Becoming Reformed means Accepting Roman Catholics as True Church and not Repenting of Infant Baptism

Becoming Reformed these days has nothing to do with teaching that Christ died only for the elect. The Reformed clergyman may on occasion teach that election helped you to believe in the false Christ who died for everyone. But the Reformed not only don’t teach elecction on Sunday morning. They don’t teach at any time that God only imputed the sins of the elect to Christ.

Instead the Reformed teach that Christ’s death has “infinite and sufficient” potential for all sinners. Instead of teaching election, the Reformed teach “infant baptism” The Reformed teach that even the water adminstered by the “Roman Catholic Church” has saving efficaccy, not necessarly at the time of the watering, but at some later point.

it is not a problem for Reformed people to accept the infant baptism of the “Roman Catholics” because even if they don’t agreethat the “Roman Catholics” teach the gospel,the Reformed teach that they and their children become Christians without hearing and believing the gospel. They take the “sovereignty of God” to mean that God does not need the gospel as a means to save sinners.

Though they accept Arminianism as one “good enough gospel”, though they accept Roman Catholicism as gospel, it’s not that big a deal to them, because many of the Reformed think that Christians are Christians already without conversion or gospel. Along with the rest of ritual Christendom, the Reformed believe that water baptism is not something they do but rather something that God does. They believe that, even though God is sovereign, God does not save apart from water baptism. (Even though they say they don’t do the baptism but that God does, the reformed will offer to baptise you, on the condition that you have not already been baptised by some other group –Roman Catholics, Arminians, whatever just so long as they said the word Trinity).

Even though they argue that infant baptism is much better in showing inability and passivity, the Reformed will also boast about “we do baptism for adults also” but only in the cases when the Roman Catholics or somebody else didn’t baptise you as a baby first. Then the Reformed brag about how tolerant and “catholic” they are—-since they teach the potential saving efficacy of infant baptism, they don’t ask for “re-baptism”, but will even offer you “second-rate” adult baptism if you haven’t had the best kind (infant baptism).

So in most cases “becoming Reformed” has nothing to do with election or the nature and extent of Chrsit’s death. “Becoming Reformed” meaans learning a word that is not in the Bible—the word “sacrament”–and then being indoctrinated that water baptism is something that God does to bring salvation.

No, they are not saying that water baptism automatically brings salvation. A few of them, some of the Reformed, will even mumble something about the “grace of baptism” possibily bringing a “greater curse” on those “in the covenant”. Though they are not teaching that water baptism immediately causes their children to become Christian, they do think their children should be thought of as Christians, not because of any evidence that they have heard or believed the gospel, but because the parents and “church” had God Himself baptise them with water.

the song says
Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had Father Abraham

The Bible says that not all Israel is Israel
Not all the children of Abrahaam are children of Abraham
Many children of Abraham do not believe the gospel
The Bible is very very clear that not all the children of Abraham are children of Abraham .

John 8:37 I know you are children of Abraham, but you are trying to kill me
John 8:56 Your father Abraham was overjoyed that he would see My day; he saw it and rejoiced
John 8:59 They picked up stones to throw at Him. But Jesus was hidden and went out of the temple complex

Abraham is not the father of us all. Abraham is the father of many physical children, and some of those physical children believe the gospel. Some of those physical children were the fathers of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself was one of the children of Abraham.

Abraham is the father of many physical chudren.
And Abraham is the father (in another way) of all those who believe the gospel.
And Abraham is the father (in yet another way) of one child, who is Jesus Christ (not a person who believes the gospel, but the person revealed in the gospel)

Abrahaam is not exactly like Moses, but like Moses, Abraham is promised children, a land and a nation. So when we say that Abraham is our father, we are not saying that Abraham is the mediator of the new covenant. Abraham was justified before God a long time before Christ died, and it was Christ’s death imputed by God to Abraham that caused Abraham to be justified.

