Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Vision (3/22/12): Top Ten Reasons Not to Attend or Join a Reformed Baptist Church

Update:  This post also appeared on the Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog and the Aquila Report.

A tongue-in-cheek list of the reasons you should not attend or join a Reformed Baptist Church:

1. The doctrine is too defined.
Come on….  I mean the Second London Baptist Confession (1689) is 40 pages long!   It does not define crucial doctrines like election and depravity so ambiguously that even an Arminian could affirm them.  If you define your doctrine too clearly that will exclude a lot of people, and isn’t our main goal to get larger in number?
2.  The worship is too “regulated.”
There’s no children’s church, no children’s sermon, no skits, no choir specials, no praise team, no choir cantatas, no testimonies.  In fact, all they sing are psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to tunes that are too square to ever be covered on the local pop station.
3.  The expectations are too high.
If you miss a service, someone is likely to call and ask how you’re doing.  The church is so small that everyone has to pitch in and do something.  You can’t just fade into the woodwork.  The membership covenant is taken too seriously.
4.  The sermons are too long and complicated.
The focus is always on the text and not on random contemporary topics.  There’s no power point outline or fill in the blank bulletin inserts.  I can’t just zone out, but I have to think about and follow what is being said.
5.  There’s too much emphasis on Sunday as the Lord’s Day.
If you go to this church you’ll probably end up spending nearly your whole Sunday (that’s one of your two weekend days) in the public worship of God.  It’s like they don’t even take the college athletic or professional sports schedules into consideration when planning the church calendar.
6.  There’s not enough “freedom” in the Spirit.
There are no people speaking in tongues, raising their hands while singing praise choruses, giving prophecies or “words of knowledge.”  It’s almost as if they believe that the extraordinary offices and gifts ceased after the time of the apostles, and now all they talk about is how the Spirit speaks through the Scriptures!
7.  The leaders are too strong and have too much authority.
Sure the Bible talks about how elders are supposed to lead and feed the flock, but what about our American democracy?  I mean, isn’t every member a minister?  Anybody should be able to preach.  I don’t think anyone ought to be able to tell me what to do or how to live.  If ministers cross the line, we need to put them in their place.
8.  There are not enough programs.
I mean basically all these folk do is meet on Sunday for worship and at mid-week for Bible study and prayer.  Where are the children’s choirs, the youth groups, the senior member outings, AWANA, etc.  Why, they don’t even do Sunday School or small groups!  It’s no wonder they don’t grow.
9.  They don’t do altar calls.
The service ends with the benediction rather than an altar call.  There are no multiple verses of “Just as I am.”  They talk about the preaching of the gospel as the preferred means of evangelism.  They don’t teach any neatly packaged evangelism programs, and they do not rush to announce professions of faith or to baptize persons prematurely.
10.  They teach that commitment to Christ is more important even than commitment to family.
Sure, they emphasize strong marriages, family discipleship, and family worship, but they have the nerve to suggest that if anyone loves his family more than Christ he is not worthy of Christ.
I think you will agree with me that for all the reasons above, you should be very careful about attending or joining with a Reformed Baptist Church.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle


Phillip said...

Very well said. Pastor Jeff. Those do not touch warnings are attractive.
This reformed presbyterian fella associates with your friendlinesss.
God speed.

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...

Thanks Philip....uh, I think.