Friday, November 30, 2012

Were the Reformers Heretics? part 9


The Wesley brothers and the Methodist denomination retained the Anglican belief in salvation through baptism, as taught in the 39 Articles, when they left the English state-church to start their own religion.  Commenting on John 3:5, Wesley affirmed, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit—Except he experience that great inward change by the Spirit, and be baptized (wherever baptism can be had) as the outward sign and means of it [he cannot enter into the kingdom of God].”  He states here that baptism is the means of the new birth.  He also declared, “It is certain our Church supposes that all who are baptized in their infancy are at the same time born again;  and it is allowed that the whole office for the baptism of infants proceeds upon this supposition.”[i]  In his Doctrinal Tracts (pg. 246, 251) he wrote, “What are the benefits . . . we receive by baptism, is the next point to be considered. And the first of these is the washing away of original sin, by the application of Christ’s death. . . . the merits of Christ’s life and death, are applied to us in baptism. . . . infants are . . . proper subjects of baptism, seeing, in the ordinary way, they cannot be saved unless [sin] be washed away in baptism. Infants need to be washed from original sin. Therefore they are proper subjects for baptism.” [ii] John’s brother, the Methodist hymn-writer Charles Wesley, wrote against the Baptists, “Partisans of a narrow sect/ Your cruelty confess/ Nor still inhumanly reject/ Whom Jesus would embrace./ Your little ones preclude them not/ From the baptismal flood brought/ But let them now to Christ be saved/ And join the Church of God.”[iii]  The Wesleys only called adults already baptized as infants to conversion because of their heretical Arminian theology.  Since they rejected the Biblical truth that once one is saved, he is always saved (Romans 8:28-39), they held that one who was regenerated in infant baptism could fall away and become a child of the devil again, at which time he would need a second new birth.

John Knox, the great enemy of Scottish Catholicism, and essentially the founder of Scottish Presbyterianism, also supported the Reformed connection between salvation and baptism.  He described baptism as “a holie syne and seale of God’s promises.”[iv]  Knox referred to being “received in baptism into [God’s] familie and congregation,” and spoke of baptism as “the syne of our entrance into the household of God our Father.”[v]  Knox declared, “That lyke as water outwardlye doth wash away filth, so by baptism we are cleansed in soul.”[vi]  The liturgy of Knox claimed that regeneration “stands chiefly in these two points, in mortification, that is to say, a resisting of the rebellious lustes of the fleshe, and in newness of life, whereby we continually stryve to walk in that pureness and perfection wherewith we are clad in baptisme.”[vii]  The Scotsman followed Calvin in affirming a necessity of precept for infant baptism, but not an absolute necessity:  “Without injurie infants cannot be debarred from the common syne of God’s children,” but “neither yet is this outwarde action of such necessitie, that the lacke thereof shuld be prejudiciall to their salvation, yf that prevented by death, thei may not be conveniently be presented to the church.”[viii]  Knox’s fierce opposition to Popery appeared in his contention that Papist baptism is not the “true baptisme whilke Cryst Jesus did institute.”[ix]  The problem with the Catholic sacrament was not its connection with the salvation of the infant receiving it, for Knox retained the salvific baptismal doctrine of Reformed theology;  the Catholics erred, rather, in the nature, end, and necessity of the grace communicated in infant baptism.

By happy contrast, the medieval English Bible translator Wycliff progressively rejected aspects of the Catholic doctrine of infant baptism.  Wycliff taught, “Bodily baptizing is a figure, how mennis soulis shuld be baptisid fro synne both originall and actual. . . . Baptisme is a tokene of waishing of the soule fro synne . . . bi virtu taken of Cristi’s deth.”[x]  He taught that the baptismal immersion (the mode practiced upon infants in English Catholicism and early English Protestantism) was a picture of Christ’s death and resurrection, and of the death to sin and resurrection to new life in the one baptized.  “And so this water that we ben putte inne is token of Cristis tribulacioun fro his bygynnyng to his deth . . . the baptizing of us in this water betokeneth biriynge of Crist. . . . Oure taking up of this water betokeneth the rysinge of Crist fro deth.[xi] . . .The baptizing of us in this water betokeneth . . . how we ben biried with him fro synne that rengneth in this world.  Our takynge up of this water betokeneth . . . how we shulden rise goostli in clennesse of newe life.”[xii]  “Wycliffe seems to have argued that the sacrament is not necessary to any who die in infancy, but his protest merely called down Episcopal and conciliar denunciations, and even at a later date ‘Wycliffe of damnable memory’ was still condemned for his conclusion ‘that it is presumptuous to say, that infants dying without baptism will not be saved.’[xiii] . . . In England there had been a long tradition of protest against the belief in an absolute necessity [of baptism for infant salvation], and Wycliffe had already made some pertinent criticisms of it.  Perhaps the main reason for his rejection was his refusal to believe that God cannot and will not ‘save an infant unless an old woman or someone perform this ceremony of baptism.’ But again, his doctrine of the twofold baptism made it impossible for him to accept the external rite as the test of the internal work, for after all, could not Christ ‘without any such washing, spiritually baptize, and by consequence save infants?’[xiv] . . . Even in the fourteenth century automatic theories [of baptismal efficacy] had been opposed by such thinkers as Wycliffe, who had separated between the external baptism of water and the inward purgation of the Holy Spirit, which ‘God Himself must do.’[xv][xvi]  Furthermore, “Wycliffe had had no place for the doctrine of ‘character’[xvii] [an indelible character being conveyed in baptism] and the later Reformers dismissed it as meaningless and artificial.  The English attitude was summed up by Tyndale, when he described ‘character’ as ‘one of those feigned words with which the Papists make merchandise.’[xviii][xix]  It is a matter of historical dispute if Wycliff ever adopted the Baptist baptismal position, but it appears certain that many of the Lollards did.  Thus, J. T. Christian, in his History of Baptists, (the chapter “The British Baptist Churches” is cited) wrote:

It is evident that Wyclif made great advances in reform over the Roman Catholic Church of his day. Year after year marked a further departure from Rome and her dogma. In nothing was this more manifest than in infant baptism. In the early years Wyclif firmly believed in the efficacy of infant baptism, but in later years he appears to have greatly modified his views. Thomas Walden gees so far as to call him “one of the seven heads that came out of the bottomless pit for denying infant baptism, that heresy of the Lollards, of whom he was so great a ringleader.” Walsingham says: “That damnable heretic, John Wyclif, reassumed the cursed opinions of Berangarius” (Walsingham, Ypod. Neust., 133), of which it is certain denying infant baptism was one. Collier expressly tells us “he denied the necessity” of infant baptism (Collier, An Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain, III. 185). The statement of Collier is unquestioned. Wyclif did not deny infant baptism itself, but the necessity of it. He did not believe that a child dying unbaptized would be lost (Wall, History of Infant Baptism, I. 436, 437). This was greatly in advance of the age and marked Wyclif at once a heretic and “an enemy of the Church.”
There is no effort in this place to assign Wyclif to a position among Baptist martyrs, but there is no doubt he held firmly to many Baptist positions. Crosby, on the other hand, declared he was a Baptist and argues the question at great length. “I am inclined to believe that Mr. Wyclif,” says he, “was a Baptist, because some men of great note and learning in the Church of Rome, have left it upon record, that he denied infant baptism.” Among other authorities he quotes Joseph Vicecomes (De Bit. Bapt., lib. ii. chap. i). “Besides,” continues Crosby, “they charged him with several of those which are called Anabaptistical errors; such as refusing to take an oath (art. 41. condemned by the Council of Constance), and also that opinion, that dominion is founded in grace (Fuller, Church History of Great Britain, 1.444, Art. 51). Upon these testimonies, some Protestant writers have affirmed that Wyclif was a Baptist, and have put him in the number of those who have borne witness against infant baptism. And had he been a man of scandalous character, that would have brought reproach upon those of that profession, a less proof would have been sufficient to have ranked him among that sect” (Crosby, The History of English Baptists, I. 8, 9).
No doubt the sentiments of Wyclif, on many points, were the same as those of the Baptists, but there is no document known to me that warrants the belief that he was a Baptist (Evans, The Early English Baptists, I. 13).
It is certain that the Lollards, who had preceded Wyclif and had widely diffused their opinions, repudiated infant baptism (Neal, History of the Puritans, II. 354). The testimony of Neal is interesting. He says:
That the denial of the right of infants to baptism was a principle generally maintained among Lollards, is abundantly confirmed by the historians of those times, (Neal, History of the Puritans, II. 354).
The followers of Wyclif and [the] Lollard[s] united and in a short time England was full of the “Bible Men.” “Tis, therefore, most reasonable to conclude,” says Crosby, “that those persons were Baptists, and on that account baptized those that came over to their sect, and professed the true faith, and desired to be baptized into it” (Crosby, I. 17).
The Lollards practiced believers’ baptism and denied infant baptism. Fox says one of the articles of faith among them was “that faith ought to precede baptism.” This at least was the contention of a large portion of those people.
The Lollard movement was later merged into the Anabaptist, and this was hastened by the fact that their political principles were identical (Hook, Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, VI. 123). The Lollards continued to the days of the Reformation. Mosheim says: “The Wyclifites, though obliged to keep concealed, had not been exterminated by one hundred and fifty years of persecution” (Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, III. 49).

-TDR




[i] Wesley, sermon, The New Birth.

[ii] Cited in chapter 9, The Evils of Infant Baptism, Robert Boyt C. Howell, accessed in the Fundamental Baptist CD-Rom Library, Oak Harbor, WA: Way of Life Literature, 2003.

[iii] Charles Wesley’s Journal, 18 October 1756, 2:128.

[iv] Pg. 11, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Knox, IV, pg. 172.

[v] Pg. 17, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Knox, IV, pg. 172 and Knox, IV, pg. 123, respectively.

[vi] Pg. 20, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Knox, IV, pg. 188.

[vii] Pg. 29, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Knox’s Liturgy: Baptism.

[viii] Pg. 54-55, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Knox, IV, pg. 186.

[ix] Pg. 9 Baptism, Bromiley, citing Knox, I, pg. 19.

[x] Pg. 19, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Arnold, II, pg. 328.

[xi] Pg. 22, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Arnold, II, pg. 258.

[xii] Pg. 24, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Arnold, II, pg. 258.

[xiii] Pg. 50, Baptism, Bromiley, citing H. Hart, Ecclesiastical Records, pgs. 365, 386.

[xiv] Pg. 55, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Trialogus, pg. 160.

[xv] Arnold, II, pg. 4.

[xvi] Pg. 186, Baptism, Bromiley.

[xvii] Wycliff, Trialogus, pg. 157-159.

[xviii] Tyndale, Parker Society Series, I, pg. 342.

[xix] Pg. 182, Baptism, Bromiley.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Preparing to Write on this Blog Post

I can't take the time to write today, my regular day.  I like writing and miss it when I don't.  It is an opportunity to get down what I think about something we should understand.  However, when I do write again, I will be writing about this by Rick Flanders, because it represents unbiblical ideas in a few different important ways.  People think this way and it is just wrong.  So stay tuned.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Worship and the Ark Narrative of 1 Chronicles, pt. 5

After release from captivity in Babylon, the Chronicles provided hope for the future, very much wrapped up in the Davidic covenant.  1 Chronicles starts with David, David, and more David.  And what set David apart from other kings, besides the covenant, was worship.  Worship sits at the apex of 1 Chronicles with the ark narrative in 1 Chronicles 13-16.  In chapter 15 (v. 2), David gets back on the right track by following Scripture in the worship of God.  He failed out of the box with innovation in transporting the ark.  The correction tells a tale.  Worship must be sanctified.

We know sanctified at least means according to God's Word.  Jesus said that we're sanctified by the Word of God.  That provides a barrier to separate an activity from the mundane.  David says that they should have sought out God first, and this is rule number one in worship.  What does God want?  In evangelicalism and fundamentalism, it starts, it seems, with creativity.  That might seem right, but creativity is subjective rather than imitative.  Worship should look to God, not to what sounds good to us.  God is the Creator and we should look to Him for what is beautiful, since He defines it.

