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Recent Posts
A study of the Heidelberg Catechism
by chestnutmare. Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:05 AM
What exactly is a confessional church
by Pilgrim. Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:50 AM
California State Assembly Bill 2943
by Tom. Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:54 AM
by Tom. Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:55 PM
James White Article
by Pilgrim. Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:10 PM
Importance of dating the destruction of the Temple
by Pilgrim. Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:13 PM
Active Threads | Active Posts | Unanswered Today | Since Yesterday | This Week
Theology Discussion Forum
1 hour ago
Question 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happy?

Answer. Three; the first, how great my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.
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Open Forum
1 hour ago
Yes, one could say there were 2 main reasons the confessions were written:

1. To guard the church from error, both from without and from within. [NOTE: most heresy originates from within the church and by professors/teachers/pastors/elders].

2. To instruct members of the church in the truth of Scripture.

The Westminster Confession, for example, points from itself and even the visible church to the Bible as its sole and final authority:


I. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable;[1] yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation.[2] Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church;[3] and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing;[4] which makes the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;[5] those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.[6]

IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.[9]

V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture.[10] And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.[11]

X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.[24]
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Open Forum
6 hours ago
California State Assembly Bill 2943 would make it illegal for “gay conversion therapy”.
This Bill according to many will eventually make it so the Bible itself will be illegal in California; because it is opposed to homosexuality.
I am not really a fan of Snopes, but I am using it because it seems to represent the Left quite well and they say this accusation is false for the following reasons.
The legislation was introduced in February 2018 by San Jose-based Democrat Evan Low, enhances California’s already-existing prohibition on “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE), commonly known as “gay conversion therapy.” In 2012, the California Assembly passed Senate Bill 1172, which banned mental health professionals from performing SOCE on children under the age of 18. The law defines SOCE as: “any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

As I look at what they are saying concerning this accusation being false. Their own writing on the so called facts, if I am not mistaken could be taken as a ban on the Bible itself. Although they mention
”mental health professionals”
; would this not include Christians who are trained in Biblical Counselling? The Bible is very clear concerning homosexuality and it is the job of any true Biblical Counsellor to represent the Bible properly; knowing that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation…Romans 1:16.
Would it not be logical then to conclude, that Snopes claiming the accusation is false, to be wrong?

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Open Forum
10 hours ago
Is it not also true, that a good confession is one that lifts up the inspired infallible Scriptures themselves? They were written to safeguard and point the Church away from false doctrine that was entering the Church; to what the Scriptures actually teach; not because they were inspired themselves.

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Open Forum
Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:33 AM
We must be constantly reminded that as good as most of the Reformed confessions and catechisms are, they are uninspired, fallible and of only secondary authority. The Church's sole and final authority, the basis of all truth is the Bible and the Bible alone. In too many instances where the main authoritative body in a denomination, e.g., a General Assembly or Synod is forced to examine and judge in matters of doctrine and/or life, but particularly on doctrinal matters, the ruling comes down on the basis if the doctrine in question is "in accord with the Standards" vs. "is the doctrine taught in the Word of God." The #1 reason why the nation of the United States, in fact the entire Western Hemisphere, is under the just wrath and judgment of God is because the visible church has forsaken the Bible and assimilated with the philosophies and practices of the world. Idolatry predominates in the vast majority of churches. Worldliness has been deliberately brought into the church's worship. Sin has not only gone undisciplined but actually taught to be acceptable and encouraged. "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Rom 3:18)

Isaiah 5:20-21 (ASV) "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!"

Isaiah 30:8-13 (ASV) "Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever. For it is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of Jehovah; that say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits, get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and rely thereon; therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly in an instant."

Jeremiah 6:13-19 (ASV) "For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall; at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith Jehovah. Thus saith Jehovah, Stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way; and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls: but they said, We will not walk [therein]. And I set watchmen over you, [saying], Hearken to the sound of the trumpet; but they said, We will not hearken. Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it."

