Signs of Spiritual Abuse in the Institutionalized Church




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Notice this webpage has several underlying themes, The Absolute Sovereignty of God and The Total Depravity of Mankind. The latter is the hardest for the finite mind to accept.

In the final analysis, all modern ills, spiritual and temporal, are traceable to our continuing departure from the principles of the Second Reformation. . . . In particular, I am convinced that the Lord will not bless a church at peace with his enemies. Our departure from truth has led to our undernourished condition as a church; truth, as Thornwell argued, is the only food that the soul can digest.
It does no good to blame society or the church for our deficiencies before the Lord because Christ holds men, not churches and states, accountable. In the words of Hugh Miller, "Churches, however false and detestable, are never to be summoned to the bar of judgment. . . . To Christ, as his head and king, must every man render an account."
The great heresy of our times is that all men are children of God. Those within the church have lost their identity as a people of God, united in spirit and purpose. We have adopted the half-truths of our fathers for which Judah faced punishment: Because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after which their fathers have walked. (Amos 2:4b). Nevertheless, Christ loves his church, and he will see to it that his bride is prepared (Ephesians 5:27), for the great banquet. Base on the history of God's people, the needed corrections will result from either prayer or persecution, leading the people to renew their covenant promises. Let us pray that God's kingdom come, and let us covenant to fulfill our obligations to be his people. When persecution comes, let us pray that we would stand as firm as did the Scottish Covenanters. When covenanting comes, let us praise the Lord, for only in him will we stand firm. Let us ever strive to make it possible for our children to utter one of James Nisbet's praises, "O my soul! Bless and praise the Lord that I was born in a land where the glad tidings of the everlasting gospel are published and pressed with so much purity and plainness." This should be our prayer, Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved." (Psalm 80:3) -- Edwin Nisbet Moore from the conclusion to Our Covenant Heritage: The Covenanters' Struggle for Unity in Truth

The things which make us spiritual are Bible study, fellowship, and prayer.

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
-- The Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:19, 20)

It was John Calvin's case for church attendance, found in Institutes of the Christian Religion, (Battle's translation), Book IV, Chapter 1, 1-19 (and context), that finally helped the compiler over the hurdle of erroneously forsaking the assembly of ourselves together ostensibly because of hypocracy, faults, impurities, and minor scandals within the church.
Book Four. The External Means or Aids by Which God Invites us Into the Society of Christ and Holds us Therein Chapter I. The True Church With Which as Mother of all the Godly we Must Keep Unity
(The Holy Catholic Church, our mother, 1-4)
1. The necessity of the church
We need outward helps to beget and increase faith within us, and advance it to its goal.
2. What is the relationship of church and creed?
But because a small and contemptible number are hidden in a huge multitude and a few grains of wheat are covered by a pile of chaff, we must leave to God alone the knowledge of his church, whose foundation is his secret election.
3. The communion of saints
Finally, we feel that these promises apply to us: There will be salvation in Zion [Joel 2:32; Obadiah 17, cf. Vg.]; God will abide in the midst of Jerusalem forever, that it may never be moved. [Psalm 46:5]. So powerful is participation in the church that it keeps us in the society of God. In the very word "communion" there is a wealth of comfort because, while it is determined that whatever the Lord bestows upon his members and ours belongs to us, our hope is strengthened by all the benefits they receive.
4. The visible church as mother of believers
On the other hand, those who turn to the cultivation of true godliness are said to inscribe their names among the citizens of Jerusalem [cf. Isaiah 56:5; Psalm 87:6]. For this reason, it is said in another psalm: Remember me, O Jehovah, with favor toward thy people; visit me with salvation: that I may see the well-doing of thy chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the joy of thy nation, that I may be glad with thine inheritance. [Psalm 106:4-5; cf. Psalm 105:4, Vg., etc.]. By these words God's fatherly favor and the especial witness of spiritual life are limited to his flock, so that it is always disastrous to leave the church.
(Her ministers, speaking for God, not to be despised, 5-6)
5. Education through the church, its value and its obligation
We must observe that God always revealed himself thus to the holy patriarchs in the mirror of his teaching in order to be known spiritually. Accordingly, the Temple is called not only the face of God [cf. Psalm 42:2] but (to remove all cause for superstition) his footstool. [Psalm 132:7; Psalm 99:5; 1 Chronicles 28:2]. Happy indeed is that attainment of unity of faith [cf. Ephesians 4:13] when all -- from the highest to the lowest -- aspire toward the Head!
6. Meaning and limits of the ministry
Moreover, it is clear from other passages how he leaves nothing to ministers by themselves. Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but it is God alone who gives the growth. [1 Corinthians 3:7]. Likewise: I worked more than all; not I, but the grace of God which was with me. [1 Corinthians 15:10]. Surely we ought to remember those statements in which God, ascribing to himself illumination of mind and renewal of heart, warns that it is sacrilege for man to claim any part of either for himself.
(The visible church: its membership and the marks by which it is recognized, 7-9)
7. Invisible and visible church
In this church are mingled many hypocrites who have nothing of Christ but the name and outward appearance. There are very many ambitious, greedy, envious persons, evil speakers, and some of quite unclean life. Such are tolerated for a time either because they cannot be convicted by a competent tribunal or because a vigorous discipline does not always nourish as it ought.
Just as we must believe, therefore, that the former church, invisible to us, is visible to the eyes of God alone, so we are commanded to revere and keep communion with the latter, which is called "church" in respect to men.
8. The limitation of our judgment
Therefore, according to God's secret predestination (as Augustine says), "many sheep are without, and many wolves are within." For he knows and has marked those who know neither him nor themselves. Of those who openly wear his badge, his eyes alone see the ones who are unfeignedly holy and will persevere to the very end [Matthew 24:13] -- the ultimate point of salvation.
9. The marks of the church and our application of them to judgment
Wherever we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to Christ's institution, there, it is not to be doubted, a church of God exists [cf. Ephesians 2:20]. For his promise cannot fail: Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them. [Matthew 18:20].
(A church with these marks, however defective, is not to be forsaken: the sin of schism, 10-16)
10. Marks and authority of the church
For the Lord esteems the communion of his church so highly that he counts as a traitor and apostate from Christianity anyone who arrogantly leaves any Christian society, provided it cherishes the true ministry of Word and sacraments. He so esteems the authority of the church that when it is violated he believes his own diminished.
11. The inviolable validity of the marks
If in Word and sacraments it has the order approved by the Lord, it will not deceive; let us, then, confidently pay to it the honor due to churches. But again, if, devoid of Word and sacraments, it advertises the name of church, we must just as scrupulously beware such deceits, as we must avoid rashness and pride on the other side.
12. Heeding the marks guards against capricious separation
The pure ministry of the Word and pure mode of celebrating the sacraments are, as we say, sufficient pledge and guarantee that we may safely embrace as church any society in which both these marks exist. The principle extends to the point that we must not reject it so long as it retains them, even if it otherwise swarms with many faults.
13. Scandal in the church no occasion for leaving it
In bearing with imperfections of life we ought to be far more considerate. . . . For there have always been those who, imbued with a false conviction of their own perfect sanctity, as if they had already become a sort of airy spirits, spurned association with all men in whom they discern any remnant of human nature. . . .
There are others who sin more out of ill-advised zeal for righteousness than out of that insane pride. When they do not see a quality of life corresponding to the doctrine of the gospel among those to whom it is announced, they immediately judge that no church exists in that place. . . . But on their part those of whom we have spoken sin in that they do not know how to restrain their disfavor. For where the Lord requires kindness, they neglect it and give themselves over completely to immoderate severity. Indeed, because they think no church exists where there are not perfect purity and integrity of life, they depart out of hatred of wickedness from the lawful church, while they fancy themselves turning aside from the faction of the wicked.
14. Paul and the needs of his congregations
Yet the church abides among them [the Corinthians and Galatians] because the ministry of Word and sacraments remains unrepudiated there.
15. Fellowship with wicked persons
Indeed, I do not deny that it is the godly man's duty to abstain from all familiarity with the wicked, and not to enmesh himself with them in any voluntary relationship. But it is one thing to flee the boon companionship of the wicked; another, in hating them, to renounce the communion of the church.
For when Paul urges us to a holy and pure partaking of it [Communion], he does not require that one examine another, or every one the whole church, but that each individual prove himself [1 Corinthians 11:28]. If it were unlawful to partake of communion with an unworthy person, surely Paul would bid us investigate whether there is anyone in the multitude whose uncleanliness pollutes us.
16. The false claim of perfection comes from distorted opinion
Puffed up with pride, mad with obstinacy, deceitful in their slanders, troublesome in their seditions, these evil persons feign a rigid severity so they cannot be shown to lack the light of truth. Holy Scripture bids us correct our brothers' vices with more moderate care, while preserving sincerity of love and unity of peace.
Finally, let them realize that, in estimating the true church, divine judgment is of more weight than human.
(The imperfect holiness of the church does not justify schism, but affords occasion for the exercise within it of the forgiveness of sins, 17-22)
17. The holiness of the church
And although there are oftentimes few evidences of this sort of sanctification among men, still we must hold that from the creation of the world there was no time when the Lord did not have his church; and even until the consummation of the age, there will be no time when he will not have it. For even though the whole human race has from the very beginning been corrupted and vitiated by Adam's sin, from this polluted mass, as it were, He ever sanctifies certain vessels unto honor [cf. Romans 9:23 ff.] that there may be no age that does not experience his mercy.
18. The example of the prophets
But if the holy prophets had scruples against separating themselves from the church because of many great misdeeds, not of one man or another but of almost all the people, we claim too much for ourselves if we dare withdraw at once from the communion of the church just because the morals of all do not meet our standard or even square with the profession of Christian faith.
19. The example of Christ and of the apostles
Let the following two points, then, stand firm. First, he who voluntarily deserts the outward communion of the church (where the Word of God is preached and the sacraments are administered) is without excuse. Secondly, neither the vices of the few nor the vices of the many in any way prevent us from duly professing our faith there in ceremonies ordained by God. For a godly conscience is not wounded by the unworthiness of another, whether pastor or layman; nor are the sacraments less pure and salutary for a holy and upright man because they are handled by unclean persons.

