RPCNA, WPCUS and RPCUS

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by Reformed Covenanter, Jul 15, 2007.

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  1. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    At some point I may have to move to America and am considering what church I could go to if I left Ireland. With regards to the above denominations I have a number of questions:

    RPCNA:

    1. How common are 'Christmas' and 'Easter' Services in the denomination?

    2. Can an office bearer be a Theonomist?

    3. Are women deacons on the way out?

    4. Does the RPCNA hold that the pope is the man of sin and require this of office bearers?

    WPCUS

    1. Is women's head-dress held to be a principle of worship, and if so is it imposed?

    2. Do you have to agree with the Received Text to hold office?

    3. Is the denomination explicitly Theonomic?

    4. Do office bearers have to believe that the papacy is the man of sin?

    RPCUS

    1. Are any congregations exclusive psalmody?

    2. What is the position on papal antichirst?

    Thanks to all who can help me out.
     
  2. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Since I go to a RPCNA I can answer those questions....

    1. Christmas and Easter services are unheard of... It would violate the RPW..
    2. RPCNA hold to a Establishment Clause, I guess the answer would need alittle more details on the type of theonomy since there are a few types.
    3. I have heard they accept women deacons and that they are on the way out, I have never seen one myself.... I think I would be shocked if I ever did see one... I hear it is rare and becoming to a head to get rid of the practice.
    4. Our Pastor has aleast said he is AN antichrist, not THEE antichrist. Not sure about office bearers and what oaths they must take...

     
  3. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Thanks for your help Michael.

    I am a Theonomist in the Greg Bahnsen mould; I have heard that some (but not all) people in the RPCNA are as well, so I presume the position is accomodated.

    I did hear an WPCUS minister complain that the RPCNA celebrated Christmas, but perhaps he meant non-ecclesiastically.

    :handshake:
     
  4. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    I would say I am in Bahnsen mould myself... I heard our pastor having trouble with the Rushdoony sort......

    As for christmas... he must of meant non-esslesiastically... Some in our church does and some don't... I know none of our elders do in their own houses either.... But some liberty is given for families of the church.....

    :handshake:

     
  5. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Have you also considered the RPCGA and the PRC (Presbyterian Reformed Church; NOT Protestant Reformed Church).

    Presbyterian Reformed Church:

    1. No holy days but the Lord's Day
    2. No female deasons
    3. Headcovering is both practiced AND preached from the pulpit
    4. All congregations are Exclusive Psalmody
    5. The TR has to be accepted


    Ask VirginiaHugenot these:

    1. Can an office bearer be a Theonomist?
    2. Hold that the pope is the man of sin and require this of office bearers?
    3. Is the denomination explicitly Theonomic?
     
  6. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Are you sure about #5? The PRC uses the Authorized Version in all of its pulpits for uniformity's sake, not because it must be accepted by members as superior.
     
  7. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    This is true. In the RPCNA we do not celebrate holidays other than the Lord's Day ecclesiastically but celebrating in one's home is left to the individual's conscience. And yes, some are Theonomists but not all.
     
  8. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    I apologise. I'll ask my husband to confirm this with our pastor, or perhaps Andrew can clarify the position better. Thanks for the note :handshake:
     
  9. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    The PRC does require the Authorized Version to be read from the pulpit:

    and does not make the same requirement of members in the pew.

    But, the PRC does teach that other versions should be evaluated in light of their underlying texts and principles. A good sermon on that subject is by our pastor, Steven Dilday: Providential Preservation of the Inspired Scripture: Part 4 - Why Use KJV?.
     
  10. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I would think any flavor of Theonomy would be 'iffy' in the PRC. Also, if I read Daniel's RPW book correctly, he would be looking for a denomination that did not require holding to headcoverings for public worship. If I'm wrong on either account, pardon all around.
     
  11. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Thanks for your help everyone.

    Personally, I would not be that keen on making holding to Theonomy an absolute requirement for office. Firstly, due to the differences between Theonomists; and secondly, I think it is better to promote Theonomy through education rather than coercion.

    If the RPCNA keeps Christmas etc out of their churches then the fact that some families have Christmas trees or exchange presents would not put me off.
     
  12. ADKing

    ADKing Puritan Board Junior

    As to the WPCUS questions:

    1. The presbytery does believe and teach that I Corinthians 11 instructs women to cover their heads during worship. In our short existence this has not been a matter of any "imposition" or discipline.

