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Re: Seeking Guidelines for Elders

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  • Shawn Anderson
    ... Does anyone have guidelines for the ruling elders of their church that could be emailed to me? I can also accept attach- ments. I simply need some basics
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 3, 2004
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      --- Kevin wrote:
      "Does anyone have guidelines for the ruling elders of their
      church that could be emailed to me? I can also accept attach-
      ments. I simply need some basics to begin adapting things to
      our own particular needs. Thanks ahead of time."

      I hope these links will help. There is a lot here, but you can look
      through the contents and titles to see what will help specifically.

      -Shawn Anderson
      Albany, NY

      An Assertion of the Government of the Church of Scotland.
      By George Gillespie
      http://truecovenanter.com/gillespie/gillespie_assertion_govt_kirk_sco
      tland.html

      A Treatise of Ruling Elders and Deacons.
      By James Guthrie
      http://truecovenanter.com/guthrie/guthrie_james_treatise_elders_and_d
      eacons.html

      The Form and Order of the Admission of Elders,
      as done by Mr. James Renwick
      http://truecovenanter.com/renwick/renwick_elders.html

      The Duties of Ruling Elders and the People over whom they are
      Appointed Overseers.
      By Thomas Boston
      http://truecovenanter.com/sermons/bostoncommand5.html#RulingElders

      The Form of Presbyterial Church-Government.
      By the Westminster Assembly
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_sub_standards/form_presby_gov.h
      tml

      -- General Articles --
      Articles on Church Government at www.TrueCovenanter.org
      http://truecovenanter.com/kirkgovt/index.htm

      Articles on Church Government at www.SWRB.com
      http://www.swrb.com/newslett/freebook/chugov.htm

      Articles on Church Government at www.Covenanter.org
      http://www.covenanter.org/ChurchGovt/churchgovt.htm
    • Jasper
      Whit, Thank you for your kind reply. Your explanation is helpful to me in understanding. The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 6, 2004
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        Whit,
         
        Thank you for your kind reply.  Your explanation is helpful to me in understanding.
         
        "The question is:  which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed a faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in the 1600's?" 
        Interesting perspective and emphasis.  Do I understand correctly that covenantors believe the covenanted Church of Scotland sometime during the 1600's was THE MOST FAITHFUL church ever?
         
        Again, a sincere thank you.
         
        Jasper

        covie1646 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

        "Continuing" says that although a denomination is founded or
        constituted in modern times (1970's in the PCA's case), the church
        claims its lineage back to a "root" church in history and also claims
        that it is just as faithful to Christ as the root.  In the context of
        the various denominations that profess to be Presbyterian, the
        denominations would claim that their church "continues" back to the
        Church of Scotland (the Covenanted church, NOT the Resolutioner
        church) and is just as faithful to Christ as the (covenanted) Church
        of Scotland.  "Continuing" does not say that the particular
        denomination existed all the way back to the root regarding
        constitution.  The EPC, OPC, RPCNA, RPNA, PCUSA, CRC, PRC, FPC, and
        other professedly Presbyterian denominations, although constituted in
        the 1800's or later, would claim to be "continuing" to show they are
        just as faithful now as the Church of Scotland in the 1600's and hold
        to the same distinctives and doctrine.  The PCA says: "The concept of
        the "continuing church" dates back to the Scottish Presbyterian
        churches of the 17th century and reflects the effort to maintain a
        faithful, Bible-believing Church, true to the Lordship of Christ."

        The question is:  which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed a
        faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in
        the 1600's?  Their claims are mere claims unless the denominations
        doctrine, life, and theology in fact demonstrates the same degree of
        faithfulness as the Kirk in the 1600's.  One would only have to do a
        comparison of each Presbyterian denomination with the Kirk.  In my
        study of the Covenanted Kirk and the 2nd Reformation and the claims
        of the present-day aforementioned Presbyterian denominations, the
        only Presbyterian church that I have concluded to be
        truly "continuing" is the RPNA, which is undoubtedly just as faithful
        to Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.  Sadly, the other denominations
        (PCA, OPC, RPCNA, PRC, FPC, CRC, &c.) have not remained faithful to
        Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.  

        Whit

        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
        <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
        > Hello All,

        > Would someone please provide an overview of what it means for a
        church or denomination to be "continuing"?   With not having a
        presbyterian background, I am unfamiliar with the significance of
        the "continuing" designation and what it means or does not mean. 
        Thanks.

        > Jasper
        >
        > __________________________________________________
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      • Whit
        Jasper, I ll leave the question to be answered by a full Covenanter. However, I do know that Covenanters view the covenanted Kirk to have made the highest
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 6, 2004
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          Jasper,

          I'll leave the question to be answered by a full Covenanter.
          However, I do know that Covenanters view the covenanted Kirk to have
          made the highest attainments in the Reformation.

