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Re: Why Stay at Home --- Reasons from others

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  • benhartmail
    ... Gary, You raise an interesting point, but it s not what I had in mind in bringing up the quote so let me clarify. What stands out is SR s apparently
    Message 1 of 24 , Mar 22, 2008
      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "ghowmil"
      <garnetmilne@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Ben,
      >
      > Rutherford wrote the letter in 1630 when the Scots would have
      > recognised the English church as a true church. Do you think that
      > Rutherford would give the same advice today? I think not.
      >
      > Gary

      Gary,

      You raise an interesting point, but it's not what I had in mind in
      bringing up the quote so let me clarify. What stands out is SR's
      apparently allowing Lady Kenmure (actually he more than allows, he
      encourages her) to attend impure worship--worship where there are
      antichristian elements. Bracketing the issue of faithfulness
      relative to attainments, it seems that SR thinks it's OK to worship
      where the administration is impure. I grant that the issue of
      attainments may be relevant, but at this point, SR isn't working from
      the principle that, if there is sin in the worship, one ought not
      enter in. That seems to be what some people here are saying, but as
      an interesting historical point, they're disagreeing with someone who
      may be one of their theological heroes. Nevertheless, whether SR was
      right is what is truly interesting.

      But you say that SR wouldn't have given the same advice today. Why
      not? In supposing what he would say today, are you working from
      principles that are explicit in his writings, and if so what do you
      have in mind? If not, what plausible principle would he likely be
      working from?

      Thanks for your comments.

      Take care,
      Ben
    • Deejay
      If a church is a non-EP Church, wouldn t that mean, that at least in some cases, that they also did other things outside of the Regulative Principle of
      Message 2 of 24 , Mar 23, 2008

        If a church is a non-EP Church, wouldn’t that mean, that at least in some cases,  that they also did other things outside of the Regulative Principle of Worship? Because  if so,  then it seems it goes far wider than Psalm singing, and you become compromised in many other ways.  This was my experience,  and I either had to go against my conscience,   in other RPW matters,  or suffer for it!

         

        I know there are certain churches, such as that Glenn is Pastor of, that is not like many other, more liberal, Presbyterian, Churches.  But  how far should one compromise,  before you draw the line?   Is a Church that is non EP, and takes part and forces holy day observance on its members,  a step too far?   It seems you have to have a point you would draw the line at. And that  probably varies between individual people where that line is.    But whichever way one looks at it,  it still seems like compromising ourselves and beliefs, and the Truth we believe. Standing firm is often the strongest witness bearing,  one can give. And that  can be done in many ways. Even by absenting oneself  because you can do no other. (good ole Doc Martin!*)  Nowhere in Scripture do you see God teaching us to do compromise, when it comes to matters of truth, even worship, or even particularly over worship.  And it could be a never ending spiral of compromise at least in some instances it seems to me, depending on the individual church, that may have the right basic criteria, many of us would think okay.

         

        Does anyone think for one moment, that the Scot’s covenanters, like Cameron,  Cargill and Renwick would have  settled for  less than they attained after?   What a price they paid and gladly! 

         

        It’s also an historical  fact, that the puritans lost every battle they ever fought.  And many of those were non-conformists,  because they couldn’t agree to the terms of the powers that be at the time. Much like we can’t agree to many church practices today.  But still they held to what they believed and fought on,  and compromising what they believed,  was not an option, for those who stood firm throughout.  Their way, was often not the usual way either.

         

        ~Deejay

         

        *Martin Luther

         

         [Eccl: 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun]

         

        From: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com [mailto:covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com]
        Sent: 22 March 2008 20:21
        To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Why Stay at Home --- Reasons from others

         

      • Ic Neltococayotl
        Hi Ben, Thank you for your response. My comments below yours. ... I am sure that it is complicated, but since the elders of the RPNA desired to perform a
        Message 3 of 24 , Mar 23, 2008
          Hi Ben,

          Thank you for your response.  My comments below yours.


          > This is complicated, and I'd prefer to answer you privately.
          > However, since you've asked me in his forum, I'll respond here.

