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13955Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Friendly clarifications.

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  • Matthew Winzer
    Aug 31, 2005
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      Your RPNA distinctions of being and well being are Independent, not
      Presbyterian (and as my posts proving that point are still unanswered, I
      will continue to maintain it). Hence there is no misreading or
      misrepresenting of your position. If you really believe that the Revolution
      church is a true church, then you should regard the short directory for
      religious societies as schismatic in calling upon members to not attend the
      Presbyterian ministry of the Revolution Church. To provide you with the
      Presbyterian position, as stated in an earlier post: Presbyterians do not
      believe in separation from a true church. That is called schism.

      Here is the problem. Every other body of Presbyterians in the world (at
      least that I know of) maintain communion with one another to some degree.
      The RPNA separates from this communion.

      Neither Calvin nor any other reformer said that the Church of Rome is a true
      church. They said that Rome had the church within her, i.e., the catholic
      church visible. But the phrase "true church" pertains to a particular
      church, one that is constituted; and the consistent testimony of the
      reformers was, that the Church of Rome is not a truly constituted church.

      Yours sincerely,
      Rev. Matthew Winzer

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Edgar A. Ibarra Jr." <puritanpresbyterian@...>
      To: <covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 4:17 AM
      Subject: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Friendly clarifications.

      > Dear Matthew,
      > To follow up on what Jerry just wrote and clarified and to
      > anticipate your response about the Revolution Church and her
      > descendants NOT being true Churches, let me go on record and state
      > that I NEVER said, nor is it the position of the RPNA, that they are
      > not true Churches. I know we are often mis-represented as declaring
      > all churches that are not RP as not being true churches, but this
      > not a fact, but fiction.
      > Why are we mis-represented as saying such? May be due to RPNA
      > members not communicating clearly here (including myself), or our
      > over zealousness? Could also be the reader's ignorance of the
      > historical usage of the terms that the RPNA uses in the writings
      > and/or discussions, ALTHOUGH WE DEFINE THEM CLEARLY, such as "true
      > church" vs. a "faithful church"? Many readers actually believe that
      > we advocate a "perfect church" here on earth (if you believe that
      > then I have beach-front property to sell you in Montana)!!!
      > Let me say it again, we state that the Revolution church is a true
      > church.
      > The contention (one of numbered reasons) is that they are
      > unfaithful in their testimony and constitution.
      > They have broken covenant and lawful ecclesiastical bonds for
      > unbiblical reasons. This has been the historical position of all of
      > the Reformed Presbyterians, especially of the old RPCNA. ***This is
      > NOT a novelty of the RPNA nor our recent invention or revision of
      > history, it is well-documented for those that care to do the
      > research.*** It is the Revolution Church that engages in revision
      > of history and/or passing over the real reason the Covenanter's
      > struggled and shed their blood for and regulating it to a
      > mere "religious freedom fight" on par to what Americans today think
      > of as religious freedom, when it goes way beyond that.
      > Again, even Calvin stated that the Church of Rome is a true
      > Church, for if it were not, we would re-baptize those who received a
      > baptism in the Church of Rome and for that matter those coming from
      > what, people mis-represent us as declaring as no true churches, to
      > be re-baptized. A false church for us, as I am sure for you as
      > well, would be the Mormons, eh, Morons and the Watchtower acolytes.
      > People fleeing those religions would be re-baptized in the RPNA.
      > So, please let us stop mis-representing people's positions it
      > serves no purpose but to unbiblically taint the name of others.
      > For honest discussion,
      > Edgar
      > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
      > <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
      >> Good day, Mr. Winzer. Comments/questions below.
      >> --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Matthew Winzer"
      >> <mwinzer@p...> wrote:
      >> > I would gladly vote for a worthy candidate under the present
      >> constitution.
      >> > The RP position requires them to disown the constitution itself,
      >> and hence
      >> > dissent from any government that is bound by it.
      >> Again, just so I understand you correctly: Is it your position
      > that
      >> it is ok for an Australian to withhold his Amen from an unworthy
