Top Ten Reasons Not to Join A Reformed Baptist Church

Top Ten Reasons Not to Join A Reformed Baptist Church 

Dr. James White has some pretty honest reasons why, if you are shopping for a local Christian fellowship, you may want to dismiss a Reformed Baptist Church. You tell ‘em Doc.

  1. You don’t get to leave after every sermon feeling good about yourself. You may even desire repentance.
  2. You don’t get to hear the sermons in the same way you may be used to. It’s frequently verse by verse, maybe not even relevant to your current situation.
  3. You don’t get to be entertained. We don’t want to entertain you.
  4. You don’t get to go to church every weeknight for programs. We don’t have ‘em.
  5. You don’t get to be ‘lost in the crowd’. We tend to have accountability to one another.
  6. You don’t get to hear social commentary. Sermons are mostly biblical and serious.
  7. We’re not considered ‘seeker-friendly’. We don’t believe in seekers. Apart from regeneration, they don’t exist.
  8. You’re asked to apply the sermons to your life.
  9. You’re asked to attend services regularly, to support your elders in prayer and give sacrificially to the advance of the Gospel.
  10. You will experience conviction of sin with regularity.

HT: http://5ptsalt.com/

53 thoughts on “Top Ten Reasons Not to Join A Reformed Baptist Church

  1. Good stuff there in the list…of why to join a Reformed Baptist church.
    Having said that, do you believe we can extend that list…and rubber band in others that are not Reformed Baptist? But I get the gist of what is being said and rejoice God for it!

    Like

  2. Considering I am a Reformed Baptist, I don’t have a vested interest nor adequate information to specifically include other church types. As a base line – a healthy church will focus on exalting Christ, resting on the sufficiency of Scripture for all things pertaining to life and godliness. It should have 2 or more elders who share the gamut of pastoral duties (preaching, counseling, etc.) and not be so large that people can slip in and out without being known. A fence, of sorts, ought to be erected to insure – as best man can – that only redeemed saints are welcome as members and discipline ought to be practiced by all members, to keep a restraint on sin within the fellowship.

    Like

  3. I agree with all of those…and yet…I have a question. What does not *seeker friendly* mean exactly? Redeemed saints are welcome as members…but what about those that aren’t redeemed? Are they permitted attendance but not membership?
    I hear many say that the church is the place for the sick. While I understand their point, I wondered, then where *I* could go to *grow* in my learning. Please forgive my questions….I just have a desire to understand. Thank-you :)

    Like

  4. Katy – “Not seeker friendly” is a rebuke to the Rick Warren “seeker friendly” model. The only people unwelcome in a biblical church would be those who are there to stir up trouble in their rebellion against God. Anyone wanting to know what our church is about is welcome. Membership is restricted to those who desire it, have learned about our theology and doctrine, and agree to our membership covenant. We discourage “regular attenders” – believing it best for Christians to belong to a local church. Regular attenders ought either sign up for membership classes or find a church they can, in good conscience, join as members.

    Ask questions! This is the we lower creatures learn :-)

    Like

  5. Reasons #1 and #10 say the same thing; which is your a sinner, a sinner and a sinner. Yes I agree, a person will not feel good about themselves after listening to an exposition on the depravity of man. But desiring repentance; well that depends not only on conviction of sin but on finding hope in Jesus Christ (which from my experience) is not talked a lot about in a Reformed Baptist church.

    Like

  6. I am a member of a Baptist Church that is reformed minded in the teaching of the Doctrines of Grace, and none of those things are so. we are seeker friendly, sin is real and needs to be dealt with, you do not go to church to be entertained, you go for Corporate worship and the sup at the LORD’s table, to hear the Word of GOD expounded, and our pastor makes all his sermons relevent, if a person does not feel good he/she has obviously not dealt with some sin in their life or they think this is a picnic on sunday. We have stuff that goes on on a regular basis including going to senior citizens homes or gathering at each others house for more fellowship. and we do not down Reformed churches or attack them, we deal with sin and the salvation of the sinner.

