FAQ and Resources

Does this church use or promote a particular Bible translation? 

We praise God that the English-speaking world has been abundantly blessed with good translations of the Bible. While we do not promote or exclusively use any one Bible translation, we recommend that Christians use one of the following translations of the Bible, because these translations have a high degree of accuracy and fidelity to the original languages: KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB.

We believe that the NIV and other “paraphrase” translations can be useful but should not be used as one’s main Bible.

While we regard the KJV Bible as beautiful and often very usefully accurate in its translation, we believe that KJV-only-ism is a form of legalism which puts an unnecessary yoke on believers.

What does it mean to be “reformed”?

Our church was founded with the explicit intent of spreading reformed doctrine in Portland, Maine, because we believe the Reformed view is the biblical view. At the heart of reformed theology is an emphasis on God’s sovereignty in salvation, in tandem with an understanding of man’s total responsibility to repent and believe in God. The teachings of reformed theology can be summed up in the “5 solas” of the Reformation and the “5 points” of Calvinism.

Here is a very helpful article on the 5 solas: https://reformationbiblecollege.org/blog/the-five-solas 

Here is a good set of articles on the 5 points of Calvinism: https://www.ligonier.org/blog/tulip-and-reformed-theology-introduction/

What are some of the best resources for biblical teaching online in 2021?

We praise God that the internet is so full of good biblical resources! For consistently solid and experiential teaching, we recommend:

I’ll Be Honest, a site devoted to gathering excellent teaching: http://illbehonest.com

The “Ask Pastor John” podcast, a site devoted to providing quick but thoroughly biblical answers to thousands of questions: http://www.desiringgod.org/ask-pastor-john

The “Monergism” webpage, devoted to comprehensive and thoroughly biblical theological articles: http://www.monergism.com

Are pastor, elder, and overseer the same? 

By comparing the many uses of these terms in the New Testament, a Christian will find that “pastor, elder, and overseer” are words that describe the same one church function. We believe in a plurality and parity of elders, which means that the New Testament pattern is for at least two men (“plurality”) to be appointed as elders/pastors/overseers, and that that these two or more men work equally (“parity”) in all matters of authority and practice. Following 1 Timothy 5:17, we believe that elders could express their gifts of leading, teaching, counseling, evangelizing, and overseeing differently, and one or two men could be more given to teaching than the others, but even in such a case all elders would continue to function in “plurality and parity.” Anyone who is a pastor is also an elder and an overseer, and vice versa.

Can women preach, be elders, or teach in the church? What about street preaching?

The Bible clearly and unequivocally teaches that women may not preach, be elders, or teach in the assembled church. We also believe that this extends to street preaching, and we do not encourage women to preach on the street.

We believe that women can and ought to teach women, according to Titus 2. We also believe that women can and ought to be involved in the work of the great commission, so when it comes to street evangelism, we encourage women to share the gospel in conversations, through tracts, in singing, and in ministering to souls through giving and prayer.

Here is a lively and very helpful video, comparing Voddie Baucham’s scriptural approach to the topic with Joyce Meyer’s heretical and very dangerous teaching on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vXu6CxjbS8&t=194s

Can women pray in the service? 

We believe that women can and should be part of corporate prayer with the gathered church. We believe that the correct interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:26–40 is that women should not be involved in the public evaluation of prophecy. We do not see that passage as prohibiting women from praying in church. We read of women praying in corporate gatherings in Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 11.

In this video, Tim Conway gives a biblical treatment of the subject of women praying in church, as well as the correct interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qzBNCerF9s&t=19s

What is this church’s teaching on eschatology? What is the biblical view of the millennium in Revelation 20?

We believe that all Christians should agree upon and affirm the following facts about the end times: 1) The imminent, personal, and glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth; 2) the resurrection of both the just and the unjust, the eternal blessedness of the righteous in heaven, and the judgement and eternal punishment of the wicked in hell. (See our Statement of Faith for more information.)

We believe that the above facts about eschatology are primary truths for the Christian, while teachings about the millennium and other fine points of eschatology are secondary truths which should never cause division among Christians.

This church teaches a-millennialism, which may be more aptly referred to as “inaugurated millenialism,” “nunc-millennialism,” or “now-millennialism.” This means that the millennium described in Revelation 20 is the current church age, and that when Christ returns, the living and the dead will be judged, and the New Heavens and New Earth will be established, without any intervening age or period.

