Tuesday, March 11, 2008

CLARIFICATION

I wanted to clarify about our situation with regards to our beloved church. My wife has posted it well on her blog, so I paste what she mentioned below:

With the last few posts about our journey into paedobaptism, I believe there has been some misunderstanding. It was not our intention to announce that we were dissolving our membership at our current church. We simply believed that our closer friends, who are generally the ones who read our blogs, deserved an explanation as to why they may not see us at church regularly. We are in the process of *looking* for a church which agrees with our heart on this issue. We are still members at our beloved current church until further notice. Also, if or when we do dissolve our membership, we will announce it in a way that is more personal. Our hearts are breaking over this. But we don’t know what else to do. We don’t know how else to handle it. We believe we may have made some people angry/frustrated/disappointed in us. Again, we are truly heartbroken about this. Neither Josh nor I slept much last night because we were too grieved at the prospect that we have let someone in particular down who we love and respect so much. We understand that not everyone will understand, or support us, let alone agree with us. It’s possible that we may not have handled this situation in the best way possible, but we did think it through and we tried the best we knew how. We’re sorry if we’ve caused any unnecessary pain, but please know that we’re hurting too.

I would also add that we recognize that it is not about us. We realize that the unfortunate thing is that there is sadness on all ends.

I am also learning when it comes to growing into maturity that we may or may not find another church, and we wish to keep our options open to stay at GBC. If we did, we would keep quiet on the baptism issue. We would somehow have our children baptized elsewhere.

Please continue to pray for us. We will keep you all posted dear brethren.

8 comments:

Gospel.or.Death said...

Josh,

Many of us in Reformed churches know exactly what you're going through. It's terrifically painful.

An example in Scripture that has often been of tremendous encouragement to me is Abraham. Read about him in Heb 11 from the NT perspective. He was told to simply go. He wasn't told where, just "Go."

And he obeyed, and went. In hindsight, Abraham made a great decision. But imagine how he must have felt at the time. Strange voices in the middle of the night telling him to pack up everything and leave, and just go to where the voice would tell him. I wonder if he thought he was going crazy?

He left his country, his extended family, his friends, his job, everything. He packed up the kids and left.

Based on what? Nothing but faith in the Word he had heard. That was it.

But perhaps there is an even better example for us to follow. For consider Jesus, who left his Father's side in heavenly glory and bliss. He left the company of the saints in heaven, all his most beloved friends, his very bride, and came to earth, to swim around in the filth of our sin, and to be crucified. All to bring glory and honor to his Father, to be obedient to him, and to purchase us to his glory.

When you do eventually leave your church, some people will undoubtedly take it personally. It will hurt. It will hurt just as the thorn in Paul's side hurt him. But Jesus said to him, "My grace is sufficient for you."

Are those hard words? Are those words that say, "Look, I've already done a lot for you, quit being so ungrateful"? Yes, there is that side of it.

But the words are beautiful words. When we consider what his all sufficient grace to us really is, then the price we pay for it is small in comparison.

Paul's thorn in his side must have been great agony. The crucifixion at the hands of sinners must have been just awful for Christ.

But remember that Jesus did it "for the joy set before him". Consider the joy set before you, brother. Glory everlasting, heavenly bliss, the New Heavens and New Earth, eternal fellowship with Christ himself and with his Father by his Spirit. What more could we ask for? All things have been promised to us by the God who cannot lie.

But be comforted. Many of your friends may be hurt, to be sure, but most of them will get over it. They will come to understand that you're just trying to follow the same God they are. And that's what you're doing. You're trying to be obedient. God has revealed himself to you and you are trying to obey the Word you have heard. That's all you can do.

Do not shrink from the costs of following the Word you have heard, tremendous though those costs may seem. In the long run, you'll be glad you did, and you will sleep soundly at night.

There are countless people that I have personally lost contact with because of the path God has called me to. Is it painful? Yes. And when I think about it, it is moreso. But I sleep at night, knowing that God has been gracious to me, and he will never leave me, even when others do. He will never forsake me, even when others feel like I've forsaken them.

And if they really are believers just like I am, then I am comforted to know that I will see them in heaven, and we'll all have a laugh at how foolish this life was, and how full of sin we all were, and how wonderful the grace of God has been to us all.

Oh yes, we'll have so much time together, we'll forget it even happened. We'll forget what it means to disagree, to hurt each other, to resent each other. All of that will be gone, eclipsed by the glory of God, and our perfect fellowship with him and with each other.

To live is to share in the sufferings of Christ, to die is to gain his glory, for to me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.

Have no fear, trust in his promises: "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." The promise is for you and your children forever.

Echo_ohcE

Josh Brisby said...

Thank you again dear brother. This is exactly what I needed. You have certainly been given the gift of encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Josh,
Sorry if my comment on your paedobaptism post about looking for another church caused any of this. I just assumed that would be the next step in your decision.

Dax

Josh Brisby said...

Brother Dax,

It wasn't your comment brother. It was truly my own misclarification.

I hope you and Amber are doing well. Blessings to you both.

Jnorm888 said...

What are your thoughts about paedo-communion?


I know some Reformed believe in Paedo-communion ....whereas others don't.


Where do you and your wife fall on that issue?



JNORM888

Josh Brisby said...

Jnorm888,

Welcome to The Reformed Oasis.

We reject paedocommunion on several grounds. The following will merely state as to why, but I ask that you do your research to validate the following claims:

First, children did not partake of the Passover Feast. Jesus Himself did not partake of it until He was twelve.

Second, our Lord's institution of it makes it more of an active sacrament: "Do this in remembrance of me." If one tries to argue that that is merely speaking of adults, then I refer them to 1 Co 11, in which the apostle makes clear that all who partake need to examine themselves.

The nature of what takes place at holy communion (feeding on Christ's body and blood by faith and the deep self- examination required) I think makes it clear that the Table is only for those who are of age.

Furthermore, the Reformed tradition has been unanimously credo-communion, and has unanimously rejected paedocommunion. All of the Reformed standards reject it: The Three Forms implicitly, the Westminster Standards explicitly, specifically Larger Catechism 177.

For deeper thoughts and research, Kenneth Gentry and Brian Schwertly have done quite a bit of work on this issue. Also, Francis Nigel Lee has as well.

I hope this helps.

Jnorm888 said...

I know two or three Reformed that believe in Paedo-communion.

One of them said that R.C. Sproul's son got kicked out of his church because he allowed a couple's baby to receive communion.



I will send them your arguments and I will get back to you.

Do I have your permission to cut and past your arguments for rejecting it?




Have a happy easter. Don't wish me the same for mine isn't until the Sunday following the Jewish Passover.




JNORM888

Josh Brisby said...

JNorm,

See my most recent post, "Why I Am A Credo-Communionist." You may also refer your friends there as well.