      >> candidate (even against compulsory voting laws), but it is not ok
      > for
      >> an American to withhold his Amen from an unworthy constitution, by
      >> refusing to swear to protect and uphold it or to vote for someone
      > to
      >> swear the same, even when there is no such imposed compulsion? As
      >> Mr. Larry Bump aptly pointed out, the swearing to uphold the
      >> Constitution is thrust of the problem. If I recall correctly,
      > Rev.
      >> Wylie, in The Two Sons of Oil, states that if there were no such
      > oath
      >> involved, but simply an oath to faithfully carry out such and such
      > an
      >> office, where the office is in itself lawful, an RP could do that,
      >> provided he would not be required or sworn to uphold any immoral
      > or
      >> unjust laws.
      >> > We do not condone separation from the ordinances of Christ as
      >> > administered in these churches; only withdrawing from
      >> > ecclesiastical judicatories for biblical reasons. RPs denounce
      > the
      >> > Revolution church and her descendants as
      >> > no true church, and teach separation from the ordinances of
      > Christ
      >> > as administered in these churches.
      >> Mr. Winzer, as one who seeks to uphold the old RP testimony as
      > best
      >> as I am able, I can say firmly that I believe that the Revolution
      >> Church, and the churches that I am aware of that have decended
      > from
      >> her, are true churches. Today, in the little time I had, I
      > briefly
      >> looked through some older RP literture just to find if the
      > Revolution
      >> Church is declared to be NO TRUE CHURCH, and I have failed to find
      >> anything -- not in the Act, Declaration, and Testimony, not in
      > Vos'
      >> Scottish Covenanters, not in the history posted at the RPCNA's
      > site.
      >> I did, however, find this statement in the Informatory
      > Vindication,
      >> speaking of the Church of Scotland during the persecuting times:
      >> "We judge it Lawful, reasonable, & necessary; in a declining,
      >> backsliding, & troubled state of the Church, to leave that part of
      >> the Church which hath made such defection, whether Ministers or
      >> Professors, as to a joint concurrence in carrying on the publick
      > work
      >> (according as it is given in Command to Jeremie, chapter 15, verse
      >> 19: Let them return unto thee, but return not thou unto them) & to
      >> adhere unto the other part of the Church, Ministers & Professors,
      >> whether more or fewer, who are standing steadfastly to the defence
      > of
      >> the Reformation, witnessing against others who have turned aside &
      >> declined therefrom; until the defections of the backsliding party
      > be
      >> confessed, mourned over, & forsaken: This is no separation from
      > the
      >> Church of Scotland, but only a departing & going forth from her
      > sins,
      >> backslidings, & defections, as we are commanded by the Lord."
      >> Regardless of one's opinion about the position advocated above, it
      > is
      >> clear that the Church of Scotland is separated from, in one sense,
      >> and not separated from in another sense -- and certainly she is
      > not
      >> condemned as being no true church at all! It is my understanding
      >> that the Old Dissenters (RP's) maintained this same understanding
      > on
      >> what it means to separate.
      >> > > 3. Christian lay-people are required to join the closest
      >> essentially
      >> > > true church, while, as Mr. McCarter pointed out, you are
      > allowed
      >> to
      >> > > make careful choice of your denomination.
      >> >
      >> > And as I pointed out, I and my family had to make sacrifices in
      >> order to do
      >> > this. Otherwise we could have settled where we were, and worked
      >> with the
      >> > local church towards reformation. But it would have meant not
      >> pursuing the
      >> > ministry for the present, which my conscience would not allow.
      >> Mr. Winzer, are you saying that it is not simply locality, but
      > also
      >> someone's willingness to make sacrifices and their inability to go
      >> against their conscience that help determine what particular
      >> essentially true church a person should join?
      >> > It could only be made to appear this way by one whose argument
      >> depends upon
      >> > the fallacy of composition.
      >> Mr. Winzer, I am weary of arguments for the time being, and seek
      > at
      >> this time to understand the position you are advocating, as well
      > as
      >> to perhaps help others understand what my position actually is
      > (while
      >> not actively attempting to win anyone over to it at this point).
      >> What you call the fallacy of composition is perhaps simply my not
      >> understanding what you are advocating. I deserve your judgment,
      >> however, as I was earlier quite rash, for which I did and do again
      >> apologize.
      >> The grace of God be with you,
      >> gmw.
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