What?! This is a Reformed Board?!

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Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I decided, in light of recent threads where the defense of the Regulative Principle of Worship is greeted as some odd growth out of a person's forehead to remind everyone of a rule:

8. Remember that this is a Reformed Discussion Group.

The Puritanboard uses volunteer moderators as leadership to facilitate general order and guide the Reformed discussions that they may be exhortative as well as educational to the Reformed Christian. Many of the moderators and affiliates on Puritanboard are actively involved in Pastoring churches; the others being involved in various ministerial capacities at their respective local churches. The board and owners feel that order originates with God. Moderators follow Reformed principles and convictions, and we have openly allowed using the Reformed Confessions as a starting principle by which any moderator or member must abide by. The order that the moderators help facilitate is to be aligned with their statements of faith (comprised in the Westminster Confession of Faith, The Canons of Dordt, The Belgic Confession, The Heidelberg Catechism, and Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689)

Do you remember that "I agree to the Rules" thing you checked when you applied? That was one of them.

You see, when you come into a community designed to be a place where Reformed people discuss things and we set up rules that say that the board is hosted to serve the Confessionally Reformed then why the shock and awe when you start interacting with people and they post as if they are Confessionally Reformed?

You believe in the Regulative Principle for Worship?! :eek: Are you a {whisper}legalist{/whisper}. Why, only the theological wannabes believe in the RPW.

Gents, if you despise certain principles of Reformed theology so much then why are you here kicking against the goads? It's not like we have the Confessions locked in a vault somewhere that make it hard to figure out where we stand on a principle.

I must be very forthright because I often feel like a man who has owns a public pool that has rules posted outside: Don't pee in the pool.

Then a guy comes in and pees in the pool after he's signed the rules saying he agreed to them. I'm patient for a while because I want to be courteous and patient with people who may have been skimming over the rules when they came in. After all, we're all excited to go swimming right away so maybe he missed that part.

So I kindly remind people that, in this pool, we don't do that.

But then the guy does it again. When I ask him why, he's like: Prove to me that it's wrong to pee in the pool. I try to be patient and kind but, after a while, I've got to say: "Dude! Read the rules again. This is a community of people that doesn't pee in the pool. It's not up to me to prove to you that it's bad. You're welcome to stay if you stop doing that but don't make us all justify why we're not like the pool down the street where that behavior is perfectly acceptable."

It's not often that I enforce the "rules" on Worship. I simply think it is completely unfair to the several hundred members who have Biblical convictions on the subject of worship for the guy who says: "I'm just like you" when he agrees to the rules but then he comes in and trashes everyone's consistently Reformed conviction on the subject. He is shocked and horrified over the Reformed responses he receives and refers to it as legalism. If you think the Reformed are a bunch of legalists then why'd you join our forum to begin with?

This, ladies and gentlemen, I consider extremely rude. But I was raised to be patient with rude people. I'm simply asking you to consider your audience if you are not on board with the RPW and remember that, if you do not agree with the Reformed, you are here as an exception to the rule.
Don't pee in the pool.


I am sorry. I know this is serious but I am rolling on the floor.
You MAY pee in the pool so long as you don't baptise anyone by immersion in it.


Only kidding. Completely agree with Rich on this. The lines that are drawn here on PB make it unique and make it valuable.

Understood and agree.

To be clear, (and using your analogy which reminded me of the warm areas of the city pool I used to frequent growing up), you are not saying that it is contra-PB rules to differ to some degree on how the RPW works out in practice. We can agree to the rules of the pool (keepng those warm areas out), but we may differ on whether that means you shouldn't bring your children to the pool vesus putting them in a swim diaper. Am I correct on the purpose of your post?

Some here would say that no peeing means no kids, and that a swim diaper is flagrant disobedience against the city. If there are some on the PB in shock and awe at the RPW, there are certainly others who are binding consciences to their application of the RPW, contra Romans 14. One who advocates a certain application is treated by the other as if they are serving mints and water during the Eucharist. This should not be.
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:lol: Joel,

I don't know if I want to press the analogy too far. I don't think people who disagree with the RPW have to wear swim diapers to be here.

My main point is that people ought to be mindful of the company they are in. People are intially drawn to Calvinism on a fairly shallow basis of the 5 points. I remember the first time I encountered that the WCF taught exclusive Psalmody and I thought it was strange at the time.

I'm not an advocate for EP and have actually interacted on the board with others who are but I don't accuse them of being legalistic. You see, they have every right to hold to that conviction where they believe the Confession reflects God's Word on the subject. They have a right to hold to that without being labelled as small-minded or legalistic by me or others on this board.

