Question for Sabbatarians

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Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
I've heard it mentioned numerous times that Sabbatarians are disappointed in those churches that do not accept their Sabbatarian practices, as in the church doesn't make an effort to accommodate their keeping of the Sabbath.

I probably didn't do the best job summarizing that viewpoint, but hopefully you get the gist.

Can you please flesh out that line of thought? Are you talking about when you visit a church? What do you expect a church to do?
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Tripel
What do you expect a church to do?
If they are a Confessional church, follow their confession. If not, to consider the claims of Scripture (see below):

Westminster Confession of Faith

Chapter XXI
Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

...

VII. As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in His Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, He has particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him:[34] which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week: and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week,[35] which, in Scripture, is called the Lord's Day,[36] and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.[37]

VIII. This Sabbath is to be kept holy unto the Lord when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their wordly employments and recreations,[38] but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.[39]
Scripture proofs

[34] EXO 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. ISA 56:2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. 4 For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant. 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
[35] GEN 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. 1CO 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. ACT 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
[36] REV 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.
[37] EXO 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. MAT 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
[38] EXO 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. EXO 16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field. 26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. 29 See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 30 So the people rested on the seventh day. 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. ISA 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. NEH 13:15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. 16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. 19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. 21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. 22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.
[39] ISA 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words.
 

Dearly Bought

Puritan Board Junior
Particularly as a visitor:
I expect a congregation to show hospitality in the form of meals and fellowship. Table fellowship should be a no-brainer if I am invited to the fellowship of the Lord's Table.

As a member of a local congregation:
I expect the consistory/session to ordinarily call the congregation to worship twice during the Lord's Day. This helps to orient the day around the worship of God.

It is also much easier to observe the Sabbath when there is a culture of hospitality in the congregation. Households should share meals and fellowship during the day with other members of the congregation and visitors.

I also expect a congregation to hold me and my house accountable. The consistory should inquire about absence from the Lord's worship. I want to be able to go to my elders and minister with difficult questions about Sabbath observance for wise counsel. God's Law should be expounded so that I may be convicted of my sins and repent.

A faithful congregation should also provide for those who are financially suffering because of their observance of the 4th commandment.
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
Daniel,
From a practical standpoint, it would include things like not catering in a congregational meal (which requires others to work and/or miss worship) or paying nursery workers during gathering times on Sunday. I've seen both of these in practice. I would also hope folks would not pressure Sabbatarian families to eat out after Sunday worship, which I've also seen.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
Particularly as a visitor:
I expect a congregation to show hospitality in the form of meals and fellowship. Table fellowship should be a no-brainer if I am invited to the fellowship of the Lord's Table.
But what does this actually look like? I'm trying to imagine what my church would need to do to meet this need. Does there have to be a meal provided after the service? Does there need to be an announcement each week that visiting Sabbatarians are invited to the pastor's home?

I more than certain that if a visitor approached our pastor and said they needed a place to eat, that person would be taken care of. But who's initiative is it?
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
Daniel,
We attempt to invite every visitor back to our home for lunch. Now, we're a smaller congregation than you, I suspect. Larger congregations that practice this often employ a few/several families willing to invite families. We don't always have folks who accept (for various reasons), but we've provided the opportunity and those who accept are grateful.

Our most recent trio of out-of-state Gideons lunched with us and said they are rarely even invited out, much less to a home for lunch. We had a wonderful afternoon.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Tripel
What do you expect a church to do?
If they are a Confessional church, follow their confession. If not, to consider the claims of Scripture (see below):

Westminster Confession of Faith

Let's say the church is Confessional (which I believe mine is). Is that it?
Your church is confessional.

The Presbyterian Church in America subscribes to the Westminster Standards (Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms).

Basically, the confession summarizes the doctrine of Scripture to require in relation to the Lord's Day:

1) advance preparation (getting out of the way ordinary tasks that would distract from worship such as getting gas, money from the teller, groceries, etc.)

2) abstaining from entertaining and recreating oneself (not playing sports, going to ball games, and not thinking or talking about them)

3) abstaining from work (and not thinking about or talking about your work)


This, in order to prioritize the worship of God, all day.

