Tuesday, April 01, 2008

CHURCH SEARCH UPDATE

Hello all. Angela and I are in the process of "courting" the Escondido Orthodox Presbyterian Church ( http://www.escondidoopc.org/ ). If all works out, we will be seeking membership there. One of our elders at Grace Bible Church suggested giving it a couple of months. I think this is good advice.

So far, all is working well. I hope that it works out. Angela and I are burnt out from all of this. However, the light is dawning and the pain is slowly subsiding. The difficulty of course will be the official dissolution of membership at our Reformed Baptist church, but we need to do what we think is best according to our conscience.

Please continue to pray for us. We will continue to keep you all updated.

4 comments:

Gospel.or.Death said...

Josh,

Don't think of it as dissolving your membership at your church, think of it as a transfer.

Remember when you went to the URC, and they wouldn't let you take communion because they don't think of your Baptist church as a true church? Well, they're incorrect about that. You are not departing from heretics and coming into the church for the first time. You were a part of the true church, and you're going to remain in the true church. You're simply transferring to a different part of the true church.

Look, I disagree with our Baptist brothers on the sacrament of baptism. I think they should be baptizing infants. But they DO baptize people, and it is the same baptism that you get in other denominations, the baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and as such it IS a valid Christian baptism. Sure, it's performed too late according to what we believe, but that doesn't render it invalid.

So I think the URC is incorrect in their understanding of our Reformed Baptist brothers. Their practice of baptism is quite different than say the idolatrous blasphemy of the Roman mass. The Roman mass is not the Lord's Supper. But the same cannot be said of the Baptist baptism. It IS a true baptism.

So I find the URC's stance on the issue to be problematic.

As such, I would urge you to continue to consider your brothers in the Baptist church as just that, your brothers. Granted, you disagree on something, something important in fact, but they are true believers. They believe in the same gospel we do, they worship the same God, and they stand blameless before him for the same reason, namely the merits of Christ imputed by faith alone.

In other words, you are not going to be entirely severed from them, because your membership in the greater catholic (lower case "c") church will continue, as will theirs.

We have one Lord, one faith, and EVEN one baptism with them. Thus we are brothers, thus we have fellowship with them, thus we are part of the one, visible, TRUE church of Christ. And we will all be together in glory.

Wow, I can't believe I had all that to say in reaction to the language of dissolving, but what can I say? Give me the gospel or give me death.

Echo_ohcE

Josh Brisby said...

Amen and Amen!

I prefer the language of transferring memebership as well. Indeed, Reformed Baptists do administer the sacraments properly.

I love our URC brothers as well, but they also say that Lutheran churches are not true churches. To be sure, they say they are Christians, but not true churches. But yet, out of the other corner of their mouths, they will say that "outside of this true church there is normally no salvation." Well, I find too many cases of non-Reformed churches that do indeed love the gospel and rest in Christ's imputed righteousness to think this is a mere anomaly.

Yes, the URC was too exclusive for us. Reformed Baptists, Lutherans, etc., are true churches, and are our brothers in Christ, b/c they believe the same gospel we do. They are part of the holy catholic church.

May the Lord continue to lead His people into further unity!

ruberad said...

If the URC were correct and consistent in their strict sacramentology, wouldn't they also have to re-baptize you? But they don't even re-baptize Catholics!

I hope you are blessed at EOPC. I'll tell my parents to look out for you.

Josh Brisby said...

Rube,

I've already met your dad. He's a great guy. I'm looking forward to our time at the EOPC.