be some Calvinistic Baptist churches in Huntsville, including at least one that says it holds to the 1689.

You can join a PCA congregation as a Baptist, but you would not be able to hold office and would not be able to spread baptistic views as that would necessarily be divisive.

Agree completly with the not causing division. I had to do this in college when their are NO calvinistic churchs at all and the one Presbyterian church was USA with gays holding office. Went to a non-calvinist church and laid all of what I believed at the pastors feet. we got along fine.

I dont have much money to get to and from huntsville, however; I would really love going to a calvinistic baptist church.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
There appear to be some Calvinistic Baptist churches in Huntsville, including at least one that says it holds to the 1689.

You can join a PCA congregation as a Baptist, but you would not be able to hold office and would not be able to spread baptistic views as that would necessarily be divisive.

Agree completly with the not causing division. I had to do this in college when their are NO calvinistic churchs at all and the one Presbyterian church was USA with gays holding office. Went to a non-calvinist church and laid all of what I believed at the pastors feet. we got along fine.

I dont have much money to get to and from huntsville, however; I would really love going to a calvinistic baptist church.

Take a look at the 9 Marks church search site. There is a Calvinistic Bible church listed there in Decatur, although they may also be dispensational to some extent. But it sounds like that may be better than your college church. I'm not that familiar with your area. There might be something nearby on the Founders, 9 Marks or other Calvinistic Baptist church directory sites.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Church membership is important, so you should join the PCA church if that's where you decide to attend regularly. It is not odd, especially in a Baptist-heavy place like Alabama, to have Baptists in PCA churches. So I suspect your membership would neither cause division nor subject you to any discipline that violates your conscience. Ask about this if things get far enough that you do pursue membership, but it probably won't be an issue. The benefits of membership should outweigh any difficulties.

---------- Post added at 08:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:49 PM ----------

they would probably not let you become a member unless you affirmed paedobaptism.

Actually, they probably will let you become a member. Everyday members in the PCA do not have to subscribe to all Presbyterian points of doctrine. They do have to promise to submit to the church's discipline, but in the PCA this is rarely enforced in such a way as to violate the consciences of Baptists.
 

Weston Stoler

Puritan Board Sophomore
Church membership is important, so you should join the PCA church if that's where you decide to attend regularly. It is not odd, especially in a Baptist-heavy place like Alabama, to have Baptists in PCA churches. So I suspect your membership would neither cause division nor subject you to any discipline that violates your conscience. Ask about this if things get far enough that you do pursue membership, but it probably won't be an issue. The benefits of membership should outweigh any difficulties.

---------- Post added at 08:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:49 PM ----------

they would probably not let you become a member unless you affirmed paedobaptism.

Actually, they probably will let you become a member. Everyday members in the PCA do not have to subscribe to all Presbyterian points of doctrine. They do have to promise to submit to the church's discipline, but in the PCA this is rarely enforced in such a way as to violate the consciences of Baptists.

That would be nice if I did become a member. I do not plan on taking any real leadership positions in any church until I am older so right now I might actually feel comfortable in a PCA church. It has to be more comfortable then those dang IFB churchs
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Actually, they probably will let you become a member. Everyday members in the PCA do not have to subscribe to all Presbyterian points of doctrine

That is interesting, I assumed they would not let a confessing credobaptist become a member. My church will only admit persons for membership who have been baptized by immersion.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Actually, they probably will let you become a member. Everyday members in the PCA do not have to subscribe to all Presbyterian points of doctrine

That is interesting, I assumed they would not let a confessing credobaptist become a member. My church will only admit persons for membership who have been baptized by immersion.

Some Presbyterian and Reformed churches are the way you supposed. In the Dutch tradition, I understand they have confessional membership. In some other conservative Presbyterian denominations, I have heard of cases in which people will eventually be disciplined or encouraged to move to a baptistic church if after much patience and teaching they do not present their children. I know of at least one PCA pastor who strongly encourages Baptists to find a more suitable church (and will help them to that end) if they are firm in their baptistic convictions. But the PCA rule is that if prospective members can answer the 5 questions (which are fairly basic) they may join. That doesn't even require a belief in unconditional election, etc.
 