The implications for this view are worshipful and very practical: this is the only chance we get to be Christians before judgment day and the New Heavens and New Earth. There will be no second chances for people to repent after a “rapture.” This is the time for Christians to be salt and light, to share the gospel diligently, and to participate in the expansion of God’s kingdom through prayer, good works, and bold resurrection witness. The biblical a-millenial view should produce great hope and great zeal in the heart of the believer.

Believers who hold to post-millennial and pre-millennial views are welcome in this church, as we believe that various views of eschatology should never divide Christians.

Here is a comprehensive teaching on the a-millenial understanding of Revelation 20: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyEq07uMOHc

Here is an excellent series of articles on this understanding of eschatology: http://www.monergism.com/amillennialism

What is the biblical approach to the Black Lives Matter movement? 

All true Christians throughout history have seen racism, partiality, and judgment because of appearances as deeply sinful affronts to the character and love of God. Christians deny the idea of various “races” and see rather that all humans belong to one single human race and are all alike created in the image of God. While Christians can therefore readily affirm the fact that “black lives matter,” Christians should not participate in the Black Lives Matter movement at all, because this movement supports heinous sin like abortion, seeks to malign and destroy the family unit, and is founded on principles of Marxism, critical theory, and social justice that are at root anti-biblical.  

In this brief sermon clip, Sam addresses some of these concerns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP32bfw20gs&t=98s

What is the biblical approach to critical race theory, BLM, and the social justice movement?

These terms and movements are very difficult to think clearly about, so Christians must discuss such things with grace and love. A thorough study of these movements will reveal that they are inherently anti-Christian and should be rejected by Christians as false worlds views. We believe that these movements constitute a highly developed and pernicious worldview, and that they are not just analytical tools for understanding the culture. We would recommend the recent work of Voddie Baucham, who addresses critical race theory and all related matters in a biblical fashion, and with love and clarity.

Here are two very helpful interviews with Voddie Baucham on these subjects: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-ANNlN3xrE


What is the biblical approach to LGBTQ issues? 

Christians believe that all LGBTQ positions are sinful and are addressed in Scriptures such as Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1, Genesis 19, and Leviticus 18 and 20. Christians should love and befriend all manner of people who are dead in their trespasses and sins, and should lovingly tell people engaged in LGBTQ sins about the hope of salvation from lawlessness and self in the blood of Jesus Christ. 

We believe that the “Gay Christian Movement” is heretical and incredibly dangerous, as it gives people false hope and comforts them on a path of eternal destruction.

Should a Christian use a transgender person’s preferred pronouns? 

We believe that transgenderism is sin because it is a denial of God’s beautiful created order. We believe that people who have fallen into this sin can be washed, renewed, and given everlasting hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe that Christians should refer to males as male and females as female. We also believe that Christians should not go against their conscience, even when legislature, rules at work, and cultural norms tell them they must.

Here is a helpful and nuanced resource from John Piper on this question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2_8rNEcGho&t=260s

Is it ok to depict Jesus? 

Based on the second commandment in Exodus 20, we do not believe that it is right to depict Jesus, nor to depict the Father or the Spirit. We also recognize that this is seldom taught in churches, so Christians must have grace with one another regarding such a matter.

Here Matthew Everhard gives a detailed scriptural response to this question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGWmD0_nXCY&t=1558s

Since the question of depicting Jesus tends to come up in terms of child-rearing, we recommend Reformation Heritage Books, as their children’s section is full of heart-enriching biblical material that always avoids depictions of Jesus: https://www.heritagebooks.org/categories/childrens-books.html

What are the best resources on divorce and remarriage? 

Questions of divorce and remarriage must be approached with biblical fidelity and loving nuance, seeking to understand the “whole counsel of God” at every point.

We recommend Conrad Murrell’s book on the topic, which is out of print, but can be obtained from our church library.

We also recommend all of I’ll Be Honest’s posts on Family, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage, which can be found here: https://illbehonest.com/topic/family

John MacArthur has come excellent sermons and recources on the topic, for example: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/DD04/divorce-and-remarriage

Here is a list of biblical answers to commonly asked questions on the topic, from MacArthur’s “Grace to You” webpage: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A377/common-questions-regarding-divorce-and-remarriage

What type of apologetics does this church promote and practice?

We explored this excellent question in a recent Men’s Bible Study. Please see our study notes here: https://rgfellowship.church/mens-study-june-2021-presuppositional-apologetics