    Like

  7. Not to cause an argument but the term “seeker friendly” was a term used by large churches that were gearing their services toward non-Christians (and I would add very shallow Christians) who where visiting and looking for a church. Many of these churches were looking to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible (even Jesus spoke to the masses). The problem that surfaced is that there was no deep spiritual growth in the masses and they had a tendency to became shallow and we’re starting to “entertain” the masses.
    I personally don’t believe the church should ever be seeker friendly in its entirety. The church service is supposed to be for Christians. It should be a model of the 1st century church who came together to live as a small community (sometimes daily) to worship in music, to read the letters by the apostles, and to share with each other in their pains and joys. This is what our modern day church doesn’t do. We come on Sunday’s, maybe one other time in the week and that’s it. We go home. We do our own thing. There is very little, if any, community.
    The church building should be a hospital for the believers who are hurting. A refuge for those Christians who have lost their way. A lighthouse for those who are in the dark. To deny someone who isn’t a believer to come inside would be like the disciples telling the children to leave Jesus alone. Jesus looked at the disciples and told them to “suffer. Let them come to me”. In others words, get over yourself and let them come to me.
    Our service should be greard to the believer to strengthen their faith and to develop their relationship with the the Father. But it should also be a welcoming place for those seeking out our Savior.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There is no such entity as a “Reformed Baptist Church.” A man may be “Reformed,” or a man may be “Baptist,” but he cannot be “Reformed Baptist” because the terms are mutually exclusive. To be “Reformed” is to embrace the Magisterial Reformation with its continuity with the “holy catholic church” of the ecumenical creeds. To be “Baptist” is to embrace the Radical Reformation with its Anabaptism/Catabaptism and multiplicity of sects.

    Like

  9. This convinces me all the more to reject Reformed Theology churches, which is really just another name for Calvinists. Both Nicodemus and The Rich Young ruler were seekers, so by your own admission, you don’t believe they existed. Jesus spoke in parables, which is another way of saying “culturally relevant”, and the Apostle Paul was very much about cultural relevance. Finally in once again disparaging Rick Warren, you reject the more than 25,000 people who became Christ Followers at Saddleback, as well as the entire Southern Baptist Convention, of which he is a member in good standing. But since God sovereignty determined that you would say this, you’re probably not at fault for the divisiveness and offensiveness you’ve just perpetrated.

    Like

  10. In my early 30’s I attended a Reformed Christian Church out of Biloxi, Mississippi, where I met a lady, and we quickly fell in love and became husband and wife. As we were starting out our first year of marriage, there were adjustment issues that happen in any marriage, but my wife was not happy and she would run to the Reformed Christian Church Pastor to cry and complain about me.

    I think that by this time she was feeling a change of heart about marrying me. The Reformed Church Pastor would call me into “counseling sessions” along with my “wife” and he would scold me in the “Top Ten” style as you stated above.

    The Reformed Church Pastor influenced my wife to separate from me. He then made sure that I was being followed by another young Reformed Church “convert.” He was keeping track of me to ensure that I was “keeping my ways pure” (just like Mormons treat their own people).

    During this estrangement, I stayed at another Pastor’s home. Eventually, my wife sent me divorce papers. I did not sign them. I was finally forced to leave the “Reformed Church” like an outcast no matter how much I had been working on reconciliation. Last thing I heard back then, the woman was being courted by someone else from the “church.”

    (When I was very young, I attended a Reformed Christian Church Sunday School. The love of God and the gospel of salvation was delivered crystal clear. When I was in my late teens, I attended a Christian Church, and an Independent Baptist Church who were both under the influence of Pastor Jack Frasure Hyles of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana (there was no difference in creed between these churches and the Reformed Baptist Church).

