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Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Two or More Are Gathered

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  • alcunius
    Quotes from The Answer of the (Westminster) Assembly of Divines unto the Reasons of the seven dissenting Brethren…. otherwise titled Grand Debate Between
    Message 1 of 38 , Jun 28, 2007
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      Quotes from "The Answer of the (Westminster) Assembly of Divines unto the Reasons of the seven dissenting Brethren…." otherwise titled "Grand Debate Between the Independents and the Presbyterians" (This book can be found on the Puritan Bookshelf CDs, Volume #18)

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      …it (the Independent's argument-ED) is as strong (though they intended it not) against Elders doing any act of Elders out of their own particular congregation, what need soever there be of it. So that if any particular congregation cannot preserve itself, it must be left in corruption and to perdition rather than any act of the Elders of another congregation may be exercised for their relief by any Ecclesiastical or Presbyterial power....This argument carrying with it so much mischief to the whole church must needs be false either in the major or the minor, or both.... (The Answer of the Assembly of Divines pg.1)

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      First, The whole church of Christ is but one, made up of the collection and aggregation of all who are called out of the world by the Preaching of the Word, to profess the faith of Christ, unto the unity thereof, from which union there ariseth unto each one such a relation unto and dependence upon the Catholike church, as parts have to the whole, and are to do all Christian duties, as parts conjoined unto the whole, and members of the same Commonwealth and Corporation - Eph 4:3-14 (pg 2)

      Secondly, All the ministers and officers of the church are given to the whole church for the gathering and building of it - 1 Cor 12:28, Eph 4:11-12, and they are all to teach and rule, and perform all other ministrations with reference to it, and the best advantage of it.

      Thirdly, when this whole number of called men, and their officers were no more than might meet together in one place, they taught and ruled, and did all other ministerial and Christian works in one undivided body respectively.

      Fourthly, their number increasing so that they could not with edification meet all together according to the will of Christ, they divided into several companies, for their better ordering and increase, and such several companies joined together in one external fellowship and communion of the same public profession and rule of faith, worship of God and ecclesiastical discipline, and practice of love and the duties of it, are in the Scripture called churches, and to some one of these should every believer join himself.

      Fifthly, and being thus joined, the officers and members should not act or work as if they were independent Corporations, but only as part of Christ's body, and are all to regard the common good of the whole, and all things in these smaller bodies are to be managed for the greatest advantage of the whole - Eph 4:1

      Sixthly, as it is the will of Christ that particular Christian men and families should be associated into some particular assembly for their own and others edification, so should such particular assemblies associate with other assemblies, for the common and mutual good of them all, sometimes they standing in need of others, or others of them, sometimes themselves singly are insufficient to their own business .... (pg 3)

      Seventhly, in such associations as the mutual consent of particular men and families orderly regularly joining in one congregation gives them power and authority one over another according to the rule of Christ, without hurting or destroying, but rather helping and strengthening of the liberty of their several persons or families. So in this association of congregations their mutual consent orderly regulated gives them a sufficient call for the elders to exercise their power of elders and the people their interest in such things as are above mentioned, without impairing or hurting the liberty and privileges of the congregations, but rather preserving and strengthening of them... (II Cor 8: 14,19, Rom 15:26, Col 4:16, Acts 1:29.30, Gal 6:1, 2,5,9, Gal 1:2, Acts 13:1-5, Acts 15:1,3,4)

      The institution of Christ making his church one and appointing all these as means proportionable to attain that end, and no where limiting them to be as means to particular and individual men only, but left them to be applied according to the present conditions of times, places, persons, of one, or more, or many, whether men or churches. The very light of nature requireth that all due and lawful means should be used for the attaining of some necessary end, warrants us to conclude, that the means appointed and commanded for particular Christians, should be as applicable to whole companies of them, unless God's word somewhere hath forbidden it...... (pg 4)
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      We doubt not to affirme that there may be divers Congregations joyned in one Presbytery only, and the officers to teach and govern in Common, when it shall be found most for their edification, and so it is in some reformed Churches at this day: …(pg 5)

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      Suppose in Jerusalem there were ten congregations and twenty officers feeding and ruling them in common, no one of the fixed to any congregation. This kind of Presbytery would pass for a lawful government, and none of these incongruities or absurdities are charged upon it by this argument.... (pg 5)

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      …he (pastor/elder-ed) may not once do that which is unlawfull, he may not once do that Act of an Elder out of his own place, but supposing him faithfull in that, he may and ought to to put forth any act of an elder for the good of other churches, yea for all the churches in the world (if he be able and thereunto called) as well as to pray and write books for the benefit of all. (pg 6)

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      And if it be granted, that they still are members of another Church; then it is granted that an Elder may do an Act of an Elder amongst those to whom he is not a fixed officer. (pg 7)

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      And we further say, that of all the Acts of an Elder (wherein he is to apply the will of God to others) none are so safe for him to performe as those belonging to discipline.

