The Abrahamic Covenant is Also Physical in Nature in the New Testament

Status
Not open for further replies.

Scholten

Puritan Board Freshman
We are in the middle of a pivotal Bible study in our church (Christian Reformed) having to do with the number of families who have become convinced that believer's baptism is biblical. It may cause our congregation to move in the direction of practicing both believer's and infant baptism. In this connection, the following post by Taylor Otwell caught my attention:

http://www.puritanboard.com/f123/relationship-abrahamic-covenant-new-covenant-baptism-63641/

"What is the covenantal Baptist understanding of the relationship between the Abrahamic covenant and the New Covenant? Are they in essence the same covenant? Why or why not?"

In response to this question Bill Brown quoted the following from Dr. Wayne Grudem:

"We should not be surprised that there was a change from the way the covenant community was entered in the Old Testament (physical birth) to the way the church is entered in the New Testament (spiritual birth). There are many analogous changes between the Old and New Covenants in other areas as well. While the Israelites fed on physical manna in the wilderness, New Testament believers feed on Jesus Christ, the true bread that comes down from heaven (John 6:48-51). The Israelites drank physical water that gushed from the rock in the wilderness, but those who believe in Christ drink of the living water of eternal life that He gives (John 4:10-14). The Old Covenant had a physical temple to which Israel came to worship, but in the New Covenant believers are built into a spiritual temple (1 Peter 2:5). Old Covenant believers offered physical sacrifices of animals and crops upon an altar, but New Testament believers offer "spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5; confirm Hebrews 13:15-16). Old Covenant believers received from God the physical land of Israel which He had promised to them, but New Testament believers receive "a better country, that is a heavenly one" (Hebrews 11:16). In the same way, in the Old Covenant those who were the physical seed or descendants of Abraham were members of the people of Israel, but in the New Testament those who are the spiritual "seed" or descendants of Abraham by faith are members of the church (Galatians 3:29; confirm Romans 4:11-12).

In all these contrasts we see the truth of the distinction that Paul emphasizes between the Old Covenant and New Covenant. The physical elements and activities of the Old Covenant were "only a shadow of what is to come." but the true reality, the "substance," is found in the New Covenant relationship we have in Christ (Colossians 2:17). Therefore, it is consistent with this change of systems that infant (male) children would automatically be circumcised in the Old Covenant, since their physical presence in the community of Jewish people meant that they were members of that community in which faith was not an entrance requirement. But in the New Covenant it is appropriate that infants not be baptized, and that baptism only be given to those who give evidence of genuine saving faith, because membership in the church is based on an internal spiritual reality, not on physical descent."​

With all due respect to Dr. Grudem I do not agree with the above statement. The following sub points are the reasons why:

1. “. . . the way the covenant community was entered in the Old Testament (physical birth). . .”

Entrance into the Old Testament covenant community was not simply by physical birth. The conditionality of entrance into that community is little noted in the Old Testament, but at the same time it was explicitly stated. Genesis 17:14 reads, "Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant." Therefore, if a person was not circumcised he had broken the covenant and was not a member of the Old Testament community. For this reason it is significant that none of the people were circumcised when the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for the 40 years. They had broken God's covenant and all those born during that time were no longer members of the Abrahamic covenant (Joshua 5:5). It was by God's grace at the sign of the covenant began to be practiced again at Gibeath-haaraloth (literally, "hill of the foreskins"). So the Abrahamic covenant was not an automatic covenant perpetuated only by physical birth.

2. “In the same way, in the Old Covenant those who were the physical seed or descendants of Abraham were members of the people of Israel, but in the New Testament those who are the spiritual ‘seed’ or descendants of Abraham by faith are members of the church (Galatians 3:29; confirm Romans 4:11-12).”