          Whit

          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
          <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
          > Whit,
          >
          > Thank you for your kind reply. Your explanation is helpful to me
          in understanding.
          >
          > "The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is
          indeed a faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of
          Scotland in the 1600's?"
          >
          > Interesting perspective and emphasis. Do I understand correctly
          that covenantors believe the covenanted Church of Scotland sometime
          during the 1600's was THE MOST FAITHFUL church ever?
          >
          > Again, a sincere thank you.
          >
          > Jasper
          >
          > covie1646 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
          >
          > "Continuing" says that although a denomination is founded or
          > constituted in modern times (1970's in the PCA's case), the church
          > claims its lineage back to a "root" church in history and also
          claims
          > that it is just as faithful to Christ as the root. In the context
          of
          > the various denominations that profess to be Presbyterian, the
          > denominations would claim that their church "continues" back to the
          > Church of Scotland (the Covenanted church, NOT the Resolutioner
          > church) and is just as faithful to Christ as the (covenanted)
          Church
          > of Scotland. "Continuing" does not say that the particular
          > denomination existed all the way back to the root regarding
          > constitution. The EPC, OPC, RPCNA, RPNA, PCUSA, CRC, PRC, FPC, and
          > other professedly Presbyterian denominations, although constituted
          in
          > the 1800's or later, would claim to be "continuing" to show they
          are
          > just as faithful now as the Church of Scotland in the 1600's and
          hold
          > to the same distinctives and doctrine. The PCA says: "The concept
          of
          > the "continuing church" dates back to the Scottish Presbyterian
          > churches of the 17th century and reflects the effort to maintain a
          > faithful, Bible-believing Church, true to the Lordship of Christ."
          >
          > The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed
          a
          > faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in
          > the 1600's? Their claims are mere claims unless the denominations
          > doctrine, life, and theology in fact demonstrates the same degree
          of
          > faithfulness as the Kirk in the 1600's. One would only have to do
          a
          > comparison of each Presbyterian denomination with the Kirk. In my
          > study of the Covenanted Kirk and the 2nd Reformation and the claims
          > of the present-day aforementioned Presbyterian denominations, the
          > only Presbyterian church that I have concluded to be
          > truly "continuing" is the RPNA, which is undoubtedly just as
          faithful
          > to Christ as the Covenanted Kirk. Sadly, the other denominations
          > (PCA, OPC, RPCNA, PRC, FPC, CRC, &c.) have not remained faithful to
          > Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.
          >
          > Whit
          >
          > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
          > <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
          > > Hello All,
          > >
          > > Would someone please provide an overview of what it means for a
          > church or denomination to be "continuing"? With not having a
          > presbyterian background, I am unfamiliar with the significance of
          > the "continuing" designation and what it means or does not mean.
          > Thanks.
          > >
          > > Jasper
          > >
          > > __________________________________________________
          > > Do You Yahoo!?
          > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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          >
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          >
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        • gmw
          And I think that s a better way of putting it than the most faithful church ever. gmw.
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 6, 2004
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            And I think that's a better way of putting it than "the most faithful
            church ever."

            gmw.

            Whit wrote:

            >
            > Jasper,
            >
            > I'll leave the question to be answered by a full Covenanter.
            > However, I do know that Covenanters view the covenanted Kirk to have
            > made the highest attainments in the Reformation.
            >
            > Whit
            >
            > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
            > <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
            > > Whit,
            > >
            > > Thank you for your kind reply. Your explanation is helpful to me
            > in understanding.
            > >
            > > "The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is
            > indeed a faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of
            > Scotland in the 1600's?"
            > >
            > > Interesting perspective and emphasis. Do I understand correctly
            > that covenantors believe the covenanted Church of Scotland sometime
            > during the 1600's was THE MOST FAITHFUL church ever?
            > >
            > > Again, a sincere thank you.
            > >
            > > Jasper
            > >
            > > covie1646 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
            > >
            > > "Continuing" says that although a denomination is founded or
            > > constituted in modern times (1970's in the PCA's case), the church
            > > claims its lineage back to a "root" church in history and also
            > claims
            > > that it is just as faithful to Christ as the root. In the context
            > of
            > > the various denominations that profess to be Presbyterian, the
            > > denominations would claim that their church "continues" back to the
            > > Church of Scotland (the Covenanted church, NOT the Resolutioner
            > > church) and is just as faithful to Christ as the (covenanted)
            > Church
            > > of Scotland. "Continuing" does not say that the particular
            > > denomination existed all the way back to the root regarding
            > > constitution. The EPC, OPC, RPCNA, RPNA, PCUSA, CRC, PRC, FPC, and
            > > other professedly Presbyterian denominations, although constituted
            > in
            > > the 1800's or later, would claim to be "continuing" to show they
            > are
            > > just as faithful now as the Church of Scotland in the 1600's and
            > hold
            > > to the same distinctives and doctrine. The PCA says: "The concept
            > of
            > > the "continuing church" dates back to the Scottish Presbyterian
            > > churches of the 17th century and reflects the effort to maintain a
            > > faithful, Bible-believing Church, true to the Lordship of Christ."
            > >
            > > The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed
            > a
            > > faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in
            > > the 1600's? Their claims are mere claims unless the denominations
            > > doctrine, life, and theology in fact demonstrates the same degree
            > of
            > > faithfulness as the Kirk in the 1600's. One would only have to do
            > a
            > > comparison of each Presbyterian denomination with the Kirk. In my
            > > study of the Covenanted Kirk and the 2nd Reformation and the claims
            > > of the present-day aforementioned Presbyterian denominations, the
            > > only Presbyterian church that I have concluded to be
            > > truly "continuing" is the RPNA, which is undoubtedly just as
            > faithful
            > > to Christ as the Covenanted Kirk. Sadly, the other denominations
            > > (PCA, OPC, RPCNA, PRC, FPC, CRC, &c.) have not remained faithful to
            > > Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.
            > >
            > > Whit
            > >
            > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
            > > <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
            > > > Hello All,
            > > >
            > > > Would someone please provide an overview of what it means for a
            > > church or denomination to be "continuing"? With not having a
            > > presbyterian background, I am unfamiliar with the significance of
            > > the "continuing" designation and what it means or does not mean.
            > > Thanks.
            > > >
            > > > Jasper
            > > >
            > > > __________________________________________________
            > > > Do You Yahoo!?
            > > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
            > > > http://mail.yahoo.com
            > >
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            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
            > >
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            > >
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            > > covenantedreformationclub-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > >
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          • Jasper
            Thank you to both Whit and GMW, and for the better wording, the highest attainments in the Reformation . How is the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in the
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 7, 2004
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              Thank you to both Whit and GMW, and for the better wording, "the highest attainments in the Reformation".
               
              How is the "(covenanted) Church of Scotland in the 1600's" viewed in regard to the first century church  -  was one more faithful than the other?   Or is the "highest attainment" designation viewed only in regard to "the Reformation" and not in regard to faithfulness to God?
               
              I should add that these are honest questions on my part and are not meant to be troublesome.
               
              Jasper

              gmw <raging.calvinist@...> wrote:

              And I think that's a better way of putting it than "the most faithful
              church ever."

              gmw.

              Whit wrote:

              >
              > Jasper,
              >
              > I'll leave the question to be answered by a full Covenanter.
              > However, I do know that Covenanters view the covenanted Kirk to have
              > made the highest attainments in the Reformation.
              >
              > Whit
              >
              > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
              > wrote:
              > > Whit,
              > >
              > > Thank you for your kind reply. Your explanation is helpful to me
              > in understanding.
              > >
              > > "The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is
              > indeed a faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of
              > Scotland in the 1600's?"
              > >
              > > Interesting perspective and emphasis. Do I understand correctly
              > that covenantors believe the covenanted Church of Scotland sometime
              > during the 1600's was THE MOST FAITHFUL church ever?
              > >
              > > Again, a sincere thank you.
              > >
              > > Jasper
              > >
              > > covie1646 wrote:
              > >
              > > "Continuing" says that although a denomination is founded or
              > > constituted in modern times (1970's in the PCA's case), the church
              > > claims its lineage back to a "root" church in history and also
              > claims
              > > that it is just as faithful to Christ as the root. In the context
              > of
              > > the various denominations that profess to be Presbyterian, the
              > > denominations would claim that their church "continues" back to the
              > > Church of Scotland (the Covenanted church, NOT the Resolutioner
              > > church) and is just as faithful to Christ as the (covenanted)
              > Church
              > > of Scotland. "Continuing" does not say that the particular
              > > denomination existed all the way back to the root regarding
              > > constitution. The EPC, OPC, RPCNA, RPNA, PCUSA, CRC, PRC, FPC, and
              > > other professedly Presbyterian denominations, although constituted
              > in
              > > the 1800's or later, would claim to be "continuing" to show they
              > are
              > > just as faithful now as the Church of Scotland in the 1600's and
              > hold
              > > to the same distinctives and doctrine. The PCA says: "The concept
              > of
              > > the "continuing church" dates back to the Scottish Presbyterian
              > > churches of the 17th century and reflects the effort to maintain a
              > > faithful, Bible-believing Church, true to the Lordship of Christ."
              > >
              > > The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is indeed
              > a
              > > faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in
              > > the 1600's? Their claims are mere claims unless the denominations
              > > doctrine, life, and theology in fact demonstrates the same degree
              > of
              > > faithfulness as the Kirk in the 1600's. One would only have to do
              > a
              > > comparison of each Presbyterian denomination with the Kirk. In my
              > > study of the Covenanted Kirk and the 2nd Reformation and the claims
              > > of the present-day aforementioned Presbyterian denominations, the
              > > only Presbyterian church that I have concluded to be
              > > truly "continuing" is the RPNA, which is undoubtedly just as
              > faithful
              > > to Christ as the Covenanted Kirk. Sadly, the other denominations
              > > (PCA, OPC, RPCNA, PRC, FPC, CRC, &c.) have not remained faithful to
              > > Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.
              > >
              > > Whit
              > >
              > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
              > > wrote:
              > > > Hello All,
              > > >
              > > > Would someone please provide an overview of what it means for a
              > > church or denomination to be "continuing"? With not having a
              > > presbyterian background, I am unfamiliar with the significance of
              > > the "continuing" designation and what it means or does not mean.
              > > Thanks.
              > > >
              > > > Jasper
              > > >
              > > > __________________________________________________
              > > > Do You Yahoo!?
              > > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
              > > > http://mail.yahoo.com
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
              > >
              > >
              > > ---------------------------------
              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > > To visit your group on the web, go to:
              > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/covenantedreformationclub/
              > >
              > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > > covenantedreformationclub-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              > >
              > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
              > Service.
              > >
              > >
              > >
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              > > The all-new My Yahoo! � Get yours free!
              >
              >
              >
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              >
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            • Whit
              Here s my 2-cent understanding of church history. Christ established the church in the NT dispensation, and the church had its greatest purity/faithfulness
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 7, 2004
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                Here's my 2-cent understanding of church history. Christ established
                the church in the NT dispensation, and the church had its greatest
                purity/faithfulness then. Over the next 1400 years, error and heresy
                especially Catholicism infiltrated the church, and the church
                declined in purity and faithfulness. God raised Luther and Calvin
                (and few others) in the First Reformation to start reforming the
                Church back to its original purity and faithfulness. The Reformation
                reached its height in the Second Reformation, and the Church (&
                State) reached its highest level of purity and faithfulness since the
                start of the Reformation. Relative to the 1st century church, the
                Covenanted Kirk was at or close to the faithfulness of the 1st
                century church. I am still learning about the Covenanters and how
                their live compared to the 1st century church or most importantly, to
                God's Word. I have yet to find a Covenanter teaching or doctrine
                contrary to Scripture, the alone infallible rule of faith which is
                the main gage of faithfulness.

