Someone named Cushie over at Pulpit-Pimps said this:
B&R – Just drp the “Reformed” tag then it be easier to understand some of your comments.
I immediately came to my own defense (and others also) on why I am Reformed. I thought about this all last night and came to the conclusion that maybe He is right! Maybe I should! Am I Reformed? Well maybe not enough. Are there things I affirm that were birthed from the Protestant Reformation movement? Every protestant denomination has to nod in agreement. But! Maybe Cushie is right. So let me tell you what I affirm and what I don’t. But I would rather drop the label than offend a brother when they say “he is not one of us”! So here we go.
1. I was a charismatic Pentecostal, swung always to the other side and became a cesassionist and now have swung back to the other side. So I believe ALL of the gifts are for the church today. In practice I don’t know what that looks like but all the gifts listed in Ephesians 4, Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 are in full operation and should be allowed to build up and edify the body of Christ. This may be strike 1! LOL
2. I am a 5 point Calvinist in the extreme case. I fully convinced that this system of doctrine is true. Not 4 but 5. No way does one drop of blood get wasted (just in case)!
3. I affirm the 5 Solas though I believe they are taken far out their context. It is funny how people say the gifts have ceased and use church history as the foundation can’t prove their points bucolically. Unless an address can be found (1 Cor 13 is such a stretch that great scholars don’t agree on it) to tell me they cease I will have to scream: Sola Scriptura!
4. I beleive that the Canon of Scripture is closed! However I believe that God still speaks today outside of the scripture to deal with personal and corporate needs of the Church today. All 66 books are the bible; however not everything that God would ever say to us are contained in them.
5. Anyone coming with anything that is radically contrary to the 66 books should be marked and removed from the brethren (Joseph Smith, Wallace and others along that line). One thing that is clear over the course of biblical history the message hasn’t changed. If the nature of God, the nature of Christ, the nature of the Spirit, some doctrine that conflicts with the scriptures are proposed. Slap the dude put on your running shoes and get going. A wolf is in your midst.
6. I hold to what is termed New Covenant Theology. Meaning there were two (and only two, no dispensations, and I am not referring to the Covenant of Works/Grace either) covenants given. One on Mt. Sinai the other in Jesus! The first was a covenant of death, the latter a covenant of grace (2 Corinthians 3, Hebrews 8-9).
7. I thought I had an eschatological position, but truth is I don’t and I have given up. I have read some good works, listened to some good sermons and I came to 1 conclusion. Jesus is coming back. If that is to setup a literal 1000 year reign then cool if it is to judge the world and let it be consumed by fire (2 Thess 1) then fine. Whichever it is I know I am safe and upon death or second coming I will be with him. Though I outright deny a rapture, unless that rapture is to snatch us from His wrath (in other words I deny a tribulation whatsoever).
8. I believe in a pure consensus ecclesiology. I believe in a plurality of Elders with all Elders being equal. Not to mention that these elders are equal with the body (Matthew 23). I believe in elder oversight not elder rule (as we think of the term rule). I believe that everyone has an equal voice within the assembly. If we truly hold to James 4:1-3, and Philippians 2:1-11 much of what we do could be solved very quickly (I had to learn this by personal experience quite recently actually). I reject all notions and practice of a visionary! Whatsoever!
6. I believe in church discipline but believe it is sometimes used as a litmus test of true churches and real Christians. Where Jesus never said “they will know you are my disciples because of your discipline of one another”. I don’t think it went like that. Discipline should take quite a while and should be in extreme cases and should be a last step. It seems like we would rather discipline than fast for, pray for and come along side one another.
7. I believe in Believers Only Baptism. I believe that is to be done by submerging, not pouring or any other method (unless of course there are some physical limitations). I believe a person should be baptized immediately (the same day if possible) upon profession. We should never deny water to anyone who professes the Lord Jesus. The book of Acts makes it clear that every person who professed Christ was immediately baptized. I believe too often we have a huge waiting period (churches are too big or too busy both are whack) or we want to test the fruit (this is radically opposed to scripture) or we don’t emphasize the urgency of baptism and we focus so much on grace that we forget that Jesus commanded this. We don’t tell people to wait to leave their adulterous relationships we shouldn’t tell people to wait to be baptized.
8. I believe in the Lords Table and believe it should be done around a feast. I think a thimble and a oyster cracker may be insufficient. Not sin but definitely insufficient.
9. I believe what the bible labels sin is sin, what the bible doesn’t label sin isn’t sin and what your conscience (not someone elses) calls sin is sin to you (not others).
10. I affirm the Apostles Creed in its fullness.
11. I more closely affiliate with the 1644 London Baptist Confession.
12. I also believe in one work of the Spirit. Meaning I don’t adhere to a second baptism subsequent to salvation. Or in other terms the Baptism of the Holy Ghost subsequent to conversion. I believe 1 Corinthians 12 makes this clear.
13. I also belive that Regeneration proceeds Faith which proceeds Justifcation (if that means anything at all). So I don’t belive someone gets born again (really born from above) but that they are made born again by the Spirit as He will blow. However these are so simultaneous that it doesn’t matter anyway. We are saved by Grace through Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the cross and subsequent ressurection which shows that His sacrfice was acceptable to the Father proving He is the promised Messiah and conquering death. As Colossians states “He is the firstfruit”!
12. Finally I am leaning more towards participatory, small, open (1 Cor 14) gatherings. Not the more traditional setting.
So am I Reformed? You tell me!