Is the Head of Your Church the United States Government or Jesus Christ? Sunday, Apr 14 2013 

I am a believer in the Establishment Principle and the obligation that the state has to eliminate the influences of heresy in a commonwealth. However, I do not believe that the state should have any constitutional authority to restrict the voice of the Church. That is a denial of Christ’s Headship .

WCF, Chapter 23, Section III,

The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed. For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God.

As Shaw says in his Commentary on the Confession,

But while our Confession undeniably teaches, that the civil magistrate is authorised to do something about religion and the Church of Christ; yet it lays certain restrictions and limitations upon the exercise of his authority in regard to these matters. According to our Confession, the civil magistrate must not assume a lordly supremacy over the Church; for a there is no other head of the Church; but the Lord Jesus Christ.”–Chap. xxv., sect. 6. He must not interfere with her internal government; for “the Lord Jesus, as king and head of his Church, hath therein appointed a government in the hand of Church-officers, distinct from the civil magistrate;” and “to these officers the keys of the kingdom of heaven are committed.”–Chap. xxx., sect. 1, 2. He must not, as a magistrate, sustain himself a public judge of true or false religion, so as to dictate to his subjects in matters purely religious; for “it belongeth to synods and councils ministerially to determine controversies of faith and cases of conscience,” &c.–Chap. xxxi., sect. 3. In the first paragraph of the section now under consideration, there is another important limitation of the power of the civil magistrate in regard to the Church. It is expressly declared, that he may not take upon himself the administration of the her ordinances of worship: “He may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments.” Neither may he take upon himself the administration of the government and discipline of the Church: “He may not assume to himself the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”

Yet this is precisely the prerogative of the Internal Revenue Service Code 501 (c) 3,  which states,

it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/Exemption-Requirements-Section-501(c)(3)-Organizations

Many Pastors have lost their Churches to the IRS after criticizing and protesting certain Government practices and policies that violate the Word of God. And just like EJP has pointed out, the Jesuit IRS (Ignatius’ Revenue Service) has committed no fraud with the Income Tax, it has also committed no fraud with 501 (c) 3. These Churches are agreeing to this contract with the Government and then are surprised that the Government moves against them after the Church breaks its agreement to submit to its head, the State. The State gives these 501 (c) 3 Churches money to support the State Propaganda, and when these 501 (c) 3 Churches start to resist the State propaganda they lose their Churches, while thinking they are being persecuted. They are not being persecuted, they are getting exactly what they deserve. You see, being a sharp thinking, scholarly Christian pastor is considered taboo nowadays and this anti-intellectualism of the modern Church is having devastating consequences.  Most modern day Pastors do not understand what they have themselves involved with in 501 (c) 3, because being a know it all is arrogant you see. Knowledge puffeth up, Amen!

Well, maybe we should rethink anti-intellectual Pietism so we can have some faithful Churches again, ey?

The modern day Pastor will most likely despair at the task before him, in freeing his Church from 501 (c) 3. No need to fear. These two works:

Approved by God, by Wright and Towsend

and In Caesar’s Grip by Kershaw

explain all of the legal issues involved with freeing a Church and staying free of the 501 (c) 3 Ecclesiastical prostitution.

Enjoy!

That I Have the Authority to Separate From A Wayward Church, Exhort Them to Repentance, Begin a New Church of my Own and Upon Lawful Election Ordain New Elders From Among the Congregation Proved in Martin Luther Wednesday, Sep 19 2012 

The following is quoted out of Luther’s Works, Volume 39, That a Christian Assembly or Congregation has the Right and Power to Judge all Teaching and to Call, Appoint, and Dismiss Teachers, Established and Proven by Scripture.

