Mission Rally 2010

19 Jun

Rev. Andrew Kerr’s address questions why have Reformed Christians fled the centres of population and calls for us to change our thinking. May we have the same compassion Christ showed for Jerusalem for our cities.

Download: The City and Mission

Advertisements

17 Responses to “Mission Rally 2010”

  1. Daniel Ritchie June 27, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    One way for Presbyterian and Reformed churches to attract the working classes might be to re-emphasize the Sabbath. This is because the Sabbath protects workers from exploitation by guaranteeing them a day off each week. I read recently that the Marxist historian Christopher Hill concluded that one reason the lower orders flocked to the Puritans was precisely due to their emphasis on the Lord’s Day as a day of rest.

  2. James June 28, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Daniel: Interesting point. I’d never thought of the Sabbath in terms of preventing exploitation before.

    If anyone has listened to Andrew Kerr’s address and isinterested in listening to more on the same kind of topic may I point you in the direction of Tim Keller. He makes some bold claims about the importance of the cities in this sermon.

    http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/love-city

  3. Covenanted Orangeman July 28, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Why are there no conventicle any more? I don’t ever recall seeing a reformed presbyterian mission before… how can we expect to reach the lost if we keep them at arms length?

  4. Peter July 28, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    The most recent RP conventicle I am aware of was last week:

    http://www.airdrierpcs.org/news.php

    Before that there was one in Bready around June.

    If by ‘mission’ you mean a series of special meetings, Cloughmills and Airdrie had ones in recent months. Can’t remember who else but there have been a number of others in the past year. Keep an eye on the Calendar page of http://www.rpc.org – it will probably inform of future ones.

  5. Daniel Ritchie July 29, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    “Covenanted Orangeman” – to paraphrase Professor W. D. Killen, such is “an ecclesiastical and political contradiction”.

    Here is something interesting I came across in the midst of writing my MA thesis; Isaac Nelson kept talking about PCI ministers being pledged to uphold the covenanted reformation, so I decided to investigate whether or not the PCI acknowledged the covenants when it was formed in 1840. As it turns out, it did.

    The sixth question in the formula used at the ordination of P.C.I. ministers in 1840 asked:

    ‘Do you acknowledge the moral obligation of public religious covenanting, and do you hold it your duty to maintain and prosecute the reformation work of our covenanted fathers of the Church of Scotland?’

    Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland: consisting of the General Synod of Ulster, and the Presbyterian Synod of Ireland, distinguished by the name of Seceders: held in Belfast, July, 1840 (Belfast, 1840), p. 30.

  6. Covenanted Orangeman July 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    What makes you say that Rev Ritchie? I can quite happily confirm that I Covenanted and indeed I am an orangeman… and I am both with a clear conscious :)

  7. Daniel Ritchie July 29, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    It’s alright brother, I am not “Rev”. Please call me Daniel. I will get back to you later.

  8. Daniel Ritchie July 31, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Dear CO,

    The reason why “Covenanted Orangeman” is a contradiction in terms is because being the ideals of covenanting are fundamentally at odds with those of Orangeism.

    Orangeism exists (partly) to celebrate the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89, but the Glorious Revolution ignored the Scottish Covenants and the Revolution settlement adopted a number of things (establishing prelacy in England and Ireland, retaining Erastianism, etc.) which are contrary to the covenants.

    Moreover, there are a number of other reasons why RPs must oppose Orangeism:

    1. The Orange Order has no biblical right to impose oaths on its members. Moreover, its oaths are unbiblical since you have to forswear to things that you don’t know about. For instance, an Orangeman must swear to keep the proceedings of a lodge meeting secret to non-Orangemen. This means that if someone were to confess to being an Atheist in an Orange meeting you could not bring them before a Kirk Session as it would violate your Orange oath. Hence, membership of the Orange Order is incongruent with biblical church discipline.

    2. There is no Scriptural warrant for organising a secret society [calling it a society with secrets, but not a secret society, is a form of sophistry. What is a secret society? A society with secrets. The Orange Order is a society with secrets, therefore it is a secret society] with the objective of defending the faith. Christ has established the Church to defend the faith, thus there is no need for a man made organisation to be formed in order to do this.

