14314Re: Covenanter Groups
- Jan 16, 2006I know that the RPNA lists "Reformation Principles Exhibited" as
being among its subordinate standards, whereas
David Steele himself later repudiated this document.
Where did you get this information about David Steele Repudiating
this Document? I would like to know so that I can read about it myself
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Sean McDonald"
> --- In email@example.com, "Edgar A. Ibarra
> Jr." <puritanpresbyterian@y...> wrote:
> > --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Sean McDonald"
> <kaalvenist@y...> wrote:
> > >
> > > What are those differences? I have heard headcoverings, movies,
> > > birth control put forth so far. Is there nothing more
> > > than these? I know that the RPNA lists "Reformation Principles
> > > Exhibited" as being among its subordinate standards, whereas
> > > Steele himself later repudiated this document. It also seems
> > > to me that when earlier authors spoke of "terms of communion,"
> > > were not speaking merely of terms of "table fellowship" (which
> > > to be all this phrase means for the RPNA), but of terms of
> > > membership. Are these some of the issues between the RPNA and
> > > original group? Are there any other issues?
> > I personally am ignorant about how David Steele viewed that
> document, so I cannot comment on that. As for the "Terms of
> Communion", those are the terms for a brother/sister to come to the
> Lord's Table and partake of Communion. To be a member of the RPNA,
> one needs to profess Christ and etc. To be able to come to the
> Lord's Supper it entails more than a profession of faith, but
> agreement with the Biblical doctrines that Presbyterians have
> faithfully held to since the Second Reformation, as it would be
> sinful for one to come to the Table in ignorance of the Lord's body
> and/or scandal. We do not hold to open communion as many
> denominations do in America.
> > Here is how it is stated officially:
> > Church Membership
> > Questions
> > Description: Church membership entitles you and your children to
> the privileges of: baptism, the administration of God's Word, the
> love, fellowship, oversight, and discipline of the church, family
> visits, and the use of your gifts and talents.
> > Admission to the Lord's Supper
> > Questions
> > Description: Knowledge and acceptance of these terms will entitle
> you to partake in the Lord's Supper with us. Male heads of
> households are also permitted to vote in congregational meetings.
> > Interview Questions Before Each Lord's Supper
> > Questions
> > Description: A short interview to determine that no public
> scandals have arisen involving the member, and that they are
> remaining faithful in their Christian duties.
> > see http://www.reformedpresbytery.org/member.html for the actual
> William Wilson's "Defence of the Reformation Principles of the
> Church of Scotland" (quoted at
> "I ask our Author, Whether or not a particular visible Church, who
> have embraced one Confession of Faith, one Form of Church-
> government, one Directory for Worship, may require it of **all her
> Members, in order to full Communion in all sealing Ordinances,**
> that they confess, acknowledge, and swear to abide in the
> and Obedience of the same Doctrine, Worship, Government andpricked
> Discipline? ... Is not this **necessary to the Unity of the
> particular Organick Body?** ... Is it not a very proper Mean to
> excite **all the Members of a Church** to search into the
> Scriptures, that they may know and be established in the Principles
> which they profess?"
> Reformed Presbytery's "Explanation and Defence of the Terms of
> Communion" (www.covenanter.org/RefPres/explanationanddefence.htm):
> "Our Lord's doctrine in his Epistles to the Churches of Asia,
> evidently favours **distinct and explicit terms of admission into
> the fellowship of the Christian Church,** in all succeeding ages."
> "On the memorable day of Pentecost, when their hearers `were
> in their heart, and said unto them, What shall we do?' the **termof
> admission to the privilege of baptism** was, `Repent, and beis
> baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, and ye
> shall receive the Holy Ghost.' As much as to say, in faith's
> dependence upon Him who is exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to
> give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins, and, with holy
> contrition of soul, renounce your former errors, and abominable
> practices. Change your former sentiments and conduct. Receive
> Christ, as made of God unto you wisdom, righteousness,
> sanctification, and redemption. **Embrace the Christian religion in
> all its peculiar doctrines. On this footing you shall receive the
> privileges of the church.** Accordingly, it is added, `They that
> gladly received His word were baptized.'"
> Concerning the baptisms of the Ethiopian eunuch and Cornelius, it
> stated, "Still, we see, the greatest care is taken to have theorder
> subjects of the ordinance **properly instructed in the mysteries of
> the Christian religion; and to obtain from them an open profession
> of their faith in Christ, and of their ready subjection to the laws
> of his kingdom.**"
> "Fully consistent with this is the Apostle's holy zeal, that **none
> should be introduced into the church, nor suffered to embody with
> her, who are erroneous in their opinions, and wish to mix their own
> inventions with the institutions of Christ**... It cannot,
> therefore, we presume, be refused that soundness in the faith, then
> delivered to the saints; professed submission to the divinely
> appointed ordinances of the Gospel; approbation of that church-
> which Christ himself instituted, and authorized his ministers toterms
> observe; together with holiness of conversation, were positive
> of communion in the primitive Christian church."of
> "Considering, then, their consistency with the great and general
> principle, on which all societies in the world find it necessary to
> act; the express injunctions of the Holy Spirit, concerning unity
> sentiment and profession; the doctrine of our Saviour, in hisheaven."
