Good Friday in NOLA

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retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
Absolutely, and I agree. I grew up with "holy days of obligation" which were a mortal sin to miss mass on. These observed days must always be voluntary and subordinate or separate from the Lord's Day.

Thank you. I'm trying to get a better grasp on this particular issue.
You mention it was a mortal sin to miss these services. That is just one of the reasons why we need to not observe them in the reformed world. They are monuments of idolatry and false worship. I listened to the sermon and it was very convincing. Essentially, we don't take take idols and try to make them ok. We are commanded to utterly destroy idols. This is what the pastor in the sermon talked about and gave Josiah as an example (and many others). They didn't try and make the temples of Baal or the high places better, he utterly destroyed them.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Thank you for this. I don't understand the level of scruples that seems to surround this issue. If Christians want to gather to do what you say above I don't see why anybody would have an issue with it. I also don't see any church trying to elevate this to the level of Lord's Day worship. Maybe some do but I haven't seen it.

As for Easter, we celebrate the Resurrection every Sunday. Why is it on this particular Sunday people take issue with it? Is the problem with the word "Easter"? Is it an issue for a church to focus on a Resurrection passage on that particular Sunday rather than continuing through whatever book they may be going through?

Forgive my ignorance but as it is right now I just don't get the adamant opposition attitude regarding this issue.

Keep in mind the Lord knows our hearts, thoughts, and intentions. We cannot simply put forth arguments for argument's sake or to assuage our consciences. For those who argue, "what's wrong with attending worship on Friday evening?" I would inquire, do you normally attend worship on Friday evenings? Does your local church normally hold Friday night worship services? I am happy to be corrected, but my assumption is, no you do not and they do not. If that is the case then you must realize this Friday evening worship service is being held because of man-made traditions and holy days.
I have already noted in this thread I have no issue with the saints gathering for corporate worship on any day of the week. My church has routinely held worship services on Tuesday nights. The timing of worship is not the issue. The issue is gathering for worship in celebration of man-made holy days.
Regarding the Lord's Day, yes I do have an issue with calling the day "easter". The onus isn't on me to defend why that should be thrown out but rather on those who want to call the day "easter" and convince themselves and/or others that this one day of the year is more special or holy than the other 51 Lord's Days each year.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
This is essentially the issue. What is the difference between our churches appropriating the days others who don't hold to our biblical principles of worship think are holy and commit all sorts of idolatry and will worship and superstition on, or wearing their 'holy' clothes (surplice, pope's red shoes, what have you), sign of the cross, hail Mary, The Mass, but simply redefining what those are? Or not really. It is not as though we don't have Presbyterian churches, PCA, others, doing advent candles or treating these days as though they are more special. These days get their own colors, decorations, liturgy, and come with the thought of essentially identifying with 'Christendom' with these practices. We are to remove monuments of idolatry (duty in the second commandment, Larger Catechism 108). George Gillespie deals with this extensively in his Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies (the Scottish Presbyterian church had removed all of the old pretended holy days, and the king imposed some again which among other things sparked Gillespie's book and the second Reformation) and I have posted the section clear for years on PB during these 'holy seasons.' See it here: PDF.
You mention it was a mortal sin to miss these services. That is just one of the reasons why we need to not observe them in the reformed world. They are monuments of idolatry and false worship. I listened to the sermon and it was very convincing. Essentially, we don't take take idols and try to make them ok. We are commanded to utterly destroy idols. This is what the pastor in the sermon talked about and gave Josiah as an example (and many others). They didn't try and make the temples of Baal or the high places better, he utterly destroyed them.
 

reformed grit

Puritan Board Freshman
And the "level of scruples" and "not being presbyterian" often rightly arise, but I think it's exponentially more than that. And here I may garner some undue trouble, but while I agree with the regulative principle of worship (RPW) (which again, is binding on this community, though not all reformed circles), I find it wanting and insufficient on the issue of a church calendar. In a sense it may be counted the same concern, but the gravest of error In my humble opinion, is our example as Christ's ambassadors before a watching world, were we to give personal or corporate allowance on a Good Friday observance.

The continental reformed early caved to allowance of secular observance of these special calendar days. As has been mentioned, not all protestants were united religiously on this front. But here's my point to us all, even Lutherans and Catholics may admit to the sad state popular observance has reached contrary to any religious observance. Oh, yes, even a knowing presbyterian (beyond a historical unknowing one) - and certainly with due consideration to the continental branch of the Reformed - may find holy purpose toward honouring Christ on something like a Good Friday or a Reformation Day; but not a man would doubt the corruption from a Church Calendar that comes from popular Hallowe'en celebration, the which is intimately tied to Reformation Day celebration. That is, beyond what is Sabbath or worship oriented by appointment of Scripture, the collusion and synchronisation of holy and profane as regards a church calendar is glaringly enough to at the very least make a sharp contrast to the world.

