One inconsistency regarding the PB rules

Discussion in 'FAQ & Rules' started by YXU, Oct 6, 2008.

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  1. YXU

    YXU Puritan Board Freshman

    On the membership confessional requirements, we read:

    c. Historic Creeds: All members of this board hold to the basic creeds of the church: The Apostles' Creed, The Nicene Creed, The Athanasian Creed, and the Definitions of Chalcedon.

    Below is the the Athanasian Creed:

    1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
    2. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
    3. Neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance
    4. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son and another of the Holy Spirit.
    5. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
    6. Such as the Father is, such is the Son and such is the Holy Spirit.
    7. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Spirit uncreate.
    8. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
    9. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
    10. And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.
    11. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensibles, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
    12. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty;
    13. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
    14. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
    15. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
    16. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;
    17. And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.
    18. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord;
    19. so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say: There are three Gods or three Lords.
    20. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
    21. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.
    22. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
    23. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
    24. And in this Trinity none is afore, nor after another; none is greater, or less than another.
    25. But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and co-equal.
    26. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
    27. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
    28. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    29. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
    30. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and made of the substance of His mother, born in the world.
    31. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
    32. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.
    33. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.
    34. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.
    35. One altogether, not by the confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
    36. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;
    37. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;
    38. He ascended into heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty;
    39. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
    40. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;
    41. And shall give account of their own works.
    42. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
    43. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

    I have highlighted some parts of the creed, in fact, all the premil members of the forum don't hold to the Athanasian Creed, for the creed states Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

    I have raised the issue in another post regarding premil's departure. I suggest that Athanasian Creed be removed from the membership requirement to be consistent. If not, we depart from the biblical reason for being a confessional people. If the Athanasian Creed should still be the membership requirements, then the premil members should all be excluded to meet the creed.
  2. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member


    This is a matter of your interpretation. It may be a bit strained, but I see no reason why a Premil could not affirm the Athanasian Creed (and many have done so for centuries). Just because you think that Premil contradicts this, does not make it so (and again, I speak as a convinced Amil).

    The only bolded section that would even be in question is #40 and the parsing of "all." Can I possibly suggest that you find another hobby horse to ride?
  3. MOSES

    MOSES Puritan Board Freshman

    39. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
    40. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;
    41. And shall give account of their own works.
    42. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
    43. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

    In the pre-mill paradigm
    39 -- Christ does not return to judge the living and the dead, but to set up his earthly kingdom
    40 -- Not all men are resurrected
    41 -- Not all men give an account, being judgment is suspened by 1000 years
    42 -- Everlasting life does not begin at the coming of Christ...only an earthly kingdom, in which there is still death
    43 -- this "catholic faith" is in error, according to a pre-mill concerning the "last things"

    So, a premill would not be explicitly "creedal" on some of these issues...but I think they still fall within the "jist" and general idea's behind the creed, namely--Christ's return, judgment, resurrection, everlasting life, etc.

    And, if we exclude pre-mills, then we would probably have to exclude some of those in the preterist camp as well...but, that is also why I consider myself a "Creedal Preterist".
  4. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    The key phrase there is "at whose coming" and there is not a level of specificity. The Premil would simply argue that the "coming" is the Second Coming (at which all those things will happen) and not the rapture event. The Westminister Standards are far more specific.
  5. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    Even if it is argued that a person with a premil eschatology could not affirm the Athanasian creed, it would not be an inconsistency with the rules. It could be argued that it's an inconsistency in enforcing the rules for membership but tnot the rules themselves.

    Yet, you're missing a very obvious rule that makes this whole discussion moot.
  6. Jimmy the Greek

    Jimmy the Greek Puritan Board Senior

    Harping on this issue, as YXU is doing, comes across as argumentative and arrogant. This approach is not usually tolerated for very long (I would hope). :2cents:
  7. YXU

    YXU Puritan Board Freshman

    Do you think your wording is edifiying? I am basing the suggestion based on a normal interpretation on the Athanasian Creed. You are trying to make the Creed vague to tolerate error. If you define my interpretation of the Athanasian Creed as wrong, then, the right interpretation which you recommend causes liberals and apostacy in confessing churches.

