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Settled vs. Broken State.

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  • personalwg@chartermi.net
    The Reformers knew their Bibles and had, to a great extent, systematically integrated the teaching of Scripture into a /cohesive system/. Those unfamiliar
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 2005
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      "The Reformers knew their Bibles and had, to a great extent,
      systematically integrated the teaching of Scripture into a /cohesive
      system/. Those unfamiliar with the foundations of this system will
      confuse, misapply and outright oppose parts of the Reformed system of
      doctrine even when citing quotations from the very Reformers they think
      they are upholding. The writings of Richard Bacon refuted in this book
      furnishes us with a perfect example of what happens when one reads a
      sampling of some of the /best/ Reformed books and does not understand
      what he is reading, confuses the context and teaching, and turns the
      Reformers on their heads to justify the weak, insipid, "Reformed"
      Christianity of our day. A prime example of this is found on pages 95-96
      and is an indictment against the previously published unfaithfulness of
      Richard Bacon, and "his atrocious little work" (as Larry Birger
      denominates it) /The Visible Church and Outer Darkness/. In regard to
      the Covenanters doctrine of the visible church Greg Barrow writes,

      *To properly understand the Reformers' doctrine of dissociation and
      separation we must distinguish between the "settled" and "broken"
      state of the church.*

      To properly understand the Covenanter position regarding
      dissociation and separation from pretended authorities, *the reader
      must become familiar with another important distinction, viz., the
      settled vs. the broken state of the church. *The nation of Scotland
      (1638­1649) possessed both a truly constituted General Assembly, and
      the civil establishment of the true Reformed religion, thereby
      enabling the church to enjoy the blessed privilege of being
      "settled" in the land. Our case in 1997 is vastly different. We have
      no National Presbyterian General Assembly, nor do we possess the
      civil establishment of the one true Reformed religion. Among the
      Reformers, such a disorganized state of affairs was referred to as
      the "broken state" of the church. *One of the most serious errors of
      Mr. Bacon (and those like him), and one of the main reasons he so
      frequently misunderstands the Reformers' doctrine of dissociation
      and separation is his failure to grasp this important distinction*.
      Mr. Bacon is fond of quoting men like Samuel Rutherford, James
      Durham, and George Gillespie, who wrote extensively regarding true
      principles of separation. What he fails to take into account is that
      they were applying their principles to a time when the church was
      nationally established and bound by faithful reformed covenants.
      Those who fail to make this distinction are constantly taking the
      scriptural principles of separation pertaining to a national church
      (settled) and applying these principles to the church in her
      "broken" and "unsettled" state. The results are disastrous: books
      are written like Mr. Bacon's, /The Visible Church in the Outer
      Darkness/ (a book filled with both Popish error and Independent
      confusion). In his public misrepresentation of Kevin Reed, Mr. Bacon
      practically ignored the necessary distinctions of the Reformers
      (being vs. well­being, settled vs. broken state), and consequently
      led his readers to believe something far different than the doctrine
      they actually taught. Through his false teaching, sincere children
      of God are led to believe that separation from a Christian church,
      even in a time of great apostasy (broken state), should be
      exceedingly rare. Citing men (like John MacPherson, James Wood, and
      Thomas Boston) who did not stand upon the biblical principles of
      covenanted Protesters (like Samuel Rutherford, George and Patrick
      Gillespie, James Guthrie, Robert McWard, John Brown of Wamphray,
      Richard Cameron, Donald Cargill and James Renwick), Mr. Bacon has
      confused his readers into confounding the faithful teaching of the
      Second Reformation with the dissimulation of those who were
      attempting to justify their backsliding and compromise. He must be
      called to account for his error (see Appendix G).

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