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Thread: Posing Problems in the Westminster Confession of Faith

  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    It is up to the magisterium to decide what Catholics are bound to believe in these matters. Some points are important to dogma's, and such those we are not free to disbelieve. Within the Catholic community while there has been a sensus probabillis that Job was a historical figure, and he is even celebrated as a saint in some Eastern Orthodox church calenders (I think), however it was still discussed without any hint of this being heresy, whether he had actually existed as a historical person.
    Feel free to cite one Catholic in good standing prior to Pius XII who doubted the historicity of either Job or Jonah!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    Actually the Church Fathers didn't teach geocentrism as doctrine. While they read passages in the light of this idea, which was the natural philosophy of their time, they never expound directly on it. They were almost completely uninterested in the subject, speaking more about other things of real importance, such as matters that relate to the Faith.
    I think you need to read up on De Genesi ad Literam Libri XII.

    Don't just quote the overfamous quote from it, read the work. There are probably translations to English as well as to French, if not in separate books, at least in Loeb editions, as I have found there is in the Budé edition.

    You should also check out how St Thomas Aquinas in Contra Gentes and St John Damascene in the start of De Fide Orthodoxa start proving the existence of God philosophically basically because God turning the universe around us each day by divine fiat is THE way in which Geocentrism can work. Of course, Epicure thought an atheist and a geocentric went well together, but I think HIS model has been very thoroughly refuted since Tycho Brahe started pushing holes in it.
    http://notontimsblogroundhere.blogspot.fr/p/apologetics-section.html

    Thanks, Sparko, for telling how I add the link here!

  2. #152
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    [Parallax] After it was proposed and discovered by the heliocentrists. Which is surprising given that geocentrism is (according to you) supposed to be true. Yet our instruments instead see exactly what would be naturally observed if modern cosmology is true. Geocentrists like yourself instead have to keep artifically inject fixes into the geocentric interpretation, so that it can keep up with the findings of modern science, rather than actually providing predictions of what the scientists ought to find. That's the hallmark of a failed idea, and it is quite impossible given what you believe and is every bit as ridiculous as the idea that God put fossils of dinosaurs into the ground to test our faith as some creationists believe.
    In fact, the modern cosmology has changed very much from its predecessors in Galilean and philosophically Newtonian Heliocentrism, precisely because neither of these predicted parallax as it was actually observed later - supposing the identification was even correct.

    geo.jpg
    http://notontimsblogroundhere.blogspot.fr/p/apologetics-section.html

    Thanks, Sparko, for telling how I add the link here!

  3. #153
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    It was a miracle that made the sun appear to stand still in the sky. Its phenomenological language, describing that the yellow disc perceived in the sky, hung over the battle field. It is only by importing (eisegesis) the reading of geocentrism into the text, that you interpret the words to mean something about a gigantic ball of gas millions of kilometers away.
    Not so, since in verse 12 Joshua adressed the gigantic gas ball - or its angel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    No, as it belongs to the magisterium to interpret the Bible, and we have the Catechism of St John Paul II, that gives us what we're bound to believe in, as well as the many helpful encyclicals by the popes. Again, if any historical fact, or fact of natural philosophy would impact on an article of faith, then and only then, could the magisterium bind our will to it.
    What does magisterium have to do with the KKK ("Katholske Kirkens Katechismus"=like Ku Klux Klan, if not worse!) of antgipope Wojtyla?

    Or, wait, it has, since the "catechism" is doctrinally so bad, its authorising "magisterium" cannot be that of the Church.

    "Again, if any historical fact, or fact of natural philosophy would impact on an article of faith, then and only then, could the magisterium bind our will to it."

    That Napoleon lost at Waterloo or that the Sun is millions of km away cannot impact on an article of faith directly.

    But that the Sun stood still when Joshua told IT to do so can, if not ex parte revelati, at least ex parte revelantis. Since God is the author of the book of Joshua and Joshua wrote it only under His inspiration, which was inerrant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    Deus in adjutorium meum intende, Domine ad adiuvandum me festina.

