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Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Greetings and Headcoverings

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  • Matthew Winzer
    ... If therefore the Jews, being made a visible Church, shall receive the Lords Supper ... This is indicating a national church. It is pre-1948, so it can
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 3, 2005
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      > When Rutherford says: "The Jews to this day, as of old", I take him to
      > mean the Jewish practice of covering from old up to the present time
      > when he is writing. In the context of that paragraph, Rutherford has
      > just finished describing the practice of the Church of Scotland and
      > proceeded to contrast that present practice of uncovering with the
      > Jewish practice of covering. Although the contrast is drawn against the
      > present practice, I agree that Rutherford isn't limiting the principle
      > to his time. Rutherford is saying that as a customary sign, the Jews
      > may cover when receiving the sacrament; whether in Paul's day contrary
      > to the custom of Corinth or in Rutherford's day, contrary to the custom
      > of Scotland.

      "If therefore the Jews, being made a visible Church, shall receive the Lords
      Supper ..." This is indicating a national church. It is pre-1948, so it
      can only have reference to the first ages when national Israel existed.

      > If you are saying that Rutherford is arguing that coverings are a
      > customary sign, then I'm not sure how you differ from the RPNA paper
      > which also says that they are a cultural, aka customary sign.

      The RPNA paper argues that they are an "alterable" sign, and subsequently
      establish a non-covering practice. In fact, they "disallow" women to cover
      their heads if they do so on the basis of Paul's injunctions. Rutherford
      argues they are a sign, upon the basis of which the practice of men
      uncovering their head during worship was followed. A discrepancy exists, to
      say the least.

      > Rutherford is publicly teaching that Paul had regard to the national
      > custom of Corinth. He states that "national custom" is the reason why
      > Paul did esteem a man's head being covered as that which dishonored his
      > head. This covenanted minister was not disciplined nor deposed for
      > teaching this truth to the church at large, but rather was deemed one of
      > the Second Reformation's brightest lights. If this was false doctrine
      > (as some suppose), then why was Rutherford neither disciplined nor
      > corrected for his public error? Surely some members of the General
      > Assembly read these public statements. In our judgment, Rutherford was
      > not disciplined because the Church of Scotland agreed with him. They
      > too, understood that Paul (in 1 Corinthians 11) was speaking from a
      > cultural context.

      It is one thing to prove that the covenanters (and Rutherford) did not
      strictly practice covering, as it can be proven that they did not strictly
      practice exclusive psalmody. It is another thing to prove that they were
      against coverings being culturally relevant at all; especially since they
      affirm a practice of men uncovering their head, in accord with Paul's
      injunctions, during worship. This latter point, the report explicitly says,
      it was not willing to investigate. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

      Neo-covenanters sure do have a static view of covenanting history. Is it
      not possible that there are some elements in the second reformation Church
      of Scotland which require a more consistent outlook? I ask, on the basis
      that the General Assembly made provision for the use of paraphrases on
      Scripture portions other than the Psalms, will the RPNA be bound to permit
      the singing of songs other than the Psalms in the public worship. Take it
      one logical step further, in accord with the RPNA's report, they should only
      allow people to sing the psalms if they are willing to do it
      non-exclusively, that is, just as they will only allow a woman to wear a
      covering if she does so non-exclusively, thinking that she has liberty not
      to wear it. Perhaps when placed in this light the irrationality of the
      report will be clearly seen.

      Yours sincerely,
      Matthew Winzer
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