My Sunday Best

I get so tired of weak tradition trumping a vital relationship with Christ.  This satire, based on the PC vs. Mac commercials, makes hamburgers out of sacred cows.  This video is a good illustration.

Watch these as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RtfNdg1fQk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRiijctGcAY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIXDLUUn830

27 Responses to My Sunday Best

  1. RubeRad says:

    Those are pretty funny, and well-made, but they give me the willies, especially the tagline at the end “Christian No More”. Is the label “Christian” really used up? Do we need to abandon it? It reminds me of the Peter Leithart book titled “Against Christianity”. He (apparently) makes a decent point that “The Church” is a proper Biblical term, and “Christian” is historically (and biblically) a derogatory term coined by the enemies of the Church; thus we should abandon the label “Christianity” and move back to “The Church”. But arbitrarily swapping labels like that (which amounts to unilaterally changing the meanings of words, without telling the rest of the world) leads to dangerous misunderstandings.

  2. I didn’t like the tagline at the end either, but I think the point made here is an amusingly correct one.

  3. the forester says:

    Can a person follow Christ without calling him/herself a Christian?

  4. danielbalc says:

    Why is it ok to mock christians who wear suits, listen to Christian music, have bumper stickers on their cars etc, but not ok to mock those who dress casual, worship bono, pretend they aren’t believers and compromise Biblical values?

  5. I think it’s ok to mock both, but when I grew up, everybody had to wear suits and be uptight. Ugh…

  6. the forester says:

    Why is it ok to mock christians who wear suits, listen to Christian music, have bumper stickers on their cars etc, but not ok to mock those who dress casual, worship bono, pretend they aren’t believers and compromise Biblical values?

    Who said it it wasn’t okay to mock both extremes? Or are you just looking for a fight? For the record, here is my response to the too-casual, posted all the way back in 1999:

    theforester.net: stones

    Maybe I should write another piece mocking those who pick fights. That would be easy: guy on the right says anything at all, guy on the left tells him how his hermeneutic’s all wrong and he doesn’t qualify as a Bible-believing Christian.

  7. Forester,

    I appreciated your article. As a Pastor, I often go back and forth in my mind, as to whether we should be more formal or more casual. I think culture has a lot to do with it. What I have seen (and this is anecdotal, by no means a scientific sample) over the years is that people who don’t wear suits during the week (blue collar workers) tend to dress up on Sunday, whereas those who have to wear suits all week (white collar workers) tend to dress more casually for church.

    Then you have other cultural factors, like race and geography (it is so stinking hot in South Texas that it is PAINFUL to wear suits sometimes.

    My mom is from the generation that is offended when people don’t come to their houses of worship looking their best, but style of dress is sooooo subjective.

    I admit it, I am torn sometimes. Casual appeals to me, as someone who grew up in the church. I watch guys like Pastor Greg Laurie in his Harvest Crusades, and love the way he presents the Gospel in casual, West Coast clothes, without all the pomp and pageantry. I also react viscerally to the TBN” style of fancy suits, guady sets, big hair and over-the-top makeup.

    When I was on staff at LWC, ties were required by staff in all services. Since I left, the pastors don’t wear ties on Sunday nights, but still wear suits on Sunday morning. I used to whine about the rule, but now that I am senior pastor, I have chosen to wear a suit in all services, because I see now that it does, at least in our area, project an image of professionalism and respect for the congregation — Just one more way that I have discovered that Pastor Doug was right all along!

    Great topic…would like more input.

  8. imdapeman says:

    I don’t see a dress requirement anywhere in Jesus’ ministry. All kinds were welcome. The problem is we all want to force others to look and act like us.

    If I wore a suit to church on Sunday . . . it wouldn’t be me wearing my Sunday best or showing my respect for God . . . it would be me trying to please humans. I can’t speak for him but, I would think that for Pastor Doug to NOT wear a suit would be the same situation.

    It’s good to be able to laugh at ourselves but, really we should be encouraging anyone who attends church and persues the Word.

    Kevin

  9. Brad says:

    Jim

    What I have to say is very subjective.

    Did anyone every try to intimidate you when you were a kid by telling you that they were going to put the fear of God into you? It almost seems like that would be an empty threat nowadays.