    2. Yes, the WPCUS holds to the Received Text and requires all officers to do so as well per WCF 1.8

    3. The term "theonomy" is very troublesome to me. The denomination is opposed to the "theonomy" of Bahnsen Rushdoony et.al. who seek to redefine WCF 19 with regard to the traditional three-fold distinctionof the law (moral, ceremonial, judicial). We do however belive that the moral law (both tables of the 10 commandments) is binding on the magistrate and nations. Our covenant of union states:

    In order to further the biblical truth of the kingship of Christ (that God has appointed the divine-human Mediator as the King over all nations), we promise to maintain the rightful dominion of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we promise to adhere to and teach that all nations have a moral obligation to explicitly recognize Jesus Christ as King and supreme lawgiver in their constitutions, courts, legislatures, etc. Civil government has the duty to legislate in conformity with God’s moral law summarized in both tables of the Ten Commandments. We hereby pledge to work for the restoration of the establishment of the Christian faith in the United States and reject religious pluralism, secularism, and arbitrary governmental authority in accordance with the Westminster Standards and the principles of the Solemn League and Covenant.

    Within this, I believe there is flexibility among us between how this should look. Some hold a position closer to Gillespie's others closer to Rutherford.

    4. The WPCUS is a full subscription denomination and office bearers must affirm WCF 25.6 There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God.

    I would be happy to interact with you more in this thread or privately about the WPCUS. Just one question...Why would you want to leave Ireland?!?! ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2007
  13. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Thanks for your input Adam; with regards to Theonomy, I believe that the WCF 19:4 has been so debated that it is pointless to appeal to it either way. From my reading of Scripture the Bahnsen form of Theonomy is Biblical (but I realise others disagree).

    As for Christmas and the RPCNA, are not those congregations disobeying the denomination?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
  14. ReadBavinck

    ReadBavinck Puritan Board Freshman

    Is this over and against the UBS critical text? If so, what part of WCF 1.8 point to this?
     
  15. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Christopher

    People who adopt this position usually argue that the words 'by his singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages' refers to the received text.

    Though I do not think this is the place for a debate on the issue.
     
  16. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    Hello Daniel! As an ordained minister in the RPCNA and a ruling elder, I would offer the following answers to your inquiries...

    Extremely rare, but not unheard of. The denomination has an official position against the observance of holy days other than the Christian Sabbath. The public testimony for this position has been growing over the past several years. Nevertheless, there are a few congregations where one might find a Christmas Eve service or an acknowledgement of Easter.

    Yes. There is no prohibition against theonomy, per se, as long as it comports with the Westminster Confession's position on the civil magistrate and civil laws. There are a good number of officers who would consider themselves Bahnsen-type theonomists.

    Several years ago, my session brought a study paper before the Synod asking for the ordination of women to the office of deacon to be rescinded. This was the first time since the practice began (in 1888) that it had been considered in the church courts. The paper's recommendations failed. But a straw vote indicated a near majority in support of discontinuing the ordination of women deacons. Many believe that the momentum is very much in favor of discontinuing the ordination of women deacons in the not-too-distant future.

    The RPCNA Testimony does not reject the WCF's identification of the Pope as "that Antichrist" but does add this clarifying statement in the parallel column:

     
  17. ReadBavinck

    ReadBavinck Puritan Board Freshman

    No debate needed. Thanks for the answer.
     
  18. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Douglas

    Your comments are of great help to me, thank you.

    Just out of interest, with regards to the RPCNA testimonies qualification about the papacy, would this allow for someone who believes that Nero was the man of sin to hold office?

    :handshake:
     
  19. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    I certainly hope so... otherwise I must either resign immediately or be brought up on charges! ;)

    Seriously, though, the generally accepted view in the RPCNA is that the Confession is certainly correct in applying the term Antichrist to the Papacy, but does not take the position that one must be a strict Historicist in order to hold office.
     
  20. Larry Bump

    Larry Bump Puritan Board Freshman

    I am, and am an elder in the RPCNA. My session and many in the Prebytery are well aware of my beliefs.
    That said, some are decidedly not, and are equally accepted.

    Many hold celebration of the common civil holiday at home. Rarely is it seen in the church, and of course it should not be.

    Larry
     
  21. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    Hi Larry!

    :handshake:
    (Secret theonomist handshake) ;)
     
  22. Larry Bump

    Larry Bump Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi Doug, good to see you.
    I'll be spending more time around here; hopefully it'll help me stay a bit more focussed.

    Larry
     
  23. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Thanks for your input Larry.
     
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