    I certainly don't regret my decision to block him then. I was bound by my spiritual advisor, Fr Yusuf Maria from the Transalpine Redemptorists to avoid dialogue with sedevacantists.
    Oh, you blocked me?

    Well, Yusuf Maria from Transalpine Redemptorists has a somewhat funny view on whom to avoid then!

    Leonhard can dialogue with Protestants? Yes, one should be a bit ecumenical, right ...
    With Photians? Yes, also.
    And Atheists, Agnostics? Yeah, I suppose so.

    But a sedevacantist? No way, José!

    If we are wrong, we are only so wrong as others who took the wrong Pope (discarding the question whether this also applies to Sedes strictu sensu who don't have one at all), but we are targetted by Transalpine Redemptorists - rather traddy trads, usually - because we are somehow worse than the guys stuck with Avignon Antipopes.
    http://notontimsblogroundhere.blogspot.fr/p/apologetics-section.html

    Thanks, Sparko, for telling how I add the link here!

  4. #154
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    Further Questions on the Westminster Confession of Faith.

    Some further questions are proposed for the reader to consider with regard to statements made in the Westminster Confession of Faith. Some comment is encouraged for further development in understanding what is taught in the confession.

    I. Those whom God effectually calls, He also freely justifies;[1] not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them,[2] they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.[3]
    Question – God’s call is said to be linked directly to justification. Where in the scriptures is God’s calling always linked directly to justification and thereby indicates that all grace of calling is irresistible? If there is one verse that indicates men can act against God’s calling, then irresistible grace is debunked.

    Question – If God accounts persons righteous, “not by anything . . . done by them”, how does God account persons righteous by faith, when faith is an act done by the person? Isn’t the Westminster confession (WC) self contradictory here? Why not?

    Question – If God accounts righteousness “not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them”, why doesn’t God account all men righteous for Christ's sake alone? After all, if faith is not an act “done by them” [the justified], then faith need not be done, and hence God can justify any person apart from anything that person has done.

    Question – If God accounts a man just, apart from any thing “done by them”, why not account faith to the person as well?

    II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification:[4] yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love.[5]
    Question – If there are no verses that actually state faith is an instrument, why did God never say faith is an instrument, when faith is essential to justification?

    Question – If faith is an instrument, how do you know, if all the evidence in the scriptures is only from prepositions such as “through” or “by” in association with faith?

    Question – If faith is an instrument, why would God make such a truth that is so essential, so vague?

    Question – If faith is an instrument, why is this truth not found in church history until the reformation? Did the Holy Spirit fail to teach the church until the reformation? If so, how can you be sure the HS is teaching the truth in the WC?

    Question – If faith is an instrument, what is the instrument? What does it do? What does it not do?

    Question – If faith is an instrument, how does it differ from a virtue such as hope and love?

    Question – If faith is an instrument, what are the consequences of the instrument with regard to sin and grace? Should we equate grace with an instrument?

    Question – If faith is taught by the WC to be an instrument, but is in fact a virtue and not an instrument then the WC teaching on justification is false, is it not?

    Question – If faith “is ever accompanied with all other saving graces” why don’t these graces act as an instrument with faith to justify, when there are no texts that actually teach faith alone, or faith is ever alone?

    Question – If faith is alone that justifies and faith is an instrument and there are no explicit texts that teach either of these apparent truths, what certitude does one have that both are true, over any claim that they are merely the inventions of men?

    Question – The WC says in another text that scripture interprets scripture via the explicit interpretation the implicit, or more vague texts. If faith as an instrument is only known through implicit or vague texts, how do we know that such is true when there are no explicit texts as required by the method described by the WC?

    Question – What assurance does one have that the WC’s teaching is true, when the only scriptural evidence for faith as an instrument is a number of prepositions, assumed to infer faith as an instrument, without any other explicit scriptural support, or without any support from church history? Not much, or none at all.

    [4] JOH 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: ROM 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. ROM 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Question – If faith is an instrument, that alone causes justification, how does faith not exclude the work of Christ? After all, alone means alone and not another cause of justification.

