Doctrinal issues - 1647

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by BigEd, Apr 28, 2016.

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  1. Hello Members, Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't The Westminster Confessions of Faith (1647), more or less settle doctrinal issues for the Protestant Reformers anyway? I posted a copy on one of my ebook pages and it's free to read online or download
  2. I am not "correcting" you but differ....

    IMHO no it did not. This Confession is a summation according to the theological perspective of the those of the body who call themselves "Reformed", but they do not represent everyone's views. It arose because at first there were differences between the Lutheran and Calvinist positions (though slight). Then the Orthodox view (as opposed to Roman Catholic) brought up questions to some regarding some issues (like the Judicial perspective of the original sin). The Arminian challenge (the questions of many but voiced by Jacob Arminius) resulted in the synod of Dordt where the Calvinists divided and some remained strictly Calvinist and others Reformed. Now, centuries after the "Reformed" distinction, there are two schools of thought that call themselves Reformed (most notably represented by the theologies of John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul) which though very very close are not in full agreement on all points.

    The one thing all strict Calvinists, and both reformed camps agree on is some explanation of TULIP. Most Christians however question various points including many other protestants.

    So though no doubt the Westminster is a profound summation of Reformed belief, it is not the only Biblically based perspective.

    In His love.

  3. Thanks Brother Paul, That's very helpful. I only have a high school education and was a C student so my communication skills are lacking. I'm not very educated on that era either but I'm trying to learn. I realize that combating the teaching of error started from Pentecost on. However, I get a sense that some events in history are acts of God in order to preserve the spreading of true doctrine. Such as the life of Luther, the Pilgrims and others and what they accomplished. Personally, I feel like the KJV, Westminster CoF and more were sort of like milestones or parts of the foundations of our Christian Faith. Kind of like places of starting over at the beginning without compromise if that makes any sense. I feel like you know what I'm trying to say and I would love for you to reply and make some sense for the other members.
  4. Interesting. I am certainly not going to deny that these were sort of milestones and acts of God. If we take KJV for example, it opened Bible for entire world. One thing we need to be careful though. Setting certain events in history alone to be acts of God and ignoring everything else. Going by same example, if KJV is an act of God, what would make other translations to be not an act of God? We have Bible in so many languages today. Are those translations not acts of God? While it is important we honor such historical milestones, we always need to remember God is still working actively today and the chapter is not over yet!
  5. Helloo @Ravindran,

    As far as revelation is concerned, does not the Bible contain the sum total of revealed truth?

    In Christ Jesus
  6. Hello @BigEd,

    You are a self-confessed defender of the faith, according to your avatar, and that I applaud: but the Westminster confession, like all creedes are the result of human endeavour. If the words used by the Holy Spirit, had to be purified, like silver tried in a furnace (Psalm 12:6), then I would rather stand by what is written in His word, than rest my faith upon such confessions of faith no matter how seemingly sound.

    In Christ Jesus
  7. Hello Chris! Absolutely, there is no debating that. What I meant by chapter not over yet is, God's writing of history of the world is not over yet. Not meant to say God there is more revelation that what is in Bible already
    Complete likes this.
  8. Hello Complete, Thanks for the input. This is an interesting discussion. If you go back to my original question, I was actually pointing to that period in time when after over a century of apostasy and the deliberate attempt to keep people uneducated (dark ages), these guys were attempting to make a fresh start with sound doctrine. I don't think it was a document created to replace scripture but an attempt to reset the correct interpretation of the foundational beliefs. To me, the 16th century was the pinnacle for Theology, education, art, music, and such. If a student today had enough education to enter college in the 16th century, that student today would have no need of college. I think this was a result of ordinary people being free to read scripture and the Holy Spirit revealing the correct interpretation. I also believe that another great apostasy in the forms of rationalism, liberalism, modernism and other "isms" entered soon thereafter and we have been on the downhill ever since. Some of the "isms' gave us technological advancement which raised our standard of living but the more we compromise and stray from the foundations of our faith, the closer we get to what we have today. (the days of Noah).
    Complete likes this.
  9. Yes!! Much like the London Baptist Confession 1689, they are foundational truths for all believers as it relates to Gods Sovereignty, salvation, sin, grace, saving faith, Christ and His merits, and free will. The 5 articles of remonstrance put out by Jacobus Arminius followers that opposed these truths were rightfully condemned as heresy at the Synod of Dordt in 1618. And is still heresy regardless of what the Arminians (Pelagianism) may say and may view as a " different view"..
  10. Hi @BigEd,

    You will agree that the foundation of our faith is Christ Himself. It is what is added to the person and work of Christ, by tradition, that causes the many divisions within Christendom.

