Excluding Weaslers

The CCF (Christian Confession of Faith) states:

C. Scripture Alone

1. Only the Bible is to be received as authoritative, to the exclusion of all other writings, because it is the only inspired Word of God. In it God has given His church everything necessary for life and godliness. It is forbidden to add unto or take away anything from the Word of God; the doctrine within it is most perfect and complete in all respects. God has not given any new revelations to His people since the close of Scripture, and there is no unwritten tradition equal or superior in authority to the Scriptures. [Deu 4:2; 11:18-21; 12:32; Jos 1:8; Psa 19:7-11; Pro 30:5-6; Isa 40:6-8; Mat 15:5-9; Luk 16:31; Gal 1:10-17; 2Ti 3:15-17; 2Pe 1:3-4; Rev 22:18-19]

2. Let all men and all doctrines, including this Confession, be judged by this standard alone. Whatever is taught in any book or by any man that is contrary to the Bible is to be rejected. [Deu 13:1-4; Isa 8:20; Joh 7:24; Act 17:11; Gal 1:8-9; 1Jo 4:1]

Robert Shaw comments on the wicked Westminster Confession of Faith (though some of the WCF appears Biblical on the surface or “as far as it goes” — the WCF’s comments on Holy Scripture, for instance):

“If any man say that his only rule of faith is the Bible, every man who believes the Bible to be the Word of God will agree in this sentiment; but still the question returns, ‘What do you understand the Bible to teach.’ It would be no answer to this question, merely to repeat a series of texts; for this would give no information in what sense these texts were understood. This must be manifest to every one who reflects for a moment. All who even profess the Christian name, however discordant their opinions may be, at least assume to believe the Bible; but each jarring sectarian gives his own construction to the language of that sacred book; and it is only in consequence of the statement in his own words of what that construction is, that it can be known whether his sentiments accord with, or differ from, those of the majority of professing Christians. This, as before remarked, arises not out of the nature of the truth revealed, but out of the nature of the minds to whom that truth is presented. The question is not, therefore, one respecting God’s truth, but respecting man’s truth— not respecting the truth of the Bible, but respecting man’s apprehension of that truth” (Robert Shaw, An exposition of the of the Westminster Confession of Faith; underlining mine).

Heinrich Bullinger wrote concerning certain discordant weaslers in his Decades:

“The church of the Arians did not refuse the word of the Lord, but rather laboured both to beautify and defend their own blasphemous errors by the testimonies of holy scripture.”

Though Bullinger, Shaw, and the authors of The Westminster Confession were not true believers, they are nonetheless helpful in revealing the importance of carefully wording doctrinal confessions in order to exclude weaslers.

“At the outset, it was our mission to make a Confession with which every true Christian could agree in full, thus making it truly ecumenical in the good sense of the word. We have accomplished our mission. Whereas other Confessions include extraneous and unbiblical things as well as things over which true Christians can disagree (and, in the case of some Confessions, things with which true Christians must disagree), the CCF is a document that consists of biblical doctrine to which no true Christian will be opposed. It consists of doctrine that distinguishes the Christian Faith from all other religions, including false Christian religions. The other Confessions leave room for their adherents to speak peace to those who believe false gospels; this Confession does not. For the CCF, there is no such thing as a ‘partial subscriptionist.’ If, after reading this Confession, anyone opposes any of the doctrines put forth therein, that person can rightfully be judged to be not of the Christian Faith” (CCF Preface).

I agree in full with the Christian Confession of Faith (CCF). Some may object that basic issues of morality (e.g., marriage, divorce, and remarriage) are not “extraneous.” Fair enough. But, so far as I can recall off the top of my head, no confession except the WCF addresses the topic of marriage &c.  So although the doctrine of marriage is very important (as are other issues of basic morality), an attempt to compose a comprehensive confession without becoming too unwieldy, is not easy. I opine that it is difficult to strike a balance between the comprehensive and the compendious.

Furthermore, since essential gospel doctrines such as efficacious atonement and the deity of Jesus Christ are of PRIME importance, it would not matter if a person agreed with us on marriage, but then disagreed with us on who Jesus Christ is. In other words, the focus is essential gospel doctrine FIRST (CCF), and then after professed belief in the gospel has been established, we move on to whether or not there is an endorsement of immorality that belies that profession (see 1 John 2:4).

“Not that we rule over your faith, but we are fellow-workers of your joy. For by faith you stand” (2 Corinthians 1:24).

Of course, if you are an Arminian or an Arian — or believe that such obvious heretics are “muddled” or “inconsistent brethren” — then you might take issue with my quoting of 2 Corinthians 1:24.