          I am sure that it is complicated, but since the elders of the RPNA desired to perform a public act and had their remaining members affirm the same in a public manner (well those issues that you know about that I will not bring up here, but you know what I am referring to) I wanted to ask you here that question, but more especially because it DOES bear upon your original question.  More below.

          >
          > The short answer is no, I don't regard you as excommunicated from the
          > Body of Christ.

          I am glad that you have changed your mind and do not regard us cast out of the Body of Christ.

          >But that's a provisional answer seeing as the
          > question of excommunication is bound up in the very issues with which
          > I'm currently struggling.

          Yet, I put my gladness in check, well let's say it is a cautious joy seeing that your answer is uncertain and can change depending upon the outcome of your struggles.  Be wary here brother, because you affirm one thing only to apperantly take it away with the next breath.

          Here is where this question bears upon your struggle.  Every church court in which the former members of the RPNA have appealed to for membership have been made aware of their excommunicated status.  When the court looks into the merits of the excommunication they throw it out as unlawful and unbiblical and reject that they have been truly cast out of the Body of Christ.  Some have mocked and ridiculed the decision of your former elders.  So if you still held that they were/are lawfully and biblically excommunicated, then you would arrive at another struggle if you desire the sacraments from denominations in which courts have rejected the excommunication and received the brethren in good standing and granting access to the Lord's table and baptism for their children.  To be more specific, the RPCNA, the OPC, the URC, and the Free Church of Scotland-Continuing have all received our brothers that were so tyrannically cast out by your former elders into their role of membership. So if you desire membership in one of these churches, then you should be aware that if you still hold this view or are unsure where you stand, cause you state both in your e-mail, then you will have to deal with this when you go for membership.

          >Since I've not come to a clear position on
          > the nature of the church and our duties of separation, I think it
          > would be irrational and vicious for me to regard you as
          > excommunicated from the Body of Christ. Here's another way to put it-
          > -how can I regard you as out of the Body if I'm not even sure where
          > the Body is!?

          Again, I am cautiously joyful that you do not regard us out of the Body of Christ.  But like you ask what is the Body of Christ?  My friend and brother (I say this with all sincerity and heart, cause you are to me), those who profess Christ are the Body.  Those who gather together in His name are the Body.  Those ecclesiastical courts that are lawfully convened are part of the Body of Christ.  It is not a deep esotaric or profound philosophical truth.  It is a truth that is simple, naked, and easily found out. 

          >
          > Of course it gets complicated because it does seem to me that the
          > Effort was a deceitful and underhanded manner of handling a problem.
          > That's not to say there wasn't a serious problem to address, but the
          > manner of handling it is what I take issue with. But this is old
          > ground that needn't be went over here. But either way, until I
          > figure out what to make of the former point, I'm unsure how to regard
          > the Effort.
          >

          Well given the past practice of the elders leading up to 2006 and the formation of the Effort what choice was really left us?  Tony was in the Effort for a few days, you were in it longer than he.  However he took the private route with the elders, what everyone that was still left in scolded us as failing to do, yet he was excommunicated in the first wave, for charges of sin that he still does NOT know what they were to this day, and accusers that were NEVER named or presented to him.  Where is the justice in that???  What is biblical about that???  This is the epitome of tyranny of these elders and I cannot understand why the few that were left in are blind to this so obvious reality!!   Some of those that formed the Effort had this experience before with the Elders or saw this before they had to be burned.  How could we go to them privately when such recourse would lead to discipline regardless.  Their M.O. was divide and conquer, so we stood together to make a more clear demonstration of the Truth and then if they acted the way some  (we all wanted the Effort to work in the positive to improve our ecclesiastical situation in the RPNA, but not all of us were optimistic of that happening due to the elders and their whips) of us anticipated they would, we hoped that many would see the tyranny and stand up, which many did afterwards.

          Again, like you said it is done but I will add that we in the Effort were justified in doing what we did.  Your dad knew what these elders were like before any of us did.  You would do well hear him, they saw beforehand what many of us saw later, albeit too late.  Ironic, isn't it, that they were never excommunicated!!  Go figure!

          > If you want to discuss this further, perhaps we can do so privately
          > (or anyone else who has further comments).
          >

          Again, sometimes certain things cannot stay private.  But I am always open to corresponding with you privately or even on the phone if you are so inclined.

