Festival days are not to be continued

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Rescued

Puritan Board Freshman
We need to return to this principle. How can we share in observance of the unscriptural holidays of the papal antichrist and yet be faithful to Christ?
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
What is interesting is that many reformed elders know this and reform this idea to allow the observance "holy-days" as a matter of conscience.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
What is interesting is that many reformed elders know this and reform this idea to allow the observance "holy-days" as a matter of conscience.
I think this is true, Mr. Earl. It reminds me of finding a way to conscientiously give into the crowd/congregational pressure, even though they would never have done so own their own with their schooling on the scriptures and the confession.

Not a 1 to 1 ratio, but it somewhat reminds me of the thinking process that Pilate was forced to wrestle with, on a much much smaller level of seriousness of course. The crowds today cry out "We want Easter and Christmass or we will have the Pastor's head!".
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Not a 1 to 1 ratio, but it somewhat reminds me of the thinking process that Pilate was forced to wrestle with, on a much much smaller level of seriousness of course. The crowds today cry out "We want Easter and Christmass or we will have the Pastor's head!".
I'm not seeing any liberty of conscience there. For the pastor, that's coercion not conscience. For those insisting, it's, we will not have the will and appointment of King Jesus to rule over us.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
I'm no seeing any liberty of conscience there. For the pastor, that's coercion not conscience. For those insisting, it's, we will not have the will and appointment of King Jesus to rule over us.
We would be in agreement. Regarding the reasoning, as you know, I'm just the messenger.:tumbleweed:
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
What Earl and G said is also what I have experienced (viewed as "Christian freedom"). I have likewise pushed back as napthali said, that what the church (elders) choose can constrain individual Christians. I also agree with G that note everyone thinks I these terms.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
I have wondered, though, what to do about the Second Helvetic Confession's view of this matter. Of course, I submit to the Westminster Standards, and so I am not trying to introduce any dissonance here, nor am I seeking to discredit or disagree with Westminster. However, this statement has always struck me as odd among the Reformed confessional material:

If the churches do religiously celebrate the memory of the Lord’s nativity, circumcision, passion, resurrection, and of His ascension into heaven, and sending the Holy Ghost upon His disciples, according to Christian liberty, we do very well approve of it.

—Second Helvetic Confession, ch. 24​

What are we to make of this?
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
This is a germane thread, discussing a similar position taken by the Synod of Dort, and how such relates historically to Westminster Presbyterianism.
I don't have time to review the older thread from 2014, but my view of this has been further informed by Voetius who was at Dordt from various sources. I've commented on this on other threads since then if I did not then. Also since then has appeared in The Confessional Presbyterian, material related to this subject. See a translation of Calvin's Advice on this, "Letters to the Ministers of Montbéliard (1543–1544): The Genevan Reformer’s Advice and Views of the Liturgical Calendar," The Confessional Presbyterian 13 (2017); and on Voetius, R. D. Anderson, "Why are Ecclesiastical Feast Days in the Reformed Church Order?" The Confessional Presbyterian 15 (2019).
I have wondered, though, what to do about the Second Helvetic Confession's view of this matter. Of course, I submit to the Westminster Standards, and so I am not trying to introduce any dissonance here, nor am I seeking to discredit or disagree with Westminster. However, this statement has always struck me as odd among the Reformed confessional material:

If the churches do religiously celebrate the memory of the Lord’s nativity, circumcision, passion, resurrection, and of His ascension into heaven, and sending the Holy Ghost upon His disciples, according to Christian liberty, we do very well approve of it.

—Second Helvetic Confession, ch. 24​

What are we to make of this?

The Presbyterians in Scotland at the time endorsed 2nd Helvetic except for this: "wee agree in all points with these Churches, and differ in nothing from them, except that wee assent not in keeping festival days, seeing the Sabbath-day only is keeped in Scotland.' This was true as Knox et al. proclaimed just six years prior in 1560:

Doctrine. The word of God only, which is the New and Old Testament, shall be taught in every kirk within this realm; and all contrary doctrine to the same shall be impugned and utterly suppressed.​

We affirm that to be contrary doctrine to the word, that man has invented, and imposed on the consciences of men, by laws, councils, and constitutions, without the express command of God's word.

Of this kind are vows of chastity, disguised apparel, superstitious observation of fasting-days, difference of meats for conscience sake, prayer for the dead, calling upon saints, with such other inventions of men. In this rank, the holy-days invented by men, such as Christmas, Circumcision, Epiphany, Purification, and other fond feasts of our Lady; with the feasts of the Apostles, martyrs, and virgins, with others; which we judge utterly to be abolished forth of this realm, because they have no assurance in God's word. All maintainers of such abominations should be punished with the civil sword.