He [David] mentions also as another qualification, that he shunned the wicked in such a manner as not on that account to forsake the congregation of God, or withdraw himself from the company of those with whom he was commanded by divine appointment to associate. Many err in this way grievously; imagining when they see the evil mingled with the good, that they will be infected with pollution, unless they immediately withdraw themselves from the whole congregation. . . . David, therefore, prudently moderates his zeal, and while separating himself from the ungodly, ceases not to frequent the temple, as the divine commandment and the order prescribed in the law required. When he denominates them the assembly of the ungodly, we may unquestionably conclude, that their number was not few; nay, it is probable that they flaunted about at that time, as if they alone were exalted above the people of God, and were lords over them: yet this did not prevent David from coming as usual to the sacrifices. Public care, indeed, is to be used that the Church be not defiled by such wickedness, and every man ought privately to endeavor, in his own place, that his remissness and forbearance do not cherish the disorders which these vices occasion. Although, however, this strictness should not be exercised with that care which is necessary, there is nothing in this to hinder any of the faithful from piously and holily remaining in the fellowship of the Church. It is to be observed, in the meantime, that what retained David, was his communion with God and with sacred things. -- John Calvin commenting on Psalm 26:5

I believe that there is on earth, through the whole wide world, no more than one holy, common, Christian church, which is nothing else than the congregation, or the assembly of the saints, i.e., the pious, believing men on earth, which is gathered, preserved, and ruled by the Holy Ghost, and daily increased by means of the sacraments and the Word of God. -- Martin Luther (1483-1546)

On the other side, the Kingdom of Christ, is the kingdom of equity, light, grace, remission of sins, peace, consolation, saving health, and everlasting life, into the which we are translated by our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory, world without end. Amen. -- Martin Luther from Luther's Commentary on Galatians, That He might deliver us from the present evil world. (Galatians 1:4 excerpt), English translation by Erasmus Middleton, B.D., edited by John Prince Fallowes, M.A., Pembroke College, Cambridge

We shall all do well to remember the charge Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is. (Hebrews 10:25). Never to be absent from God's house on Sundays, without good reason, never to miss the Lord's Supper when administered in our own congregation, never to let our place be empty when means of grace are going on, this is one way to be a growing and prosperous Christian. The very sermon that we needlessly miss, may contain a precious word in season for our souls. The very assembly for prayer and praise from which we stay away, may be the very gathering that would have cheered and stablished, and quickened our hearts. We little know how dependent our spiritual health is on little, regular, habitual helps, and how much we suffer if we miss our medicine. -- J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

The Church has never been perfect. Far from it. But the total record should be examined. In doing so, the good far, far outweighs the bad. Besides, Christian belief is in Christ, not in Christians. . . .
Genuine Christianity must be distinguished from nominal Christianity. Some people have called themselves "Christians" who have lived in total opposition to the principles and teachings of the Master from Nazareth. But when we distinguish between name and reality, we see that genuine Christianity has been an unmixed blessing on the world. . . .
Christianity is comprised of those who have repented of their sins and truly believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and their Lord. In times past Christendom was comprised of those people living in "Christian" territories. Today, Christendom is comprised of true Christians and those professing Christians who have never experienced the saving grace of Christ. Many members of Christendom have lived lives that were totally unworthy of the name Christian.
When people are unregenerate -- that is, if their hearts are not changed by Christ -- they are prone to do all sorts of ungodly and inhuman things. It doesn't matter whether they're atheistic Communists or clerics in the Church. And in the case of unregenerate Church Leaders, their evil actions have brought the blame of history upon Christianity.
There is a Church visible (Christendom) and there is a Church invisible (true Christianity). . . . The Bible points out that the visible Church is not the real Church of Christ. The real Church of Christ is invisible, and it consists of all who truly belong to God as His elect -- all those who will ever be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Judas Iscariot was a member of the visible Church of Christ, but not the invisible. . . .
The devil has been able to infiltrate the Church. [Matthew 13:24-30, 37-39]. Thus, as Jesus forewarned, the Church contains believers and nonbelievers alike. . . .
While Jesus told us to love our neighbor and even our enemies, He did predict that Christianity would prove divisive per se. [Luke 12:51-53]. . . .
Now, the Scripture teaches we are to be at peace will all, inasmuch as it is up to us (Romans 12:18). But we are to put Christ first in our lives . . . True faith can elicit a hostile reaction, even when practiced with a gentle and humble spirit. The division that Christ talked about here is the natural outworking of unbelief reacting against godliness, or belief reacting against ungodliness. . . . -- D. James Kennedy (1930-2007) and Jerry Newcombe, What if Jesus had Never Been Born, pp. 205,206,209,210

A Christian acting out his Christianity, could reasonably expect to be otherwise, to be better treated than his Lord, only on one or other of the two following suppositions, neither of which can be admitted for a moment. If you could avoid, more than he did, unnecessary collision with the world -- if you could be more harmless and blameless than he was -- or if you were wiser than he was, and could find out a better way of reconciling faithfulness to God with living on good terms with the world -- then might you, doing your duty as a Christian, expect to escape the hatred and persecution which was his portion. Professing Christians take but too frequently another way of it. They endeavour to purchase peace with the world at the expense of concealing truth and neglecting duty. In that way the servant may not share in his Lord's fortunes, but it is by becoming an unfaithful servant. But a consistent Christian counts it as a most reasonable thing that he should be as his Master in the estimation of the world; and doing his duty, his expectation is not likely to fail of being realized." -- John Brown (of Edinburgh, 1784-1858), Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, III:375

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

A religious doctrine involves practical consequences so important, and its effects upon individual and social life are so infallible and so profound, that it can never be contemplated with indifference by the mass of society, and much less by their rulers. We pray you to observe, amongst other things, that the stronger the feeling of dependence to which religion reduces the individual, the more she invests him, on the other hand, with a lofty independence. All religion is freedom. By introducing us into the service of one master, she emancipates us from the dominion of all others. If she does not altogether do away with dependencies of another order, she transforms them from absolute into relative ones. We still belong to society, we are perhaps linked to it by closer ties than before; but it is in a mediate manner, for man cannot serve two masters. It is this independence which exasperates the rulers of this world, and indeed, for the most part, all those who do not share in it. It is this sacred retreat of liberty which they would invade -- this freedom, of which they would deprive us; as if the numerous sacrifices which from time to time liberty has made for the common weal were insufficient, as if it were not enough, or rather as if it were nothing, for us to have devoted all our bodily powers and all our worldly goods to the service of society, so long as this offering is not completed by the sacrifice of the soul. It is spiritual domination, dominion over the soul, of which despotism, whether of princes or of the people, is especially desirous. Thus, when a tyrant has bereft a nation of all its liberties, until throughout the realm his will has become law, his ambition having nothing else wherewith to satiate its appetite, directs itself against religion. Thenceforward, having subjugated the bodies of men, he directs his attacks against their souls. It is because he cannot but be sensible that dominion over souls -- what do you say? -- over one single soul, is as much superior to that over bodies, as the soul itself is superior to its envelope of clay. He cannot endure the humiliation of knowing that there is a sphere in which the most obscure man, by the force of sympathy alone, wields a greater power than his own. A deep-rooted and bitter feeling of envy takes possession of him; he can enjoy no more repose, until moral force shall have yielded to the pressure of physical force -- until the second Mordecai shall have bowed down to this second Haman -- until the soul, by dethroning itself, shall have delivered him from this odious rivalry. And should he encounter in this enterprise an unlooked-for resistance, his impatience becomes fury, and he destroys those whom he cannot subdue. This has been the origin of many religious persecutions, and it discloses the secret motives of those atrocities by which some have been distinguished.
It does not follow, however, that all the evils with which the world has been inundated in the name of religion, are to be referred to this cause alone. They have originated in that preeminently just idea, that religion gives the true signification of every man, and of the whole of society; that there is nothing more deeply seated in us, nothing which more decisively determines what we are; and that to declare what we believe, is at the same time, and as a matter of necessity, to declare what we wish to be. The influence of a lordly spirit apart, it is not astonishing that the social power has everywhere, more or less, attempted to regulate the faith of the citizens and the instructions of the priesthood. Nor is it surprising that the priesthood, in aid of the state, have themselves attempted to dictate in a matter of this importance. For the suppression of this evil, the assistance of ages has been necessary, and this has not proved sufficient; the veto of public opinion has been also needed. Perhaps in certain countries something further has been required -- the progress of religious indifference. But nowhere is the fire extinguished, because nowhere is man changed; he will never witness unmoved, the energetic manifestation of religious principle; he may be indulgent to philosophical religions, or to religious philosophy, which penetrates not to the very sources of will and of action; but he will be, with his own full knowledge and consent, severe upon genuine faith. And why? because man possessing genuine faith, rises to his highest elevation; an elevation to which it is necessary that others should rise also, not indeed to rule over him (for this is impossible), but to treat with him, and to be at peace together. This is the true position and individuality of each renewed man, and everything is put in requisition to annul, subdue, and modify it.
We dwell no longer upon these different attempts, but return to the principle. We find that in the judgment of the community, the religious conviction of a man moulds his character, estimates his worth, and foretells his life. It is the invisible source of many efforts, and often of much violence. Well, then, we infer [sic] unhesitatingly, that the faith of a member of society cannot remain either a mystery or a matter of doubt to those who surround him. If, as we have sought to establish a former part of this work, the spiritual unity of society, its reality in the elevated sense of that word, depends on the mutual interchange of sentiments; and if that individual only can be said to belong to the community, with whose character she is acquainted, it must be especially in the sphere of religious convictions that this truth is apparent; we may even go further, and say, that although we might keep our sentiments on other subjects to ourselves, those that we entertain respecting religion could not be concealed. For our religious convictions imbue us so thoroughly and practically, that society knows not what she possesses in us, except as she knows what we are with respect to God.
This fact is more conspicuous, we admit, with reference to the Christian religion than to any other. In comparison with it, all other systems of faith are superficial; and we may remark in passing, that this is the reason why Christianity has drawn upon itself, and even excited among its followers, more intolerance than any other religion. The experimental character of its doctrines, coming in contact with the diverse passions of the human heart, has enkindled in the midst of society an active and devouring flame; and its profession has occasioned a host of outrages and calamities. Christianity is radical in the highest degree; radical in morals. It uproots one life, it implants another. Of all religions, it alone is in direct hostility with human nature in its fallen condition, as it is also the only religion which coincides with that same nature in all that sin has not polluted; at once the most human, and the least human of all systems; appearing to grant us everything, and to refuse us everything, but, in reality, granting everything to humanity, and refusing everything to sin. No religion consequently so effectually reforms the moral being; in such a manner, that the complexion of our life and conduct depends on whether we are or are not Christians, and upon what sort of Christians we are.
We should find it impracticable to attempt to distinguish between the doctrines of Christianity and its morals; between what is called its natural and universal morality, and its peculiar and arbitrary doctrines. Christian doctrine is morality -- Christian morality; to wish to distinguish between the two is to desire to divide a stream from its source. Christian doctrine is no sooner received than it regulates the conduct; the character of God becomes a model for man; what God is, man ought to be; and inasmuch as God in the Scriptures is invested with attributes which belong not to human nature, so also man, by means of the Gospel, is invested with a character which nature had not impressed upon him; it makes him a new man in every sense of the term: a man peculiar and extraordinary in the eyes of nature, but in every case a man, who, by the judgment of that very nature, is approved and esteemed. To declare our opinion upon Christian doctrine avails much; it is in fact to profess certain principle of conduct, and to attach ourselves to one or another system of morality; it is to reveal our inward man, to publish the operations of conscience; it is to give the standard of our judgments, and the rule of our actions.
We do well to avow it: whenever we revert to the considerations which most forcibly recommend a duty, we revert to the greatest difficulties in the way of its accomplishment; indeed, in most cases, to point out the motive, is to recognize the difficulty. In the present case, for example, nothing can render candour more difficult than that which enforces its obligation. It is just because such a religious doctrine, of necessity involves such a principle of morality, and such a rule of conduct; it is precisely because it is a disclosure of inward man, that so many persons are averse to declare to what doctrine they adhere. And it is sometimes because their opinion condemns them, sometimes because it elevates them, not so much in itself as in the characteristics and practical consequences with which public opinion has invested it. It is painful to excite repugnance or aversion, and it is sometimes still more painful to excite expectations which we feel but too conscious we cannot fulfill. If it were not so, why should we make a secret of our religious opinions, when we are at no pains to conceal any other? Why, when we are open and unreserved upon all the rest, should we not allow free expression to our thoughts upon this, the noblest of subjects? Why should communications of this nature be so generally regarded as the acme of candour and the pledge of intimacy? Why is there no real union, no true communion of soul, until both parties have expressed what they think, and above all, what they feel upon invisible and infinite subjects? Why do beings long united by the closest ties of affection, as soon as spiritual communion is formed between them, discover with surprise, that up to that period they had really never known, understood, or loved each other? -- that, as Montaigne expresses it, there was wanting to their friendship 'a certain inexplicable, yet essential power, the mediatrix of that union;' or that (as is really the fact), 'God is the true medium of true friendship?' All such instance go to confirm the truth of what we have said. A great effect supposes a powerful force -- a powerful force is employed only against a formidable resistance, and a formidable resistance has no place but in opposition to an urgent necessity. Here the necessity is a moral one -- it is a duty; an evident, and urgent, but a painful duty; for the consequences, even limiting them to their narrowest range, and considering none but those which are developed in the bosom of private relations, these consequences are, it must be confessed, of a startling character.
Nevertheless, if regarded only in the light of morality and natural reason, this candour, which appears so difficult and dangerous, would be found to possess real advantages, whilst reserve would have none but what are false and deceptive. Candour would break the ice which dissimulation thickens and consolidates from day to day; it would procure a more lasting peace; it would put the seal to confidence and friendship. You dread a storm: any storm would be preferable to the dead calm in which you live, -- a calm without peace and without security; for since no one can suppose that you are altogether destitute of religious prepossessions, that you have not some inward conviction to disclose, it will become a matter either of dread or of desire that you should disclose it. This very feeling of anxiety will be an evil in your social relations; if your connexions are desirous of it, when you are averse to making it, their importunity will disturb your peace; on the contrary, if they are averse to its manifestation, when you yourself desire it, they will avoid your company; there will of necessity be in your social relations something painful, constrained, and, in the end, insupportable. If they neither desire nor fear it, it must be because they are not acquainted with your character, and have no desire to become so, because they are not solicitous about your most important interests -- in other words, because they do not love you. And as between a mind occupied with spiritual things and one that is not, there is a wide gulf fixed, as true intimacy between two persons so different is altogether impossible, it is the duty of the more serious of the two, to sound the mind of his friend by disclosing his own, to provide a declaration by declaring himself. Every connexion founded upon a voluntary and designedly prolonged misunderstanding, every factitious union between minds pursuing directly opposite courses, is contrary to human dignity. . . . -- Alexander Vinet (1797-1847), and Charles Theodore Jones (translator), An Essay on the Profession of Personal Religious Conviction, pp. 73-81, and Vinet on Freedom