                Whit

                --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
                <jasperh98@y...> wrote:
                > Thank you to both Whit and GMW, and for the better wording, "the
                highest attainments in the Reformation".
                >
                > How is the "(covenanted) Church of Scotland in the 1600's" viewed
                in regard to the first century church - was one more faithful than
                the other? Or is the "highest attainment" designation viewed only
                in regard to "the Reformation" and not in regard to faithfulness to
                God?
                >
                > I should add that these are honest questions on my part and are not
                meant to be troublesome.
                >
                > Jasper
                >
                > gmw <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
                >
                > And I think that's a better way of putting it than "the most
                faithful
                > church ever."
                >
                > gmw.
                >
                > Whit wrote:
                >
                > >
                > > Jasper,
                > >
                > > I'll leave the question to be answered by a full Covenanter.
                > > However, I do know that Covenanters view the covenanted Kirk to
                have
                > > made the highest attainments in the Reformation.
                > >
                > > Whit
                > >
                > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
                > > wrote:
                > > > Whit,
                > > >
                > > > Thank you for your kind reply. Your explanation is helpful to me
                > > in understanding.
                > > >
                > > > "The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is
                > > indeed a faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of
                > > Scotland in the 1600's?"
                > > >
                > > > Interesting perspective and emphasis. Do I understand correctly
                > > that covenantors believe the covenanted Church of Scotland
                sometime
                > > during the 1600's was THE MOST FAITHFUL church ever?
                > > >
                > > > Again, a sincere thank you.
                > > >
                > > > Jasper
                > > >
                > > > covie1646 wrote:
                > > >
                > > > "Continuing" says that although a denomination is founded or
                > > > constituted in modern times (1970's in the PCA's case), the
                church
                > > > claims its lineage back to a "root" church in history and also
                > > claims
                > > > that it is just as faithful to Christ as the root. In the
                context
                > > of
                > > > the various denominations that profess to be Presbyterian, the
                > > > denominations would claim that their church "continues" back to
                the
                > > > Church of Scotland (the Covenanted church, NOT the Resolutioner
                > > > church) and is just as faithful to Christ as the (covenanted)
                > > Church
                > > > of Scotland. "Continuing" does not say that the particular
                > > > denomination existed all the way back to the root regarding
                > > > constitution. The EPC, OPC, RPCNA, RPNA, PCUSA, CRC, PRC, FPC,
                and
                > > > other professedly Presbyterian denominations, although
                constituted
                > > in
                > > > the 1800's or later, would claim to be "continuing" to show they
                > > are
                > > > just as faithful now as the Church of Scotland in the 1600's and
                > > hold
                > > > to the same distinctives and doctrine. The PCA says: "The
                concept
                > > of
                > > > the "continuing church" dates back to the Scottish Presbyterian
                > > > churches of the 17th century and reflects the effort to
                maintain a
                > > > faithful, Bible-believing Church, true to the Lordship of
                Christ."
                > > >
                > > > The question is: which of the Presbyterian denominations is
                indeed
                > > a
                > > > faithful church relative to the (covenanted) Church of Scotland
                in
                > > > the 1600's? Their claims are mere claims unless the
                denominations
                > > > doctrine, life, and theology in fact demonstrates the same
                degree
                > > of
                > > > faithfulness as the Kirk in the 1600's. One would only have to
                do
                > > a
                > > > comparison of each Presbyterian denomination with the Kirk. In
                my
                > > > study of the Covenanted Kirk and the 2nd Reformation and the
                claims
                > > > of the present-day aforementioned Presbyterian denominations,
                the
                > > > only Presbyterian church that I have concluded to be
                > > > truly "continuing" is the RPNA, which is undoubtedly just as
                > > faithful
                > > > to Christ as the Covenanted Kirk. Sadly, the other denominations
                > > > (PCA, OPC, RPCNA, PRC, FPC, CRC, &c.) have not remained
                faithful to
                > > > Christ as the Covenanted Kirk.
                > > >
                > > > Whit
                > > >
                > > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jasper
                > > > wrote:
                > > > > Hello All,
                > > > >
                > > > > Would someone please provide an overview of what it means for
                a
                > > > church or denomination to be "continuing"? With not having a
                > > > presbyterian background, I am unfamiliar with the significance
                of
                > > > the "continuing" designation and what it means or does not mean.
                > > > Thanks.
                > > > >
                > > > > Jasper
                > > > >
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              • Shawn Anderson
                How is the (covenanted) Church of Scotland in the 1600 s viewed in regard to the first century church - was one more faithful than the other? Or is the
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 8, 2004
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                  "How is the "(covenanted) Church of Scotland in the 1600's" viewed
                  in regard to the first century church - was one more faithful than
                  the other? Or is the "highest attainment" designation viewed only
                  in regard to "the Reformation" and not in regard to faithfulness to
                  God?" - Jasper