Weston Stoler

Puritan Board Sophomore
Actually, they probably will let you become a member. Everyday members in the PCA do not have to subscribe to all Presbyterian points of doctrine

That is interesting, I assumed they would not let a confessing credobaptist become a member. My church will only admit persons for membership who have been baptized by immersion.

Some Presbyterian and Reformed churches are the way you supposed. In the Dutch tradition, I understand they have confessional membership. In some other conservative Presbyterian denominations, I have heard of cases in which people will eventually be disciplined or encouraged to move to a baptistic church if after much patience and teaching they do not present their children. I know of at least one PCA pastor who strongly encourages Baptists to find a more suitable church (and will help them to that end) if they are firm in their baptistic convictions. But the PCA rule is that if prospective members can answer the 5 questions (which are fairly basic) they may join. That doesn't even require a belief in unconditional election, etc.

I would cross that boat when I have children wouldn't I?
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Actually, they probably will let you become a member. Everyday members in the PCA do not have to subscribe to all Presbyterian points of doctrine

That is interesting, I assumed they would not let a confessing credobaptist become a member. My church will only admit persons for membership who have been baptized by immersion.

Some Presbyterian and Reformed churches are the way you supposed. In the Dutch tradition, I understand they have confessional membership. In some other conservative Presbyterian denominations, I have heard of cases in which people will eventually be disciplined or encouraged to move to a baptistic church if after much patience and teaching they do not present their children. I know of at least one PCA pastor who strongly encourages Baptists to find a more suitable church (and will help them to that end) if they are firm in their baptistic convictions. But the PCA rule is that if prospective members can answer the 5 questions (which are fairly basic) they may join. That doesn't even require a belief in unconditional election, etc.

I would cross that boat when I have children wouldn't I?

Which boat? Baptism? In the PCA, at most (at least with regard to official denominational policy) they will teach and encourage you to have them brought to the font but you won't be booted for being a Baptist. But it will limit ministry opportunities in the future.

This is only one man's opinion, but if you are a Baptist, why not try some of the Baptist churches? It sounds like you're only familiar with basically Arminian IFB churches. There are more and more Calvinistic pastors in SBC churches. Sure, some will use man-centered methods, but often you can tell a lot about a church by simply visiting their website and listening to some sermons if they are made available. You can talk to the pastor like you did with your college church. Some might be very opposed to Calvinism, some may be open to cooperating with Calvinists and some may be Calvinists themselves. There is a resurgence of Calvinism in IFB circles as well, but from what I can tell it is mainly outside of the South.

As several of us have noted, there are several Calvinist Baptist churches in your general area. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that they would help you out with gas money if that would prevent you from attending regularly. There are some churches that will do that.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Actually, they probably will let you become a member. Everyday members in the PCA do not have to subscribe to all Presbyterian points of doctrine

That is interesting, I assumed they would not let a confessing credobaptist become a member. My church will only admit persons for membership who have been baptized by immersion.

That's normal. I am not a member of the Baptist church I now attend, and can't be without affirming credobaptism. But every member of that Baptist church could become a member of my old PCA church.
 

Reformation Monk

Puritan Board Freshman
Weston;

Check out Sovereign Grace, their a Reformed Baptist Congregation...... the worship is contemporary however, which I don't care for.... but they are Credo's!

==================================

Decatur

Philadelphia Baptist Church

202 Mill Street SW

Decatur, AL 35603

Philadelphia Baptist Church : Sovereign Grace Landmark

Pastor: Ted Tweet

1150 Way through the Woods SW

Decatur, AL 35603

Phone: 256-686-1307

E-mail: [email protected]

---------- Post added at 03:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:33 AM ----------

Couple of things to keep in mind if you decide to go to the PCA church. ( for what ever reason, it might be closer, you might have a friend, I don't know ) At Sovereign you will get Reformed thought. Spurgeon being one of their poster preachers.

PCA churches widely vary. You might find a truly reformed community, you might not. I belonged to a PCA church for a couple of years until It really became very evident to me that they just paid lip service to the WCF and that they were really pretty liberal.

So use some discernment.

