Presbyterian and Baptist Church

It's also worth mentioning that the letters to the "churches" are written to a singular "you." One messenger or pastor was in charge of the church in each city.
 
I don't follow your argument then. Maybe I am just ignorant of history here but have confessional Baptists as a group not also been around for centuries?
My argument is that Presbyterian Churches are planted by Presbyteries within Presbyterian denominations that are continuing Churches that go back centuries. The use of the WCF, Books of Church order, a plurality of elders, and the Presbyterian process of Church government has a continuing pedigree. Even when the PCA was formed, it was formed out of the PCUS (and before that another Presbyterian Church and so on). You have the young and "gray-haired" congregations and a continuing practice of Church government.

As I noted in my post, the plurality of elders and strictly 1689 LBCF Churches does not,, for the most part, have a continuing pedigree. There are individual Churches in England that have practiced it for centuries but buy and large the plurality of elders and other aspects of Particular Baptists have been taken up only fairly recently in many contexts. Since the congregations are congregational they have only a relatively short lifespan.

Add to this the complication I was pointing out of Baptists trying to form a Presbyterian government (which is what this thread is about). There is no real history of "blending" LBCF and a Presbyterian government. That would be, by definition, net new and would be almost impossible to get off the ground, as well as the problem of no "foundation" of the past upon which to build.
 
My argument is that Presbyterian Churches are planted by Presbyteries within Presbyterian denominations that are continuing Churches that go back centuries. The use of the WCF, Books of Church order, a plurality of elders, and the Presbyterian process of Church government has a continuing pedigree. Even when the PCA was formed, it was formed out of the PCUS (and before that another Presbyterian Church and so on). You have the young and "gray-haired" congregations and a continuing practice of Church government.

As I noted in my post, the plurality of elders and strictly 1689 LBCF Churches does not,, for the most part, have a continuing pedigree. There are individual Churches in England that have practiced it for centuries but buy and large the plurality of elders and other aspects of Particular Baptists have been taken up only fairly recently in many contexts. Since the congregations are congregational they have only a relatively short lifespan.

Add to this the complication I was pointing out of Baptists trying to form a Presbyterian government (which is what this thread is about). There is no real history of "blending" LBCF and a Presbyterian government. That would be, by definition, net new and would be almost impossible to get off the ground, as well as the problem of no "foundation" of the past upon which to build.
I would add, too, that the Reformation (Reformed/Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Anglican) was birthed out of a church in which they saw themselves as a continuation. Breaking with Rome was not breaking with the Church. It was corrective, which accounts for various interactions pleading with the Romanists to repent.

The Anabaptists did not largely view themselves this way. They were, as they poorly conceived, the restoration of a Church long obscured. The fact that Presbyterian polity, which dates back to before prelatic reforms in the Church in its early centuries, is rejected is not surprising. Many doctrines of the Church were rejected. Hence their title as "radical" reformers. The latter word should not be confused as camaraderie with the Reformation as the Reformers vehemently denied the errors of the Anabaptists.

The Baptists of England, which I think most Particular and Calvinistic Baptists see as their forefathers, also break with the Church in several ways. If you see the Church as unbaptized into Christ and her ministers invalid, then you don't have a Church at all. Hence, there is no continuation and, instead, a rejection of the sacramental and ecclesiastical functions of the Church. The Baptists, necessary to their theological understandings, are either the restoration of the church or they look to the thin bloodline of "Baptists" in history, which is not an enviable position.

I searched high and low to find "Presbyterian" Baptists. I couldn't stomach the idea of covenant baptism. So, I went on a similar journey. The final destination, so to speak, that I found myself at the end of it was a completely different understanding of my place as a Christian in the long history of the saints.
 
Just stopping by to clarify a common misconception about Presbyterian polity:
Presbyteries aren't groups of congregations; they are assemblies of elders, or presbyters (1 Timothy 4:14). To write to seven congregations, and to write to a presbytery that oversees those congregations, is not precisely the same thing.

Nevertheless, the Ephesian church alone was almost certainly made up of multiple congregations. As the Westminster Form of Presbyterial Church Government says:

That there were more congregations than one in the church of Ephesus, appears by Acts xx. 31, where is mention of Paul’s continuance at Ephesus in preaching for the space of three years; and Acts xix. 18, 19, 20, where the special effect of the word is mentioned; and ver. 10. and 17. of the same chapter, where is a distinction of Jews and Greeks; and 1 Cor. xvi. 8, 9, where is a reason of Paul’s stay at Ephesus until Pentecost; and ver. 19, where is mention of a particular church in the house of Aquila and Priscilla, then at Ephesus, as appears, Acts xviii. 19, 24, 26. All which laid together, doth prove that the multitude of believers did make more congregations than one in the church of Ephesus.
Each side of this question can bring forth arguments that will not sway the other. To Baptists, arguments toward multiple congregations under one presbytery are circumstancial and weak. To Presbyterians, well, they seem to carry the day. I'm not sure this is the thread to flesh it out, nor whether there will ever be agreement this side of glory.
 
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