“For the soul of man is something eternal, and more important than every temporal thing. That is why it must be ruled and seized only by the eternal word; for it is very disgraceful to rule consciences before God with human law and old custom….John 10[:4], “My sheep know my voice.” Again, “My sheep do not follow strangers, but flee from them, for they do not know the voice of strangers” [John 10:5]. Again, “No matter how many of them have come, they are thieves and murderers. But the sheep did not listen to them” [John 10:8]…. but it is the sheep who are to judge whether they teach the voice [i.e., the words] of Christ or the voice of strangers…They shamelessly take away the judgment of teaching from the sheep and annex it to themselves through their own law and blasphemy. That is why they should certainly be regarded as murderers and thieves, as wolves and apostate Christians, for they are openly convicted here not only of denying God’s word but also of opposing and acting against it. Such action was quite appropriate for the Antichrist and his kingdom, according to the prophecy of St. Paul, II Thessalonians 2[:3–4]… Again, the third passage is from St. Paul, I Thessalonians 5[:21], “Test everything but hold fast to that which is good.” You see, here he does not want to have any teaching or decree obeyed unless it is examined and recognized as good by the congregation hearing it…However, the spiritual tyrants have made a worldly power out of Christendom….All of St. Paul’s warnings, Romans 16[:17–18], I Corinthians 10[:14], Galatians 3, 4, and 5, Colossians 2[:8], and elsewhere, and all the sayings of the prophets in which they teach us to avoid human teaching, do nothing but take the right and power to judge all doctrine away from the teachers and with a stern decree impose it on the listeners instead, on pain of losing their soul. Accordingly, they not only have the power and the right to judge everything that is preached, they also have the duty to judge, on pain of [incurring] the disfavor of Divine Majesty. …Thus we conclude that wherever there is a Christian congregation in possession of the gospel, it not only has the right and power but also the duty—on pain of losing the salvation of its souls and in accordance with the promise made to Christ in baptism—to avoid, to flee, to depose, and to withdraw from the authority that our bishops, abbots, monasteries, religious foundations, and the like are now exercising. For it is clearly evident that they teach and rule contrary to God and his word…And since in these last accursed times the bishops and the false spiritual government neither are nor wish to be teachers—moreover, they want neither to provide nor to tolerate any, and God should not be tempted to send new preachers from heaven—we must act according to Scripture and call and institute from among ourselves those who are found to be qualified and whom God has enlightened with reason and endowed with gifts to do so…or no one can deny that every Christian possesses the word of God and is taught and anointed by God to be priest, as Christ says, John 6[:45], “They shall all be taught by God,” and Psalm 45[:7], “God has anointed you with the oil of gladness on account of your fellows.” These fellows are the Christians, Christ’s brethren, who with him are consecrated priests, as Peter says too, 1 Peter 2[:9], “You are a royal priesthood so that you may declare the virtue of him who called you into his marvelous light. And in Psalm 51[:13], he [God] says of all Christians, “I will teach the ungodly your ways, and sinners will return to you.” Here again it is certain that a Christian not only has the right and power to teach God’s word but has the duty to do so on pain of losing his soul and of God’s disfavor….First, if he is in a place where there are no Christians he needs no other call than to be a Christian, called and anointed by God from within. Here it is his duty to preach and to teach the gospel to erring heathen or non-Christians, because of the duty of brotherly love, even though no man calls him to do so. This is what Stephen did, Acts 6–7, even though he had not been ordered into any office by the apostles. Yet he still preached and did great signs among the people. Again, Philip, the deacon and Stephen’s comrade, Acts 8[:5], did the same thing even though the office of preaching was not commanded to him either. Again, Apollos did so too, Acts 18[:25]. … Second, if he is at a place where there are Christians who have the same power and right as he, he should not draw attention to himself. Instead, he should let himself be called and chosen to preach and to teach in the place of and by the command of the others…1 Corinthians 14[:30], when he says, “If something is revealed to someone else sitting by, let the first be silent.” Do you see what St. Paul does here? He tells the teacher to be silent and withdraw from the midst of the Christians; and he lets the listener appear, even without a call… “You can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be admonished” [1 Cor. 14:31]. Again, “You should earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; but all things should be done decently and in order” [1 Cor. 14:39–40]… But if you say, “Did not St. Paul command Timothy and Titus to institute priests [I Tim. 4:13; Titus 1:5], and do we not read, Acts 14[:23], that Paul and Barnabas instituted priests among the congregations? (Therefore, the congregation cannot call anyone, nor can anyone draw attention to himself and preach among Christians; rather, one must have permission and authorization from bishops, abbots, or other prelates who represent the apostles)” I answer that if our bishops, abbots, etc., did represent the apostles, as they boast, one opinion would certainly be to let them do what Titus, Timothy, Paul, and Barnabas did when they instituted priests, etc. But since they represent the devil and are wolves who neither want to teach the gospel nor suffer it to be taught, they are as little concerned with instituting the office of preaching or pastoral care among Christians as the Turks or the Jews are. They should drive asses and lead dogs… Otherwise, if there is no such need and if there are those who have the right, power, and grace to teach, no bishop should institute anyone without the election, will, and call of the congregation. Rather, he should confirm the one whom the congregation chose and called; if he does not do it, he [the elected man] is confirmed anyway by virtue of the congregation’s call. Neither Titus nor Timothy nor Paul ever instituted a priest without the congregation’s election and call. This is clearly proven by the sayings in Titus 1[:7] and 1 Timothy 3[:10], “A bishop or priest should be blameless,” and, “Let the deacon be tested first.” Now Titus could not have known which ones were blameless; such a report must come from the congregation, which must name the man.

Again, we even read in Acts 4 [6:1–6] regarding an even lesser office, that the apostles were not permitted to institute persons as deacons without the knowledge and consent of the congregation. Rather, the congregation elected and called the seven deacons, and the apostles confirmed them. If, then, the apostles were not permitted to institute, on their own authority, an office having to do only with the distribution of temporal food, how could they have dared to impose the highest office of preaching on anyone by their own power without the knowledge, will, and call of the congregation?