Again, it is certain that man never achieves a clear knowledge of himself unless he has first looked upon God's face, and then descends from contemplating him to scrutinize himself. For we always seem to ourselves righteous and upright and wise and holy -- this pride is innate in all of us -- unless by clear proofs we stand convinced of our own unrighteousness, foulness, folly, and impurity. Moreover, we are not thus convinced if we look merely to ourselves and not also to the Lord, who is the sole standard by which this judgment must be measured. For, because all of us are inclined by nature to hypocrisy, a kind of empty image of righteousness in place of righteousness itself abundantly satisfies us. And because nothing appears within or around us that has not been contaminated by great immorality, what is a little less vile pleases us as a thing most pure -- so long as we confine our minds within the limits of human corruption. Just so, an eye to which nothing is shown but black objects judges something dirty white or even rather darkly mottled to be whiteness itself. Indeed, we can discern still more clearly from the bodily senses how much we are deluded in estimating the powers of the soul. For if in broad daylight we either look down upon the ground or survey whatever meets our view round about, we seem to ourselves endowed with the strongest and keenest sight; yet when we look up to the sun and gaze straight at it, that power of sight which was particularly strong on earth is at once blunted and confused by a great brilliance, and thus we are compelled to admit that our keenness in looking upon things earthly is sheer dullness when it comes to the sun. So it happens in estimating our spiritual goods. As long as we do not look beyond the earth, being quite content with our own righteousness, wisdom, and virtue, we flatter ourselves most sweetly, and fancy ourselves all but demigods. Suppose we but once begin to raise our thoughts to God, and to ponder his nature, and how completely perfect are his righteousness, wisdom, and power -- the straightedge to which we must be shaped. Then, what masquerading earlier as righteousness was pleasing in us will soon grow filthy in its consummate wickedness. What wonderfully impressed us under the name of wisdom will stink in its very foolishness. What wore the face of power will prove itself the most miserable weakness. That is, what in us seems perfection itself corresponds ill to the purity of God.-- John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Battles translation), 1.1.2 (and context), "Without Knowledge of God There is no Knowledge of Self"

The Christ is the only One truly called. . . . The flesh has always struggled against Him, as we see when we survey the history of God's people. The struggle was especially acute at Golgotha. -- S.G. De Graaf in Promise and Deliverance

It is an evil which prevails everywhere among mankind, that every one sets himself above others, and especially that those who seem in anything to excel cannot well endure their inferiors to be on an equality with themselves. And then there is so much morosity almost in all, that individuals would gladly make churches for themselves if they could; for they find it so difficult to accommodate themselves to the ways and habits of others. The rich envy one another; and hardly one in a hundred can be found among the rich, who allows to the poor the name and rank of brethren. Unless similarity of habits or some allurements or advantages draw us together, it is very difficult even to maintain a continual concord among ourselves. Extremely needed, therefore, by us all is the admonition to be stimulated to love and not to envy, and not to separate from those whom God has joined to us, but to embrace with brotherly kindness all those who are united to us in faith. And surely it behoves us the more earnestly to cultivate unity, as the more eagerly watchful Satan is, either to tear us by any means from the Church, or stealthily to seduce us from it. And such would be the happy effect, were no one to please himself too much, and were all of us to preserve this one object, mutually to provoke one another to love, and to allow no emulation among ourselves, but that of doing "good works." For doubtless the contempt of the brethren, moroseness, envy, immoderate estimate of ourselves, and other sinful impulses, clearly show that our love is either very cold, or does not at all exist.
Having said, Not forsaking the assembling together, he adds, But exhorting one another; by which he intimates that all the godly ought by all means possible to exert themselves in the work of gathering together the Church on every side; for we are called by the Lord on this condition, that every one should afterwards strive to lead others to the truth, to restore the wandering to the right way, to extend a helping hand to the fallen, to win over those who are without. But if we ought to bestow so much labor on those who are yet aliens to the flock of Christ, how much more diligence is required in exhorting the brethren whom God has already joined to us?
As the manner of some is, etc. It hence appears that the origin of all schisms was, that proud men, despising others, pleased themselves too much. But when we hear that there were faithless men even in the age of the Apostles, who departed from the Church, we ought to be less shocked and disturbed by similar instances of defection which we may see in the present day. It is indeed no light offense when men who had given some evidence of piety and professed the same faith with us, fall away from the living God; but as it is no new thing, we ought, as I have already said, to be less disturbed by such an event. But the Apostle introduced this clause to show that he did not speak without a cause, but in order to apply a remedy to a disease that was making progress. -- John Calvin commenting on Hebrews 10:25

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame. (Zephaniah 3:5)

For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us. (Isaiah 33:22).

Pride setteth up the wisdom of a foolish man against the infinite wisdom of God; it makes men presume to judge their Judge, and judge his laws, before they understand them; and to quarrel with all that they find unsuitable to their own conceits; and say, How improbable is this or that! and how can these things be? . . . Proud men think they could mend God's word, and they could better have ordered matters in the world, and for the church, and for themselves, and for their friends, than the providence of God hath done. -- Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

Take heed of pride, which will make you dote upon your own conceits, and cause you to slight the weightiest reasons that are brought by others, for your conviction. And if once you have espoused an error, it will engage all your wit, and zeal, and diligence to maintain it; it will make you uncharitable and furious against all that cross you in your way; and so make you either persecutors (if you stand on the higher ground), or sect leaders, or church dividers, and turbulent and censorious, if you are on the lower ground. There is very great reason in Paul's advice for the choice of a bishop, 1 Tim. iii. 6 [1 Timothy 3:6], "Not a novice; lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. . . . -- Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

But the urge to dominion does not disappear simply because the church does not speak of it. Instead, it reappears as an ugly and sinful struggle for power in the church; rightful dominion being neglected or denied, sinful dominion begins then to emerge. The life of the church becomes then an ugly struggle over meaningless trifles in which the sole purpose is sinful power and dominion. All too often this sinful urge to dominion is masked with hypocritical meekness.
It is very necessary therefore to recognize that the urge to dominion is God-given and is basic to the nature of man. -- R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 450

To be singular is no proof of being right. He is a fool who is proud of singularity for its own sake. The man who, from mere humour or some worse principle, will not accord with his fellowmen, but must have a way of his own, if he suffer for his pertinacity, may well be ashamed. But if a minority is treated with contumely or cruelty by a majority, because the minority maintain truth and do justice, while the majority support error and act iniquitously, were does the disgrace light? The dissimilarity, the opposition, of the opinions and conduct of Christians to those of the world, is not the result of caprice or a fondness for singularity. If they are not of the world, it is even as their Master was not of the world. The singularity of their character and manners is of the same general description as his. He was in the world, not following its course, but doing the will of his Father in heaven. They are in the world, not following its course, but doing the will of their Master in heaven. The world being what it is, is naturally dissatisfied with them, and manifests its dissatisfaction according to its nature. It cannot love the, it must hate them. -- John Brown (of Edinburgh, 1784-1858), Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, III:390

Selfishness and pride will blind even the gifted and learned to the truth. Lust for power and the will to play God will blind us to the truth. Intense nationalistic pride, political bent, alienation during secular schooling, or personal ambitions blind us to the "evident connection between Absolute Truth, sovereign authority, holiness, life, loving obedience, moral behavior, sanctification, justice, freedom (political, economic, and individual), social stability, and real progress. . . ." -- Preface, The Web Edition of Biblical Counsel: Resources for Renewal.

A long-forgotten political thinker, Etienne de la Boétie, wondered why people would ever tolerate an oppressive regime. After all, the people who are governed vastly outnumber the small minority doing the governing. So the people governed could put a stop to it all if only they had the will to do so. And yet they rarely do.
De la Boétie concluded that the only way any regime could survive was if the public consented to it. That consent could range all the way from enthusiastic support to stoic resignation. But if that consent were ever to vanish, a regime's days would be numbered.
And that's why education -- real education -- is such a threat to any regime. If the state loses its grip over your mind, it loses the key to its very survival. -- Lew Rockwell

Thus, the hierarchy of privilege descends from the large gainers from despotism, to the middling and small gainers, and finally down to the mass of the people who falsely think they gain from the receipt of petty favors. In this way the subjects are divided, and a great portion of them induced to cleave to the ruler, "just as, in order to split wood, one has to use a wedge of the wood itself." Of course, the train of the tyrant's retinue and soldiers suffer at their leader's hands, but they "can be led to endure evil if permitted to commit it, not against him who exploits them, but against those who like themselves submit, but are helpless." In short, in return for its own subjection, this order of subordinates is permitted to oppress the rest of the public.[47] -- La Boétie, The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, pp. 79-80

For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. (Romans 2:24. See: Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:21-23)

The criticism and rejection of the work of others by Christian leaders seems to often have its root cause in one's desire for pre-eminence. Pride and lust for power would tempt one to heretical departures from sound doctrine. Witness John Wesley's split with George Whitefield as presented by Arnold Dallimore in GEORGE WHITEFIELD.