          > I hope that helps.
          >
          > Regards,
          > Ben
          >

          Yours in Christ,

          Edgar



        • ghowmil
          Ben, Rutherford has now covenanted in the 1640s, more than a decade after he wrote to Lady Kenmure in England. His covenanting binds him in such a way that in
          Message 4 of 24 , Mar 23, 2008
            Ben,

            Rutherford has now covenanted in the 1640s, more than a decade after
            he wrote to Lady Kenmure in England. His covenanting binds him in
            such a way that in his mind he cannot lawfully sanction error in the
            English church. He states in his Free disputation against pretended
            liberty of conscience (p267), for example that the covenant is not
            `temporary', and he goes on to say that if the government allows this
            pretended liberty of conscience, then the Word of God is no longer
            the rule of Reformation: `Nor can the word of God bee our rule of
            Reformation, except this rule be one, and injoyne one only true
            Religion, and forbid toleration of all others'. Having taken this
            position it would be inconceivable that Rutherford would encourage
            attendance and membership in a church which had so broken the
            permanent SL&C and which now practices virtually all the errors
            Rutherford cries down in his treatise. For example, the present
            Anglican church tolerates a false gospel (Tom Wright); women In
            office, homosexuality; abortion; cooperation with and recognition of
            the antichrist as head of a true church; has an archbishop calling of
            for the introduction of Sharia law in Britain and the toleration of
            Islam and any other false religion, and is thoroughly Erastian.
            Similarly, I do not believe that if Rutherford remained a covenanter
            in our own day that he could endorse supporting those Presbyterian
            churches which opposed the establishment principle and which have
            altered the Westminster Confession of Faith and therefore defaced a
            document of uniformity.


            It may also be that you misinterpret what Rutherford writes in letter
            vii. He may well be advising Lady Kenmure to avoid the `dumb idols of
            antchristian ceremonies', which could be another way of saying to her
            to seek out an English Puritan preacher. In other words Rutherford
            when he refers to 'dumb idols' might be thinking of the church more
            broadly rather than the local Episcopal church Kenmure was attending,
            or might attend. This could be confirmed by letter xi which is
            written only a few months later in the same year. In this letter,
            Rutherford is still preaching though sick, but he writes to Lady
            Kenmure that "Ye are now deprived of the comfort of a lively
            ministry'. His next words imply that even though this is the case
            Christ is still with her in her travels. Rutherford also mentions the
            King's persecuting attitude towards the Puritans in a Scottish
            context. The English church also would have been affected by the
            King's attitude and Rutherford's reference to her deprivation of `a
            lively ministry' may be an indication that she had been attending a
            Puritan preacher who had now been removed from his ministry.

            It is therefore possible that Rutherford should not be understood as
            encouraging Lady Kenmure to attend a church which was using `dumb
            idols' in worship.

            Kind Regards,

            Gary






            --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com,
            "benhartmail" <benjamin.hart1@...> wrote:
            >
            > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "ghowmil"
            > <garnetmilne@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi Ben,
            > >
            > > Rutherford wrote the letter in 1630 when the Scots would have
            > > recognised the English church as a true church. Do you think that
            > > Rutherford would give the same advice today? I think not.
            > >
            > > Gary
            >
            > Gary,
            >
            > You raise an interesting point, but it's not what I had in mind in
            > bringing up the quote so let me clarify. What stands out is SR's
            > apparently allowing Lady Kenmure (actually he more than allows, he
            > encourages her) to attend impure worship--worship where there are
            > antichristian elements. Bracketing the issue of faithfulness
            > relative to attainments, it seems that SR thinks it's OK to worship
            > where the administration is impure. I grant that the issue of
            > attainments may be relevant, but at this point, SR isn't working
            from
            > the principle that, if there is sin in the worship, one ought not
            > enter in. That seems to be what some people here are saying, but
            as
            > an interesting historical point, they're disagreeing with someone
            who
            > may be one of their theological heroes. Nevertheless, whether SR
            was
            > right is what is truly interesting.
            >
            > But you say that SR wouldn't have given the same advice today. Why
            > not? In supposing what he would say today, are you working from
            > principles that are explicit in his writings, and if so what do you
            > have in mind? If not, what plausible principle would he likely be
            > working from?
            >
            > Thanks for your comments.
            >
            > Take care,
            > Ben
            >
          • puritanone
            4 comments: 1. Rev Ferrell, it has seemed to me you wrongly assess where most of the NAPARC denominations are. Most of them, including the OPC, do not require
            Message 5 of 24 , Mar 24, 2008
              4 comments:

              1. Rev Ferrell, it has seemed to me you wrongly assess where most of
              the NAPARC denominations are. Most of them, including the OPC, do not
              require full subscription to **any** reformed confession. That helps
              explain why there are many officers in their ranks who embrace the
              Federal Vision and deride the RPW.

              2. Regarding this topic in general, I would submit the issue of
              joining a denomination as member should be differentiated from
              attending a service. They are 2 distinct things which should be
              separately considered.

              3. If we join a denomination which was erroneously formed because of a
              rejection of a Biblical truth outlined in the WCF, then we are
              undermining sound Biblical church discipline. After all, church
              officers that teach contrary to the Biblical truths outlined in the
              WCF, should not be allowed to teach in the church. That is part of
              sound church discipline, and we should not undermine it by our
              denominational membership affiliation.

              4. Dr James Bannerman accurately spells out what should be our
              criteria for selecting a denomination to join. See
              http://www.puritans.net/news/bannerman051107.htm .

              - Parnell McCarter
            • okidokismokijo
              Rutherford on communion with churches who practice false worship and how attending these churches does not make you partake in their sin if you don t
              Message 6 of 24 , Mar 24, 2008
                Rutherford on communion with churches who practice false worship and how
                attending these churches does not make you partake in their sin if you
                don't participate in the act. http://www.naphtali.com/separa4.htm


                OBJECTION THIRTEEN. They object, that it is not lawful to have communion
                with a church, where there is any superstition or idolatry, or false
                worship. For David would not take up the names of idols in his lips; nor
                is it lawful to touch the garment spotted of the flesh, in respect, one
                Achan taking the accursed spoil, brought judgment on all the rest, and
                therefore they must separate who would be free of the curse.

                ANSWER. It is not lawful to communicate with the holiest church on earth
                in an act of false worship, we grant. But every false worship does
                neither make a true church, a false church, or no church; neither gives
                it a ground and warrant of separation. For there was much false worship
                in Corinth, where many were partakers of the idol's table (1 Cor.
                8:10), and many denied the resurrection, and so Thyatira, Pergamos (Rev.
                2), where were Balaam's doctrine and Jezebel the false prophetess,
                and yet none of these are to be separated from, as false churches. And
                the Separatists would observe this, that when churches in the New
                Testament are most sharply rebuked, if communion with these churches
                going on in their sins is idolatry and false worship, and offering
                devils' images to God, how is it, that the Lord and his apostles
                rebuke the faults, but never warn the true and sound believers to
                separate and make a new church, seeing this is the only remedy to them,
                and there is not another way to escape the judgment of the whole church.
                2. David would not take the names of idols in his lips, nor would touch
                the garments spotted of the flesh, nor consent unto, or countenance
                idols, but to communicate with a church where there is a profane people
                and a false worship in some points, is not to touch unclean garments,
                for the clean and the sound worship of God is clean, and as for the
                example of Achan, it is most impertinent. Israel knew not Achan's
                sacrilege till the Lord found out the man, and if this stands good, a
                lurking hypocrite, and an unseen Achan in a visible congregation brings
                a curse on the congregation, and from such a congregation we are to
                separate. What madness is this. We are to separate from a society,
                before we know any Achan to be amongst them. But Separatists say, God
                would not have punished Israel by making them fly before the men of Ai
                (Josh. 7) if Israel did take no part with Achan, but because of
                Achan's sacrilege they were punished (v. 11). Israel hath sinned and
                transgressed my covenant, which I commanded them: for they have taken
                the accursed thing.