But since in our times there is the need, but no bishop, to provide evangelical preachers, the examples from Titus and Timothy are invalid…Not one of them is ever instituted pope or bishop by the power of someone; rather, he is elected and called by his chapter and then confirmed by others—the bishops by the pope as their supreme head, and he, the pope himself, by the cardinal of Ostia as by his inferior. And even if one of them were not confirmed, he would still be bishop and pope. Thus I ask the dear tyrants: if bishops are made by the election and call of their own congregation, and if the pope is pope without confirmation by any other authority and by election alone, why should not a Christian congregation, too, make a preacher by its call alone?”

[Thank you Covenanter.org: http://www.covenanter.org/Luther/thatachristianassembly.htm]

The Papacy and Absolute Divine Simplicity/Monadism/Neoplatonism Wednesday, Jul 4 2012 

I have had a number of people including opponents like Catholic Nick request for me to show them how the Neoplatonism of the Early Church resulted in the Roman Papacy. I made a couple videos on Pseudo Dionysius that provided that information; one of which is linked below:

Pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite’s Neoplatonic Influence on Church Authority (From 6:00-9:00 The Roman Doctrine of the Papacy and Neoplatonism are shown to be connected)

The Indifferency of Superstitious Religious Ceremonies Refuted by George Gillespie’s English Popish Ceremonies Saturday, May 12 2012 

When confronted by the Puritanical rejection of holy days, such as Christmas and Easter along with the superstitious ceremonies that accompany these man made holy days, an Anchoretic Priest or Crypto Catholic Pastor and the common modern day Baptist Minister will appeal to the indifferency of these ceremonies. They will say that the holy  day with its ceremonies is neither good nor bad. It is just a fun ceremony with no moral ties one way or another.  Well, is it?

Before I begin I wanted to provide some keys definitions of terms Gillespie uses from The Metaphysics of the School Vol. 2,  by Thomas Norton Harper pg. 755,

“IN ACTU SIGNATO, IN ACTU EXERCITO. These two terms are used by the Schoolmen to distinguish between two conjoined effects sometimes resulting from the same action. An effect is said to be in actu signato, which is directly intended (so to speak) by the action. Thus, the impression produced in the wax by a seal is the effect in actu signato. An effect is said to be in actu exercito, when it is a necessary concomitant result of the same action, though not directly intended. Thus, in the above instance the cooling of the wax resulting from contact with the seal is in actu excercito.”

The following is taken from George Gillespie’s English popish Ceremonies, pg. 214-217,

“CHAPTER IX.

A RECAPITULATION OF SUNDRY OTHER REASONS AGAINST THE INDIFFERENCY OF THE CEREMONIES.

Sect. 1. That the ceremonies are not indifferent to us, or such things as we may freely practise, we prove yet by other reasons:

For, 1. They who plead for the indifferency of the ceremonies must tell us whether they call them indifferent in actu signato, or in actu excercito ; or in both these respects. Now, we have proven, that there is no action deliberated upon, and wherein we proceed with the advice of reason, which can be indifferent in actu exercito, and that because it cannot choose, but either have all the circumstances which it should have (and so be good), or else want some of them, one or more (and so be evil). And for the indifferency of the ceremonies in actu signato, though we should acknowledge it (which we do not), yet it could be no warrant for the practice of them, or else the believing Gentiles might have freely eaten of all meats, notwithstanding of the scandal of the Jews, for the eating of all meats freely was still a thing indifferent, in actu signato.

Sect. 2. The ceremonies are not indifferent eo ipso, that they are prescribed and commended unto us as indifferent; for, as Aquinas resolveth out of Isidore, every human or positive law must be both necessaria ad remotionem malorum and utilis ad consecutionem bonorumThe guides of God’s church have not power to prescribe any other thing than that which is good and profitable for edifying; for they are set not as lords over Christ’s inheritance, but as ministers for their good : ” It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, (say the apostles and elders to the churches,) to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things,” Acts xv. 28. They would not, you see, have enacted a canon about those things, howbeit indifferent in their own nature, had they not found them necessary for the eschewing of scandal. And as for the civil magistrate, he also hath not power to prescribe any thing which he pleaseth though it be in itself indifferent; ” for he is the minister of God unto thee for good,” saith the Apostle, Rom. xiii. 4. Mark that word, for good,—it lets us see that the magistrate hath not power given him to enjoin any other thing than that which may be for our good. Non enim sua causa dominantur, saith Calvin; sed publico bono ; neque effrceni potentia prcediti sunt, sed quce subditorum saluti sit obstricta. Now, the first and chief good which the magistrate is bound to see for unto the subjects, is (as Pareus showeth), bonum spirituale. Let us, then, either see the good of the ceremonies, or else we must account them to be such things as God never gave princes nor pastors power to enjoin ; for howsoever they have power to prescribe many things which are indifferent, that is to say, neither good nor evil in their general nature, yet they may not command us to practise any thing which in the particular use of it is not necessary or expedient for some good end.

3. The ceremonies are not indifferent, because, notwithstanding that they are prescribed and commended unto us as things in themselves indifferent, yet we are by the will and authority of men compelled and necessitated to use them. Si vero ad res suo natura medius accedat coactio, &c., then, say the Magdeburgians. Paul teacheth, Col. ii., that it is not lawful to use them freely : ” If ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (touch not, taste not, handle not, which are all to perish with the using), after the commandments and doctrines of men.” Hence is Tertullian taxed for inducing a necessity in things indifferent. Now, with how great necessity and co-action the ceremonies are imposed upon us, we have made it evident elsewhere.