    Like

  11. Rodrigo – Sinful men are inclined to exercise power over others that does not comport with the Scriptures. That some who identify as Reformed Baptist pastors did so does not make that theological and ecclesiological view wrong. The men sinned and should be held accountable for that by the church. If the church fails to do so, she has fallen from serving the Lord to serving man.

    anthony – Read Romans 3 and myriad other passages to see that man, in his natural state (being dead in sins, at war with God, etc.) does not – CAN NOT – seek after God. The Scripture reveals that God knows who His sheep are and Christ, the faithful shepherd, seeks and saves them.

    Nathan – In a biblical church, conflict resolution (known as church discipline) is a normal part of life and nobody in the church is above being approached and held to account. If pastors are above church discipline, run away. They are to serve the body of Christ and be examples of humility and integrity – and repentance and faith. Church discipline, rightly pursued, requires true Christian fellowship; and such is missing in most churches.

    Who would have thunk this post would generate this much attention three years after being posted?

    Soli Deo Gloria!

    Like

  12. These are not the exclusive domain of Reformed churches. All are true of my independent Baptist church as well. That’s one of my frustrations with the Reformed movement – the “we’re the only ones who are right” syndrome.

    Like

  13. Barbara – Far too many reformed folks DO tend to think they, alone, have the truth. But not all. And not only. One thing IS true – the gospel is paramount and what is known as Calvinism IS the gospel.

    Like

  14. Well…I am 20 years converted, soundly saved and can now see the work of God’s redemption in my life..hindsight is a wonderful thing. My preference for Presbyterian church governance and the careful exposition of the Bible began with my childhood church and, after 17 years living in rebellion, God led me into a PCA church that was a churc where the people sought to live by the Word of God and glorify Jesus Christ and the finished work of the Cross.

    Since then, I have been in and out as a communing member of no less than 4 churches and have visited a handful of others, small less than 50 and mega more than 10k and engaged many in vane conversations as to why they attend and in how what their church believes and practices are based upon in Scripture. I am careful Not to be confrontation but conversational. I am often left with uncomfortable answers and extra-Biblical, well- meaning opinions…Calvism v. Arminianism…the mode of Baptism..expository or topical preaching…are we mission minded or building fund raising…Holy matrimony between two believers of opposite gender but equally yoked in their relationship with their Savior, Jesus or the SCOTUS approved Bibical abomination?

    So….how is it possible for so many to cling to the Cross and be so animated about their particular view of Christian faith and practice as the more correct one to possess? Yet, when I ask about their view of personal evangelism, whether they have evangelizing training classes or even when was the last time you personally told someone what they need to know so that they might be soundly saved, according to what Jesus and His apostle Paul taught and practiced …..well, the crickets start singing.

    So, here’s a shocker…I have since become a part of a large Southern Baptist, performance centric, production timed, videoed, internet connected, possessing well merchandised lobby full of the widely traveled and seldom seen pastor’s books and DVDs, seeker-friendly, full-immersion, 100db sound system so loud you need ear protection church. Basically, it’s everything I do not fancy…
    So…why this church? I know my need of Godly fellowship and have been blessed by those who have become true and faithful Christian friends, a love that I gladly and gratefully return and here we sit and serve, led by God’s Holy Spirit because I would certainly not have chosen it on my own..

    Why? Because personal evangelism, learning to witness to others, engaging in conversations that quickly leads the listener to see themselves as God sees them…guilty of breaking God’s Law…and .using the Law correctly in order to prick their conscience and break the hard heart…then, comes the good news of The Gospel that heals the broken heart…which leads to Godly sorrow and confession toward Him…and repentance…soundly saved from God’s judgement and wrath on that great and terrible day when Jesus will judge the world in according to His standards of righteousness, the Law given to Moses.

