Reformation document is damaging the church
A document drawn up by the Westminster Parliament in the 17th century has profoundly influenced the Reformed churches since that date; biblical in part only, it is severly damaging the church today.
Preface: This is a lead-in to the second article in a series with the overall title 'Drilling Down on Christian Issues'. The Westminster Confession: a critique is very much a summary of the background and content of the Westminster Confession of Faith.
The series should ideally be read in the following order:
Health Warning: Much of the 'reaction' on controversial issues is caused by believers having their sense of identity locked into one system/denomination or another (cf. Judges 6:29-30). The article 'Who I am in Christ' is an attempt at countering that problem. (See footnote to that article.)
ONE hundred years after the Scottish Reformation and following the (unofficial) union of the crowns in 1603, Scottish churchmen sought to unify the church(es) in Scotland and England under a common presbyterian church polity.
The attempt was short-lived but the document which was drawn up on instruction from the Westminster Parliament at that time became the 'subordinate standard' of the Church of Scotland, and – in one form or another – for presbyterian churches around the world.
The Westminster Confession of Faith is part-Biblical; part un-biblical and part extra-biblical. It is also deficient in terms of major areas of theology and doctrine.
It is an admixture of good and bad and has a major deleterious effect in terms of how the church as an institution is structured and run.
Yet it has assumed and continues to enjoy a de-facto parity with the Word of God.
It has caused and continues to cause splits and divisions right down to the present day which are manifest in the multiplicity of presbyterian denominations in Scotland in the 21st century.
Footnote/Reminder: As per the preface, the text above is a lead-in to the article: 'The Westminster Confession; a critique'. The latter is the second in a series entitled 'Drilling Down on Christian issues': the first in the series is 'A Covenant-keeping God.'