G.K. Chesterton summed up well this sorry state of affairs by declaring, "The modern world is full of old Christian virtues gone mad." This statement reveals how man, duped by this enemy, misapplies and misappropriates the virtues of God and Christianity to mask his evil. The bottom line, according to Proverbs 12:10b, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. -- Rusty Lee Thomas

The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality, but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact. -- Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990)

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
(Romans 3:10-13)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

The lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David, to name a few, were far from ideal. But God is in absolute control, and uses everything, even the actions of the faithless, the sinful, and the weak to accomplish his purposes.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn stated, "More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people [a peasant he heard as a boy -- compiler] offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened. . . . But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened. . . . And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God. -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), from Men Have Forgotten God, his speech upon receiving the Templeton Award, May 10, 1983

True, the state as the policeman can be corrupt; in fact, if the society as a whole is corrupt, the state will also be corrupt. In a healthy and godly society, the state will function successfully to restrain the minority of evil-doers. The key to the situation is not the state but the religious health of the society. -- R.J. Rushdoony, in Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 470

Greater Ministries International Church (GMI)
Greater Ministries International was an Evangelical Christian ministry that ran a Ponzi scheme taking nearly 500 million dollars from 18,000 people. Headed by Gerald Payne in Tampa, Florida, the ministry bribed church leaders around the United States. Payne and other church elders promised the church members double their money back, citing Biblical scripture. However, nearly all the money was lost and hidden away. Church leaders received prison sentences ranging from 12 and a half years to 27 years.
"This is the Pozi scheme that defrauded many seminaries and ministries of their endowment funds, including Westminster Theological Seminary, if I am not mistaken."
Founded 1993, the program spread nationwide during the 1990s. It collapsed in 1998 when a Colorado bank failed with as much as $20 million of the church's [Greater Ministries International Church] cash.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Ministries_International
https://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20020714/victims-of-church-scam-unlikely-to-recover-losses

Religious Affiliation Scams, Affinity Fraud Investment Scams
Religious affinity fraud also continues to be a widespread problem. And swindlers who prey upon people of their own religion come in all denominations. . . .
"I've known him all my life. . . . I trusted her as if she were a member of my family. . . . He was such a nice young man. . . . We had the same values and beliefs. . . ."
The Internet missionary church Greater Ministries International Church GMI took in over $550 million dollars from over 27,000 believers and although it promised great returns from heaven over one half of the money has not been accounted for.
They were told their money would double in installment payments made over 17 months or less. . . .
Prime bank schemes will often attach a charitable aspect to them so as to offset any guilt resulting from suppressed greed. . . .
You should ignore claims that religiously-based investments are unregulated because virtually all investment opportunities, including church bonds, come under the scope of federal and state securities or commodities laws.
Scams using religion as a lure to get people to invest money have taken in about $1.8 billion over the last three years, according to the Washington-based North American Securities Administrators Association.
https://www.crimes-of-persuasion.com/Crimes/InPerson/MajorPerson/affinity.htm

As nothing is more common in the world than falsely to assume the name of God, or to pretend to be his people, and as a great part of men allow themselves to do this without any apprehension of the danger it involves, David, without stopping to speak to men, addresses himself to God, which he considers the better course; and he intimates, that if men assume the title of the people of God, without being so in deed and in truth, they gain nothing by their self-delusion, for God continues always like himself, and as he is faithful himself, so will he have us to keep faith with him in return. -- John Calvin commenting on Psalm 15:1

In more than 40 years of ministry, it has been my experience that most of the time a believer's greatest persecution comes from others who identify themselves as believers. -- Ralph Drollinger in Nine Characteristics of Tares -- The Believer's Enemy

The church hath more professing than regenerate members, and will have to the end of the world, and none must expect that they be commensurate. -- Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

Overall, the current research [2009] revealed that only 9 percent of all American adults have a biblical worldview. Among the sixty subgroups of respondents that the survey explored was one defined by those who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in their life today, and that they are certain that they will go to Heaven after they die only because they confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their savior. Labeled 'born again Christians,' the study discovered that they were twice as likely as the average adult to possess a biblical worldview. However, that meant that even among born again Christians, less than one out of every five (18 percent), had such an outlook on life.
The same questions were asked of respondents in national surveys by Barna in 1995, 2000 and 2005. The results indicate that the percentage of adults with a biblical worldview, as defined above, has remained unchanged for more than a decade. The numbers show that 7 percent had such a worldview in 1995, compared to 10 percent in 2000, 11 percent in 2005, and 9 percent now [2009]. Even among born again adults, the statistics have remained flat: 18 percent in 1995, 22 percent in 2000, 21 percent in 2005, and 19 percent today. -- "Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians Over the Past 13 Years," March 6, 2009.
That means, hypothetically, applying this statistic for purposes of general illustration, that if a born again individual with a Biblical worldview sits down in the middle of an Evangelical congregation, then the four persons seated around him, left, right, front, back, statistically do not have a Biblical worldview, which raises doubts that they really have a changed life, and are really true to Christ.
The truth hurts! But these facts need to be known, especially by the new believer, who can be so buffeted about initially by the Adversary, and who can be so susceptible to discouragement.
See also:

  • "Barna Lists the 12 Most Significant Religious Findings"
  • "A Biblical Worldview has a Radical Effect on a Person's Life," December 1, 2003
  • "What People Experience in Church," and
  • Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affection.
  • It is amazing to observe how vast a man's intellectual attainments may be, and yet how little he may know of the grace of God. -- J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), "The Fallibility of Ministers" in Warning to the Churches, pp. 93-121

    The intellectually gifted often do the most damage to the Kingdom of Christ. See the "Apologetics" Lecture series by Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), using FROM RATIONALISM TO IRRATIONALITY: THE DECLINE OF THE WESTERN MIND FROM THE RENAISSANCE TO THE PRESENT (1979) as the text, and delivered in Decatur, Georgia, beginning November, 1979. (17 MP3 files)
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=2250511453

    The gifted individual often, in their fleshly confidence, fail to place their trust in Divine Providence, and proceed in an arminian direction.

    A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Jeremiah 5:30,31). See the annotation in The Reformation Study Bible.

    For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
    And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
    Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
    (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

    Martin Luther remarked that true religion was never more endangered than when it was in the company of "reverend" men. -- John W. Robbins in Beware of Men

    Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. -- John Emerich Edward Dalberg, Lord Acton (1834-1902), in a letter to Mandell Creighton, April 5, 1887, quoted by Gertrude Himmelfarb in Acton, Essays on Freedom and Power, pp. 335-36 (1972)

    Charles Spurgeon on the apostasy in the Presbyterian Church in Scotland in 1870
    In the same establishment may be found believers in nearly every dogma of the Popish creed, who nevertheless have declared their faith in articles which are distinctly Calvinistic; and now last, and, to our minds, most sorrowful of all, it comes out that there are men to be found among Caledonia's once sternly truthful sons who can occupy the pulpits and the manses of an orthodox Presbyterian church, and yet oppose her ancient confession of faith. Our complaint is in each case, not that the men changed their views, and threw up their former creeds, but that having done so they did not at once quit the office of minister to the community whose faith they could no longer uphold; their fault is not that they differed, but that, differing, they sought an office of which the prime necessity is agreement. All the elements of the lowest kind of knavery meet in the evil which we now denounce. Treachery is never more treacherous than when it leads a man to stab at a doctrine which he has solemnly engaged to uphold, and for the maintenance of which he receives a livelihood. The office of minister would never wittingly be entrusted by any community to a person who would use it for the overthrow of the principles upon which the community was founded. Such conduct would be suicidal. A sincere belief of the church's creed was avowedly or by implication a part of the qualification which helped the preacher to his stipend, and when that qualification ceases the most vital point of the compact between him and his church is infringed, and he is bound in honor to relinquish an office which he can no longer honestly fulfill. -- Charles Spurgeon, "Ministers Sailing Under False Colours," Sword and Trowel, February 1870, quoted by John W. Robbins, February 10, 2006

    No greater mischief can happen to a Christian people than to have God's Word taken from them, or falsified, so that they no longer have it pure and clear. God grant we and our descendants be not witnesses to such a calamity. -- Martin Luther (1483-1546) in Table Talk

    An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a Church. A Bible-reading laity may save a Church from ruin. Let us read the Bible regularly, daily, and with fervent prayer, and become familiar with its contents. Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing, which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible. Let our rule of faith, our touchstone of all teaching, be the written Word of God. -- J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

    One way to control others, and to gain power, is to withhold knowledge. "Experts of every kind are in the perfect position to exploit you." -- from the Contents of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economists Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

    My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
    As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.
    (Hosea 4:6)

    An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a church. -- J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), "The Fallibility of Ministers" in Warning to the Churches, pp. 93-121

    So often self-serving leaders end up kowtowing to an ignorant, immature laity. They look for acceptance by yielding to laicization, whereas their acceptance should be a result of their service to God. Fortunately, our Sovereign God, works in the "midst thereof" (Exodus 3:20: Isaiah 4:4; Ezekiel 1:4, and so forth, and so on.)

    With regard to the Christian Ministry as an order in Christ's church, they are represented under the figure of a set of servants, constituted by the master, stewards, and rulers over his household, during his absence.
    They are servants, not lords. We preach, says the apostle, not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus's sake. (2 Corinthians 4:5). We do not announce ourselves to you as your masters. We proclaim Christ Jesus to be the Master, and mindful of his words, One is your Master, even Christ, (Matthew 23:8), we announce ourselves to you not your masters, but your servants for his sake. We seek not to make you our property that we may rule over you, but dictating to your faith, and controlling your conduct; but considering you as his unalienable property, which he purchased with his won blood, (Acts 20:28), and which having so dearly bought he highly values, we wish to serve Him by ministering to your improvements.' This is a view of the sacred office with which they who fill it cannot be too deeply impressed. They are Christ's servants. They have no authority, separate from his authority. To promulgate and administer his laws, not to make and execute laws of their own, is their legitimate province. . . .
    It is of importance, however, to remark, that though called to office by the instrumentality of their brethren, their authority is derived, not from them, but from their Master: by him, not by them, are they to be directed in the performance of their duties, and to him, not to them, are they accountable for the manner in which they discharge them. It is his doctrine they are to teach -- his laws they are to administer. The steward or overseer, though chosen, if such be the appointment of the Master, by his fellow-servants, is to be guided in managing the household, not by their will, but by the will of their common Lord. The minister of Christ who forgets this, and seeks in his official proceedings primarily to please those who have been committed to his charge, has lost sight of his high character as a servant of Christ. A fitter object of mingled blame, contempt, and pity, does not exist, than a man, bearing the name of a Christian minister, who, instead of fearlessly proclaiming and impartially administering the laws of Christ, is the slave and the executioner of the prejudices of his people.
    But though the Christian minister is not to be ruled by those whom he is appointed to rule -- is not to take laws from those to whom he is appointed to declare the law, he is never to forget -- what the very names of his office are all intended and fitted to keep constantly before his mind -- that he holds office in the church, not for his own aggrandizement and selfish interests, but for the benefit of his brethren -- not to gratify his own ambition or love of ease, but to promote their spiritual improvement, to secure their ultimate salvation; and under the influence of this conviction, like the steward who finds that in promoting his mater's interest, and the happiness of his fellow-servants, in the good order of the household, it is of great importance to be on good terms with those under his care, he will endeavour to "please his brethren to edification"; nay, he will seek to "please all men in all things, not seeking his own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved." (1 Corinthians 10:33). Such is the view there given us of the general nature and design of the Christian ministry. -- John Brown (of Edinburgh, 1784-1858), Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I:389-391

    In the same establishment may be found believers in nearly every dogma of the Popish creed, who nevertheless have declared their faith in articles which are distinctly Calvinistic; and now last, and, to our minds, most sorrowful of all, it comes out that there are men to be found among Caledonia's once sternly truthful sons who can occupy the pulpits and the manses of an orthodox Presbyterian church, and yet oppose her ancient confession of faith. Our complaint is in each case, not that the men changed their views, and threw up their former creeds, but that having done so they did not at once quit the office of minister to the community whose faith they could no longer uphold; their fault is not that they differed, but that, differing, they sought an office of which the prime necessity is agreement. All the elements of the lowest kind of knavery meet in the evil which we now denounce. Treachery is never more treacherous than when it leads a man to stab at a doctrine which he has solemnly engaged to uphold, and for the maintenance of which he receives a livelihood. The office of minister would never wittingly be entrusted by any community to a person who would use it for the overthrow of the principles upon which the community was founded. Such conduct would be suicidal. A sincere belief of the church's creed was avowedly or by implication a part of the qualification which helped the preacher to his stipend, and when that qualification ceases the most vital point of the compact between him and his church is infringed, and he is bound in honor to relinquish an office which he can no longer honestly fulfill." -- Charles Spurgeon in "Ministers Sailing Under False Colours," Sword and Trowel, February, 1870, quoted by John W. Robbins, February 10, 2006

