01 December, 2014


My aunt brought my attention to this last year & I liked it so much I broke it up & scheduled it ahead of time. Finally coming to it at the end of the year & re-reading it, it still pokes; so I've decided to put it out there. This is a month long blog post & will be on Mon., Wed. & Fri. but I'm going about it backwards & putting the references out first.
1 Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), chap. I, sec. 6.

2 An instance of historical example is Lord's day public worship. There 
is no explicit command or divine imperative changing public worship 
from the seventh day (Saturday) to the first day (Sunday) of the week, 
recorded in Scripture. Yet in the New Testament, the change from the 
seventh day to the first day is recorded as an accomplished fact 
(Acts 20:7, 1 Cor. 16:2, Rev. 1:10). Not every divine command or 
prophetic word has been inscripturated (i.e., included in the Bible). 
The universal practice of the apostolic church, such as Lord's day 
public worship, is binding because of the unique authority given to 
the apostles (by direct revelation). When the apostles died, direct 
revelation ceased and the canon was closed, and now our doctrine, 
worship, and all historical examples are limited to the Bible, the 
Word of God. Those who appeal to church traditions, invented 
after the closing of the canon, for authority in establishing worship 
ordinances are, in principle, no better than Jeroboam the son of 
Nebat (1 Ki. 12: 26-33).

3 James H. Thornwell, Collected Writings (Richmond: Presbyterian 
Committee of Publication, 1872), 2:l63.

4 Chap. XXI, sec. 1. 

5 Thomas E. Peck, Miscellanies (Richmond: Presbyterian Committee 
of Publication, 1895), 1:82.

 6 "The first idea contained in them, is that they are religious duties, 
prescribed by God, as an instituted method in which he will be 
worshipped by his creatures. . . . Now, the ordinances, 
as thus described, must be engaged in according to a divine appointment. 
No creature has a warrant to enjoin any modes of worship, pretending 
that these will be acceptable or well-pleasing to God; since God alone, 
who is the object of worship, has a right to prescribe the way in 
which he will be worshipped. For a creature to institute modes of 
worship would be an instance of profaneness and bold presumption; 
and the worship performed would be 'in vain'; as our Saviour says 
concerning that which has no higher sanction than 'the commandments 
of men' " (Thomas Ridgely, A Body of Divinity [New York: 1855], 2:433.)

7 Jeremiah Burroughs, Gospel-Worship (London: Peter Cole, 1650), pp. 2-3.

8 Ibid., pp. 9-10. 

9 William G. Blaikie, Commentary on Second Samuel (New York: A.C. 
Armstrong and Son, 1893), p. 88.

10 Samuel H. Kellogg, The Book of Leviticus (New York: Hodder and 
Stoughton, n.d.), p. 240.


11 Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 
[1692]1881), p. 267.

12 Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), chap. XXI, sec. 1.


13 Calvin's Commentary, on Jer. 9:21-24 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 
1989), 9:398.

14 The phrase "inspiration of the Holy Spirit" does not mean that 
the early Presbyterians believed that their prayers were "God Breathed" 
and inerrant like the Scriptures. It simply means "with the help or 
aid of the Holy Spirit".

15 J. King Hewison, The Covenanters (Glasgow: 1908), 1:41-44.

16 Encyclopedia Britannica (1961 ed.), 5:643.

17 "Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era 
itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time 
of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen 
of heaven; and it may be fairly presumed that, in order to conciliate 
the heathen, and to swell the numbers of the nominal adherents of 
Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, 
giving it only the name of Christ" (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons 
[Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, (1916)1943], p. 93).

18 Encyclopedia Britannica (1961 ed.), 6:623.

19 Ibid., 5:642. 

20 Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, (quoted in 
Encyclopedia Britannica, (1961 ed.), 5:643).

21 "The Saturnalia, like Christmas was a time for giving presents. Small 
dolls were a popular gift-though for an unpleasant reason. They 
commemorated a myth that Saturn ate all his male children at birth, 
to fulfill a pledge that he would die without heirs" (The United 
Church Observer, Santa's Family Tree, Dec. 1976, p. 14).

22 World Book Encyclopedia, (1955 ed.), 3:1425.

23 Encyclopedia Britannica, 5:643. 

24 G. Lambert, Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, 
(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975, 1976) 1:805.

25 George Gillespie, English Popish Ceremonies, (n.p., 1637), 
Part III, p.19.

26 Ibid., Part III, p. 35. 

27 Martin Bucer quoted in William Ames, A Fresh Suit Against 
Human Ceremonies in God's Worship, (n.p., 1633), p. 360.

28 Gillespie, p. 146. 

29 G. I. Williamson, On the Observance of Sacred Days, (Havertown: 
New Covenant Publication Society, n.d.), pp. 9-10.

30 "There is no day commanded in the scripture to be kept holy 
under the gospel but the Lord's day, which is the Christian Sabbath. 
Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the 
Word of God, are not to be continued." (The Westminster Assembly, 
The Directory For the Publick Worship of God, 1645).

31 Ralph Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion, (Riverside: Ralph Woodrow 
Evangelistic Association, 1961), pp. 160-1.

32 Of course, the world loves puppy dogs, apple pie and baseball 
as well, but these hold no religious significance. They are not associated 
with Christ and are not religious ordinances.

33 John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 
1965,68), pp. 177-8.

34 Ibid., p. 257. 

35 Out of 24 commentaries consulted, only one entertained the possibility 
that these days were non-Judaical.

36 Murray, p. 178. 

37 In Gal. 4:10-11 and Col. 2:16-17, the observance of days is condemned 
by Paul because in these instances the celebration of days was connected 
with heresy. The situation at Rome was different. The days were kept 
because of a genuine misunderstanding. Heresy and ideas of 
works-righteousness were not involved.

38 Westminster Confession of Faith, (1647), chap. XXI, sec. 5, proof- text (a).

39 God's people are the church whether they meet in a church building, 
barn, park or house. When Christians gather together to hear the Word 
and worship God, it is the church meeting. It is public worship whether 
they meet at 7:00 a.m. or 11:00 p.m. Public worship must occur on the 
Lord's day, but that does not mean that public worship is limited to that 
day alone. The idea that teaching and worship at 10:00 a.m. is not public, 
but at 11:00 a.m. it is public is totally irrational and arbitrary. It is based 
on human tradition. If this imaginary line really existed between 10:59 a.m. 
and 11:00 a.m., then could not Reformed churches have two worship and 
teaching services each Lord's day? One could be run by women. The women 
could teach and lead. They could sing uninspired hymns and charismatic 
camp fire songs. They could burn incense and wear popish dress. They 
could have intricate popish liturgies, candles, bells, dance and so on. 
Then at 11:00 a.m. they could have "public worship" in which they 
have Psalm singing, preaching by men, etc. Those who arbitrarily set 
up a sphere of private worship in which human innovations are 
permitted have no recourse, on their own presuppositions, in which 
to avoid such bizarre dualities.

40 As noted earlier, Christmas is a monument to past and present idolatry; 
therefore, even apart from the regulative principle it is still wrong to 
celebrate it in the home, office, church, country club, and so on.

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