Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations; by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.
We know that the sabbath is ceremonial, so far forth as it is joined to sacrifices and other Jewish ceremonies, and so far forth as it is tied to a certain time: but in respect that on the sabbath-day religion and true godliness are exercised and published, that a just and seemly order is kept in the church, and that the love of our neighbour is thereby preserved, therein, I say, it is perpetual, and not ceremonial.
Even at this day, verily, we must ease and bear with our family; and even at this day we must instruct our family in the true religion and fear of God. Christ our Lord did no where scatter abroad the holy congregations, but did, as much as he could, gather them together.
Now, as there ought to be an appointed place, so likewise must there be a prescribed time, for the outward exercise of religion, and so, consequently, an holy rest. They of the primitive church, therefore, did change the sabbath-day, lest, peradventure, they should have seemed to have imitated the Jews, and still to have retained their order and ceremonies; and made their assemblies and holy restings to be on the first day of sabbaths, which John calleth Sunday, or the Lord’s day, because of the Lord’s glorious resurrection upon that day.
And although we do not in any part of the apostles’ writings find any mention made that this Sunday was commanded us to be kept holy; yet, for because, in this fourth precept of the first table, we are commanded to have a care of religion and the exercising of outward godliness, it would be against all godliness and christian charity, if we should deny to sanctify the Sunday: especially, since the outward worship of God cannot consist without an appointed time and space of holy rest.*
*The Decades of Henry Bullinger: The First and Second Decades, (pp. 259–260).
In looking for patrons, every one follows his own fancy. One selects Mary, another Michael, another Peter. Christ they very seldom honour with a place in the list. Indeed there is scarcely one in a hundred who would not be amazed, as at some new prodigy, were he to hear Christ named as an intercessor. Therefore, passing Christ by, they all trust to the patronage of saints. Then superstition creeps in farther and farther, till they invoke the saints promiscuously, just as they do God. I admit, indeed, that when they desire to speak more definitely, all they ask of the saints is to assist them before God with their prayers.
But more frequently they lose this distinction, and address and implore at one time God, and at another the saints, just according to the impulse of the moment. Indeed each saint has a peculiar province allotted to him. One gives rain, another fair weather; one delivers from fever, another from shipwreck. But, to say nothing of these profane heathen delusions which everywhere prevail in churches, this one impiety may suffice for all: that, in inviting intercessors from this quarter and from that, the whole world neglects Christ, whom alone God has set forth, and confides more in the patronage of the saints than in the protection of God.*
*Calvin: Theological Treatises (p. 194).
“We believe the church, as the mother of regeneration; we do not believe in the church, as the author of salvation. He that believeth in the church, believeth in man: for man hath not his being of the church, but the church began by man. Leave off therefore this blasphemous persuasion, to think that thou hast to believe in any worldly creature; since thou mayest not believe neither in angel nor archangel.” – Paschasius
By the same token, we don’t believe ‘in’ prayer, we don’t believe ‘in’ the Bible; the object of our faith is always and ONLY God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Scottish Journal of Theology, Volume 67, Issue04, November 2014 pp 464-480
The answer is frighteningly simple: people love bad theology because it allows them to hold any view they wish and pretend that that view is legitimate. People love to deceive themselves- especially if by doing so they get to see themselves ‘in the mirror’ and pat themselves self-approvingly on the back.
The heart is desperately wicked. And until and unless remade by an act of God, remains such as long as it beats.
“How often do ungodly sinners delight in eloquent preaching or powerful reasoning, by some able minister! It is to them an intellectual feast. And sometimes they are so pleased with it, as really to think they love the word of God. This is consistent with entire depravity of heart and enmity against the true character of God. Nay, it sets their depravity in a stronger light, because they know and approve the right, and yet do the wrong.”—Charles Finney
[HT James Spinti]