    I see this tendency to lean on man everywhere. I know no branch of the Protestant Church of Christ which does not require to be cautioned upon the point. It is a snare, for example, to the English Episcopalian to make idols of Bishop Pearson and 'the Judicious Hooker.' It is a snare to the Scotch Presbyterian to pin his faith on John Knox, the Covenanters, and Dr. Chalmers. It is a snare to the Methodists in our day to worship the memory of John Wesley. It is a snare to the Independent to see no fault in any opinion of Owen and Dodderidge. It is a snare to the Baptist to exaggerate the wisdom of Gill and Fuller and Robert Hall. All these are snares, and into these snares how many fall!
    Infallibility is not to be found in the early fathers, but in the Bible.
    What are the best of ministers but men -- dust, ashes, and clay -- men of like passions with ourselves, men exposed to temptations, men liable to weaknesses and infirmities?
    It is amazing to observe how vast a man's intellectual attainments may be, and yet how little he may know of the grace of God.
    We have no right to expect anything but the pure Gospel of Christ, unmixed and unadulterated -- the same Gospel that was taught by the Apostles -- to do good to the souls of men.
    "Peace without truth is a false peace; it is the very peace of the devil. Unity without the Gospel is a worthless unity; it is the very unity of Hell.
    False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism.
    It was controversy that won the battle of Protestant Reformation.
    Three things there are which men never ought to trifle with -- a little poison, a little false doctrine, and a little sin.
    A church may have good forms and regularly ordained ministers, and the sacraments properly administered, but a church will not see conversion of souls going on under its pulpits when this doctrine [Justification by Faith], is not plainly preached.
    Once let a man get wrong about justification, and he will bid a long farewell to comfort, to peace, to lively hope, to anything like assurance in his Christianity. An error here is a worm at the root.
    An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a church.
    True Gospel in the pulpit, true Gospel in every Religious Society we support, true Gospel in the books we read, true Gospel in the friends we keep company with -- let this be our aim, and never let us be ashamed to let men see that it is so.
    Let the meekness of St. Peter in taking a reproof be as much our example as the boldness of St. Paul in reproving. -- J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), "The Fallibility of Ministers," in Warnings to the Churches, pp. 93-121.

    At its General Assembly last week [August 2003], the Orthodox Presbyterian Church reversed the conviction of an elder who had been convicted of teaching justification by faith and works contrary to the Scriptures and the Confession. There was no change in the elder's views; the OPC GA simply overturned his conviction.
    Two prominent men, whose names you would immediately recognize, had this to say about the OPC decision:
    "The OPC is done for! When a Reformed denomination formally approves an elder's theology that maintains that I must appear before God someday with my tattered covenant faithfulness in tow in addition to the perfect righteousness of Christ in order to be justified before God, that denomination has apostatized. How long will it be before the PCA does the same thing?"
    and
    "Thanks for forwarding the e-mail concerning the Kinnaird issue. I had known of Kinnaird's heretical teachings.
    "If the report of the OPC decision is correct, the OPC has now fallen away from the gospel fundamentally and manifests itself as a false church. Where can I find the decision of the OPC in full? Grievous. Almost unbelievable, even though by this time in my ministry I have braced myself to expect anything.
    "And this damnable subterfuge that it is defending the Reformed position against the Lutheran, Calvin against Luther! Is there anyone in the OPC who not only will speak out boldly but say, 'Here I stand?'
    "The answer to that last question is, of course, that to say 'Here I stand' would be 'Lutheran,' and therefore unwelcome in the OPC.'
    The church that Machen started in 1936 is no more. The irrational, dialectical theology that has plagued the OPC for decades has finally ended in apostasy. The trail of error that leads from Cornelius Van Til and John Murray through Norman Shepherd (whom Van Til defended in the OPC 20-some years ago), is not difficult to trace, yet there are many dreamers who still deny it.
    God is judging America. Denominations that once spoke the Gospel are now preaching another gospel, which is not another.
    May God strengthen his remnant that remains. May he keep them safe and give them courage as witnesses to the truth that men, especially churchmen, despise: Salvation by a righteousness wholly outside the believing sinner. -- John Robbins, The Trinity Foundation, July 5, 2003

    The Trinity Foundation maintains a webpage listing major doctrinal scandals of recent years.
    Horror Files
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/horror_file.php

    It is this author's contention that the modern churches have let go of this important piece of the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Thereby they have delivered the church, not to kings as nursing fathers, but to the cruel civil domination of the enemies of the true religion, their sheep being taught that they must submit passively to every pretended civil authority as the ordinance of God. By this defection, these leaders of the flock have also undermined the magistracy, allowing and even encouraging wicked men to remove this blessed ordinance from its foundation in God its creator, and from its subjection to Christ His King, thereby directly opposing God's benevolent ends in instituting civil government: Thus have [they] made the commandment of God of none effect by [their] tradition. . . . teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:6,9). Furthermore, by their false teaching regarding civil government, they have made themselves guilty of the very sin of which we are often accused: opposing the ordinance of God. If this wasn't enough, however, consider that their sin is worse than that of the garden variety rebel, inasmuch as their opposition to God's institution is not so much practical as it is principal; and because of their position as teachers and guides of the flock of God. Be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. . . . For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. (James 3:1; II Corinthians 13:8 [2 Corinthians 13:8]) -- Greg Price, (Biblical Civil Government Verses the Beast, p. 64)

    In too many churchmen we find the exemption of the state from the law, and from judgment in terms of the law. The roots of this position go back to pagan divinization of the state. [See Rushdoony, Christianity and the State]. Practically, where men exempt the state from the law of God, they make it an instrument of Satan.
    The law is the law for everyone. If the citizen has no moral right to steal, neither does the state. If the citizen cannot expropriate his neighbor's property, neither can the state. Thou shalt not steal applies to corporations, governments, and men equally. It forbids socialism, communism, [fascism], inflation, bad checks, and every other form of theft. It forbids false advertising, and dishonest processing and adulteration of foods. It forbids featherbedding by workers' associations, and it forbids the cheating of workers. All men, their institutions, corporations, and forms of government, are equally under the law of God. The reduction of the Ten Commandments to the status of a moral code only [from that of a Biblical criminal code], is the destruction of the law.
    "If all authority is not under God, then, instead of a universe, we have a multiverse; instead of one Creator and Law-giver, we have many gods acting as creators and law-givers in their realms. If all authority comes from God, then all authority is plainly under God's law-word, and entirely subject to it. 'Thou shalt not steal' cannot then be restricted to the individual man, but must be applied to every area of life. . . .
    In the 20th century, educators have spoken of the university at times as a multiversity, having room for a variety of ideas and faiths. The teaching of witchcraft, astrology [Astrology is being considered as a college major in California state colleges. (September 2003)], and related concepts by some schools is related to this concept of the multiversity. High schools in a major city have introduced yoga and palmistry. If the world is a multiverse, then all things are permissible except a sovereign God and a universal law-order. Hence our polytheistic world is tolerant of almost every kind of belief except orthodox Christianity. A universal law-order and a sovereign God rule out the possibility of a polytheistic multiverse. But, because the sovereign and triune God of Scripture rules, there is no multiverse, but rather a universe and a unified law-order.
    The law, Thou shalt not steal, applies therefore not only to the state but to the church as well. Where the church does not faithfully teach the whole counsel of God, His entire law-word, it is then plainly guilty of theft. It is robbing the people and the social order of its vital nerve; it is undercutting all authority when it limits the law on which all authority rests.
    As Nymeyer has observed "What gold is to money, the law of God is to liberty." (Frederick Nymeyer, Progressive Calvinism (South Holland, IL: Libertarian Press, 1957), III, 209). Without the law of God, men, unions, corporations, and states feel free to be a law unto themselves, to play god. Failure to teach the law of God is thus to pave the way for tyranny.
    James Madison said of God's law:

    We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God. -- James Madison, The father of our Constitution
    The above quote is from Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, pp. 539-541.

    There is some danger of falling into a soft and effeminate Christianity, under the plea of a lofty and ethereal theology. Christianity was born for endurance; not an exotic, but hardy plant, braced by the keen wind; not languid, nor childish, nor cowardly. It walks with strong step and erect frame; it is kindly, but firm; it is gentle, but honest; it is calm, but not facile; obliging, but not imbecile; decided, but not churlish. It does not fear to speak the firm word of condemnation against error, nor to raise it's voice against surrounding evils, under the pretext it is not of this world; it does not shrink from giving honest reproof, lest it come under the charge of displaying an unchristian spirit. It calls sin sin, in whomsoever it is found, and would rather risk the accusation of being actuated by a bad spirit than not to discharge an explicit duty. Let us not misjudge strong words used in honest controversy. Out of the heat a viper may come forth; but we shake it off and feel no harm. The religion of both the Old and New Testaments is marked by fervent testimonies against evil. To speak smooth things in such a case may be sentimentalism, but it is not Christianity . . . . It is a betrayal of truth and righteousness. I know that charity covers a multitude of sins; but it does not call evil good, because a good man has done it; it does not excuse inconsistencies, because the inconsistent brother has a high name and a fervent spirit; crookedness and worldliness are still crookedness, though exhibited in one who seems to have reached no common height of attainment. -- Horatius Bonar (1818-1889

    Now what? [July 2002, in face of the fraudulent accounting practices of Arthur Anderson, Enron, Adelphia, ImClone, WorldCom, Global Communications, Tyco, Xerox, and Merck, and others, costing shareholders and employees multiplied billions of dollars in losses -- compiler]. Do we look to our churches for moral guidance or, heaven forbid, help in addressing the greatest financial and moral rip-off in American history? I don't think so. They are out "saving souls" these days, advocating home schooling, and encouraging "tithing" from nouveau riche middle managers that support and carry-out the corrupt corporate culture of today. Where have they been on this issue that is certainly the "family values" issue of all family values issue! Family savings are being destroyed! -- online Reader's Comment


    Signs of Spiritual Abuse in the Institutionalized Church

    1. Leadership talks Solo Christo, but the focus of ministry is not on Christ.

    2. Lack of the preaching of the Cross of Christ. The law cannot sanctify or justify "only the preaching of the Cross can produce true Biblical holiness." -- John Reisinger

    3. Failing to teach the doctrine of Christ as prophet, priest, and king.

    4. Not standing for Christ's Crown and Covenant in the family, church, workplace, and government.

    5. Replacing Christ in the life of the disciple. This amounts to spiritual incest.

    6. "Western civilization following the Reformation is the greatest example of Christian cultural conquest we have to date. The shameful abandonment of that heritage by the church has left us in our current desperate plight. That heritage will be restored only as the church awakens to reclaim her birthright and asserts the authority of the King of kings over every sphere of life -- including the political." -- Dennis Woods

