Some Folks Like Sacraments Better Than Memorials, Because Sacraments Can Kill You but Memorials Can’t

when we deny that each atom of the bread
contains God completely,
the priests explain that it makes no difference
what those sectarians think is happening

because history tells us, the tradition,
the story that works
(not for the sectarians ,we killed them)
that Christ is fully present in the bread

the chaplains defend the narrative
thank god this day for constantine
and all those who make it possible for us to worship
in liberty and peace

grateful to those in the military
the service men and women, the heroes,
the killers who stand between us
and the chaos of apocalypse and liberalism
thankful we do not have to face revelations

the soldiers are cheap, their lives also,
they kill for us so that we don’t have to
the priests cost more but they assure us

this is not nostalgia for the past,
the sacrament is liminal
here where now is and no there or no then

We have paid the priests to tell us about the one church
for all times and all places,.
to tell us that sectarians are atheists posing as protestants

Leithart (page 333): “The Creator made man to participate in and prosecute His wars.” Of course Leithart is not only describing what God has predestined; his concern is ethics. Mine two.

Either Leithart is right or we pacifists are right. According to Leithart, Adam’s problem was that he was a pacifist in regard to Satan. If Leithart is right, as we get to newer covenants (or, “newer administrations of the one covenant”, as the ideology likes to say it), then the newer the covenant, the more responsibility all of us have to kill for the sake of the covenant.

And thus Leithart contextualizes Jesus, so that His dying at the cross (rather than killing) is particular, specific, and unique, and not an example for anybody.

I remember the old days when theonomists mocked Ron Sider for his leading questions: is God a Marxist? Ron never said God was, but he kinda implied it. And so today, the theonomists ask the leading question: is turning the other cheek a rebuke of self defense or the defense of others?

How could we possibly think that what Jesus said in the Sermon was for all Christians in all places and for all times? We know that church history is not an empty parenthesis, and we know that Augustine was a Christian, and thus we know that Augustine’s version of Just war was also the politics of Jesus.

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14 Comments on “Some Folks Like Sacraments Better Than Memorials, Because Sacraments Can Kill You but Memorials Can’t”

  1. Ted Grimsrud Says:

    Bingo, Mark. I’m almost done reading Leithart. Your point here is excellent.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    Barth–hus to speak of a continuation or extension of the incarnation in the Church is not only out of place but even blasphemous. Its distinction from the world is not the same as His; it is not that of the Creator from His creature. Its superiority to the world is not the same as His; it is not that of the Lord seated at the right hand of the Father. Hence it must guard as if from the plague against any posturing or acting as if in relation to world-occurrence it were an alter Chrisus [another Christ], or a vicarius Christ [vicar of Christ], or a mediator of all graces, not only out of fear of God, but also because in any such behaviour, far from really exalting itself or discharging such functions, it can only betray, surrender, hazard and lose its TRUE INVISIBLE BEING, and therefore its true distinction from the world and superiority to world-occurrence. (CDIV.3.2, 729)

    http://dguretzki.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/incarnational-church-blasphemy/

    http://reformedbaptistdaily.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/berkhof-on-the-necessity-of-the-sacraments/

    Berkhof —Roman Catholics hold that (water) baptism is absolutely necessary for all unto salvation, and that the sacrament of penance is equally necessary for those who have committed mortal sins after baptism; but that confirmation, the eucharist, and extreme unction are necessary only in the sense that they have been commanded and are eminently helpful. Protestants, on the other hand, teach that the sacraments are not absolutely necessary unto salvation, but are obligatory in view of the divine precept Willful neglect of their use results in spiritual impoverishment and has a destructive tendency, just as all willful and persistent disobedience to God has.

    That they are not absolutely necessary unto salvation, follows: (1) from the free spiritual character of the gospel dispensation, in which God does not bind His grace to the use of certain external forms, John 4:21,23; Luke 18:14; (2) from the fact that Scripture mentions only faith as the instrumental condition of salvation, John 5:24; 6:29; 3:36; Acts 16:31; (3) from the fact that the sacraments do not originate faith but presuppose it, and are administered where faith is assumed, Acts 2:41 [see also 10:42-48]; 16:14,15,30,33; 1 Cor. 11:23-32; and (4) from the fact that many were actually saved without the use of the sacraments. Think of the believers before the time of Abraham and of the penitent thief on the cross. [Systematic Theology, (1941). 618-619.]