                ANSWER. This gives us occasion to speak a little of the communion with
                other men's sins. We partake these ways of the church's sins. 1.
                When we work with them, and are helping causes; this communion is
                unlawful. 2. When we counsel or persuade to false worship. 3. When we
                omit what we are obliged to do, or commit that we should not do, from
                whence others are occasioned to sin; for by moral interpretation, he
                promoves the sin of others, who do not give all due and obliged
                diligence to hinder the committing of sin. 4. Those who consent to sin,
                who approve or praise the fact, and the committers of the fact. 5. Those
                that do not rebuke sins. 6. Those who are not displeased for it, and do
                not mourn for it (Ezk. 9) and are not humbled for it, and do not pity
                the sinner, and pray that God in his mercy or justice may be glorified.
                Now of all these we are properly to consider how Israel did properly
                communicate with Achan's sin.

                Some say there is a seventh way different from all, when we in heart
                desire to do, what others do wickedly, in the external fact. As Israel
                also coveted in their heart what Achan took with his hands, or when we
                do the same sin by analogy, that others are doing, as the mariners are
                punished for Jonah's sin, whenas they were doing a sin by analogy
                like the sin of Jonah. For Jonah fled from God's presence, as if God
                could not have followed him through seas, and had been like the idol
                gods, and the mariners did the same. They worshipped an idol god, and
                knew not the God that made heaven and earth. Now, wherein none of these
                seven ways we partake of the sins of a church, how can their worship be
                defiled to us, or have any influence to infect us? But the truth is,
                Israel was guilty of Achan's sin, because they did not carefully
                observe, and warn one another to take heed that they meddled not with
                the accursed thing; but Joshua never dreamed of separation from Israel
                for Achan's sin, and the text says not that. For they could not
                separate from the church for Achan's sacrilege which was known to
                them, [until] God discovered the same, else by this text we are to
                separate from all churches where there lies hidden and covered
                Achan's, and unseen hypocrites, and thus we behooved to remove and
                separate up to the Church Triumphing, in heaven, or then with
                Anabaptists, find a spotless church on earth.

                OBJECTION FOURTEEN. They object, To be present at a Mass is to
                countenance an idol worship, so to be present in a church worship where
                there is any error in the worship is to countenance the error. For what
                worship we countenance to that we say, Amen, and so we must consent to
                the wrong constitution of a church where are profane people?

                ANSWER. 1. To countenance a worship professedly idolatrous, where the
                name of the worship imports the worshipping of a false god, is unlawful,
                for others do interpret our presence a joint worshipping with them. But
                our presence at every lawful worship that is acknowledged lawful, does
                not give so much as interpretatively signification of our consent to
                every particular in the worship, because hearing, discerning, choosing
                or refusing, believing or not believing, according as you find the
                points agreeable to God's Word, or dissonant therefrom, intervenes
                between your presence at the worship, and your consent to the worship.
                Now the act of consenting, approving and receiving the point of worship
                is formally to partake of the worship, else we could not obey the
                precept (1 Thess. 5:21) Try all things. Some things in the preacher are
                to be borne with; the preachers of the Separation have not an apostolic
                and infallible spirit, if any of them preach unsound doctrine, the
                presence of the hearers does not involve them in the guilt of the
                preacher's erroneous worship. The Pharisees corrupting of the Law
                was known and rebuked by Christ, but yet Christ forbad Separation. Hear
                them (Matt. 23) they sit in Moses' chair.
              • ghowmil
                Remember though Okidoki, Rutherford is arguing from an established church perspective against congregational and other separatists and not arguing from a
                Message 7 of 24 , Mar 24, 2008
                  Remember though Okidoki, Rutherford is arguing from an established
                  church perspective against congregational and other separatists and
                  not arguing from a modern separatists perspective against those who
                  adhere to an establishmentarian and covenanting vantage point.

                  Gary

                  OBJECTION THIRTEEN. They object, that it is not lawful to have
                  communion with a church, where there is any superstition or idolatry,
                  or false worship. For David would not take up the names of idols in
                  his lips; nor is it lawful to touch the garment spotted of the flesh,
                  in respect, one Achan taking the accursed spoil, brought judgment on
                  all the rest, and therefore they must separate who would be free of
                  the curse.
                • okidokismokijo
                  Gary, Thanks for your comment. There is a difference, for sure, between an established church and what we have in the US. But what makes covenant breaking,
                  Message 8 of 24 , Mar 24, 2008
                    Gary,

                    Thanks for your comment.