I believe it is consistent with Dr. Grudem’s beliefs to take his statement to mean, ". . . in the New Testament only those who are the spiritual ‘seed’ . . . are members of the church." In the New Testament there is an explicit problem with this stance. As noted above, the physical descendents of Abraham were members of the people of Israel provided the males were circumcised. As regards what the nature of the New Testament Church is to be, Acts 7:38 and Hebrews 2:12 shed some light. Both of those passages used the Greek word ekklesia, which translates to "church," to refer to Israel. The word ekklesia in everyday Greek usage was also a general term simply meaning "assembly." In the New Testament, however, that word takes on the very explicit meaning of the people of God. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the Acts and Hebrews passages would use it in the general sense to simply mean an assembly of people. Both of those passages refer to Old Testament gatherings of God's people. The most likely understanding of the use of that term in these two places is to see it in the very specific sense that the word is used in the rest of the New Testament. As a result, the most likely interpretation of these two passages is to understand Israel as the Old Testament Church. It is highly unlikely that the term ekklesia or church would undergo a major transformation of meaning within the single book of Acts, for example, from chapter 7 verse 38 to the first verse of chapter 8.
Since in Israel, in the Old Testament, the people of God included the infants of those who were members of that community and since the word "church" is used to refer to Israel, then it is clear that just as in Israel of old, the New Testament church as the people of God must include the infants of those who are members of that community. From this we can see that Dr. Grudem is incorrect when he asserts that only the spiritual seed of Abraham are members of the church.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
"We should not be surprised that there was a change from the way the covenant community was entered in the Old Testament (physical birth) to the way the church is entered in the New Testament (spiritual birth).

Grudem is also off in his comparison of the OT and NT and natural birth (OT) being suposedly typological of spiritual birth (NT) in that - of course - there was, also, provision for adults to join the OT covenant community by profession of faith and, if they were males, to be circumcised. The OT covenant community wasn't entered only by natural birth and circumcision, but by profession of faith and circumcision.

The baptist schema, also, correctly extends the covenant sign to adult females who profess, but incorrectly takes the covenant sign from boys born into covenant families.
 
Last edited:

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
We are in the middle of a pivotal Bible study in our church (Christian Reformed) having to do with the number of families who have become convinced that believer's baptism is biblical. It may cause our congregation to move in the direction of practicing both believer's and infant baptism.
The Reformed Churches have always practiced the baptism of adult converts as well as the baptism of the children of believers.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
The Abrahamic Covenant is Also Physical in Nature in the New Testament

The physical/spiritual distinction can be taken up wrongly, anyway. Under Moses more of the spiritual was demonstrated by physical types.

But remember that God's plan of salvation includes all things - spiritual and physical. After all our bodies are going to be raised on the last day, and this cosmos is going to be "resurrected" also.

Has the Lord less of an interest in the fruit of a New Covenant believer's body, than the fruit of an Old Covenant believer's body, or the fruit of the bodies of those who had faith in the, circa, 400 year period between Abraham and Moses?
 

Scholten

Puritan Board Freshman
To Rich, yes, I agree the Reformed churches have always practiced the baptism of adult converts. What is being considered is for those families who have difficulties with infant baptism to not baptise their children but to let them be baptised as adults when/if they accept Christ. "Believer's baptism" in the sense that it excludes infant baptism.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I was being tongue in cheek. I fundamentally don't agree with the idea that a Church can simultaneously promote and fully reject paedobaptism.
 

Scholten

Puritan Board Freshman
Sorry, I had my blinders on. Being in the middle of this one tends to forget those things that at this second are further removed. This would be good material for a separate post, but, in a nutshell, we have gotten to this point after several developments. Personally I never thought I'd be advocating anything that was in some sense "counter" infant baptism. However, unity in the body of Christ is a high priority in Christ's High Priestly prayer in John 17. I can see that unity in some circumstances could be a higher priority than doctrinal matters such as baptism.
 

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
1. “. . . the way the covenant community was entered in the Old Testament (physical birth). . .”