Worship must have sanctified people operating in a sanctified manner.   It wasn't a matter of taste or opinion or feeling.  "[T]he priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel" (15:14).   Peculiar people sanctified themselves for a God ordained task.   What all did that entail?   They kept themselves from what was common and profane to be distinguished for unique use of God.   It was akin to pulling out the best silverware for a special occasion.  The regular, everyday stuff wasn't good enough.  Extra time was put into even physical purification and cleansing to make this as much about God and as little about us as possible.

The worship was sacred.  It was different.  It was special.  You didn't go about it in whatever way met your fancy.  It wasn't poll tested.  God must be revered with what is separate from what is ordinary.  When a culture stops having anything that can do this, it has stopped thinking about God.  When it doesn't matter, it is even worse.  It was at the least scriptural, but there was something to sanctification that met a test of excellence assumed to be understood by the Word of God.

I mentioned in the last edition of this series that the musicians were skillful.  A definition of art is "skill in doing anything as a result of knowledge and practice."  Verse 22 doesn't tell us what skillful is.  It says just that Chenaniah, chief of the Levites for song, instructed about the song because he was skillful.  It is assumed that we know what skillful is.  It is at least, but more than, hitting the right notes.  Harps were played to excel.  To excel, one must understand also what doesn't excel.  There is again an assumption that we can know, that standards of judgment exist in God's world.

Instrumentation was a given.  Musical instruments of various types were crafted and played.  Technology is acceptable to God as long as it is fashioned according to God's nature and will.  Some of them were even percussion, such as "cymbals of brass."  Instruments are first for worship and not for comfort against the harmful effects of the curse.

Certain dress was sanctified, extraordinary clothing for the occasion.  It is described as "fine linen."  As a participant, David wore something fitting of the occasion, and the passage makes purposeful note of that.  He considered less about personal comfort and more about what would please God.

(more to come)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Were the Reformers Heretics? part 8


The pioneers of the English Reformation were under a mix of Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, and Baptist influences that contributed to the various positions on baptismal salvation among them.  The traditional Catholic doctrine of baptismal regeneration was firmly entrenched in the English State Church at the time of the Reformation.  Henry VIII followed the baptismal views of the medieval Catholic theologians.  The “Schoolmen agreed that the sign and grace necessarily concur except where prevented by insincerity or unbelief[.] . . .  Certainly, a miraculous work is done when the external sign is administered.  By virtue of the divine institution and the passion of Christ the baptismal sign and the baptismal grace do almost automatically concur. . . . The majority of medieval scholars, and many of their sixteenth-century admirers and successors, inclined to the most obvious and simple view that God had given to the water itself a regenerative force:  the grace, or virtue, was in the water.  Thomas himself favored this view, for which he could cite Augustine and Bede as venerable guarantors.[i]  In the sixteenth century it found an exponent in Henry VIII. . . . As Henry VIII put it, quoting Hugo de Sancto Victore, ‘the sacrament of baptism cleanses internally.’[ii][iii]  This view continued among later “High Church” Anglicans like Stephen Gardiner, who “asserted bluntly that we are all justified ‘in the sacrament of baptisme before we could talk of the justification we strive for.’”[iv]  The opening prayer in the Anglican Baptismal Office included the words, “Who by the baptism of Thy well-beloved Son in the river Jordan didst sanctify water to the mystical washing away of sin.”[v]  However, Lutheran and Reformed influences made the situation in the English Protestant State-church more complex:

The position in England was complicated.  The earlier formularies used the language of medieval theology, and even the Prayer Book and Article might suggest a traditionalist understanding.  The Article, for example, described baptism as an instrument, and referred to forgiveness as one of its benefits. But there is evidence that from quite an early period the baptismal forgiveness was understood by the Reformers in a Lutheran or Reformed sense rather than the Scholastic.  The King’s Book is perhaps the one exception which confirms the general rule.  Even the formularies themselves make this plain.  The Ten Articles ascribe the forgiveness primarily to Christ Himself, and the Baptismal Office speaks of the benefits rather than the effects of the sacrament, and relates them in the first instance to the author of grace, and only secondarily to the means.  The Homilies have exactly the same emphasis, for although it is boldly stated that baptized infants are washed from their sins, the washing is by virtue of the sacrifice of Christ and not of the sacrament.  The Article certainly describes baptism as an efficacious sign, but it then shows clearly that its efficacy is not to cleanse from sin, but to sign and seal the divine promise of forgiveness. . . . The individual Anglicans were all anxious to maintain the traditional connection between baptism and forgiveness.”[vi]

While English Anglicanism never attained anything like theological uniformity in the Reformation era (or any subsequent period to the present day), Reformed views of baptismal salvation eventually became dominant:

It was the Reformed view which finally prevailed in England . . . Cranmer himself made it plain that in baptism infants do not believe either vicariously or actually, but sacramentally; i. e. they have the sign of faith.  Philpot, too, did not think that infants may make any profession of present faith.  The Elizabethans were if anything even more definite, for Whitaker disowned the Lutheran view in his controversy with Bellarmine, although he stressed the fact that his opponent was misrepresenting it.  Rogers flatly denounced it as an error. . . . The Puritans, of course, took up the Reformed view with vigour.”[vii]

The Reformed doctrine found advocates in Cranmer, Jewel, Whitgift, and others.  Bromiley explains their views well:

Whitgift believed that “Although the necessity of baptism is not so tied to the sacraments, that whosoever hath the external sign shall therefore be saved, yet it is so tied to them, that none can be saved that willingly and wittingly is void of them.”[viii] . . .
The statement of Jewel clearly reflects the language of the Prayer Book: “For this cause are infants baptized, because they are born in sin, and cannot become spiritual but by this new birth of water and of the Spirit.”[ix] . . . Jewel[x] . . . linked together the baptismal remission and the baptismal entry into newness of life in Christ and in the church of Christ.  The emphasis is important, because it marks a return in Anglican teaching to the . . . patristic doctrine, and a rejection of the quasi-material conception of cleansing.  Baptism was not merely an obliteration of past sin, but the giving of a new and divine life, an entry into the resurrection.  The baptismal forgiveness was not as it were a literal washing of the soul from sin and its endowment with new grace and virtue.  It was a forgiveness, and accompanying renewal, by identification in faith with the crucified and risen Redeemer.
The true grace of baptism was, in fact, the new creation of God in which by the divine promise and faith the old things are passed away and all things are become new.  It was a genuine and full regeneration, an incorporation into Christ with all the benefits which that implied and involved.  It was more than the formal uniting with Christ, or the change in external status, which might be presumed of all those who received the outward sign.  For although the Reformers distinguished between the first regeneration of faith and the process of moral renovation in which we become by sight that which we are already by faith, regeneration itself was a deep and inward operation of the Holy Spirit;  not a bare ontological change, but a renewal of the whole life by saving faith in Jesus Christ.[xi] . . .
Cranmer referred “to baptism as a receiving of the Holy Ghost and putting Christ upon us.”[xii]  According to Cranmer, no greater reverence ought to be paid to the bread and wine than to the water, for the presence and ‘shewing’ of Christ are the same in both sacraments.”[xiii] . . . [T]he Holy Ghost was not given in the water or the font, but in the ministration.[xiv]  The true baptismal transformation was not the transformation of the water, but “that wonderful change which God Almighty by his omnipotence worketh really in them that be baptized therewith.”[xv] . . . Cranmer . . . perceived that there is both an outward work of baptism and also an inward, but that the true baptism will include both:  “Through baptism, in this world, the body is washed, and the soul is washed:  the body outwardly, the soul inwardly:  the work is one.”[xvi] [xvii] . . . Cranmer’s Catechism . . . related baptism directly to the regenerating activity of the Holy Spirit: “the Spirit works in faith and baptisme to make us new men agayne.”[xviii]  In baptism the old life comes to an end with the identification of the believer with Christ’s death and the non-imputation of sin.  But in baptism, too, a new life begins with the identification of the believer with Christ’s resurrection and the imputation of the whole righteousness of Christ:  “baptism delivereth from death and the power of the devil, and gyveth salvation and everlastynge lyfe to all them that believe.”[xix] [xx] . . . Cranmer said that unbaptized infants of Christians could possibly be saved;  he rejected “as impious the unscrupulous superstition of those who so entirely confine the grace of God the Holy Spirit to the elements of the sacraments as to affirm that no infant of Christians will obtain eternal salvation, who shall have died before he could be brought to baptism, which we consider to be far otherwise.”[xxi]

The main Anglican Reformers affirmed baptismal salvation, as the continental Reformed denominations did.  They likewise joined with continental Reformed theology in rejecting the Catholic notion that all unbaptized infants of Christians were necessarily lost and in shifting the materialistic aspects of Catholic baptismal regeneration to an emphasis upon the imputation of the alien righteousness of Christ, in accordance with their Protestant understanding of justification.

Anglican documents of all sorts followed the position of the Anglican Reformers in affirming baptismal salvation.  The binding 39 Articles affirm that as “by an instrument, they that receive baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; [and] the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God, by the Holy Ghost are visibly signed and sealed.”[xxii]  The 1662 Book of Common Prayer, in “The Ministration of Publick Baptism of Infants, to be Used in the Church,” requires the priest to pray, “by the Baptism of thy well-beloved Son Jesus Christ, in the river Jordan, [Thou, God] didst sanctify Water to the mystical washing away of sin . . . We call upon thee for this Infant, that he, coming to thy holy Baptism, may receive remission of his sins by spiritual regeneration. Receive him, 0 Lord, as thou hast promised . . . that this Infant may enjoy the everlasting benediction of thy heavenly washing, and may come to the eternal kingdom which thou hast promised by Christ our Lord. Amen.”  The form for “The Ministration of Private Baptism of Children” requires the priest to “pour Water upon [the child], saying these words; ‘I baptize thee in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.’ Then, all kneeling down, the Minister shall give thanks unto God, and say, ‘We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this Infant with thy Holy Spirit, to receive him for thine own Child by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy Church. And we humbly beseech thee to grant, that as he is now made partaker of the death of thy Son, so he may be also of his resurrection; and that finally, with the residue of thy Saints, he may inherit thine everlasting kingdom; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’”  It further commends the “baptizing of [a] Child; who being born in original sin, and in the wrath of God, is now, by the laver of Regeneration in Baptism, received into the number of the children of God, and heirs of everlasting life.”  While a great variety of issues were debated within the Anglican communion, the communication of saving grace through baptism was a point of general agreement.

-TDR


[i] Pg. 185, Baptism, Bromiley, citing pgs. 344-346, La Théologie de Bellarmine, J. de la Serviere.

[ii] Pg. 172, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Assertio, pg. 100.

[iii] Pg. 172, 185, Baptism, Bromiley.

[iv] Pg. xiv, Baptism and the Anglican Reformers, Bromiley, pg. xiv; Gardiner cited from Letters (ed. Muller) pg. 407.

[v] Pg. 9, Baptism, Bromiley.

[vi] Pg. 174, Baptism, Bromiley.

[vii] Pg. 114-115, Baptism, Bromiley.

[viii] Pg. 61, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Whitgift, Parker Society, II, pg. 537.

[ix] Pg. 112, Baptism, Bromiley.

[x] Jewel, Parker Society Series, I, pg. 140-141.

[xi] Pg. 180-181, Baptism, Bromiley.

[xii] Pg. 11, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Cranmer, Parker Society Series, I, pg. 64.

[xiii] Pg. 13, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Cranmer, Works, ed. Jenkins, III, ppg. 10, 61f., 242.

[xiv] Cranmer, Parker Society Series, I, pg. 148.

[xv] Pg. 137, Cranmer, Parker Society Series II, pg. 180.

[xvi] Foxe, VI, pg. 457.

[xvii] Pg. 175, Baptism, Bromiley.

[xviii] Cranmer’s Catechism, pg. 122.

[xix] Cranmer’s Catechism, pg. 189.

[xx] Pg. 179, Baptism, Bromiley.