The Admins and Mods actually discuss who we're going to let on the board. They can attest that I'm actually one of the softies on this point where there are others that are pretty vocal about not allowing some on. We do have an exception for people who are on a "glidepath" to being Reformed. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it backfires. The hard core Mods are often proved right when the people who say they subscribe to a confession go completely off the reservation.

There are a lot of generic Calvinists who want to interact on this board but they come with a head full of steam because, perhaps in the circles they run in, everybody thinks they really know the Scriptures. Some of them learn the hard way here that there are people that are much better studied on more details than they conceivably imagined in their small circle. The smart ones figure it out quickly and decide to start listening instead of reacting.

But there are some who never seem to realize the company they are keeping. So they keep lobbing the same epitaphs and labelling the Reformed on this board. I don't expect everyone to agree on this board but there's a reason why Dave Hunt wouldn't be allowed to post on here. I would expect everyone would be fed up after a while of his caricatures of our position and saying that we don't believe God is a loving God. Guess what? I know that it's hard for others to existentially think like another, but this is exactly the way the Reformed on this board are treated every time the RPW is trashed as legalistic. I don't require that everyone like it but I do expect all who are members here to respect those who have Reformed convictions.
I ended up having to split what generated into a debate over the RPW here: http://www.puritanboard.com/f67/discussing-rpw-split-what-reformed-board-25920/

This thread had a very bounded intent. If you notice from the original post there was no specific boundary drawn on the what constitued the RPW. The bottom line, however, is that to be Confessionally Reformed is to adhere to the RPW in some form. Some Churches have met in Councils and Synods and have revised the standards to allow for hymnody while others prefer the stricter EP position. What they have in common with one another, however, is that they do so on the basis of men's consciences being bound to the Word. What they also have in common is that they believe the Word clearly presents the RPW.

I wrote a pedestrian explanation of the RPW here: Why the Regulative Principle of Worship? | SoliDeoGloria.com. I invite any wondering parties to read it.

This thread, however, was not created to debate the propriety of the RPW in general or to debate, specifically, whether those that adhere to stricter or looser forms are more or less Reformed. This thread was created, however, to make sure all understood that adherents to the RPW were on this board and that it should not be shocking that they're here given the fact that the standard for participation are the Reformed Confessions.

This announcement became necessary when it became a regular occurrence for some to label adherents to any form of the RPW as ignorant or Pharisaical. What these labels usually demonstrate is actually the ignorance of the RPW on the part of the claimant or, perhaps, ignorance on what it means to be Pharisaical.

Though the Confessions are the standard, we allow some people to join who have become convinced of the "5 points" but are virtually clueless of the historic Reformed faith or the Confessions. I know it's common today to claim that you're Reformed if you've read an article by Pink or Spurgeon and agree with them on TULIP but there's more to it than a simple understanding of the 5 points. In fact, as noted in a thread about the 5 points, when you really move beyond the basic explanation of the 5 points and begin to unpack them (which is what we do here) then other things become much clearer.

Thus, we allow for people to mature in their understanding of such things.

We do have the occassional member, however, that doesn't realize that they have very little theological maturity. Instead of hanging back and interacting by asking questions or asking for clarifications they jump in and try to teach the board. They malign every conscience-bound member by claiming that adherence to the RPW is a form of Pharisaism. They insult members by stating that they don't understand human nature and the "emotional component" of worship. Do they do so maliciously? Not usually. It's out of their own ignorance because, quite frankly, they look pretty silly when they clicked "I agree" and part of that "I agree" was to a Confession of Faith that they subscribe to. Thus, if pressed, one might ask the person if they lack integrity for saying he agrees to a Reformed Confession but then, shortly after joining, says he doesn't agree. But I believe in being charitable in my assessments of others and so, as the OP states, I assume the person really didn't read the contract very well and I also bear with those that need to mature.

And so, with people who are maturing, you sometimes have to remind them strongly of things so that they wake up. After all, only fools (unbelievers) despise correction.

And so, this is not a discussion but an announcement. If you read the board rules then you'll note that we all subscribe to a Reformed Confession of one type here. If you read any Reformed Confession then you'll find the RPW contained therein. It's not there because men made it up but because the Reformed Churches confess it as the teaching of the Word of God. If you don't agree with it then you won't immediately get booted. Just play in the pool and be nice. But the moment you start trashing the other members because they adhere to a form of the RPW then one of the lifeguards is going to blow the whistle because the water around you is getting warm.
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