John Owen–We must grant distinct covenants, rather than merely a twofold administration of the same covenant. We must do so, provided always that the way of reconciliation and salvation was the same under both. But it will be said, ‘if the way of reconciliation and salvation is the same under both, then indeed they are the same for the substance of them is but one.’ And I grant that this would inevitably follow, if reconciliation and salvation by Christ were to be obtained not only under the old covenants, but by virtue of the old covenants, then they must be the same for substance with the new covenant
But this is not so; for no reconciliation with God nor salvation could be obtained by virtue of the old covenants, though all believers in the gospel were
reconciled, justified, and saved, by virtue of the promise, while they were under the old covenants

John Owen—“No blessing can be given us for Christ’s sake, unless, in order of nature, Christ be first reckoned unto us… God’s reckoning Christ, in our present sense, is the imputing of Christ unto ungodly, unbelieving sinners for whom he died, so far as to account him theirs, and to bestow faith and grace upon them for his sake. This, then, I say, at the accomplishment of the appointed time, the Lord reckons, and accounts, and makes out his Son Christ, to such and such sinners, and for his sake gives them faith.” 10:26

The new covenant is not the same as the Abrahamic covenant There is only one gospel, but there are many different ccovenants. The elect justified before Abraham was born had Christ as their new covenant mediator, because Christ’s blood (Christ’s death) in the future was the cause not only of their justification but also the cause of their faith in the one and only gospel

Since Abraham had two sons, did you ever consider that there was more than one promise to Abraham and that not all the promises to Abraham were to all of Abraham’s children? Wasn’t one of the promises to Abraham in Genesis 17 a threat about being “cut off from the covenant”?

The song says
I am one of them and so are you
So let’s all praise the Lord.
Right arm!

We can and should teach the gospel to our children without teaching them they are already Christians. It is not an advantage to assure children that everybody singing a song is a child of Abraham, It is necessary at some point to teach our children that not all of us believe the gospel. Those who do not yet believe the gospel should not be assured that they are children of Abraham.

Was Esau born in the covenant of grace, but then later lost his justification in Christ? No. God’s wrath is not an expression of God’s love. God’s wrath is not a response to human bad response to God’s grace. Those who are justified are no longer under God’s wrath. And those still under God’s wrath were born condemned, already under God’s wrath. The promise of the gospel is for as many as who believe the gospel. The promsie of the gospel is for as many physical chidren of Abraham as the Lord our God will call, for the elect among the Jews and not for the non-electamong the Jews. The promise is for your children, as many of those children as the Lord our God will call, in spite of parents, for the elect alone and not for the non-elect.

Tom Nettles—”The idea of universal atonement is not demanded by the Bible at all, but is often assumed as an inference drawn from a no-grace-no-justice assumption…. The piggy-backing of grace onto the command to believe the gospel does not come from the Bible.”

God does NOT promise saving grace in Christ to every baptized baby. God did NOT promise saving grace to Esau in his circumcision. To say that we are all Abraham’s children is to imply that God failed to keep God’s promises. One reason for this confusion is failure to see that God made not only one promise but many differnt promises. God’s grace is NOT ineffectual. The reason for not being justified, some will say, is the unbelief of Esau. Whatever the reason, many of the Reformed are claining a “common grace” that does not save some of those to whom God is gracious. Regardless of the reason they give for grace’s impotence, the teaching is heretical. If God promises saving grace to both Esau and Jacob but the promise fails because of Esau’s unbelief, then the conclusion follows that grace succeeded in the case of Jacob, only because of grace causing Jacob to accept grace.

Paul Helm—“One thing that the Amyraldian proposal does is to weaken connection between the plight of the race in the fall of Adam. For the Amyraldians the responsibility of each of the non-elect comes simply from hearing and not receiving the message of grace.

the songssay
Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had Father Abraham
I am one of them and so are you
So let’s all praise the Lord.
Right arm, left arm!

Just because you hear the same preacher, or attend the same visible church, this does not mean that I can say that “you” believe the gospel. And if you do not yet know the gospel, then you are not yet believing the gospel as Abraham did, and you are not yet Abraham’s children.

the song says
Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had Father Abraham
I am one of them and so are you
So let’s all praise the Lord.
Right arm, left arm, right foot!

Augustine not only taught election but taught the right of the “church” to have heretics killed—- “The field is the world, and the world is the church. Compel them to come into the covenant”

and we who reject infant baptism respond: The earth is the Lord’s, and only the Lord can give life. Your water is not God’s water, and your water does not bring life.

