Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Liberty Under God
The Christian Religion

Congress should remember

On May 12, 1779, in a speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs, George Washington advised them:

You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do every thing they can to assist you in this wise intention.
The Writings of George Washington, JC Fitzpatrick, ed., Wash. DC: US Gov't Printing Office, 1932, Vol 15, p.55.

Assuming someone should want to follow George Washington's advice, what exactly is "the religion of Jesus Christ."

Recently the religion of Presidential aspirant Mitt Romney has been in the headlines. He is a member of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." Is this "the religion of Jesus Christ" that Washington spoke about?

Definitely not. Aside from the fact that mormonism didn't exist when Washington advised the Delaware Indians, Washington was more familiar with the Christianity of the Westminster Standards.

The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms were written in the 1640's. B.B. Warfield, professor at Princeton in the late 1800's, wrote of the Westminster Standards,

[T]hey are the final crystallization of the elements of evangelical religion, after the conflicts of sixteen hundred years. . . . [T]hey are the richest and most precise and best guarded statement ever penned of all that enters into evangelical religion. . . .

Richard Gardiner, in his impressive collection of "Primary Source Documents Pertaining to Early American History, lists many sources which introduce the average Secular Humanist to the now-unknown religious foundations of American Revolution and Government. Among these sources are the Westminster Standards. Gardiner says of them:

indent.gif (90 bytes)The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) In addition to being the decree of Parliament as the standard for Christian doctrine in the British Kingdom, it was adopted as the official statement of belief for the colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Although slightly altered and called by different names, it was the creed of Congregationalist, Baptist, and Presbyterian Churches throughout the English speaking world. Assent to the Westminster Confession was officially required at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Princeton scholar, Benjamin Warfield wrote: "It was impossible for any body of Christians in the [English] Kingdoms to avoid attending to it."
indent.gif (90 bytes)The Westminster Catechism (1646) Second only to the Bible, the "Shorter Catechism" of the Westminster Confession was the most widely published piece of literature in the pre-revolutionary era in America. It is estimated that some five million copies were available in the colonies. With a total population of only four million people in America at the time of the Revolution, the number is staggering. The Westminster Catechism was not only a central part of the colonial educational curriculum, learning it was required by law. Each town employed an officer whose duty was to visit homes to hear the children recite the Catechism. The primary schoolbook for children, the New England Primer, included the Catechism.  Daily recitations of it were required at these schools. Their curriculum included memorization of the Westminster Confession and the Westminster Larger Catechism. There was not a person at Independence Hall in 1776 who had not been exposed to it, and most of them had it spoon fed to them before they could walk.

Washington probably did not agree with every jot and tittle of the Westminster Standards. Nobody does. But they are a good summary of "the religion of Jesus Christ."

Washington spoke first of "our arts and ways of life." The American way of life was built on the Ten Commandments. Liberty, Free Enterprise, and limited government were based on Christian morality. This is part of "the religion of Jesus Christ."

The First Commandment is, “thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”

I acknowledge the Authority of this commandment to teach me:

  1. How to know and acknowledge God to be only true God, and our God;
  2. How to worship and glorify Him accordingly.
  3. How to avoid denying God
  4. How to worship God even if it’s not Sunday
  5. Five ways most people give to false gods that worship and glory which is due to the True God alone.
  6. How to remember that God sees all things, takes notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God.

Self-examination: Is my relationship with God broken because I am trying to be my own god (Genesis 3:5)?

The First Commandment was the most frequently-cited Commandment in the American Revolution. See idolatry.

The Second Commandment is, “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth, thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep my commandments.”

I acknowledge the Authority of this commandment to teach me:

  1. How to develop the skills of receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in His Word.
  2. Identifying and eliminating subtle ways of worshipping God by images, or any other way not appointed in His Word.

Self-examination:  Do I cover up my character defects with religion and false spirituality?

The Third Commandment is, “thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.”

