Home > Worship > The Regulative Principle of the Church 15: Its Specific Application (Part 4)

The Regulative Principle of the Church 15: Its Specific Application (Part 4)

Not only does the regulative principle of the church apply to its government, tasks, and worship, it also applies to its doctrine. The church may neither add to nor subtract from the doctrines of the Bible. It must confess (in its identity as the pillar and support of the truth—1 Tim. 3:15) all that the Bible says and only what the Bible says. Surely the Westminster Confession is correct when it makes this point at chapter 20 and paragraph 2:

“God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to his Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship. So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.”

I regret to say that the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith changed this admirable, clear, and helpful statement to read as follows: “God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in anything contrary to his word, or not contained in it.” This revision obscures the crucial distinction implied in the Westminster between how God is the Lord of the conscience the rest of life (where the commands of legitimate human authorities have an important and necessary role to play) and matters of faith and worship where they do not.

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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