    A failure to acknowledge the truth concerning the revelation of God made to Paul while in prison in Rome, made known through the epistles written subsequently (Eph. Phil. Col. 1&2 Tim. and Titus), has led to a form of worship that denies the completeness of our acceptance in Christ, where all is of the Spirit, both baptism and worship. The flesh counts for nothing, with it's ritual and forms of worship.

    Praise God!

    In Christ Jesus
  11. Hi Complete,

    I totally agree. I probably used the word foundation incorrectly.
  12. Hey Chris, do you believe that the Westminster confession adds to the person and work of Christ?
  13. Hi @Coop,

    I acknowledge your post, and will be back with a response asap.

    In Christ Jesus
  14. #16 Complete, May 13, 2016
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
    Hello @Coop,

    I am grateful to the originator of this thread (@BigEd), for bringing me to the Westminster Confession of Faith, which I have heard of but not read before, and to you, Coop, for challenging me regarding it’s contents. I have now downloaded the confession by means of the link above, in PDF, and am working my way through it. I have been through the first chapter so far, concerning the Holy Scriptures and find myself in total agreement with what is written there. The second chapter I am in the process of reading, concerning the Trinity.

    I will not be in a position to say whether I agree or disagree with the content of this document, obviously, until I have fully digested what it has to say. It is very comprehensive, and I would recommend this download to any who are interested.

    With my thanks,
    in Christ Jesus
  15. "In the last days many (most) will depart from THE faith ,giving heed to seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils"
    It does not say men will depart from faith .
    For the world believes in 'faith' and thinks that a unity of faiths is good .
    But a unity outside the will of God is great weakness.
    THE faith that was once delivered to the saints is the faith of Abel.
    But many will deny THE faith but will happily have the faith of Cain .
    and it was not Abel that rose up and slew Cain ,but it was Cain that rose up and slew Abel for his deeds were evil.
    Yet God " gave him time to repent" but he did not.
    Paul says is it was then so it is now .

    in Christ
    Complete likes this.
  16. Yes it is a good discussion and hopefully will remain civil but I disagree with you Coop. Arminius was NOT a Pelegian as he did not believe MAN chooses whether or not he is saved and did not teach man (apart from God's prevenient grace) can be saved. The proper (though not sound) accusation against Arminius would be "semi-Pelegian" and as far as it being deemed a heresy it was only heretical IF strict Calvinism is the truth which those self-appointed judges were convinced of (like when the Roman Catholics called justification by faith alone a heresy). Unfortunately, because the strict Calvinists have a one sided view of God and His relationship with man (who He loves) they make this false accusation. And I say this not being an Arminian.

    The problem formed because though Calvin was a brilliant theologian he misunderstood the full teaching of Augustine when Augustine had to deal with Pelegius (who was a heretic), and failed to take into account Augustine's correction of those who may fall into this misunderstanding which later grew into Calvinism which he also would have deemed heretical.

    I would be glad to point out the rest of the teaching you probably (being convinced of Calvinism) have missed if you would care to read it (from his own words).

    In His love

  17. I agree that Arminius and Arminians are semi pelegians.. Only because of their teaching of prevenient Grace, which is no grace at all that saves, and proves they believe mans will reigns supreme over Gods will. This is the heretical teaching of mans so called free will!! Roman Catholicism teaches prevenient grace and "free" will! I'm sure you know this correct? So they teach no Grace at all that saves! And deny that mans will is in bondage to sin and satan apart from salvation.. And Arminians DO believe man ultimately chooses, according to his free will, whether or not he is saved.. And therefore mans free will choice is the grounds of one being saved, is this correct? Therefore denying Gods choice of election (grace) conditioned upon Christ Jesus and His merits alone. So semi pelegians are actually pelegians regardless of what they may say about "prevenient Grace". And is why the Westminster confession was correct when expressing their confession of the truth of the gospel of Grace according to scriptures. Scriptures justifies the doctrines of Grace which the Westminster so brilliantly explains. Why not refute the Westminster as it relates to the gospel of Grace instead of talking about Calvin and Augustine? Semi Pelegianism stems from the heresy of Pelegianism.. Popery is semi Pelegianism. Arminianism is semi Pelegianism. So therefore Arminians or those who would agree with popery or Arminius, as it relates to mans free will, mans sinful condition, and the Grace of God (prevenient), believe in heresy; and is why the believers at the Synod of Dort deemed it as so. Arminianism leads back to Rome. Please explain how you aren't an Arminian or papist by condemning, as you call it, the one sided view of "strict Calvinists"? Please refute it from scripture and why the Westminster is wrong as you may see it
  18. #20 Brother Paul, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
    their teaching of prevenient Grace, which is no grace at all that saves, and proves they believe mans will reigns supreme over Gods will.