    Truth is absolute, and there is always right and wrong, trying to make everything right thus to create a loving environment is not loving at all.

    Because of this spirit we see so much presbyterian denominations claiming to submit to the Confessions, but in reality, are moving on the another way.
  8. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior


    One thing I had to learn when I became a member of the Puritan Board is that I was a guest here. The Admins and Mods have the right to do things the way they deem to be biblically correct because this is their board. If you don't understand that you're a guest that has been welcomed here by them then you will fail to see how you fit in on this board. You may not agree with everything that is said and done, but at the end of the day YOU AGREED to submit to the rules and authority of the PB to become a member here. That doesn't mean you can't voice your opinions and thoughts, but I've only read a few of your posts thus far and it seems obvious that you are driving your horse straight into the ground.

    Perhaps you should slow down just a bit and consider the verse in your signature line before starting threads about where and why the PB is inconsistent or whatever.

    God bless.
  9. YXU

    YXU Puritan Board Freshman

    The rule themselves are very good. Just like the WCF is good, but inconsistency still exists for the practise is different from the rule. Just like every presbyterian claim the WCF, but do they actually all hold WCF?
  10. YXU

    YXU Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for your reply, it is warm. I will definitely take your advices. Anyway, I am not angry about those things, my spirit is peaceful. I believe I am making faithful statements not false statements.
  11. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    YXU, the interpretation of line 40 seems to be the problem here. However, as has been noted, it is consistent with a premil interpretation thusly: premils do believe that at a certain time conjunctive with Christ's coming (they usually say it is the great white throne judgment), all will be raised from the dead and given their glorified body. That is all that the creed is saying as well. I do not believe the creed was fashioned to deal with this particular theological issue, anyway.
  12. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor


    As Pastor Barnhart pointed out, we are guests here. The PB also is not a church and even churches have made certain exceptions from time to time, not to permit error, but rather because growth and the potential for growth is seen and room is made for that. We have had many members come without a perfect or full understanding of the Creeds and Confessions and grow in their knowledge and understanding while here. It's called "having Grace". I have also interacted online with more than a few of these gents and what Fred said was not being "unedifying" either...rather it was possibly more of a visual point being made. There are "bigger fish to fry" or more important things.
  13. MOSES

    MOSES Puritan Board Freshman


    By the very nature of what a creed is, it cannot be absolute or all encompassing, there is a certain vagueness to creeds.

    e.g., the Apostles Creed does not say eveything about is not all encompassing...but that is the design. It is supposed to be basic.

    A creed is not a pillar and foundation of the church, or the truth. A creed has a purpose, but it is an error, in my opinion, to extend its purpose past that for which it is designed.
  14. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Did you pass over my last sentence. There is a clause in the rules that makes your concern moot.
  15. ManleyBeasley

    ManleyBeasley Puritan Board Junior

    I don't think anti-premillennialism is the correct interpretation of the creed. Historically most church fathers were premillennial (historic not dispensational) so it doesn't make sense that he would damn them.
  16. MOSES

    MOSES Puritan Board Freshman

    Off topic NOTE:

    I do find it interesting that the requirements of joining this forum are stricter then that of joining the varoius Churches which the forum represents.

    e.g., The Orthodox Presbyterian Church. You do not have to hold to the WCF in order to be a member, though one must hold to the WCF in order to serve in office...nor do you have to hold to the three forms of unity, or the 1689 l.b.c., etc.

    Correct me if I'm wrong on this

    Please nobody take this the wrong is just a simple observance.
  17. YXU

    YXU Puritan Board Freshman

    Please state the rule so that I can observe it.
  18. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    You're not wrong in one sense. I've always found that interesting that people are shocked that this would be the case. This isn't the Church.

    The Church has a responsibility and resources at the local level to deal with divergent views. Even an OPC can permit a member in their body that is a pre-mil dispensationalist (hopefully on the mend) but the real question is this: What would happen if, during every Sunday School class, that person started getting up and teaching their view to the entire class? Or, worse yet, what if they started getting up and teaching the whole Church during worship?