I acknowledge the Authority of this commandment to teach me:

  1. Developing the holy and reverent use of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, Word, and works.
  2. Avoiding all profaning or abusing anything whereby God maketh Himself known.
  3. Why atheists are not allowed to hold public office in a nation “under God.”
  4. Why atheists were not allowed to hold public office in America until 1961.
  5. How the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape His righteous judgment, however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men.

Self-examination:  Do I take the Lord’s Name in vain?

The Fourth Commandment is, “Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

I acknowledge the Authority of this commandment to teach me:

  1. How to keep holy to God such set times as He appointed in His Word; expressly one whole day in seven to be a holy Sabbath to Himself.
  2. Which day of the seven God hath appointed to be the weekly Sabbath
  3. How to sanctify the Sabbath by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.
  4. How to avoid profaning the Sabbath by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.
  5. Why God allows us six days of the week for our own employments
  6. The meaning of His challenging a special propriety in the seventh, His own example, and His blessing the Sabbath-day.
  7. How the Bible abolished chattel slavery.

Self-examination:  Have I been working as I should, and am I able to rest, and trust God when I should?

The Fifth Commandment is, “honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

I acknowledge the Authority of this commandment to teach me:

  1. Why the Fifth Commandment applies to:

·         Parents:

o      your birth parents,

o      your foster parents,

o      your adoptive parents

·         Superiors:

o      your employer,

o      your guard in jail

·         Those who are talented and excel you in gifts and graces

o      the guy who knows more about algebra than you do and sometimes helps you with your homework,

o      and the guy who is much better than you are at basketball and continually insults you when you miss an easy lay-up.

·         Those in authority over us:

·         family

o        your older brother,

o        your aunts and uncles,

o        grandparents

·         church

o        your priest or pastor,

·         commonwealth

o        your mayor,

o        the police

o        your popularly-elected president,

o        your unelected totalitarian dictator

  1. Why the ability to HONOR someone who excels you in some gift, grace, or authority truly separates the men from the boys.

Self-examination: Have I been angry at my parents, employers, and other superiors, and is our relationship broken?

The Sixth Commandment is, “thou shalt not kill.”

I acknowledge the Authority of this commandment to teach me:

  1. How to conquer anger.
  2. Why you should not assert your rights.
  3. Why a larger percentage of the human race was murdered in the 20th century than any previous century in history (not even including abortions).
  4. Why an even larger percentage of the human race will be murdered in the 21st century.
  5. Four ways the money to fund these murders will come out of your paycheck.
  6. Why your unsanctified emotions will cause you to voluntarily pay for genocide.

Self-examination:  Have I been willing to hurt other people to protect myself?

The Seventh Commandment is, “thou shalt not commit adultery.”

I acknowledge the Authority of this commandment to teach me:

  1. How to preserve our own and our neighbor’s chastity, in heart, speech, and behavior.
  2. How to avoid all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.
  3. How to make a covenant with your eyes.
  4. How to eliminate temptations.

Self-examination:  Do I lust and have impure thoughts and actions, and has this behavior adversely affected others?

The Eighth Commandment is, “thou shalt not steal.”

I acknowledge the Authority of this commandment to teach me:

  1. How to further the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.
  2. Why you will be held accountable for the theft of millions of dollars of private property.
  3. Why the quest for unlimited wealth is Godly.

Self-examination:  Have I cheated others to gratify myself?

The Ninth Commandment is, “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

I acknowledge the Authority of this commandment to teach me:

  1. How to maintain and promote truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbor’s good name, especially in witness-bearing.
  2. How to avoid 5 common practices that are prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbor’s good name.

Self-examination:  Have I lied to cover up my character defects, and have these lies adversely affected others?

The Tenth Commandment is, “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

I acknowledge the Authority of this commandment to teach me:

  1. How to develop full contentment with our own condition,
  2. How to develop a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbor, and all that is his.
  3. How to conquer
a)  all discontentment with our own estate,
b)  envying or grieving at the good of our neighbor,
c)  all inordinate motions and affections to any thing that is his.