                  Phil 3:16ff "Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us
                  walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing."

                  Eph 4:11-16 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and
                  some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the
                  perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the
                  edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the
                  faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,
                  unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we
                  [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried
                  about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and]
                  cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But
                  speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things,
                  which is the head, [even] Christ: From whom the whole body fitly
                  joined together and compacted by that which every joint
                  supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of
                  every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself
                  in love."

                  "Highest Attainments" might not be as helpful a term as "Faithful
                  Attainments". The "faithful attainment" designation is viewed in
                  regard to faithful obedience of the Church in response to the
                  progression of revelation of the Covenant of Grace. This does not
                  only consider a select time in the Churches' history, but includes
                  the whole life of the Church as ONE Bride, ONE Body or ONE Moral
                  Person, primarily in Her relationship to Christ, and secondarily with
                  those in that ONE Body.

                  The Reformers would not have considered themselves MORE faithful
                  than the Apostles, but rather maintaining the same faithfulness
                  found in the Apostolic Doctrine taught by the Apostles, and upheld
                  in the Church of Christ. As we see the progression of revelation
                  from infant Church, Israel to young Church and then having Gentiles
                  grafted into Her, we see her attainments progress, and grow. To
                  properly understand "progressive revelation" we must define this
                  not as a delivery of NEW doctrine, but rather an unveiling of the
                  Covenant of Grace, or a blossoming of such.

                  The Apostles only had a glimpse of "denominationalism" and really
                  in their day, you were in the Church of Christ, or you weren't. So
                  the unity they saw in their day was relative to the separation
                  manifested in their day. Though the Apostles envisioned a
                  Covenanted Reformation, they did not attain to such in their day.
                  The Reformers did, and so as God shed more light on the glorious
                  Kingdom of Christ advancing to the ends of the Earth, our
                  Reformation forefathers (especially those of the Covenanted
                  Scottish Church) understood a greater degree of unity. Considering
                  the separation and independency they witnessed, as well as that
                  Man of Sin being revealed in their age, all the more magnificent
                  was the Covenanted Unity and Uniformity of Religion.

