“Are these assemblies a branch off of the Pentecostal movement?” Pastor Springer wanted to know.
“No, actually,” Emma answered. “Doctrinally, they align pretty closely with the Independent Fundamental Baptists.”
There was a collective grimace around the table, even from little Timothy. Clearly, the Independent Fundamental Baptists were not a denomination to be aligned with, even though Emma had been looking for a common point.
“I’m going to ask you some questions,” Pastor Springer informed Emma. “If any of them go over your head, just let me know and I’ll explain what I mean. Okay?”
“I’m sure I can take it,” Emma replied, confident. “Fire away.”
“Reformed or non-reformed?” Pastor Springer questioned.
“Well,” Emma began cautiously, “those of us of the Protestant persuasion are all reformed to some degree, right?”
“What do you mean by that?” Pastor Springer inquired before taking a bite of his lasagna.
“Aside from the Catholic and the Orthodox churches, the denominations we have now are by and large born out of the Protestant Reformation,” Emma answered, “and the reformations that have happened since then. In that case, we’re all reformed.”
“I’ve never heard it put like that,” Jolene said, fork poised mid-air.
Pastor Springer nodded.
“On the other hand,” Emma continued, “if by reformed, you are referring to a adherence to those doctrines of John Calvin that we’ve since packaged into five neat little points, or a doctrine of replacement, or antinomianism, I am certainly not reformed.”
Now Hannah looked unnerved.
~excerpted from A Year with the Baptists