Self-examination: Am I filled with resentment from envying the rich and coveting what I don’t have, and has this bitterness adversely affected others.

Having been personally tutored by R.J. Rushdoony, and strongly influenced by The Institutes of Biblical Law, his magnum opus, I would like to provide a list of some chapters in Rushdoony's Institutes. This helps show the social scope which I believe God's Law has: 

III. The Third Commandment
2. Swearing and Revolution
3. The Oath and Society
5. The Oath and Authority
IV. The Fourth Commandment
3. The Sabbath and Work
5. The Sabbath and Law
Appendix: The Economics of Sabbath keeping -- by Gary North
V. The Fifth Commandment
1. The Authority of the Family
3. The Economics of the Family
4. Education and the Family
5. The Family and Delinquency
VI. The Sixth Commandment
2. The Death Penalty
5. Hybridization and Law
6. Abortion
8. Restitution or Restoration
9. Military Laws and Production
10. Taxation
13. Quarantine Laws
14. Dietary Rules
20. Social Inheritance: Landmarks
VII. The Seventh Commandment
1. Marriage
5. Family Law
6. Marriage and Monogamy
7. Incest
9. Sex and Crime
11. Adultery
12. Divorce
14. Homosexuality
17. The Transvestite
18. Bestiality
VIII. The Eighth Commandment
1. Dominion
2. Theft
3. Restitution and Forgiveness
4. Liability of the Bystander
5. Money and Measure
6. Usury
9. Landmarks and Land
10. The Virgin Birth and Property
11. Fraud
12. Eminent Domain
13. Labor Laws
15. Prison
18. The Rights of Strangers, Widows, and Orphans
IX. The Ninth Commandment
5. Corroboration
6. Perjury
8. False Witness
11. Slander Within Marriage
13. Slander as Theft
16. Judges
17. The Responsibility of Judges and Rulers
18. The Court
19. The Procedure of the Court
20. The Judgment of the Court
X. The Tenth Commandment
1. Covetousness
3. Special Privilege
5. The System

This brings us to more theological or religious doctrines.

My background is Reformed Protestantism. This can be summed up with the "Five Solas of the Reformation":

  • Sola Scriptura - our religion comes form the Bible, not the Koran or Book of Mormon.
  • Solus Christus - there is no other Savior but the Jesus of the Bible
  • Sola Gratia - as rebels against God, we deserve death. Anything more is pure grace.
  • Sola Fide - God gives grace to the humble, to those of faith.
  • Soli Deo Gloria - God gets all the glory.

The U.S. Supreme Court declared that America is a Christian Nation. More specifically, it was a Protestant nation. More narrow still, it was a Calvinist nation. This perspective is summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith.

A Chapter by Chapter Summary of the Primary Teachings of the Westminster Confession of Faith

Prepared by James E. Bordwine, Th.D.

I will explain my convictions and admit my differences in this column. Parts of the Confession that I question are in yellow. Parts that I'm sure I disagree with are in red.

Chapter I
Of the Holy Scripture

1. The Holy Scripture, given by the inspiration of God, is necessary because the works of creation and providence are not sufficient to give a saving knowledge of God. My views on the Bible in general.

"Natural Law"

2. God's former methods of revelation have ceased now that the Church possesses the written Scripture. See "Propositions on Pentecostalism," by James B. Jordan. 
3. The Scripture's infallible authority depends solely upon the fact that God is its author, and only as the Holy Spirit bears witness by and with the Word in our hearts will we become fully persuaded of this truth. Why I Worship the Bible
4. Everything necessary for God's glory, our salvation, faith and life is contained in the Scripture and nothing, at any time or for any reason, is to be added to it. How to interpret God's Law-Word

5. In all controversies of religion, the Church is to make final appeal to the Scripture, which, by God's providence, has been kept pure in all ages.