Also coming out of the IFB community, you might find that after awhile you might not like the sermons at the PCA that much. I know that I personally listen to a lot of IFB and Reformed Baptist sermons online because they tend to be a little more "passionate" from the pulpit. :)

Just some thoughts.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
http://www.pcaac.org/BCO 2010 Reprint All.pdf

Presbyterian Church in America
Book of Church Order

Chapter 57
The Admission of Persons to Sealing Ordinances

57-5

(All of) you being here present to make a public
profession of faith, are to assent to the following declarations and
promises, by which you enter into a solemn covenant with God
and His Church.

1. Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of
God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save
in His sovereign mercy?
2. Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God,
and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and rest upon Him
alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?
3. Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon
the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as
becomes the followers of Christ?
4. Do you promise to support the Church in its worship and
work to the best of your ability?
5. Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline
of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace?

The short answer is, yes you can attend.

You can be a regular attender (before membership) indefinitely which includes many, but not all the privileges of membership. Members vote, serve on committees, are subject to formal church discipline, etc.

But, God takes these things very seriously. Attendance ought be with the vows of membership in mind, and not taken casually. The more you know (biblically), the more God holds you responsible to believe and act in accord with that.

As far as doctrine, a member in the PCA agrees to peaceably study the church's doctrine (that's the "peace and purity" of point 5.), which will include things like covenant theology, covenant community and covenant families, and infant baptism.

If you are firmly convicted of believers only baptism and clearly against infant baptism, you are not going to be comfortable in a PCA church for long. It does not seem you could in good conscience take the membership vows in that case, you would need to at least be heading in that direction (toward covenant family, both believers and infant baptistm, etc.)

But if you are open to learning about it, think there may be a biblical case for it, by all means attend, pray, and study.

In the PCA, as a biblical reformed denomination, is confessional. That means there is doctrine we confess because we believe it is a faithful summary of God's Word. If you can attend and serve in that framework, you will be welcomed as you commit to serving Him and His people.
 
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Weston Stoler

Puritan Board Sophomore
http://www.pcaac.org/BCO 2010 Reprint All.pdf

Presbyterian Church in America
Book of Church Order

Chapter 57
The Admission of Persons to Sealing Ordinances

57-5

(All of) you being here present to make a public
profession of faith, are to assent to the following declarations and
promises, by which you enter into a solemn covenant with God
and His Church.

1. Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of
God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save
in His sovereign mercy?
2. Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God,
and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and rest upon Him
alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?
3. Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon
the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as
becomes the followers of Christ?
4. Do you promise to support the Church in its worship and
work to the best of your ability?
5. Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline
of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace?

The short answer is, yes you can attend.

You can be a regular attender (before membership) indefinitely which includes many, but not all the privileges of membership. Members vote, serve on committees, are subject to formal church discipline, etc.

But, God takes these things very seriously. Attendance ought be with the vows of membership in mind, and not taken casually. The more you know (biblically), the more God holds you responsible to believe and act in accord with that.

As far as doctrine, a member in the PCA agrees to peaceably study the church's doctrine (that's the "peace and purity" of point 5.), which will include things like covenant theology, covenant community and covenant families, and infant baptism.

If you are firmly convicted of believers only baptism and clearly against infant baptism, you are not going to be comfortable in a PCA church for long. It does not seem you could in good conscience take the membership vows in that case, you would need to at least be heading in that direction.

But if you are open to learning about it, think there may be a biblical case for it, by all means attend, pray, and study.

In the PCA, as a biblical reformed denomination, is confessional. That means there is doctrine we confess because we believe it is a faithful summary of God's Word. If you can attend and serve in that framework, you will be welcomed as you commit to serving Him and His people.

See I am not fully convinced of credobaptism yet. For the last 2 years since I left that (you could call it a cult) church I have been restudying everything I believe. From the Trinity to Penal Substitution. I have yet to get to Baptistm. Even if I did decide on credobaptism I wouldnt make a great deal out of it. The longest I would stay at the PCA church would be 3 years (and that is if I dont move to huntsville like I plan on doing next summer). So it would be that big of a deal.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
I understand what you mean by being there for 3 years longest, but keep in mind if you join you want to be looking at long term commitment and accountability (a "high" view of the church, Christ's Body is part of reformed theology). You will carry the doctrine and would transfer membership- PCA is in all 50 states now!
 

