Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An Aside

As a Reformed Catholic in the PC(USA), I've tried to conform to the teachings of Scripture and the Book of Confessions. Yet, I've just skimmed most of the Westminster Confession of Faith, and read some of the shorter Confessions.

However, with the recent votes on adding Belhar to the list of Confessions in the BOC, I thought it a good idea to think about holding a Bible study on some of them. I picked up a copy of G.I. Williamson's The Westminister Confession of Faith for Study Classes, 2nd ed.. Needless to say it is a comprehensive study, and not one that will be done in 10 or even 20 sessions.

I'm finding the teaching to be fascinating, and not having taken the time to go through the Westminster Confession previously, very enlightening.

I find that Chapter 1, paragraph 6 is highly enlightening:

The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.

As ordained Elders (Teaching and Ruling) in the PC(USA), we vow before God and our congregation to conform to Scripture, the Constitution and the Confessions. Does this paragraph not tell us that Scripture is complete, and that what it says is not to be challenged?

The paragraph goes on:

Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word ...

Now this seems to give those who want to reinterpret scripture to say that sin is not sin an out, but does it??

...and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.

Note, that is says there are some areas that can be decided by man, but always under the rules of the Word, .. always to be observed. In other words, we cannot change the fact that sin is labeled sin in Scripture. Yet, here we are in the PC(USA) doing just that.

And so it goes ....

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