    It seems that we both gained and lost something when the veil was rent in two. The Holy of Holies was opened; we had direct access to God and had no more need for a human intermediary. We could go directly to God. That’s a good thing. But I think, and again I’m sure your comment on culture has a lot to do with this, we lost the awe. You know, the bells on the Priest’s garment in case he was struck dead in the Holy of Holies because something had gone wrong. So many now go to church to see friends, to sing the cool worship songs with the hip worship band, and hear things about God. And probably not many, any longer, go thinking that they are going into a designated temple of God to worship before the God who is unknowable, frightening at times, and amazingly tolerant of our daily sins. No one prostrates themselves on the floor any longer as the OT prophets did when in the presence of the merest suggestion of God.

    Is it a bad thing that the veil was rent? I don’t think so. And I’m not saying all the changes are bad. But we seem to have completely lost this sense of place and person. The sense that says when I come to worship the God who sustains me I should remember that this is no light endeavor. People died getting this right.

    So am I wearing my wrinkled tie dyed jeans and hair purposefully askew because I want to look good for the other available singles or because I think this is the appropriate dress in which to approach this awesome God? Am I dressed up in my best three piece and displaying my tithe check because I want everyone to know I’m doing it the right way or because my heart says that this is the way I tell God I want to be as beautiful as I can be for Him?

    Brad

  10. Thanks for checking in, Brad. Gotta disagree here, though. God does not dwell in houses built by human hands. The earth is His footstool. I think it’s healthy to realize that we carry the presence of God with us always, as His temple.

    People should “come as they are” to worship together.

    I will say that since we are the “temple”, we may not want to be “sloppy” and “unkempt”, however isn’t that also subjective, depending on cultural norms?

  11. Brad says:

    Jim

    I know that God is too large for our temples. But it was God who gave the go ahead on building the temple. He is the one who tells us in Hebrews not to forsake the assembly of the saints. I would take that to mean the assembly that convenes once a week. We have decided to worship God, not just in our lives on a daily basis but in a more organized way on some type of Sabbath time that we call church. Is it not in some sense a special gathering? We have chosen to come together in the assembly to worship God. And I believe that when we chose to do that assembling we recognize it for what it is, a special occassion separated from the worship we do in our day to day lives. I believe we should honor that “set apartness” of the church service by presenting an “exterior” that will reflect an interior attitude of God directedness. If that means that unkemptness is an honest reflection of a desire to truly worship God in that service so be it. If unkemptness reflects something less, then it needs to be examined. the same is the case with being dressed to the nines. Does it reflect a desire to worship God to the exclusion of all other considerations.?If so, so be it. If not it too needs to be reexamined.

    I do not take sloppiness or unkemptness to be a positive in any culture I’ve known. I don’t know of any culture where sloppiness is praised as a virtue. So no, I do not consider that simply a cultural norm. As an affectation I see unkemptness as being in vogue. But there is a difference in someone carefully attending to their appearance to create the unkempt look and someone who just rolls out of bed and doesn’t give a damn. Although I wouldn’t be able to divine the second person’s motivation with unerring accuracy I’d believe that his interior intent in going to church that way was not worshipful. And I am not speaking here to people who might not have access to a shower or clothing (homeless perhaps) and still come to church. Again, I’m looking at the heart attitude.

    I think the first part of your response to me, paragraph 1, was too simplistic in response to my comments especially when we were speaking about how we act in church rather than the differences between church and our day to day lives. Perhaps something that occured in the sports world the other day had you distracted and saddened.🙂

    Brad

  12. Ok, so who sets the dress code? Could it be that an A.B. Ost grandson is sliding back into legalism after all these years?🙂

    As to the Cowboys..I vomited into the toilet for 20 minutes, then went outside and kicked the crud out of the tree in our back yard, then sat in the grass weeping and gnashing my teeth. TERRIBLE…HORRIBLE…UNTHINKABLE!!!

  13. Brad says:

    Jim

    If you’ll read again I say it’s the heart attitude.

    “If that means that unkemptness is an honest reflection of a desire to truly worship God in that service so be it. If unkemptness reflects something less, then it needs to be examined. the same is the case with being dressed to the nines. Does it reflect a desire to worship God to the exclusion of all other considerations.?If so, so be it. If not it too needs to be reexamined.”

    Does that sound like legalism?

    The heart attitude should reflect what we’re doing in church which is something special and who we’re doing it for as well. Let our heart attitude, which is reflected in how we dress and comport ourselves, reflect that specialness.