    Question – If faith is an instrument, why use the word “alone” when no text in the NT ever associates the phrase “faith alone” with justification, except James 2:24, which denies man is justified by faith alone.

    Question – If faith is an instrument, why not hope and love, or any other virtue?

    Question – If faith is an instrument, why is not faith a virtue like hope and love?

    Question – If faith is an instrument, that is dead without love, why is love not an instrument as well that informs love?

    Question – If faith is an instrument, and faith alone justifies, how is faith alone, when it must be informed by love to be living?

    Question – If faith is an instrument, accompanied by saving graces that works through love, how does one not lose justification if one sins against love?

    Question – If sin against love does not cause a loss of love in union with faith how can love still exist along with sin?

    Question – If sin against love does cause a loss of love, how can faith alone justify, without love that is said to be an accompanied saving grace?

    III. Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real and full satisfaction to His Father's justice in their behalf.[6] Yet, in as much as He was given by the Father for them;[7] and His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead;[8] and both, freely, not for any thing in them; their justification is only of free grace;[9] that both the exact justice, and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.[10]
    Question – the justified can sin but not lose justification, can one sin against faith and not lose justification? After all after one has faith, then according to the WC, one cannot lose justification.

    Question – If the only sin is a sin against faith that causes a loss of justification, what happens to faith as an instrument? Does the instrument become annihilated, or does God put it back into heaven?

    Question – Justification and sanctification are separated in the WC, yet Justification and sanctification are not doctrinally separate in church history. What confidence does one have that the separation of Justification and sanctification are correct, when the separation is an novelty based upon no explicit texts for faith as an instrument and no texts that say faith alone justifies?

    IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect,[11] and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification:[12] nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit does, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.[13]
    Question – If the HS applies Christ unto them and cause them to be holy, what need is there for justification by faith alone? If one is made holy by the HS, why not have the work of the HS as the cause of justification?

    Question – If the HS causes both faith and sanctification, why separate the two acts, when both are cause by the same HS?

    V. God does continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified;[14] and although they can never fall from the state of justification,[15] yet they may, by their sins, fall under God's fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.[16]
    Question – If “they can never fall from the state of justification”, then they can act against saving graces of love done in works with faith. So the saving graces of love and good works can be lost, but not justification, which saves. How does this reasoning make any sense?

    Question – If one cannot lose justification, then justification is for the elect who are called and have faith. Such means justification is tied into unconditional election of the saints. How can election be unconditional when faith is required as a condition for justification?

    VI. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament.[17]
    Question – If the justification of believers is the same in the OT and NT, why was king David and Israel both punished for sin when Christ took the punishment for sin as a penal substitute on the cross?

    JM

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    Further Questions on the Westminster Confession of Faith.


    I. Good works are only such as God has commanded in His holy Word,[1] and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention.[2]

    II. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith:[3] and by them believers manifest their thankfulness,[4] strengthen their assurance,[5] edify their brethren,[6] adorn the profession of the Gospel,[7] stop the mouths of the adversaries,[8] and glorify God,[9] whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto,[10] that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.[11]

    III. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ.[12] And that they may be enabled thereunto, beside the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will, and to do, of His good pleasure:[13] yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.[14]
    Question - Good works are from the Holy Spirit and grace. Why then do good works not justify when they are from God? After all the reformers taught justification is by faith alone, right?

    Question - Below the text says the regenerate man does good works. Why then restrict justification to faith alone when faith is an act of the regenerate man and there are no proof texts for the faith alone doctrine?

    IV. They who, in their obedience, attain to the greatest height which is possibly in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.[15]

    V. We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom, by them, we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins,[16] but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants:[17] and because, as they are good, they proceed from His Spirit,[18] and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God's judgment.[19]
    Question - If works proceed from His Spirit,[18] and as they are wrought by us, why are the works defiled and have a disproportion between them and the glory to come, when the works are caused by God himself? Cannot God's works ever be good enough for Him?

    Question - If grace is extrinsic, then works are not from the regenerated Christian. For works made by the regenerate Christian are works from one who has received an interior act of regenerating grace. Why then call our works defiled when the works are from an interior grace merited by Christ? Are Christ and His works also defiled?

