Westminster's Sabbath Ethic is part of the system of doctrine taught in Scripture

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NaphtaliPress

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... Respecting the teaching of the Confession and Catechisms on the question of the Sabbath, please allow me a few observations. When the [subscription] formula refers to the system of doctrine taught in the holy Scriptures and to the Confession and Catechisms as containing this system, it will surely be granted that the system includes ethics as well as what is sometimes, more specifically, called doctrine. The space devoted to ethics in the subordinate standards, especially in the Catechisms, would permit no other conclusion. And, of course, to exclude ethics from the system of doctrine taught in Scripture would be preposterous. Now, on the assumption that the formula involves subscription to the system of doctrine contained in the Confession and Catechisms, an assumption not in question in the articles that have appeared in The Presbyterian Guardian, I submit that the teaching respecting the Sabbath and its continuing obligation belongs integrally to the system of doctrine set forth in these documents. More specifically, this teaching belongs to the ethic of these standards.

Sabbath Question
This appears, first of all, in the Confession, Chapter XIX, Section II. The implications for the Sabbath are set forth in Chapter XXI, Sections VII and VIII. In the Catechisms this position is more fully expanded (1. C. QQ. 116-121; S. C. QQ. 58-62). To maintain that this sustained and explicit block of teaching is outwith the scope of the ordination pledge in Question 2 of the formula is surely to renounce what is involved in receiving and adopting the Confession and Catechisms even on the most restricted interpretation of the intent of the Question concerned. The gravest ethical issues are here at stake. A confessional creed is a bond of fellowship as well as an instrument of witness. It is one thing to question obiter dicta of which Dr. Clair Davis gave an example in the April issue (p. 48, col. 3). It is another to diverge from a principial position woven into the texture of confessional documents and belonging to the system formulated....​
The Presbyterian Guardian, June 1969, Letter to the Editor, from John Murray, Badbea, Scotland.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
It is ironic that Murray wrote that and yet his own Scottish presbytery refused to ordain him because he was willing to give communion to people without cars who took the trolley to church on Sunday. No mercy on that one. It is great he became a Professor instead, but I wonder how he felt being accused of failing to honor the Sabbath. To take principles and try to legislate practices from them can fail to respect the consciences of others. (Not referring to you OP, just thinking about all the fights over this subject).
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
It is ironic that Murray wrote that and yet his own Scottish presbytery refused to ordain him because he was willing to give communion to people without cars who took the trolley to church on Sunday. No mercy on that one.
What do you think of his statements in the OP?
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
What do you think of his statements in the OP?

I think he was a godly man and caring minister, and also way smarter than me. And he obviously had a strict view of the Sabbath in the OP. But I assume he didn't want to ask people seated in the pews before communion "did you walk here or drive here or take the trolley here", he left this up to their conscience....like not asking if meat was sacrificed to an idol. My guess.

Actually I don't even know if he would have taken the trolley himself, and seen going to church as "eating the shew bread in the Temple" or that sort of thing. My PCA experience left me with such an impression of different positions that I don't assume anything of Presbyterians anymore. Why, what were you thinking exactly when you asked?
 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
I was trying to direct the discussion back to the OP.
I think Murray's statements are irrefutable.
 
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