This, in order to cease from the ordinary pursuits of life in order to have focused time to worship God through His Word, prayer, sacraments, singing spiritual songs, fasting, taking religious oaths and vows (e.g. membership, baptism, officer, etc.).:)
 

Dearly Bought

Puritan Board Junior
Particularly as a visitor:
I expect a congregation to show hospitality in the form of meals and fellowship. Table fellowship should be a no-brainer if I am invited to the fellowship of the Lord's Table.
But what does this actually look like? I'm trying to imagine what my church would need to do to meet this need. Does there have to be a meal provided after the service? Does there need to be an announcement each week that visiting Sabbatarians are invited to the pastor's home?

I more than certain that if a visitor approached our pastor and said they needed a place to eat, that person would be taken care of. But who's initiative is it?
I will approach a minister on my own initiative if needed. However, visitors should automatically be extended an invitation to meals by someone. This could be accomplished by a corporate meal after the services. This could also be accomplished by a rotating schedule of households hosting visitors for meals. On a more informal basis, the officers could simply agree to be aware of visitors' meal plans and extend invitations if other members of the congregation have not.
 
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Zenas

Snow Miser
Nothing. I require nothing of my congregation or any other in order for me to observe the Sabbath other than an opportunity to worship God corporately.

If I visited your church Daniel, and I have a few times, I would need nothing from you, your elders, or your congregation in order for me to observe the Sabbath in a faithful manner, other than an opportunity to worship God in corporate worship.

I really don't understand what the hub-bub is about. Why does a Sabbatarian need something from the congregation in order to be a Sabbatarian?
 

Dearly Bought

Puritan Board Junior
Nothing. I require nothing of my congregation or any other in order for me to observe the Sabbath other than an opportunity to worship God corporately.

If I visited your church Daniel, and I have a few times, I would need nothing from you, your elders, or your congregation in order for me to observe the Sabbath in a faithful manner, other than an opportunity to worship God in corporate worship.

I really don't understand what the hub-bub is about. Why does a Sabbatarian need something from the congregation in order to be a Sabbatarian?
I'm a weak and sinful man who needs the strength of the Body of Christ to begin this pitifully small obedience in this life.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Not sure I fully understand all the implications of this passage
Heb 13:1-3

Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. 3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them — those who are mistreated — since you yourselves are in the body also. NKJV

But whatever it is I don't want to miss it.

I think there should be a notice that visitors who do not have friends or relatives to eat with are welcome to contact the pastor or elders or deacons who have families who will desire to provide hospitality and meals for the Lord's day.

Or an announcement or in our church we have a laminated shee tin the pews with basic info on our worship and fencing the table. It could be in there also.

I usually call ahead and ask the pastor if there are some willing and could he set this up, someone to pick me up at the hotel and bring me to and from the worship and lunch. Unless I have already rented a car for the days I am there.

I have never been refused even where the minister has taken an exception and does not hold the Lord's day this strictly. I always let them know I am willing to pay for the gas for the family that carts me around and I especially let him know if there are poor families who would like to help out but are financially unable I would be willing to buy the food for the family that day if they will host me.
I love to assist poor families to help me as I help them.

Perhaps this comes from being in Mexico and Africa where our eating with them would be a burden.
Of course it is not neeeeded, But it should be the desire of other brothers and sisters to provide this.
I love to get the chance to have visitors over on the Lord's day
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Tripel
Question for Sabbatarians
It's understandable using a term like this.

One of the things that will also be helpful in understanding this is that keeping the fourth commandment is not a separate set of beliefs- it is a part of the whole moral law God commands all men to follow.

The Confessions (e.g. London Baptist and Westminster) summarize Scripture to teach all ten commandments, not isolating four, or any other.

So someone is no more a 'sabbatarian" by following the fourth commandment than a 'covetarian' by following the tenth commandment, they are only trying to faithfully represent and be obedient to the revealed will of God [through His Word].:)
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
We aren't Sabbatearians anyway. Sabbath is seventh.
That was the OT Jewish admin of the 4th command
We are Firstitarians.

We are keepers of the 4th command. Keepers of the Lord's day as it is in the New Testament
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
Scott,
I agree with you. I don't like the term "Sabbatarian", and in other threads I have questioned its use. I only used it because many on here insist on calling themselves such, as if to say that the rest of us do not follow the 4th commandment.

I believe I DO follow the 4th commandment, even though I take exception to the WCF on this issue. My practice is definitely out of line with the WCF regarding the Sabbath, but I believe I am in line with Scripture.
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
Nothing. I require nothing of my congregation or any other in order for me to observe the Sabbath other than an opportunity to worship God corporately.