    The only distinction I made was that “i don’t give a damn” unkemptness is different than an unkempt look that’s a reflection of style. Does “I don’t give a damn how I look” reflect a worshipful attitude?

    Could it be that an A.B. Ost grandson is getting sloppy with his blog comments exegesis?

    Romo was soooooo close to that first down. It broke my heart to see him get caught from behind.

    Brad

  14. Echo_ohcE says:

    One many dresses himself up to look neat and tidy to avoid appearing sinful. Denying his sin by putting on an expensive suit and putting an offering envelope in his front pocket, he wants everyone to think he is holy and that he’s got it all together.

    Another man wants everyone to know that he’s the one who’s really got it all together. He knows that what you wear has nothing to do with whether or not God accepts your worship, and to prove it, he rolls out of bed 5 minutes before he has to leave for church, tosses on the sweatshirt he played football with in the field with his drinking buddies yesterday, doesn’t brush his teeth, and doesn’t go to the bathroom, just to prove that it’s ok to get up during the sermon if you need to. All of this to prove to everyone that he knows what really counts in worship, not what’s outside but what’s inside. Yes, this man knows that as long as your heart is pure, God doesn’t care what’s on the outside.

    The first is a legalist, the second is an antinomian. Both make a mockery of God. The only reason why God accepts our worship is because Jesus Christ paid the debt for our sin. Otherwise our worship wouldn’t be acceptable. Does wearing a suit make you any more righteous before God? Not at all. Does that mean that we should treat worship like we’re in our own house on Saturday morning, bumming around watching TV? Again, no.

    The fruit of understanding and believing the gospel is at the very least taking worship seriously. The second person wouldn’t show up that way at a job interview. The second person wouldn’t show up that way to get married. He wouldn’t show up that way to do anything important. Meanwhile, the first person can wear the suit and show everyone his offering, but it means nothing.

    Both people are fearing man rather than God.

    If we really believe that God saved us by GRACE, then we really believe that there’s nothing in us that saves us. We cannot earn our salvation in any way. If this doesn’t humble you before God and cause you to fear him, well, it hasn’t sunk in. If we really understand that if God had left us on our own that we would surely go to hell, then we would shudder, because we have just avoided a terrible fate.

    Imagine you were scheduled to fly on a plane, but you were late getting to the airport. Frustrated, you accept a stand by spot on the next flight. And as you sit there waiting, you see your plane disappear in a ball of fire as it takes off. You should have been on that plane. You should be dead right now. And you would have been if you hadn’t had to go back home for your stupid toothbrush and then gotten stuck in traffic and then had to search for a parking spot and then had to wait in a long line at security. If all those things hadn’t fallen right into place, you’d have been on that plane and dead. How would you react to such a narrow brush with death? Would you really shrug your shoulders and say, well, it’s no big deal? Or maybe like any sane person would, you would be very disturbed and troubled. You would probably be shocked, and you would thank God for watching over you and protecting you.

    And you would be afraid. You would see how terribly fragile you really are.

    If you really believed that your salvation had nothing to do with you, and that God simply had mercy on you, you would tremble before him, recognizing how fragile you are and how dependent you are on him to protect you.

    But this is only the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, says Proverbs.

    Jesus said not to fear man who can only harm the body, but fear God who can destroy your body and soul forever in hell.

    Maybe the clothes you wear mean nothing. I don’t think they mean much. But boy, we ought to take worship seriously. We are continually in his presence, that is true. But Brad is absolutely right. When we come before God for worship on Sunday, we come before the holy, righteous eternal Creator-King of the whole universe who has far more power over every aspect of our lives that we couldn’t possibly comprehend it. It is only at his good pleasure that we don’t go to hell forever. He saved us because he wanted to.

    The plane you were supposed to be on is the one that burns not for a moment, but for all eternity.

    Even demons quake before him.

    Fearing God and loving God are not mutually exclusive by the way. A son loves his father, but he still fears him. He trusts him, but still fears him. He is afraid to get on his badside. He respects him and longs to please him. He earnestly desires his approval. We would say such a son loves his father very much. But he still fears him. Love doesn’t mean you become equals. It doesn’t in a marriage, it doesn’t in a family, it doesn’t with God. Despite the fact that God loves us, and we love God, he’s not our drinking buddy. He’s not our equal. He’s God and we’re not.

    God says, “I am God and there is no other. I am God and there is none like me.”

    And again, “To whom will you compare me?”