Sect. 4. 4. Whatever be the quality of the ceremonies in their own nature, they are not indifferent to us; neither may we freely practice them, because Papists make advantage of them, and take occasion from them to confirm sundry of their errors and superstitions, as we have likewise elsewhere made evident…

Sect. 5. 5. Things which are most indifferent in themselves become evil in the case of scandal, and so may not be used. So hold the Century writers ; so Pareus ; so Zanchius ; so Chemnitius ; so Augustine ; and so hath the Apostle taught.[1 Cor 8:8-9] But that out of the practice of the ceremonies there groweth active scandal unto the weak, we have most clearly proven. Wherefore, let them be in their own nature as indifferent as anything can be, yet they are not indifferent to be used and practised by us; and whosoever swalloweth this scandal of Christ’s little ones, and repenteth not, the heavy millstone of God’s dreadful wrath shall be hanged about his neck, to sink him down in the bottomless lake; and then shall he feel that which before he would not understand.

Sect. 6. 6. It is not enough for warrant of our practice that we do those things which are indifferent or lawful in themselves, except they be also expedient to be done by us according to the Apostle’s rule, 1 Cor. vi. 12. But I have proven that many and weighty inconveniences do follow upon the ceremonies [pg. 188], as namely, that they make way and are the ushers for greater evils; that they hinder edification, and in their fleshly show and outward splendour, obscure and prejudice the life and power of godliness; that they are the unhappy occasions of much injury and cruelty against the faithful servants of Christ, that they were bellows to blow up, and are still fuel to increase the church-consuming fire of woeful dissentions amongst us, &c. Where also we show,that some of our opposites themselves acknowledge the inconveniency of the ceremonies ; wherefore we cannot freely nor indifferently practise them.

Sect. 7. 7. These ceremonies are the accursed monuments of popish superstition, and have been both dedicated unto and employed in the public and solemn worship of idols, and therefore (having no necessary use for which we should still retain them) they ought to be utterly abolished, and are not left free nor indifferent to us, which argument I have also made good elsewhere…Yea, Joseph Hall himself, doth herein give testimony unto us, for upon Hezekian’s pulling down of the brazen serpent, because of the idolatrous abuse of it, thus he noteth:” God commanded the raising of it, God commanded the abolishing of it. Superstitious use can mar the very institutions of God, how much more the most wise and well-grounded devices of men ! And further, in the end of this treatise, entitled, The Honour of the Married Clergy, he adjoineth a passage taken out of the epistle of Erasmus Roterodamus to Christopher, Bishop of Basil, which passage beginneth thus: ” For those things which are altogether of human constitution must (like to remedies in diseases) be attempered to the present estate of matters and times. Those things which were once religiously instituted, afterwards, according to occasion, and the changed quality of manners and times, may be with more religion and piety abrogated.” Finally, If Hezekiah be praised for breaking down the brazen serpent (though instituted by God) when the Israelites began to abuse it against the honour of God, how much more (saith Zanchius5) are our reformers to be praised, for that they did thus with rites instituted by men, being found full of superstitious abuse, though in themselves they had not been evil!

Sect. 8. 8. The ceremonies are not indifferent, because they depart too far from the example of Christ and his apostles, and the purer times of the church ; for instead of that ancient Christian-like and soul-edifying simplicity, religion is now by their means busked with the vain trumpery of Babylonish trinkets, and her face covered with the whorish and eye-bewitching fairding of fleshly show and splendour; and I have also showed particularly how sundry of the ceremonies are flat contrary to the example of Christ and his apostles and the best times.

Sect. 9. 9. The ceremonies make us also to conform, and like the idolatrous Papists, whereas it is not lawful to symbolise with idolaters, or to be like them in a ceremony of man’s devising, or anything which hath no necessary use in religion ; such a distance and a dissimilitude there is required to be betwixt the church of Christ and the synagogue of Satan ; betwixt the temple of God and the kingdom of the beast; betwixt the company of sound believers and the conventicles of heretics who are without; betwixt the true worshippers of God and the worshippers of idols, that we cannot, without being accessory to their superstitious and false religion, and partaking with the same, appear conform unto them in their unnecessary rites and ceremonies. Durandus tells us, that they call Easter by the Greek and not by the Hebrew name, and that they keep not that least upon the same day with the Jews, and all for this cause, lest they should seem to Judaise. How much more reason have we to abstain from the ceremonies of the church of Rome lest we seem to Romanise ! But I say no more in this place, because I have heretofore confirmed this argument at length..

Sect. 10. 10. The ceremonies, as urged upon us, are also full of superstition; holiness and worship are placed in them, as we have proven by unanswerable grounds,  and by testimonies of our opposites themselves. Therefore were they never so indifferent in their own general nature, this placing of them in the state of worship maketh them cease to be indifferent.