If I visited your church Daniel, and I have a few times, I would need nothing from you, your elders, or your congregation in order for me to observe the Sabbath in a faithful manner, other than an opportunity to worship God in corporate worship.

I really don't understand what the hub-bub is about. Why does a Sabbatarian need something from the congregation in order to be a Sabbatarian?
While I agree with you, Andrew, it is certainly helpful when I am invited to lunch. A lunch invitation removes all temptation to eat in the cafeteria or accept a non-Sabbatarian's invitation to go to brunch. But then, I like to spend Sunday afternoon reading, whether alone or in company, so it isn't difficult for me to figure out what to do with my day. I look forward to having time to read my Bible and other books without feeling that I should be reading a casebook! However, some Sabbatarians are more starved for company, and it is much more difficult to fellowship regularly with non-Sabbatarians, who may want to eat out or shop or something.
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
Daniel,
I agree with the others-- I don't "need" these things from a congregation. But I might not make one my home that chooses commercial enterprise on Sunday. Because we don't want to put anyone else in a similar position, we offer hospitality. When Tim preaches elsewhere on Sunday (rare, but it happens), we lunch in the home of friends.
 

re4med

Puritan Board Freshman
A faithful congregation should also provide for those who are financially suffering because of their observance of the 4th commandment.
I wonder how often this actually happens.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
I guess I'm not used to these churches where everyone goes to restaurants afterward and they invite visitors to go with them. While my church isn't making a special announcement to invite "Sabbatarians" to someone's home, there is a good amount of hospitality going on. My pastor is almost always having people over to his house on Sunday, as are many of the elders. If you make yourself known as a regular visitor, your chances are good to eventually end up in someone's home.
As for out of town visitors, I don't see why you can't just call ahead of time. We'd bend over backwards to extend hospitality. But in a church of 400-500, it's kind of hard to pick out everyone who is a visitor and make sure they have a place to eat. In my opinion, the person visiting needs to take the initiative if they feel that strongly about it.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 12:52:34 EST-----

A faithful congregation should also provide for those who are financially suffering because of their observance of the 4th commandment.
I wonder how often this actually happens.
I guess I'm naive. How are people financially suffering because of the 4th commandment?
 

Dearly Bought

Puritan Board Junior
A faithful congregation should also provide for those who are financially suffering because of their observance of the 4th commandment.
I wonder how often this actually happens.
Do you mean the provision by a congregation or the financial suffering?

In contemporary American society, it is becoming more and more difficult to refrain from work on Sundays. This is especially true for unskilled workers who don't have much to bargain with in the first place.
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
But in a church of 400-500, it's kind of hard to pick out everyone who is a visitor and make sure they have a place to eat. In my opinion, the person visiting needs to take the initiative if they feel that strongly about it.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 12:52:34 EST-----

A faithful congregation should also provide for those who are financially suffering because of their observance of the 4th commandment.
I wonder how often this actually happens.
I guess I'm naive. How are people financially suffering because of the 4th commandment?
If your elders can't determine visitors from members, that may be a different problem than hospitality.

Hospitality is to be extended, not requested, in my humble opinion.

Those who work jobs other than 9-5 M-F may have given up shifts on Sundays. When I worked retail, I could have made far more money, but I requested not to be on the schedule for Sundays. I wasn't trying to feed a family, but someone working retail these days could very well be trying to do just that.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Some wonderful ideas have been expressed in this thread. Inviting visitors home for a meal should be widely practiced by all churches that love Christ.

Back to the OP. At a minimum a church should not be antagonistic towards individuals who observe the Christian Sabbath. Respect their conviction. Those who observe the Sabbath should do so quitely, and without drawing attention to themselves. "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men" comes to mind. If you are in the habit of honoring the Lord's Day, allow God to bring others into your path that you may instruct them gently. This especially true in churches that do not promote observing the Lord's Day.

If I may add, those churches that do promote observance of the Lord's Day should be mindful not to bind the conscience of visitors who are not informed or convicted in that area. We are all in the process of learning and growing. Be aggressive in guarding the conscience of your brother.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Scott,
I agree with you. I don't like the term "Sabbatarian", and in other threads I have questioned its use. I only used it because many on here insist on calling themselves such, as if to say that the rest of us do not follow the 4th commandment.

I believe I DO follow the 4th commandment, even though I take exception to the WCF on this issue. My practice is definitely out of line with the WCF regarding the Sabbath, but I believe I am in line with Scripture.
Thanks.