> Epistles to the Asiatic churches; and the divinely authorized
> practice of the Apostolic church; we cannot well refuse the
> propriety of **having explicit terms of admission to the privileges
> of the Gospel-church,** in the times wherein we live."
> Reformation Principles Exhibited
> "Chapter XXI. **Of Church-Fellowship.**
> "1. It is the duty of all who hear the gospel to **enter into the
> communion of the Christian Church**..."
> "2. The qualifications for Church membership necessary in adults,
> are, that they **knowingly profess a belief of the doctrine of
> Christ, promise submission to all the institutions of Christ,**
> evidence repentance, and manifest no prevailing inclination to any
> kind of wickedness."
> "3. The end of Church-fellowship is to **exhibit a system of sound
> principles, to maintain the ordinances of Gospel-worship in their
> purity,** to promote holiness, and to prepare the saints for
> "4. **The Christian Church as a society of rational beings, must
> have explicit terms of communion, to which every member gives his
> assent:** It is not to be expected that all men shall think alike
> about every object of thought; but **Christians cannot co-operate,
> unless they are of one mind about the general principles of
> Christianity:** Terms of Christian communion should embrace nothing
> but what is divine truth, and **reject nothing for which the Church
> hath faithfully contended.**"
> John Black's "Sermon on Church Fellowship"
> "I. I am to explain this Communion
> "1. It is a communion of Saints... 2. It is a communion of love and
> holy affections... 3. The communion of Saints embraces their gifts.
> In these they have a joint and mutual interest... 4. The Saints
> communion in each other's graces... 5. This communion involves, aperformance
> joint recognition of the same engagements binding to the
> of such duties, public and private, as conduce to the mutual goodof
> the members of Christ's body mystical."profess
> "II. How far ought the communion of Saints to be extended.
> "1. That communion of charity and sympathy, which consists in
> relieving the necessities of those in distress, and supplying the
> wants of the poor and needy, ought to be extended to all who
> to be lovers of Jesus, and who, in their daily conversation evince,-
> that they are his friends... 2. To all, to whom, in the judgment of
> charity, we may apply the name of Christian, we ought to extend our
> Christian communion... 3. **But that communion which is strictly
> ecclesiastical, is to be extended only to such as agree in the same
> terms of church communion.**"
> "And shall we suppose, that the Church of Christ, the most precious-
> the most excellent--the most orderly, and the best regulatedthe
> association upon earth, shall be without her specific articles of
> agreement--her **conditions of membership, and terms of communion?
> ** ... The divine Head of the church has strictly enjoined it upon
> **every member of this spiritual association,** [Mr. Black proceeds
> to quote Jude 3; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:3-5; Rev. 11:1; and Phil.
> 1:27.] It is evident, from the above passages, that **express and
> explicit terms of communion are required in the fellowship of the
> Christian Church.**"
> I might also mention a quote from a non-Covenanter, A.A. Hodge, in
> his "Commenatry on the Confession of Faith
> (www.rtrc.net/documents/wcf/hodge/wcfaah28.htm), wherein he makes
> remarks upon Reformed Presbyterian practice:
> "Some Churches, as, for instance, our Covenanting Presbyterian
> brethren, demand, as a condition of adult baptism -- or, what is
> same thing, admission to the Church -- in addition to theprofession
> of faith in the fundamental truths of the Gospel, adherence tothe
> certain 'Testimonies' embodying non-fundamental, denominational
> peculiarities. This we believe to be entirely unauthorized. The
> Church is Christ's fold, designed for all his sheep. Baptism and
> Lord's Supper are the common rights of all the Lord's people. Ifany
> man holds the fundamentals of the gospel and professes allegianceto
> our common Lord, and acts consistently therewith, we have no rightnot
> to exclude him from his Father's house. It is just as presumptuous
> to make terms of communion which Christ has not made as it would be
> to make terms of salvation which he does not require."
> It seems manifest to me that the above quotes (and many more could
> be multiplied on this head) that the original understanding by
> Reformed Presbyterians re: "Terms of Communion" made them terms,
> of "table fellowship," but of church membership (besides being theetc.).
> most natural exposition of Amos 3:3; 1 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 1:27,
> This being the case, it appears that the RPNA, which makes so muchthe
> of having identical "terms of communion" to the Reformed
> Presbyterians of the past, in fact maintain different terms of
> communion than any preceding body (since they have reinterpreted
> original meaning of "terms of communion").
> Respectfully submitted,
> Sean P.M. McDonald
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