                  Of course, the Church's Testimony (Rev 12:11) will continue to
                  expand as she continues to MARK those who have followed after the
                  Apostolic "tradition" (Phil 3:17 – the faithful testimony) and those
                  who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which
                  she has learned (Rom 16:17 – the unfaithful testimony) until she
                  become mature or perfect. So the attainments are to help the
                  Christians know who they should avoid, and who they should be in
                  communion with. So Attainments can also be called Terms of
                  Communion. And since it is maturity that is our full attainment,
                  which shall be reached, as Paul says, when Christ "shall change our
                  vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,
                  according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all
                  things unto himself," (Phil 3:21) then we shall see a continual
                  progression of clarity and precision in our Terms of Communion
                  according to this "attainment principle".

                  I guess the more appropriate question as to our contemporary
                  context is…

                  How is the Covenanted Church of Scotland's Terms of Communion
                  viewed in regard to:

                  1) Other Church's Terms of Communion? (in relation to the
                  opportunity to be united in Truth)

                  2) The Terms of Communion of those Churches that claim to be the
                  posterity of that Covenanted Church of Scotland? (in relation to
                  who is really maintaining the ancient landmarks)

                  There are other things to consider, and I do not pretend to have
                  even formulated the right questions, let alone having answers. It
                  would not be edifying to bring them up unless some of these other
                  issues have been dealt with first.

                  I doubt that this will aid in the understanding of "faithful
                  attainments", because I am typing this off the top of my head, but
                  potentially this could be picked apart, and bring out further clarity
                  of our position? *smiles

                  May God help us in our endeavor to be united in His Truth,
                  -Shawn Anderson
                  Albany, NY
                • thebishopsdoom
                  ... That was a good post, I would only add a word or two, also off the top of my head. We all regard creeds and other constitutional documents of the church to
                  Message 8 of 13 , Dec 9, 2004
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                    --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Shawn Anderson"
                    <christ_saves_sinners@y...> wrote:
                    >> I doubt that this will aid in the understanding of "faithful
                    > attainments", because I am typing this off the top of my head

