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14060RE: Steelites

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  • Edgar Ibarra
    Nov 6, 2005
      Brethren,
       
         I decided to break the post up into two parts, just to avoid making one lengthy post.  So here are John Anderson's assessment of the situation concerning the SL&C.
       
         He wrote a book entitled: Alexander and Rufus; or a series of Dialogues on Church Communion in 1862. The quotes will be taken from part one, which part he entitled, "Vindication of Scriptural Church Communion in Opposition to Latitudinarian Schemes".
       
        I love this book, it is a devestating work against the rampant pluralism, toleration of contrary doctrines, and the cancer of latitudinarianism that plagues the majority of Presbyterian & Reformed churches, for example, NAPARC and other such endeavors.
       
          Many of the opponents of the Reformed Presbyterians (Camerionians/"Steelites") state that the SL&C is no longer binding today and that the Westminster Standards were their fulfilment and therefore when one keeps the Westminster Standards, one is upholding the spirit and intent of the SL&C.  This is nothing but downright revisionism of history and putting words in the mouths of the Covenanters of the past.  A total recasting and redefintion of the Covenanters that sealed their Covenant keeping with their very blood.  The Church of Scotland of then sought Uniformity in religion and to bring this about, they entered into the SL&C.  "Our forefathers accounted the open avowal of contrary opinions and practise in matters of religion an evil not to be tolerated in the communion of the visible saints; but to be struggled against, and if possible, prevented or removed", John Anderson p.168.  Here then is the purpose of the SL&C:
       
         "This Covenant was an engagement to endeavor to bring the churches of God in the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in religion, confession of faith, form of church government, directory for worship and catechizing, in order that they and their posterity, might, as brethren, in faith and love, and that the Lord might delight to dwell in the midst of them.  It was an engagement to endeavor, without respect of persons, the extirpation of popery, prelacy, superstition, schism, profaneness, and whatsoever should be found contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness, that they might not partake of other men's sins, nor be in danger to receive of their plagues, and that the Lord might be one and his name one, in the three kingdoms.  It was an engagement against neutrality and indifference in the cause of God, with respect to all those particulars", p.169. Bold emphasis mine.

       

         You see that the Covenant was understood to bind the posterity of the subscribers.  Now who are the posterity?  Well if one thinks of the physical flesh, then, hey I myself am not bound at all.  I am not Scot nor have a drop of blood from those islands.  I am of Mayan blood and of Spainard blood (and I think some Lebanese).  But that is the Pharisical view of Biblical covenants.  Jesus refuted that and so did the Apostle Paul.  If we are of the faith of Abraham, then we are the children of Abraham (though we are gentiles), even though physical Israel remains part and parcel of the Abrahamic covenant and promise, to this day.  That is the Biblical way to view Covenants.  So, when one sees that the Covenant bound the posterity, that was a triad posterity.  The physical offspring of the subjects of three kingdoms are bound (1), including the nations birthed by England/U.K. as England was bound and so was Scotland and Ireland and all of the king's dominions, plantations, & territories (including the 13 colonies) (2).  Moreover, the spiritual descendants of the Covenanted Church of Scotland are also bound to the covenant, when they swear to own the Westminster Standards, for they are part and parcel, no matter what modern day opponents may say (3).  The Westminster Standards were birthed by the SL&C. As a citizen by birth of this nation and having sworn to uphold the Westminster Standards as a Deacon in the PCA (back then I only knew of the original 1647, it blew my mind when I found out the PCA held to an unfaithful version of the Confession), I am part of that posterity.

       
        Though there were a few Independants/Congregationalists at the Westminster Assembly that swore the Covenant, later in 1648, the Independant form of church government is listed as a national sin, by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
       
         "It may be added, that when the Church of Scotland renewed the Solemn League and Covenant in the year 1648, Independency is first mentioned in a catalogue of national sins, against which they engaged to contend and testify, as contrary to their covenanted uniformity, and the purity of religion; and therefore, it is not supposable, that the Church of Scotland would admit to sacramental communion, such as avowed their obstinate persisting in this evil", p.172.  Bold emphasis mine.
       
         Note that, contrary to modern day Presbyterian practice rampant in so many churches, in which just about anyone can come to the Lord's Table WITHOUT examination, and even then with just a bare minimum of a profession in Christ, in the time of Reformation, the Lord's Table was fenced and protected to keep out those that were ignorant of the Lord's body or walked disorderly.  Note that John Anderson, not I, called Independent Church Government "evil".
       
