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#3110 - Sun May 18, 2003 10:41 AM What is reformed?  

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I was looking around the board and noticed li0scc0 once again taking stabs at the Reformed Episcopal Denomination. You can read his comments here, <br>reformed? <br>and here, <br>unreformed? .<br><br>My question is, what makes a denomination reformed and who decided this? The other side of this question is why is the REC denomination not reformed according to li0scc0?<br><br><br>God bless,<br><br>william<br>

#3111 - Mon May 19, 2003 2:19 AM Re: What is reformed?  
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I understand the REC has a number of congregations who would be better described as Anglo-Catholic than Reformed. In particular this describes the congregation geographically closest to Steve.<br><br>James.

#3112 - Mon May 19, 2003 11:35 AM Re: What is reformed?  
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and noticed li0scc0 once again taking stabs <br><br>Notice the dates on those posts, William.<br><br>Your "once again" makes it seem as if I am attacking the RE church anew. The truth of the matter is those posts were from January through March. Evidently you did not accept my personal apology at that time (although you said you did), so I will now publicly apologize if anything I said throughout those posts was offensive to you, as well as apologize if I was inconsiderate or hostile to you.<br><br>Steve


Grace is not common.
#3113 - Mon May 19, 2003 1:49 PM Re: What is reformed? [Re: li0scc0]  

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I apologize myself for seeming offensive. I was simply wondering as I believe the Church should be always reforming. If there are minor issues, I'd like to discuss them with my pastor; if there are major issues, maybe I need to look into the PCA. I'm only reformed for about two years now, and RECUSA for about a year or 18 months. But I'm not beyond learning. I decided to study eccliesiology and eschatology this summer between semesters and thought this would be a good starting place. Again, my apologies. <br><br>However, I am beginning to think that denomination may not be as important as what a specific church upholds and teaches. In the thread concerning the best denomination today, it seems as every local assembly may vary to some degree from the official organizations doctrine. It may just be a mater of finding the local assembly that best upholds biblical christianity. As I said, this is an area I'll be studying this summer.<br><br><br>God bless,<br><br>william

#3114 - Mon May 19, 2003 2:32 PM Re: What is reformed?  
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Hey, NOT A PROBLEM at all! <br><br>William, it might be beneficial to talk with your pastor, especially if there is a good level of trust. If you have concerns, be sure to raise them.<br><br>One thing I have found is a good pastor is always willing to hear sincere questions. And a good pastor want to make sure you are in the right place, even if it isn't his church!<br><br>Praise God that you are studying these issues. It very well may be that in your local area, your Reformed Episcopal church is the perfect place for you to grow and learn God's Word!<br><br>Blessings,<br>Steve<br>


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#3115 - Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:10 PM Re: What is reformed?  

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Bumped for a hopeful explanation.


God bless,

william

#3116 - Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:40 AM Re: What is reformed?  
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I’ll give a quick reply by giving you a perspective from my personal experience. I currently attend a PCUSA church. By definition our church is considered under the reformed tradition. Our church, a church of the PCUSA makes this claim because it uses it’s Book of Confessions and Book of Order as it’s governing policy. Now with saying that, I will share my personal observations in my own church. First let me let me give a very brief statement on our Book of Confessions. The Book of Confessions that the PCUSA uses includes in it, the Nicene Creed, Apostles Creed, Scots Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Second Helvetic Confession, Westminster Confession of Faith, Shorter Catechism, Larger Catechism, Theological Declaration of Barmen and the Confession of 1967. These are just the Creeds and Confessions that are in the book. Just by viewing these you can see that at the end, there is the Confession of 1967. This is a PCUSA confession and isn’t supported by all Presbyterian denominations. The Book of Confessions also has an opening first chapter that explains the PCUSA faith which in my opinion makes if very clear that as members of the PCUSA that we should be ‘encouraged’ to be guided by these confessions. But not really convicted. In my personal opinion, the Book of Confessions is a little confusing and seems to me that it denotes a polity that straddles the fence……. We really like the idea of being reformed but we want to also be all inclusive and not offend anyone at the same time. Hmmmm…… seems to me to be a little compromising.

