“After my 15th rededication … our faith was almost completely extinguished”

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I’ve heard many evangelicals’ tales of their futile search for a church home which ended in a confessional Reformed church. Below is a blogger’s “testimony” of his discouraging search, an all-too-familiar story:

My search led me to a very large Southern Baptist Church which I enjoyed greatly, but I still had the nagging guilt that I was a sinner and possibly outside of God’s grace. These were some miserable years. I was obsessed with following Jesus, but convinced that He pretty much hated me because of whatever sin was troubling me at the time. I heard the gospel at that Baptist Church, but after my fifteenth rededication realized that this wasn’t doing it for me either.

Shortly thereafter, my wife and I moved to California and discovered the Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Finally, we had found what we needed. God’s Spirit was “moving powerfully,” renewing believers who were discouraged and defeated, people were being converted to Christ, and there were all these really cool “manifestations” of God’s “power,” or so we thought. After a string of scandals we were having some serious reservations. Then the “prophets”showed up. They were clearly false prophets expounding heretical doctrines and using threats of God’s judgment against any who would question them. By this time we had become deeply involved in this ministry, but it was just too much. I declared a church fast and we quit attending church altogether. We quit our small group, we quit working with the ministry to the homeless; we just stopped everything. Our faith was almost completely extinguished.

About to give up on his Christian faith, he called a friend for help, who sent him a copy of the Lutheran Book of Concord. Reading the book led him to a confessional Lutheran Church:

Until this point I had heard of justification by faith alone, but never really heard a clear and biblical explanation of it. This theme is pounded home over and over again in the Lutheran Confessions, from Scripture, from the church fathers, clearly and powerfully. Finally, like the nail submitting to the last blow of the hammer, it took, I understood God’s grace in Christ, and that it’s not about what goes on inside me, but what Christ did for me.

Hope returned, and the smoldering wick of my faith started to come back to life. I am not going to lie and tell you that everything was miraculously better in my life, or that there have not been some really hard times. But, I finally see the truth about Christ’s work on my behalf and my existence here as both sinner and saint, and I am at peace with that. I have a faith that I can live with and die with.

… My immediate question upon finishing the book was “Why aren’t people shouting this doctrine from the house tops?”

… We found a Lutheran Church and began Catechism classes in the fall of 1989. I have been a member of a Lutheran congregation ever since.

Sound familiar? Like the above burned-out evangelical, you might just be looking for a confessional Reformed church like Pasig Covenant Reformed Church.

For help in “Finding a Church,” click here.

 

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