        Also note the author's correct term to describe the pursuit of the Church of Scotland, "purity of religion" NOT "perfection" as some of our opponents maintain.
       
        As to binding the spiritual posterity as I briefly laid out as #3 above, this should flesh it out some more.  Here Anderson argues from the greater (the SL&C) to the lesser (the Westminster Standards that came from that covenant), whereas the above in #3 was an argument from the lesser to the greater.  Then don't forget about the doctrine of the MORAL PERSON either.
       
         "When the Westminster Confession of Faith was formed, a considerable progress was made in the reformation of the church of God in England and Scotland: ministers and people were bound by the command of God, to hold fast what they had attained, and to carry on the good work they had begun.  These nations were also bound to all the reformation they had attained by the oath of God, into which they had entered.  Nothing could be more absurd than the attempts that were sometimes made to reconcile the Solemn League and Covenant to their complainces with the heirarchy and superstition which these nations were bound to the covenant to eradicate.  Some have said, that the Solemn League and Covenant could not bind any to an adherence to the Confession of Faith, form of presbyterial church government, and directory for public worship; because these formularies were not then composed.  This would have had some color of reason, if they had not precisely corresponded with what was sworn to; that is, if they had not actually exhibited the several parts of reformation mentioned in the covenant, a confession of faith, a form of church government, a directory for worship, according to the Word of God, and the example of the best reformed churches; in opposition to popery, prelacy, superstition, heresey, schism and profaneness.  But this correspondence was evident and undeniable; and therefore these nations were bound, by that covenant, to adhere to the whole of the Reformation described in these forms of sound words.  While that was the covenanted reformation, it is plain, that the falling away from any part of it, was an open violation of that covenant. " p. 192-193. Bold and underline emphasis mine.
       
        This should clearly up why we Camerionians or at times called "Steelites", are different from the RPCNA and the posterity of the Schismatic/Erastian Revolution Church.  Why we state that the SL&C is still for today, in addition to the rest of the Westminster Standards.  The Covenanters of old, did not fight for a generic religious freedom, as modern day revisionists claim, but for the Divine Rights and Royal Prerogatives of King Jesus Christ, the only Head of the Church.  It was for Presbyterial church government (which is of divine right and to be the ONLY form to govern the Church, all others being sinful and therefore unlawful), Biblical-Calvinistic Doctrine, the Regulative Principle of Worship (only the Lord's Day is to be kept holy and Xmas, Easter and such Popish and superstitious holy-days are to be banished; Exclusive Psalmody without instruments-man-made hymns being an innovation/idolatry and violation (therefore sinful) of the Word of God; the Lord's Supper is spiritual, no elements to be described in the Popish or Lutheran manner, and not just a mere memorial as the Baptists teach, one Common Cup and sitting around One Common Table, (none of this communion in the pew stuff), and faithful church discipline.
       
        Much more historical evidence from the Covenanters and those that understood that the SL&C is binding (as some may know M'Crie and Anderson were Seceders and not Camerionian Covenanters, which I think strengths our position that this view is not novel or confined to a few) can be quoted, but I do not have that luxury of time to type, having to go to rest and be with my 5 children in the AM and then go to work.
       
        Therefore I will refer to those interested, especialy my Colombian brethren to read the documents found at the following sites:
       
      The official web site of the RPNA
      Where one can listen to sermons by Pastor Greg Price in MP3 & on PDF
       
      The web site by our fellow Cameronian Covenanters, that are not part of the RPNA.
      This site has a multitude of source documents that are excellent and that demonstrate that the Covenanters held these views before David Steele was even born.    Not to bag on David Steele at all, just to squash the notion that our doctrines are novel and have their start from this faithful Pastor.
       
        Again this will disappoint, upset, or otherwise generate another thread of debate, hashed out, how many times here before?  If you need clarification on something I wrote, then I will respond, otherwise I think I will avoid another prolonged debate.
       
        Hermanos de Colombia, favor de preguntarme cual quier preguntas o decirme cual quier comentarios que venga a mente.  Estoy dispuesto de corresponder con Uds con todo gusto y placer.
       
       
      Para la corona
      y pacto de Cristo
      nuestro Rey,
       
      Edgar Ibarra
      RPNA
      Albany, NY


      www.espanol.albanycrpc.org       www.reformedpresbytery.org
       
                                    www.albanycrpc.org                      
         


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