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Originally Posted by Reformation Monk
I'm not really wanting to join a Reformed Baptist Church, but they're a lot closer to me then the nearest "acceptable" PCA Church.
A serious question...what if you can't find a new church to attend that's acceptable, or what if you suddenly aren't able to drive the distance to an acceptable church? Is not attending a church an option? Could you start your own?

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nope Confessional churches follow the protocol of 1) being sent by an established biblical church by the resident elders, the individual having been examined in matters of doctrine and life, and often 2) receiving a call from a group that is desiring to form a new congregation. In these cases the new work is under the oversight of an established congregation/denomination. Non-confessional churches are infamous for having individuals establishing new churches sometimes on a whim with no oversight nor accountability.


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That answers the second question, and I thank you for that Pilgrim. What about the first question though? Suppose RM can't find, or can't attend an acceptable Church. Can he just opt out?

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Originally Posted by Newman
That answers the second question, and I thank you for that Pilgrim. What about the first question though? Suppose RM can't find, or can't attend an acceptable Church. Can he just opt out?
The key word here is "acceptable". Each individual must decide what is acceptable for themselves. VERY generally, for me there are two basic elements which MUST be present or I won't set foot in the doorway of any church: 1) Reformed in doctrine and I'm not speaking of what the "New Calvinists" embrace, only the infamous "Five Points." Rather I am referring to historic Reformed theology; a total world and life view based upon Scripture. 2) Worship which is according to the "Regulative Principle," which eliminates the majority of churches today which have opted for a man-made, God-dishonoring, emotionally based contemporary 'style.' Beyond those two essentials which I cannot and will not barter away, there is acceptable latitude in other things to be sure.

So, to answer your question directly, even though I am not the individual you have addressed your original question to... my apologies grin if there was no acceptable church in doctrine and life or if one was not within a reasonable traveling distance, I would 'opt out' as you would put it. Sitting under false teaching and/or participating in idolatrous worship isn't what my God finds acceptable and therefore neither do I (Jh 4:24).


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If he's looking at churches in Chesapeake and Norfolk, he's not near Charlottesville. For what it's worth, there are no OPCs in that area of Virginia.


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I'm coming into this discussion late, but why are we so 'bent out of shape' with the PCUSA. They have long ago strayed of course with its theology. The social aspects of bad theology works it way through the church over time (I think James Kennedy surmised 2 generations), but we tend to only want to fight when the social aspects prop up, not at the front end where heresy enters through bad theology.

The local PCUSA church which is supposedly conservative says that the new amendmant is not binding to their Presbytery and the church does not contribute financially to the GA. The church and the Presbytery strongly disagrees with the new amendment. They will continue to keep biblical fidelity. But, are they truly doing that.

Although the pastor is a strong evangelical, he is an egalitarian in this theology. Whether or not he is firmed or weak on that in total, I do not know. My question is. Is it possible to hold to biblical fidelity and be egalitarian? I might have asked this before, and if so, I apologize.


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Originally Posted by John_C
My question is. Is it possible to hold to biblical fidelity and be egalitarian? I might have asked this before, and if so, I apologize.
John,

Could you define "egalitarian" as it applies to this man and as you are using it in your question? That would help to give a more accurate answer. grin


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All I know about this man is that apparently he has no objections in ordaining women elders (TE and RE). I would surmise most conservatives within in the PCUSA would be likewise.

I not sure if he is more conservative than the Willow Creek model in its egalitarianism.


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Okay, considering your further information, by way of example, I would have to say that this man cannot be said to be faithful to the Bible (own biblical fidelity). Doubtless he would have many other 'inconsistencies' in doctrine according to the Westminster Standards and the Book of Church Order.


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So, if using our understanding of biblical theology when it comes to biblical roles between men and women, there really are not many, if any, conservatives in the PCUSA.

I read a good article by DeYoung regarding making non-essentials essentials. I really do not think we are in our view on ordination of women, but there would be those who disagree. Should we not be so dogmatic on it?


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Originally Posted by John_C
So, if using our understanding of biblical theology when it comes to biblical roles between men and women, there really are not many, if any, conservatives in the PCUSA.

