Sunday, August 31, 2008

Church Hunting part 2

This morning I went to a Calvary Chapel. Calvary Chapel is an American denomination. They have only a few churches in the UK, the largest I attended while I was a student in York. They are Dispensational and non-Calvinist/non-Arminian in theology. They are nomminally Charismatic but do not allow speaking in tongues in worship and a big critics of excesses within the Charismatic movement. They tend towards informality and favour modern rock music worship.

When I attended a Calvary Chapel in York, I had plenty of issues with them. But I seem to have issues with every church I have attended. I would like to think I am more mature than I was when I was 20 and attending that church in York.

I did not like the rock music worship at this Calvary Chapel and while the topical lecture was very good, I tend to think that an expository sermon is more appropriate for a Lord's Day morning service. Nevetheless, there are reasons why going to this church might be good for me. It is a vibrant and growing church with a lot of young people. I appreciate their casual dress and informality. And I agree with most of their theology. The fact I am studying John Nelson Darby was received well.

In the evening I returned to the Brethren assembly in the evening. They were very pleased to see me again. I suppose they probably like having somebody coming who is under the age of sixty. They gave me a leaflet about their doctrine and practice, presumably this was in case I desired to be received into fellowship (surpisingly this assembly uses the word 'member').

This assembly's position is that only members can break bread. I presume they are Open Brethren, yet ironically their position is stricter than that of J.N. Darby who advocated what I would call 'qualified open communion' (oops, don't give away stuff from my thesis..).

They use the Golden Hymnal (aka Golden Bells) which is my favorite hymnal. Definitely better than that Reformed slanted Christian Hymns.


mark pierson said...

What I have in common with Matthew:

My walk began in an charismatic church.

I attended a Calvary Chapel for a while.

I attended a Plymouth Brethren church for a while.

I went back to a Calvary Chapel.

Sorry to bore you, Matthew.

Celestial Fundie said...

Change of plan, Mark?

Calvary Chapel have a lot of good points, but some bad points too.

I think what used to irritate me most was the way they talked about Chuck Smith like the citizens of a Communist state talking about their comrade party chairman.

God Bless


Jonathan Hunt said...

Some Calvary Chapels in the UK are CALVINIST!!!!

He he he

Because it is more of a franchise than a denomination, especially in the UK, experience can vary from place to place.

I like golden bells too. We used to have it in childrens meetings in a church I went to. My church now uses Christian Hymns, but as with EVERY hymnbook - it is restricted by its very nature - every book is finite.

Celestial Fundie said...

Not the one in Hastings I hope.

The one in York was not Calvinist when I was there. Though strangely enough, there was a lot of Calvinist books in the church library which the pastor seemed to be in the habit of reading.

Chuck Smith advocated a rather muddled and confused 'I'm neither a Calvinist nor an Arminian' view, but then later he endorsed Dave Hunt's book 'What Love is This?' which took a much clearer stance on the issue.

Every Blessing in Christ


Rose~ said...

Well, it sounds like you are making a go of looking seriously. :~)

Celestial Fundie said...

It is good to meet God's people.