    7. Giving heed primarily to the words of men, and practically ignoring the discourses, sayings, and doctrines of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    8. Leadership in high places is effeminate.
      Faithful Admonition to the Professors of God's Truth, 1554.
      "Formerly titled A FAITHFUL ADMONITION TO THE PROFESSORS OF GOD'S TRUTH IN ENGLAND, this letter is said to be 'undoubtedly the most important' of Knox's writings (up to that time), by W. Stanford Reid in TRUMPETER OF GOD (p. 114). Furthermore Reid notes that Knox's 'views on the magistrate expressed in the FAITHFUL ADMONITION, were to have an important influence upon much of his future conduct, and upon the development of the Reformation in both England and Scotland.' The editor of KNOX'S WORKS states, 'the object of the ADMONITION was twofold. The one was to animate those who had made a good profession to perseverance, and to avoid the sin of . . . appearing to conform to the 'abominable idolatry' re-established in England; the other, to point out the dangers to be apprehended in when the kingdom became subjected to the dominion of strangers.' Knox uses very strong language here, in the hopes of getting through to those who came to be termed Nicodemites (i.e., those who thought that they could 'keep faith secretly in the heart, and yet do as idolaters do,' in Knox's own words). Written at a time when the true church had been driven underground by Roman Catholic persecution, it was said concerning this letter that 'many other godly men besides have been exposed to the risk of their property, and even life itself, upon the sole ground of either having had this book in their possession, or having read it.' Kevin Reed gives an excellent summary of this letter in SELECTED WRITINGS OF JOHN KNOX, when, in part, he writes, 'while acknowledging the risk of persecution to the faithful, the reformer perceives a greater danger in compromising with idolatry. Government persecution may bring disfavour of men, loss of personal goods and, in some cases, physical death; but idolatry brings down the wrath of God, resulting in grievous punishments, now and through eternity. Idolatry also invites a curse upon the posterity of the nation. In an intense pastoral appeal, Knox strongly admonishes his readers to avoid conforming to the Romish rites of worship' (p. 220). For those who would rather read many of these Knox items with contemporary spelling, punctuation, and grammar we highly recommend the SELECTED WRITINGS OF JOHN KNOX." -- Publisher

      The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment [government], of Women, with the "Summary of the Second Blast" appended "The text of this edition is based on the definitive edition of THE WORKS OF JOHN KNOX, edited by David Laing (Edinburgh, 1895).
      "In this controversial work, John Knox contends that 'to promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature, contumely [insult], to God, a thing most contrary to his revealed will and approved ordinance; and finally, it is the subversion of good order, of all equity and justice'." -- Publisher
      Subheading used in this edition:

      • The Preface "The kingdom appertains to our God." Psalm 22:28
      • The First Blast, To Awaken Women Degenerate
      • The Empire of Women is Contrary to the Revealed Will of God
      • Common Objections Answered
      • Conclusion
      • Summary of the Proposed Second Blast of the Trumpet
      The SUMMARY OF THE SECOND BLAST was originally appended to the APPELLATION FROM THE SENTENCE PRONOUNCED BY THE BISHOPS AND CLERGY: ADDRESSED TO THE NOBILITY AND ESTATES OF SCOTLAND (1558), published in KNOX'S WORKS, VOL. IV, pp. 539-40." (see citation below) -- Publisher
      Knox, The First Blast of the Trumpet
      http://archive.org/details/firstblasttrump00knoxgoog
      Knox, The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment [government], of Women, 1558.

      The Church Effeminate and Other Essays.
      Contains: Robbins: The Church; Witherow: The Apostolic Church; Ryle: The True Church; Lloyd-Jones: The Primacy of Preaching; Ryle: The Fallibility of Ministers; Crampton: Exclusive Psalmody; The Geneva Service Book of 1556; Miller: The Christian Education of the Children and Youth in the Presbyterian Church; Calvin: The Teachers of the Church; Warfield: Paul on Women Speaking in Church; Clark: The Ordination of Women; Robbins: The Church Effeminate; Calvin: The Roman Church-State; Dostoyevsky: The Grand Inquisitor; McFetridge: Calvinism and the Church; Chan: The New Babylonian Captivity of the Church; Robbins: The Reconstructionist Road to Rome; Luther: The Power of the Word; Calvin: The Necessity of Reforming the Church; Ryle: Idolatry; Ryle: Pharisees and Sadducees; Machen: The Good Fight of Faith; Ryle: Apostolic Fears; Machen: The Separateness of the Church; M'Crie: Fundamentalism and Ecumenism; Calvin: The Unity of the Church; Robbins: The Church Irrational; Index; Scripture Index.

      It will be profitable for your Majesty to consider what is the thing your Grace's subjects look to receive of your Majesty, and what it is ye ought to do unto them by mutual contract [covenant]. They are bound to obey you, but only in God; ye are bound to keep laws to them. Ye crave of them service; they crave of you protection and defence against wicked doers. Now, Madam, if ye shall deny your duty unto them, think ye to receive full obedience of them? I fear, Madam, ye shall not. -- John Knox speaking to Mary Stuart, the Queen of Scots

      But if either rashly they have promoted any manifest wicked person, or yet ignorantly have chosen such an one as after declareth himself unworthy of regiment above the people of God (and such be all idolaters and cruel persecutors), most justly may the same men depose and punish him that unadvisedly before they did nominate, appoint and elect. -- John Knox, interview with Mary Queen of Scots, in Summary of the Proposed Second Blast of the Trumpet

      To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature . . . A thing most contrary to His revealed will and approved ordinance. -- John Knox

      Woman is a rage without reason. -- John Knox, aimed at Mary Tudor "Bloody Mary" for her undisciplined persecution of Christians

      Cursed is the nation whose ruler is a queen. -- John Knox, aimed at Mary Queen of Scots

      Let it here be noted that the prophets of God sometimes may charge treason against kings. -- John Knox, aimed at Mary Queen of Scots

      The Monstrous Regiment of Women, DVD.
      "Who is the monstrous regiment? Today, the feminists are our monstrous regiment!
      "The 16th century reformer John Knox wrote his famous tract THE FIRST BLAST OF THE TRUMPET AGAINST THE MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN to oppose a notorious European female tyrant who sought to stamp out biblical Christianity in his beloved Scotland.
      "When we approach the issues of our day we wish to borrow his biblical perspective to apply his blast against those who rule in the wake of his monstrous queen. This group, we shall see, far surpasses the queen's iniquities in both kind and degree.
      "Feminists tell women not to submit to a husband, to avoid having children, and that they should listen to their inner voice and chase a career to find true fulfillment. This twisted and irrational teaching has led to disaster for American women, leading many into a frustrating, isolated existence. With this film, we call women back to a life filled with joy and beauty that can only be found by following God's Word.
      "Due to the subject matter this film is not suitable for children.
      "Subjects Covered: | Who was John Knox? | What did he think of women? | What is Feminism? | Feminism and Socialism | Daycare | Modesty | Women in the Military | Women in the Workplace | Margaret Sanger | Planned Parenthood | Abortion | Hillary | Birth Control | Betty Friedan | Rock For Choice | Plus 26 minutes of unique interview footage
      "Featuring: | Sharon Adams -- Historian, Edinburgh University | Jennie Chancey -- Ladies Against Feminism | Jane Doe -- Military Cadet | Carol Everett -- Former Abortion Provider | Dana Feliciano -- Homemaker | Carmon Friedrich -- Writer, Buried Treasure Books | F. Carolyn Graglia -- Author, Domestic Tranquility | Rosalind Marshall -- Knox Biographer | Stacey McDonald -- Author, Raising Maidens of Virtue | Phyllis Schlafly -- Eagle Forum | Denise Sproul -- Homemaker | Kathleen Smith -- Homemaker" -- Publisher

    9. The use of corrupted translations of THE HOLY BIBLE. All modern translations except the AKJV, NKJV, and MKJV (each modified literal translations), attack the "most basic doctrine of all, divine inspiration of the text," and put at risk or weaken other cardinal Christian doctrine such as Eternal Judgment, The Ascension, and The Deity of Christ. All this has been done contrary to the Word of God found in Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Jeremiah 26:2, and Galatians 3:15. -- Wilber N. Pickering

    10. Disregarding, abandoning, and altering the Westminster Standards while retaining their original titles, thus surreptitiously changing the doctrinal position of the church.

    11. Altering the Westminster Standards by deleting hard sections from the original text, especially regarding the role of the magistrate, thus rendering the Church effeminate, powerless to stand for Christ in secular society, and thus exposing the Church to persecution by the world system. See: The Westminster Confession of Faith (completed by the Assembly in 1646, approved by Parliament in 1647), The Westminster Standards and Related Works, The Westminster Assembly, Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), A Theological Interpretation of American History, 1994, and John W. Robbins (1949-2008), The Church Effeminate.

    12. Backing down from the doctrines of Christian Magistracy and Corporate Faithfulness and Sanctification.

    13. Unbalanced theology. Positions that are out of focus. For example, preaching surrender to Christ, but unwillingness to stand for Christian Magistracy, which protects the innocent from the wicked.

    14. Rules of church order omit key doctrines necessary to remove corrupt leadership and to establish and maintain necessary Christian magistracy.

    15. Toleration, Pluralism, Polytheism
      See: *Brown, John (of Haddington, 1722-1787), The Absurdity and Perfidy of all Authoritative Toleration of Gross Heresy, Blasphemy, Idolatry, Popery, in Britain. In two letters to a friend in which the doctrine of the Westminster Confession of Faith [1646] relative to Toleration of a False Religion, and the power of the civil magistrate about sacred matters; and the nature, origin, ends and obligation of the National Covenant and Solemn League are candidly represented and defended, 1797.
      The Absurdity and Perfidy of all Authoritative Toleration of Gross Heresy, Blasphemy, Idolatry, Popery, in Britain
      http://archive.org/details/absurdityperfidy00brow
      Cunningham, John (1819-1893), The Ordinance of Covenanting, 1843.
      The Ordinance of Covenanting
      http://www.covenanter.org/reformed/2015/6/29/ordinance-of-covenanting
      Moore, Edwin Nisbet, Our Covenant Heritage: The Covenanters' Struggle for Unity in Truth
      *North, Gary, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism.

    16. The Problem of Pietism and Non-Doctrinal Christianity, 14 miscellaneous lectures by John W. Robbins, The Trinity Foundation.

    17. The Neo-evangelical movement wants to combine liberal political policies with Evangelical Christianity.

    18. Various controversies over the doctrine of Justification by Faith in the Othodox Presbyterian Church.

    19. The Current Justification Controversy surrounding Norman Shepherd in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Westminster Theological Seminary from 1975 to 1982.

    20. The case of John O. Kinnaird in the OPC, the Monroe 4 (Barack, Schlissel, Wilkins, and Wilson), in the PCA (and micro-denominations), and the widespread departure from Christ and his Gospel in professedly Reformed churches.

    21. The Romanizing Doctrines of the New Auburn Theology. "The Auburn paradigm is a radical departure from the Reformed faith. It is not a refining of Reformed doctrine but rather a rejection of confessional orthodoxy in favor of sacramentalist, Arminian and Romanizing concepts. It is heretical because it strikes at the very heart of Reformed theology -- the doctrines of the atonement and justification by faith alone."