Entrance into the Old Testament covenant community was not simply by physical birth. The conditionality of entrance into that community is little noted in the Old Testament, but at the same time it was explicitly stated. Genesis 17:14 reads, "Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant." Therefore, if a person was not circumcised he had broken the covenant and was not a member of the Old Testament community. For this reason it is significant that none of the people were circumcised when the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for the 40 years. They had broken God's covenant and all those born during that time were no longer members of the Abrahamic covenant (Joshua 5:5). It was by God's grace at the sign of the covenant began to be practiced again at Gibeath-haaraloth (literally, "hill of the foreskins"). So the Abrahamic covenant was not an automatic covenant perpetuated only by physical birth.

On what basis do you say that circumcision marked the entrance into the covenant community?

One has to be in a covenant in order to break that covenant and be cast out of it. If not being circumcised broke a covenant, then covenant status pre-existed the time for circumcision. You cannot break a covenant you are not yet in.

If non-circumcision expels a man from the covenant, then circumcision can't also be what brings him into the covenant. The sin would be failing to join a covenant, not breaking it. If you broke it, it's already there by birth.
 

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
I don't believe that circumcision was the way by which infants entered into covenant; rather, I think it's simply the sign of that entrance into the covenant community. It is important an important distinction.

That is an important distinction, and I agree that is exactly what circumcision is. Herb seems to be arguing against that.
 

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
Good call, Josh. It's a sign of the spiritual entrance, correct?

It would be more appropriate to refer to circumcision that way in the case of an alien or foreigner who repented, believed, joined Israel and was circumcised.

For him, it might be both a sign of what was done in his heart and what needed to be done in him and his household.

In the case of babies born into Israel, the sign looked ahead to various things, and entrance was by virtue of birth into the community. The covenant was spiritual, sure, but it was also earthly, social, etc.

I don't think we can speak of OT circumcision as a sign of 'spiritual entrance' for the baby, except looking forward to the obedience, faith and promises that follow.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Personally I never thought I'd be advocating anything that was in some sense "counter" infant baptism. However, unity in the body of Christ is a high priority in Christ's High Priestly prayer in John 17.
I don't see how a Church simultaneously rejecting and affirming a position is unifying. Confusion for the sake of unity is not unity. I believe our sin causes us to understand many things in the Scriptures differently but the kind of unity that Christ will bring is not the type where we decide, that at the local Church level, confusing the flock about what the Scriptures teach about the Sacraments is the solution to the problem.
I don't think we can speak of OT circumcision as a sign of 'spiritual entrance' for the baby, except looking forward to the obedience, faith and promises that follow.
This depends on how you view the Sacraments of the Old and New Testaments. I believe the relationship of the sign to the thing signified is one of sacramental union where one thing signifies the spiritual reality and the graces signified are sealed by the sovereign work of God. In other words, it cannot be sustained exegetically that circumcision signified, spiritually, the obedience and faith of the person once he came to an age where he expressed faith and faithfulness. Rather, there was a promise and the sign was annexed to it to point to the steadfastness of that promise. The promise neither increased nor diminished in force based on the response of the person who received it but he either inherited its blessings (received the grace signified based on the Sovereign work of the HS) or he was cursed for his disobedience remaining a slave of sin (but doubly responsible given the spiritual gifts he tasted of). The point, however, is that covenant family was the seedbed through which faith either flowered by the work of God or was choked out by the cares of the world but entrance into the place where the oracles of God was proclaimed was by this sign. It has always been the case that the increase belonged to the Lord and His signs never belong to the response of the individual to lend significance unto.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Can one taste of the Spirit and not be regenerate?
I don't think we can speak of OT circumcision as a sign of 'spiritual entrance' for the baby, except looking forward to the obedience, faith and promises that follow.

I believe the book of Hebrews would disagree with this.
(Heb 6:4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,


(Heb 6:5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,


(Heb 6:6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

(Heb 10:29) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?