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Philip Cary—Catholics don’t worry about whether they have saving faith but whether they are in a state of mortal sin—so they go to confession. Reformed Protestants don’t worry about mortal sin but about whether they have true saving faith—so they seek conversion.

    Luther points here to the words “for you,” and insists that they include me. When faith takes hold of the Gospel of Christ, it especially takes hold of these words, “for you,” and rejoices that Christ did indeed died for me

    In this way the Gospel and its sacraments effectively give us the gift of faith. I do not have to ask whether I truly believe; I need merely ask whether it is true, just as the Word says, that Christ’s body is given for me. And if the answer is yes, then my faith is strengthened—without “making a decision of faith,” without the necessity of a conversion experience, and without even the effort to obey a command to believe.

    For what the sacramental word tells me is not: “You must believe” (a command we must choose to obey) but “Christ died for you” (good news that causes us to believe).

    It is sufficient to know that Christ’s body is given for me. If I cling to that in faith, all will go well with me. And whenever the devil suggests otherwise, I keep returning to that sacramental Word, and to the “for us” in the creed, where the “us” includes me. Thus precisely the kind of faith that is insufficient to get me admitted to the Puritan sacraments—which is to say, mere belief in the truth of the creed and trust in my baptism—is all the faith I have. If Luther is right, it is all the faith I can ever have, and all the faith I need.

    the Reformed tradition generates pastoral problems that cannot be helped by the sacrament, because neither word nor sacrament can assure me that I have true saving faith. The logic of the matter, it seems to me, makes it impossible to split the difference between these two positions and get the best of both.

    https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/clinging-to-externals-weak-faith-and-the-power-of-the-sacraments/

    mcmark—-Talk of the sacrament “for us” always replaces talk of definite atonement only for the elect, and crowds out any good news of justice requiring the final salvation of all for whom Christ died. The Lutheran “us” claims to be everybody, but for Lutherans, it’s not the death for “us” which saves anyone, because what saves anyone is present faith. Present faith, present salvation, and losing faith is losing salvation, and Christ’s satisfaction of the law has nothing to do with it.

  4. markmcculley Says:

    http://oldlife.org/2016/01/do-christians-and-unbaptized-children-pray-to-the-same-god

    I Cor 5: 4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus with my spirit and with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 turn that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, in order that his spirit be saved in the Day of the Lord. 6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast permeates the whole batch of dough? 7 Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch.

    I Cor 10: 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for all of us share that one bread. 18 Look at the people of Israel

    I Cor 11: 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, in order that we not be condemned with the world. 33 Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you gather together you will not come under judgment.

    T. J. Davis, “Discerning the Body: The Eucharist and the Christian Social Body in Sixteenth Century Protestant Exegesis,” Fides et Historia, 38.2 (2005)—“For Luther in 1518/1519 the social aspect directed the individual. By 1523, for Luther, the individual directed the social. Love in the social/spiritual body do not disappear, but they become dependent on faith in the presence of the natural body of Christ, and that faith is now incumbent upon individuals and cannot be lodged in the social body.”

    Reviewing Anthony Hoekema (Created in God’s Image) in his Covenant Theology in Reformed Perspective, p 328, Mark Karlberg quotes Hoekema: “To be sure, all infants are under the condemnation of Adam’s sin as soon as they are born. But the Bible clearly teaches that God will judge everyone according to his or her works. And those who die in infancy are incapable of doing any works, whether good or bad.” p 165

    Mark Karlberg comments— “This view appears to be something less than consistent Calvinism. Is not the basis of salvation the sovereign, electing purpose of God in Christ, rather than any consideration of human performance either in the case of adults or infants?”

    No. 20: Daddy, Why Was I Excommunicated?
    http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/rite-reasons/no-20-daddy-why-was-i-excommunicated/

    Tom Chantry—1. When Esau sins and asks for forgiveness from God, can I assure him that his sins are forgiven?

    2. When I ask Esau to obey me in the Lord should I get rid of the indicative-imperative model for Christian ethics? On what grounds do I ask him to forgive Jacob? Because it is the nice thing to do? Or because he should forgive in the same way the Messiah has forgiven him?

    3. Can Esau sing “Messiah loves me, this I know” and enjoy all of the benefits spoken of in that song? (“To him belong…He will wash away my sin”)

    4. When Esau prays during family worship to his heavenly Father, what are the grounds for him praying such a prayer? Does he have any right to call God his “heavenly Father”?

    5. Should I desire that Esau have a “boring” testimony? Is it not enough for him to simply say each day that he trusts in the coming Messiah alone for their salvation?

