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#52063 Sun May 01, 2016 6:57 PM
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If you had to make a choice, would you choose PRCA or the OPC?


"A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant." STEPHEN CHARNOCK
Mckinley #52064 Sun May 01, 2016 7:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mckinley
If you had to make a choice, would you choose PRCA or the OPC?
Are you asking the question in regard to joining a church as a member? Or, are you asking the question in regard to potentially training for the ministry to serve as a pastor/elder?



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Pilgrim #52065 Sun May 01, 2016 7:06 PM
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Neither, I was asking in reference in a general question and information,.. I'm always asked my affiliation with our church and I tell them as a new reformed church plant we are not currently under any denomination, and when researching myself I see somethings that I like as I view from the outside,... I just wanted to see what others thought of these two in particular.


"A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant." STEPHEN CHARNOCK
Mckinley #52066 Sun May 01, 2016 7:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mckinley
Neither, I was asking in reference in a general question and information,.. I'm always asked my affiliation with our church and I tell them as a new reformed church plant we are not currently under any denomination, and when researching myself I see somethings that I like as I view from the outside,... I just wanted to see what others thought of these two in particular.
[Linked Image] the question you asked was: "If you had to make a choice," which I understood as 1) A choice was not an option but one of necessity and 2) the two choices; OPC vs. PRC were the only two offered.

However, now it seems you are asking about a "new church plant" which is possibly considering joining a denomination. Is that correct? And if so, why are only those two denominations being considered?

Just trying to get enough information from you so I can make a reasonable answer. grin


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Pilgrim #52067 Sun May 01, 2016 7:23 PM
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I apologize for my lack of clarity as it seems with each reply its getting more and more confusing,.. The latter about a church plant was in reference to my being a member of one that was established about 5-7 years ago,.. so as a member, to my knowledge, we are not under the OPC or anyone else,.. When speaking about making a choice, I was speaking on a either and or if you knew more information concerning such bodies,... I only presented those two as I look at various websites on them and just wanted more insight if one has had experience under them first hand,.... I hope that my explaining this make it that much more confusing ....

Last edited by Mckinley; Sun May 01, 2016 7:27 PM.

"A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant." STEPHEN CHARNOCK
Mckinley #52068 Sun May 01, 2016 7:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Mckinley
I just wanted to see what others thought of these two in particular.
Okay... here's my 2 cents re: the OPC and the PRC

1. OPC - I personally wouldn't associate with the OPC as it is now. When I was at WTS (Philly) back in the late '70s and early '80s, the seeds of death were already sown but many of the individual congregations were still fairly solid. It didn't take long for the seminary, both Philly and Escondido to cast off what it once taught. And, the results were graduates who had "drank the Kool-aid" of neo-Liberalism and other heretical practices. igiveup

2. PRC - I also studied at the PRC seminary in Grandville, MI and it wasn't a pleasant experience. rolleyes2 Their hyper-Calvinism and constant dwelling on 1924 when Herman Hoeksema & co., split from the CRC over "Common Grace" and a few other doctrinal issues. The PRC is, IMHO, far more orthodox in its ACTUAL vs. mouthed doctrine of Scripture, hermeneutics, worship, sanctification, and other matters of importance vs. the OPC today. However, having said that, I couldn't in good conscience join with the PRC either due to its hyper-Calvnistic tendencies.

3. WHY associate with any denomination? The Savoy Declaration of 1658, the confession of the true Congregationalists is nearly word-for-word of the WCF, excepting church polity and a few other minor points. My personal choice has been for years to remain independent and "associated" with other like-minded conservative confessional churches for the purpose of supporting missionary work, etc. I know of no Reformed denomination today that is reliable. However, since I am not familiar with every denomination that professes to be confessionally Reformed, there may be some small denominations which are solid. shrug


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Pilgrim #52069 Sun May 01, 2016 7:34 PM
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Thank you so much for taking the time to give that insightful declaration and the sad sway that the OPC is making. Maybe that's the reason that we are currently independent,...