                    That was a good post, I would only add a word or two, also off the
                    top of my head.
                    We all regard creeds and other constitutional documents of the church
                    to mark out the boundaries of the church - not necessarily the
                    boundaries of the invisible church, but they mark of what a
                    particular body of the church believe to be the correct
                    interpretation of Scriptural doctrine.
                    When we pass from the apostles's own days into the early subapostolic
                    age, we find that while supernatural revelation granted to the
                    inspired apostles was perfectly suited by God to apply to a variety
                    of situations, controversies, and issues that would come up through
                    the history of the church, many of these issues had not as yet in
                    fact come up. As a result, the church was left with a guide for the
                    further understanding of the truth in various areas that were not
                    immediately at the fore in the 1st century. The same may be said with
                    respect to the OT. I don't think we need understand that the 1st
                    century church knew and perfectly understood everything that we would
                    find in any one of the reformed creeds, and that their progeny simply
                    decided to ignore these truths and forge their own way. There were
                    issues that had not yet come up, ways of thinking about certain
                    things which were not yet considered, which the Scripture is adequate
                    to address - such as the relationship between the covenant of grace
                    and of redemption, which I don't think anyone in the 1st century
                    church was really asking, and so the church made no official
                    pronouncements therein, nor gave much consideration to exactly how
                    systematically to work such things together. So while the church was
                    founded perfectly upon the Holy Writ, we today have "Bible churches"
                    who say "no creed but the Bible" and find that amongst them there can
                    continue to exist a wide variety of opinion on how it is to be
                    interpreted. Though the 1st century church did have the apostles to
                    declare and explain to them, surely the apostles did not explain in
                    exhaustive detail every possible nuance of everything that was
                    written and how it would apply to every possible theological
                    question, including those that noone was yet asking in their day. It
                    would also be a mistake if one were to assume the 1st century
                    churches themselves always fully understood every word delivered by
                    the apostles. We find the varied conditions of the churches of
                    Asia in the Apocalypse, and we see in Corinth apparent evidence of
                    questions still floating about whether the dead were raised!
                    In fact, when we look into the 2nd and 3rd century patristic authors
                    that we have reasonable access to, we find that the extent of creed
                    that was passed onto them was overall quite minimal. You can find it
                    occasionally laid down in their writings, and it amounts to little
                    more than the apostles' creed. As a result, there were in fact
                    errours that early crept. Various, sometimes new questions led down a
                    certain paths in attempt as to how to explain it all, not all of
                    which, of course, we hold to be consistent with the Scriptures. Now
                    we may argue that the Scriptures have the answer, but they may not
                    have fully understood it. Further, some of the churches at least
                    early on probably did not have a full NT in their possession to draw
                    from in evaluating different explanations. And I have heard more than
                    once that by the 4th century, much had arisen in thought and
                    practice, but there had been little previous attempt to
                    systematically compare everything going on with Scripture and
                    philosophy to explain the church's beliefs and practice for some
                    time. By the 4th century, there was push more to justify everything
                    somehow, than try to prune things. After all, they thought, this is
                    what we have recieved. There were some necessary corrections, as when
                    Augustine got the Western church to collectively recognize the
                    doctrine of original sin in some more official manner, and while in
                    his defense he was able to show that hints of the doctrine were not
                    entirely unheard of in previous generations. There had to be some
                    understanding that some of the earlier fathers had in not fully
                    comprehending the matter erred in some of their thoughts and
                    statements when they seemed to deny the concept of original sin by
                    some of their statements.
                    Augustine of course had his detractors as well, being labelled an
                    innovator on the point. But even among his detractors, Vincent of
                    Lerins had to admit that there must be some legitimate sense in which
                    the church could progress at least in some manner to better
                    understand some matters than had been understood before, tho he
                    denied that there could be any alteration, only further progressive
                    understanding or the like. In the progression of history in fact some
                    things did get better, other things got worse. Furthermore, there
                    were a lot of issues to which even the default position taken into
                    and thru the medieval era were not themselves necessarily "official"
                    positions. Debates continued, sometimes at a national level, over the
                    relationship between church and state, the limits of ecclesiastical
                    power, predestination, and a number of other issues. Some other
                    issues we should like to have seen debated were taken for granted.
                    The few centuries prior to the reformation, things were quite bad.
                    The push for a reform in fact had gone on for some time. But Trent's
                    answer by and large was not the answer given by the protestants.
                    The protestant reformation may be seen as correcting a number of
                    errours which had crept into the church in eras when some
                    of these matters were not so well understood, as well as new errours
                    that developed either out of pure corruption or based upon the
                    unfolding of earlier erroneous pathways that had been followed. Now
                    of course, I don't want to in stating it that way belittle the
                    serious magnitude of what those errours in fact were, and how
                    necessary the reformation was. The protestant reformers also loosed
                    themselves from the bonds of the man of sin, as well as those
                    abusesthat may have benefitted the ecclesiastics in the hierarchy,
                    but were false means of profiting the souls of those seeking refuge
                    in those paths.
                    In dealing with various matters, the reformed churches were able to
                    give their own sense, both correcting errour and finetuning the
                    limits of what they held as a church to be the true understanding of
                    the Biblical religion.
                    They were able to draw from the Scriptures, as well as the study
                    therein of men gone by, as well as having the opportunity to see
                    where some previous mistaken answers had led, to the better see why
                    this or that answer that had been pressed before by this or that
                    party had been wrong. At times, they were able to draw from the
                    reasoning of others where they had also been correct. As an end
                    product, you will note that their creeds were more detailed than what
                    they called the "rule of faith" in the early patristic era. In this,
                    they attained to a greater precision and broader
                    scope of what they held forth to the world to be the teachings of the
                    Holy Scriptures. In addition, they were able to take the testimony of
                    the unfolding of history, and identify the man of sin, as well as
                    testify against various things, giving their official sense as a
                    church as to why it was wrong. As errours arose, and cmae to be
                    recognized by the church as such, there was a need to finetune the
                    creed and attain to a more detailed understanding and explanation of
                    what is the faith of the church.
                    Anyway, you can disagree with me, this is just a thought off the top
                    of my head anyway, for whatever it's worth.
                    -doom
                  • thebishopsdoom
                    ... I. The unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, ought to be the endeavour of all that are members of the one body of Christ, partakers of his one Spirit,
                    Message 9 of 13 , Dec 9, 2004
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                      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Shawn Anderson"
                      <christ_saves_sinners@y...> wrote:

                      > How is the Covenanted Church of Scotland's Terms of Communion
                      > viewed in regard to:
                      >
                      > 1) Other Church's Terms of Communion? (in relation to the
                      > opportunity to be united in Truth)
                      >
                      > 2) The Terms of Communion of those Churches that claim to be the
                      > posterity of that Covenanted Church of Scotland? (in relation to
                      > who is really maintaining the ancient landmarks)