And further, Scripture even provides the counsel and wisdom needed to discern the current times:

Isaiah 8:18-22 (KJV) "Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me [are] for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them. And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and [they shall be] driven to darkness."
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Open Forum
Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:20 AM
That is an excellent summary of the issue.
I couldn't agree with you more concerning the last section of your post. As someone who has needed to change Churches in the last 10 years several times. I can attest that a confession of faith can be quite solid; yet in actuality in practice the Church does not follow it. In my case, out of concern, I have met with the pastor with my concerns (after doing my homework). I was told in no uncertain terms that I was wrong and what they teach is completely in keeping with their confession. One example was the Church supported 'The Hour of Power', which is a ministry of Crystal Cathedral (founded by Robert Schuller).

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Theology Discussion Forum
Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:55 AM
Shhhhhh, a Dispi might see your post lol .
I have always wondered why those who do not believe in the Amii position, do not use the fact that the Roman Catholic Church believes in the Amil position against us A-mils.
I know some Dispi's that do not even believe in the Apostles Creed, because in their words it is a "Roman Catholic document." They even question the fact that the Protestant Reformation was effected by the writings of Roman Catholic Augustine. They say Augustine was a heretic.

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Theology Discussion Forum
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:13 AM
For quite a long period of time in the past, the Roman State Church adhered to a quasi? Amillennial position. Rome is and always has been a religious chameleon depending upon what location they occupied and what pope was enthroned as the "Vicar of Christ". Accommodation to local customs and beliefs regardless of how pagan they are is Roman policy/practice. However, Rome's theological position has been relatively consistent, with a few exceptions where liberal popes have pronounced some really bizarre things. The 'out' has aways been the expected phrase, "But none of that was give EX-CATHEDRA", which is their way of saying, you can take whatever was said with a grain of salt because it isn't officially binding. As an aside, it is interesting to read/hear professing Catholics have so little interest in their church and often disagree and even ridicule it for some of its doctrines. And yet, at least in the U.S. lamestream media, when it mentions Christianity, the majority of the time the reference is to the Roman State Church as if IT is the recognized representative. igiveup

Most Dispensationalists, regardless of what type they profess to be are not governed by Scripture but by daily headline news, which they claim is the fulfillment of some biblical prophecy which is proof that Armageddon is right around the corner and the 1000 year millennium will soon be here... i.e., if you are a pre-Trib Dispie. rolleyes2
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Theology Discussion Forum
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:45 AM
When I saw this post, I thought of this article re: Pope Francis position statement "the Jews still hold special covenantal relation with God".
The article and commentary get to the crux of the controversy, which is in this case, what is meant by "Old Covenant" and "their covenant". After prominent Catholics, such as E. Michael Jones refuted the document as veering from Catholic historical teaching regarding the Jews, the catechism was changed, but its intention remains ambiguous to critics. The document was never considered 'ex-cathedra' but still, the Catholic Church, has been confusing and evolving its stance on this teaching as well as ecumenism in all senses.

Meanwhile, in Evangelical churches, false teachers such as Hagee claim the Jews are saved without Christ. And mainline dispensationalist churches have another heretical understanding of physical Israel and the Jews.

And politically speaking, and blurring the lines, the American government together with the Christian right (including Evangelicals and Catholics) have been advocating policy based upon heretical "Judeo-Christian eschatology" ..the presumption of a biblical mandate, even an end-times "third temple" mandate. Mainstream news outlets have been covering these stories for some time.

Recently, the Vatican rightly condemned what it referred to as "apocalyptic" fear politics, and many non-dispensationalist Christians are waking up to how rampant the situation is.

Trump as annointed "Cyrus", "appointed by God", "King of the World", "the Trump Prophecies", etc. Liberty University is creating a feature film based on "the Trump Prophecies" (against the wishes and petition of its film/media students).