Weston Stoler

Puritan Board Sophomore
Ironicly I would probably be more comfortable in a paedobaptism place then a dispensationalist place :D :banana:



Once I get a job I can make the hike to huntsville every Sunday. It is a good 30 minute drive if I drive a tad bit over the speed limit.
 

Reformation Monk

Puritan Board Freshman
I would definately urge you to at least pay Sovereign Grace a visit. They are a Reformed Baptist community.

One other thing that I would urge you to do is to listen to each of the Church's, that you are investigating, online sermons.

This will help you to determin what direction you should go in.

While on one hand there is no "perfect" Church.

But on the other, being Baptist or Presbyterian is a pretty big difference. Even if both denominations are "reformed." There are distinct differences between the two communities that aren't just doctrinal, but wholy organic.

But at the end of the day, it won't hurt you to jump in either.... this is the best way to learn about the Church. At the end of it, it will only help you move towards the direction that you feel most comfortable with.
 

Weston Stoler

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would definately urge you to at least pay Sovereign Grace a visit. They are a Reformed Baptist community.

One other thing that I would urge you to do is to listen to each of the Church's, that you are investigating, online sermons.

This will help you to determin what direction you should go in.

While on one hand there is no "perfect" Church.

But on the other, being Baptist or Presbyterian is a pretty big difference. Even if both denominations are "reformed." There are distinct differences between the two communities that aren't just doctrinal, but wholy organic.

But at the end of the day, it won't hurt you to jump in either.... this is the best way to learn about the Church. At the end of it, it will only help you move towards the direction that you feel most comfortable with.

Wow I just searched the directions and it is pretty close. I definatly will be visiting soon if not this sunday.
 

Jeffriesw

Puritan Board Freshman
Ironicly I would probably be more comfortable in a paedobaptism place then a dispensationalist place :D :banana:

Yep, I agree, No way I could sit in a Dispensational Church for any length of time. I would think it might be wsie to give the PCA Church in your area a try, then sit down with the Pastor or maybe one of the other Elders and be up front and talk with them about it.
 

Weston Stoler

Puritan Board Sophomore
Ironicly I would probably be more comfortable in a paedobaptism place then a dispensationalist place :D :banana:

Yep, I agree, No way I could sit in a Dispensational Church for any length of time. I would think it might be wsie to give the PCA Church in your area a try, then sit down with the Pastor or maybe one of the other Elders and be up front and talk with them about it.

comming from an ultra-dispensational background I would rather leave that behind LOL
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
But at the end of the day, it won't hurt you to jump in either.... this is the best way to learn about the Church. At the end of it, it will only help you move towards the direction that you feel most comfortable with.

We might add to this, knowing something of scripture- prepare in advance so you have some idea of your doctrinal beliefs, not merely just to "try." It's about confessing what you you believe, substantially to be God's revealed will (His Word).

Broadly evangelical churches generally have a "low" view of the church as something of a loose association of consenting adults, based on the whim of the attender at the moment.

Reformed theology (and Scripture) does not view Christ's Body (the church, the covenant community) nor His Word, like that. Not at all- it is composed of people God chose, and died for. And truth that is "forever settled in heaven." We need to act like that, and commit to serve and suffer with Him and with His people.

It's about finding an imperfect group of people whom God calls you to serve, be accountable to who confess God's revealed will in a substantially truthful way.

That's why having a confession is so important.

For example, you have a basis for that in a Reformed Baptist church that confesses the London Baptist Confession of Faith or a Presbyterian Church that confesses the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Broadly evangelical churches have no Confession or a limited statement of beliefs- this includes communions that certainly are Christian, such as Sovereign Grace.

But reformed theology would build unity around confessed doctrine.

That's going to include major doctrines like infant baptism- that's why its important to settle the point biblically to your own conviction.:)
 

Weston Stoler

Puritan Board Sophomore
But at the end of the day, it won't hurt you to jump in either.... this is the best way to learn about the Church. At the end of it, it will only help you move towards the direction that you feel most comfortable with.

