29 April, 2010

We're Churched Again!

I don't do very many religious postings, but I'm excited to say that we've found a church home! After almost 4 years of being MIA it feels... I'm so grateful is all. The 4 years were not spent in complete idleness; I studied more intensly than I ever did before & I'm humbled to say that God saw fit to reveal Himself to me during this interim so I could have a true understanding of the most basic Biblical tenents that had been muddied up in the erroneous/ lukewarm churches I had been raised in.

It's almost everything I had prayed for but I did not realistically expect to find a body that would line up w/ all of my beliefs/practices. They've only been around for 2 years or so, so they're fairly new. There are not more than 10 family's & many of them do homeschool. It's only one room, there is just no space for a Children's Church or Nursery so Victor & Charlotte have learned to sit still, even during the 15-20 min. of opening prayer. This pleases me immensly.

They are heavy on prayer, community & doctrine. The doctrine! I love it. Verse by verse exposition for preaching, We've all been attending since around mid Jan. & we are not quite finished w/ I Tim. 4. No good feelings or pats on the back here, they preach a hard message but it's so tempered w/ compassion, a balance I need to strike. I asked the pastor/ elders if there would be any objections to us not participating in christ-mass; they said not at all, they knew of several families w/ such beliefs. There was never an Easter egg hunt for the children. Did you know your church is a chapter 55A?
55A (tax code) is a state instead of federal (501-c3) code. I explained why they were both bad & they were shocked. Like many they had left it up to their lawyer w/out finding out more. They scheduled to hold a meeting w/ him right in front of me. I'll post something about that tomorrow.

Their stance in a nutshell…

We believe the Bible is God's written revelation to man. It is verbally inspired in every word, and absolutely inerrant in the original documents. We affirm the infallibility, sufficiency, and authority of Scripture.

We believe that there is but one living and true God, an infinite, all-knowing Spirit, perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each equally deserving worship and obedience.

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His Virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His personal return in power and glory.

We believe that the salvation of man, who is sinful and lost, is instantaneous and accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God when the repentant sinner—enabled by the Holy Spirit—responds in faith. This salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works. All the redeemed are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever.

We believe in the Spirit-filled life. As the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, the Holy Spirit baptizes all believers into the Body of Christ at the moment of salvation. The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption.

We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved; the saved unto the resurrection of life and the unsaved unto the resurrection of damnation.

There's more & they really break it down but this is the nutshell version. I'd post their website, but I don't want everyone to know where I live. You may have noticed some Calvinist tendencies in the statement. While I or they (I ought to start in with we I guess) don't proclaim to be Calvinists, something I never heard growing up were the doctrines of election or regeneration. When I did, wow! The Bible came together like a puzzle; verses I had never seen before were full of new meat. The fact that I was completely powerless to help myself attain salvation in any way was humbling & even devastating; I'd been fooling myself & had been puffed up in my pride of knowledge... & it had all been darkness & foolishness to God. I thank Him for revealing Himself to me after all these years. Seriously, I started around 11 & didn't discover this angle of God until I was 24. How many more are in the dark? Too, too many. I do thank God for His means of Grace, one of them the Providence of being obedient to His command to dwell in community w/ other believers.

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