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Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: RPCNA, RPNA, which one

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  • jparnellm@usxchange.net
    Yes, Abigail, it is as simple as one plus one equals two . - Parnell McCarter
    Message 1 of 90 , Feb 25, 2005
      Yes, Abigail, it is as simple as "one plus one equals two".

      - Parnell McCarter

      Quoting Abigail <a_shofstahl@...>:

      > Larry Bump wrote:
      > > What Scriptural standard is there to elevate the words of men to
      > the status of Scripture (ie unchangeable and inerrant)?
      > Elder Bump,
      > If the standards are true, they are both unchangeable and inerrant,
      > because truth is unchangeable and inerrant. It doesn't bother me to
      > say some words of men are unchangeable and inerrant.
      > Abigail
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
    • Antonio Menendez
      I know my post was rather long but I wanted to know if what I have said was considered to be at least close to the biblical position by those on this forum. If
      Message 90 of 90 , Mar 2, 2005
        I know my post was rather long but I wanted to know if what I have said was considered to be at least close to the biblical position by those on this forum. If adjustments as to clarification on particular points also need to be made feel free to put those forward. I am trying to get a more faithful view on this issue myself.
        Thanks in advance for any time spent looking at this issue!
        In Christ, our Prophet, Priest and King,
        Antonio Menendez - reformedaugustinian 

        Antonio Menendez <antonio26_2005@...> wrote:
        I want to tread lightly here but I do believe this particular view that you are putting forward needs further qualifications, Mrs. Dohms. I would like to demonstrate such by way of  hypothetical example. Most on this forum hopefully are somewhat familiar with the 2nd Helvetic Confession of Faith composed by Heinrich Bullinger which later was adopted as the Confession of Faith by the Swiss churches. We own in this as a subordinate of our church (with qualifications, which is the same way the Scots received such) as it is flows into our inheritance from the Scots who received it into their inheritance as they received the Geneva Catechism.(also from Switzerland)  
        I bring this point forward at the outset that we do make some qualifications in our receiving of this so as to note that the covenanters do not believe that all things in this document represent the truth of God. This being the case let us say by the Lord's gracious and benevolent providence that just a church session(two ruling elders and a teaching elder) were raised up in a smaller Switzerland town(let's say just outside of Geneva). Let us also presuppose that these men had come to repentance(to leave their unfaithful ecclesiastical bodies) through such works as the Scots, English and Dutchies provide from the 2nd reformation. This being presupposed they would then have the same real problems we have with some sections of the 2nd Helvetic Confession of Faith. Yet they at the same time know this is that which is approved from a faithful synod(several presbyteries).
        They admire the truth held therein and believe it should be a standard of the Swiss Reformed Church but want to make sure they don't bring in with the truth they so admire the error they wish to be cast off. They then come together and decide as one of the first acts of their coming together to be constituted as a church session that it would be sin not to put side by side expounded commentary on those parts they reject as not being the truth of God.(and also in ambiguous places to also clarify the thought that is concerned) Not to mention, also these men would then seek to further their reformation over time by joining with a perpetual covenant that will not be forgotten(the Solemn League and Covenant) and adopt the more reformed standards as their own(possibly) of the Westminster Assembly works. Would we not say they were acting according to their duty?Yet this church session is the lowest level acknowledged in the presbyterial government system. This doesn t mean that the lower church court can trump a higher church court if the church court is still in existence but rather when they are not we have no way to appeal to them to correct what we perceive as error. We must then endeavor to bring forward strong Scriptural arguments that conduce us to this change.(If we none that are even close to plausible(by the analogy of faith) then of course no changes can be made at all...hint....hint PCA, OPC, ARP, etc) We also want to tread lightly in our scrutinizing of that former higher church court but only so much as is necessary with due humility. This group of men proceeding with such intentions they can then go and put forward proper explanatory comments on the following statements from the 2nd Helvetic Confession of Faith so as to properly lead the reforming church into the truth of God  as loving elders:
        (Note: This is in no way to represent the RPNA's particular exceptions on the 2nd Helvetic Confession of Faith nor to represent all that I perceive one should take exception against the 2nd Helvetic Confession of Faith bur rather some of the more notable ones that can be found.)
        (2nd note: The explanatory comments are also not to be looked upon as an attempt at the kind of comments faithful elders should put forward in the full in showing why a particular statement is wrong but rather to give a general idea to the reader of this post why I believe this to be an erroneous statement in some sense)

        Chapter 11 - Of Jesus Christ, True God and Man, the Only Savior of the World

        "We further condemn Jewish dreams that there will be a golden age on earth before the Day of Judgment, and that the pious, having subdued all their godless enemies, will possess all the kingdoms of the earth. For evangelical truth in Matt., chs. 24 and 25, and Luke, ch. 18, and apostolic teaching in 2 Thess., ch. 2, and 2 Tim., chs. 3 and 4, present something quite different."