    What then ought those who claim the name of Christ and call themselves Christians do? I would encourage “whosoever will” to become true and faithful witnesses and so fulfilling the call and Comission of Mark 16:15. Go to http://www.living waters.com and download or listen to theses two teachings, “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” and “True and False Conversion”. If you are seeking God’s calling for your life or just a “seeker” theses two teachings are free and their duplication is encouraged. And that’s what I think…
    http://www.livingwaters.com/audio/way-of-the-master/hells-best-kept-secret

    Like

  15. I attended an RBC for some time. I’m not saying this is an example of *all* RBCs, but this one was so strict about attendance at both morning and evening services (if you wanted to be a member “in good standing”) that people who had driven several miles to attend were afraid to go home after the first service, thinking that if they drove home they might not make it back. They were so afraid of missing evening service that they camped out in the pews for hours, even when it was hot and sticky inside. The pastor seemed rather dictatorial, and he had certain families in the congregation that he seemed to hold as special people. When he did a sermon about our sin nature and our sins, he rarely ever gave a benediction at the end of it, which was quite a downer. It left one extremely depressed. If you’re told that you are sin-sick unto death, you want to hear, at the end of the sermon, the remedy – what Jesus did for you, and that he did it because he loves you, and that you can go home rejoicing because of it. I don’t think his example is the rule. I think he’s an outlier – but I can never again attend the local RBC congregation though I’m a 5 pointer and agree with the LBC 1689. I found another reformed church.

    Like

  16. Westin, I am glad you prefaced your comment with that disclaimer. Sadly, some reformed Baptists are heavy-handed rather than servants. Some hold the 1689 up to too high a position, failing to bear in mind that it is only a document written by sinful men at a point in time, no more having perfect theology than anyone else.

    A biblical benediction is very good thing to have, as it will remind us of Whom it is said – His name is a strong tower!

    Like

  17. I’m sorry – there seems to be no “edit” function. I meant “dead in sin” instead “sin-sick unto death”, so people don’t misunderstand.

    Like

  18. I didn’t see anything wrong with the 1689. I gladly subscribed to it. It’s just that I found the man, himself, to be…like a pharisee. I’ve met other RBC pastors and have attended their services, and enjoyed them, unfortunately, they were not near my location. It’s not so much the denomination, but the particular person controlling things.

    Like

  19. The link at the end of the article to where you can see the original message leads to a site that has nothing to do with the article. Can defendingcontending.com either eliminate the link or supply a correct one? I hesitate to forward this because of that link. Thank you. NDVater

    Like

  20. Manfred,

    The post appeared on Twitter yesterday, which might have something to do with it. :)

    The reason I asked about interpersonal differences is because the word “seeker” had no theological meaning for me.

    If “seeker” is related to ask, seek, knock, then perhaps such an individual can be understood to be called or drawn in the proper sense.

    The point that came across for me was more about the willingness to use adaptive language to communicate with others, and perhaps not necessarily introducing strange doctrines in the process.

    Perhaps seeker-friendly simply means no refutations of consubstantiation for at least the first week? :)

    -N

    Like

  21. derschulmeister – Your definition of reformed is deficient. I won’t argue with you other than to say reformed means to be reforming to Scripture – being transformed by the renewing of your mind to be more like the Lord Jesus. Churches as well as individuals need to be on that path

    ndvater – I will delete that dead link.

    Like

  22. Suit yourself, eggmann. But test all things …

    I have trouble believing you have read all 26 chapters of the 1689 and agree with everything therein.

    Like

  23. Derschulmeister and Manfred, I actually agree that the term “Reformed Baptist” is not a wise choice of terms to put together. Sadly, the vast majority of those who label themselves as “Reformed Baptist” would not conform to your definition Manfred.

    For those interested in understanding the semantics behind the term and modern usage, I would highly recommend “Are Baptists Reformed?” by Kenneth H. Good.

    Like

  24. Please don’t take offense at this levity, Dershulmeister and Mark Anthony, but perhaps there are so many Baptist denominations, that reformed was the only word left to use? ;)

    Seriously, if one wants to make a total break with tradition to ensure Sola Scriptura, then the historical meaning of any words not found in scripture must be intentionally changed. No coincidences allowed!