    3. The rituals of the higher orders of Orangeism, the Royal Arch Purple and Royal Black, are unbiblical, profane, pagan, demeaning to human dignity and even heretical in their teachings. I realise these criticisms do not apply to the lower orders [Orange and small Purple degrees], but no Christian should have anything to do with the rituals of the Black and the Arch Purple.

    4. The Orange Order is not even a Trinitarian organisation. It allows members of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland to join and permits their ministers to be chaplains. Now if the Orange Order only allowed the Trinitarian members of this Church to join then this complaint would not be valid, however, as far as I am aware the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland does not demand a Trinitarian confession in order to join, hence Unitarians can be members [yes, I know that various members and ministers of the NSPI are Trinitarian, but some of them are not and they openly tolerate damnable heresy].

  9. Covenanted Orangeman August 1, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Thanks for your reply but as a Lecturer of the Grand Lecturer’s conference responsible for the drama work of the order and which has an active part in the creation of rules I must point out that I’m not aware of most of the things which you speak. Orangeism exists partly to give thanks to almighty God for giving William victory at the battle of the Boyne (as Rule 5 states) not to celebrate the glorious revolution itself… whilst we may not agree with King William’s governance we must still be able to thank God for giving him the victory or else we call into question God’s choice. In relation to point one I have to point out that “membership of the order is not by the taking of any oath” (rule 2) and indeed the order has no oaths anywhere in it’s initiation or meetings, there is no oath to secrecy but rather to privacy concerning recent meetings though the public are informed of what is happening regularly within the order via news reports and the press, the order is not a secret society as all degree work is in the public domain and all memberships are public and most internal business is made available to the wider public. The order does not exist to “defend the faith” but to defend protestants and their property in Ireland…
    The orange order has no “higher orders” and “no other degrees are recognised except the orange and plain purple” (rule 6), The order does ask that a member must accept the trinity and has done since the arian controversy in the 1800’s whilst members of the non subscribing Presbyterian church are members they must profess their belief in the trinity (rule 32) which as you say yourself means the point isn’t valid. In fact you’ll find none of the points are valid against the Orange Institution and maybe the church should pick on the black and royal arch purple instead of the orange which it seems incapable of finding any problem with.

  10. Daniel Ritchie August 1, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    CO,

    Which Grand Lodge are you part of, Ireland or Scotland?

    According to the Revd Brian Kennaway, ‘The Loyal Orange Institution of Ireland (Old Order) is not Trinitarian, the Independents are, as is the Loyal Institution of Scotland’ Brian Kennaway, ‘Orangeism: a Presbyterian perspective’, Bulletin of the Presbyterian Historical Society, no. 31 (2007), p. 24.

    I will get back to you on the other points later.

  11. Covenanted Orangeman August 1, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    Grand Lodge Of Ireland, Rev Kennaway was expelled almost two years ago… he was a member of the education committee. He was wrong about the trinitarian aspect but i agree with him on allot of other points, he was viewed as being far too liberal in his theology. No problem take your time :)

  12. Daniel Ritchie August 1, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Hmm…I find it strange that Brian Kennaway got that one wrong…but I shall concede that you are right for the sake of this discussion. I remember Revd Kennaway wrote a pamphlet defending the Institution from this very criticism a number of years ago, but only quoted from the GOLS rules to defend them from the charge of tolerating Unitarianism, he said nothing about the rules of the GOLI. I notice the qualifications of an Orangeman say nothing about the Deity of the Holy Spirit. If you are able to give us the precise wording of the rule in question, I would be most interested to see it.

    1. I find it hard to believe that the Orange Order does not celebrate the Glorious Revolution. On its website it says:

    ‘Our name comes from William III, Prince of Orange, and is kept because his victory over despotic power laid the foundation for the evolution of Constitutional Democracy in the British Isles.’