Don’t get me wrong, there are good statements in the Book of Confessions. Such as this excerpt:
" If our church is to be a truly confessional church in the Reformed tradition, every aspect of it life must be informed and shaped by the understanding of Christian faith and life expressed in The Book Of Confessions. The churches ministry in general is a prerequisite to faithful and responsible use of the book in every particular aspect of the church's life is its being carefully taught in the seminaries, seriously and properly used in the ordination process, and continually studied and utilized by the leaders and governing bodies of the church at all levels. In Christian Education, after the bible itself, THE BOOK OF CONFESSIONS should be a primary resource and standard of the church's responsibility to enable children, youth, new and long-time Presbyterians to understand what it means to be a Christian in the Reformed tradition, claim that tradition for themselves, and be guided by it in every area of their daily lives. The Book of Confessions itself should be part of the church's educational curriculum---especially in officer and teacher education, in confirmation instruction, and in adult church classes. All curriculum material need not be informed by the Reformed tradition, but all curriculum material should be continually evaluated and taught in light of that tradition as expressed in The Book Of Confessions. Our church will have become a truly confessional church when we no longer have to remind ourselves to test what we think and say and do by reference to The Book Of Confessions, but when we do so automatically, and when it becomes to much a part of us that we are always unconsciously guided by our commitment to the Reformed tradition it expresses and serves. "
I have gone through the Book of Confessions and have highlighted all of the good reformed ideas presented in it. I currently use that as my main weapon in my fight to bring a reformed theology back to my church that is predominately free willed. It is this way because unfortunately the Book of Confessions wasn’t being taught. There only a few who have ventured very far into it and into reformed theology. But with the help of a couple of good friends of mine we’re starting to conduct good reformed Sunday school classes that I might add are being well received. So there is hope even though our church as a whole are still very determined to remain a liberal, free willed seeker-sensitive church.

But to answer your question….. I believe that a ‘reformed church’ would be a church who adheres to reformed Creeds and Confessions. I believe that a church that is truly reformed would be a church that preaches and teaches the Doctrines of Grace and Covenant theology and believe in the Sovereignty of God.

Hope this helps a little. May the peace and grace of our Lord be with you.

Y.B.I.C,

Dave.


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
#3117 - Sat Jul 17, 2004 6:27 AM Re: What is reformed? [Re: Reformation Monk]  
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Although I have only glanced at it briefly several years ago, my impression is that the PCUSA 1967 Book on Confessions was a liberal document that enables those being ordained to get around the WCF standard.

In addition, the WCF refers to the Bible as the true source, yet the the 1967 document only implies (or does it?)the Bible as the true source.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
#3118 - Sun Jul 25, 2004 5:17 PM Re: What is reformed? [Re: Reformation Monk]  
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The Book of Confessions says: " If our church is to be a truly confessional church in the Reformed tradition, every aspect of it life must be informed and shaped by the understanding of Christian faith and life expressed in The Book Of Confessions."


Forgive me for jumping in here, but shouldn't this statement conncern us a little? Last time I checked, every aspect of our life was supposed to be informed, shaped, and completely subject to the Word of God. Even if a little book ostensibly teaches what the Bible teaches, when we set it up as some kind of authority in our lives, isn't that a practical denyal of sola scriptura?

Not to say that we don't use these kinds of things, but this just reminds me of Pilgrim's story of the pastors who preached on nothing but their church's catechism. Our catechism may say great things, and can and should aid us in our understanding of Scripture, but when it becomes our authority, in Scripture's stead, even if what it says is thoroughly Scriptural, we've made the same essential error as the Catholics.

Last edited by Henry; Sun Jul 25, 2004 5:21 PM.

(Latin phrase goes here.)

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