Augustine: We bring both wheat and tares into the broad church, and the Lord in the end will show the difference.

We who will not accept “Roman Catholic” infant baptism respond—The field is the world, and the church is NOT the world. The church is not our children but only those God causes to believe the gospel.

Augustine: But original sin is removed, and regeneration given by infant baptism.

We who reject “infant baptism” in response to the Reformed—–We know that you love Augustine but do not teach water regeneration, but nevertheless you do teach the future saving efficacy of infant baptism. We deny that the Abrahamic covenant aand the new covenant are one and the same covenant. God made some promises to Abraham that God did not make to Moses, but our justification comes from neither the Mosaic nor the Abrahamic covenant because We trust Christ the mediator of the new covenant for our justification. The new covenant is not for those who believe the gospel and their children. The new covenant is only for those who believe the gospel. There is only one gospel, but making all the covenants the same is something you made up so that you would not have to repent of infant baptism and so that you could keep your own “Roman Catholic” baptism.

By baptizing the infants of believers, but not infant grandchildren (to a 1000 generations!) of believers, the Reformed stop halfway between the old and the new covenants. They put the “carnal seed” in the covenant but stop the ethnic inheritance at the second generation. I am reminded of Jonathan Edwards refusing the second generation the Lord’s Supper. The trouble with moderation is knowing when to stop!

Of course not all the Reformed are agreed on the reasons they won’t repent of infant baptism. Some say that “biological descent from Abraham is never a sufficient reason for one to expect new covenant blessings.” But the Reformed still say that Biological descent (household faith) IS ONE REASON to expect that their children will be justified.

Even though “church discipline” sounds to them like a non-objective “anabaptist legalism” kind of thing, some of the Reformed do “believe in church discipline”. They “abhor a nominal church.” Conservative Reformed folks only baptize infants of the first generation. Unlike liberal Anglicans who approve indiscriminate infant baptism, some serious Reformed now attempt to determine if parents are believers before they will baptize their children. In this way, they attempt to avoid a nominal church by looking for conversions but at the same time also avoid John the Baptist’s water.

They will not not repent of their infant baptism, and for them to be baptised as those who now believe the gospel would for them a tragic rejection or tradition and Christendom. In the name of tolerance, they will not tolerate the idea that “Roman Catholic” infant baptism was nothing before God. The Reformed are very much like those who hung on to the idea of everybody being circumcised. Even though the Bible nowhere teacches that infant water baptism comes in the place of circumcision, infant water baptism is the way the Reformed hang on to circumcision and to the idea that all covenants are the same covenant. Instead of circumcision being a type pointing to Christ’s death, they have circumcision as a ceremony pointing to the ceremony of infant water baptism.

The animal sacrifices of the old Covenants were NOT “the means of graace” by which T believers “accessed” Christ’s forgiveness. Christ was not sacramentally present in the blood of bulls andd goats. Nor is Christ “sacrmentally present” in the Lord’s Supper of the new covenant. Sacrifices during the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants served a function different from their role as types of the gospel. God required the physical children to make sacrifices every day and additional sacrifices on special days in order that God would continue to bless them with land and many children . If the sacrifices were not made, the physical children of Abraham would be cursed. If they were made incorrectly, their priests would be killed

Romaans 9: It is not as though the word of God has failed… not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7Neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s children. On the contrary, your children will be traced through Isaac….The children of the promise are considered to be the children…11 For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election would stand 12 not from works but from the One who calls… 13 As it is written: I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.
14 What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! 15 For God tells Moses:
I will show mercy
to whom I will show mercy,
and I will have compassion
on whom I will have compassion.

16 So then it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture tells Pharaoh:
I raised you up for this reason
so that I woul display My power in you
and that My name be proclaimed
18 So then, God shows mercy to those God wants to show mercy, and God hardens those God wants to harden.

The Reformed want to talk about infant baptism. The Reformed don’t want to talk about election. If the Reformed have any practical use for election, it serves to imply (wihout specific argument) that election means that their children are promised something by God that other sinners are not promised.