Herb,

Here is a blog I wrote to show that the substance and nature of the Old Covenant and New are the same. If they are the same then the Abrahamic is also. It preceeds the Abrahamic, fulfills some of the promises in it, and preaches Christ more fully than the Abrahamic Covenant did. It was a darker dispensation of grace but it surely is fully and purely an Administration of the Covenant of Grace.

The Mosaic Covenant, same in substance as the New? - Blogs - The PuritanBoard
 

Scholten

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't believe that circumcision was the way by which infants entered into covenant; rather, I think it's simply the sign of that entrance into the covenant community. It is important an important distinction.

That is an important distinction, and I agree that is exactly what circumcision is. Herb seems to be arguing against that.

Good comments and I agree with them. My point was to address Grudem's assertion that in the OT one was born into the covenant, membership was automatic. To be more correct I should have stated that they were born into the covenant, but then to remain in it their parents had to have them circumcised. Their membership in the covenant was not automatic, it did involve a minimal act of human obediance. I believe this is a significant distinction, too, in that most Baptists I've talked to do not acknowledge any kind of human obediance with being an Israelite while seeing membership in the church all and only about individual obediance. That is not correct.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Circumcision and baptism aren't the entrance into the covenant, into the covenant "community", and into the visible church for babies, but natural birth is.

Circumcision and baptism formally and visibly admit the person to the covenant.

Q. 165. What is baptism?
A. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein Christ hath ordained the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himself, of remission of sins by his blood, and regeneration by his Spirit; of adoption, and resurrection unto everlasting life; and whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted into the visible church, and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord's.

Reformed Baptists' children are in the covenant and visible church.

People are "in the covenant" of grace for life, which is one reason they are not baptised again unless there was something erroneous about their original baptism. Whether they ever become "of the covenant" is another question.
 
Last edited:

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
Personally I never thought I'd be advocating anything that was in some sense "counter" infant baptism. However, unity in the body of Christ is a high priority in Christ's High Priestly prayer in John 17.
I don't see how a Church simultaneously rejecting and affirming a position is unifying. Confusion for the sake of unity is not unity. I believe our sin causes us to understand many things in the Scriptures differently but the kind of unity that Christ will bring is not the type where we decide, that at the local Church level, confusing the flock about what the Scriptures teach about the Sacraments is the solution to the problem.

Herb,

Rich made a great point, and I truly believe it needs to be addressed.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
They had broken God's covenant and all those born during that time were no longer members of the Abrahamic covenant (Joshua 5:5).

I am a student in these matters lately and I would like to double-check the statement above in order to keep me correct in my thinking. Is this statement consistent with the Scriptures? Do those who belong to the covenant cease to be members because they are cut off? This appears to go against my understanding of the legal and communal aspects of the covenant. According to my understanding, I would have said that those who were cut off remained legal members of the the covenant, but failed to become communal members of the covenant. (I am using Berkhof's terminology from his systematic where he wrote about the duality of the covenant, that is, legal and communal) I would further support this with Hebrews 10:29-30 where it is said of apostates, "The Lord shall judge his people." Are they not still his people who are cut off?

We should not be surprised that there was a change from the way the covenant community was entered in the Old Testament

In response to this position, I am surprised.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
We should not be surprised that there was a change from the way the covenant community was entered in the Old Testament

In response to this position, I am surprised.[/QUOTE]

Oops! That looks like Herb's position when it is really Grudem's.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior

"We should not be surprised that there was a change from the way the covenant community was entered in the Old Testament (physical birth)​


Exodus 12:48
And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.​
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
They had broken God's covenant and all those born during that time were no longer members of the Abrahamic covenant (Joshua 5:5).