    VI. Notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him;[20] not as though they were in this life wholly unblamable and unreproveable in God's sight;[21] but that He, looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections.[22]
    Question - How does God know if the works are sincere is the same works are defiled? It's as though sincerity is the only act other than faith that cannot be defiled.

    Question - If faith is an act done by man, how can faith not be defiled, just as other acts are said to be defiled and performed by God?

    Question - What does it mean to be defiled, when the NT says it is easy to keep the commandments (1 John 5)?

    Question - If all our acts are defiled, doesn't that make it impossible to keep the commandments? Explain this in comparison with keeping the commandments in 1 John 5.

    VII. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands; and of good use both to themselves and others:[23] yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith;[24] nor are done in a right manner, according to the Word;[25] nor to a right end, the glory of God,[26] they are therefore sinful and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God:[27] and yet, their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God.[28]
    Question - If the Christian heart is purified by faith, and faith is the work of God, how are Christian works defiled when the Christian is pure by the work of God?

    Question - If those works are seen through Christ, aren't those works then misunderstood by the Father is being good enough when they are defiled? If so, is not the WC's version of the Trinity an anthropomorphism whereby God is reduced to being tricked by the Son, as a man is deceived by another?

    Question - How does faith purify the heart, when faith is an instrument? If faith purifies the heart, why not hope and love?

    Question - The WC is schizophrenic on the matter of Christian life and works. One moment Christians are pure, the next all their acts are defiled and not good enough. The WC sounds like a texts written by men who didn't know what to say about justification. Why then believe anything the text says when the text is so divided against itself?

    I. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace,[1] immediately instituted by God,[2] to represent Christ and His benefits; and to confirm our interest in Him:[3] as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church and the rest of the world;[4] and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to His Word.[5]

    II. There is, in every sacrament, a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified: whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other.[6]

    III. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither does the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that does administer it:[7] but upon the work of the Spirit,[8] and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.[9]
    Question - if a sacrament is caused by the work of the Spirit and the word of institution, how is the sacrament affected no when the Reformers did not believe in apostolic succession?

    Question - If there is no apostolic succession then anyone can confect the sacrament, right? why not?

    Question - If there is no apostolic succession then ordination is made apart from apostolic succession. So ordination is made by men, without connection to the apostles. How then do you know ordination is ordination which enables one to confect a sacrament when there is no connection to the apostles through ordination? You don't.

    Question - If there is no apostolic succession and ordination is not a sacrament that confers any spiritual power to the ordinand, how does the ordained minister actually have any authority to confect the sacrament of the Lord Supper?

    Question - If there is no apostolic succession and ordination is not a sacrament but does confer a spiritual power to the ordinand, how does the non sacramental ordination confect a power to then grant the ordained the power to confect another sacrament?

    Question - If there is no apostolic succession and ordination is not a sacrament, what authority does the congregation have to grant the powers of ordination to the ordinand, when the congregation does not have the sacramental power to ordain anyone?

    Question - if the congregation does have the power to ordain where does it come from and why is it not a sacrament?

    Question - If the Eucharist is a meal, why not the sacramental representation of the cross as taught in church history?

    IV. There are only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained.[10]

    V. The sacraments of the Old Testament in regard to the spiritual things thereby signified and exhibited, were, for substance, the same with those of the new.[11]
    Question - The OT had the sacrament of the priesthood, yet the WC denies the priesthood is a NT sacrament. How then does the OT priesthood prefigure the NT lack of sacramental priesthood?

    JM

  6. #156
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    Further Questions on the Westminster Confession of Faith.

    Chapter XXIX

    Of the Lord's Supper

    I. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein He was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of His body and blood, called the Lord's Supper, to be observed in His Church, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of Himself in His death; the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in Him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto Him; and, to be a bond and pledge of their communion with Him, and with each other, as members of His mystical body.[1]
    Question - The WC says the Eucharist was instituted as a remembrance. Why is the Eucharist not a sacrifice when the OT has many examples of remembrance sacrifice?