    Follow the link below, because there seem to be some Orangemen under the impression that Orangeism seeks to celebrate the Glorious Revolution, not merely the victory at the Boyne [which was part of that revolution]:

    http://www.orangenet.org/loiusa/OrangeQA.html#anchor100918

    2. The vows [sorry, I should have called them vows, not oaths – though I think that is equivocation on the GOLI’s part] are nevertheless vows to secrecy, which are unbiblical. To say that the proceedings of meetings must be kept private, but not secret is sophistry. And this does not answer the point about the incongruency between these vows and church discipline.

    3. I recognise the higher orders are not part of the GOLI, however, in the past the GOLI declared them illegal and refused to tolerate members who participated in them (largely for the reasons I submitted). Nowadays, GOLI has turned a blind eye to these.

  13. Covenanted Orangeman August 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    Points 2 and 3 should therefore be left out of any discussion on wheather or not an orangeman should be a covenanter, the order gives thanks to God for giving William the victory at the Boyne… you will also see on that web page the words “The answers here are relevant to the United States and do not represent other nations.” Also that page was not written by lecturers… which is a bit like asking an ordinary member of a church to explain systematic theology… they might be able to give a rough view but can by no means be give an authorised or complete understanding. As for the point on church discipline an atheist is not permitted membership of the order and if one was found to be an atheist they would be expelled leaving the door open to the church to exact discipline… privacy and secrecy are two different things and the privacy of the order is for good reason after all many orangemen have been murdered throughout the years

    None of this really explains why an orangeman should be excluded from church membership or why the orange institution should receive such unfounded criticism as is in the testimony

  14. Daniel Ritchie August 2, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    “We are a Protestant fraternity with members throughout the world. Autonomous Grand Lodges are found in Scotland, England, the United States of America, West Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

    Our name comes from William III, Prince of Orange, and is kept because his victory over despotic power laid the foundation for the evolution of Constitutional Democracy in the British Isles.”

    Which says pretty much the same thing as I quoted earlier.

    This comes from the GOLI website: http://www.grandorangelodge.co.uk/

    And according to this pamphlet the GOLI produced, it seems pretty clear that it sees itself as at least partly celebrating the Glorious Revolution:

    http://www.grandorangelodge.co.uk/education/Pocket%20Guide%20side%201.pdf

    “As for the point on church discipline an atheist is not permitted membership of the order and if one was found to be an atheist they would be expelled leaving the door open to the church to exact discipline… privacy and secrecy are two different things and the privacy of the order is for good reason after all many orangemen have been murdered throughout the years”

    Nobody is denying them a right to legitimate confidentiality, but the secrecy praticed is unbiblical – and it is secrecy. If you take a vow to keep the proceedings of meetings private among members of the Orange, then that is a vow to secrecy [whether or not you call it that is irrelevant]. The fact that Orangemen have been murdered has no bearing on whether or not it should have vows to secrecy. And as for Atheists being expelled, how do you explain the reality that most Orangemen are ungodly and yet they remain in the order with no censure ever passed against them. Besides, if someone confessed to being an Atheist at a lodge meeting, the vows prohibit you from taking this immediately to the Kirk Session.

  15. Covenanted Orangeman August 3, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    Our name comes from William III, Prince of Orange, and is kept because his victory over despotic power laid the foundation for the evolution of Constitutional Democracy in the British Isles.”

    I fail to see how this affects an Orangeman’s membership of the reformed Presbyterian church, the word orange is of course taken from the Dutch House of Orange which is turn took it from a small region in the south of France, the name may be in token of the esteem of William in the late 18th century but this in no way affects a man’s religious beliefs… for example I could think that Jenny Bristo makes wonderful apple pie but that doesn’t mean I will go to the same church as Jenny nor worship her as an idol nor for that matter will it affect my religious belief in any way.

    ”And according to this pamphlet the GOLI produced, it seems pretty clear that it sees itself as at least partly celebrating the Glorious Revolution:” According to the rules the 12th July is to give thanks to Almighty God for giving King William the victory and it these that Orangemen must abide by… not publicity statements on a website , plus that pamphlet is designed primarily for children and provides a highly simplified history and purpose of the orange institution… in much the same way as we can find childrens Bible’s giving a simplified and colourful view of Scripture but one would be silly to base an entire theological view upon a children’s Bible in much the same way as one would be silly to base a theological view upon a Children’s pamphlet.

