Catabaptism in the Presbyterian Church in America

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by the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.   And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily." Acts 16:4-5. The Majority Report brethren would no doubt agree with the above.   Yet they should also admit that they clearly failed to catabapticize the PCA at its 1987 General Assembly.

Hopefully, baptismal orthodoxy will ultimately yet prevail in that denomination — in spite of the unadopted yet received Majority Report wrongly alleging the invalidity of 'Romish baptism.'    For the correct but unadopted Minority Report was also received.  Indeed, both reports were then ordered transmitted to the Presbyteries and the Sessions, 'commending them to the attention of its churches and lower courts as information.'"

Lee's 21st December 1987 letter to the editor of Journey (Rev. Richard Knodel)

On reading Dr. Bogue's above Letter to the Editor in Journey Magazine, Dr. Lee from Australia immediately himself wrote a Letter to the Editor — on December 21st 1987.  In that letter, Lee indicated718 that Dr. Bogue "is well aware of Calvin's condemnation (in Institutes IV:15:16-19 cf. IV:2:11f) anent the 'absurdities' of the 'Catabaptists who deny that we are duly baptized, because we were baptized in the papacy by wicked men and idolaters.  Hence they furiously insist on Anabaptism' — alias the rebaptism of Ex-Romanist Protestants like Luther and Calvin….

"Catabaptists within the 'Presbyterian Church in America' have previously postulated that Calvin wrote his 1536f Institutes before the 1545f Romish Council of Trent — and that Calvin would not have maintained his anticatabaptism thereafter.   Significantly, however, his anticatabaptism is still found in his last and definitive edition of the Institutes (of 1559).

"Indeed, even in his 1547f 'post-Trent' treatises — such as his Antidote to the Seventh Session of the Council of Trent and his True Method of Giving Peace to Christendom and his Appendix to the True Method of Reforming the Church — Calvin stoutly maintains his attacks against the heterodox Catabaptists."

Dr. Lee then further quoted, to the same effect, from Calvin's statement to the unitarian heretic Socinus that "it matters not…whether he who performs the [triune] baptism is a diabolical man or even the devil."719    He quoted from Calvin's 6th September 1554 letter, to show that Calvin apparently preferred the administration of infant baptism even in the corrupt Romish Church — to its non-administration among the infants of Anabaptists.720    He also quoted721 from Calvin's 1559f French Confession that "some trace of the Church is left in the papacy…. The virtue and substance of baptism remain" there, so that "those baptized in it do not need a second baptism."

Dr. Lee further cited from Calvin's 1563 statement (on behalf of the Pastors and Professors of Geneva) to the National Synod of the French Reformed Church that

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"popish baptism is grounded upon the institution of Christ — because the priests, perverse as they are and utterly corrupt, are yet the ordinary Ministers of that Church in which they tyrannically demean themselves."722 He also cited from Calvin's last work, his 1564 Commentary on Ezekiel (16:20-21). There, the dying Ex-Romish Reformer claimed that "our baptism does not need renewal — because, although the devil has long reigned in the papacy, yet he could not altogether extinguish God's grace.    Nay, a Church is among them!"

Lee then further cited from the declarations about Romish priests made by the French Reformed Synod of 1581.   "Since authority to baptize belongs to them according to the order of the Romish Church, baptism administered by them is not to be repeated."  He also cited the 1618f  Synod of Dordt decision forbidding the baptizing of ExRomish Protestants formerly baptized in Romanism — where "the form and substance of the rite have been retained."723

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