    Whatever we wear, it should be for the right reasons, and we should take worship seriously. Yes, we have an attitude of gratitude all week, and our whole lives should be a manifestation of gratitude toward him for his mercy toward us. But Sundays are special, when God speaks with us through his Word. That act is set apart as holy. And we should treat it that way.

  15. Matt says:

    This is Matt Simila, turned on to this blog from Daniel’s Den. I like a good debate as much as the next guy (that is what blogs are for right?) and my two cents is as follows: I am 26 years old so maybe I am reflective of a different generation, but I do not think dress code has anything to do with your level of spirituality, your commitment to Christ, or your obedience to His Word. I believe people should be allowed and encouraged to come to church dressed how they please. The important thing in my mind is that they COME TO CHURCH. If by coming to church they are taught and grow in Christ and make a personal decision to change their appearance that is great, but there should be no prerequiste dress code or judgement cast on anybody. This opinion goes for those wanting to come dressed to the nines and for those who want to come like they just came from a week camping at the beach. The important point is that people show up, feel accepted, enter in, make a commitment to the Lord and continue in that commitment. I do not want to belong to a church that only accepts “churched” individuals, but rather want to belong to a church that welcomes the “unchurched” with open arms in hope that they will experience the saving power of Jesus.

  16. danielbalc says:

    matt, if you are looking to get involved in a debate you ought to make your way over to bloggoreah. I know it sounds like a scary disease but you’ll find more fights there then the Giles brothers find at a Charger game.

  17. Matt says:

    Not really looking for a debate, but they can be fun at times. I do not think my brain could withstand the barrage it would encounter over there, Reuben and Bruce are out of my league, but this whole blogworld can get addicting. I look forward to my education in the future.

  18. LOL…Well, just be content with our tiny brains here, then!

  19. danielbalc says:

    welcome back Albino. I’m looking forward to your trip recap post as well as some comments on my “it hurts, it hurts” lament

  20. Matt says:

    That was not a commentary on brain power as much as topic choice. I have very limited knowledge on the subjects they like to discuss, maybe I am just not a good Berean, but anyway Jim how is your basketball game? Did Albino Shaq retire?

  21. danielbalc says:

    I feel a little sheepish about bringing this verse up so late in the game, but I honestly had zero recollection of it until this past week. In regards to the tagline of these commercials, “Christian no more”, I must insist that I Peter 4:16 be taken into account. “However if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”

    Obviously the makers of this commercial were more concerned with there own creative ingenuity and cleverness then they were with being faithful to the words of scripture.

    This is a common and devastating ailment of modern “seeker-sensitive” churches.

    I don’t intend to throw out the baby with the bathwater and condemn any and every church that excels in evangelism, but if evangelism comes at the cost of throwing out something that we ought to be proud of (the name, “Christian”), then is it really evangelism?

  22. RubeRad says:

    That’s a profound statement, Daniel. Replace “the name ‘Christian'” with “orthodox doctrine”, and you’ll maybe understand where we confessionalists are coming from…

  23. danielbalc says:

    I would do that Rube if I Peter 4:16 said, “However if you suffer for orthodox doctrine, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”

    It didn’t

    The problem lies in those who claim “orthodox doctrine” to adhere to traditions of men that have no biblical support. Which is what the commercials were aimed at.

  24. Ah, Reuben, therein lies the rub. How much of your doctrine is necessary for recognition as brothers and sisters in Christ; that truly is the question. How big is the body of Christ? I would call our doctrinal squabbles intermural, but I fear many in your camp would leave many other Christians outside the circle.

    Daniel — Great observation.

  25. Echo_ohcE says:

    The OPC really endeavors to bring all true Christians into the church. Here are the membership vows.

    1. Do you believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God, and its doctrine of salvation to be the perfect and only true doctrine of salvation?
    2. Do you confess that because of your sinfulness you abhor and humble yourself before God, and that you trust for salvation not in yourself but in Jesus Christ alone?
    3. Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your sovereign Lord and do you promise, in reliance on the grace of God, to serve him with all that is in you, to forsake the world, to mortify your old nature, and to lead a godly life?
    4. Do you agree to submit in the Lord to the government of this church and, in case you should be found delinquent in doctrine or life, to heed its discipline?

    Those are the vows of the OPC. To become a member, you first meet with the elders, and they examine you to be sure you can take these vows sincerely, as best as they can tell. Then you go before the congregation and publicly take these vows in their hearing, and then you are a member.

