For those who have been associated with the Reformed faith all of their lives, they may not appreciate how eye-awakening these past two years have been to me. Although I grew up in a gospel-teaching church and then attended an independent, non-denominational Bible church for thirty-five years, did door-to-door evangelism, and faithfully served in my church in many capacities with my six homeschooled children, God had a plan to open up my knowledge of Himself to a whole new dimension.
Three years ago, through a Christian radio station, I began to listen to some Reformed Bible teachers. I ordered a monthly Reformed publication and a biography of a Reformed preacher. I began to read everything I could find on the internet about “monergism” and the reformed faith. I checked out Martin Luther’s commentary on Galatians from the library. I got a Reformation Study Bible. [NOTE: “monergism” is a theological term that expresses that the work of saving sinners is done by One (‘mono’). “Synergism” is the popular (and unbiblical) view that we are saved by the work of God plus another person—such as our works or our free will exercise of faith. The Biblical gospel is monergism: we are saved by Christ ALONE – Editor]
Due to the compromised integrity of the leadership in the church I was attending, I knew I needed to seek another church family to worship with. At this time, my unbelieving husband told me he no longer wanted to be with me, and I would have to leave. It was time for a fresh start. A friend from out of town informed me that my city had a reformed church and suggested I try attending there. That was two years ago. I loved it. I went through membership counseling and borrowed more books from that church to read.
In six months, I, with tears, was accepted to be a member and took my membership vows in front of the church. I was asked to help organize their shelves of books into a library — which has been such a blessing because I have been able to read and absorb even more… sometimes reading more than organizing!
I play the piano at church when needed, or play for the service in our new church plant 50 miles away. I teach Kids’ Quest on Wednesday evenings, and taught children’s Sunday School through the summer. I counsel girls at the Crisis Pregnancy Center in my city, and love being able to invite my clients to church with me where they will be welcomed. I helped go door-to-door in the church neighborhood.
But how my life has been touched is my understanding of the truth of Scripture. The dispensational teaching I had been under for years had such a chopped-up view of Scripture. Now I see that the entirety of the Bible is a beautiful narrative of the person of Jesus Christ and His redemptive work for His own. The law, the creeds of the church, the catechisms and confessions have been such helpful instructions in the doctrines of the Scriptures.
I also need to say that in the very first reformed church service I attended, I was overwhelmed with the impression that this was truly a service of the worship of God in every way. The focus was completely on our Lord through corporate prayer, corporate praise, confession of our faith, reading of Scripture, and teaching of God’s Word. An elder explained to me how the structure of the service is taken directly from Scripture and the pattern of worship we find there.
It was so refreshing! I now see the Old Testament in an entirely new light, appreciating the types and shadows it gives us of Christ. I love my church family and am very thankful for our pastor.
In the Reformed church, I’ve come home. I praise God for bringing me –at the age of 60– to Reformed theology and under the care of the church elders.
Ms. Peggy Huggenberger
St. John’s RCUS