Monday, May 12, 2008

What Westminster Confessions?


I'm a Presbyterian because I'm attending a very traditional Presbyterian church and had myself registered to its membership. Yet I can't see myself adhere to the comprehensive Westminster Confessions which is the so-called faith statement of Presbyterianism. Why? Because the Confessions is not important and sometimes seem irrelevant to me.

Even the Church of Scotland does not adhere strictly to it:

1. This Church no longer affirms the following contents of the Westminster Confession of Faith:

Chap. 22, Section 7

‘Popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty and regular obedience are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares in which no Christian may entangle himself.’

Chap. 24, Section 3

‘… such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with Infidels, Papists or other idolators.’

Chap. 25, Section 6

‘He (the Pope of Rome) is Antichrist, that Man of Sin and Son of Perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God.’

Chap. 29, Section 2

‘… so that the Popish Sacrifice of the Mass (as they call it) is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one only Sacrifice, the alone Propitiation for all the sins of the Elect.’


Thus, the point is: it is possible to be a Presbyterian without adhering to Presbyterianism. Paradoxical or oxymoronic? mmmm.... It's not. Why? Because I identify myself a Presbyterian not by adhering to Presbyterianism, but just by simply attending a Presbyterian church. Just as a student attend a particular university, he/she is identified with the community, yet he/she does not necessarily need to adhere to the university's beliefs.

Then would that be just a 'superficial' identity? Nope. It's not. Just as the student is substantially known as a student of the university merely by attendance.

2 comments:

The Inquisitor said...

Of course, one maybe a member of the presbyterian church without subscribing to the WCF, but one cannot be an elder, deacon or ordained minister without subscribing to the WCF, because your ordaintion vows would include adherence to the WCF. Unless you decide to vow falsely before God...then that's a different story.

But to be baptised and confirmed as a member of the presbyterian church, one merely needs to affirm whatever tenets is set out during your baptism or confirmation and that does not include the WCF.

Sze Zeng said...

Yes, I guess so, Dom. That means the chance for me to be ordained in the Presbyterian churches is virtually negative.