  5. markmcculley Says:

    I was not able to discern the body (those who believe the gospel) until I was able to understand and believe the gospel, and I was not able to understand the gospel until God effectually called me by His Word. Or did you think “the body” was something else besides those who believe the gospel?

    Mark Jones—The indicative comes before the imperative, even for our children (Ephesaisn. 6:1). Otherwise, I do not see how asking them to obey becomes a form of moralism if there is no indicative present

    Mike Horton—Covenant theology doesn’t teach that the covenant of grace itself is “breakable” (67). God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not. … The word proclaimed and sealed in the sacraments is valid, regardless of our response, but we don’t enjoy the blessings apart from receiving Christ with all of his benefits. Is baptism the believer’s act of testifying to a personal response, or God’s act of testifying to his everlasting pledge?…..To be claimed as part of God’s holy field comes with threats as well as blessings. Covenant members who do not believe are under the covenant curse. How can they fall under the curses of a covenant to which they didn’t belong? If faith is the only way into membership (693), then why all the warnings to members of the covenant community to exercise faith and persevere in faith to the end?

    mcmark—So is the indicative law or grace? When the law promises curse conditioned on the sinner, is that law grace?

    http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/kingdom-through-covenant-a-review-by-michael-horton

  6. markmcculley Says:

    So we don’t show “respect of persons” to the unbaptized children of professing Christians?

    Mark Jones —“I do not believe we can say that the infants of unbelievers will definitely go to hell. However, I do not believe, based on the above, that we can say they will definitely go to heaven. Personally, I am agnostic on that specific question. But I do not believe, contrary to some, that the biblical evidence requires us to say that all infants dying in infancy will go to heaven.”

    Mark Jones—“Nonetheless, we can speak more definitively to this issue when it comes to the children of believers. The Canons of Dort address the topic better, and certainly more pastorally, than the Westminster Confession of Faith, in my view: 1st Head of Doctrine, Article 17. Since we are to judge of the will of God from his Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature, but in virtue of the covenant of grace, in which they, together with the parents, are comprehended, godly parents have no reason to doubt of the election and salvation of their children, whom it pleases God to call out of this life in their infancy.

    Mark Jones—The basis for having this hope is not merely the goodness of God, but the goodness of God as revealed in his covenantal promises towards his people. The children of believers are holy, and thus their identity is NOT, as far as we are to judge, “in Adam”. They have been set apart, with a new identity (i.e., they are holy)…. God’s Word seems to give us some grounds to make these judgments, which, as a pastor, I am glad to offer to bereaved parents in my congregation who have lost an infant.

    Mark Jones—The WCF (10.3) says, “elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit…” – a view that could still allow for all infants, without exception, to receive salvation, but also allows that not all infants will necessarily be saved. Certainly the Westminster divines, based on the public directory for worship, which calls the children of believers “Christians”, would have likely been in agreement with the Canons of Dort on this issue. Pastors have grounds for giving real comfort to Christians who have to deal with the tragedy of losing a child, especially infants . I cannot offer that same comfort to an unbeliever.

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/07/infants-dying-in-infancy-what.php

    mcmark—Since paedobaptists are so generous about the Lord’s Supper that they welcome baptists to the table (these ignorant baptists think they are doing something there, when really it’s God), why don’t they trust God’s sovereignty instead of fencing the table against their baptized children until those children learn the catechism?

  7. markmcculley Says:

    Why should watered children be left out of the conversation? Is it really back to Augustine and Kuyper with the only alternative being Edwards or Piper?

    http://www.westminsterconfession.org/the-doctrines-of-grace/historic-calvinism-and-neo-calvinism.php

    Thesis IV: The covenant relation warrants the presumption that children of believers are regenerated from earliest infancy, and are to be treated as possessing saving grace unless and until they should reject the covenant.

    This is the Kuyperian thesis of presumptive regeneration. Its tempting attractiveness consists largely in its providing a systematic basis for the defense of infant baptism and for the comfort of believing parents…. it will be contended that in spite of Kuyper’s claim that this is the historic Reformed doctrine taught by Calvin, by the Reformed standards and by the best Reformed theologians, the doctrine of presumptive regeneration is alien to historic Calvinism, certainly to the Calvinism of Presbyterian and Puritan divines and also to outstanding Dutch writers from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

    The appeal made by Kuyper to Calvin, the Dutch Reformed standards, and to Maccovius, Voetius, Gomarus and others, is far from conclusive. The old writers cited by Kuyper for the most part argue against the Anabaptists that elect infants may be and sometimes are regenerated in infancy, Voetius championing the stronger position that all elect children of believers are regenerated in infancy,(28) a position rejected by Herman Bavinck.(29) But none of the texts cited by Kuyper, with the possible exception of an ambiguous remark of Cloppenburg, asserts the doctrine of presumptive regeneration.

