Friday, May 12, 2006

abstracts of priniciples affrims the landmarks

Many of the Reformed Theology Group cling to the Abstracts of Principles as proof of many of their doctrines (NOT ALL do this). I have many time wondered way they would turn to this and not scripture or some thing earlier in the spectrum on theological time. This in not of true importance here though. Let us look at Abstract XVI and see how it affirms one of the landmarks of a true church.

XVI. The Lord's Supper.The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by His churches till the end of theworld. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship.

Now as we slow examine this abstract we find that this ordinance has given to the Churches by Christ to observe, not the universal church (catholic church). Additionally we find that this is to be done by the churches until the end of the world; this seems to have smacking of perpetuity to it, that Christ’s Churches would have never been extinguished and lost. Furthermore, the term Churches is used and not Church, a singular noun. The ordinance is to be celebrated in multiple, autonomous, singular churches, not in a universal church. As for Christians they are to be members of a church and not freelancing their faith in a lone ranger way. Scripture would warn and command against this. The real kicker here to use the vernacular is that the abstract says that this celebration of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper is to be between Christ and Church. How could one bond, pledge and "renew" their fellowship with Christ and a stranger? Where would the renewal be? Would there not have to first be a relationship to begin with? That would be new, no renew.

Additionally, Abstract XV on baptism says that baptism “is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord's Supper.” This means that one must be are regenerate baptized believer prior to being a member of the Church and being allowed to partake in the Lord’s Supper. Does his not set a fence at the table?

Abstract XIV reads, “The Lord Jesus is the head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches He hath given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which He hath appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Bishops or Elders, and Deacons." From this abstract we find that the Church in question has to be the local, not a universal or we would be given over to a Roman Catholic church government. This would mean one could vote at any church anytime. And that you pastor was now over all, he was a pope.

Unfortunately, I do not have the time to fully work though all the ramifications of this. Yet, I would like to hear you feed back on this.

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