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DennisD

Priorities of Choosing a Church

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So today, my wife had mentioned something kind of offhandedly that she read a Statement of Faith (SoF) of a church an acquaintance of hers attends in North Carolina.  I am usually the one that reviews the Statement of Faith (SoF) of churches we plan to visit when moving or visiting a new area; she actually doesn't like to read them because sometimes it's hard for her to understand everything like that (we fit well together because I analyze everything and enjoy doctrine very much but she is extremely intelligent in scripture memory, stories, names, etc. - basically, our weaknesses are made up by the other so we are very strong together).  But, I digress...that really doesn't have much to do with anything.

ANYWAY!  lol...she said the SoF looked really good to her except that they didn't use King James only...and then she mentioned that they do CCM during service sometimes.  I explained to her the dangers (which she knows) of allowing CCM within the church service.  It could be an extremely strong church and it might even stay strong after incorporating CCM for many years...but it will eventually lead to liberalism in several areas if not all.

We then talked about what would happen if we did move to a place that didn't have a good IFB church.  I know John81 has talked about his experience and I think I would lean toward a non-denominational with the same teachings.  But how far could you go before you had to either completely compromise or not go to church at all?

Just for sake of argument, say there are no doctrinally sound churches within 200 miles of your home.  Assume, that you must stay in the area because you are bound by a contract of some sort and cannot leave until the contract is up.  What doctrines would be top priority for you that you believe would best please the Lord in your church membership?  And, would you even BECOME a member if they didn't have certain biblical doctrines in place?

I have a hard time thinking what I would prioritize in that setting but definitely the correct definition of salvation without works of any kind.  I would want to have the King James Bible as a priority as well but many churches are going away from that...so I suppose I could let it slide but would not want to.  There are so many things I look for on a SoF that I would have a very hard time going to a church that dismissed many of my concerns for biblical doctrine.

 

This is something I would need for sure:

Salvation is strictly a free gift from God by his grace through faith in the finished work of Calvary.  Evidence of salvation appears in repentance, faith and newness of life; the believer is eternally secure in the knowledge that Christ lives within them and they have a home in Heaven.

I would truly want so much more but trusting in the Lord that He wouldn't send me somewhere that had nothing in the form of true spiritual fellowship would be huge.

If a church was doctrinally sound in most things but didn't use King James and CCM...would you even attend?  I am not sure I could bring myself to attend but is it worse to attend that church or not attend any church?  Or, do you start a church/bible study on your own with likeminded believers?

This is all theoretical!!

Edited by DennisD
Misspell

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I visited a local church a while back were a pastor friend had been invited to preach after service him and I where setting on a bench/pew talking when he pick a bible left on the bench he open and said you want to know what's wrong with this church I had heard that the church was some troubles but things wasn't that bad.he open the bible a ask me to read to aloud scripture he was pointing to .i read it as he had ask then he he handed me his and ask me to read the same scripture . That's what's wrong he said. He knew I already he this because as an old friend I had consulted with him about a church I had spent five years at fighting this very thing when anew pastor of the church was hired we went from a KJ bible believing church to a MV CCM non soul winning church destroyed within in short time. The church that I attend today is allowing this very thing to creep into its doors out pastor showed me his new bible last week .it has four of the MVs within it .I handed him mine JKV. He handed it back and walked away. I'm now looking again but its very hard here to find a IFB church not leaning to the MVs and CCM. I have meeting with a group of IFB for awhile for bible studies and prayer and many times have I thought lately about our Nation and the evil within it .WIll we the true Christians have to result to going underground meeting in our homes. My brother it's hard to answer your questions that many Christians are facing today but we must continue to fight the good fight until the we are called home . Praying for you brother

 

 

loving you with the love of of Jesus from my heart.

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If you are being faithful to Christ but could not in good conscience go to a church near by and comute is not practical and you where not able to move to another place then I would suspect Christ would bebe setting you up to start a church..... Even in theory if a person did not meet the qualifications of a pastor he could still prepare a way and be a help to organing the start of a church.

Edited by John Young

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John Young done gone and stole my thunder. I was going to say the same thing-I wouldn't compromise, unless it was very briefly, until I was able to get a work started. If there was a need for short-term compromise, it would have to be no CCM, at least. If not using KJV, I have mine and could stay therein. Can't compromise on salvation issues. If I attended one where I had to compromise for a short time, it would be primarily for fellowship. And maybe if they did good potlucks, it would be a little easier, too.  But again, just until I could begin to organize a right work.

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I would never regularly attend a church that doesn't believe the King James Bible is error free, that uses CCM music or is a church that promotes Calvinism. This is far from a complete list but are some items that are missing from a lot of people's lists.

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Thanks all, that's helpful.  I don't think I'll be in this situation as I have found a few places that seem good (at least from email communication and online Statements of Faith).  But, I wanted to see what people thought of the hypothetically scenario.

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If you are being faithful to Christ but could not in good conscience go to a church near by and comute is not practical and you where not able to move to another place then I would suspect Christ would bebe setting you up to start a church..... Even in theory if a person did not meet the qualifications of a pastor he could still prepare a way and be a help to organing the start of a church.

What to do when you are IFB and there is only one IFB Church in your vicinity, and they don't want your fellowship?  Start home meetings.  May be just your immediate family, at first.  But, the Lord will add others in His time.

 

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I'm kind of in a similar situation in looking for a new church. Doctrinally speaking, my priorities (loosely grouped) are:

  1. Salvation and the way sin, heaven, and hell fit into it picture (soteriology, hamartiology, part of eschatology)
  2. How they view the Bible (i.e. inerrant/infallible/inspired, preferably KJV)
  3. Understanding of the Trinity and each person thereof (theology proper, Christology, pneumatology)
  4. Other major doctrines not directly related to salvation (rest of eschatology, anthropology, etc.)

However, doctrine is only one aspect of what I'm looking for when visiting new churches:

  1. Doctrine
  2. Ministry potential/opportunities
  3. Attitude about and participation in evangelism
  4. Attitude about and participation in missions
  5. Demographics (people our age to connect with and other children for our kids to grow up with)
  6. Music
  7. Location (within reasonable driving distance)

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For me, I cannot be part of a church that:

1. Is wrong on salvation - like not preaching repentance or is Calvinistic.

2. Is worldly

3. Does not evangelize

4. Wants to be segregated by race

5. Is new evangelical

On the other hand, I can be a part of a church like my current one where I do disagree on some things as long as they accept me and do not impose it on me like:

1. Where the church believes in tithing rather than grace giving for the new testament church

2. Eschatology - This is a complex issue, I am not sure where I stand on this

3. Where the church believes everyone should get married, on the other hand, I believe some are called to be single

4. Where the church believes it is wrong to use credit cards

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