"A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant." STEPHEN CHARNOCK
Mckinley #52070 Mon May 02, 2016 4:58 AM
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Remaining independent would not necessarily be a bad thing, as long as the church remains confessional in doctrine and practice (whether WCF, or Belgic Confession, etc).

I have always wondered why churches "import" strangers from other cities to shepherd the flock instead of raising up their own elders from within, and training them up instead of sending them off to be trained by strangers, being taught who knows what, and sent home with "new" doctrines and practice.

I'm not sure whether my own church's membership in the same denomination as some of the most notable heretics in modern times is actually helpful or harmful! Members in good standing include Joel Osteen, Pat Robertson, that "Purpose Drivel" guy, and lots of other famous Southern Baptists who obscure the gospel behind prosperity teaching and hocus pocus that makes them rich and famous.

I dunno, maybe we can help "from within," but I wonder if our contributions to the Cooperative Fund are really the best use of the Lord's money, though I am very positively impressed with my state association, the Florida Baptist Convention.

Robin


Pilgrim #52148 Tue May 24, 2016 5:35 AM
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Quote
" The PRC is, IMHO, far more orthodox in its ACTUAL vs. mouthed doctrine of Scripture, hermeneutics, worship, sanctification, and other matters of importance vs. the OPC today. However, having said that, I couldn't in good conscience join with the PRC either due to its hyper-Calvnistic tendencies."

Hi Pilgrim! I think you have identified a crux or possible pitfall that lies underneath the description you provide here.... Could it be some of the emphasis that makes PRC actually doctrinally sound is what maybe even unintentionally lends itself to being hyper?

Mckinley #52149 Tue May 24, 2016 5:40 AM
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The OPC Church I attend, I can't really identify much true hint of neoliberalism but yikes Machen would be spinning in his grave if what you say is true.... Although I could percieve that there is always a threat of such a fall from grace...

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Anthony C. #52152 Tue May 24, 2016 6:02 AM
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Originally Posted by AJ Castellitto
The OPC Church I attend, I can't really identify much true hint of neoliberalism but yikes Machen would be spinning in his grave if what you say is true.... Although I could percieve that there is always a threat of such a fall from grace...
Like any denomination, there are going to be individual/local churches which do not follow the "officially" held doctrines, policies, and/or practices which are either good (biblical) or bad (unbiblical). I was a member of a RCA congregation (Reformed Church in America) years ago who was conservative and which openly defied to conform to the heresies officially adopted by the RCA Synod and even refused to contribute the mandatory "quota" monies because the denomination was apostate. It wasn't long before the church voted unanimously to leave the denomination. Another similar example was Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia which was once part of the PCUSA, believe it or not.

So, my comments were in reference to the OFFICIAL position of the OPC which continues to move away from orthodoxy. If you are really interested to know what has transpired over the past 50+ years I would highly recommend you get a copy of Dr. Paul M. Elliott's book, Christianity and Neo-Liberalism: The Spiritual Crisis in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Beyond. Since you are new to the OPC, I have no doubt that what Dr. Elliott has written about the OPC and PCA will cause you to gasp for air. And FYI, everything he has written has been carefully researched and documented with myriad links to the official denominational records of the renderings made by the GA (General Assembly) and what is being taught at the seminary(s). Remember, I studied at WTS in Philadelphia myself and can testify to the serious heresies that were being taught there back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.


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Pilgrim #52156 Tue May 24, 2016 1:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by AJ Castellitto
The OPC Church I attend, I can't really identify much true hint of neoliberalism but yikes Machen would be spinning in his grave if what you say is true.... Although I could percieve that there is always a threat of such a fall from grace...
Like any denomination, there are going to be individual/local churches which do not follow the "officially" held doctrines, policies, and/or practices which are either good (biblical) or bad (unbiblical). I was a member of a RCA congregation (Reformed Church in America) years ago who was conservative and which openly defied to conform to the heresies officially adopted by the RCA Synod and even refused to contribute the mandatory "quota" monies because the denomination was apostate. It wasn't long before the church voted unanimously to leave the denomination. Another similar example was Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia which was once part of the PCUSA, believe it or not.