    Nobody is denying them a right to legitimate confidentiality, but the secrecy praticed is unbiblical – and it is secrecy. If you take a vow to keep the proceedings of meetings private among members of the Orange, then that is a vow to secrecy [whether or not you call it that is irrelevant]. The fact that Orangemen have been murdered has no bearing on whether or not it should have vows to secrecy. And as for Atheists being expelled, how do you explain the reality that most Orangemen are ungodly and yet they remain in the order with no censure ever passed against them. Besides, if someone confessed to being an Atheist at a lodge meeting, the vows prohibit you from taking this immediately to the Kirk Session.

    But there is no vow of secrecy… nor an oath of secrecy… in fact there are no vows or oaths of any description within the orange order, and just because some crackpot says there is doesn’t actually mean there is. There is a difference between privacy and secrecy as you too well know and when the church is reduced to having to blur distinctions between words in order to ban something it is a pitiful sight. How do I explain that many ungodly men are within the order? Well there are many men within the church who are ungodly and what sort of person would I be if I have to resort to tarring and feathering large sections of people in order to denounce something… I know covenaters who drink alcohol but does that mean all covenanters drink it? I know of covenanters who smoke and even do drugs but does that mean that we are all smokers and druggies? What of those covenanters who go out and vote in elections do they represent us all and are we all to be tarred and feathered with the same brush? Of course NOT! But “ahhh” I hear you say “if they do those things then they aren’t true covenaters” and while this may be true it is no different from me saying “Orangemen who do such things are not true Orangemen”. Mr. Ritchie an orangeman’s first allegiance is to Christ Jesus and an Orangeman must act at all times in the interest of Christ… if that means a brother Orangeman has betrayed his Christian principle and must be disciplined before the Kirk then that is what must be done and no true Orangeman would have any qualm about telling all before a Kirk so that the Church can maintain discipline, if it can happen in the Presbyterian church and the church of Ireland then why do you not believe Orangemen would be just as prepared to hand their brother over to the reformed Presbyterian for discipline if that is where he attended?

    If I can support the covenants, If I can hold to the Westminster confession of faith and the larger and shorter catechism, if I can hold to the regulative principle of worship, if I can hold to exclusive psalmody in worship and if I can testify that the Lord Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour and that he has chosen me to be saved through no act of my own but by His free grace and I can testify that He is my God and my only Saviour, I can testify that He is the King of Kings and I can testify that my first loyalty is always to Him in all matters, if I can agree and support the doctrines of grace and can call myself Calvinist and I can worship God with a clear conscience and am prepared to take communion knowing that indeed I not drinking damnation unto myself then why does the church insist on telling me I can never be a Christian simply because I am an Orangeman… might I add the church finds extremely difficult to give reasons for this belief. According to the elder’s manual the church discussed the matter and found that a large proportion of congregations had no problem with the order and so as not to rock the boat on this potentially divisive issue some church leaders had to appeal to tradition saying that the church had been against the order for so long there was no point in changing the testimony now, personally I would like to see the church reform rather than have to appeal to tradition but I am sure that the persecution of Orangemen will continue within the ranks of our church as long as facts and reasoning are tossed out the window in favour of rumours and conspiracy theories. Let each man give an account of His own deeds and beliefs without having to defend those of others.

  16. James August 3, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    Daniel: thanks for your participation in this discussion. I appreciate being able to leave such arguments safely in your hands.

    However CO and Dan this conversation can’t go on forever and it is not really on topic. If you want to write another reply Daniel that’s grand but that will have to be the end of the debate.

    I agree with Daniel that “Covenanted Orangeman” is an oxymoron. I find the Orange Order abhorent and believe being part of that sectarian organisation is inconsistent not just for a Covenanter but for any Christian. The Order also has no right to assume the title of defender of the faith which belongs to the Church alone.

    Thanks for reading the blog.

  17. Daniel Ritchie August 4, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    James,

    Yes, I agree, and I apologise for taking this discussion off-topic and using some slightly inaccurate arguments (confusing vows and oaths) which did not strengthen the argument.

    For that reason, I will let CO have the last say.

    All the best.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s