      (pg 7)

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      All these thus joyned in a body or an Eldership to those Congregations, and each one doth the Acts of Elders in the Presbytery to those congregations in all those things for which they are thus associated; yet every one of them severally, and particularly, is not to be looked upon as an Elder of every one of those Congregations, and bound to do the whole work of an Elder to every one of them. (pg 7)

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      …. as the Church is one, and all the Elders given for the good of that one Church; so their Officers (when orderly called for) should be exercised in any part of it for the good thereof; and that a mutual consent and agreement, is a sufficient warrant and call for the exercise of this power, whether in one Congregation only, as suppose in Cenchrea, or in many, as suppose in Jerusalem, or yet more, as suppose when Antioch and Jerusalem joyned, Act. Chapt. 15 that in any of these , or all of these, they may, and ought, upon such a call, exercise any of their gifts and offices, as the Church, or any part therof shall stand in need. (pg 8)

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      We answer, It would fully confute us, if we challenged (or usurped-ED) any other power, or extent of power then Christ hath given to all his Ministers to exercise in any part of his Church upon a call. (pg 9)

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      So we say the elders receive their power and Commission for the whole Church of Christ, and may exercise it wherever they have a call, and no where without a call: and the mutual assent and agreement of the persons among whom, and to whom they should exercise it, is the proximum fundamentum hujus exercitii. (pg 10)

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      They found it best in those times of persecution and public unsettledness to have one common Treasury for all their poor, and one common Consistory (Session-ED) for all matters of censure. (pg 10)

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      And as for their alledged Scriptures, Acts 20:28, II Peter 5, Col. 1:17, Heb 13:17. I Thess 5:12, I Tim 3:17. None of them prove the contrary, they only shew that all these things belong to their Office, and that this is the ordinary and usual practice and work of Elders where their work lies, but none of them prove it unlawful for an Elder upon a call to do one of these, where they have not occasion, and a call to do the rest. (pg 11)

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      For if an Apostle, as an Apostle, may exercise one Act of his Ministry, where he may not exercise another, then may a Presbyter, as a Presbyter exercise one Act of his Ministry, where he may not exercise another. (pg 12)

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      …we desire our Brethren to show where the Scripture hath made such a fixing of an Elder to one Congregation, as that it should be unlawfull for him to do any Act of an Elder to any part of the rest of the Church of Christ, to whom he is yet given by Christ as an Elder. (pg 15)

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      Thirdly, neither is the sentence of excommunication so dreadful as they make it, (for as the Apostle sayeth of the Magistrates sword, Rom. 13, if thou do well, etc.) Good men need not fear it, if men deserve it not either it shall not touch them, or if it do, clavis errans non ligit, and if it be just, it was done in heaven before, and they only on earth declare and apply the will of Christ to him, and that for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved; and upon his repentance received again, into the bosom of the church, and therefore excommunication should be imbraced, as a soul-saving Ordinance of Jesus Christ, as well as the Word and the Sacraments. (pg 16)

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      …Elders have a double relation, one to the single Congregation where they are fixed, another to the several congregations whereto it is united. Their relation to those thus united, tieth them not to all duties of Elders to all those united Congregations (as our Brethren suppose in their argument) nor all those Congregations to all duties unto them, but only to those mutuall duties for which they were united. (pg. 48)

       

       

       

      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Ic Neltococayotl" <puritanpresbyterian@...> wrote:

      >
      >
      > Dear Larry,
      >
      > How are you brother?
      >
      > Interesting response that the minutes are there for the review of the
      > members. While I was a member of the "RPNA(GM)" I never saw the minutes
      > of the so-called Session of the "RPNA(GM)". Even when I asked. I
      > eventually obtained the record of minutes by a layman near to what would
      > be the end of my membership with them.
      >
      > With the "RPNA"'s re-invention of the term congregation, where everyone
      > who is a part of their church (i.e. upholds the 6 terms/standards) makes
      > up one big congregation, irrespective of locality and boundaries, is not
      > really new. In the Grand Debate (the same book that the Elders tout as
      > overthrowing the arguments of the Effort) the Independants argue against
      > the Presbyterians and say that the Presbyterians' view of the church
      > would make the church one big huge international congregation and they
      > say that is unbiblical. The Presbyterians respond by stating that they
      > in no way claim this and even vehemently deny that a church can ever be
      > defined as a huge international congregation irrespective of boundaries
      > and such. The same argument that the "RPNA" elders use the Independants
      > were trying to say that the Presbyterians were upholding and this vey
      > concept was repudiated by the Presbyterians in response to this view of
      > a congregation.
      >
      > ERGO,
      >
      > BOTH the Independants and the Presbyterians repudiate and oppose the
      > idea of a congregation being some huge international, cross-boundary-
      > non-local entity. Yet, the "RPNA" elders must have missed that crucial
      > part of the Grand Debate since they espouse what both Christian divines
      > denied could be Biblical and therefore feasible. But that is not the
      > only place the Grand Debate contradicts and even overthrows the "RPNA"
      > elders' view of church polity! So much for their silver bullet.
      >
      > Makes one wonder how they read these books...
      >
      > Talk to your later Larry,
      >
      > Edgar Ibarra
      >
      > visiting Berkshire RPCNA mission work
      >
      >
      > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Larry Bump lbump@
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > Walt Bre wrote:
      > >
      > > > Larry, may I ask you if you have published anything on
      > > > any rulings with your local church that I could read?
      > > > I've got to believe your Session has dealt with
      > > > various issues and that your opinions have been
      > > > published, and are open for inspection by your
      > > > Presbytery and congregation. Would you be able to
      > > > provide me with any of these decisions so that I could
      > > > read them for myself?
      > >
      > >
      > > No. The session book is available for review by any member of our
      > > congregation, or by officers if the Presbytery or Synod.
      > >
      > > Any papers produced would be in the session book, as well as
      > > Presbytery/Synod minutes as appropriate.
      > >
      >

    • Tim Cunningham
      ... thread. ... t=20844&highlight=deductive+i ... t=20844&highlight=deductive+ ... Tim-Granted Mr. Winzer errs in his understanding of logic and perhaps in
      Message 38 of 38 , Jul 13, 2007
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        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, alcunius
        <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > It does not seem that clear to me by what Winzer wrote.
        >
        > This same Matthew Winzer that your speaking of seems to have some
        > confusion on Deduction and Induction at the same Board different
        thread.
        >
        >
        > http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php?
        t=20844&highlight=deductive+i\
        > nductive
        > <http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php?
        t=20844&highlight=deductive+\
        > inductive>
        >
        > And at the same web board he seems to be defending the Perpetual
        > Virginity of Mary
        >
        Tim-Granted Mr. Winzer errs in his understanding of logic and perhaps
        in his understanding of whether or not Mary remained virgin after the
        birth of Jesus, but these errors are irrelevant if one is questioning
        his readings of the Divines he cites.

        Why do you think Winzer does not make his case?

        Tim


        > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Chris Coldwell"
        > <naphtali@> wrote:
        > >
        > > This has been a problem for some time. For instance, Matthew
        Winzer
        > > clearly demonstrates a problem in Barrow's CRD in comprehending
        > > Rutherford (and others) correctly, specifically on the "being" vs.
        > > "well-being" of the church.
        > > http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php?t=14397
        > > Sincerely,
        > > Chris Coldwell
        > > Naphtali Press http://www.naphtali.com
        > > The Confessional Presbyterian journal http://www.cpjournal.com
        > > Member Lakewood Presbyterian Church (PCA)
        > >
        > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Larry Bump
        > > lbump@ wrote:
        > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > > Makes one wonder how they read these books...
        > > >
        > > > Indeed. And if this is an honest example of the reading
        > comprehension
        > > > and exegesis they apply to books in order to come up with a
        > > self-serving
        > > > argument, one must wonder if that "style" may have been applied
        > > > elsewhere, as well.
        > > >
        > > > Larry
        > > >
        > >
        >
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