I am not saying that you need to find out if you are elect before you can believe the gospel. To the ccontrary, I am saying that you need to find out what the gospel is before you can believe the gospel.
I am saying that you are not going to know what the gospel is unless you know that the sins of the elect were imputed to Christ.
If you believe in the Christ who died for everybody, then you do not yet believe in the true Christ revealed in the true gospel

John 3:32 The One who comes from heaven testifies to what He has seen and heard, yet no one accepts His testimony. 33 The one who has accepted His testimony has affirmed that God is true. 34 For God sent Him, and He speaks God’s words…God gives Him the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hands. 36 The one who believes in the Son has lasting life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God REMAINS on them.

John 5: 24 “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes HIM WHO SENT ME has lasting l life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.

The Son loves the Father and shows the Father everything the Son is doing.

John 5:19 Then Jesus replied, “I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He is doing, and He will show Him greater works than these so that you will be amazed. 21 And as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to anyone the Son wants to give life .
John 5: 27 And He has granted Him the right to pass judgment, because He is Son of Man.

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13 Comments on “Becoming Reformed means Accepting Roman Catholics as True Church and not Repenting of Infant Baptism”

  1. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Lee Irons—The errant theology of The Jesus Storybook Bible has as its starting point an unbiblical understanding of God’s love. It emphasizes the primacy of God’s love in an imbalanced manner. God’s love is described as his unconditional commitment to his creatures before and after the Fall. At the end of the story of creation we read: “But all the stars and the mountains and oceans and galaxies and everything were nothing compared to how much God loved his children. He would move heaven and earth to be near them. Always. Whatever happened, whatever it cost him, he would always love them” (27). God’s love is so great that it continues uninterrupted after the Fall. After telling the story of Adam and Eve’s sin and expulsion from the garden, the narrator repeats the same thought, with even greater emphasis on God’s unbreakable love: “You see, no matter what, in spite of everything, God would love his children – with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love” (36). From a biblical standpoint, it is not true that God loves his human creatures “in spite of everything.”

  2. Mark Mcculley Says:

    The election of Isaac instead of Ishmael God shows that physical
    descent from Abraham does not guarantee that one will be a beneficiary of the covenant made with Abraham and his seed . But the covenant
    blessings for which Isaac is freely chosen (before his birth) and from
    which Ishmael is excluded from Abraham) do not include individual
    lasting life in the age to come. Isaac is not promised the life to
    come, and Ishmael is not excluded from the promise to as many as
    believe the gospel (even though they are not children of Abraham or

    Romans 9: 3 For I could almost wish to be cursed and cut off from the Messiah for the benefit of my brothers, my own flesh and blood. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory,the
    covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the
    promises. 5 The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical
    descent, came the Messiah

    Romans 11: 28 Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your
    advantage, but regarding election, they are loved because of the
    patriarchs, 29 since God’s gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable.

    any paedobaptists don’t want to talk about the conditional or
    political aspects of the Abrahamic covenant. It’s as if those negative
    sactions were only in the Mosaic covenant. They don’t want to talk
    about the land, or about the second and third generations, or about
    holy wars. They want to read the Abrahamic covenant as if it were the new. But they do want to talk about ‘family structure’” Since there
    are no New Testament rules for infant initiation into a visible
    congregation, they want to reach back into the Old Testament (ignoring the intrusions) and find an adminstration for a new covenant church.

    What does it mean to be inheritors of a covenant that has passed away? I might as well sell you my title to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    What does it mean to be a “child of the promise” today? it means beinga Christian, not excluded from the covenants of grace, being included forever in the new covenant?

    What does it mean to be a biological child of a Christian today? It
    means you most likely are going to hear the gospel more than other
    people who don’t have Christian parents. But there is no way we should be taking promises to Abraham about his having many biological children and then one day the one seed being born, and apply those promises to ourselves. I know you can say that “every promise in the book is mine” but you are wrong if you say that. The gospel is only good news for the elect. The new covenant is only for the elect. And we need to tell our children that they can’t know if they are elect until and unless they believe the gospel.

    Look above to Romans 9, or look to Galatians 3-4. The texts say that
    there are two kinds of Israel, two kinds of seed. But some
    paeodbaptists say there was never really but one Israel.