    As to the historic position of Princeton Presbyterianism, the following statement by Archibald Alexander is decisive: “The education of children should proceed on the principle that they are in an unregenerate state, until evidences of piety clearly appear, in which case they should be sedulously cherished and nurtured. . . . Although the grace of God may be communicated to a human soul, at any period of its existence, in this world, yet the fact manifestly is, that very few are renewed before the exercise of reason commences; and not many in early childhood.”(30)

    The view of Voetius and Kuyper involves the anomaly of a time gap between regeneration and effectual calling, particularly appalling in the case of the apostle Paul, of whom, on the basis of Gal. 1:15, the younger Kuyper is reported to have preached as an example of a regenerated blasphemer.(31)

    Kuyper quotes from Institutes IV.xvi.17-20 to find support in Calvin, who does teach: “That some infants are saved; and that they are previously regenerated by the Lord, is beyond all doubt.” What Kuyper fails to quote is Calvin’s rejoinder to the Anabaptist evasion that the sanctification of John the Baptist in his mother’s womb “was only a single case, which does not justify the conclusion that the Lord generally acts in this manner with infants.” Calvin’s rejoinder is: “For we use no such argument.”(33)

    But Kuyper does use such an argument, in contending that children of the covenant are to be presumed to be regenerated because in fact that is the general manner of the Lord’s dealing with them. Calvin does speak of a seed of future repentance and faith implanted by the Spirit,(34) but does not state the false proposition that this is the case with all baptized infants, nor the highly disputable thesis of Voetius that this is the case with all elect children of believers. Certainly there is no hint of the presumptive doctrine of Kuyper in any of these texts of Calvin.

  8. markmcculley Says:

    Mark Jones–In Goodwin’s view, “the question is not of the reality in the events, but what I am to judge of them. If you take it of all that they are holy and saved, my judgment knows the contrary, but when you come to particulars, I judge so of this child and that child. It is an indefinite proposition, ‘I am thy God and the God of thy seed,’ not a universal proposition.” Marshall responds by saying that we are not to judge whether they possess a real holiness, but to believe that they are holy with the holiness spoken of; that is, a federal holiness. Goodwin responds: “To me the holiness in 1 Cor. 7:14 is the same with that ‘I will be thy God and the God of thy seed.’ If you make it any other holiness, then baptism is a seal of some other holiness than the holiness of salvation.” Further, he argues that our judgment is not an infallible judgment, but we are judging according to the terms of the covenant.

    Mark Jones–, I have two three-year olds, one six-year old, and an eight-year old. And it occurred to me that I wouldn’t actually know how to raise them if I were not a Presbyterian. And let me just take this opportunity to inform sensitive (Baptist?) readers that I know many Baptist families that raise their children remarkably well, even many in my own church. Many of my closest friends – I wrote this before Carl spoke about his “best Anglican friends” – and favourite preachers are Baptists. And yet…

    1. When my children sin and ask for forgiveness from God, can I assure them that their sins are forgiven?

    2. When I ask my children to obey me in the Lord should I get rid of the indicative-imperative model for Christian ethics? On what grounds do I ask my three-year old son to forgive his twin brother? Because it is the nice thing to do? Or because we should forgive in the same way Christ has forgiven us?

    3. Can my children sing “Jesus loves me, this I know” and enjoy all of the benefits spoken of in that song? (“To him belong…He will wash away my sin”)

    4. When my children pray during family worship to their heavenly Father, what are the grounds for them praying such a prayer? Do they have any right to call God their “heavenly Father”? Do non-Christians cry “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15)?

    5. Should I desire that my children have a “boring” testimony? (Though a testimony to God’s covenant promises can never be boring, of course). Is it not enough for them to simply say each day that they trust in Christ alone for their salvation?

    This all makes sense to me as a Presbyterian. But, I confess, if my children were not Baptized, and were not part of the church, and did not bear the name Christian, I’m not sure what grounds I would have for worshipping with them, praying with (not just for) them, and rejoicing with them when they ask for forgiveness for the sins they commit. Far from leading to a lazy form of “presumptive regeneration” (where children are not daily exhorted to repent), I believe that we must in fact hold our covenant children to higher standards by urging them to live a life of faith and repentance in Jesus Christ, their Saviour and Lord. Their baptism, whereby God speaks favour to his children (“You are my child. With you I am well pleased”), demands such a life.