[xxi] Pg. 57, Baptism, Bromiley, citing Cranmer, Parker Society Series, II, pg. 60.

[xxii] Article XXVII.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Is Conscience the Guide for Goodness?

Paul said that even the Gentiles have the law written in their hearts (Rom 2:15a) and their conscience bears witness of this by accusing or excusing them.  The conscience itself is not the standard of behavior, but the law written in the heart.  Despite a depraved, sinful nature, every human starts out with a default law that informs his conscience.  The law is the standard and the conscience is the warning device.  Over a period of time, layers of new laws, standards, and requirements will be added to the default position.  God's law will be diminished and ignored.  With some the law of God will be strengthened by reading it, memorizing it, meditating upon it, and by hearing it preached.  God's law is objective goodness.

The conscience is an internal alarm system that goes off according to a soul's highest perceived standard.  The default standard is God's law written in the heart, but that will change, depending upon   the influences upon a person.  The alarm might sound for a Moslem when he misses one of his five required prayer sessions or for an Amish man when he shaves his beard, because those are their perceived standards.   The prayer and beard requirements are not scriptural, but they are people's highest perceived standards, so that's what also informs their consciences.

The nature of depravity sends someone away from the law of God to his own way.  Many times God's standards are lowered when someone is following his own path away from God's law.  Sure, some might add to God's law, but they also will take away from it as well.

Let's say that you have a young lady wearing a pair of shorts about mid thigh, and her conscience does not sound any kind of warning to her.  Why?  There could be a number of reasons, but one is that her standard has changed.  She is not being guided by her conscience, but by a perceived standard.  If the perceived standard is wrong, and her conscience says nothing, it doesn't mean that she is doing right.  Her conscience is misinformed.  That's how the conscience works.  It could be that it does violate her highest perceived standard, but she has already damaged her conscience.  Her conscience isn't working correctly, because she has damaged it in some way, which usually occurs by not paying attention to it when it is sounding its alarm.  The conscience can become almost useless to the one who has stopped listening to it.

In other words, the conscience is not our guide.  The law of God is the radar that tells the warning system that the airplane is flying into a mountain, and the audible warning siren is the conscience that tells the pilots to pull up.  The conscience is guided by its perceived standard.  The default standard is the law of God, but that gets effected by harmful godless and worldly influences.   The standard itself is the guide and the conscience reacts to the standard.  The conscience never operates on its own, but always in conjunction with the information it is being sent.

Someone recently wrote these following two statements.

First,

Can a Christian be good on someone else's nickel? Can he hitch his virtue to someone else's conscience? If Jesus wore a mustache, would an Amish man have accused him of pride?

Second,

Standards of modesty do change. How they change is worth some serious thought. And any external constraint on the life of faith, according to the Apostle Paul at least, involves a consideration of the individual conscience.

The guy who wrote this was arguing for an absence of dress standards, so that individual consciences would choose the path of goodness relating to modest dress.  You can see he doesn't understand the conscience.  A new Corinthian believer may have a conscience that warns him against eating meat offered unto idols, because he has a standard that tells him that's wrong.  Scripture wasn't informing him that it was wrong, but it was the perceived standard he possessed about idolatry.  Someone else may not have that standard, so his conscience remains silent.  However, if it was wrong to eat meat offered unto idols, and your conscience was silent when you ate, that doesn't mean you should follow your conscience in that instance.

Shorts might fit a girl's standard of modesty, so when she wears them, her conscience warns of nothing.  Does that mean she is right in wearing them?  Is the conscience a standard of virtue?  We judge, not based upon the conscience, but based upon whether it is good for the girl to wear shorts or not.  If we allow conscience to guide, we are depending on mere perception, that is, subjectivity, whatever the girl thinks or feels is right.  If the girl is disobeying God, if she is sinning, and her conscience doesn't warn her, are we harming her by giving her the scriptural standard?  Of course not. She is being helped, because she is being given the true standard of goodness.

So what about the guy whose conscience is offended by our eating meat offered to idols?  If his standard is wrong, shouldn't we tell him?  Sure.  We let him know.   Until he knows, we don't eat.  But that's because it's not wrong not to eat!  We're fine not eating.  And even once he knows, that doesn't mean we go ahead and eat, because it could still be a stumbling block to others.  Paul writes other principles as well to guide these types of situations and decision making.

When people's consciences are being given the wrong standard, we tell those people the right standard.  We inform them from scripture.   If someone wears a higher standard of clothing, that will not affect the conscience of the person wearing a lower standard.  Why?   His or her conscience will only sound if the highest perceived standard is violated.  The higher standard is not breaking her lower standard.  I think you understand this.

Biblical standards are good.  They give right information to a conscience.  The properly operating conscience can then warn if the standard is being violated, to save a person from a moral disaster, to help him to be good.

The idea that we have no rules of modesty because we'll keep someone from using his conscience is all wrong.  The guy I quoted above didn't and doesn't know what he's talking about, and he's leading people astray.  A conscience is not harmed and can only be helped by being given the correct and biblical standard.  Standards of modesty change in the world and in cultures.  They do.  They get worse.  They go overboard.  The Bible doesn't change though.  There is objective modesty, objective goodness, even as there is objective truth and beauty.  We can observe how Christians have interpreted and applied Biblical teaching of modesty through history.  That's what should inform our conscience.  It should be our virtue, our standard, by which our conscience will warn.  If someone is immodest, we criticize and challenge.  That helps someone, even if he won't believe it, and even if his conscience says otherwise.

An Addendum

Why would someone, like the man who wrote the quotes above, be upset about asking questions about standards of modesty?   Based on what he wrote, it seems that he doesn't like standards of goodness being imposed on others.  From other things I've read from him, sometime in his past, he was placed under standards on similar campuses as Maranatha.  Even though they were "strict" in their dress code at the time, they also had a low standard for beauty.   He reacts to the cultural deprivation with a scorched earth criticism of all fundamentalists.  He attacks all the standards.  We don't combat a low standard of beauty with a low standard of goodness. We should look for a biblical standard for both.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Peace of Mind

by David J. Warner (member of Bethel Baptist Church)

My peace of mind is buried deep
Inside the arms of Jesus' keep.
My blessed heart relaxes in
The vows God gives again, again.