Sect. 11. 11. The ceremonies against which we dispute are more than matters of mere order, forasmuch as sacred and mysterious significations are given unto them, and by their significations they are thought to teach men effectually sundry mysteries and duties of piety. Therefore they are not free nor indifferent, but more than men have power to institute ; for except circumstances and matters of mere order there is nothing which concerneth the worship of God left to the determination of men, and this argument also hath been in all the parts of it fully explained and strengthened by us, which strongly proveth that the ceremonies are not indifferent…

Sect. 12. 12. Whatsoever indifferency the ceremonies could be thought to have in their own nature, yet if it be considered how the church of Scotland hath once been purged from them, and hath spued them out with detestation, and hath enjoyed the comfortable light and sweet beams of the glorious and bright shining gospel of Christ, without shadows and figures, then shall it appear that there is no indifferency in turning back to weak and beggarly elements, Gal. v. 9. And thus saith Calvin of the ceremonies of the interim, that granting they were things in themselves indifferent, yet the restitution of them in those churches which were once purged from them, is no indifferent thing. Wherefore, OScotland! “strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die,” Rev. iii. 2. Remember also from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works ; or else thy candlestick will be quickly removed out of his place, except thou repent, Rev. ii. 5.”

No, the man made holy days and ceremonies of the Anchoretic Churches with their modern apostate would–be Protestant daughters are not indifferent. They are monuments of idolatry that should be forgotten forever.  Our opponents will object that Protestantism’s iconoclasm has been at the root of the secular dominance of art in the past few centuries.  What they fail to acknowledge is that our iconoclasm emphasized and gave rise to the most important art: Literature. After the Protestant Reformation, the world learned how to read, and the greatest writers in world history took the stage to dazzle the minds of mankind, not just the elite and the privileged.  Thank you iconoclasm!

Godless Humility Thursday, May 10 2012 

In the biographical movie Gandhi (1982) an English Clergyman demonstrates a faithless humility that so characterizes the American Clergyman. American Clergyman often refuse to reform certain doctrines and practices by appealing to their great humility and submission to the Church. They refuse to believe that God will rise up to their defense in the face of adversity. Such is the case with this so called Christian clergyman who ends up being rebuked by a Pagan for his Godless humility. See 18:30-19:45.

Drake’s Terms of Communion Monday, Feb 13 2012 

I have had a few conversations with Reformed guys who are agreeing with my criticisms of Scholasticism, ADS and Filioque and agreeing with my affirmations of Original Nicene Triadology. These are my terms of communion to those considering these things. If you provide a public Church document espousing these points I will apply for membership at your Church immediately:

1. A public denunciation of that Papal Roman doctrine Filioque.

2. Public espousal of these ecclesiastical documents:

I. Proper Theology Proper and Triadology:

The Original Nicene Creed (First Ecumenical Council)

The Anathemas Against Origen (Fifth Ecumenical Council)

II. Proper Christology which implies a Christian philosophy which makes some kind of ontological union between humanity and divinity possible not necessarily every kind of ontological union. I am not necessarily demanding Clark’s Scripturalism but this premise must be maintained: humanity and divinity are not in incompatible metaphysical categories but the logos of humanity is to participate in the divine and uncreated. At the same time, the essence of God is not outside of Being/Predication.

The ‘Theopaschite’ Formula: “One of the Trinity Has Suffered”

The Twelve Anathemas of Cyril Against Nestorius (Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus)

The Definition of Faith of the Council of Chalcedon (Fourth Ecumenical Council)

Constantinople 553, The Capitula of the Council VII

III. Proper Worship and Ecclesiology:

The Directory for the Publick Worship of God. An Act of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Scotland, approving and establishing the Directory for Publick Worship at Edinburgh, February 6, 1645.

The Directory for Family Worship; Assembly at Edinburgh, August 24, 1647, Sess. 10.

The Form of Presbyterian Church Government; Assembly at Edinburgh, February 10, 1645, Sess. 16

IV. Proper Covenant Theology and Soteriology

The Sum of Saving Knowledge

3. I would also strongly suggest a public affirmation that the Roman papacy is the Antichrist and man of sin (not just an antichrist) and that the said Church is committed to a public removal of the Popish Church from our land: Thus, The Solemn League And Covenant or some other document that binds us to national enmity with the Papacy.

I will post this as “Drake’s Terms of Communion” under the pages.

