Before you read my preface to this article, I submit my disclaimer.
Disclaimer: All too often our Reformed brothers are only willing to call-out Armenians, all the while allowing leaven to ferment amongst their own congregations. No matter what your Theological persuasion may be, I believe it is a good practice to judge ourselves from the inside out. I appreciate Reformed Theology, and the Doctrines of Grace, as they are deep in Doctrine, and rich in Theology, but let us first remove the log out of our own eyes, lest we be hypocrites.
I am very pleased with the decision of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (the PCI), but more importantly, the Lord is pleased, and for that Soli Deo Gloria!
But what this article does not mention are my three following observations. First the forgotten reformed principles and practices of Sola Scriptura, & the Doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scriptures. Second, the evidence of ecclesiastical idolatry, and third the need for church discipline.
Sola Scriptura & the Doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scriptures
It is sad that this subject would even need to be voted upon by the PCI General Assembly. Brethren, the Lord has already spoken. Let us remember that when Christ ascended into heaven, he seated Himself at the right hand of the Father. God said it, He meant it, Christ completed it (on behalf of His church), and His book is finished. There is no room for negotiation. There is no room to cast your vote against what He has already said. And we should’t need a majority vote to affirm God’s Word.
As Dr. Steve Lawson said, “We’re not just dogmatic about this – we’re bulldog-matic! Sola Scriptura is non-negotiable!”
As I stated recently regarding another article.
I just read an article published by Ligonier Ministries that speaks of the misuses or misunderstandings of reformed slogans like semper reformanda, and ecclesia reformata. But what I’d rather see is a good article on how (or why) ‘sola Scriptura’ is not truly practiced in many reformed churches. – Whoops!
The church has no Biblical authority to change God’s rules. If any reformer thinks they do, then they still have one foot left in Rome (I left Rome in the 1980’s).
The London Baptist Confession of Faith (which agrees with & summarizes the Scriptures) says
The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, 1 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 inexcusable; yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and His will which is necessary unto salvation. 2 Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in diversified manners to reveal Himself, and to declare (that) His will unto His church;3 and afterward 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; which makes the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now completed (Chapter 1, Paragraph 1).
The Westminster Confession of Faith says
1. 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; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; 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: which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased (Chapter 1, Paragraph 1).
Nonetheless what if their vote had gone the wrong way? What if a vote comes to the floor to fully affirm homosexuality (or any other sin)? No such vote should even be required, to uphold God’s Word.
Perhaps I am wrong in my assessment. Perhaps their intent was to submit this vote, so that they would have an official record of dissenters. Either way, now that their 200 dissenters have been identified, they must be excommunicated. To tolerate this sin, or to minimize this sin, is as bad as committing the sin itself. Again, this is another reason why the Lord has given us His Word. Therefore Matthew 18:15-19 and 1 Corinthians chapter 5 must be applied and demonstrated.
And lastly. The liberals want to leave America for the wrong reasons. I want to leave for the right reasons. If my wife said “yes,” perhaps Ireland would be a good place to go, as we flee from 1st Californians.
And now the article.
Presbyterians in Ireland Show Guts, Hold Fast Against Sodomy