    The indicative comes before the imperative, even for our children (Ephesaisn. 6:1). Otherwise, I do not see how asking them to obey becomes a form of moralism if there is no indicative present (see Eph. 1-5).

    Pastor Mark Jones believes that all baptisms are paedobaptisms, for unless one becomes like a little child he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
    – See more at: http://www.reformation21.org/…/daddy-am-i-really

  9. markmcculley Says:

    Mark Jones—The indicative comes before the imperative, even for our children (Ephesaisn. 6:1). Otherwise, I do not see how asking them to obey becomes a form of moralism if there is no indicative present

    Mike Horton—Covenant theology doesn’t teach that the covenant of grace itself is “breakable” (67). God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not. … The word proclaimed and sealed in the sacraments is valid, regardless of our response, but we don’t enjoy the blessings apart from receiving Christ with all of his benefits. Is baptism the believer’s act of testifying to a personal response, or God’s act of testifying to his everlasting pledge?…..To be claimed as part of God’s holy field comes with threats as well as blessings. Covenant members who do not believe are under the covenant curse. How can they fall under the curses of a covenant to which they didn’t belong? If faith is the only way into membership (693), then why all the warnings to members of the covenant community to exercise faith and persevere in faith to the end?

    mcmark—So is the indicative law or grace? When the law promises curse conditioned on the sinner, is that law grace?

    http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/kingdom-through-covenant-a-review-by-michael-horton

  10. markmcculley Says:

    Mark Jones—On what grounds do I ask my four-year old son to forgive his twin brother? “Can my children sing Psalm 23 (esp. v. 6) or Be Thou My Vision (as they do) with the assurance that God is indeed their shepherd or their breastplate and sword for the fight? Can they sing “‘Jesus loves me, this I know’ (‘…little ones to him belong…’)? “When my children pray during family worship to their heavenly Father, what are the grounds for them praying such a prayer? Do they have any right to call God their ‘heavenly Father’?”

    Tom Chantry—I’ve left out the answers; the short version on each is, “Yes, because I’m a Presbyterian, but if you’re a Baptist you have no answers.

    Charles Hodge referred to Christ’s “little lambs” being written into the book of life – and then excoriated Baptists for erasing their names. http://confessingbaptist.com/a-reformed-baptist-response-to-mark-jones-daddy-am-i-really-forgiven-tom-chantry-reformation21/

    You see, what Jones is attempting to do in this section is to jump from federal holiness to regeneration, which are two very distinct and different categories. It is for exactly this reason that Rutherford and Goodwin had their debate over the nature of a covenant child’s holiness: the category of New Covenant child doesn’t exist in the Bible, and the category of Old Covenant child is distinctly unsatisfying.

    Tom Chantry—Jones concedes near the end of his piece that perhaps one of his children might be non-elect, but what exactly does that mean if federal holiness means being a Christian? It is distressing to hear a New Covenant believer speaking of his children – or anyone – as being in that covenant, enjoying the benefits of that covenant, and yet still possibly being non-elect.

    Jones speaks – in keeping with the Goodwinian tradition – of considering or judging his children to be Christians, but again, we must ask why? Is it because, as his narrative suggests, they express their faith in Christ through prayer, or is it for some other reason.

    Chantry–They are rather the sort of rhetorical questions Pedobaptists love to bat about between themselves without ever asking them of any actual, real-world Baptists. How do I deal with my children when they ask questions about their salvation? With this answer: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.

    If a woman comes to Jones and tells him she is struggling with assurance, that she has sinned greatly and prayed about it, but that she doesn’t know whether or not God hears her prayers, will he point her to federal holiness, or to Jesus?

    If Jones is counseling a drug-addict who wandered into church, and if he wants to avoid moralism, does he say, “Christ died for you, you are saved, therefore obey”? Or does he call him to faith in Christ?