Infallibility of Councils Refuted From the Erroneous Jewish Council That Condemned Christ in George Gillespie Monday, Nov 28 2011 

Aaron’s Rod Blossoming, pg. 14:

“1. There was a council of the priests, and elders, and scribes, Matt. ii. 4; xvi. 21; xxi. 23; xxvi. 57, 59; xxvii. 1,12; Mark xiv. 43; Luke xxii. 66; Acts iv. 5. The Centurists say that those elders were joined with the priests in the government of the church, with ecclesiastical persons in ecclesiastical affairs, which had been rightly taken for a precedent of our ruling elders.1 2. That council…Luke xxii. 66; Acts xvii. 5, the presbytery or eldership, the very name which Paul gives to that assembly of church-officers who ordained Timothy, 1 Tim. iv. 14. Is it credible that the Apostle would transfer the name of a civil court to signify an assembly which was merely ecclesiastical and not civil?…This council did examine Jesus concerning his disciples, and his doctrine, and received witnesses against him, and pronounced him guilty of blasphemy, Matt. xxvii. 57; Mark xiv. 53,55; Job xviii. 10; hence Protestant writers draw an argument against Papists, to overthrow their infallibility of councils, unto which argument Bellarmine deviseth four answers, but it came not once into his thoughts to reply that this council was civil, not ecclesiastical, which had been his best answer if any probability for it. It hath been supposed, both by Protestant and Popish writers, that it was an ecclesiastical council such as the controversy is about, otherwise our argument had been as impertinent as their answer was insufficient. 4. Our opposites have no evasion here, but that which Bilson, Saravia, and others of the prelatical party did answer in opposition to ruling elders, namely, that the Jewish elders were judges or magistrates; but the reply which served them will serve now: the elders are plainly distinguished from judges, rulers and princes, Josh. viii. 33; xxiii. 2; Deut. v. 23; Judg. viii. 14;”

The Mistaken Infallibility of the Jewish Church the same Mistake as the Romanists In George Gillespie Monday, Nov 28 2011 

Aaron’s Rod Blossoming, pages 10-11,

“The sixth place which intimateth an ecclesiastical sanhedrim, is Jer. xviii. 18, where the adversaries of Jeremiah say among themselves, “Come and let us devise devices against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue.” The force of their argument (as not only our interpreters, but Maldonat also, and Sanctius, following Aquinas and Lyra, tell us) stands in this, those who are of greatest authority in the church, the priests, prophets, and elders, with whom are the oracles of truth, do contradict Jeremiah, therefore he is a false prophet. But what was the ground of this consequence? Surely the ground was that which Bullinger and the late English annotations do observe, namely, the Popish error was also their error,—the church cannot err. But let us yet follow the argument to the bottom. How came they to think the church cannot err? or what was that church which they thought infallible? No doubt they had respect to the law of the sanhedrim, Deut. xvii. 10— 12, “And thou shalt do according to the sentence which they of that place (which the Lord shall choose) shall show thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee : according to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall show thee, to the right hand, or to the left; and the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest (that standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God) or unto the judge, even that man shall die.” From this scripture misapplied they drew an argument against Jeremiah, wherein their meaning could not be this, that the doctrine of every individual priest, or of every individual scribe, is infallible (for as the law now cited did speak of the sanhedrim, not of individual priests, so neither the Jews of old, nor the Papists after them, have drawn the conceited infallibility so low as to every particular priest); but they mean collectively, and point at an assembly or council of priests, wise men, and prophets, which, as they apprehended, could not err, and whose determination they preferred to the word of the Lord by Jeremiah; “for the law (that is, saith Menochius, the interpretation of the law) cannot perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise.” Now this was an ecclesiastical, not a civil sanhedrim, which may appear thus: 1. They do not make mention of the judge mentioned Deut. xvii. (where the priest and the judge are distinguished), only they mention the priest, the prophet (for which the Chaldee hath scribe: which is all one, as to the present argument; for we find both prophets and scribes in ecclesiastical assemblies, as was said before), and the wise. By the wise,

are meant those that were chief or did excel among the scribes or doctors of the law. So Grotius, annot. in Matt. xxiii. 34, and it may be collected from Jer. viii. 8, 9. This is certain, that these wise men were churchofficers; for as they are distinguished from the judges, Isa. iii. 2, so Jesus Christ, speakmg of apostles and other ministers of the gospel whom he was to send forth, expresseth himself by way of allusion to the ecclesiastical ministers of the Jews, Matt, xxiii. 34, “Behold I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes,” which Luke xi. 49, hath thus, “I will send them prophets and apostles.” 2. The civil sanhedrim at this time did (so far as we can find) contradict Jeremiah; but when his cause came afterward before them, Jer. xxvi., they show much favour and friendship to him. 3. That which is added, “Come and let us smite him with the tongue,” may be three ways read, and every way it suiteth to the ecclesiastical sanhedrim (whether themselves be the speakers in the text, or whether the people be the speakers of it, as of that which they would desire and move the sanhedrim to do in the name of them all), either thus, “Let us smite him for the tongue,” that is, for an ecclesiastical cause, for false doctrine; or thus, “Let us smite him in the tongue” (so the Septuagint, and Arias Montanus), that is, let us smite him with an ecclesiastical censure, and silence him, and discharge him to preach any more to the people; or thus, “Let us smite him with the tongue,” that is, with an ecclesiastical sentence or declaration; smite him not with the sword (which belonged only to the civil magistrate) but with the tongue, by declaring him to be a false prophet, and by determining the case de jure, what ought to be done with him according to the law.”

