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14278Re: Covenanter Groups

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  • Edgar A. Ibarra Jr.
    Jan 8, 2006
      Hi Sean,

      This question has been asked many times over. My below response
      is from post# 14052 which was an answer to a similiar question:

      The term "Steelites" was given to the Covenanters that continue
      to adhere to the entire Second Reformation of 1638-1649 (inclusive)
      and to the faithful Covenanters during the "Killing Times" of 1660-
      1688, of today. The few Covenanters that were left at the
      Revolution of King William of Orange, refused to join the re-
      established Church of Scotland, since it was re-established on the
      King's terms and not on the terms of the Church. In 1650, when King
      Charles II assumed the throne to Scotland, England, & Ireland, he
      swore that he would uphold the Solemn League and Covenant and that
      he would punish any who sought to overturn it. His taking the
      throne to be King was dependant upon his faithfulness to the Solemn
      League and Covenant. He swore that he would maintain it and to
      break it meant he no longer could sit as King. Well, he broke it
      and unleashed a brutal persecution against any that stood in his
      way. King James II, his Papist brother, continued it. Richard
      Cameron and other faithful Covenanters resisted the King and
      continued to worship God as He had commanded and refused to go along
      with the King's usurpation. The civil magistrates became ruthless
      tyrants and used all means necessary (torturing the laypeople, taxes
      (also known as the cess), confiscation of property, imprisonment,
      rape of women, and murder) to hunt down and kill the ministers of
      Christ that still held the Covenants. King Charles passed the Acts
      Recissory stating that the Covenants were "seditious, treasonable,
      and against his crown, the very covenant he had sworn to uphold, the
      very covenant that defined him as a lawful civil magistrate and
      allowed him to be lawfully on the throne. At the Revolution
      Settlement, King William did not rescind the Acts Recessiory and he
      set up the Church of Scotland on his terms. Only the Westminster
      Confession of Faith was allowed to be the standard of the church
      without allowance of the others. When he and parliament (most of
      who were part of the persecution) had laid out how the Church of
      Scotland was to be restored, he called a GA the following year and
      told them how they were to be structured.

      The few remaining Covenanters protested and would not join the
      vast majority of already sold out/indulged ministers (these were
      those that made compromises to King Charles & King James to spare
      their lives, in exchange they had to submit to the Bishops and state
      that the Covenants were treasonable and they held no allegiance to
      them, among other things). When 3 ministers from the Covenanters
      tried to persuade the other ministers to press the King to rescind
      the Acts Recissory and renew the Solemn League and Covenant and make
      the Standards the charter of the Church as it was during 1638-1649,
      the 3 were rebuked and scolded. The 3 submitted and joined the
      Revolution Church and the most prolonged division in Presbyterian
      history began. That being the Covenanters, that remained faithful
      to the Church of Scotland and the Westminster Standards of 1638-1649
      vs. the Revolution Church, which was a brand new Presbyterian church
      with her own new constitution and charter.

      All but two Presbyterian churches in the United States descend
      from this Revolution Settlement Church (In Europe it is a similar
      situation). The two that do not are the Reformed Presbyterian
      Church of North America (RPCNA) and the Reformed Presbytery of North
      America (RPNA).

      Here is where we get to the heart of your question. The RPCNA
      held to the Covenanters' testimony until they changed their
      constitution in the mid-1800's and no longer held that the Solemn
      League & Covenant was binding upon the United States of America,
      although I am not sure if they still believe it is on the United
      Kingdom. They also adopted other items that were contrary to the
      Standards of Westminster and further broke their Covenanted oath.
      They continue to believe in the ordinance of Covenanting, so
      therefore they call themselves Covenanters because of that, but they
      do not hold to what the original Covenanters held to. During this
      defection of the RPCNA, one of their ministers along with some other
      Church Officers protested this defection. When there was no desire
      on the part of the Synod to repent of their Covenant breaking, they
      left the RPCNA to continue the faithful Covenanted Church and formed
      the Reformed Presbytery of North America (RPNA). The leading person
      was David Steele. These officers sought to maintain the Covenanted
      Testimony and to continue to uphold the Covenanted Reformation
      against all defection and back-sliding.

      So, when the Puritan Reformed Church in Edmonton rediscovered
      these Covenanted truths and decided to adopt them and thereby return
      to the faithful paths of true Biblical Presbyterianism they repented
      of their participation as a Church of being part of the schism of
      the Revolution Church/Settlement and of having backslidden from the
      Covenanted Second Reformation (1638-1649) and having adopted
      doctrines contrary to the Covenanted Second Reformation Church.
      Many decried them and wrote extensive papers against these Elders
      and were named "Steelites" by their opponents for being followers of
      David Steele. Many attributing the doctrinal distinctives as novel
      and made up by David Steele. Only a very few of our opponents
      recognize that we are Camerionian Covenanters, i.e. those who hold
      still that the Solemn League and Covenant is binding upon the UK,
      USA, Canada, and Australia (all of these being offspring of UK and
      since the Solemn League & Covenant bound all of her posterity, so
      then these nations are so bound). I have all of this (the Standards
      of Westminster) translated into Spanish: www.espanol.albanycrpc.org

      I am a member of the RPNA and live in Albany NY. Our doctrine is
      NOT new as even a brief glance of history pre-1700's will most
      readily demonstrate. The main problem in Presbyterianism today is
      the rampant mindset of American pluralism and toleration of other
      religions. This is most visible in the revision of the Westminster
      Standards in 1782, of ch. 23. In there it is not Presbyterianism
      that is of divine right and to be the only recognized Church form of
      government in the Country nor the Westminster doctrines either, per
      se. Instead the new revision states that the government will
      acknowledge ALL Christian denominations and protect them all. Now
      the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church in
      America, and another (I cannot recall which) are the larger of the
      Presbyterian Churches that hold to this. Most of the smaller
      Presbyterian churches do not, including the RPNA, RPCNA, the PRC,
      and other smaller ones. Although they are all offspring of the
      Revolution Church (Except the RPCNA & RPNA).