My peace of mind is like a stream,
A quiet flow, not much extreme,
Because the Lord is sure enough
To bring me through the rough and tough.

My peace of mind will question not,
Nor want to feel a grave distraught,
Nor do what others will do with ease,
For what the Lord will do I please.

Yea, questions none, For God is good;
Enough for me is Jesus' blood.
One piece of grace is peace of mind,
Much more all earth can me assign.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Were the Reformers Heretics? part 7


The Westminster Confession, which was prepared by the Westminster Assembly in 1647, adopted by the Long Parliament, by the Kirk of Scotland, and the Presbyterian Churches of America, states that “baptism . . . is a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of [one’s] ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins . . . by the right use of this ordinance the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the Holy Ghost.”[i]  Contrary to Baptists, who would gladly admit that baptism is a sign or picture of grace, though not a means of conveying it, the Westminster divines affirmed that the Holy Spirit also seals and confers grace through baptism.  The Westminster Shorter Catechism likewise states that “outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption, are . . . sacraments[ii] . . . which are made effectual to the elect for salvation . . . sacraments become effectual means of salvation . . . a sacrament is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ, wherein, by sensible signs, Christ and the benefits of the new covenant are represented, sealed, and applied unto believers. . . . The sacraments of the New Testament are baptism and the Lord’s supper. . . . Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord's. . . . infants of such as are members of the visible Church are to be baptized.”[iii]  The Westminster Larger Catechism affirms that “the sacraments become effectual means of salvation. . . . A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ in his church, to signify, seal, and exhibit unto those that are within the covenant of grace, the benefits of his mediation. . . . Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein Christ hath ordained the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himself, of remission of sins by his blood, and regeneration by his Spirit; of adoption, and resurrection unto everlasting life; and whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted into the visible church, and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord's. . . . infants descending from parents, either both, or but one of them, professing faith in Christ, and obedience to him, are in that respect within the covenant, and to be baptized. . . . The needful but much neglected duty of improving our Baptism, is to be performed by us all our life long . . . by serious and thankful consideration of the nature of it, and of the ends for which Christ instituted it, the privileges and benefits conferred and sealed thereby, and our solemn vow made therein; by being humbled for our sinful defilement, our falling short of, and walking contrary to, the grace of baptism, and our engagements; by growing up to assurance of pardon of sin, and of all other blessings sealed to us in that sacrament; by drawing strength from the death and resurrection of Christ, into whom we are baptized, for the mortifying of sin, and quickening of grace . . . as those that have therein given up their names to Christ . . . as being baptized by the same Spirit into one body.”[iv]  The Westminster Directory for Public Worship[v] states:

Before baptism, the minister is to use some words of instruction, touching the institution, nature, use, and ends of this sacrament, shewing, “That it is instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ: That it is a seal of the covenant of grace, of our ingrafting into Christ, and of our union with him, of remission of sins, regeneration, adoption, and life eternal: . . . the promise is made to believers and their seed; and that the seed and posterity of the faithful, born within the church, have, by their birth, interest in the covenant, and right to the seal of it, and to the outward privileges of the church, under the gospel . . . children, by baptism, are solemnly received into the bosom of the visible church, distinguished from the world, and them that are without, and united with believers; and that all who are baptized in the name of Christ, do renounce, and by their baptism are bound to fight against the devil, the world, and the flesh: That they are Christians, and federally holy before baptism, and therefore are they baptized: That the inward grace and virtue of baptism is not tied to that very moment of time wherein it is administered; and that the fruit and power thereof reacheth to the whole course of our life; and that outward baptism is not so necessary, that, through the want thereof, the infant is in danger of damnation, or the parents guilty, if they do not contemn or neglect the ordinance of Christ, when and where it may be had.” . . . [The minister] is also to admonish all those that are present, “To look back to their baptism; to repent of their sins against their covenant with God; to stir up their faith; to improve and make right use of their baptism, and of the covenant sealed thereby betwixt God and their souls.” . . . This being done, prayer is also to be joined with the word of institution, for sanctifying the water to this spiritual use; and the minister is to pray to this or the like effect: “That the Lord, who hath not left us as strangers without the covenant of promise, but called us to the privileges of his ordinances, would graciously vouchsafe to sanctify and bless his own ordinance of baptism at this time: That he would join the inward baptism of his Spirit with the outward baptism of water; make this baptism to the infant a seal of adoption, remission of sin, regeneration, and eternal life, and all other promises of the covenant of grace: That the child may be planted into the likeness of the death and resurrection of Christ; and that, the body of sin being destroyed in him, he may serve God in newness of life all his days.”

Then the minister is to . . . baptize the child with water: which, for the manner of doing of it, is not only lawful but sufficient, and most expedient to be, by pouring or sprinkling of the water on the face of the child, without adding any other ceremony. This done, he is to give thanks and pray, to this or the like purpose: “Acknowledging with all thankfulness, that the Lord is true and faithful in keeping covenant and mercy: That he is good and gracious, not only in that he numbereth us among his saints, but is pleased also to bestow upon our children this singular token and badge of his love in Christ: That, in his truth and special providence, he daily bringeth some into the bosom of his church, to be partakers of his inestimable benefits, purchased by the blood of his dear Son, for the continuance and increase of his church.” And praying, “That the Lord would still continue, and daily confirm more and more this his unspeakable favour: That he would receive the infant now baptized, and solemnly entered into the household of faith, into his fatherly tuition and defence, and remember him with the favour that he sheweth to his people; that, if he shall be taken out of this life in his infancy, the Lord, who is rich in mercy, would be pleased to receive him up into glory; and if he live, and attain the years of discretion, that the Lord would so teach him by his word and Spirit, and make his baptism effectual to him, and so uphold him by his divine power and grace, that by faith he may prevail against the devil, the world, and the flesh, till in the end he obtain a full and final victory, and so be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Since the baby is said to be a Christian before his baptism, he never needs to come to a point where he sees himself as a lost, hell-bound sinner who must, for the first time, repent and believe the gospel;  as long as he continues to assent to Reformed doctrine as he grows older, and lives a moral life, he can have confidence he will go to heaven.  If he lives in this manner, then “his baptism [was] effectual to him” as a “seal of adoption, remission of sin, regeneration, and eternal life, and all other promises of the covenant of grace” and he was planted in infancy “into the likeness of the death and resurrection of Christ” and had “the body of sin being destroyed in him” and was brought “into the bosom of [Christ’s] church, to be partak[er] of his inestimable benefits” and had “inward grace and virtue” conveyed by the sacrament.  As a Reformed document, following John Calvin and opposed to the universal salvific benefit of infant baptism taught by Lutheranism, non-elect infants—those who, surviving infancy, fall away from Reformed doctrine and Christianity or live an immoral life—were not regenerated in infancy and did not have salvation sealed to them through the sacrament.