    Being a member in the OPC means that the church has judged you to be a Christian. This is a necessary step in order to be able to serve them communion in good conscience. But all OPC’s say, when they serve communion, that if you are a member in good standing in a bible believing church, you are free to take communion. In their eyes, a member of the church is someone who has been judged by the church to be a true Christian. It’s as simple as that.

    In the OPC, we use the Westminster Confession of Faith as OUR confession. It’s what WE believe the Bible says. This is no different from what someone says on a blog when they comment on the Scriptures. They have a right to their opinion, even if it is wrong. But whether it is in fact wrong is NOT a matter of opinion, but the Scriptures make that plain. Nonetheless, our Confession is simply our denomination’s opinion on what Scripture says. This is no different from a sermon, where a pastor gets up there and explains the Bible to you. No different, except that it is the entire Presbyterian tradition for the last 350 years who speak with one voice on the matter, with a few exceptions here and there. It’s like the same sermon being preached on the whole Bible in every pulpit for the last 350 years in ALL the presbyterian churches. It isn’t Scripture, it is our confession ABOUT Scripture. Nonetheless it bears some authority because of who is speaking, just as your pastor’s sermon bears authority because of who is speaking and what he is speaking about, or from, namely the Bible.

    Nonetheless, we do not impose the confession on the laymen of the church, but only on its officers: pastors, elders and deacons. They are the only ones who have to take a vow of subscription to the Confession.

    But it is their job to bring the people in the church into conformity with the Confession, but they are to be patient with that process, not demanding that it happen overnight, and in some cases it never happens. But that doesn’t preclude them from being members in good standing.

    So your “fear” that “many in [our] camp would leave many other Christians outside the circle” is largely unfounded. To be sure, in order to become a member you do have to prove to the elders that you understand these vows and that you can take them sincerely. They have to be convinced of that.

    But I have never heard of elders asking someone about infant baptism or covenant theology or even election in a membership interview. It’s mostly about your hope in Christ rather than your own works. The rest comes later with maturity.

    Now there is the Dutch Reformed tradition that has a different view, and I’m talking about the URC and the CRC specifically. They want all members to subscribe to the three forms of unity (their confession) in order to become members. I can see where there might be some value in that, but ultimately I reject it and oppose it vociferously. As one OP pastor recently said, “The doors of the church should be as wide as the gates of heaven.” Amen. Truly said.

    So I’m not sure if your “fear” is really an unfounded accusation couched in subtle language, but I think you have been proven mistaken here.

    What are the membership vows you use in your church?

    E

  26. Matt S says:

    Echo,

    How long can someone come to your church without being asked to be a member?

    And what is the process if you want to leave the church once you are a member?

    Just wondering.

  27. Echo_ohcE says:

    Matt,

    How long? I don’t think there’s any clear or uniform answer to this question. I would think that if you’re attending a church for a while, you’d want to become a member. I think after a few months of regular attendance, perhaps one of the pastors or elders would speak to you about it. But I mean, it’s the person’s best interests that are the concern here. And if they aren’t a member of ANY church, then they can’t take the Lord’s Supper. If someone is coming for a long time without taking the Supper, that would eventually become a concern, but not for at least a few months of regular attendance. Our view is that being a church member is not just good but necessary. But of course, no one can force you to do it. You have to decide to do it.

    Anyway, I think different churches would handle different cases differently. No one would say that you HAVE to do this to continue to be welcome, not by any means. But out of concern for the person and his family, if he has one, then membership is a big concern.

    For me, it took almost a year before I finally became a member. Mine was a special case though. For most it’s a matter of a couple months. I mean, if that’s where you worship and you plan to continue to do so, you probably want to become a member. But if you’re unsure if you really like it or whatever, then the pastor and elders have no choice but just to be patient with that.

    Anyway, bottom line: case by case basis, because every person involved is different. I’m sure there are some pastors and elders who try harder than others to convince people to join, and I’m sure some people need more encouragement to join before joining than others.

    But since joining is almost as serious as marriage in some ways, it is not to be done lightly or spontaneously. So pressuring someone into doing it is not really the best way to go about it. I hope that answers your question.

    If you want to leave the church, for whatever reason, that’s fine. It really depends on the situation.

