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What makes a church confessional #53714
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:24 AM
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
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Mississippi Gulf Coast
John_C Offline OP

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Can a non-denominational, independent Reformed Baptist church be confessional? They may have their own confessional beliefs, but they can change any confessions within the local church without having the approval of a larger body. When we say a confessional church what do we mean?


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
Re: What makes a church confessional [Re: John_C] #53715
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:58 AM
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:58 AM
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Pilgrim Online content

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Originally Posted by John_C
Can a non-denominational, independent Reformed Baptist church be confessional?

Sure, why not? It can either choose to be consistent with the name, "Reformed" by adopting one of the historic Reformed Confessions, or they can choose to be consistent with the name "Baptist" by adopting any confession that emphasizes credo baptism, or they can choose to be consistent with the entire title "Reformed Baptist" by adopting the LBCF or perhaps one of the earlier Calvinistic Baptist confessions..... OR, even if they reject any historic confession, they can do what most do today which is to write their own confession. Even if a local church chooses to do none of the above, and they teach any doctrine consistently and upon that teaching either accept, reject or discipline anyone who is of a different view than that which they teach, then they are 'confessional'.

Originally Posted by John_C
They may have their own confessional beliefs, but they can change any confessions within the local church without having the approval of a larger body.

Independent churches are certainly free to do that. Those who would deny the right of a local church to change their OWN confession also deny the independence of the local church, e.g., those who hold to Presbyterianism and the Dutch version of it would deny this. I am one who hasn't found Scripture to teach denominationalism. But, at the same time, I think it is the height of arrogance for a local church to think that it is more qualified to write a confession that is superior to the historic Reformed Confessions, e.g., The WCF, LBCF, Savoy. I believe in the independence of every local church, but I do not believe the local church is independent of the visible Church that God has preserved throughout history.

Originally Posted by John_C
When we say a confessional church what do we mean?

That all depends on who you ask. Generally speaking, as expressed above, every local church is 'confessional' since they have a body of statements to which they believe, whether written or unwritten. Specifically speaking, confessional can mean an adherence to an existing formal confession.


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Re: What makes a church confessional [Re: Pilgrim] #53717
Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:19 AM
Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:19 AM
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John_C Offline OP

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I'm hearing 'we are a confessional church' thrown around a lot these days in discussing denominational debates. By Pilgrim's definition, even the very liberal PCUSA is a confessional church. I was just thinking there was more to it


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
Re: What makes a church confessional [Re: John_C] #53718
Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:26 AM
Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:26 AM
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Originally Posted by John_C
I'm hearing 'we are a confessional church' thrown around a lot these days in discussing denominational debates. By Pilgrim's definition, even the very liberal PCUSA is a confessional church. I was just thinking there was more to it

Again, it all depends on what a person means by "confessional". I think I would be safe to say that in your statement above, "confessional" is referring to a local church or denomination which has adopted one of the historic Reformed confessions; WCF, Belgic, Savoy, LBCF, etc.


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Re: What makes a church confessional [Re: Pilgrim] #53719
Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:18 AM
Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
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Macomb Michigan
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Doesn't that normally refer to churches that use Confessions such as the WCF/LBCF, bit could they also take on lessor known ones such as the 1925 Baptist faith and doctines, or maybe the New Hampshire one?

Re: What makes a church confessional [Re: John_C] #53727
Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:27 PM
Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:27 PM
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Mckinley Offline
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Mckinley  Offline
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I'm very happy in a two fold way, my church body is confessional and independent,.. its a blessing to hold to the historical confession known as the Westminster Standards, and the 3 forms of Unity,.. I pray that those who are holding to the past works of godly men who penned the confession, pray that their church continue with the rich tradition as we stay linked to the universal body of the past.


"A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant." STEPHEN CHARNOCK
Re: What makes a church confessional [Re: John_C] #53732
Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:38 AM
Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:38 AM
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Macomb Michigan
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I think that normally that refers to those churches that use a Confession of Faith such as the WCF/LBCF!


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