    I am interested in hearing more about “covenantal efficacy”. If some
    folks without such diapers believe the gospel (even some who were not born to paedobaptist parents), then what is the efficacy of those
    “covenantal diapers”? If they don’t cause the faith, what is the
    efficacy which kicks in?

    Saying that your children are born Christians doesn’t change either
    their guilt or their corruption. . Nobody begins life justified and
    then loses salvation.

    Abraham is a father in more than one way. We can agree that the more important way Abraham is father is not at all about genetics (except that Jesus is genetically the seed of Abraham), without denying that Abraham was also father to Ishmael and other children of the slave woman.

    After Abraham believed the gospel, he was circumcised. Romans 4 makes much of the sequence. But some paedobaptists want infants to be outwardly given the sign of a covenant (like they were during the Abrahamic covenant), and then explain to them if they “break the
    covenant” that they were never “really in” (thus you never really

  3. Mark Mcculley Says:

    two different imputations by God before being justified in Christ

    all the sins of all the elect have alreaady been imputed by God to Christ

    all the future sins of the elect have alreay been imputed by God to Christ

    Since Christ has paid for all the sins imputed to Christ, no sins are
    now imputed to Christ

    Christ’s death has already been imputed by God to some of the elect

    Christ’s death will be imputed by God to the rest of the elect

    God will have done two different imputations before an elect sinner is
    justified in Christ

    Romans 4: When was righteousness credited to Abraham —while he was circumcised, or uncircumcised ? The righteousness that he had through faith was imputed by God while he was still uncircumcised.

    “”Preaching ” is another way of placing a mediator between us and the mediator—-I hear preachers say to people liistening—–“you are
    justified”, while saying “your knowledge and faith in the gospel have
    nothing to do with your justification”. This comes out to–if you have
    a preacher, you don’t need faith in the true gospell

  4. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Storms, p 845–A mere profession of faith without good deeds will not avail on the day of judgment
    Then Storms quotes Schriener (not Piper’s introduction to
    Schreiner)–“Paul’s statments in Romans 2 are not merely
    hypothetically those who fail to do good works . No one can be saved without good works and good works are necessary to obtain an eschatological inheritance . The Spirit’s work in a person produces obedience to the law. These works then do not constitute an earning of salvation but the evidence of salvation. We should stress that Paul is not demanding perfect obedience but obedience that is significant, substantial and observable. (law and its fulfillment, p 204)
    So Storms is looking for “the Sort of person” who does enough works. Since he’s assuming justification already, it never enters his mind that these works are actually still sins. .
    p 846 Whereas it it true that we are justified by faith alone, we are not justifed by the faith that is alone
    Now, you can say, if only Storms knew that the elect will be saved by the righteousnss of Christ’s death, then maybe Storms would not talk this stupid way about being saved by faith.
    But I don’t think so, because Storms would agree to many things we might say about Christ’s righteousness imputed.
    p 848–“Real faith is like a seed–when planted, it produces fruit. Real faith produces a life in which one’s heart loves the things of God and WANTS to walk in obedience. Real faith does not produce perfection, but real faith does produce passion and pursuit for God.
    Then of course Storms quotes Jonathan Edwards—-“if God dwells in your heart, then God will show by the efficacy of His operation. Christ is not indwelling in our heart as one who is dead and does nothing. In the heart where Christ is, Christ exerts himself and the saint is made to EXPERIENCE the power
    p 849, Storms—Some so called experiences of faith are nothing more than intellectuaal assent., only the cognitive consent of the mind to the truth….The only ULTIMATE TEST for whether the thing you call faith is in fact saving is what happens when you plant it