Can Believers Criticize Church Councils?

Chapter II
Of God and the Holy Trinity

1. There is only one true God who is not dependent on any creature, but has all life, glory, goodness and blessedness in and of Himself.  
2. God exercises absolute dominion over all things and may do with them whatsoever He pleases and is due whatsoever worship, service or obedience He requires of His creatures. Total Sovereignty
3. In the Godhead, there are three persons, the same in substance, equal in power and eternity. The One and the Many are equally ultimate.

Chapter III
Of God's Eternal Decree

1. Although God has unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass and has predestinated some men and angels unto everlasting life and others to everlasting death, He has done so without becoming the author of sin or doing violence to the will of His creatures. Total Predestination
Proof that even our thoughts are predestined.
2. Those of mankind whom God has predestinated unto life have been chosen in Christ and are effectually called by His Spirit, are justified, adopted, sanctified and kept by His power; the rest of mankind, from whom God has withheld His mercy, have been ordained to dishonor and wrath for their sin.  

Chapter IV
Of Creation

1. In the space of six days, God created the world out of nothing. "The Facts" vs. The Faith

The Myth of Evolution

2. Man, created in the image of God with the law of God written upon his heart, was left to the liberty of his own will having been commanded not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God

God created man to "exercise dominion" over the earth, which can also be described as "re-creating heaven on earth."

Chapter V
Of Providence

1. The providence of God, whereby he governs all creatures and actions, extends to the first fall and all other sins of angels and men so that His own holy ends are accomplished; yet He is neither the author nor approver of sin. Providence in American History
2. God sometimes allows His own children to be subjected to manifold temptations so that they might be chastised, humbled and drawn closer to Him.  
3. God blinds and hardens the wicked by withholding His grace, withdrawing the gifts which they have and giving them over to the power of Satan.  

Chapter VI
Of the Fall of Man, etc.

1. Our first parents, having sinned in eating the forbidden fruit, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God. "To be as god"
2. Because they were the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed to all their posterity, along with the corruption of their nature from which proceeds all the sins which we commit.  
3. This corruption of nature, though pardoned and mortified through Christ, remains in the regenerate in this life. Can a Christian be Perfect?
The Confession wants to distance itself from certain groups who have claimed to be sinless. These groups have not been sinless, and they have fudged on the requirements of God's Law in order to make their claim. But this does not prove anything about the new nature of the redeemed.

Chapter VII
Of God's Covenant with Man

1. God has condescended to man by way of covenant.  
2. The first covenant, a covenant of works, promised life in return for perfect obedience; the second covenant, the covenant of grace, freely offers life and salvation to man by Jesus Christ. Both Covenants require perfect obedience; both covenants grant access to the Tree of Life by grace alone. Some would criticize
anyone who denies the highly controversial Covenant of Works. Yet, the Protestant Reformed Church, following their great theologian Herman Hoeksema, denies it. Walter Kaiser, one of the prominent conservative Old Testament scholars of our day, opposes it. R. J. Rushdoony considered it “deadly wrong” (his words).
Andrew Sandlin
3. This covenant of grace, though differently administered in the Old and New Testament eras, is essentially one.  

Chapter VIII
Of Christ the Mediator

1. The Mediator, in which are joined the Godhead and the manhood, was chosen and ordained by God and does, in time, redeem, call, justify, sanctify and glorify the seed given to Him from all eternity.  
2. The Son of God, who was God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did take upon Him the nature of man with all of its essential properties and infirmities, yet without sin, being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary.  
3. In His role as Mediator, the Lord Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law, triumphed over death by His resurrection, fully satisfied the justice of His Father and purchased reconciliation and an everlasting inheritance for all those whom the Father has given to Him.  
4. All of those for whom redemption was purchased, including the elect who lived before the incarnation, have its benefits applied to them by Christ working through His Word and Spirit.  