    II. In this sacrament, Christ is not offered up to His Father; nor any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sins of the quick or dead;[2] but only a commemoration of that one offering up of Himself, by Himself, upon the cross, once for all: and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God, for the same:[3] so that the popish sacrifice of the mass (as they call it) is most abominably injurious to Christ's one, only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of His elect.[4]
    Question - The WC assumes a separation of the Eucharist and the cross, where none exists within Catholic doctrine. Why then teach the Eucharist is injurious to Christ's one [cross], when the Eucharist is the cross as a sacrament? Is not the WC using sophistry here? Why not when no argument is made, nor any satisfactory proof texts are presented?

    Question - How is the Eucharist not a sacrifice, when Jesus said it is the blood of the covenant? -“This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them." Isn't the blood of the covenant the fulfilment of the covenant animal sacrifices at Mt Sinai? If so, then the Eucharist is the sacrificial blood of Jesus is it not?

    Question - The proof text used to demonstrate the Eucharist is not a sacrifice is Hebrews 9:22, which only discusses the sacrificial nature of the cross. Nowhere does Heb 9:22 discuss the non sacrificial nature of the Eucharist as professed by the WC. Why then believe the WC when it mishandles scripture so badly?

    [2] HEB 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
    Question - The WC is a statement of faith, which means the WC is documented to state what the Presbyterians believe God has revealed. Where has God revealed that "In this sacrament, Christ is not offered up to His Father; nor any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sins of the quick or dead;"?

    Question - The WC denies the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist, yet the institution narratives say the Eucharist is a propitiation for sin.

    Question - The WC denies the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist, yet there is clear early church witness to the Eucharist as a sacrifice. Why then believe the WC when it is against the Eucharist as a sacrifice, when the WC is not faithful to church history?

    "Assemble on the Lord’s day, and break bread and offer the Eucharist; but first make confession of your faults, so that your sacrifice may be a pure one. Anyone who has a difference with his fellow is not to take part with you until he has been reconciled, so as to avoid any profanation of your sacrifice [Matt. 5:23–24]. For this is the offering of which the Lord has said, ‘Everywhere and always bring me a sacrifice that is undefiled, for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is the wonder of nations’ [Mal. 1:11, 14]" (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).
    Question - The WC is not faithful to church history, but the true God of the church is the Lord of history. How then do you know the WC is from the Lord, when the WC is not faithful to the Lord of history?

    III. The Lord Jesus has, in this ordinance, appointed His ministers to declare His word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants;[5] but to none who are not then present in the congregation.[6]
    Question - If Jesus ordained ministers only produce bread and wine, what's the point of being a minister?

    Question - If Jesus ordained ministers produce bread and wine with some real presence of Christ, how does this real presence come about when ordination is not a sacrament? Doesn't the real presence infer such occurs without a sacrament, and hence anyone can confect the Eucharist? Why not?

    Question - If the Presbyterian version of the Eucharist is only bread and wine, why receive the bread and wine and not just believe? After all faith is alone in justification and the justified receive the Eucharist, so why bother with any of it?

    Question - If the bread and wine are not the flesh and blood of Jesus does that means was not really a man with flesh and blood? If the Eucharist is only bread and wine, and not really flesh, then isn't Jesus also not really God united to human flesh, but a symbolic flesh like the Eucharist of Presbyterianism?

    IV. Private masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest, or any other alone;[7] as likewise, the denial of the cup to the people,[8] worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about, for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use; are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ.[9]
    Question - The Eucharist as a sacrifice is well documented in church history. Why then believe the WC when the document is anti-historical on the doctrines of the Eucharist?

    V. The outward elements in this sacrament, duly set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to Him crucified, as that, truly, yet sacramentally only, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ;[10] albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.[11]
    Question - faith is required to receive the sacrament, yet the sacrament contains no presence of Christ. Hence the sacrament can be received by anyone, for the sacrament is really only bread and wine. How then does the sacrament promote faith in the lord of creation when the Lord does nothing in the sacrament? Isn't the Presbyterian version of the Eucharist really only a quasi-naturalism that denies the power of God within the Eucharist, hence the sacrament becomes only a symbol without substance?