I am a student in these matters lately and I would like to double-check the statement above in order to keep me correct in my thinking. Is this statement consistent with the Scriptures? Do those who belong to the covenant cease to be members because they are cut off? This appears to go against my understanding of the legal and communal aspects of the covenant. According to my understanding, I would have said that those who were cut off remained legal members of the the covenant, but failed to become communal members of the covenant. (I am using Berkhof's terminology from his systematic where he wrote about the duality of the covenant, that is, legal and communal) I would further support this with Hebrews 10:29-30 where it is said of apostates, "The Lord shall judge his people." Are they not still his people who are cut off?

We should not be surprised that there was a change from the way the covenant community was entered in the Old Testament

In response to this position, I am surprised.

You're right, Jon. Even if someone has been baptised and also partakes of the Lord's Supper, and then goes astray - like the man in I and II Corinthians - and they are suspended from the privilege of the Lord's Supper, such people are not "utterly cut-off" from the covenant, which is illustrated by the fact that they are not baptised again when they are restored.

Someone "in the covenant" but who is not "of the covenant" i.e. is not born of the Spirit, is only utterly cut-off/excommunicated when they die and go to Hell.

A child born into the covenant and baptised as a baby may go far from the Lord, like a lost sheep, for decades, but when they express faith in the Lord, they are not baptised again.

If the privileges of the Lord's Supper are withdrawn they can always be restored if the person shows signs of repentance. Their is no permanent excommunication on behalf of the church in this life, in the Reformed faith.

What about those who commit the unforgiveable sin, whom the Spirit stops striving with? Are they utterly cut-off?

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?(Heb 10:26-29)

Yes, they are, but they are impossible to identify with certainty and it would be unwise to try. If they have been baptised and taken the Lord's Supper, their profession and behaviour will mean that their right to take the Lord's Supper is withdrawn from them. If the Spirit has truly stopped striving with them they will not come back for church privileges, but if they showed signs of repentance they would be restored without being baptised again. Kirk sessions can't look into people's hearts.

The utter cutting-off or utter excommunication was illustrated to the Israelites by the occasional use of the Mosaic death penalty in lieu of an animal sacrifice, which sacrifices were only available for non-presumptuous sins:

But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him. (Num 15:30-31)
 

darrellmaurina

Puritan Board Freshman
Herb, you need to review the Acts of Synod on this point very carefully.

Your church is Christian Reformed, not PCA or OPC. You do not have the level of freedom on baptism that has historically been allowed in Presbyterian churches which would often allow a Baptist to join the church even though he would be barred from teaching or holding office. It is not irrelevant that even some of the worst liberals in the CRC advocate the view that people who are convinced of believers baptism cannot be allowed to join Christian Reformed congregations as members.

Before you do something that could get you going down a road you don't want to be on, please review the Acts of Synod and understand the older conservative CRC position barring Baptists from being church members. I do not happen to agree with that view, but as a CRC member, you are obligated to understand the historic position of your church on this matter as well as what variations have been allowed in more recent years.

We are in the middle of a pivotal Bible study in our church (Christian Reformed) having to do with the number of families who have become convinced that believer's baptism is biblical. It may cause our congregation to move in the direction of practicing both believer's and infant baptism.
 

Scholten

Puritan Board Freshman
Herb, you need to review the Acts of Synod on this point very carefully.

Thanks for this point, Darrell. I understand fully. The synod this summer re-emphasized the commitment to hold the line in this regard. In our congregation we find ourselves at the point where we may have to attempt to make it work or possibly go independent. I also must say that with the stance taken by Synod in 2001 I believe on the four categories of theological topics etc. I find it increasingly difficult to embrace the view that making baptism a "litmus test" so to speak is biblical. I really need to post on that topic, too, to reap the benefits of the members here at Puritan Board.
Btw, good to hear from you again! I noticed a post of yours over the weekend and was going to write but haven't yet. I remember you from your work with the Outlook etc. I hope all is well.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Herb, I'm not sure I understand. You are going to stay with your congregation if they split from the CRC in solidarity with their view of believer's-only baptism, even though you personally hold to infant baptism, and this because the unity of the congregation is more important to you than the doctrinal issue of baptism? A second question: will the pastor of the (possibly) split-off congregation be credo or paedo baptist in his belief?
 