Chapter IX
Of Free Will

1. Having been created with a will which was determined neither to good or evil, man, in his pre-fallen state, had the power to will and do that which was well pleasing to God. The Fall was predestined.
God works in the redeemed to will and to do His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
2. Fallen man is dead in sin, is unable to convert himself and can be freed from his natural bondage only when God translates him into the state of grace.  

Chapter X
Of Effectual Calling

1. By His Word and Spirit, and wholly of grace, God effectually calls all those predestinated unto life and translates them from sin and death to grace and salvation.  
2. Although others may experience some common operations of the Spirit, only the elect, including infants, truly come to Christ and are saved.  

Chapter XI
Of Justification

1. God freely justifies the elect by imputing to them the obedience and satisfaction of Christ.  
2. Faith, which is the gift of God, is the alone instrument of justification. Saving Faith is allegiance.
3. Although they may suffer the consequences of their sins in this life, those who are justified can never fall from the state of justification.  

Chapter XII
Of Adoption

By the grace of adoption, all those who are justified are made the children of God and fully enjoy all accompanying benefits.  

Chapter XIII
Of Sanctification

1. Upon regeneration, sin's dominion is broken and a process begins whereby the lusts of the flesh are gradually overcome. Can a Christian be Perfect?
2. This process is incomplete in this life and remnants of sin remain; nevertheless, the working of the Spirit of Christ enables the regenerate to overcome and experience growth in his pursuit of holiness.  

Chapter XIV
Of Saving Faith

1. The Spirit of Christ is responsible for the faith whereby the elect are enabled to believe and be saved. Saving Faith is allegiance.
2. The principal acts of this saving faith are accepting, receiving and resting upon Christ alone for salvation.  

Chapter XV
Of Repentance unto Life

1. Repentance, which is an act of God's free grace, occurs when a sinner turns from his sin to God and, thereafter, determines to live according to His commandments.  
2. A general repentance is not satisfactory; we are to repent of particular sins particularly and, if necessary, by a private or public confession, declare our repentance to those that are offended.  

Chapter XVI
Of Good Works

1. The Word of God alone determines what constitutes good works. The Origin of Greasy Grace
2. The good works of believers, which are evidences of true faith, are produced by the Spirit of Christ.  
3. Good works, although essential, do not merit pardon of sin.  
4. Even though the good works produced by the Spirit are defiled by the believer's imperfection, they are, nevertheless, accepted in Christ.  

Chapter XVII
Of the Perseverance of the Saints

1. The elect, due to the immutability of God's decree, will persevere to the end and be eternally saved.  
2. The elect may, for a time, fall into grievous sins and suffer all the miseries which accompany such behavior.  

Chapter XVIII
Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation

1. Believers in the Lord Jesus can be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace.  
2. This assurance rests upon God's promises, the evidences of His grace and the inward testimony of the Spirit.  
3. Although the assurance of believers may be shaken, in due time, it will be revived.  

Chapter XIX
Of the Law of God

  God's Law gives a practical blueprint for every area of life, and that following this blueprint is in many ways more important than many "doctrinal" disputes.
1. The law given to Adam, by which he and his posterity were bound to absolute obedience, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness even after the fall and was delivered by God in the form of the ten commandments. The difference between freedom and tyranny is God's Law. The difference between prosperity and poverty is God's Law. Every society that repudiates "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" ends up in poverty under tyranny. I am a strong proponent of "Theonomy." I don't agree with every jot and tittle of a book by that title, but I am a strong proponent of God's Law. The Ten Commandments are a summary of laws which made America a great place to live.
2. In addition to this moral law, God gave the people of Israel ceremonial laws, all of which are abrogated under the new testament, and judicial laws, which expired with that nation. We are still obligated to obey the "ceremonial laws." These laws can only be obeyed in Christ. (Christ is the Lamb, His people are the Temple, etc.)
3. Although the judicial laws expired, the general equity of these statutes remains applicable. This is dangerous phraseology. Every one of the judicial laws is binding in the appropriate fact pattern (situation).
4. God's law reveals His will and our duty and is, therefore, of great use to believers, as well as to others as a rule of life. The Bible is a blueprint for all humanity, whether Christian or not.