-TDR


[i] Article 28.

[ii] “The Word . . . and prayer” are also said to bring the elect to salvation.

[iii] Questions 88, 91-95

[iv] Questions 161, 162, 165, 166, 167.

[v] The section “Of the Administration of the Sacraments,” particularly “of baptism.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Coherent or Incoherent Imagination, Depending

First, a little office cleaning.  I'll be continuing my unpopular series on the ark narrative.  Doing doctrinal or exegetical pieces like that indicates that controversy does in fact sell.  Notice the feeding frenzy on the Petraeus story now that the affair is involved.  This is not say, however, that I write controversy for audience.    I don't, or else I'd never write things like the ark narrative.  I'm just stating the fact that I have less readership when I write those.  And then we will be getting up the audio of this year's Word of Truth Conference that finished on Sunday.  It was a good conference with good sessions.  We have some on video right now at youtube.

**************

There is one God and He is one.  The one God is true, good, and beautiful.  God is right in doctrine, practice, and aesthetics.  An imagination that reflects who God is, a theocentric one, will recognize and accede, therefore, to what is true and good and beautiful.

Since God is one, you cannot separate any one attribute or quality of God from another.  A particular imagination might be nourished or developed in the beauty of God, as testified by the aesthetics of that person.  He loves the beautiful---beautiful art, beautiful music, and beautiful literature.  That same person, however, does not manifest the same love for the true and the good.

Whatever God says is good is indeed good.  A dress standard taught by God in His Word is good.  If you reject modesty in dress, for instance, and yet profess to embrace beauty, you possess an incoherent imagination.  Your view of God's beauty could not be coming from a moral imagination when that view contradicts God's goodness.  A right view of God, a moral imagination, a Biblical worldview, a theocentric one, is coherent.  You cannot separate God's goodness from his beauty.

You can read men online who are critics of an evangelical and fundamentalist imagination of beauty.  They see an impoverished imagination almost indifferent to a theocentric aesthetic, as witnessed by deficient art, music, and literature.   There aren't many of these critics.   Most don't understand or care.  And yet of these critics, some of the most ornery don't do good.  They are hyper about beauty and dismissive about good.

Beauty is objective, that is, real beauty is found in the object, not just in the perception of it from the point of view of the subject.  It is beautiful in itself.  The same is found in goodness.

When someone forsakes goodness and truth, he forsakes beauty.  If someone abandons one, he does the others too.  God is one.  Since He is one, His truth, goodness, and beauty are coherent.  An imagination that deserts one for the others, in fact renounces them all.  His world view is incoherent.  It can't be coming from God.  In a sense, it only borrows from a theocentric imagination for one aspect of morality.

If you hear someone tout beauty and deny goodness, he can't be believed or trusted.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Separation Confusion in So-Called Classic , Historical, or Traditional Fundamentalism

I feel sorry for fundamentalists.  Let me explain.

The Bible teaches separation.  It is clear.  If you want to know what the Bible teaches on separation, read A Pure Church, a 300 plus page volume with a full scripture index, and excellent exegesis of the appropriate and pertinent passages.  The teaching in the book does not deny itself.  It is consistent.  And it is being practiced by churches right now.  What the Bible teaches is always consistent.  God is one God and He doesn't deny Himself.  His teaching in His Word could not deny itself, because He doesn't deny Himself.  He couldn't, because He is one God.

There is a big branch of fundamentalism that calls itself historic fundamentalism, the true fundamentalism, with the other stuff false, what these self-professing 'historic fundamentalists' would contend is 'not fundamentalism.'  However, what these self-professing historic fundamentalists say is separation has always contradicted itself and the Bible itself.  I give them some credit for saying that separation is a biblical teaching and defend them for that, but they do not get it right, and I'm going to highlight a few contemporary, recent examples to make this plain.

Some might say "leave well enough alone."  Why write about it?  I would like for fundamentalists to think about what they are doing and change, submit to the truth for the glory of God.  I'm hoping that giving these examples will help them.  There are some, most likely, that it won't help.  They are bound to be non-separatists and were never separatists by conviction in the first place.

Before I get into my examples, I'm not saying that I don't think that some of these men have done good things.  I like a lot about what they do.  That's not the point.  The point is:  are they practicing Biblical separation?  Are they consistent in their practice of separation?

Example One

Independent Baptists, those who call themselves separatists, separated from the Southern Baptist Convention.   They remained separate from Southern Baptists.  They taught to separate from Southern Baptists.  Recently, independent Baptists have begun to fellowship with Southern Baptists.  You saw this with Calvary Baptist Church of Lansdale and its seminary fellowship with Mark Dever, Southern Baptist leader, by having him speak at their conference.  Calvary in Lansdale is moving away from this separation position as seen by a lot of decisions it has made, but there are many to whom this action is no consequence, other fundamentalists.

Scott Aniol, the head of Religious Affections Ministries, a historic fundamentalist parachurch organization, is also a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He is fellowshiping with that Southern Baptist institution under the cooperative program of the Southern Baptist Convention.  He joins in the ranks of Billy Graham and Rick Warren, the many liberals still in the convention, and the high percentage of unconverted membership in its churches.  The Southern Baptist Aniol will join FBF and BJU board member Mike Harding for his Preserving the Truth Conference.