                      "I. The unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, ought to be the
                      endeavour of all that are members of the one body of Christ,
                      partakers of his one Spirit, called in one hope, professing one Lord,
                      confessing one faith, sealed with one baptism, Eph. 4:3, etc. And for
                      brethren to dwell together in unity, is good and pleasant, and like
                      the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon Aaron's
                      beard, Psal. 133:1,2. A fragrant ointment indeed, if it be composed
                      aright of gospel simples, according to divine art, and the wisdom
                      that is from above, which is pure, and then peaceable: and not made
                      up of adulterate politics: that union that hath the spirit for its
                      author; the scripture for its rule, peace for its bond and beauty,
                      love for its cement, faith for its foment, Christ for its foundation,
                      and truth and holiness for its constant companions, cannot but be
                      intensely desired, enixly endeavoured, and fervently followed by all
                      the professors of the gospel of peace, and subjects of the prince of
                      peace: which makes division and schism not only a great misery, but a
                      grand sin. But it must be in the way of truth and duty, and
                      consistent with holiness and the honour of Christ, otherwise if it be
                      in the way of apostasy and defection, it is but a confederacy and
                      conspiracy against the Lord. And true union can neither be attained,
                      nor retained, nor recovered, except the sinful cause of division,
                      defection; and the holy overruling cause, the anger of the Lord be
                      removed in turning to and following him.
                      II. Though there be not perfect union, but diversity both of
                      judgments and practices, in several cases there may be communion with
                      a church in its ordinances and ministry. As,
                      1. We may have a catholic communion with all christian ministers and
                      members of the catholic church, considered as such; holding the head
                      Christ, and the fountain sure. And so we may meet for worship with
                      all devout men in every nation under heaven, whether they be
                      Parthians, or Medes, or Elamites, or French or Dutch, etc. though
                      differing in controversies of lesser moment, not overturning that; if
                      they hold the universal testimony of the gospel, against the common
                      enemies thereof, Jews, Turks, or Pagans: for there is neither Greek
                      nor Jew, if he be a christian, Christ is all and in all, Col. 3:11.
                      But if they be heretics, we can have no communion with them.
                      2. We may have a more special communion with all Protestant ministers
                      and members of the Reformed church, considered as such, more
                      strictly, and upon stricter conditions: providing they hold, not only
                      the universal of Christians, but the general testimony of
                      Protestants, against the greater and lesser Antichrists; though
                      differing from us in some circumstantial points, not Reformed, and
                      not contradictory unto the Protestant testimony against Popery, and
                      all heresy; nor declining from their own reformation, by defection or
                      schism. And consequently, it is lawful to own communion with the
                      churches of the United Provinces, and take ordination from them,
                      though they have some forms not allowable, from which they were never
                      Reformed, because they are sound in the Protestant testimony. But
                      with the Sectarians, or Schismatics, or Apostates among them, we
                      cannot own that special communion.
                      3. We may have a more particular communion upon yet stricter
                      conditions with all our Covenanted brethren, ministers and members of
                      the churches of Britain and Ireland, considered as such: providing
                      they hold, not only the universal; not only the more special,
                      Protestant testimony against the greater and lesser Antichrists, but
                      the Covenanted testimony for the reformation in doctrine, worship,
                      discipline, and government, against popery, Prelacy, superstition,
                      heresy, schism, and profaneness, according to the Covenant; though
                      differing from us in those controversial points, never Reformed, and
                      which were never the word of Christ's patience, and do not overturn
                      the covenanted testimony. But with those that contradict and
                      counteract that, we cannot own that particular communion.
                      4. We may have yet a nearer organical communion, upon stricter
                      conditions still with all the ministers and members of the national
                      church of Scotland constitute and confederate under one Reformed
                      government, according to the rule of Christ: providing they hold, not
                      only all the former testimonies under the foresaid considerations,
                      but the Presbyterian testimony as stated in the ecclesiastical
                      constitution, and sworn to in the national covenants and engagements
                      of that church, founded upon the word of God, against popery,
                      Prelacy, Erastianism, sectarianism, toleration, schism and defection;
                      though differing in some things from us, never Reformed, never
                      considered in ecclesiastical judicatories, never engaged against in
                      our covenants, never stated as the word of patience and matter of
                      testimony. But with these that oppose, suppress, reproach, and
                      abandon this testimony, we cannot own this organical communion, in
                      this broken state of the church. We may have yet a stricter
                      congregational communion, upon stricter conditions, and with the
                      ordinary or extraordinary meetings or societies of the Lord's people
                      for gospel ordinances, with any minister or ministers, duly and truly
                      admitted to that function according to Christ's appointment, and the
                      call of the people, whether in a fixed or unfixed relation; providing
                      he holds the testimony of Christ, under all the considerations, and
                      owns and adheres unto the true received principles of the church of
                      Scotland, in doctrine, worship, discipline and government, founded
                      upon the written word of God, and whatsoever declarations or
                      testimonies, former or latter, particular or more general, are
                      agreeable thereunto; though differing from us in some of the integral
                      and not essential parts of our testimony against the enemies of our
                      covenanted reformation. But with such as deny or decline from it, by
                      schism or defection, or compliance with the enemies thereof, we
                      cannot own this congregational communion, in this broken state of the
                      church."
                      -Alexander Shields (A Hind Let Loose. 1797 edition. pp 262ff.)
                    • thebishopsdoom
                      ... And just off the top of my head indeed. Sorry for all the poor grammar in that post. I trust it s at least somewhat readable. -thegrammariansdoom
                      Message 10 of 13 , Dec 9, 2004
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                        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, thebishopsdoom
                        <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                        > just a thought off the top
                        > of my head anyway, for whatever it's worth.
                        And just off the top of my head indeed. Sorry for all the poor
                        grammar in that post. I trust it's at least somewhat readable.
                        -thegrammariansdoom
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