Chapter XX
Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience

1. Freedom from the guilt and dominion of sin, the wrath of God, the sting of death, etc. have all been purchased for believers by Christ. Can a Christian be Perfect?
2. God alone is Lord of the conscience so that the believer is free from man-made rules and regulations.  
3. Christian liberty is no pretense for sin.  

Chapter XXI
Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

1. The only acceptable way of worshiping God is that given in the Scriptures and requires the mediation of Christ.  
2. The ordinary parts of worship include prayer, the reading of the Scriptures, the sound preaching and conscionable hearing of the Word, the singing of psalms and the proper administration of the sacraments (to these may be added oaths, vows, fastings and thanksgivings upon special occasions).  
3. According to the commandment of God, which binds all men in all ages, one day in seven is to be kept holy unto Him during which men are to engage in the worship of God and the performance of deeds of necessity and mercy. I am agnostic on the issue of one-in-seven rest-days.

Chapter XXII
Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

1. An oath involves calling upon God, whose name ought to be used with all fear and reverence, to witness an assertion or promise. Oaths in the Bible

The United States requires Americans to take an oath of infidelity.

2. A vow, which is to be made to God alone and which must be in accordance with the Word, may be used to express thankfulness or to obtain what we want. Did Christ forbid the taking of all oaths?

Chapter XXIII
Of the Civil Magistrate

1. Civil magistrates have been ordained by God for the defense and encouragement of good and the punishment of evil.

This is unquestionably one of the most controversial parts of "my credo."

I believe in "the Free Market." Maybe you say you do too. I believe in pure laissez-faire capitalism. I'll bet you don't. I believe all forms of socialism are immoral. If you're like most Americans, you believe some forms of socialism are acceptable, even necessary. I don't believe any acts of theft or murder can be justified by majority vote. This means that I am technically an "anarchist" (or "anarcho-capitalist"). Christian anti-anarchism is a contradiction in terms.

During the 20th century more than 10,000 people were legally murdered each and every single day (on average) by civil magistrates around the world. All of these civil governments -- including that of the United States -- are overtly hostile to Biblical Christianity, and should be abolished entirely.

I realize that this position sounds nutty for a Christian. But nowhere in the Bible does God command human beings to form "the State," and everything "the State" does is a violation of God's Law. There is no legitimate function of "the civil magistrate" which God prohibits "the Free Market" from undertaking. It's time for a paradigm shift.

Those three links contain links to hundreds of webpages. This is, in my view, the most significant issue of our day. The issue is capitalism vs. socialism, life or death.

2. Although civil magistrates are forbidden to encroach upon the authority of the Church, they are obligated to protect the Church so that she may freely discharge her duties, without giving preference to any particular denomination of Christians.  
3. The people are obligated to pray for and obey the magistrates regardless of the magistrates' religious orientation.  

Chapter XXIV
Of Marriage and Divorce

1. Marriage, which is to be between one man and one woman, was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife.  I generally agree with Bill Gothard on courtship, marriage and divorce.
2. It is the duty of the godly to avoid being unequally yoked with the wicked in marriage.  
3. The bond of marriage may not be legitimately dissolved except in cases of adultery or wilful desertion.  

Chapter XXV
Of the Church

1. The invisible Church is composed of the whole number of the elect; the visible Church is composed of all those who profess the true religion, along with their children.  
2. It is the duty of the visible Church to gather and perfect the saints.  
3. The purity of particular Churches is determined by the manner in which they handle the Gospel, administer the sacraments and perform public worship.  
4. Jesus Christ is the alone head of the Church.  
  I disagree with nothing thus far stated (in the summary at left), but our meanings diverge significantly. I am for all intents and purposes "anti-church."
{6}Nor can the pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof: but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.[o]
[o] Matt 23:8-10; 2 Thess. 2:3,4,8-9; Rev. 13:6
As we enter the 21st century, we recognize that this teaching of the confession is utterly wrong. The "orthodox" position in "reconstructionist" circles is the preterist interpretation.