    -N

    Like

  25. Hey, there are Southern Baptists in the North, Northern Baptists in the South, Independents that are actually part of the Bible Baptists, and Bible Baptists that rarely use the Bible – so what’s one more in the boat, eh, Nathan?! :)

    Like

  26. Mark – When I embrace the term “reformed”, I mean being transformed by renewing of the mind on Scripture, for the glory of God. I do not mean being conformed to a 500 year-old confession written by sinful men :-)

    Also, I consider the SBC to be a theological shipwreck and do not claim that as a label for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. A true Baptist church is built on the Rock, the chief cornerstone. The SBC is built on sand. It was originally “south” due to its leaders’ embracing of human slavery. It made a half-hearted effort to get back to solid ground but failed. Christ has promised to defend His church – not a denomination or group or seminary.

    So yes – when a church or denomination loses its moorings, it has “gone south.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Perhaps this thread could be solved with a bit of exposition on John 3:8. It seems as though we are expecting the true Church to have more visibility than is warranted?

    -N

    Like

  29. Points 8 and 2 smashing each other in the face? Point 7 may be overstated…. afterall you don’t preach in Koine Greek and Hebrew I assume? Or meet at 3am? Or make people stand for the sermon?

    Like

  30. I do not think points 2 and 8 smash each other, I think they compliment each other. Point 7 is not over-stated. None seek after God, no not one. It’s in the Book.

    I was fired as a pastor last year for preaching truth. I would have people stand for the reading of the Word; not for the sermon.

    Like

  31. Well explain… if something is not relevant, how can it draw one to repentance? I agree with the concept of not pandering to peoples ‘felt needs’ but if however you are preaching theological diatribes on the the correct translation of Hebrews 2 and you never preach Christ which is the main topic of Scripture then you are failing. Sometimes we can use ‘not relevent’ as an excuse to not preach truth people need to hear.

    Secondly, we are all I assume Calvinists here who believe in the inability of dead men to come to Christ. But as I pointed out, why do we make it easier for people in certain ways, i.e. preaching in the vernacular, allowing people to sit during preaching, etc. My concern is that we do sometimes care about being a Jew to the Jew and Greek to the Greek that by all means I might win some, but instead of being sensitive (in a right way) to a modern audience we are actually structuring our sermons and services for a 17th century audience.

    Sorry to hear about the job situation.

    Like

  32. The gospel is relevant to both saints and sinners. I hold to the centrality of Christ in all sermons. A wonderful story Spurgeon told rings in my ears – A young rural English preacher had preached his first sermon and an old preacher was in the pews. The young man was eager to hear what his mentor thought of the message. “Not much, I’m afraid.” “Why? they young mas asked. “There was no Christ in your message.” But there was no Christ in my text!” “Son, there is a saying in England: every road leads to London. Not every road is a straight highway to London, but it leads you there. So it is with the Scriptures – all texts lead to Christ, even if you must take your sheep through the briers, the valleys, and the moors. You MUST get them to Christ!”

    To allow our culture to determine the content and structure of sermons is to allow the prince of this age to an influence in how the gospel is presented.

    Like

  33. Witness again the arrogance of religious leaders who insist that if you don’t it the way we do you’re spiritually immature and desperately ill-informed. The glaring implication of this list is that if you’re not Reformed Baptist then you do not exhibit these essential qualities of correct Christian churchianity. We Reformed Baptists alone get it right. All the rest of you are to be pitied and disdained. How sad. How pharisaical.

    Like

  34. I have never found scriptural support for the modern connotative meaning of formal membership of any church. On the day of Pentecost 3000 souls were added. they were all members of the universal invisible church and the Jerusalem church at conversion. they were all also baptized on the same day making extended interviews and formal votes of acceptance implausible. What happened to letting each be convinced in their own minds? I submit to the elders and support them financially. I have seen numerous official members leave on superficial whims nullifying the spiritual discipline doctrine. All it seems to accomplish is that non-official members are treated as second class Christians by baring them from exercising their gifts in that church body.

    Like

Tell us what you think:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s