Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update On Paedocommunion as a Reformed or Presbyterian Practice

In a post last month, I quoted James Jordan in saying that the practice of paedocommunion is not a Reformed or Presbyterian practice.  Specifically he said that those who want to practice paedocommunion in the PCA "are poison to traditioal presbyterianism," and "if you believe in pc, you’re not in the Reformed tradition at all in a very significant and profound sense. No more than you’re Baptists."  Keep in mind here, these are his words not mine.

In response, there was some concern raised that I had provided an uncharitable and incorrect description of paedocommunion because I defined it as "the practice of allowing a child to partake of the Lord's Supper upon the sole condition of baptism.  This means that not only is a profession of faith not necessary to receive the sacrament worthily and as a blessing, the sacrament can be received worthily apart from faith and still communicate a blessing of grace."

Well, I do not want to be uncharitable or incorrect, so I offer, once again, the words of James Jordan in how he understands paedocommunion. 
  •   [Paedocommunion is] allowing all baptized and non-excommunicated persons to the table of the Lord . . .
  •  If our children eat at our table at home, they belong at Christ’s New Table also. Admission is by baptism, (emphasis mine).
  • Now, I believe that if we refuse to let our baptized covenant children come to the Lord’s Table, we are subtly but effectively communicating to them that they need to do some kind of works before they will be entitled to participate in this mysterious event. . . . If our children are entitled to sit at table at home, then they belong at the Table in church also.
 So, given what Jordan says here about paedocommunion, you can see why I defined it the way I did in order for his words about it not being a Reformed or Presbyterian practice could be rightly understood.  Jordan is not speaking of paedocommunion as the practice of allowing younger children who have provided a credible profession of faith from communing.  He strongly disagrees with that practice, stating that,
Now, I believe that if we refuse to let our baptized covenant children come to the Lord’s Table, we are subtly but effectively communicating to them that they need to do some kind of works before they will be entitled to participate in this mysterious event. . . . Also, we communicate the idea that participation in this mystical ritual is an attainment, not a gift. But away with such notions! If our children are entitled to sit at table at home, then they belong at the Table in church also.
So, to be clear, Jordan believes that requiring a profession of faith prior to participating in the Lord's Supper is wrong, and is not what paedocommunion means.  I was not being uncharitable or incorrect, I was simply defining paedocommunion according to his understanding.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Reformed Presbyterian Church Podcast


That's right, the RP is now podcasting.  You can now find and subscribe to our sermons here.  Happy listening.

PCA Funding Plan Fails

Back in the summer the General Assembly voted to amend its constitution to change the way the Administrative Committee is funded. Right now, giving in the PCA is done on a voluntary basis. Amendment 14-1 would have completely changed that from voluntary giving to involuntary. Amendment 14-2 would redefine "voting membership" for General Assembly by creating new rules for who could vote at GA. According to this amendment, for a teaching elder to get to participate at GA, his church would have to pay the full amount established by the AC committee proposal, plus, he would also have to pay an additional personal tax on top of that. If these conditions are not met, then not only would he not get to vote, but the church would be reported to the GA.

However, even though GA voted in favor of these amendments, for them to be adopted, the presbyteries had to vote on them. For them to pass,2/3 of the 79 presbyteries (53) would have to vote in favor of the amendments.  For them to fail, over 1/3 of the presbyteries (27) would have to vote no.  Well as of yesterday, the New York State Presbytery became the 27th to vote down 14-1 and the Presbytery of Eastern Carolina became the 27th to vote down 14-2.  This means that even thought there are 23 presbyteries that still have to vote, the magical number of 53 cannot be obtained, so the amendments fail.

For a complete list of which presbyteries have voted for and against, see this article at The Aquila Report.

For a thorough recap of all the events leading up to where we are now, see this post at Johannes Weslianus.