So, my comments were in reference to the OFFICIAL position of the OPC which continues to move away from orthodoxy. If you are really interested to know what has transpired over the past 50+ years I would highly recommend you get a copy of Dr. Paul M. Elliott's book, Christianity and Neo-Liberalism: The Spiritual Crisis in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Beyond. Since you are new to the OPC, I have no doubt that what Dr. Elliott has written about the OPC and PCA will cause you to gasp for air. And FYI, everything he has written has been carefully researched and documented with myriad links to the official denominational records of the renderings made by the GA (General Assembly) and what is being taught at the seminary(s). Remember, I studied at WTS in Philadelphia myself and can testify to the serious heresies that were being taught there back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Oh, very interesting.... Thanks! I will definitely read that!

Pilgrim #52157 Tue May 24, 2016 1:26 PM
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Interesting,

I read a few issues were 1. flexibility about the literal days of creation and 2. believers children as automatically secure as part of the Covenant.... Those are 2 I disagree with, although I would say the first is nonessential to a certain degree, although not sure how you could not believe literal days and continue believing the rest of the narrative.... The other would mean that children dying early in their natural/spiritual journey could be deemed safe....? Just an example... That would be dicey.... I would like to think God would have mercy on one of my children who were still finding their spiritual way.... I know they allow the profession of faith to occur fairly early.... But Jesus did say suffer the children .....

So this gets into the other side of the equation in which I've been familiar...the gross hypocrisy and denominational pride of the high Calvinists/Puritan types..... I'm not casting blame, but I've had very bad experiences on that side of the fence. ..

http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=219

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Anthony C. #52160 Tue May 24, 2016 4:07 PM
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Originally Posted by AJ Castellitto
I read a few issues were 1. flexibility about the literal days of creation
I, of course, hold to the historic 6-day, 24-hour creation view. And, I do think it is very important for other doctrines are built upon it. But in the OPC, the problem is that the GA ruled that the various views being espoused, which are antithetical to each other are all compatible and all consistent with the "Standards". [Linked Image] Can anyone please explain to me how something can be and not be at the same time? Perhaps Aristotle was wrong. Or, even more salient, how can something be the opposite of truth and yet be true? scratchchin

Originally Posted by AJ Castellitto
and 2. believers children as automatically secure as part of the Covenant...
There appears to be a strong adherence to "Presumptive Regeneration" in the OPC and in the PCA. And some even go beyond that. You are well aware, of course, that the OFFICIAL "Form for the Baptism of Infants" in the Dutch Reformed Churches does in fact go way beyond presumptive regeneration and even states that ALL covenant children have had their sins remitted in Christ's blood, et al. rolleyes2

I have expounded on the errors of that view and the negative ramifactions of such a view myriad times here and elsewhere so I won't bore anyone by repeating myself. evilgrin


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Pilgrim #52161 Tue May 24, 2016 4:17 PM
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Thank you, this is fascinating.... I hope you can bear with me a bit as I try to work through this, cause I am really sensing a fine line in the reformed camp...and I don't think we should pretend it doesn't exist.... I was reading the Amazon review of the book you mentioned. And obviously it's not clear cut when a confession is valid, correct? How could we put an age restriction on something like that.... But the author you referenced suggests OPC is faith + works but as you know the flip side becomes works to prove your faith is legit.... I know you know and see the trap....a difference between a Paul washer and maybe a new Calvinism .....so what in the world is the answer? The puritans? I'm not so sure on that.... Of course Owen is great, although I don't know him too well but think about the further Reformation which often gets mixed in and yikes.... I think a Spurgeon strikes that fine balance, but it's surprising how many free will Christians reference him.... So it's all still a bit of mystery to me. But I'm open

Last edited by AJ Castellitto; Tue May 24, 2016 8:54 PM.
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