    If you are excommunicated, for example, after a trial and you refuse to repent of some grievous sin or other, then you are simply removed from the roles. You are no longer a member of the church. This means that the elders have judged that your profession is not genuine, and they have made this clear to you, and you have no interest in having a genuine profession of faith. This is the most extreme. I have not even heard of it happening yet, though I know it must happen occasionally.

    If you leave because you are moving, the elders will tell you to simply communicate with them when you have chosen the new church you will be joining, and they will send a letter of transfer to your new church. Once that church has received you into membership, then the old church will remove you from their roles.

    We don’t remove people from the roles lightly, because if they aren’t a member anywhere, then they are outside the church and can’t take communion. Big deal. Very big deal. We don’t want that to happen. But like when I moved to CA from IL, I remained a member of the church in IL until they were informed by my present church that my transfer was finalized. I never ceased to be a member of any church during that time.

    If you simply stop attending, hopefully they will try to contact you and find out what’s going on. If you say that you do not want to be a member anymore, then they will remove you from their roles.

    If you decide to leave the church and begin attending, say, a Baptist church, then the elders will send a letter of transfer just as if you were moving and attending another OPC. At least that’s what I think would happen. They might express concerns to you personally and gently or whatever, but you’re ultimately going to do what you’re going to do, and they aren’t going to stand in your way.

    Hopefully, no matter what church you begin attending, when you express a desire to join that church, they will ask you if you have a membership somewhere else that needs to be dealt with. Then at that time, it can be dealt with properly.

    Something that happens a lot in churches is that people leave a church and then just don’t tell that church where they have gone or what they’re doing. That’s when the elders will try to contact that person and ask them what’s going on, as I said above.

    Now if you come under discipline and decide to leave and go somewhere else, and you try to become a member there, hopefully they’ll ask you if you are currently a member anywhere, to which you should reply that you are, but are under discipline, which is why you left. Now the two churches will communicate, and the first church will tell the second church why you came under discipline. Hopefully the second church will not let you become a member until you clear up what was going on at the last church.

    But for the most part, if you join an OPC and decide to leave and go somewhere else, the elders will give your new church a letter of transfer saying that you are a member in good standing, and let us know when you have received him as a member and we will remove him from our roles.

    It’s very important, in our view, that someone be a member of a church. You cannot take communion without being a member of a church in our view. And all that means is that the Church has recognized you as a true Christian. To us that’s what membership means. You are part of the church because you have proven that you are a Christian. To us, you cannot take communion until you have been judged by the Church to be a Christian.

    Now if you come to an OPC, and they serve communion that Sunday, they’ll say that if you are a member of a Bible believing church, you may join us. But if not, then no. That’s ok. That’s nothing to be alarmed about. That doesn’t mean you definitely are not a Christian, it just means that the Church at large hasn’t judged you to be so. That’s ok. It just means you need to go before the elders and make your profession to them, after which you will take the vows before the congregation.

    In most Evangelical churches, they won’t baptize you until you make a profession of faith publicly, and they allow children to take communion when the parents judge that they are ready. In the Reformed church it’s different. The children of believers are baptized, but they don’t take communion until they have made a public profession of faith, first before the elders, then before the people.

    So we say that we “fence the table”, the table referring to the Lord’s Supper. We fence it, meaning we build a fence around it. We do so because of Paul’s admonition that if you eat and drink without recognizing the body and blood of Jesus, you eat and drink damnation unto yourselves. So the Reformed, not wanting people to condemn themselves, guard the table from people who have not professed their faith. In so doing, it is not really the table they’re guarding, so much as the people in the pew. The Reformed are trying to prevent them from condemning themselves. So they say that if you are not a member of a Bible believing church, then WE don’t know whether or not you really are a Christian. You might be, but we have no way of knowing that. So until you make the elders understand that you are a true Christian by way of professing your faith to them, they cannot in good conscience, for your own sake, allow you to partake of the Lord’s Supper. Usually they just say not to take of it if you aren’t a member, and they trust people to listen to that.

    But some get all bent out of shape about what it means to be a member of a Bible believing church. What’s a Bible believing church? Well, pretty much any evangelical church will do. A Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness doesn’t count, while there is some debate as to whether or not a Roman Catholic membership counts. We DO accept a Roman baptism as valid, so that’s something to think about. We don’t rebaptize people who have been baptized in the Roman church because they do it in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s a Trinitarian baptism. If you were baptized in a church that doesn’t believe in the Trinity, then it doesn’t count. But if you were, it does.

    So there you go. I hope that answers your question.

    E

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