The word is sufficient for our salvation; and therefore all things needful for us are contained in it. .The Scriptures shall be read in private houses, for removing of this gross ignorance.'​

The Reformed in various locations were struggling through this issue from the Reformation into the next century (specially the Nadere Reformatie) and it was according to Voetius, who was born in 1589, and had access to the memories of the previous generation while still young, witnessed the discussions at Dordt and was clerk putting those materials in order, that it was the through the insistence for political reasons by magistrates and the stubbornness of the people that these old pretended holy days were retained in some fashion. It was certainly Calvin's advice to be free of them, and if once free, never to take them up again. The Presbyterians have proved that warning in spades because we don't go Reformed, we just let loose our inner Anglican. Just judgment for abandoning our reformations to be free of such things. I mean, look at us. We have churches observing Lent in the PCA.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
The Presbyterians have proved that warning in spades because we don't go Reformed, we just let loose our inner Anglican. Just judgment for abandoning our reformations to be free of such things. I mean, look at us. We have churches observing Lent in the PCA.
Yep and now public fasting on “Good Friday” at the direction of Anglicanism. I plan to participate but on a different day.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
The Presbyterians in Scotland at the time endorsed 2nd Helvetic except for this: "wee agree in all points with these Churches, and differ in nothing from them, except that wee assent not in keeping festival days, seeing the Sabbath-day only is keeped in Scotland.' This was true as Knox et al. proclaimed just six years prior in 1560:

Doctrine. The word of God only, which is the New and Old Testament, shall be taught in every kirk within this realm; and all contrary doctrine to the same shall be impugned and utterly suppressed.
We affirm that to be contrary doctrine to the word, that man has invented, and imposed on the consciences of men, by laws, councils, and constitutions, without the express command of God's word.

Of this kind are vows of chastity, disguised apparel, superstitious observation of fasting-days, difference of meats for conscience sake, prayer for the dead, calling upon saints, with such other inventions of men. In this rank, the holy-days invented by men, such as Christmas, Circumcision, Epiphany, Purification, and other fond feasts of our Lady; with the feasts of the Apostles, martyrs, and virgins, with others; which we judge utterly to be abolished forth of this realm, because they have no assurance in God's word. All maintainers of such abominations should be punished with the civil sword.

The word is sufficient for our salvation; and therefore all things needful for us are contained in it. .The Scriptures shall be read in private houses, for removing of this gross ignorance.'
The Reformed in various locations were struggling through this issue from the Reformation into the next century (specially the Nadere Reformatie) and it was according to Voetius, who was born in 1589, and had access to the memories of the previous generation while still young, witnessed the discussions at Dordt and was clerk putting those materials in order, that it was the through the insistence for political reasons by magistrates and the stubbornness of the people that these old pretended holy days were retained in some fashion. It was certainly Calvin's advice to be free of them, and if once free, never to take them up again. The Presbyterians have proved that warning in spades because we don't go Reformed, we just let loose our inner Anglican. Just judgment for abandoning our reformations to be free of such things. I mean, look at us. We have churches observing Lent in the PCA.

That's very helpful. Thank you!
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
So PCA leadership is in agreement with the NA Anglicans that because this Friday is by some mere men deemed the holy day of Good Friday, united in fasting will be more acceptable to God than if today or Monday next week?
I can’t say as a person who did not make the decision, I can only tell you what is published and that given it’s the PCA, it’s not a surprise.

From the ByFaith article:


The Call: For all believers in Christ in the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) to set aside Good Friday, April 10, as a day of prayer and fasting to cry out for God’s help in addition to a Holy Day of worship.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I did a sad react to your post (I see you have asked as I type this). I would have preferred to use a vomit react as that was my first reaction. It is the right action paired with wrong motives. So, anyone think because of this it is wrong to obey the call to fast? Maybe that needs to be its own thread.
I can’t say as a person who did not make the decision, I can only tell you what is published and that given it’s the PCA, it’s not a surprise.

From the ByFaith article:


The Call: For all believers in Christ in the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) to set aside Good Friday, April 10, as a day of prayer and fasting to cry out for God’s help in addition to a Holy Day of worship.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
I did a sad react to your post (I see you have asked as I type this). I would have preferred to use a vomit react as that was my first reaction. It is the right action paired with wrong motives. So, anyone think because of this it is wrong to obey the call to fast? Maybe that needs to be its own thread.
Indeed. As I stated, my family will still observe the fast using the OPC guide and on a different day (likely tomorrow with RPCNA). The reasoning for the call provided by the PCA would cause me to SIN against my own conscience.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
It would have been nice if the PCA had coordinated a fast day with her NAPARC siblings to which she should have closer doctrinal ties with than with the EPC and the ACA.

I hope that the good men in the PCA can steer her back. The only reason I even speak is because the PCA is in NAPARC (and so are we in the RPCNA) and because I used to be a former member of the PCA before I joined the RPs.
 
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