  5. Mark Mcculley Says:

    two kingdoms at once, america and Christian
    Jeroboam’s kingship was born of prophetic promise, something more than America, Britain or any other nation might claim.
    That said, he was not promised the Divine Presence or to be the bearer
    of the Holy Seed. The Temple, the throne of God was established in
    Jerusalem in Rehoboam’s kingdom of Judah and it was in the line of
    David that the Holy Seed was to be found.
    Jeroboam couldn’t stand the idea that the devotion of his people would
    be directed elsewhere and that it wouldn’t be woven into the fabric of
    his state vision. Jeroboam was a Sacralist, one who wished to sanctify his kingdom… though he had no claim to do so.
    Jeroboam I decided to build his own altars in Dan and Bethel. Jehovah was worshipped but falsely because these altars declared God’s presence and covenant, something God had never made with the Ten separated Tribes of the north. His holy altar was in Jerusalem.Was it in His plan for them to secede? Clearly, but what Jeroboam did was utterly wrong and the faithful did not worship at the altars of
    Dan and Bethel. They traveled the extra distance to Jerusalem in order to stay faithful to the covenant.
    Jeroboam was guilty of syncretism, taking the quasi-pagan practices of the High Places and mixing that worship with that of the True God. He had no right to make such innovations.
    Declaring the Holy Presence he created a hybrid religion, one very
    similar to Judaism but a counterfeit, a fraud and a manifestation of
    He created his own priests. He had no right to do so and his priests
    were not those chosen by God. It’s clear the Northern Kingdom had its own prophets, its own oracle. They had broken covenant and turned to another authority.

    • markmcculley Says:

      Mike Horton, Justification, volume 2, (New Studies in Dogmatics , -“a person can become a member of the covenant of grace without truly beleiving the gpspel All persons in the covenant are to be threatened with the consequences of apostasy. Some belong to the covenant community and experience thereby the work of the Spirit through the sacramental means of grace and yet have never believe the gospel . Thus we have a category for a person who is in the covenant but this has nothing to do their faith in the gospel.

      p449—Union with Christ is not actually an element in the order of salvation but an “umbrella term” for the order as a whole.

      Horton, p450—“The Holy Spirit grants us faith to be united to Christ.”

      Horton, p451—“Union is not a goal but the source”

      Horton, p487—“the goal of union”

      Horton, p455–“There is no union with Christ which is not union with the visible church”

      Horton, p467–Calvin goes beyond Luther by stressing the more and more
      aspect of salvation

      Horton, p471—” Logical priority does not determine basis”

  6. Mark Mcculley Says:

    they held that since Abraham was God’s friend, his descendants should be treated in the same way….Abraham’s merits availed for his descendants” (I. H. Marshall, New International Greek Testament Commentary, Luke (Grand Rapids, Eerdman, 1978)140).

  7. Mark Mcculley Says:

    I will never forget the moment when, like Luther five hundred years earlier, I discovered justification by faith alone through union with Christ. I was sitting in my dorm room by myself. I had been assigned Luther’s Explanations of the Ninety-Five Theses, and I expected to find it facile. A year or two prior, I had decided that Trent was right about justification: It was entirely a gift of grace consisting of the gradual perfecting of the soul by faith and works—God instigating and me cooperating. For years, I had attempted to live out this model of justification. I had gone to Mass regularly, prayed the rosary with friends, fasted frequently, read the Scriptures daily, prayed earnestly, and sought advice from spiritual directors. I had begun this arduous cooperation with God’s grace full of hope; by the time I sat in that dorm room alone, I was distraught and demoralized. I had learned just how wretched a sinner I was: No good work was unsullied by pride, no repentance unaccompanied by expectations of future sin, no love free from selfishness.

    In this state, I picked up my copy of that arch-heretic Luther and read his explanation of Thesis 37: “Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.” With these words, Luther transformed my understanding of justification: Every Christian possesses Christ, and to possess Christ is to possess all of Christ’s righteousness, life, and merits. Christ had joined me to himself.

    I had “put on Christ” in baptism and, by faith through the work of the Spirit, all things were mine, and I was Christ’s, and Christ was God’s (Gal. 3:27; 1 Cor. 3:21–23). His was not an uncertain mercy; his was not a grace of parts, which one hoped would become a whole; his was not a salvation to be attained, as though it were not already also a present possession had finally discovered the true ground and power of Protestantism: “My beloved is mine, and I am his” (Song 2:16). Rome had brought me to Reformation.

  8. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Scott Clark– I cannot see how those congregations that deny baptism to the children of believers can be regarded as true churches, since they lack one of the marks. I am happy, however, to come out out of church into the common or out of the rooms and into the hallway to talk with folk from other traditions, e.g., Baptists, Pentecostals, and Dispensationalists There is one standard for the Western church prior to the Reformation and another standard after. Once the Word had been recovered, the gospel, the pure administration of the sacraments, there is no excuse to corrupt the administration of baptism by denying it to the children of believers.