Example Two

Chuck Swindoll is neither a separatist or fundamentalist.  He wrote the sine qua non anti-fundamentalist book, The Grace Awakening, in which he said that we ought to think of God in sweats, cut-offs, or a swim suit (p. 53).   But he is big and he is famous and he is a kind of Christian celebrity.  Fundamentalist Chris Anderson brags about his fellowship with Swindoll in their collaboration with some of the music that he wrote, being sung at Swindoll's church, Stonebriar Community Church.

Example Three

A group of fundamentalists, independent Baptists in Minnesota announce their fellowship with Phil Johnson for a men's meeting.

Example Four

John Vaughn, the president of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship preached with Clarence Sexton and Jack Schaap at the Baptist Friends Conference.

Example Five

Matt Olson, president of the fundamentalist Northland International University, revels in his fellowship between him and a Sovereign Grace, continuationist church.

Alright, enough.  This is becoming typical of what is called historic fundamentalism.  It isn't consistent with fundamental Baptist separation of the past.  Their practice seems to be going by the wayside.  And it is no wonder with the confusing position that these self-proclaiming historic fundamentalists take.

If someone holds to false doctrine or disobeys God's Word and doesn't turn from that, do we separate?

Friday, November 09, 2012

Were the Reformers Heretics? part 6



Reformed confessional statements continued to link the sacrament of baptism and the forgiveness of sin in the manner of John Calvin. The Second Helvetic Confession, composed by Zwingli’s successor Bullinger in 1562, the most widely adopted and authoritative of continental Reformed symbols after the Heidelburg Catechism and the official creed of the Reformed communions in Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, and Bohemia, states that “to be baptized in the name of Christ is to be enrolled, entered, and received into the covenant and family, and so into the inheritance of the sons of God . . . to be cleansed also from the filthiness of sins . . . God . . . adopts us to be his sons, and by a holy covenant joins us to himself . . . all these things are assured by baptism. . . . We condemn the Anabaptists, who deny that newborn infants of the faithful are to be baptized” (Article 20).  The extremely influential Heidelburg Catechism of 1563, drafted by Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus, and the chief symbol of German and Dutch Reformed churches, affirms that “Christ appointed this external washing with water . . . [of] holy baptism . . . adding thereunto this promise, that I am as certainly washed by his blood and Spirit from all the pollution of my soul, that is, from all my sins, as I am washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is commonly washed away. . . . Christ promised us that he will as certainly wash us by his blood and Spirit, as we are washed with the water of baptism . . . In the institution of baptism, which is thus expressed . . . ‘he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.’ This promise is also repeated, where the scripture calls baptism ‘the washing of regeneration, and the washing away of sins.’[i] . . . [T]he external baptism with water [is not] the washing away of sin itself . . . for the blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Ghost, cleanse us from all sin. . . . [but] the Holy Ghost [doth] call baptism ‘the washing of regeneration,’ and ‘the washing away of sins’ . . . [with] great cause, to wit, not only thereby to teach us, that, as the filth of the body is purged away by water, so our sins are removed by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ; but especially that, by this divine pledge and sign, he may assure us that we are spiritually cleansed from our sins as really as we are externally washed with water.”[ii] The Belgic Confession of 1561, prepared by Guido de Brès, and revised by Francis Junius, a student of Calvin, became the recognized symbol of the Reformed Churches of Holland and Belgium.  It stated:

The sacraments . . . seal unto us [God’s] promises . . . thereby assuring and confirming in us the salvation which he imparts to us. For they are visible signs and seals of an inward and invisible thing, by means whereof God works in us by the power of the Holy Ghost. . . . [T]he number of sacraments . . . are two only, namely, the sacrament of baptism, and the holy supper of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . Jesus Christ . . . having abolished circumcision . . . has instituted the sacrament of baptism instead thereof; by which we are received into the Church of God, and separated from all other people and strange religions, that we may wholly belong to him, whose ensign and banner we bear: and which serves as a testimony to us, that he will forever be our gracious God and Father. Therefore . . . as water washes away the filth of the body, when poured upon it, and is seen on the body of the baptized, when sprinkled upon him; so does the blood of Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost, internally sprinkle the soul, cleanse it from its sins, and regenerate us from children of wrath, unto children of God. . . . Therefore the ministers, on their part, administer the sacrament, and that which is visible, but our Lord gives that which is signified by the sacrament, namely, the gifts and invisible grace; washing, cleansing and purging our souls of all filth and unrighteousness; renewing our hearts, and filling them with all comfort; giving unto us a true assurance of his fatherly goodness; putting on us the new man, and putting off the old man with all his deeds. Therefore we believe, that every man, who is earnestly studious of obtaining life eternal, ought to be but once baptized with this only baptism, without ever repeating the same: since we cannot be born twice. Neither does this baptism only avail us, at the time when the water is poured upon us, and received by us but also through the whole course of our life; therefore we detest the error of the Anabaptists, who are not content with the one only baptism they have once received, and moreover condemn the baptism of the infants of believers, whom we believe ought to be baptized and sealed with the sign of the covenant, as the children in Israel formerly were circumcised, upon the same promises which are made unto our children.[iii]

If baptism is a testimony to infants that God “will forever be [their] gracious God and Father,” and God conveys and seals through it the invisible grace of “washing, cleansing and purging our souls of all filth and unrighteousness,” and the sacrament continues to be means of saving grace “through the whole course of our life,” and we ought not to be baptized twice because “we cannot be born twice,” it is clearly a channel of conveying salvation.  This explains why the Belgic Confession affirms, as did Calvin, that “there is no salvation outside of . . . [the] congregation” (Article 28), the location where the sacraments are administered (Article 29);  those outside of the church, the baptized community, are lost.  Those who grow up in Reformed families, on the other hand, can properly believe that God is already their own Father because they have been baptized, and consequently they are under no necessity to, as lost sinners, personally and consciously repent and believe in Christ;  God already performed the work of regeneration on them in their infancy, and this salvation was sealed to them in baptism.

--TDR


[i] The catechism is misinterpreting Mark 16:16; Titus 3:5; and Acts 22:16.

[ii] Question 69, 71-73.

[iii] Article 33, 34