What kind of exceptions do churches take to the LBCF?

Discussion in 'The Confession of Faith' started by Krak3n, Jun 25, 2017.

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  1. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    This question is regarding churches that subscribe to the London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689). I'd expect churches that don't claim subscription to have many exceptions. ;)

    This is an honest question and I'm not trying to cause any discord whatsoever. This is why I am asking about exceptions that churches have. I'll happily and thankfully read anyone's personal exceptions where they believe it a good example, but I'm not trying to "out" anyone on the board for their disagreements or reservations.

    I recently visited a church with my family and part of their "visitor's packet" contained a copy of the London Baptist Confession of Faith. I was surprised by this because it is a newer large church in my area. The teaching was faithful and so I am seeking insight as to what kind of flags to look for, and questions to ask, when we visit again.

    I went home and checked on the church's website and they are up front about their belief that the LBCF is good theologically, historically, polemically, and in pastoral sense. However, the site also states, "We don’t claim perfection for the 1689 Confession. Scripture alone is our final authority, and if our elders find it necessary to distinguish secondary points of doctrine, they will." I can appreciate that, if secondary points of doctrine are things not specifically stated, or if it is referring to different valid interpretations of what it contains. Every church should affirm Sola Scriptura, but deviate from our historic confessions with great care.

    So, what exceptions have you all noticed in churches that claim subscription to the LBCF?

    (I'm definitely curious to their view on the Sabbath myself.)
  2. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    It will depend entirely on the specific congregation. As soon as exceptions are allowed, the opinion of the majority at any given moment becomes the standard.
  3. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    This is true on both counts. It's my hope that any exceptions made are for good reason and very specific. For instance, I have seen that some take exception to chapter 26 part 4 because of the Pope being called "that antichrist":
    So, as long as it's specific and a valid interpretation of Scripture, I can see where a congregation could make an exception. Again, we ought not deviate from these things without much consideration.

    I hope everyone understands that I didn't start this thread to encourage anyone to consider making their own exceptions apart from their church.
  4. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    There are different degrees of confessional subscription. These are sometimes referred to as 'absolute', 'full', and 'loose'.

    The most prominent association of confessional Baptist churches is the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America. They are decidedly 'full' in their confessional subscription. This means, for example, that they subscribe to the entire LBC as a system of doctrine without exception. However, they do not subscribe to each and every individual word. Nor do they confess/teach that each doctrine of the LBC is of equal importance.

    As an example, some/all? ARBCA churches offer grape juice for the Lord's Supper even though the LBC uses the word 'wine'.

    So, to answer your question, confessional churches might practice their confessionalism differently, not because they take exceptions, but because there are different degrees of confessional subscription.
  5. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    Oh, I didn't know this. After a quick trip to DuckDuckGo I see that there is more to this than I thought.

    So it's possible that some churches take exceptions (rejection of specific clauses) and others differ because of varying degrees of subscription?

    This is starting to remind me of Pirates of the Caribbean, "...the code is more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules."
  6. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    All I am saying is that different confessional churches/associations/denominations might differ in practice without necessary claiming 'exceptions', per se. Their differences might be due to different degrees of confessionalism.
  7. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

    Until I read your post, I had never heard of DuckDuckGo... what a peculiar name (in a world of increasingly peculiar names: Yahoo!, Google, Twitter, etc.). I guess I need to get out more...

    Carry on.
  8. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    Sorry, I misunderstood.

    So would it be correct to say that, in the example above about the Pope being "that" antichrist, that churches with reservations concerning chapter 26 part 4 to instead hold to him as "an" antichrist? They could then maintain subscription to the whole with a variation in part?

    I'm not trying to be argumentative. As you can see, I'm new to this.
  9. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    It's my preferred alternative to Google. After Google's celebration of homosexual marriage and the re-theme you get if you search "queer" on their page I decided to take my searches elsewhere. Does DuckDuckGo support sodomy as well? Probably. It's "hip" to do that for tech companies. They haven't appropriated God's sign to Noah after the flood to celebrate it though, at least not yet.
  10. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Different churches might view "that" differently without necessarily calling it an 'exception'.

    In Baptist circles this is all pretty moot since there are very few confessional Baptist churches and associations. This comes more into play in the Presbyterian world.
  11. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I hadn't heard of an ARBCA church using grape juice. I'd say that would be very unusual, at least among our sister churches.

    Our church subscribes fully.

    That comment is consistent with Chapter 1 of the Confession, especially paragraph 10.
  12. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you for pointing that out, and I hope it didn't sound like I was trying to speak ill of the church in my first post. You've all been encouraging for me so far.

    The lack of "exceptions" and horror stories is good to hear. The next time we visit I'll speak with an elder there to confirm the hope you've given me!

    *Edit: Incorrectly wrote "exemptions" instead of "exceptions".
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  13. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Is it mandatory though to view the papacy as being the Antichrist though? As I thought that the scriptures would see the Antichrist as being more akin to a person who was not identified as being any religious figure, as there is the false prophet for that?
  14. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Whether it is 'mandatory' or not depends upon the degree of confessional adherence.
  15. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    How much is required then to still be considered holding to the Confessional?
  16. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Holding to the confessional? What are we, Roman Catholics? :lol:

    Seriously, see post #4.
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