Read More.

Chapter XXVI
Of the Communion of Saints

1. The saints share in Christ's graces, sufferings, death, resurrection and glory; likewise, they share in each other's gifts and graces and are obligated to pursue their mutual edification.  
2. The saints' communion with Christ does not make them partakers of the substance of the Godhead; nor does their communion with one another set aside the right to the private ownership of goods.  

It would be fair to say that I am in substantial disagreement with the remainder of the Confession. It is probably safe to say that George Washington also had his disagreements with the following as well.

Chapter XXVII
Of the Sacraments

1. Sacraments are signs and seals of the covenant of grace which represent Christ and His benefits to believers.  
2. The efficacy of a sacrament depends solely upon the work of the Spirit and the word of institution.  
3. Only two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, have been ordained by Christ in the Gospel. Both baptism and passover were old testament ordinances.
{4} There be only two sacraments: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained Baptism and passover were properly administered house-by-house without a seminary-trained "ordained" clergyman.

Chapter XXVIII
Of Baptism

1. Through the sacrament of baptism, which signifies the engrafting of the believer into Christ, and which is rightly administered by the pouring or sprinkling of water, the party is admitted into the visible Church. Immersion was not Biblical. (Heb. 9:10,13,19,21)
2. All who profess faith in Christ, and their infant children, are to be baptized. Paedobaptism is more Biblical than professors'-only baptism.
3. Even though grace and salvation are not inseparably attached to the sacrament of baptism nor to the moment of its administration, that which is signified will be conferred by the Holy Spirit to all to whom it is due at the appointed time.  

Chapter XXIX
Of the Lord's Supper

1. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ Himself as a sealing ordinance and means of grace and is to be observed in His Church until the end of the age. But when is "the end of the age?" (off-site)
2. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper reminds us of Christ's sacrifice of Himself but does not involve any real sacrifice itself.  
3. The elements of bread and wine are to be set apart by the declaration of the words of institution and prayer, but are not to be worshiped or adored.  
4. The doctrine of transubstantiation is contrary to the teaching of Scripture, common sense and reason.  
5. Those who partake of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper in a right manner do receive and feed upon Christ crucified after a spiritual manner.  Those who deny Passover to baptized children are illogical.

Chapter XXX
Of Church Censures

1. Jesus Christ has established a government for His Church in the hands of officers who have the power to grant or deny admission to the kingdom. We are all priests and kings
2. Church censures, consisting of admonition, suspension and excommunication, serve to reclaim erring brethren, deter others from similar offences and maintain the purity of the Gospel and the Church.  

Chapter XXXI
Of Synods and Councils

1. Synods and councils ought to be convened occasionally as the good of the Church requires.  
2. The determinations of synods and councils, which are ecclesiastical in nature, ought to be received as long as they are in agreement with the Word of God; however, it should be remembered that all such assemblies are subject to error. Can Believers Criticize Church Councils?

Chapter XXXII
Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead

1. At the time of death, the body begins to decay, but the soul, being immortal, returns immediately to God whereupon the righteous are received into heaven and the wicked are cast into hell. I am agnostic on matters pertaining to the individual after death. I trust God to be both merciful and just.
2. At the last day, those who are alive shall be changed and the souls of the dead shall be reunited to their bodies; the unjust to dishonor and the just to honor.  

Chapter XXXIII
Of the Last Judgment

1. On an appointed day, God will judge the world, including apostate angels, by Jesus Christ who will require an account of every thought, word and deed. I am agnostic on this issue, especially as regards timing. I disagree with the application of several verses used to support these ideas.
2. The purpose of this day is for the manifestation of God's mercy, in the salvation of the elect, and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate. Preterism



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