Against the din and silence of all of the above, a very tiny few souls are actively vocalizing a different concern.

Historic understanding of the gospel, covenants and the significance of 70 AD and "it is finished" vs. TBN and The Jim Baker and their many friends freak show. -- "Trump Prophecy" - Sid Roth and audience
Trump Coin- Jerusalem Temple
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Open Forum
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:18 PM
Originally Posted by John_C
Does it mean that a church ascribes to a confession of faith, or can it mean that a church ascribes to a statement of faith with might entail 5-10 points? Or, maybe there is really not a specific meaning, but one that is thrown around a lot?

1. Historically, a "confessional church" is a body that ascribes to a denominational standard, e.g., Helvetic, Belgic, LBCF, Westminster, Savoy, etc. These churches confess that the Bible is the sole and final authority in all matters of faith (doctrine) and practice... and that the Standard/Confession is their secondary authority in all that it says which is consistent with biblical teaching.

2. In more modern times, it can mean that a denomination or individual church ascribes to a confession/standard which they have written themselves. Typically, these type of confessions are very simple and pale in comparison to the historical confessions which came about after the Protestant Reformation as were all those mentioned above. Precision isn't one of their attributes and most are contrary to the doctrines of the reformational confessions.

3. Lastly, EVERY church is confessional in the sense that the individual church has a set of beliefs, whether written or unwritten to which members are required to acknowledge as truth and voluntarily agree to submit to and be disciplined if broken. You will see these written 'confessions' on most church websites, usually designated as "What We Believe", or something similar.

#1 is, or was, the understood meaning of a "Confessional Church".

One more thing I feel I would be reticent if not mentioned. A denomination/church can claim to be confessional but that does not guarantee that they accept their Standard(s) as a binding secondary authority, or consistently teach and live by them, e.g., the PCUSA retains the Westminster Standards as part of their denomination but openly disagrees with most of what those Standards teach. They are valuable as part of history and not much more. There are other confessional denominations who haven't gone as far as the PCUSA in denying the majority of the teachings of their respective Standard(s), but they are slowly going in that direction. This is not unusual historically. Many, if not most of the major Reformed denominations are in our day are traveling down that road to one degree or another and will eventually become just another "used to be confessional" church. Out of them will be those who sooner or later recognize the seriousness of what is happening, leave and start a new denomination/church. Revelation chapters 2&3 is an accurate description of where the visible church is today. The majority have gone astray in various ways but a few have remained faithful. The question that needs to be asked is, "Where is MY church/denomination among those described in Revelation?" Most people play ostrich and refuse to take seriously the signs of impending apostasy around them. And that is one of the major contributions to the demise of their church/denomination. [Linked Image]
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Open Forum
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:28 PM
Does it mean that a church ascribes to a confession of faith, or can it mean that a church ascribes to a statement of faith with might entail 5-10 points? Or, maybe there is really not a specific meaning, but one that is thrown around a lot?
5 126 Read More
Theology Discussion Forum
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:20 PM
"Progressive" Dispensationalists, e.g., John MacArthur believe that justification is by grace through faith in Christ Alone for everyone. But they still believe that God has a special place in His 'heart' for the Jews, etc. etc.
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Theology Discussion Forum
Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:31 PM
Originally Posted by Tom
I have a question related to Dispensationalism.
I have heard it said that many Dispensationalists actually believe that salvation is different for Jews than it is for Gentiles.
I am trying to find out if this is a truthful statement and if so, who are the main teachers who believe it?


Wait a second, if that is not a main component of what they believe, how do those who don't believe that view the salvation of Jews?
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Theology Discussion Forum
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:54 PM
I heard that too back in the early 80s when I first became aware of biblical theology. I think Pilgrim gives a good synopsis between them and the newer current dispensationalists. Maybe why the former is not seen around much anymore is the influence of popular radio preachers such as McGee, MacArthur, Jeremiah, Swindoll. I'm I forgetting anyone.
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