    That should give you a small indication as to why our requirements are more restrictive. In truth, we don't really examine applicants for their orthodoxy and very few would pass muster if exact subscription is the requirement. In fact, if I wanted to be uber-punctilious, I could probably dig into YXU to the point where I'd find a reason to find some un-Confessional opinion.

    Most participants here are aware where they part from the Confessions and are respectful enough to keep their opinions to themselves where it would be extremely disruptive. This is one reason why we permit certain exceptions on a case by case basis.
  19. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Read the rules more carefully please.
  20. MOSES

    MOSES Puritan Board Freshman

    Now that I know, it does make really good sense.
    Thanks Rich
  21. YXU

    YXU Puritan Board Freshman

    I believe in God almighty refutes many heresies and errors.
  22. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    It is a very bad judgment to weigh one's faithfulness to the faith based on his millennial view. It pretends to know his view better than he does. It is his vow, and if he agrees with the Athanasian Creed though he is a Pre-millennialist, that's his business. It is not ours to judge that. He is not being unfaithful. He is not denying any part of the Athanasian Creed on his holding to the Pre-mil view. If he adds unwarranted provisos to that view, then that's another matter. It is for that reason that we do not accept the Dispensational Pre-mil view, it seems to me.

    You cannot pigeon-hole a Pre-mil like that, making him say what he may not be saying at all. You cannot put your interpretation into his vows. It is his business, as long as he is not denying the foundational tenets of the Reformed faith. And besides, its up to his church, not you.
    And also, if this Board accepts a Pre-mil, then that's the Board's prerogative.
  23. CDM

    CDM Puritan Board Junior


    I believe brother YXU has a language barrier. English is not his native language.

    Maybe some patience with him is in order?
  24. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    Friends, a word of caution. I do not believe that some of the responses to YX have demonstrated a spirit of charity or sympathy with his concerns. He is not just a computer-generated avatar; he is a real person. He reads the creeds, which we should be thankful for. He desires that his religion conform to the beliefs of the Church, which is noble.

    In his study, he has come to what seems to him an inconsistency of practice. Rather than question his motives or accuse him of having a "hobby horse," why not be gentle and proceed to edification? Are any of us above inconsistency? Are any of us immune to error? In addition, I know YX's church and pastor, that they are humble servants of God. We have no reason to assume his posts are an indication of mean-spiritedness or any other vice.

    I am intrigued by this seeming inconsistency, and I have appreciated the posts so far that have addressed it. I hope that knowledgeable people will continue to address the issue that has been raised.
  25. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    This issue was vetted in another thread and now it's being rehabilitated in a new thread. There is, it seems to me, a strange desire to figure out any way to make the point that a pre-mil is not within Confessional boundaries.

    If it was a single thread on the subject then I'd be less curious but to make it one of the first posts on the board and then move into the FAQ/Rules (after not reading the rules carefully) to tell us we either need to change the rules or kick the pre-mils to the curb is very odd. Some might consider it arrogant.

    YXU is a big boy. If you're going to have the brass to post like he did then he needs to be man enough to hear the replies/criticism that will ensue. Christian love doesn't alway require we play paddy cakes with men when iron is being sharpened.
  26. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor


    It seems rather obvious you have a considerable axe to grind against premillenialism. I don't know, maybe some of the smaller Presbyterian bodies prohibit premillenarians from serving, but historic premils can and do serve as elders in the OPC and PCA. While a few members of the PB may hold to some form or another of dispensational premillenialism, advocacy of it here is prohibited since it has been judged to be unconfessional. However it is recognized that historic premillenialism is confessional. As a former moderator of the PB, I can tell you that, right or wrong, you are not going to get your way here on this issue, so my advice to you is to either accept it or move on.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  27. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    You are not wrong but if I'm not mistaken the rules are the way they are for practical reasons. (Early on in the boards history it was not this strict.) But with the board as large as it is now and as prominent as it is now, it would be a zoo that 100 moderators could not control if it allowed anyone to join who could affirm the 4 or 5 questions (depending on the denomination) that Presbyterian church members have to affirm.
  28. YXU

    YXU Puritan Board Freshman


    I did post a post before regarding this issue, it was placed in the eschatological forum. There were quite a lot of replies, but none of which actually trying to refute me through a analysis of the support verses I raised.