                    There is a difference, for sure, between an established church and
                    what we have in the US. But what makes covenant breaking, and
                    non-establishment worse sins than incest, partial idolatry and the
                    other sins of the Corinthian church? The principles contained in
                    Rutherford's arguments are still valid to true churches in any case.
                    Check out Durham on the Thyatiran (sp??) church in his commentary on
                    Revelation, as well as his comments on the 18th chapter. Durham and
                    Rutherford are pulling their principles of unity from the scripture,
                    which are not made void by establishment or attainments. Like the WCF
                    ch 25 says, the church is more or less pure in doctrine and worship,
                    even the purest churches have sin, and then goes on in ch 26 to say
                    that Christians have duties to fellowship with one another, to worship
                    with one another in the church and we're to take the ordinances which
                    are means of grace to us regardless of the sins of others. The
                    Corinthians were commanded to take the Lord's supper correctly in Cor
                    11, even though all of the problems were still current! They were
                    told to repent, get it right, but not to separate. If swearing is
                    made to break our duties to church union, then it's an unlawful oath,
                    we can't swear to sin. The SLC was a document to bring nations and
                    churches to unity, not to prevent them from having unity.

                    -Tammy

                    -- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "ghowmil"
                    <garnetmilne@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Remember though Okidoki, Rutherford is arguing from an established
                    > church perspective against congregational and other separatists and
                    > not arguing from a modern separatists perspective against those who
                    > adhere to an establishmentarian and covenanting vantage point.
                    >
                    > Gary
                    >
                    > OBJECTION THIRTEEN. They object, that it is not lawful to have
                    > communion with a church, where there is any superstition or idolatry,
                    > or false worship. For David would not take up the names of idols in
                    > his lips; nor is it lawful to touch the garment spotted of the flesh,
                    > in respect, one Achan taking the accursed spoil, brought judgment on
                    > all the rest, and therefore they must separate who would be free of
                    > the curse.
                    >
                  • ghowmil
                    Hi Tammy, It would have come as a surprise to the persecuted covenanters through the killing times and the society people and the Reformed Presbyterians when
                    Message 9 of 24 , Mar 25, 2008
                      Hi Tammy,

                      It would have come as a surprise to the persecuted covenanters
                      through the killing times and the society people and the Reformed
                      Presbyterians when they were organised as a church that Rutherford
                      was actually not on their side at all. When you can prove that they
                      wrongly separated from the main body in Scotland then you claim
                      Rutherford as their opponents.

                      A better model, if you are looking in church history, would be John
                      Knox, Whittingham and others separating from Frankfurt over the
                      liturgy and going to Geneva, or the English nonconformists in the
                      1560s under Elizabeth who were drummed out of the ministry and
                      separated from the church setting up their own services in their
                      homes etc. Surely having to have your minister wear, or as a minister
                      wearing, a surplice is not as bad as idolatry and incest is it?

                      When you talk about Corinth in this way, you neglect to say that both
                      matters were dealt with and resolved.

