Still looking for a church...

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Still looking for a church...

Postby Hezzie » Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:25 pm

Alas, JohnTS will not like the church we attended last week and are considering as a new church home after our recent move!!!

After a few visits to a non-Baptist church, we attended a local Free Will Baptist church. My maternal grandparents were Free Will Baptists, but had left that church by the time I was old enough to attend. Still, the roots are there. My mother is a member of an SBC church, but continues to deny the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints because of this. Random thoughts:

1. This church has recently undergone a name-change to drop "Free Will" and "Baptist" from its name. Now for all outward appearances it is a non-denomonational church (I think they want it this way; no reference to FWBs on their website either). Thus, I don't know how formal a relationship they have with the denomonation, though I note that the pastor is a trustee at the local FWB College.

2. Because this church is large and "modern", I don't know whether they practice foot washing as do most FWBs. But it wouldn't bother me if they did.

3. My wife (who is very conservative) strongly adheres to Perseverance, but is willing to attend here if I wish, though with reservations about this docrinal point.

4. This is a choice which would get me out of the SBC (which I want), but still allow me to nurture Baptist roots in my children.

5. FWB doctrinal statement specifically refers to inerrancy (which makes me cringe). OTOH, this local church stresses unity in all matters and open acceptance of folks from other denomonational backgrounds, and has no docrinal statement save the usual "in essentials unity..." statement.

6. My deceased grandmother, who was one of the Free Will Baptist grandparents, has been the greatest Christian influence on my life. I feel a slight desire to attend for no other reason than to honor her memory (She would be so proud!).

7. The church has modern worship (which we like) and a Willow Creek-style kids program (which we also like).

8. The church has grown 20% a year for the past 2 years.

9. The church has a class for prospective members which we have not yet attended. Thus, I have not had a chance to get many of my questions answered.

I am interested in honest advice/comments/prayer from any of you as we make this decision.
Hezzie
 
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Postby Wade » Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:29 pm

Hezzie, here's a list regarding your decision:

1. You will be the MOST informed and well educated person regarding doctrinal matters at the new members group. Most people's knowledge stops at "do you dunk or not"-- as an example.

2. My roots are of Methodist backgroud. I'm now in a Wesleyian church, though not Methodist. I too feel closer to my past.

3. You will not find a church that you perfectly "fit". In a conservative church, you'll be too moderate. In a liberal church, you'll be too conservative. Most churches you look at will be a bit too conservative, but you'll adjust.

4. The effect ANY church has over your children pales in comparision to the influence you and your wife have over them. Don't place too much value in choosing a church based on what you think is good for your kids. Put that energy into being real and consistant with your kids.

5. You'll be so proud to get your girls out of the SBC. A recent article by a local SBC leader included basically an apology to the general reader for suggesting that women have an "equal" part in the church. I think we should ship Pat Robertson and him off to some island for a reality show--- call it Two Idiots on an Island.

6. Trust yourself, and your wife.
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Re: Still looking for a church...

Postby David Flick » Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:41 am

Hezzie wrote:Alas, JohnTS will not like the church we attended last week and are considering as a new church home after our recent move!!!

After a few visits to a non-Baptist church, we attended a local Free Will Baptist church. My maternal grandparents were Free Will Baptists, but had left that church by the time I was old enough to attend. Still, the roots are there. My mother is a member of an SBC church, but continues to deny the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints because of this. Random thoughts:

1. This church has recently undergone a name-change to drop "Free Will" and "Baptist" from its name. Now for all outward appearances it is a non-denomonational church (I think they want it this way; no reference to FWBs on their website either). Thus, I don't know how formal a relationship they have with the denomonation, though I note that the pastor is a trustee at the local FWB College.

2. Because this church is large and "modern", I don't know whether they practice foot washing as do most FWBs. But it wouldn't bother me if they did.

3. My wife (who is very conservative) strongly adheres to Perseverance, but is willing to attend here if I wish, though with reservations about this docrinal point.