    I have read the rules before I post the post. I didn't see any obvious violation of the rules, that is why I am asking you which rule you are referring too. Frankly, I don't quite understand your message so I asked you and I read again after you suggested me to read it.

    The reason I post this in this section is for a different purpose, the previous post is for discussion over this topic, this post is trying to raise this issue regarding the PB rules and its administration.

    I do apologize for you administrator as the host of the forum which is designed to edify each other and glorify God, for any of violation to your rules due to my ignorance. But I don't think many of the arguments posted are based on good logical or strong scripture ground or a loving spirit as well.

    I don't speak English natively, but I do understand some wording like a hobby to ride a horse does not mean good things and is not relevant to the topic.

    We definitely need faithful confessions as a confessing people. God gave us a whole form of doctrines which we need to hold fast to, and among the reformed people of God, we need the confessions for an agreement. None of the argument actually refutes the issue I raised which is that the Athanasian Creed teaches the second coming of Christ is the end of history on a scriptual basis. And the Creed specifies that the faith should be held undefiled and correctly.

    If a man confess it but yet disagrees that the second coming of our Christ is the end of history, itself departs from the Creed already. So I am suggesting that if rules are being setup to hold certain creeds, then it should be assured that the creeds are actually held. This is to be faithful to Christ and to love Christ.

    We know that all the presybeterian denominations hold the WCF, but there are apostacy and liberals in some of the denominations. We know that basically all the confessing Christians believe that the Bible is true and is the only authority of faith and of godly living, but yet, we see to many painful declension among confessing Christians world wide. So this is really a issue, people are confessing, but are people faithfuly confessing their faith? Many confessing presbyterians don't believe in singing psalm exclusively as the God ordained element of worship, many don't believe in the duty of the civil magistrates to submit to the first table of the ten commandements, many still observe holy days which is prohibited in the scripture and the directory of publik worship. There are all problems to be observed.

    I am raising this issue regarding the issue itself, not an attack to any man on the board or other Chrisitans. But some of the replies to me are attacking me as a person, I apologize again if I misunderstand your culture. And all my views are taught by various ministers of the Gospel, so I am not interpretating the scripure by myself who is a layman or inventing some new things(which is stated in directory of family worship). The forum is a good place, I found many useful materials on it that glorify Christ.


  29. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Xu, I think you might be reading into some comments a "tone of voice" that may not be there, as a matter of fact. For instance, I have offered an interpretation of the Athanasian Creed as being fully consistent with pre-millenial interpretations (I am amillennial myself). It was not offered in any kind of spirit of hostility. Would you like to interact with that interpretation?
  30. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member


    I apologize for using the phrase "hobby horse." I have obviously offended you, and for that I am sorry. Please forgive me for speaking rashly and without due care.

    I did not mean it in a spiteful way, but rather as a summary of my observation that the majority of your participation on this board has been around a design to have those who view Premillennial views placed outside the pale of basic orthodoxy. You spent much energy on this in your earlier thread, and now once that has run its course, you take a different tactic here, seeking to use the PB rules to show that Premillennial adherents are unsaved. (That is the logical result of your question here - if there is no way in which the Athanasian Creed can be reconciled with Premillennialism, then its proponents are hell-bound.)

    Rather, I would advise you that your reading of the Creed is an overly strict one. Lane has pointed out how this is so. History points that out - since to my knowledge no ecclesiastical body has ever used the language you pointed out in the Apostles' Creed or the Athanasian Creed to prove Premils are heretics. That is why, for example, the WLC has more explicit language on the return of Christ.

    I simply do not understand what is to be gained by anathamatizing Premils, and don't understand your form of argumentation, which appears to consist of bolding a portion of the Creed, and then when a counter argument is put forward, just bolding it again with a restatment of your position.
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