                      Kind Regards,
                      Gary



                      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, okidokismokijo
                      <no_reply@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Gary,
                      >
                      > Thanks for your comment.
                      >
                      > There is a difference, for sure, between an established church and
                      > what we have in the US. But what makes covenant breaking, and
                      > non-establishment worse sins than incest, partial idolatry and the
                      > other sins of the Corinthian church? The principles contained in
                      > Rutherford's arguments are still valid to true churches in any
                      case.
                      > Check out Durham on the Thyatiran (sp??) church in his commentary
                      on
                      > Revelation, as well as his comments on the 18th chapter. Durham and
                      > Rutherford are pulling their principles of unity from the scripture,
                      > which are not made void by establishment or attainments. Like the
                      WCF
                      > ch 25 says, the church is more or less pure in doctrine and worship,
                      > even the purest churches have sin, and then goes on in ch 26 to say
                      > that Christians have duties to fellowship with one another, to
                      worship
                      > with one another in the church and we're to take the ordinances
                      which
                      > are means of grace to us regardless of the sins of others. The
                      > Corinthians were commanded to take the Lord's supper correctly in
                      Cor
                      > 11, even though all of the problems were still current! They were
                      > told to repent, get it right, but not to separate. If swearing is
                      > made to break our duties to church union, then it's an unlawful
                      oath,
                      > we can't swear to sin. The SLC was a document to bring nations and
                      > churches to unity, not to prevent them from having unity.
                      >
                      > -Tammy
                      >
                      > -- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "ghowmil"
                      > <garnetmilne@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Remember though Okidoki, Rutherford is arguing from an
                      established
                      > > church perspective against congregational and other separatists
                      and
                      > > not arguing from a modern separatists perspective against those
                      who
                      > > adhere to an establishmentarian and covenanting vantage point.
                      > >
                      > > Gary
                      > >
                      > > OBJECTION THIRTEEN. They object, that it is not lawful to have
                      > > communion with a church, where there is any superstition or
                      idolatry,
                      > > or false worship. For David would not take up the names of idols
                      in
                      > > his lips; nor is it lawful to touch the garment spotted of the
                      flesh,
                      > > in respect, one Achan taking the accursed spoil, brought judgment
                      on
                      > > all the rest, and therefore they must separate who would be free
                      of
                      > > the curse.
                      > >
                      >
                    • Ic Neltococayotl
                      Hi Gary and Tammy, I would like to chime in, if I may. Is not there a difference between our current situation, Rutherford s situation, and during the times of
                      Message 10 of 24 , Mar 25, 2008
                        Hi Gary and Tammy,

                        I would like to chime in, if I may.

                        Is not there a difference between our current situation, Rutherford's
                        situation, and during the times of persecution that needs to be
                        considered?

                        If the brethren were being persecuted by the Church leadership and State
                        the way they were in the Killing Times or under the bishops in the mid
                        to late 1500's, then the faithful Christians who were enduring such
                        hardships would have had no other choice than gather together apart from
                        the persecutors. In this instance it appears to me that Rutherford's
                        words against separation would not apply in that, as Renwick calls it,
                        they were being separated by force and against their wills. Nor does
                        the situtaion at Corinth apply due to the fact that the presbyters were
                        not persecuting those not participating in the wickedness of others.

                        However, does not Rutherford's, Durham's (see On Scandal), and Shield's
                        (see his response to Andrew Clarkson) words against separation apply to
                        us today?

                        How about when there are current denominations today that, regardless of
                        their historical origin of unfaithfulness, are living up to 2nd
                        Reformation ideals even though they do not adhere to the 6 Terms or
                        other strict RP standards, do we separate from them for such things? I
                        am here alluding to the Free Church of Scotland-Continuing or the Free
                        Presbyterian Church of Scotland. It would seem that for a congregation
                        of believers to be faithful followers of Biblical Reformation, they have
                        to adopt those circumstantial aspects of the 6 Terms, namely 4 & 5 in
                        regards to those particulars to the RP only. Yet, I would argue that
                        the Church in Scotland, England, and Ireland are bound to press the
                        Church and State to explicitly uphold and prosecute the SL&C and in
                        Scotland only the National Covenant.

                        I do not believe that I would be in sin for join such denominations that
                        are more faithful to the Truth than their ancestors were. Is that not
                        an indication of reformation, returning to the Old paths, and etc? Do
                        we reject them just because they do not adopt one or two certain
                        particulars that not even a Synod or a General Assembly ruled on??