4. This is a choice which would get me out of the SBC (which I want), but still allow me to nurture Baptist roots in my children.

5. FWB doctrinal statement specifically refers to inerrancy (which makes me cringe). OTOH, this local church stresses unity in all matters and open acceptance of folks from other denomonational backgrounds, and has no docrinal statement save the usual "in essentials unity..." statement.

6. My deceased grandmother, who was one of the Free Will Baptist grandparents, has been the greatest Christian influence on my life. I feel a slight desire to attend for no other reason than to honor her memory (She would be so proud!).

7. The church has modern worship (which we like) and a Willow Creek-style kids program (which we also like).

8. The church has grown 20% a year for the past 2 years.

9. The church has a class for prospective members which we have not yet attended. Thus, I have not had a chance to get many of my questions answered.

I am interested in honest advice/comments/prayer from any of you as we make this decision.

Here's another Okie weighing in, Hezzie. I attempted to weigh in yesterday afternoon but failed. I went out to get a link to post in my message, and went the wrong way. I inadvertently opened up the same window in my browser and erased everything I had written. Then along comes my wife with a "honey-do" job and I had to leave the computer. Drat!!

Anyway, from what I hear you saying, I think you could be quite happy in a Fee Will Baptist church. I'm assuming that the church is near where you live. Is it that one out on Highway 9 toward Blanchard? Anyway I know that, as the crow flies, you aren't far from Hillsdale College. I'd bet that you aren't much more than five or six miles from the college, as the crow flies, but you can't cross the river the way the crow flies... :)

But I digress. From what you said above, sounds like you could be happy at the FW Baptist church. Free Willers are among the most pure of Arminian Baptists. Most Southern Baptists are basically free will (Arminian) Baptists, as are almost all moderate Baptists. Of course, that the brand of Arminianism that allows for assurance of salvation sans the falling away. About the only difference between Free Will Baptists and Arminian Southern/Moderate Baptists is the question on assurance. But then that's such a minor difference that it isn't worth quibbling about. The foot-washing thing may be unique to Free Will Baptists, but like you, I could live with it.

Wonder what the requirements are for formal membership. I don't know if Free Will Baptists have Landmark influences or not. Would they take you by letter transfer without rebaptism? Or would they require re-baptism? I should know this but don't.

Speaking of pure Arminian Baptists, the General Baptists are also pure Arminian. But we don't have many General Baptist churches in Oklahoma. In fact I don't know of a single one. Anyway, you're in my prayers. Your judgment is sound from everything I know about you. God speed...
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Postby Hezzie » Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:48 am

Wade: 3. You will not find a church that you perfectly "fit". In a conservative church, you'll be too moderate. In a liberal church, you'll be too conservative. Most churches you look at will be a bit too conservative, but you'll adjust.


Yes. I am learning and beginning to accept this. Actually, I feel quite comfortable in conservative churches. It is fundamentalism I can't abide. I think life would be wonderful in the BGCT (the only good thing in Texas!!! :P ), but I don't have such an option.

David: Anyway I know that, as the crow flies, you aren't far from Hillsdale College. I'd bet that you aren't much more than five or six miles from the college, as the crow flies, but you can't cross the river the way the crow flies...


Hillsdale is about seven miles away. My grandmother offered to pay my tuition if I would go there (but I stuck with OBU). The church in question is the former First Free Will Baptist Church of Norman, now simply Crosspointe Church. It is at HWY 9 East and Hwy 77.

David: Wonder what the requirements are for formal membership. I don't know if Free Will Baptists have Landmark influences or not. Would they take you by letter transfer without rebaptism? Or would they require re-baptism? I should know this but don't.


I wonder the same thing. I don't want to get baptised again. I don't think I've fallen from grace since my last time (and that one was my second). But I probably would if I had to.


Thanks both to Wade and David for your prayers and comments.
Hezzie
 
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