    22. A Defense of Reformed Orthodoxy Against the Romanizing Doctrines of the New Auburn Theology, Brian Schwertley
      "Reformed believers need to be made aware that the Auburn paradigm is a radical departure from the Reformed faith. It is not a refining of Reformed doctrine but rather a rejection of confessional orthodoxy in favor of sacramentalist, Arminian and Romanizing concepts. It is heretical because it strikes at the very heart of Reformed theology -- the doctrines of the atonement and justification by faith alone. May God protect his precious church from this vile theological poison . . .
      "At the 2002 Auburn Avenue Pastor's Conference four speakers -- John Barach, Doug Wilson, Steve Schlissel and Steve Wilkins -- articulated what they themselves called a new paradigm in theology. These men set forth this new paradigm as an answer to their own perceived problems within Reformed theology as well as the inadequate manner in which they believe Reformed interpreters and theologians have dealt with 'problem' passages in Scripture. The main theme of the conference centered on a new way to view the covenant which they referred to as 'the objectivity of the covenant.'
      "In their lectures a number of traditional, confessional Reformed doctrines were rejected and replaced by the novel ideas of the speakers. Some of the standard Reformed doctrines that were rejected or redefined were: the covenant of works, the distinction between the visible and invisible church, the nature of baptism (especially relating to efficacy), the doctrine of perseverance (we are repeatedly told that real believers can fall away), the doctrine of the atonement (the speakers repeatedly separate the ground of salvation from its application in an Arminian manner), justification (sometimes faith is defined in a Romish manner as an obedient or working faith [the Norman Shepherd heresy], at other times perseverance is defined in a manner that makes it either a partial ground of salvation or co-instrument in justification), and assurance (the main answer to problems of assurance [we are told], is baptismal regeneration: 'Look to your baptism because you were really saved and united to Christ in your baptism.')
      "Because the new paradigm set forth by the Auburn theologians is a radical departure from the Reformed faith and is heretical in many areas, we will briefly examine some of the most perverse areas of their teaching.
      "Not every area will be considered, for that would require a book-length response.
      "Further, some areas such as justification have already been discussed at length. (For example, many excellent articles have been written refuting Norman Shepherd's heretical view of justification. As far as this author can tell the Auburn doctrine of justification is essentially the same as Shepherd's. In fact, Shepherd was originally scheduled to speak at the Auburn conference but was replaced by John Barach because he could not attend.)
      "Therefore, this author will not spend time analyzing their view of this topic. One area that will receive a great deal of attention is the Reformed doctrine of the atonement. The Auburn teaching is a repudiation of the classic Reformed formulation of this doctrine . . .
      " 'It is our hope and prayer that this brief analysis of their perverse doctrines will inoculate Reformed believers against the Romanizing paradigm of the Auburn four' writes Brian Schwertley."
      http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/Auburn2.html
      A Defense of Reformed Orthodoxy Against the Romanizing Doctrines of the New Auburn Theology
      The Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States (RPCUS) response to "the Romanizing Doctrines of the new Auburn Theology" (set forth by Douglas Wilson, Steve Schlissel, John Barach, and J. Steven Wilkins), June 22, 2002
      http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/s36p93.htm

    23. Not submitting to the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit in the assembly of saints and in the lives of individuals, but rather desperately clinging to the power that comes from pre-eminence, thereby quenching the Holy Spirit.

    24. Demanding "unquestioning submission to authority," a trait of cults, and a basic tenet of the Roman Catholic Institution.

    25. Abusive leadership is "responsible for destroying the power of the doctrines of grace." -- John Reisinger

    26. A wrong view of elder authority. Viewing them as "Lords and Masters." "A bad man in a bad system is an untouchable pope simply because he is protected by the system." -- John Reisinger

    27. Mistaking the power that comes from being the focus of attention of an assembly for the presence of the Holy Spirit -- vainglory.

    28. Finite ecclessiastical authority "hiding behind" high and pure doctrinal truth in order to gain pre-eminence and power among men.

    29. Arrogance by association. Ordained men "taking the mantle" of leadership while erroneously assuming infallibility.

    30. An exaggerated sense of self-worth that casts a shadow on the Sovereignty and Omnipotence of the Triune God.

    31. Definition of usurp: "to seize and hold (as office, place, or powers), in possession by force or without right: to seize or exercise authority or possession wrongfully." -- Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary
      The subtle shift from teaching pure doctrine to claiming infallibility (or the shift may be unspoken, but understood). At this point leadership has attempted to deify itself, the ultimate satisfaction of man's lust for power. Notice how the lust for power resembles the Cardinal Sin of Eden and the liberal trait of usurping the power to determine Truth and Falsehood, and thereby molding the world to their own liking.

    32. Demanding perfection in others that they themselves are not able to attain, a perfection that is denied by Scripture.

    33. "Glorifying wisdom, and law, and intellectual achievement to such an extent that they become means of salvation." (See 1 Corinthians 1:24)

    34. "Whenever leaders [fathers, pastors, businessmen, elected officials -- compiler] lose sight of the Gospel, then they lead us into hypocrisy, Pharisaism, and legalism." -- Phil Smuland

    35. Obedience to God is really obedience to the Pastor and Elders which amounts to dethroning God and deifying self.

    36. "When elders become obsessed with the submission of the flock, they have a view dangerously close to the autocracy of Rome." -- Walter Chantry

    37. "The elders became conscious of nothing but the 'authority invested in their holy office,' and they neglected to develop the gifts and graces in God's people.
      "The sheep are in total subjection to the elder because they believe that his is 'responsible to God for their soul,' and their duty is to obey his directives without question. It is because the sheep believe that Roman rubbish that the 'amazing thing' spoken of in Jeremiah can happen, and is happening, in our own day." -- John Reisinger

    38. Members are taught " 'my duty is to obey my elder, regardless of whether he is right or wrong, and God will reward my obedience to his duly authorized servant.' Anyone who believes that nonsense has become a Roman Catholic in his view of church authority and is treating his pastor like a pope." -- John Reisinger

    39. Demands to "kiss the pope's ring in submission."

    40. "Arrogance and an overbearing spirit is never acceptable in elders. Popish demeanor reveals pride in the heart. Pompous and tyrannical treatment of subordinates almost universally attends position of authority in the world and in human institutions. Never is such deportment permissible in elders. Our Chief Shepherd has said, Ye know that the princes of Gentiles exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you!" (Matthew 20:25,26) -- Walter Chantry

    41. "Beating the sheep into subjection with the supposed 'duly authorized office of eldership' and sending them home bleeding and wounded." -- Walter Chantry
      This is just a form of Romanism.

    42. Excessive use of fear.

    43. "Mature men of strong minds and independent judgment leave the church because they are provoked by the domineering spirit of elders." -- John Reisinger
      Eventually the church turns into a "leper colony."

    44. "Dictatorial measure that make lesser men craven and dependent, stunting their true growth." -- John Reisinger

    45. Members who dry up spiritually.

    46. Ungodly alliance of leadership.

    47. Pharisaism. (Abrahams, Odeberg)

    48. Breaking down the visible church into independent sects. "Christ instituted no sects in the Christian Church." That is, arbitrarily taking contrary positions doctrinally in order to "carve out a separate spiritual empire."

    49. "Lording it over the flock provokes church fights and splits. A domineering spirit in elders provokes mature men of strong minds and independent judgment to leave the church. These very ones would have the greatest potential for future leadership in the assembly. Dictatorial measures make lesser men craven and dependent, stunting their true growth. But it also has its harmful effects on the 'lords over God's heritage.' It makes them egotistical and self-serving." -- Walter Chantry

    50. The pastor who believes that "when he preaches from the pulpit his message is God's Word. He is the 'voice of God' in that assembly. One man challenged this concept and said, 'My conscience is wed to Scripture alone.' The preacher responds emphatically, 'Your conscience is under the authority of my preaching of the Scriptures'. Many Reformed preachers would not dare say that out loud, but they give every evidence of believing it in their hearts. They practice such an attitude in their ministries." -- Walter Chantry

    51. Ignorance of, or neglect of, Martin Luther's doctrine of The Priesthood of all Believers, which lead to the doctrine of the equality of all men. (See: "The Priesthood of all Believers," http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr1chb.html#priestab

    52. Pastors interested in "building a little kingdom of personal power where their word was law." (See Samuel Rutherford, Lex Rex.)

    53. Popularizing religion by catering to the flesh and worldly lusts in order to gain numbers.

    54. Adopting the practice of "minimal confessionism" in the early 19th century to expand church membership.

    55. Failure to catechize children.

    56. Abandoning children to the secular teaching of State education.

    57. Faithless, fatalistic positions that ignore the evident progress of God's redemptive plan in history, and the scriptural promise of unending progress in Paradise.

    58. Repression and suppression of the Truth in defiance of The Great Commission. It is possible to manipulate and control the flock by withholding the Truth, by "pulling the wool over their eyes."

    59. Not feeding the sheep. (Hosea 4:6,7)

    60. A laity ignorant of Scriptural knowledge.
      An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a Church. A Bible-reading laity may save a Church from ruin. Let us read the Bible regularly, daily, and with fervent prayer, and become familiar with its contents. Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing, which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible. Let our rule of faith, our touchstone of all teaching, be the written Word of God. -- J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

    61. Leadership keeps classic Christian source documents to themselves.

    62. Power posturing. "The leaders spend a lot of time focusing on their own authority and reminding others of it as well. This is a necessary trait in such a system because their spiritual authority isn't real or genuine, so it has to be postured if there is to be any. The leader subtly replaces Christ or God over one's conscience." -- Johnson and VanVonderen
      Jesus says in Matthew 28:18, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

    63. "They deny the church's authority over your soul, but hang on to the church's authority over your conscience." -- John Reisinger

    64. Lording it over the flock, God's inheritance. "You will be sinning against Christ by allowing your pastor to be the Lord of your conscience -- and believe me, that is a grave sin!" -- John Reisinger

    65. "The hallowed creed produced by our 'Godly inspired forefathers' become a sword to silence anyone daring to ask a question. The creed and the pastor's personal power became the final authority over the church and the conscience of the individual." -- J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), in The Fallibility of Ministers

    66. "When a tyrant really gets control of the individual's conscience, personal revolt is nearly impossible. The poor sheep is scared of everything and everybody. When he is cut off from asking or sharing the questions and difficulties in his heart, then he literally has no one to help him." -- John Reisinger

    67. The cultist "binds your conscience to the law in a manner that makes assurance of salvation and real joy nearly impossible." (1 Corinthians 1:24) -- John Reisinger

    68. Members run out of the church for "refusing to sell their conscience in 'unquestioned obedience' to the eldership." -- John Reisinger

    69. There is an eerie similarity between the traits of authentic Christian discipleship and the traits of cultic discipleship. Of course, the difference between authentic Christianity fellowship and a cult is who is in control. If Christ is not in control, then the church becomes nothing more than an attempt to control men which equates to enslavement and a stealing of the soul. In pseudo-Christian movements leadership deifies itself and commands worship, control, and influence in the lives of subjects. Fallen man has deified his kings since the beginning of recorded history. Unfortunately the tendency continues in the church today. (See R.J. Rushdoony, Christianity and the State). Lamentably, it appears that the majority would prefer to have it that way.

    70. Eight Symptoms of False Doctrine
      Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.
      1. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their earnestness makes many think they must be right.
      2. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.
      3. There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.
      4. There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.
      5. There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.
      6. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.
      7. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
      8. There is a wide-spread gullibility among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man.
      All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, Do not be carried away! -- J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), in Warnings to the Churches, "Divers and Strange Doctrines," pp. 76,77
    71. "Inability to defend theology with the actual test of Scripture . . . when you cannot sit down with an open Bible and instruct, as well as learn, in gentleness . . . waving the creeds and saying, 'thus saith our holy fathers in the faith'." -- John Reisinger

    72. The doctrine of Sinless Perfection among professing Protestants negates the Gospel. If one can attain sinless perfection, then one does not need the Saviour. The preceding aberrations (and some to follow), are popish. And Walter Chantry points out, "Popish demeanor reveals pride in the heart."

    73. The Fruit of the Spirit is conspicuous by its absence: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. (Galatians 5:22,23)

    74. "A church may be injured as much by tyranny as by anarchy. . . .
      "The accusation of 'anarchy' in a cult is always hurled by a paranoid power monger whose personal power had been challenged. Such men as they need to be exposed." -- Walter Chantry

    75. Congregations become "leper colonies" made up of refugees from Romanism, anabaptist denominations, cultic movements, and even some Reformed denominations.

    76. "Members living in fear of leaders and their authority over souls. 'When you reach that point you are actually part of a cult, and you have totally given up your true liberty in Christ'." -- John Reisinger

    77. Warm hearted fellowship of believers becomes what Spurgeon called "a better representative of the law than of the Gospel."

    78. The practice of priestcraft (Dennis) and occult modalities often learned at seminaries.

    79. "When believers are taught to actually hate another believer simply because he dared to challenge the pastor, then the cultic mentality must be exposed." -- John Reisinger

    80. Puffing up the authority of the visible church now, during its broken state, considering the bent toward degeneration as evidenced by the Dark Ages.