    No!That is the spin Calvinists out on the theology he taught. In Arminius man's will does not ever "reign supreme over God's will". That is a persuasive lie the Calvinists argue to make their heresy appear to be true. Arminius taught that it is God's sovereign predetermined will that man must cooperate or choose if you will once he has (by God's grace) heard the truth and God (again by grace) has given the option to man.

    And they DO teach man is in bondage to sin...they DO teach depravity, just not TOTAL (as in absolute incapablility)...

    Semi Pelegianism stems from the heresy of Pelegianism

    No it does not. The falsely accusatory term was made up by the Reformed theologians. The theology CALLED semi-Pelegianism (by Calvinists and now reformed) is the exact same doctrine taught by the Apostles (who were taught by Christ Himself) to their immediate disciples who taught it to their's that remained in the Church (all of them, wherever they were founded by which ever Apostle or Disciple) all the way up to when theologians began twisting the argument of Augustine. Therefore the correct term is the "historic orthodox" view, for it was long believed centuries before Pelegius was even born.

    Salvation is not only for the “elect”, or “chosen people” made for that purpose but was OFFERED to everyone (whosoever will may come). But those that get saved and come to salvation were foreknown by God (foreknowing does not CAUSE) but that is because they responded to Him. God “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Furthermore, “in every nation he that fears Him, and works righteousness, is accepted with Him” (Acts 10:35). Christ said: “I… will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). He “died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again…” (2 Corinthians 5:15). From Christ the Apostles “have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations…” (Romans 1:5). With the Apostles “we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe” (1 Timothy 4:10).

    For example, Calvin would go to Ephesians 1 and appear to be quite persuasive, but unbeknownst to most hearers of this beguilement process, Calvin (perhaps intentionally, perhaps in ignorance being convinced in his own error) would not complete the contextual discussion and avoided the summary/conclusion of Paul in verses 13 and 14 (and his followers still play out this apologetic strategy to this day). The summation makes it clear what Paul had been saying....after you heard the gospel of truth you (that is the saved) believed and trusted (first the hearing then the believing and trusting) and THEN those who believed and trusted were sealed with the Holy Spirit (not already so as to enable them to do this).

    Even Reformed influenced translations like the NIV make this somewhat says "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. Apparently faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word!

    The Greek Majority text would translate "That we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of his glory. In whom you also trusted after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise..."

    The point being that when God made His intent known some believed and trusted (though still unable to not sin) and these He sealed by giving them the Holy Spirit (thus the regeneration or being born from above...hence becoming His children; the elect, following their acceptance of Christ as their only hope).

    We see this sequence: God initiating, man initially responding, and God saving or casting out (for some will reject Him and the knowledge of Him and insist on dong what is right in their own eyes)...Now it is ALWAYS God who chooses to save (for God owes no man anything we all having sinned) but in this, because He let's man know of the consequence, man is without excuse (unable to say "I could not help it, it was God;s fault for making me to reject Him. He made me to sin the sins I will continue in and I am unable to resist sinning")....

    So you see...even in this people cannot come to God without the grace of God...only just as they can fall before Him in fear and contrition they are totally able to resist the move of the Spirit on their behalf.

    Thus the original teaching always accepted was that man is depraved and WILL sin, but without the TOTAL (as in absolute incapability)....I will show you the other half of Augustine's teaching (and I only go there because that is the basis of the Calvinist distortion) in the next post...just read it and believe what you will (after all according to you whatever you believe God made you do it)....
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