The effects of the second part of what you are saying is, in our denomination, as a member, you are not required to have comprehensive knowledge of your doctrinal standards, far less vow agreement with every statement/proposition in them.

I've come to learn here on Puritan Board some reformed denominations would require such for membership, but our denomination, the PCA, does not require that for membership. It does require that for church officers, but not for members.

The membership vows include peaceably learning the church's doctrine. That is, humbly studying (not trying to create faction, defiance, or dissent) and learning the doctrinal standards.

Along those lines, I would commend to you the scripture proofs above (to the Westminster Confession) to see if what you now believe is in accordance with what God commands in His Word.

Maybe the Westminster Divines got this all wrong. Maybe the framers of the London Baptist Confession of Faith got it all wrong as well. But, we ought give serious consideration to their biblical basis in summarizing the doctrine of Scripture this way.

What does God require of us in "setting apart" the day to make it holy? Does he allow us to do, think about, talk about the sports, entertainment that amuses us, and our work issues on His day as long as we slip in one church service?

What does Scripture teach?
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Yes but all Christians are required to obey the 4th command.
So how would you do this and have a job on the Lord's day, or support those who do?

It would also be a difficult situation for me if one invited me over for lunch them turned on a Professional football or other sports game on TV or wanted to go shopping on the way home.

And Rather than just accept them as they are I would feel compelled to ask them if they believed they were obeying the 4th command.

I would bear with this, but the courtesy for the visiting who keep the 4th Commandment would be to know the convictions of these people and respect them that day you are serving them

Could we not tear ourselves away one day from these worldly things to serve a brother of stricter convictions?

No demands on other just think

Rom 12:10-13
10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
NKJV


Also Ex Nihilo won't read her case work on the Lord's day so she has 1/7 less time to do her school work and get good grades. This leaves her more work to do during the week and less time to go work to cover expenses.

Fortunately God has all this planned out for His people so it is not an excuse ro an inconvenience.
Only a chance for God to manifest his grace on us.

So we may not prosper as much in this world as the wicked. So what?
And we may by His grace prosper more.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
If your elders can't determine visitors from members, that may be a different problem than hospitality.
Our elders most certainly can determine visitors from members, but that is quite a different issue than tracking down the visitors each week. I'm not sure how it is at most churches, but our elders are not patrolling the pews or anything like that. We have people who are specifically looking for visitors each week, but it is still quite easy for someone to slip in and slip out unnoticed. That said, if a visitor makes their presence known, I'm quite certain they will receive hospitality.


Hospitality is to be extended, not requested, in my humble opinion.
Certainly, but we're talking about different things. It's one thing to be hospitable; it's another to make sure that everyone has a place to eat lunch each Sunday.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 02:57:04 EST-----

I've come to learn here on Puritan Board some reformed denominations would require such for membership, but our denomination, the PCA, does not require that for membership. It does require that for church officers, but not for members.
Are you sure about that? I thought that church officers in the PCA could take exceptions to some of the WCF.

The membership vows include peaceably learning the church's doctrine. That is, humbly studying (not trying to create faction, defiance, or dissent) and learning the doctrinal standards.
Right. It's one thing to learn and study the doctrine, but it's another to accept all of it as right. I feel like I understand what the WCF is saying regarding the Sabbath, but I just don't agree. I think the WCF as a whole is excellent, but is not always accurate.

Along those lines, I would commend to you the scripture proofs above (to the Westminster Confession) to see if what you now believe is in accordance with what God commands in His Word.
I've read the proofs, and I just read through them again. I think the WCF takes the 4th commandment further than Scripture.

Maybe the Westminster Divines got this all wrong.
In this case, I think they did. In one sense, it's incredibly hard to bluntly say that seeing how they were much more wise and learned than my pea brain. But I still think they took it too far, based on Scripture.
I know this is essentially heresy to many, but I don't think the Puritans or Westminster Divines lived in an exceptionally enlightening time or had some great source of wisdom that we don't have today. They were fallible. Wise, yes, but fallible.
 

Josiah

Puritan Board Senior
When I first started attending a reformed church I was working weekends at a retail store. After learning about keeping the Lord's day I prayed for a while about my situation and marched up to my manager's office and humbly asked if he would allow me to not work on Sundays so that I could worship. He kindly obliged my request and after that any place I have worked for I have told them up front at the interview process that I am unavailable on Sundays and havnt had a difficulty since.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Please see below

If your elders can't determine visitors from members, that may be a different problem than hospitality.
Our elders most certainly can determine visitors from members, but that is quite a different issue than tracking down the visitors each week. I'm not sure how it is at most churches, but our elders are not patrolling the pews or anything like that. We have people who are specifically looking for visitors each week, but it is still quite easy for someone to slip in and slip out unnoticed. That said, if a visitor makes their presence known, I'm quite certain they will receive hospitality.