I read a good article by DeYoung regarding making non-essentials essentials. I really do not think we are in our view on ordination of women, but there would be those who disagree. Should we not be so dogmatic on it?
IF there are any TRUE conservatives, i.e., those who hold to the traditional, historic Reformed faith as set forth by the Westminster Standards and its application as held for centuries by the Reformers and Puritans, they are extremely rare.

The ordination of women is NOT a non-essential for it has to do with the nature and order of the Church in which the truth is expounded and applied, the sacraments are administered and discipline is acted upon, all according to God's revealed will. The Church is a reflection of Christ himself and His 'beloved' for whom He sacrificed himself for the redemption of the elect. This is no small matter but the very essence of sending forth the Christ.


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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
The ordination of women is NOT a non-essential for it has to do with the nature and order of the Church in which the truth is expounded and applied, the sacraments are administered and discipline is acted upon, all according to God's revealed will. The Church is a reflection of Christ himself and His 'beloved' for whom He sacrificed himself for the redemption of the elect. This is no small matter but the very essence of sending forth the Christ.

I agree.

It just seems as if we are more likely to give those who teach armianism, partial armianism or practical armianism (Or another area like dispensationalism) greater leeway with our acceptance or co-existing than we do on issues as women ordination. I think that might be confusing to some as if we are not consistent.


John Chaney

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John
I would agree that we should not make non-essentials essentials. However, like Pilgrim said this particular issue is an essential. I know otherwise conservative Christians who would completely disagree with me on that. However, given the ramifications of this doctrine (which Pilgrim touched on), I believe they are seriously in error.

Out of curiosity, does DeYoung believe that this issue is a non-essential?
Most egalitarians that I know seem to believe that if roles (such as elder) in the Church and family can’t be done by both men and women. Then by necessary consequence, it makes women inferior to men. In one conversation I had with an egalitarian I showed from Scripture and a RC Sproul article that this wasn’t the case at all. Given that God is a God of order and even within the Trinity, all three members have different roles to play; yet they are equally God.
Yet even this argument doesn’t hold any water to them and I got the idea (though I am not certain on this) that they disagreed that all three members of the Trinity had different roles to play.
An example of an argument I have heard a few times by egalitarians is to use Gal. 3:28 to prove that both male and female have the same role in the body of Christ. It doesn’t seem to make a difference to these egalitarians that the context of the text is clearly salvation.
I could go on and on about other silly arguments I have heard coming from egalitarians and I am not just talking about Arminian egalitarians.

Something that puzzles me about this matter is how could someone who has such a good hermeneutic when it comes to other essential issues, get it so wrong in this issue. If they used the same hermeneutic principles they use to become egalitarian. I am almost certain they would not come to the a proper understanding in other essentials. scratch1

Tom

Last edited by Tom; Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:34 PM.
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Originally Posted by Tom
Out of curiosity, does DeYoung believe that this issue is a non-essential?
Tom

Tom, DeYoung did not mentioned women ordination nor roles in his article. His main point was that we conservatives sometimes make hot-topic, non-essential topics our sibboleths. His main point was to remain steadfast on the essentiasl, and not make non-essentials essential. Some he mentioned were communion (frequency, wine or no wine), schooling, mumber of services (one morning, one night, not two in morning). I'm sure am guilty of that from time to time, and I need to be more careful.

The article is in June's Tabletalk.

Last edited by John_C; Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:34 PM.

John Chaney

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John

I guess I am a little bit confused at why you mentioned DeYoung.
When you said:
Quote
So, if using our understanding of biblical theology when it comes to biblical roles between men and women, there really are not many, if any, conservatives in the PCUSA.

I read a good article by DeYoung regarding making non-essentials essentials. I really do not think we are in our view on ordination of women, but there would be those who disagree. Should we not be so dogmatic on it?

In the context of this thread and with your mentioning DeYoung's article, it made it sound like you thought it might not be an issue to be dogmatic about.

Given the fact that you said you agreed with Pilgrim that this matter is "essential". Do I understand you correctly that before you read what Pilgrim had to say you were not sure that this matter was an essential. But now in light of Pilgrim's reasoning you agree that it is a matter we should be dogmatic about?
Oh by the way, I have the June issue of Table Talk, I will have to read the article.

Tom

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