    Question - if the Eucharist is only bread and wine, why be Presbyterian when they only believe nothing happens at the Eucharist?

    Question - Why would Jesus institute an empty sacrament that is nothing more than a symbol? A very strange thing to do by the Lord of creation.

    Question - The OT teaches the Lord will marry Israel. The NT fulfils the divine marriage. Where then is the divine wedding banquet in the Presbyterian sacramental theology whereby God marries Israel and grants Israel the flesh of God as groom?

    VI. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ's body and blood (commonly called transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant, not to Scripture alone, but even to common sense, and reason; overthrows the nature of the sacrament, and has been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions; yes, of gross idolatries.[12]
    Question - Again the WC is against church history and against the Lord of history. Why then believe the WC which is against the Lord of the Church?

    Question - If the Eucharist is not what the Presbyterian church teaches, which is easily established from church history, are not the Presbyterians committing idolatry? If not why not?

    Question - If doctrines can be believed apart from church history, why not make up your own version of Christianity as the WC has done?

    VII. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements, in this sacrament,[13] do then also, inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally but spiritually, receive and feed upon, Christ crucified, and all benefits of His death: the body and blood of Christ being then, not corporally or carnally, in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet, as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.[14]
    Question - Is the above not a mindless superstition concocted by the WC which has no authority and has a false teaching against church history?

    Question - How does one spiritually, receive and feed upon, Christ crucified, and all benefits of His death when the Eucharist is only bread and wine?

    VIII. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this sacrament; yet, they receive not the thing signified thereby; but, by their unworthy coming thereunto, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, to their own damnation. Wherefore, all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Him, so are they unworthy of the Lord's table; and cannot, without great sin against Christ, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries,[15] or be admitted thereunto.[16]
    Question - what is the thing signified when there is no reality in the sacrament?

    Question - How does bread and wine signify anything when bread and wine are so foreign to the cross?

    Question - the cross is the source of grace, which infers the Eucharist signifies the cross. Yet the WC says the Eucharist is not the cross. How then does that which is not the cross, bring the blessings of the cross?

    Question - How is anyone unworthy of the Lord's table when the Lord's table is only bread and wine? Very odd indeed.

    Conclusion - the WC on the Eucharist is anti-historical and without scriptural support. The WC is a product of men, made apart from the revelation and the true Church which has apostolic succession.

    I. For the better government, and further edification of the Church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils.[1]

    II. As magistrates may lawfully call a synod of ministers, and other fit persons, to consult and advise with, about matters of religion;[2] so, if magistrates be open enemies to the Church, the ministers of Christ, of themselves, by virtue of their office, or they, with other fit persons upon delegation from their Churches, may meet together in such assemblies.[3]

    III. It belongs to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his Church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same; which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission; not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God appointed thereunto in His Word.[4]

    IV. All synods or councils, since the apostles' times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.[5]

    V. Synods and councils are to handle, or conclude nothing, but that which is ecclesiastical: and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble petition in cases extraordinary; or, by way of advice, for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate.[6]
    Question - If a council has the authority to determine controversies of faith, and a council can error, does that mean the Council has authority to judge in error?

    Question - If a Council can err, how does one know if it has erred and who determines the error and what to do when the council errs?

    Question - If a council can err how does one know the council has the authority to determine controversies of faith?

    Question - If a council is required to determine controversies of faith, how does one know who has faith when a council can err?

    Question - If a council is required to determine controversies of faith, how does one know who has faith before and after the council if the council can err?

    Question - If a council is required to determine controversies of faith, what does that mean when the reformers taught all a man need do is to believe Jesus rose from the dead and the man is justified by faith alone?

    Question - If a council is required to determine controversies of faith, does this not mean the reformers supposedly simple gospel is really far more complex than they originally taught?

    Question - If the simple gospel is really far more complex than they originally taught, how does one know that the reformers were correct in teaching the simple gospel?

    Question - If a council can err, and councils determined the canon of scripture, how does one know the canon without error, when the council could have erred?