Hospitality is to be extended, not requested, in my humble opinion.
Certainly, but we're talking about different things. It's one thing to be hospitable; it's another to make sure that everyone has a place to eat lunch each Sunday.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 02:57:04 EST-----

Added 4/14/2009 at 02:57:04 EST-----

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott1 View Post
I've come to learn here on Puritan Board some reformed denominations would require such for membership, but our denomination, the PCA, does not require that for membership. It does require that for church officers, but not for members.
Are you sure about that? I thought that church officers in the PCA could take exceptions to some of the WCF.

You are right that our denomination allows presbyteries to grant "exceptions" to doctrine if the "exception" is judged to be minor by the presbytery.

But remember that an officer must vow before God and many witnesses and be confirmed by the congregation that he has comprehensive knowledge of the doctrinal standards of the religion he confesses and that he agrees with every statement and/or proposition in them unless granted an "exception" for that specific statement and/or proposition.

Also remember that in reformed theology, the unity of the church must be grounded on doctrinal agreement.

"Exceptions" are not automatically granted.

They must be publicly stated and put on the record. They will be carefully cross-examined and evaluated by a spiritual "jury of peers." Some candidates are denied ordination because they do not hold the doctrinal standards they would vow to confess. It happens regularly.

Additionally, presbyteries sometimes do not allow the candidate to teach their "exception."


Right. It's one thing to learn and study the doctrine, but it's another to accept all of it as right. I feel like I understand what the WCF is saying regarding the Sabbath, but I just don't agree. I think the WCF as a whole is excellent, but is not always accurate.

Along those lines, I would commend to you the scripture proofs above (to the Westminster Confession) to see if what you now believe is in accordance with what God commands in His Word.
I've read the proofs, and I just read through them again. I think the WCF takes the 4th commandment further than Scripture.
Would you state an example?

Maybe the Westminster Divines got this all wrong.
In this case, I think they did. In one sense, it's incredibly hard to bluntly say that seeing how they were much more wise and learned than my pea brain. But I still think they took it too far, based on Scripture.
I know this is essentially heresy to many, but I don't think the Puritans or Westminster Divines lived in an exceptionally enlightening time or had some great source of wisdom that we don't have today. They were fallible. Wise, yes, but fallible.
Yes, the Westminster Divines were fallible human beings. Many of them were church officers and accomplished theologians of their day, though. And yes, the Confessional standards are not infallible. Only Scripture is infallible.

But collectively, they were focused on defining the Christian faith from Scripture in the face of their own great persecution. The Westminster Confession has withstood centuries of scrutiny.

Many of us stand in amazement at how well, how precisely they summarize the doctrine of Scripture.
 
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DonP

Puritan Board Junior
I've read the proofs, and I just read through them again. I think the WCF takes the 4th commandment further than Scripture.
So what would you say is minimally required?

The other thing I think is interesting, if a minister takes and exception to some part of the Confession this does not mean all the elders in the church will or should.

Therefore the elders may hold the church to things the minister may not.

Of course I would suggest the elders stop employing minister who take exceptions. This would mean waiting a while until you find Confessional men but good.
Then these non-Confessional men will not have jobs or pulpits until they submit and Conform to the desires of their brothers and the mind of the greater church rather than being able to be independent.

They will not be able to breed more non-Confessional men and this way we restore the church; rather than allow it to repeat itself as happened to the Pres Church initially in the USA where we lost our buildings and seminaries to men who eventually became liberal.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
They will not be able to breed more non-Confessional men and this way we restore the church;
I'm a little concerned that your language here is serious. Is that right?
"Breed more non-confessional men"????

This kind of language implies that the Confession is the ultimate authority.
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
There are a few members here who attend Churches that are open all day and evening (example: 9am to 6 pm.) I find that to be a great idea, and causes no one to have to volunteer to open their home or worry that a visitor might be missed. I'm not a sabbatarian and this idea appeals to me greatly yet I've spoken to and heard from strict sabbatarians who don't like the idea...odd (in my opinion)
 
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