                        Thanks,

                        Edgar


                        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "ghowmil"
                        <garnetmilne@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi Tammy,
                        >
                        > It would have come as a surprise to the persecuted covenanters
                        > through the killing times and the society people and the Reformed
                        > Presbyterians when they were organised as a church that Rutherford
                        > was actually not on their side at all. When you can prove that they
                        > wrongly separated from the main body in Scotland then you claim
                        > Rutherford as their opponents.
                        >
                        > A better model, if you are looking in church history, would be John
                        > Knox, Whittingham and others separating from Frankfurt over the
                        > liturgy and going to Geneva, or the English nonconformists in the
                        > 1560s under Elizabeth who were drummed out of the ministry and
                        > separated from the church setting up their own services in their
                        > homes etc. Surely having to have your minister wear, or as a minister
                        > wearing, a surplice is not as bad as idolatry and incest is it?
                        >
                        > When you talk about Corinth in this way, you neglect to say that both
                        > matters were dealt with and resolved.
                        >
                        > Kind Regards,
                        > Gary
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, okidokismokijo
                        > no_reply@ wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Gary,
                        > >
                        > > Thanks for your comment.
                        > >
                        > > There is a difference, for sure, between an established church and
                        > > what we have in the US. But what makes covenant breaking, and
                        > > non-establishment worse sins than incest, partial idolatry and the
                        > > other sins of the Corinthian church? The principles contained in
                        > > Rutherford's arguments are still valid to true churches in any
                        > case.
                        > > Check out Durham on the Thyatiran (sp??) church in his commentary
                        > on
                        > > Revelation, as well as his comments on the 18th chapter. Durham and
                        > > Rutherford are pulling their principles of unity from the scripture,
                        > > which are not made void by establishment or attainments. Like the
                        > WCF
                        > > ch 25 says, the church is more or less pure in doctrine and worship,
                        > > even the purest churches have sin, and then goes on in ch 26 to say
                        > > that Christians have duties to fellowship with one another, to
                        > worship
                        > > with one another in the church and we're to take the ordinances
                        > which
                        > > are means of grace to us regardless of the sins of others. The
                        > > Corinthians were commanded to take the Lord's supper correctly in
                        > Cor
                        > > 11, even though all of the problems were still current! They were
                        > > told to repent, get it right, but not to separate. If swearing is
                        > > made to break our duties to church union, then it's an unlawful
                        > oath,
                        > > we can't swear to sin. The SLC was a document to bring nations and
                        > > churches to unity, not to prevent them from having unity.
                        > >
                        > > -Tammy
                        > >
                        > > -- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "ghowmil"
                        > > <garnetmilne@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > Remember though Okidoki, Rutherford is arguing from an
                        > established
                        > > > church perspective against congregational and other separatists
                        > and
                        > > > not arguing from a modern separatists perspective against those
                        > who
                        > > > adhere to an establishmentarian and covenanting vantage point.
                        > > >
                        > > > Gary
                        > > >
                        > > > OBJECTION THIRTEEN. They object, that it is not lawful to have
                        > > > communion with a church, where there is any superstition or
                        > idolatry,
                        > > > or false worship. For David would not take up the names of idols
                        > in
                        > > > his lips; nor is it lawful to touch the garment spotted of the
                        > flesh,
                        > > > in respect, one Achan taking the accursed spoil, brought judgment
                        > on
                        > > > all the rest, and therefore they must separate who would be free
                        > of
                        > > > the curse.
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • benhartmail
                        Tammy, Thanks for the quotes from SR as well as for your argumentation to back up his point. I think it is important to remember that ultimately we re arguing
                        Message 11 of 24 , Mar 25, 2008
                          Tammy,

                          Thanks for the quotes from SR as well as for your argumentation to
                          back up his point. I think it is important to remember that
                          ultimately we're arguing about issues, not about what so-and-so said
                          or did. It is a huge temptation on all of our parts to have our
                          heroes come out on the right side (i.e. *our side* :D ) of things.
                          Thanks for sticking to the issues, not the people.

                          That said, I'm sympathetic with your argument, and while I don't have
                          much to add to it, I'd only like to emphasize one point. It's not
                          clear where we get the idea in Scripture that it's historical
                          attainments that are what give us sufficient grounds for separation
                          from other Christians. In the passage below, Gary seems to beg the
                          question at issue when he says:


                          >
                          > When you talk about Corinth in this way, you neglect to say that
                          both
                          > matters were dealt with and resolved.
                          >


                          I take it that the inference is that, if the issues weren't dealt
                          with, someone should have separated. However, unless we're already
                          assuming the "attaiments as grounds for separation" view, then we'd
                          have no reason to think they would have separated. Of course, I may
                          be getting Gary's point wrong (and if so, please correct me Gary),
                          but if not I think the point stands.

                          Again, I think sticking to the issues is essential to advancing the
                          conversation re: separation, so thanks for doing just that.

                          Warm Regards,
                          Ben
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