Drake’s Separated State Resolved and SWRB Corrected by Rutherford Sunday, Nov 20 2011 

I still hold to the Nicene construction but I am continuing to doubt that the Westminster Divines and their followers understood what was being said in the Filioque controversy. They assert an eternal procession to the spirit from the Son but then cite texts to prove it that only show economical actions of the Spirit not ontological. So I am beginning to see some room for tolerance with Reformed churches. That is I don’t think they are rejecting what they think they are rejecting. Rutherford says,

“DISTINCTION SIX. They are not alike, (1.) who believe fundamental heresies; (2.) and who defend them; (3.) and who teach them, and obtrude them upon the consciences of others. For the first, many believe fundamental errors who are ignorant of them, and do think that they firmly adhere to Christian Religion. Occam26 terms such, hereticos nescientes, ignorant heretics, as the Marcionites, and the Manicheans, and these the church should tolerate while they are instructed. It is true the Jesuit Meratius27 says,When many things are proposed to the understanding for one and the same formal wit, for divine authority, the understanding cannot embrace one but it must embrace all, nor reject one, but it must reject all, which is true of a formal malicious rejection. The Manichean believes nothing because God says it, and has faith sound and saving, in nothing, but it is not true of and actual or virtual contempt, in one or two fundamentals, because believers out of weakness, ignorance, and through strength of temptation may doubt of one fundamental, as the disciples doubted of the resurrection (John 20:9), and yet in habit believe all other fundamentals. But the church is to correct such as profess fundamental heresies, and to cast out of the church seducers and deceivers.”

http://www.naphtali.com/articles/samuel-rutherfurd/against-separatism-part-one/

Nicene Triadology affirms two processions to the spirit: One ontological from the Father and one economical from the Son.

I believe that the dual Ontological procession has modalistic
implications, but as Rutherford has shown from Due Right, an
implication is not enough for separation. Paul did not separate from
the Jews until they openly and directly denied the Messiah. Rutherford says,

DISTINCTION SEVEN. It is one thing to hate fundamental points, as that Christ is consubstantial with the Father as the Arians do, and another thing, by consequence to subvert a fundamental point, as Papists by consequence deny Christ to be true man, while they hold to the wonder of Transubstantiation, yet they do not hate this conclusion formally, that Christ is true man.

http://www.naphtali.com/articles/samuel-rutherfurd/against-separatism-part-one/

again,

Rutherford says,

“CONSIDERATION EIGHT. There may be causes of non-union with a church, which are not sufficient causes of separation. Paul would not separate from the Church of the Jews, though they rejected Christ, till they openly blasphemed (Acts 13:44-46; 18:16). And when they opposed themselves and blasphemed, Paul shook his raiment and said unto them, Your blood be upon your heads, I am clear, from henceforth I will go to the Gentiles. There is a lawful separation, and yet before the Jews came to this, there was no just cause why any should have joined to the Church of the Jews, which denied the Messiah, and persecuted his servants (Acts 4, 5), seeing there was a cleaner church, to which converts might join themselves (Acts 2:40-42).”

Secondly, I have just finished reading Rutherford’s Due Right of
Presbyteries again on Separation and I believe I have been duped by
Greg price and Reg Barrow (SWRB) on Rutherford’s position. He was
vigorously against separation and so I am open to attend a Reformed
church as long as its clear that the persons of the Trinity are
distinct persons and not modes of the same person and that the church
believes in the eternal generation of the Son which is a point at
which some reformed scholars are denying and leading people into hell.

If you are at all familiar with Greg Price’s and Reg Barrow position on the visible constitutionality of the wayward Pharisaical Jewish Church you will read that Christ really did not tell people to hear them but they make a distinction asserting that Christ was making a declarative statement that the people ***ARE*** hearing the Pharisees and they ***should*** not.

What does Rutherford say?

“ARGUMENT ONE. Because Scribes and Pharisees, and the church in Christ’s days were a most perverse church. The rulers perverted the Law (Matt. 5:21); denied that hatred and rash anger was a sin (v. 22), or heart adultery a sin; made the commandment of God of no effect by their traditions (Matt. 15:6), polluted the worship with superstition and will worship (v. 7, 8; Mark 7:6-8), said it was nothing to swear by the Temple, devoured widow’s houses, made their proselytes children of damnation (Matt. 23: 14-16), were blind guides, filled the measure of their fathers wrath, slew the Lord of glory (1 Cor. 2:8, 9), killed and crucified the prophets, were blind guides, and the blind people followed them, and slew the Lord of glory also. The priesthood was kept by Moyen, Caiphas was high priest that year. But Christ by practice and precept forbad to separate from this church, Ergo, etc. The assumption is clear (Matt. 23:2), They sit in Moses’ chair, hear them. Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and preach (Mark 10:6, 7). And Christ and his disciples observed their feasts, preached in their Temple and Synagogues
(John 1:7, 37; 8:2; Luke 4:16; 1:9). Christ reasoned with them about religion (John 10:24-26).”

http://www.naphtali.com/articles/samuel-rutherfurd/against-separatism-part-three/

Again,

“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. 5:21Try 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. 23they sit in Moses’ chair.”

http://www.naphtali.com/articles/samuel-rutherfurd/against-separatism-part-four/

He says the exact opposite from SWRB.

