How is SG different?

December 9, 2007 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

I was thinking about this site and why it’s here, and I decided that its basic purpose is to provide information. 

As I mentioned in the “Why This Site Is Here” post, my family and I spent several months trying to figure out if we fit into the Sovereign Grace church that we’d sort of stumbled onto.  We’d been engulfed by their love and friendliness and almost instantly had been integrated into a small group.  This was refreshing and amazing when you consider today’s huge megachurches, where new folks can typically remain anonymous for years.  We’d drive out of the parking lot on Sundays marveling at our good fortune, to have discovered a church where we so quickly had come to feel at home.

And yet…over time, we were to realize that our Sovereign Grace church was definitely different from the Evangelical and Baptist churches we’d grown up in and been part of all the rest of our lives.  Some of these differences, like the open and complete acceptance we experienced, were wonderful.  But other differences made us wonder. 

We couldn’t – for that matter, we still WOULDN’T – say that anything was “wrong,” exactly.  But week after week, we found ourselves facing nagging questions about lots of little things.  I searched and searched online for more information about Sovereign Grace Ministries, its history and from where some of these differences might have originated.  I asked my “new best friends” lots and lots of questions.  In the end, my husband and I finally concluded that this church was simply too different from what we were used to, different in some ways that are simply a matter of taste, and different in other ways that could possibly be symptomatic of deeper issues, issues that we preferred to avoid.

After this experience, I began to think about how different everything might have been if I’d been able to find more information when we’d first visited.  If we would have known about the prevailing trends in Sovereign Grace’s church culture – trends like homeschooling, courtship, and a love of authority – we probably would not have spent so much time waffling in our indecision.

It’s been our experience that, although SG’s official doctrine is wonderfully orthodox, some aspects of its culture are going to be a lot different than what you’d find in “mainstream” Evangelical/Reformed churches.  And the funny thing is, despite SGM’s growing influence and clout among the mainstream “big dogs” like John MacArthur, Al Mohler, and John Piper, we’ve been unable to find anyone who has openly and honestly described how some of SGM’s culture differs from that of your average Bible-believing church.

So that’s why this site is here.  We think there ought to be a place online where the uniquenesses of SGM can be analyzed and discussed.

Now here’s a question for you, the reader:

How do YOU think Sovereign Grace churches set themselves apart from the rest of mainstream Protestant Christianity?  Or, are we wrong in our observations?  Is Sovereign Grace Ministries actually pretty typical of the rest of Christianity?  What’s YOUR opinion?

Post your thoughts in a comment.  Thanks!

© 2007, Kris. All rights reserved.