I was all prepared today to give a defense of the Reformed Pub (a Facebook group of 12,000 Christians where I am an admin) as a response to some pretty harsh criticisms of it. As I thought and prayed about it, I saw fit to instead do a post about the great things about the Reformed Pub. When I joined the Pub early in 2014 I was a Calvinist who really knew little about the Reformed creeds. Since then, largely due to the influence of godly men in the Pub I have come to have a great appreciation for the Reformed creeds and the Reformers who God used to turn the world upside down.
I believe again God is using those of us who hold to Reformed doctrine to turn the world upside down. While many traditional evangelical churches are fading in number and becoming liberal and unbiblical in their theology, Reformed Baptist and Presbyterian churches (as well as some others) are steadily growing in number and membership. This is amazing considering that liberalism seems to be invading the church at large. The churches that are leaving the historic orthodox faith are dwindling while those returning to sound theology are growing.
So back to the Reformed Pub. I will start by acknowledging the weaknesses of tbe Pub. Yes there is some immaturity which is to be expected in a group of 12,000 people. Yes there are those in the Pub who are sometimes too harsh with fellow believers. Yes us admins don’t always make the wisest judgements. We are sinners bought by Christ, in the process of sanctification so that is to be expected.
That said the overall focus of the Reformed Pub is holiness and honoring God in all we do. This does include honoring God in our leisure and pastimes and yes that does include a passion for craft beer for many of us. In many places and through many ways it has been shown that alcohol is in no way condemned by Scripture and that Jesus Himself came “eating and drinking” (and He was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard by the Pharisees). The question is not whether we drink but whether we do so in a way that glorifies God. On that point I believe the Pub excells as we promote moderation and reject excess.
But onto weightier issues. While the Pub enjoys regular humorous posts there is a sharp focus on knowing God through His Word. Discussions take place daily that edify and exhort one another to study God’s Word and to read authors who faithfully exposit God’s Word. Some of the most godly and wise men I know regularly contribute to the Pub and we are all edified and drawn into a better understanding of our Lord because of it. Ungodliness is rejected and we encourage each other to be at war with sin.
Yes we make jokes about beards and manliness but in truth we encourage each other to be godly “real” men by biblical standards. We are encouraged to lead our families both to worship with the body on the Lord’s Day and to lead our families in family worship. We are encouraged to love our wives and to raise our children to know the Lord. We are encouraged to provide for our family and to set and example in holiness to our children.
We do our best to reject both licentiousness and legalism, and instead to seek to live godly lives that glorify our Lord in all we do. There will always be some who see what we do as licence and some who feel we are legalistic. If anything this tells me that we are doing our best to avoid the mistakes of both extremes.
We absolutely reject antinomianism (being against God’s law) and seek to have a right understanding of God’s law and it’s role in our lives. We understand that no one is saved by the works of the law but we also understand that God’s moral law does not change just as He does not change. Therefore it is the standard by which we determine what is right and wrong and by which we must order our lives by the power of tbe Holy Spirit in us.
We also see where we have room to grow. We do indeed get so passionate about certain topics that we are at times uncharitable to our brothers. We see that and we desire to become more gracious. I have seen apologies given regularly for misrepresenting each other or for ad hominem attacks.
I wish to end by giving my appreciation for Les Lanphere and Tanner Barfield who created the Reformed Pub and who are the hosts of the Reformed Pubcast. Getting to know them through being an admin of the group has been a blessing and I can say without a doubt that they have a heart to bring people to know God and to have a right understanding of who He is and what His Word says. Cheers and Amen brothers.
Soli Deo Gloria,