We might add to this, knowing something of scripture- prepare in advance so you have some idea of your doctrinal beliefs, not merely just to "try." It's about confessing what you you believe, substantially to be God's revealed will (His Word).

Broadly evangelical churches generally have a "low" view of the church as something of a loose association of consenting adults, based on the whim of the attender at the moment.

Reformed theology (and Scripture) does not view Christ's Body (the church, the covenant community) like that. Not at all- it is composed of people God chose, and died for. We need to act like that, and commit to serve and suffer with Him and with His people.

It's about finding an imperfect group of people whom God calls you to serve, be accountable to who confess God's revealed will in a substantially truthful way.

That's why having a confession is so important.

I typically find a good church and stick with it. If it has to be arminian like it was this year in college I stick with it. Although it killed me lol.
 

Reformation Monk

Puritan Board Freshman
But at the end of the day, it won't hurt you to jump in either.... this is the best way to learn about the Church. At the end of it, it will only help you move towards the direction that you feel most comfortable with.

We might add to this, knowing something of scripture- prepare in advance so you have some idea of your doctrinal beliefs, not merely just to "try." It's about confessing what you you believe, substantially to be God's revealed will (His Word).

Broadly evangelical churches generally have a "low" view of the church as something of a loose association of consenting adults, based on the whim of the attender at the moment.

Reformed theology (and Scripture) does not view Christ's Body (the church, the covenant community) nor His Word, like that. Not at all- it is composed of people God chose, and died for. And truth that is "forever settled in heaven." We need to act like that, and commit to serve and suffer with Him and with His people.

It's about finding an imperfect group of people whom God calls you to serve, be accountable to who confess God's revealed will in a substantially truthful way.

That's why having a confession is so important.

For example, you have a basis for that in a Reformed Baptist church that confesses the London Baptist Confession of Faith or a Presbyterian Church that confesses the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Broadly evangelical churches have no Confession or a limited statement of beliefs- this includes communions that certainly are Christian, such as Sovereign Grace.

But reformed theology would build unity around confessed doctrine.

That's going to include major doctrines like infant baptism- that's why its important to settle the point biblically to your own conviction.:)

Scott1

This is why I recommended for him to listen to online sermons.... so he could get a better feel before he jumped in.... I wasn't advocating that he just up and join any church. But from my own personal view, it always helps to visit other churches and talk to the people and leaders of said churches; this allows for a better understanding of one's own personal faith and belief.

One of the reason's for my strong conviction of my reformed faith views is that fact that I've spent much time in pretty much all other denominations. I will now don't even question my reformed understanding of Scripture because I've been there and done that in other churches. I believe as long as you have a good discerning mind and you remain in God's Word, then one will be able to not be persuaded into unbelief and or error.

Just my opinion though... :) I'm certainly not an expert.
 

Gage Browning

Puritan Board Freshman
I think typically, non-paedeobaptists can join PCA churches if they vow to submit to the authority and to promote the purity and peace of the church. In other words, I wouldn't join a PCA church being a baptist and try to convert them over to being credo. We have many baptist folks in our church, who are members. They submit to the teaching on baptism, although they aren't in agreement. The other day we had a believer's baptism and it was wonderful.
 

ericfromcowtown

Puritan Board Sophomore
I know this may be slightly off topic for this thread but I could not find where this would fit. Their are no Reformed Baptist Churches in my area and I plan to visit a PCA this Sunday. I have not been a member of a church since I left my IFB church, went to college, then came back here. So, I am wondering if becoming a member would be profitable even if I am not actually a presbyterian. Because I miss being in a body of believers.

There are quite a few reformed baptists who either attend, or are members, or our church. They don't hold office, obviously, but they can become members. Presumably an attitude of humility when it comes to baptism would be important for a credo-baptist member of a PCA congregation, just as an attitude of humility when it comes to baptism would be important for a paedo-baptist attending a Baptist congregation.
 

torstar

Puritan Board Sophomore
I typically find a good church and stick with it. If it has to be arminian like it was this year in college I stick with it. Although it killed me lol.


You youngsters cannot imagine what it was like finding a good church within 30 minutes from home before the internet...
 
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