    If Jones has urged an unbeliever to call upon the Lord, and that unbeliever kneels and says, “Oh Father…” does Jones interrupt and say, “Please don’t call God ‘Father’ until after you’ve been baptized”?

    http://oldlife.org/2016/01/do-christians-and-unbaptized-children-pray-to-the-same-god

  11. markmcculley Says:

    Matthew Mason— According to Owen, although God’s will toward the elect was not changed upon the death of Christ, for he is immutable, Christ’s death nevertheless changed the status of the elect. On the basis of Christ’s merit, founded on God’s free engagement in the covenant of redemption with his Son, God is obliged to deliver them from the curse ipso facto. Therefore, because of Christ’s satisfaction, God is able to make out the benefits Christ purchased, without any other conditions needing to be fulfilled. In particular, Christ also purchased the condition of the covenant, faith; hence, from the time of the atonement, the elect have an absolute right to justification. http://www.johnowen.org/media/mason_union_with_christ.pdf

  12. markmcculley Says:

    Mark Jones explains that you cannot really have an indicative for your children unless you are willing to “assure them” that God loves them and that they are Christians. Saying God the creator’s law commands obedience, according to Mark Jones, is “moralism”.
    Mark Jones has a “large commanding gospel”, and it’s his gospel (not law) which commands obedience. God is your God, even if you are not-elect is not enough “indicative” for Mark Jones. Only if you welcome all your children to the water and to the table, can you avoid legalism. Only if you say there was already grace for Adam before Adam sinned, can you avoid legalism. Being a mere creature of God is not enough “indicative”.
    In this way Mark Jones has achieved the balance between “hyper-covenantalism” and “hyper-conversionism”. Assure your infants that they are already Christians, but will remain so only if they keep repenting, because security in election and justification is “presumption”. (hyper-decretalism, antinomianism). Because all the covenants are the same one covenant, Mark Jones warns that those once in the covenant may not remain in the covenant.
    But if imperatives demand an indicative which assures your children that they are already Christians, then God’s grace must be common and God must love a person before God can dare command that creature to obey God. And if you are going to command all your children, then you may not have to teach an unlimited atonement, but you are going to have to teach an atonement for all your children, because to avoid moralism, you will have to tell them they are already Christians, even if it turns out in the end that some of your children fail to repent and reveal themselves to be non-elect, once in the covenant but not in the covenant on the last http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/03/moralizing-our-children.php

    https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/gods-covenant-unfaithfulness/

  13. markmcculley Says:

    I wrote to you in a letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. But this does not mean to leave the kingdom of creation, where there are many immoral people. And it also does not mean in the visible church, because a visible church is always a mixed bag, and only people who are too certain of themselves would ever judge other people in the church. Otherwise you would have to leave the church. . Do not even eat with such persons, unless they are receiving the means of grace from ordained clergy, or working with you in the secular kingdom for the extermination of Muslims. But even then, when you eat together in the army, don’t forget that it’s not heaven and you are not eating as a Christian but as a secular American. Even though it’s not our business to judge outsiders, we must judge those who were born in the visible church, and keep them from coming to the table too soon, in our opinion. When we judge those who have been baptized in water and in the name of the Trinity, we are not judging those who are outside. And as long as we make a distinction between church and world, we can kill for the world. As long as we make a distinction between creation and redemption, we can kill other creatures as long as we do not do so in the name of redemption. As for sabbath, we do sabbath for both reasons. on a different day of course but the different day is the ceremonial part but the creation reason for sabbath proves that it’s moral, because the redemption reason maybe could be ceremonial, depending on what we decide and who we are talking to.

  14. markmcculley Says:

    Larry Ball–The efficacy of baptism is not tied to the time of the administration of baptism, but it is tied to the administration of baptism itself. No Christian parent should expect that grace be “conferred” (Confessional language) on their children apart from their children being recipients of the sacrament of covenant baptism. The same can be said of adult baptisms. The grace promised in the ordinance of baptism is actually conferred in God’s appointed time “by the right use of this ordinance” (Confessional language). Grace is conferred because the ordinance is used.

    Larry Ball– I am certainly not denying the doctrine of election. HOWEVER, the doctrine of election was never given to negate the hope of the promises that are given to Christian parents. The doctrine of election taught in Romans 9 to explain why there was unbelief among the covenant people of God. It was intended to be an explanation — not a qualification to the promises of God.
    Some preachers are haunted by what I call the “if clause.” For example, it is often said to Christians that the promises of God are for you “if you are saved” or “if you are a true believer.” The very promises that give hope to Christians often die a slow death by a thousand qualifications.

    Larry Ball–Covenant Baptism is not merely a symbol. If anyone is dedicating himself in covenant baptism, it is God who is dedicating himself to keep the promises he has made to Christian parents This is a high view of the efficacy of covenant baptism. It is simply the teaching of the Westminster Confession of Faith.http://theaquilareport.com/a-high-view-of-the-efficacy-of-baptism/


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