You will also read from the SWRB guys that preaching to a congregation is not communion with that congregation. They use this to buttress their view of separation against the objection that John Knox ministered in the Anglican communion. They will say, oh no he just preached to them.

Is this Samuel Rutherford’s position? Rutherford says,

“Master Canne,24 poor soul, doubtsome [of] what to say, says, These that preach to people have not spiritual communion with all which are present and hear the same, for the devil is often a hearer. But this is a poor shift, for neither Saviour, Word of God, covenant, promise, or seal belongs to Satan. He is a hearer to carry away the seed that falleth by the wayside (Matt. 13). And so because the Word is not Satan’s in offer, and he comes uncalled, he has no church communion with the church. But the Word preached to men, and especially in an ordinary way is a professed communion with all professors, for so the Word of God says (Ezk. 33:31They come unto thee as the people commeth, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words. And (Isa. 58:2They ask of me the ordinances of Justice, they take delight in approaching to God. And (Isa. 2:2) the peoples’ communion with one another in going to the Lord’s mountain to be taught his Word, is set down as a mark of the called church of the Gentiles.

(2.) To hear or profess hearing of the Word is a worshipping of God; therefore joint hearers are joint worshippers, and have communion together.

(3.) To eat at one table of the Lord is a profession that the eaters are one body (1 Cor. 10:17) with that same Lord, and promises are offered in the Word that are sealed in the Sacrament.

(4.) All our divines prove the Church of the Jews. and Church under the New Testament to be one Church, because that same word of the covenant, and that same faith in substance that was preached and sealed to us, was preached to them (1 Cor. 10:1-4; Heb. 11, 13:8; 3:7-13). None deny this but Arminians, Socinians, Papists, and some other perverters of the Scriptures.”

http://www.naphtali.com/articles/samuel-rutherfurd/against-separatism-part-three/

No. Actually it was the position of his opponent!

My Free Church of Scotland church wrote a letter of disjunction and said that my reasons  for separation were not heretical.  They admitted that the Nicene view of the single ontological procession of the spirit was not heresy and Turretin admits as much in his Institutes. I am willing to attend a Reformed church until they openly acknowledge what the Nicene view really is and condemn it as heresy. Another reason why I am willing to be patient with the Reformed Church is that Gerlad Bray also bases the Filioqoue on an economical action of the Spirit.  Gerald Bray, in his The Filioque Clause In History And Theology says,

“The work of the Holy Spirit is to remake us in the image of Christ, so that we might enjoy the benefits of Christ’s relationship to the Father. We are not being transformed into God by nature, but being raised into the fellowship of the Trinity as persons united with Christ by faith. If the Holy Spirit is the one who makes this possible, it is obvious that he must have the capacity to do so. If He were remaking us in the image of Christ’s nature, as Palamas and his followers maintain, it would not be necessary for Him to share in Christ’s hypostasis. But according to Calvin He is remaking us in the image of Christ’s person, so that we too may be sons of God by adoption. To do this, the Holy Spirit must share in the hypostasis of the Son, and therefore proceed from Him.” pg. 142

He is basing the ontological procession on an economical action. He is confused as are all Reformed people on this doctrine and until there is a consensus understanding of this and an open denial of the Nicene construction, I am willing to commune as a non-member in Reformed Churches.

I GET TO GO TO CHURCH TOMORROW! THANK GOD.

Irenaeus on the Gnostic View of Authority; Sound Familiar? Friday, Aug 26 2011 

Irenaeus, Against Heresies (Book III, Chapter 2)

The heretics follow neither Scripture nor tradition.

“1. When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but vivâ voce: wherefore also Paul declared, But we speak wisdom among those that are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world.1 Corinthians 2:6 And this wisdom each one of them alleges to be the fiction of his own inventing, forsooth; so that, according to their idea, the truth properly resides at one time in Valentinus, at another in Marcion, at another in Cerinthus, then afterwards in Basilides, or has even been indifferently in any other opponent, who could speak nothing pertaining to salvation. For every one of these men, being altogether of a perverse disposition, depraving the system of truth, is not ashamed to preach himself.

2. But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but even than the apostles, because they have discovered the unadulterated truth. For [they maintain] that the apostles intermingled the things of the law with the words of the Saviour; and that not the apostles alone, but even the Lord Himself, spoke as at one time from the Demiurge, at another from the intermediate place, and yet again from the Pleroma, but that they themselves, indubitably, unsulliedly, and purely, have knowledge of the hidden mystery: this is, indeed, to blaspheme their Creator after a most impudent manner! It comes to this, therefore, that these men do now consent neither to Scripture nor to tradition.”

Much confusion here ay? The Gnostics said that to understand scripture you must have knowledge of tradition and the viva voce.  Sounds exactly like Eastern Orthodoxy and Romanism. Especially the latter.

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