      The RPNA seeks to promote unity in the body of Christ WITHOUT
      compromising the Covenanted Reformation Attainments of 1638-1649.
      The Church of then achieved a Covenanted Uniformity of religion
      wherein all in the 3 kingdoms were of One Doctrine, One Worship, One
      Government, and One Discipline and based on the Solemn League and
      Covenant, which Covenant was in keeping with the Holy Scriptures.
      Sure not ALL in the UK did join in this unity, but it was the brief
      reality and fulfillment of John 17. This Covenant was promoted and
      upheld by all the Westminster Divines, including the Scottish
      Comissioners: Alexander Henderson, George Gillespie, Samuel
      Rutherford & etc. One of the English Covenanters that is well
      known, Christopher Love died in prison under Oliver Cromwell,
      because he refused to renounce the Covenant. The King was about to
      martyr Samuel Rutherford for the same, but God took him a few days
      before the King could kill him.

      It is a hard stand for us to be separated from our brethren at
      this time, but we believe, as did the Covenanters of old that
      loyalty to God and His Truth is to be valued and upheld above calls
      to compromise for the sake of a shaky and covenant breaking unity
      NOT based on that maintaince of Truth, even if it means a low-
      intensity persecution or ridiculing on the part of fellow brethren.
      The Covenanters during the "Killing Times" suffered more from fellow
      Indulged Presbyterians than by the ravenous King and his murderous
      soldiers.

      Below are links to historical works written by ministers. The
      first two are written by ministers of the Reformed Presbyterian
      Church of Scotland, the sister church to the RPCNA, back in the
      1800's. The first is brief summary of the history and rise of the
      Reformed Presbyterians (another term used to describe Covenanters)
      and the second outlines the reality of the Revolution Settlement and
      what it brought about. The third is a work written by Covenanters
      in 1806 and what they stood for and why they remained separate (you
      will find that what the RPNA holds to today is exactly what they did
      in 1806 and this PRE-DATES David Steele). The last one is the
      official history from the beginning of the First Reformation up to
      and including the founding of the RPNA under David Steele. It is
      one of the Covenanter's Standards today (I plan to translate this
      late next year or early 2007, if the Lord wills and gives me the
      ability).

      http://www.covenanter.org/RPScotland/Principles/lecture1.htm

      http://www.covenanter.org/RPScotland/Principles/lecture4.htm

      www.covenanter.org/RefPres/shortaccount.htm

      www.gutenberg.org/dirs/1/3/2/0/13200/13200.txt

      Now there is another Covenanter group, which the Moderador of this e-
      group belongs too, but they do not have any Church Officers,
      although we in the RPNA love these brethren very dearly and we are
      friends. Gerry (the Moderator), I count as a friend and fellow
      upholder of the Covenanter Testimony. Why were are not together, I
      rather not touch that here, now. Suffice it to say we are a lot
      closer than many think, IMO. "This I add today 1/8/06, the
      Covenanters of www.TrueCovenanter.com hold to Headcoverings and we
      in the RPNA do not. The RPNA states that watching some movies is
      not a moral issue but a matter of Christian Liberty. Those are the
      major differences". I thought I would just mention that
      however, to be fair that the RPNA are not the only Camerionian
      Covenanters still around.

      I know that my post will generate many upset posts and make re-
      stir debates long debated on this e-group once again. That seems to
      be the legacy of the schism of the Revolution Church that plagues
      the Covenanted Church of Scotland BIBLICALLY established and
      promoted by faithful General Assemblies between 1638-1649, to this
      day. Not until the decendents of the Revolution Church recognize
      their continuing schism and covenant-breaking from the lawfully and
      faithfully established Church, established upon Biblical examples of
      true Covenanted Reformation, and repent of it and rejoin the
      Covenanted Church of Scotland, as we of the RPNA have, will the
      debate end.

      I hope that aids to answer your question. I am sure many more
      will arise, however.


      So Sean, why do you ask? What are your thoughts? I know you are a
      member of the RPCNA of Springs Reformed Church and in the military.
      (Which is another demonstration of the RPCNA's Covenanted defection).
      Do you hold yourself to be a Covenanter? If so, why are you in the
      U.S. Military?


      Truly, For Christ's Crown & Covenant,

      Edgar Ibarra
      Albany, NY
      www.ReformedPresbytery.org
      Reformed Presbytery of North America
      Former Marine (8 yrs), SGT



      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Sean McDonald"
      <kaalvenist@y...> wrote:
      >
      > I have a few quick questions.
      >
      > 1. How many different "Covenanter" groups are there (i.e. groups
      which
      > hold to the binding obligation of the Solemn League and Covenant)?
      >
      > 2. What are the reasons for these "Covenanter" groups maintaining
      a
      > distinct and separate existence from each other?
      >
      > 3. How do these distinct communions give support to the claims
      > of "Covenanters," when groups agreeing with each other on the
      binding
      > obligation of the Solemn League and Covenant (a document claimed
      to be
      > the most perfect vehicle of visible church unity) cannot maintain
      > visible church unity with each other on that basis?
      >
      > -Sean
      >
      >
      > P.S.: Hi GG.
      >
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