Scholten

Puritan Board Freshman
Steve, that is partially correct. I would quite likely remain with the congregation and the thought now is that it would practice both types of baptism, leaving it up to each individual or family what they believe and practice. I have always considered the corrrect baptism to be of high significance; now I continue that stance but also think unity is of a higher value or priority. Our pastor is strongly paedo-baptist, but he would baptise as the individual or family would request. He is even open to re-baptizing those who were baptized those who were baptized as infants. It sounds like a mess, we are in the process of going through a quite in-depth Bible study of the topic of baptism right now. Ultimately it is my hope that we might even achieve uniformity in belief before any of these changes would take place.
 

darrellmaurina

Puritan Board Freshman
Greetings, Herb. I sincerely wish you and your church well in a very difficult situation.

For those people here who are not familiar with the Christian Reformed Church, CRC practice on baptism for nearly all of its history has been very different from that of the Presbyterian world. Allowing Baptists to be church members, as long as they agree not to advocate their views or raise dissension and are fully aware they can never teach or hold office in the church, is not unusual even the most conservative OPC or PCA congregations.

Historically, this was due to Presbyterians believing that the standard for membership is merely a credible profession of faith, while the Dutch Reformed believed in confessional membership barring not only Baptists but also Arminians or anyone else who disagreed with any point of the confessions from joining or remaining in the church, even if they agreed not to teach or propagate their views. In the modern CRC, the emphasis on confessional church membership rarely becomes an issue except with regard to baptism.

It's also important to be aware that this congregation is in the West Michigan heartland of the Dutch Reformed world. I am very much aware that a more isolated CRC congregation far away from Grand Rapids probably could get away with ignoring the denominational rules and letting a person join or remain in the church who refuses to baptize his children, but it's not going to be ignored in Hudsonville. Depending on local circumstances and how annoyed the classis (presbytery) gets and how much pressure gets placed on the classis by the synodical deputies and denominational officials, it is very possible that the church could face threats to depose its minister, to depose the entire consistory (board of elders/session), to seize the church building, or even more serious actions.

There are people in the CRC leadership who consider allowing Baptists to join local Christian Reformed congregations to be something worth taking very strong action to prevent what they perceive as an unacceptable problem from spreading. These are people who would be much less concerned over liberal aberrations, but because of CRC history, would consider allowing parents to delay baptism of their children to be worthy of actions which most of the conservative Presbyterian world would consider hasty and extreme.

It is not an exaggeration to say that there are CRC leaders who would be much more willing to tolerate a PC(USA) female minister preaching in a CRC pulpit than to tolerate a relatively conservative CRC congregation allowing a father to remain a member of the CRC congregation in which he grew up if he decides he cannot present his newborn child for baptism.

From my comments, it probably goes without saying that while I respect the historic Dutch Reformed view of confessional church membership, I consider the modern CRC practice to be hypocritical Pharisaism. We can debate whether confessional church membership is appropriate or not, and there are legitimate arguments for both the Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed views on the matter. However, to tolerate advocates of women's ordination, theistic evolution, homosexual marriage, and other aberrations while disciplining people who quietly dissent from infant baptism but promise not to teach their views is absolutely asinine.

A Reformed Baptist is my brother in Christ despite our disagreements. An advocate of homosexual marriage probably is not, unless he's a very confused person who is on a road to repenting of his views. To admit advocates of gay marriage to church membership on the grounds that it is not a confessional issue while barring Reformed Baptists because they dissent from the confessions is not only to turn the original intent of confessional membership upside down but also to bang it on its head until its brains have turned to a bloody pulp.
 

Scholten

Puritan Board Freshman
I agree with many of your points, Darrell. Interestingly, our congregation had the equivalent of female elders in the past, but now is moving toward officially ruling that out as an option. And that move was initiated largely by one of the female elders!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top