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Anthony C.
Anthony C.
NJ/PA
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Joined: May 2016
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Recent Posts
Dispensationalism
by Pilgrim. Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:13 AM
What exactly is a confessional church
by Pilgrim. Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:18 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
A study of the Heidelberg Catechism
by cathmg. Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:58 PM
"The Reformed View of Sanctification" - Sinclair Ferguson
by Pilgrim. Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:04 AM
Active Threads | Active Posts | Unanswered Today | Since Yesterday | This Week
Theology Discussion Forum
3 hours ago
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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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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