    Question - If all men sin, then Council's sin. So how does one bind oneself to the decisions of sinners and potentially sinful decisions?

    Question - If the decision of a council is sinful, how does one give consent to sin?

    Question - If there is no apostolic succession in Christianity, how does one know the council has any authority from God?

    Question - If a council can err, then any council can err. If one council errs, how does one form another council to correct the original error?

    Question - If a council can err, how does one know if there are not more errors in the two councils which require a further council to correct those errors?

    Question - If a council makes decisions "consonant to the Word of God" what are to be made of decisions made beyond the Word of God? For the Word of God does not extend to all human moral acts such as IVF, cloning, economic systems and so on. What then is the believer to do about moral action outside the bible?

    Question - If a council makes decisions "consonant to the Word of God", who determines if the decision is consonant or not with the Word of God?

    Question - If a council is to "determine controversies of faith" but, is "not to be made the rule of faith," how does a council determine faith, but not as a rule of faith? If the determination is not a rule of faith, what value is the determination?

    JM

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    Further Questions on the Westminster confession of Faith

    Chapter XXXII

    Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead

    I. The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption:[1] but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them:[2] the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies.[3] And the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day.[4] Beside these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledges none.

    II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed:[5] and all the dead shall be raised up, with the selfsame bodies, and none other (although with different qualities), which shall be united again to their souls forever.[6]

    III. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonor: the bodies of the just, by His Spirit, unto honor; and be made conformable to His own glorious body.[7]
    Problem - The WC says the scriptures do not acknowledge any other place than heaven or hell, where it says "the Scripture acknowledges none." Yet the WC says the righteous Christian from time to time commits sin. But there is no sin in heaven. Hence according to the WC there must be either -

    1) No problem with entering heaven with sin as a Christian. But this is against the holiness of God.

    2) A problem with sin which remains unresolved within the WC document. The unresolved problem within the WC makes the WC a problematic confession.

    Any apparent resolution to the problem is not real, for holiness is required to enter heaven, and holiness is apart from any imputation of Christs righteousness.

    Question - why follow the WC with its problematic understanding of the next life, when the WC conclude to both the existence and non existence of a third place which may be called purgatory?

    JM

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    Further Questions on the Westminster Confession of Faith.

    Chapter XXXIII

    Of the Last Judgment

    I. God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world, in righteousness, by Jesus Christ,[1] to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father.[2] In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged,[3] but likewise all persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.[4]
    Question - Why would God require a final judgment for men who have been justified by faith, when faith alone is all that is required, apart from any other sins? The second judgment seems entirely superfluous for those with faith. Unless of course faith alone theology is false and the second judgement really does examine all the thoughts of men, for all thoughts really do contribute towards a mans salvation.

    II. The end of God's appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord; but the wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.[5]
    Question - Why bother with the final judgment when those with faith go to heaven and those without faith go to hell? Why not just have a particular judgment for each man after death?

    Conclusion - faith alone theology makes the final judgment superfluous. But God never does anything superfluous, hence the final judgment is not in accord with faith alone theology.

    III. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin; and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity:[6] so will He have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly, Amen.[7]
    Question - The final judgment is irrelevant to those who have faith, for with faith alone, justification can never be lost. Hence the final judgment only deters men from sinning against faith to avoid the loss of justification. But the WC is inconsistent with it own doctrine of justification here. For the judgment does not determine from sinning in general as sin is merely a loss of the Father's countenance and not a loss of justification. So how does the final judgment deter one from sin if the deterrence is only according to loss of countenance and not justification?

    The WC is full of problems, which makes this particular version of Calvinism also very problematic.

    There is certainly nothing compelling in much of what the WC says on the matters of faith, justification, and church government.

    Another question on church government -

    IV. All synods or councils, since the apostles' times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.[5]
    Question - The above statement is only one from men who are not successors to the apostles. So what confidence does one have that the statement itself is not in error, rather than the Councils, as the WC claims?

    JM
    Last edited by JohnMartin; 01-01-2017 at 10:31 AM.

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    Moderated By: Raphael

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