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

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  • jparnellm@usxchange.net
    ... If given the choice of being a healthy person, a sick person or a dog, a rational person would choose to be a healthy person. Yet a rational person could
    Message 1 of 21 , Feb 25, 2005
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      Quoting Abigail <a_shofstahl@...>:

      >
      >
      > Parnell,
      >
      > I don't find the statement "they rule the true visible church in
      > being, but not the true visible church in well-being" very helpful.
      > What does it mean to say that presbyteries that are not connected to
      > the one rightful established church rule the true visible church,
      > but not the true visible church in well being? Every time I think
      > I'm beginning to understand this position, I'm floored by this
      > terminology and my mind gets tied in knots trying to figure it out.
      > Do they rule true believers, but not the organized visible
      > manifestation of the true church (the true church in well being)?

      If given the choice of being a healthy person, a sick person or a dog, a
      rational person would choose to be a healthy person. Yet a rational person
      could still distinguish between a sick person and a dog, and treat a sick
      person with the respect due a person, even though choosing not to be a sick
      person.

      Hope the analogy helps.

      But if you need more help on this, you might read Bannerman or other
      Presbyterian theologians who have written more extensively on this topic.



      >I'd give elders and pastors in the PCA,
      > OPC, URC, RPCNA, PRC, and other churches that are true churches in
      > essence, the respect, honor, and deference due their offices in the
      > church, insofar as they rule according to the Scriptures.

      I agree.


      >Can't they
      > become the rightful established church without dissolving their
      > presbyteries, by bringing their constitutions into conformity with
      > Scripture and then joining their presbyteries to form one united
      > church, one rightful established church?

      If they do it expeditiously, yes, that is one method. Another method is to
      dissolve or leave and join the church which already has a sound constitutional
      basis. Regarding the former, I see no discernible movement of most American
      Presbyterian denominations to adopt the doctrines of the original WCF and full
      subscriptionism. So IMO in most cases only the latter method is currently
      relevant.

      But from what you wrote in another post, Abigail, you do not agree with the
      original WCF (on the chapter concerning marriage), so I can understand why you
      would not think a church with the original WCF would be the rightful
      established church.



      >
      > I don't really understand how the Free Presbyterian Church of
      > Scotland could be the one rightful established church in the United
      > States...I wouldn't have
      > such a problem granting it that place in Scotland


      The name confuses matters. I think there are now more FPCSers in Africa than
      Scotland. Hey, but the Ref Pres Ch of *North America* has a church in Japan, so
      you can sympathize. Church names often reflect place of origin more than
      place of churches.

      Let's consider this at the level of substance. There should be one visible
      church worldwide, consisting of all the rightful established churches in each
      nation. That one worldwide church could be called RPCNA or FPCS or ABC or...



      >If I were to adopt the position that
      > only one church in a given nation is the rightful established
      > church, and all others should be abandoned and dissolved, I don't
      > think I would choose a church that belongs to another nation.
      >

      Which church would you join if you were in Japan? If you think the RPCNA is the
      church you should join in the USA, then I fail to see why you would not join
      the RPCNA in Japan.


      > While I agree that loose subscription is a "chief malady" in the
      > church today and undermines true presbyterian church government, it
      > bothers me that you promote abandoning all churches that have errors
      > in their constitutions. Why can't they be reformed?
      >

      It is not within my power to change the minds of other men. But I can do my
      duty, which IMO is to seek to join that church which has a correct
      constitution.

      - Parnell McCarter
      www.puritans.net
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