We simply can't have Easter egg hunts, Mardi Gras parades, or even a Good Friday synchronise our holy worship as appointed in Holy Writ. Luther specifically chose October 31 for the purpose of enumerating errors in Catholicism as represented in Hallowe'en. Yes, he synchronised the hammering of his objections. But as strange as it may rightly seem to some, even dare I bemoan most, a celebration of Good Friday is a jumping head-first right back into the filth Luther aimed at cleaning from the Church. And, yes, even though Luther himself enthusiastically celebrated Easter, Christmas, Good Friday and the like.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
And the "level of scruples" and "not being presbyterian" often rightly arise, but I think it's exponentially more than that. And here I may garner some undue trouble, but while I agree with the regulative principle of worship (RPW) (which again, is binding on this community, though not all reformed circles), I find it wanting and insufficient on the issue of a church calendar. In a sense it may be counted the same concern, but the gravest of error In my humble opinion, is our example as Christ's ambassadors before a watching world, were we to give personal or corporate allowance on a Good Friday observance.
I don't understand what you are saying. The RPW doesn't prohibit meeting during the week. The issue with Presbyterians is the choosing to have an optional service on the old pretended holy days. Optional services are in theory things indifferent and governed by the scriptural rules governing such things. We also have clear precept on the need and responsibility to remove monuments of idolatry. All those things; offense, stumbling, practices that leave the door wide open to fall back into the practices rejected at the reformation, are more than sufficient to answer this question. The problem is folks don't agree and think they can treat the practice in a vacuum and that there is no downside to the upside they imagine of having services on such days.
 

reformed grit

Puritan Board Freshman
We agree the RPW includes objections of even a well-meant adding our own will-worship to what Scripture guides or dictates. We agree at one point the early church even met daily. One might admirably protest, "but aren't we throwing the baby out with the bath-water?", "might we not be caging in our respectful worship to our Lord? " We aren't saying we ought not be praying continually, even corporately, "holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts". We are saying it was a well-meant mistake of our religious ancestry to synchronise a Christian calendar to pagan forms, EVEN if we acknowledge the cyclical order of worship found in Creation and nature. We agree we must separate out according to the dictates and even patterns we find in Scripture.

Even beyond RPW, it is our example, our "letter" before a watching world which calls us to be without collusion, even in perhaps well-meant missionary activity of changing the worship of one thing into the worship of another Divine thing, unless by Divine appointment.
 
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Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Good Friday has an ancient pedigree in the early church (as least back to the 2nd century and thus far more ancient than Christmas) and due to its association with Passover we can date it more or less accurately. Furthermore, due to its connection with Christ's resurrection it has ties to the Lord's Day, and thus we have a prima facie justification for its inclusion in our calendar.

However, we still would have to establish that God wants it as part of his calendar, not to mention that in this there is a tacit assumption that the church's calendar is concurrent with his. At best we might say that it is a convenient time to remember the suffering and death of Christ but we already have that in the Lord's Supper. Are we to say that is not sufficient? Indeed, what he has commanded is sufficient (Matthew 28:19-20).

And we must remember that separation or distinction (of days) establishes them for holy use. That is at the very heart of what a biblical definition of holiness entails. Consider, after all, the real holy days of old. They were appointed by God for his people and then ceased to be of obligation when Christ came. God was the maker and unmaker. They were tolerated as long as the church was primarily Jewish in number (origin), but they were also condemned by the apostle Paul when they being used in a superstitious way (Galatians 4:9-11). Now if that was true of what God ordained, how much more is it true of what he has not?

I know that people will say it is not a holy day but it is treated by much of Christendom as such (and even by the world besides). You may say that has nothing to do with us but how can you separate yourselves from such? It is all embedded in the very day: in its past and present celebration because of the manner in which it was initially imposed. As Mr. Coldwell has noted, it is a monument of idolatry and will never be anything else, all honourable intentions aside.

Moreover, if we are truly not obligated to the day then it is of no account. And then why call it Good Friday or, the following, Resurrection Sunday? Why say that Jesus rose on this particular Lord's Day when we will not say it every Lord's Day? Or say it with more emphasis today when objectively nothing about this Lord's Day lends itself to that statement? Why attribute something to it that God does not? Which is to say, why make high places when God has not appointed such. If it to be replied that God appointed sacrifices so we may do so as we please (or as our collective wisdom may grant), we must reckon with the fact that God also told his people, how, where, when, by whom and why. And if we are to say that Good Friday has nothing to do with those corruptions of old anymore than the Lord's Supper has to do with the Mass, we might simply reply that at least the Lord's Supper was established by Christ.

From my youth we had a simple Good Friday service but even that has been corrupted into a thing far more superstitious than even the Dort fathers intended. Indeed I know of otherwise godly people who think more highly of these days than they ought. If I can speak this way, the "common man" thinks that way; how can he not? His pastor affirms him in his conviction when he treats the day as anything other than one for common use. The men of old who prescribed the celebration of the church calendar in the Netherlands sought to accommodate or grandfather in practices that had already returned into our pure churches, practices which by then had been foisted on the church by the magistrate. That was an Erastian error indeed but now we double down on lifting up the authority, desire or whim of the body over the head.

I am amazed that otherwise solid churches now celebrate Lent, Ash Wednesday and such customs inherited from the days of the church's corruption by Antichrist. I see vestments, colors, candles, furniture and all manner of cyclical nonsense intruding into the worship of God. Even Reformed churches now practice such things and why? Tell me where that came from and you instruct yourselves what more of false worship of which you have to rid the church. Dare we admit that our form of prelacy is the road to papacy? I truly hope that this narcotic is not a gateway to the bridge for more to cross the Tiber.
 
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