  9. Mark Mcculley Says:

    The Doctrine of the Spirituality of the Church in the Ecclesiology of
    Charles Hodge, by Alan D. Strange. Phillipsburg: P&R, 2017

    Hodge–The church is a spiritual kingdom, whose power is moral and suasive—as opposed to the state, a physical kingdom whose power is legal and coercive. The state itself is not atheistic, however, and though separate from the church, and not over the church, should provide the atmosphere in which the church can thrive (Sabbath observance, Christian teaching in schools, etc.). The church, over against the Roman Catholic Church or any other ritualist churches, exercises power in a fashion that is ministerial and declarative as opposed to power that is magisterial and legislative.

    One of the most important issues in the debates among Old School
    Presbyterians was the church’s position on slavery, which, even though it was a moral or ethical issue, had become “inextricably intertwined” with politics, “especially during the 1840s and following” .
    “Hodge was a gradual emancipationist” and thought that slavery would eventually “shrivel and vanish, and he wished to help it along in that regard, though he was willing enough to tolerate it for the sake of the broader social order” (179).

    Hodge refused to condemn slavery as an institution since Scripture, as he understood it, did not condemn it; he did, however, insist on
    condemning its abuses.

    According to Strange, Hodge arguably “pulled his punches on slavery” not only because of “his own complicity with the institution but because for him, nothing was as important as the continuation of the American union”

    The obsession—which Hodge shared in common with many other
    Presbyterians including Thornwell—“to maintain the bond of union
    between North and South at almost any price” shaped and guided the actions of the American Presbyterian Church.
    Why was such a premium placed on saving the American union by so many parties in these debates? Because Hodge, Thornwell, and almost all those in nineteenth-century America shared certain convictions about American exceptionalism—namely, that God had brought America into existence to bring to the whole world both spiritual and political freedom. All the parties to this dispute saw the American venture as divinely ordained and worth saving at all costs, even if that meant bearing with the continuation of slavery.

    • markmcculley Says:

      Machen–a room is vacant.  The colored man may move over here. If I am to make any objection, now is the time to make it. Of course if he came over here I could simply move out. It would be a big sacrifice to me.”

      hey, things were different back then—Reformers and Lutherans killed heretics, everybody was doing it

  10. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Carl Truman— The Reformers operated with what I would call a hermeneutic of trust regarding the past. One
    of the things that characterizes our present age is suspicion, particularly suspicion of authority and suspicion of tradition.

    in sum–They still killed Anabaptists but they became also capitalists. We should not judge the Reformers by  standards nobody used back then/  All the Christians were killing heretics back then. Even the Anabaptists were killing people back then, and they were also socialists.  The Anabaptists were not saved, not then and not now, nor were they really even biblicists.

    Carl Truman—As literacy rates rise, radical thinking within society increases…Biblicism seems to make things easy

    so–now that we went through that brief time of Protestant iconoclasm, show the non-elders pictures and give the sacrament.  They don’t need to agree with the Confession.  By all means keep saying “the church” even after you become apostate from “the Roman church”. Use the abstraction of universal invisible church to keep in practice the rituals of the “one visible church”.  If you were to repent of your Romanist water, then would threaten the myth of “two ways of being in the covenant”.   Zwingli is bad. Aquinas is way better for us Reformed to begin.

    Carl Truman–The Augsburg Confession was written in 1530 when the Holy Roman Empire and its emperor, Charles V, could have committed to either Catholicism or Protestantism.

    learn this–You can have church denominations and you can have those churches  bless nations which kill apart from any religion or God at all.  But  anabaptists and biblicists are dangerous and sectarian. We can be evangelical when it serves our agenda to make the definitions, but we don’t have to be evangelical at all.   But we are Reformed and therefore must make distinctions between different kinds of “Reformed” .    Even the people who receive the sacrament must be warned against the “federal vision”  the Westminster Confession of Faith is the end of history until we die and go up to heaven.

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