Tuesday, May 19

Your Pastoral Preference - Multiple Choice

Most know the difficulty of finding a good church. Inevitably, we all have to play a little "give and take" when it comes finding a church home. No church will have everything that we are looking for. A church is made up of fallen and depraved people. This includes their leadership too! But if the overall scope of the church is faithfulness to Christ, obedience to Scripture, loving and edifying one another, the purity of the church, and more than anything - faithful proclamation and exposition of the Word then it would be my inclination to overlook some preferential issues that we could honestly live without.

Question for this Tuesday morning - Does it matter more to you that your pastor is a Calvinist, Dispensationalist, or....none of the above (how that would not matter to someone is beyond me).

Choose from the following:

A. It's more important to me that my pastor is a strong adherent to the doctrines of grace. I could live with the fact that he is not a strong dispensationalist.

B. It's more important to me that my pastor is a strong traditional dispensationalist. If he leans Arminian that is fine with me.

C. It simply does not matter to me.

Any takers here???

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Blogger Jim Peet said...

I'll bite.

First a qualifier. The question is my mind is "Your church preference", because I expect my Pastor's position to be in harmony with the church's doctrinal position.

Now a comment: I'm fortunate to have not have to face this decision!

I would want my church to NOT be hostile to the doctrines of grace. The church's position (in the doctrinal statement!) should at least be a 3 PT grace postion:
* Total Depravity
* Unconditional Election
* Perseverance of the saints

Irresistible Grace (or efficacious grace) is largely misunderstood outside of the Calvinist community. I believe it myself but rarely have heard it explained.

My preference is that "particular redemption" would be in the doctrinal statement, but frankly I have never been in a church with it so stated.

Were I moving into a new community and looking for a church, my first meeting with the Pastor would be a heartfelt explanation of my 5 PT position. If his eyes light up as if I am a heretic, I know I am in the wrong place.

On the dispensational question, I would want my church to:

* At least distinguish between the church and Israel
* At least be Premillennial
* At least be open to the pre-trib rapture position (my preference)

If I could not find a church like the above, I would probably try to start a new church

5/19/2009 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Jeremy Lee said...

I would choose the church that was Calvinistic because these doctrines are essential to the gospel making them of more importance than ecclesiology or eschatology.

5/20/2009 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger wolf said...

Pastor Mike:
You don't have enough choices. What happens if my church doctrinal Statement of Faith is both scriptural and satisfactory for me, but doesn't correspond to any of your choices in complete principle?

5/22/2009 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

Hello, there. After a long time of not popping in here,I see you are still the master of the loaded questions. LOL. I do enjoy reading your posts and everyone's answers. Too late right now to think but perhaps I will address with intelligent answers some time later. Good to "see" you again.

6/16/2009 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

I would want a church that is dispensational and strongly adheres to the doctrines of grace.
I see some people getting confused in their doctrine because they don't approach the Bible dispensationally. Even in my Independent Baptist Church we have some that are not dispensational and do not distinguish between the church and Israel (as it relates to dispensations at either end of this "age of grace"). This tends to make them neither pre-millennial nor pre-trib. It also makes it difficult for them to answer other doctrinal questions regarding salvation through baptism (they don't distinguish between the baptism of John the Baptist and what we do today) and salvation through works. The salvation through works issue gets disguised in many different ways i.e.,
"endure unto the end to be saved", "faith without works is dead" and "though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?"

Strongly dispensational through God's grace alone.

7/03/2009 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Associate-to-the-Pastor said...

Doctrines of Grace. No contest. (But then again, I'm not a dispensationalist...:)

7/03/2009 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger THEOparadox said...

Definitely "A" - Doctrines of Grace.

Then again, I'm eschatologically uncommitted at the moment. But I can't imagine eschatology ever taking precedence over soteriology (of course, someone will say dispensationalism is a whole system of Biblical interpretation, not just an eschatology, but nevertheless . . . definitely "A").

7/18/2011 08:39:00 PM  

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