15831Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Terms of Communion
- Jun 6, 2007Dear Mr. Ferrell,
As for number 1: "One must affirm all six of these before he is
allowed to receive communion in a Covenanter church." This is implied
by what is meant. The word "Communion" can refer to an ecclesiastical
communion, that is, a church body; or it can refer to the Lord's
Supper. The Terms of Communion are conditions for joining and
remaining part of the Communion. Consequently, they are also
conditions for taking part in Communion. What the Lord's Supper
signifies is more important than the Lord's Supper itself. It would
only be legalistic hypocrisy if we guarded a ceremony more than we
guarded the reality it signifies.
As for number 2: "A Covenanter would not receive communion in a
congregation that did not also affirm all six of these terms."
Incorrect. It does mean that a Covenanter will not receive communion
or re-unite in communion with the "Reformed Presbyterian" church
(RPCNA, etc.) until it returns to the original RP Terms of Communion.
Until then such "Reformed Presbyterian" Churches are guilty of
backsliding and defection. We will not join them in that course. But
we will receive communion in any congregation with which we can join
in membership as part of their ecclesiastical community.
We will receive communion in any faithful, scriptural church, teaching
true doctrine, practicing true worship, excercising biblical
discipline (which will affect their Terms of Communion.) We do not
pretend that the deed at Auchensaugh, done by a small, (but faithful,)
fellowship of Christians, of itself obliges anyone outside that
communion. But note that our Terms of Communion only require that one
recognize that the Renovation was "agreeable to the word of God." We
would expect other faithful Presbyterians to agree to this if they
examined the deed. And as for the Covenants, we do not imagine that
they oblige any outside the ecclesiastical and civil bodies, as well
as private families and individuals represented by them. A faithful
Church could form without any knowledge of them. But, for those civil
and ecclesiastic bodies, and families and individuals, who are bound,
we have a duty to prosecute the ends of these Covenants wherever we
are. If joining a Church would mean violating these Covenants, then
the rule against occasional hearing necessitates that we abstain from
using any ministerial ordinances from such ecclesiastical communions.
Of course, the practical realities are, that there is no
non-Reformed-Presbyterian church that any Covenanter has ever seen
which adheres to such principles and practices as Covenanters can
approve. And while hypothetical situations can be proposed where a
Church might take existence on a footing that is Scriptural, in the
Covenanter sense, and yet historically unrelated to the Covenanter
Church of Scotland, certain realities lead us away from expecting
this. For one thing, (as I recently said to someone else,) true
Christians love Church history. If someone comes to believe in the
regulative principle of worship, and the duty of dissenting from the
authority of the US and other "governments" as having only the "power"
and "authority" mentioned in Rev. 13.2 (and not that in Rom. 13,) then
that person is going to want to know about the other Christians in
history who agreed with him. We expect therefore that the faithful
Christians and pastors scattered here and there, who are by God's
grace brought to believe the truths of the Reformation, will seek
association with the "Reformed Presbyterian" church, and find therein
standards of doctrine and practice that they can approve.
If they can draft a Confession of Faith better than the Westminster
Confession, we will be glad to see it in a list of Terms of Communion.
Perhaps some people think there are better Confessions. At this point
however, Covenanters are not persuaded that the world has ever seen a
better Confession. But we will be as happy as anyone else when that
So, in summary, to answer your questions:
1. Yes, and it means something more general too.
2. Yes, for now.
I hope these considerations are helpful to you, and to other well
meaning Covenanters who may have been misled about some of these things.
--- In email@example.com, "Glenn Ferrell"
>communion in a Covenanter church?
> By terms of communion, am I to understand:
> 1) One must affirm all six of these before he is allowed to receive
>did not also affirm all six of these terms?
> 2) A Covenanter would not receive communion in a congregation that
> One, two or both?
> J. Glenn Ferrell, Pastor, Sovereign Redeemer Presbyterian Church,
> "To suppose that whatever God requireth of us
> that we have the power of ourselves to do,
> is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect."
> -John Owen (1616-1683)
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Jerry<mailto:ragingcalvinist@...>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 6:08 PMof God, and the alone infallible rule of faith and practice.
> Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Terms of Communion
> Sure thing, Glenn.
> The Six Terms of Communion:
> 1. An acknowledgment of the Old and New Testament to be the word
>and the Catechisms, Larger and Shorter, are agreeable unto, and
> 2. That the whole doctrine of the Westminster Confession of Faith,
founded upon, the Scriptures.
>alone of divine right and unalterable; and that the most perfect model
> 3. That presbyterial Church Government and manner of worship are
of these as yet attained, is exhibited in the Form of Government and
Directory For Worship, adopted by the Church of Scotland in the Second
>obligatory on churches and nations under the New Testament; that the
> 4. That public, social covenanting, is an ordinance of God,
National Covenant and the Solemn League are an exemplification of this
divine institution; and that these Deeds are of continued obligation
upon the moral person; and in consistency with thisthat the
Renovation of these Covenants at Auchensaugh, 1712, was agreeable to
the word of God.
>Jesus, especially in Scotland, against Paganism, Popery, Prelacy,
> 5. An approbation of the faithful contendings of the martyrs of
Malignancy and Sectarianism; immoral civil governments; Erastian
tolerations and persecutions which flow from them; and of the Judicial
Testimony emitted by the Reformed Presbytery in North Britain, 1761,
and adopted by this church, with supplements; as containing a noble
example to be followed, in contending for all divine truth, and in
testifying against all corruptions embodied in the constitutions of
either churches or states.
>in all his commandments and ordinances blamelessly.
> 6. Practically adorning the doctrine of God our Savior, by walking
>could one of you post the six terms of communion used by Covenanters?
> Glenn Ferrell wrote:
> I know they may be found online. However, for discussion sake,
>Glenn Ferrell, Pastor, Sovereign Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Boise,
> ________________________________________________________ J.
> "To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have thepower of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus
Christ of none effect." -John Owen (1616-1683)
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