         The covenanters as a whole have believed consistently in this so called 'Jewish dream" and we believe it is found throughout the Scriptures.Psalm 72 is most clear when God says in verse 8, "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.

        Chapter 23 - Of the Prayers of the Church, of Singing, and of Canonical Hours

        "Singing. If there are churches which have a true and proper sermon(9)

        but no singing, they ought not to be condemned. For all churches do not have the advantage of singing. And it is well known from testimonies of antiquity that the custom of singing is very old in the Eastern Churches whereas it was late when it was at length accepted in the West."

        Let God be true and every man a liar. As God has placed in the midst of the canon of Scripture a song-book. Not only that but we have in many places commands to sing such that are binding on all that have in their possession the Psalms of David. Colossians 3: 16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." This hebraism put forward by Paul is used throughout the psalter to refer to the psalms of David themselves.

        Chapter 24 - "Of Holy Days, Fasts and the Choice of FoodsSuperstition.For we do not believe that one day is any holier than another, or think that rest in itself is acceptable to God. Moreover, we celebrate the Lord's Day and not the Sabbath as a free observance."

        Since the Sabbath was not a new ordinance instituted upon the adminstration of the ceremonial law like the other feast days it is rather by commended example put forward by God Himself and later Adam's posterity then commanded for reinforncement upon the giving of the ten commandments to Moses. Exoudus 20:8-11 "Remembver the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." The sabbath is moral in nature as it was instituted from creation and so continues perpetually until we enter the eternal sabbath of God in heaven.

        "The Festivals of Christ and the Saints. Moreover, if in Christian liberty the churches religiously celebrate the memory of the Lord's nativity, circumcision, passion, resurrection, and of his ascension into heaven, and the sending of the Holy Spirit upon his disciples, we approve of it highly."

        We can not do anything religiously(being put forward as formal worship) except that which we are commanded of God to do. Unless we be guilty for laying aside the commandment of God, and hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and other such like things.(ref. Mark 7: 8) 

        Chapter 27 - Of Rites, Ceremonies and Things Indifferent

        "Diversity of Rites. If different rites are found in churches, no one should think for this reason the churches disagree."

        "For the churches have always used their liberty in such rites, as being things indifferent. We also do the same thing today."

        The triune God alone has the right and liberty to command religious ordinances in his worship. Our Lord himself states that the true worshippers of God worship Him rightly when we worship in spirit(with due heart affections toward God) and in truth(with the means He has appointed for His worship) All other worship of Him is considered idolatry and/or will-worship according to the 2nd commandment. It is granted in this, that we do in things common to other organizational functions in human society(time(what hour), place, clothes, seating,  have the ability to change and alter those as need be but only so much as we attend to be done according to the rule of the apostle Paul, i.e. doing everything decently and in order.

        I hope this is not too long and conducive to the point needed to be considered as to how we look at presbyterian government so that we rightly esteem those who have went before us in truth but yet also in some things(when we see such as is not anyway reconcilable with the truth of God) rejecting as occasion may require. Not quickly nor with no proper motivation but with the glory of God as our proper motiviation some subordinate standard changes in particular places and times may and should be commented on for correction by even lower church courts then framed the particular statement in question. If the Westminster Confession of Faith, Catechisms, Form of Church Government, Directory for Public Worship and Family Directory for Worship could be found in anything to err from truthful statements then I do believe it would be proper to correct them(the elders would then show the truth of God in commenting on that which is wrong) in accordance with regard to the degree of the error put forward and that of people's better receiving of the particular truthful doctrine. As I haven't been convinced that these documents that are not in agreement with the truth of God, I am in no way in favour for any ecclesiastical court to comment or exposition them being not proper for the church of Christ.
        In Christ, our prophet, priest and king,
        Antonio - Reformedaugustinian 

        Ginny Dohms <gdawn@...> wrote:
        > If a GA did not exist, then it is a moot distinction at that point.  The
        > Synod would be the ultimate authority and would be the one to make the
        > determination.  Otherwise, we are back to the point of a church unable
        > to reform, which is unacceptable.

        But, Larry, now I am perplexed with your position.  On the one hand, you say
        if a church sees an area that needs reformation, then they should proceed,
        with or without a general assembly.  But then in your next post you are
        talking of leaders within your denomination that are opposed to the 6 day
        creation doctrine.

        >Sad to say, we have officers publicly disagreeing with 6 day creation
        >(including seminary and College professors),

        Now, if these people honestly believe that their new position is Scriptural,
        then what is to stop them from taking steps to begin altering your
        confession.  Who gets to make the decision that the confession needs
        changing?  Is it seminary and college professors, pastor, laymen, or who?
        This is where I see the churches having their schismatic problems, as well
        as a tendency to deformation, and that is in allowing the lower courts of
        today to overrule the higher courts of yesterday.  There has to be some
        standard, some method of protecting the standards within our churches from
        having leaders, such as your mentioned, in changing the whole direction of a

        Do you see where I am coming from?


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