    81. "Pastors that think sheep can be whipped and driven into conformity with pastoral wishes." -- John Reisinger

    82. Pastors who think they can make sheep change to their way of thinking and believing.

    83. "They threw out priestcraft but kept clericalism." -- John Reisinger

    84. "Denominations that are institution oriented instead of Grace oriented." -- John Reisinger

    85. "Their swollen image of self-importance suffers to much for them to relinquish the reins from young Christians they have been domineering as they grew in faith." -- John Reisinger

    86. "Disagreements and questions are rigorously stamped out."

    87. Preoccupation with selfish ends of individuals and the "in group."

    88. Stealing souls (Balodis). Association with the assembly gives a sense of enslavement. (Douglas)

    89. Creating and spreading false religion is the ultimate form of brainwashing, with the most horrific consequences. "It's a con game: Eastern meditation, witchcraft, divination, Science of Mind, psychic healing, holistic education -- oh, the list goes on and on -- it's all the same thing, nothing but a ruse to take over people's minds and spirits, even their bodies." -- Frank Peretti

    90. Performance preoccupation. "In an abusive spiritual system, those running such a system will be preoccupied with the performance of their members: worthiness = performance (often perfectionistism) . . . . This system doesn't really foster holiness or obedience to God, it merely accommodates the leaders' interpretation of spirituality and their need for control. It distorts God's unconditional love.
      "Obedience and submission is important. Such passages as Romans 13:1; I Peter 5:5 [1 Peter 5:5]; and Hebrews 13:17 ["Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you"], stress both. For the purpose of balance, we have to add what Peter says in Acts 5:29, "We must obey God rather than men." -- Johnson and VanVonderen
      "Johnson and VanVonderen correctly add, "Out of context, obedience to leaders looks like good theology. Add the larger context and you will see that it is only appropriate to obey and submit to leadership when their authority is from God and their stance is consistent with His." -- Johnson and VanVonderen in The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, p. 66

    91. Unspoken rules. "These are rules which govern unhealthy churches or families but are not formally stated or written. Since they are not spoken verbally, you do not find out that the rule(s) exist until you have broken one.
      "The unspoken rule may come across like this: Do not disagree with the church authorities -- especially the pastor or your loyalty will be suspect. Silence becomes the fortress wall of protection, shielding the pastor's power position from scrutiny or challenge.
      "Of the unspoken rules, the can't talk rule is probably the most powerful. The thinking of this rule is: The real problem can not be exposed because then it would have to be dealt with and things would have to change, so it must be protected behind walls or silence (neglect or by assault -- legalistic attack). If you speak about the problem out loud, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. In some way you must be silenced or eliminated. -- Johnson and VanVonderen

    92. "Inability to exegete basic presuppositions from the Word of God, and therefore simply refusing to discuss it." -- John Reisinger

    93. "Self-importance and lording it over others is a shameful reality among modern ministers." -- John Reisinger

    94. Power monger pastors use counseling as a means of controlling people. They encourage counselees to "open up every aspect of their life to their microscopic scrutiny." -- John Reisinger

    95. "Sincere believers who have been 'afraid and terrified' even to speak what was in their hearts for fear of the elder's discipline."

    96. "Sincere sheep who 'have been scattered' because of the tyranny of pastors and elders." (Jeremiah 23:1-5; Jeremiah 10:23; Ezekiel 34:2-5) -- John Reisinger

    97. Threatening behavior toward those over whom they believe they have control. What might be clinically diagnosed as sadism and masochism becomes the expected norm.

    98. Destruction of individuals they cannot control [shunning, excommunication, lack of communication, psychic attack].

    99. Controlled individuals display signs of brainwashing.

    100. Pastoral authority used as a means to manipulate individuals and couples into personal loyalty to the pastor. -- John Reisinger

    101. "Marriage relationships that improve when they got out from under legalism and fear." Loyalty to spouse should come before loyalty to a pastor. -- John Reisinger

    102. Hypocrisy. The wicked always masquerade as righteous.

    103. Laity that believes they "can have their cake, and eat it too."

    104. Believing the "end justifies the means," and "we have to beat them at their own game," both tenets of Romanism.

    105. Machiavellianism in leadership roles. Returning evil for good. Playing both sides of the fence, leadership tries to destroy those they cannot control. Good is evil, and evil is good. Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights. (Machiavelli)

    106. Pastors who can not bear the Berean spirit in maturing Christians.

    107. Pugnaciousness. "The way of peace and the way of holiness lies side by side; rather they are one . . . That which bestows the peace imparts the holiness; and he who takes the one takes the other also. The spirit of peace is the spirit of holiness. The God of peace is the God of holiness." -- Horatius Bonar
      "He who thinks that he has holiness, though he has no peace, ought to question himself whether he understands aright what the Bible means by either the one or the other." -- John Reisinger

    108. Abuse of children by provoking them to anger.

    109. Abuse of spouses by provoking them to anger.

    110. Abuse of subordinates by provoking them to anger.

    111. "Audacity that decides advances in sanctification must be made at once." -- John Reisinger

    112. "Throwing the baby out with the bath water."

    113. As Christ hath His saints in Nero's court so the devil has servants in the outer court of the visible church. -- William Gurnall (1617-1679)

    114. Separatists doctrine. Christ was not a separatist in his earthly ministry. We are still on earth.

    115. We are the only duly constituted local church in the world. "Get in on the ground floor, but you must submit to our authority."

    116. Isolationism that turns the group into a "leper colony."

    117. Fruitlessness.

    118. Preachers "better at pushing poor pilgrims into the slough, and pushing them down to the bottom of it, than they are at helping a sinking pilgrim get out . . ." -- John Reisinger

    119. Shunning of non-conformists.

    120. Seminaries have no theological accountability, and quickly become liberal.

    121. Lack of leadership accountability. Attempts at correction are ignored. Communication is ignored.

    122. A display of bitterness toward disparate groups.

    123. Attempts to establish a prelatic hierarchical order in a new denomination.

    124. Disregarding and/or abandoning the Regulative Principles of Worship.

    125. Rewriting the Book of Psalms into metric verse so they may be sung to music in worship.

    126. The rate of abortion (and divorce) in the Christian church in the United States is very close to the rate of secular society in this country.
      Based on current trends, one in three women in the U.S. will have an abortion, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute. The majority of women older than 17 who obtained an abortion reported a religious affiliation. The highest proportion (43 percent), identified themselves as Protestant. Twenty-seven percent of women having an abortion identified themselves as Catholic, and 8 percent as a member of another religion; . . . Thirteen percent identified themselves as "born-again" or evangelical, three-fourths of whom were Protestant. (Rachel K. Jones, Jacqueline E. Darroch and Stanley K. Henshaw, "Patterns in the Socioeconomic Characteristics of Women Obtaining Abortions in 2000-2001," Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Volume 34, Number 5, September/October 2002)

      Abortion was the 20th century's biggest single killer of mankind worldwide, far surpassing any other cause: disease, war, governments, natural disasters, and so forth. See: "Biggest Killers of the 20th Century." Notice that abortion is not included in this diagram. The absence of information says something about both the depravity of mankind (Jeremiah 17:9,10), and about the suppression and repression of truth (Hosea 4:6,7). At last estimate (2007), 50 million children have been aborted in American since Roe vs. Wade in 1973 [56 million American babies from 1973 to 2014, annual rate continues at 1.2 million babies a year. -- compiler]. This is approximately the population of Canada.
      Interestingly the number of illegal immigrants in this country has approximated the number of abortions, as if God's justice is at work right before our eyes -- we murder our children in the womb, and he gives our nation into the hands of foreigners.

      The number of abortions performed worldwide in the last 50 years is estimated to be 1 to 2 billion. But try to document this fact elsewhere online.
      The total abortions worldwide for the 20th century may be interpolation from available data. The calculation does not factor in incremental increases in world population since 1900. Worldwide there are an estimated 43.8 million abortions annually (2008 figures, Guttmacher Institute) X 100 years = 4.38 billion killings worldwide in the 20th century. This is compared to 1.97 billion estimated deaths worldwide for non-communicable diseases the reported biggest killer worldwide of the 20th century. Comparison may also be made with figures for genocide.
      Number of Abortions -- Abortion Counters
      "The most accurate set of abortion counters on the web. Number of abortions in U.S. and worldwide; Number of abortions since 1973; Number of abortions this year; U.S. abortion clock; Worldwide abortion clock; Number of abortions due to rape or incest; Planned Parenthood abortion count."
      http://www.numberofabortions.com/

      Overall, 27 percent of born-again Christians have experienced divorce compared to 24 percent for the rest of Americans. (Barna Research, December, 1999)

      While it may be alarming to discover that born-again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time." -- George Barna, president of Barna Research Group



    "Healthy Christianity can only be maintained where the balance is properly preserved between a faithful exposition of the holy Law of God and a pressing of its claims upon the conscience, and by tenderly preaching the Gospel and applying its balm to stricken hearts. Where the former predominates to the virtual exclusion of the latter, self-righteous pharisaism is fostered; and where the proclamation of the Gospel ousts the requirements of the Law, Antinomian licentiousness is engendered. During the past hundred years Christendom has probably heard fifty Gospel sermons or addresses to one on the Law, and the consequence has indeed been disastrous and deplorable: a light and backboneless religion, with loose and careless walking." -- Arthur Pink (1886-1952), The Sermon on the Mount

    True, the state as the policeman can be corrupt; in fact, if the society as a whole is corrupt, the state will also be corrupt. In a healthy and godly society, the state will function successfully to restrain the minority of evil-doers. The key to the situation is not the state but the religious health of the society. -- R.J. Rushdoony, in Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 470

    A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Jeremiah 5:30,31). See the annotation in The Reformation Study Bible.



    Great and marvellous are thy works,
    Lord God Almighty;
    just and true are thy ways,
    thou King of saints.
    Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?
    for though only art holy:
    for all the nations shall come and worship before thee;
    for thy judgments are made manifest.
    (Revelation 15:3b,4)


    Bibliography

    Abrahams, Israel, Studies in Pharisaism and the Gospels, ISBN: 1592448240 9781592448241.
    "First published in two volumes in 1917 and 1924. Now available in one volume. Long regarded as a pioneer work that revolutionized an understanding of the character and development of Pharisaism." -- Cyril J. Barber

    Anonymous, The Behaviour of the Clergy, as Well as Their Traditions, Destructive of Religion, or, A Succinct History of Priestcraft, Throughout all Ages, 1731.

    Anonymous, Priestcraft Exposed.
    Notes: A poem, in two columns.

    Anonymous, Priestcraft Exposed. And Primitive Christianity Defended.
    Format: Journal, magazine: Periodical: English

    Balodis, Jacquie, Soul Stealing: An Overview of Satanic and Black Witchcraft Ritual Abuse and Brainwashing
    This book has been discredited by one experts on cult/occult crime because of alleged known practices of the author after writing the book.
    See instead: *Bunyan, John (1628-1688), and Robert Philip (1791-1858), The Greatness of the Soul: and The Unspeakableness of the Loss Thereof; No way to Heaven but by Jesus Christ; The Strait Gate.
    The Greatness of the Soul: and The Unspeakableness of the Loss Thereof; No way to Heaven but by Jesus Christ; The Strait Gate
    http://archive.org/details/greatnessofsoulu00bunyuoft

    *Baxter, Richard (1615-1691), William Lamont (editor) A Holy Commonwealth, ISBN: 0521405807.
    "A HOLY COMMONWEALTH is Richard Baxter's invisible masterpiece." -- William Lamont
    "Written in 1659 by the Puritan minister (1615-1691), who publicly repudiated the work in 1670, this modern edition of a controversial text represents a candid confession as to why a conservative Puritan fought for Parliament in the Civil War and gave his support to the Cromwells." -- Publisher
    Contains 380 theses on government with commentary when available. These 380 aphorisms are valuable casuistry in support of Christian magistracy.
    Baxter's repudiation of the work is also included. It is interesting to note that he never repudiated the first part of the book, which lays the foundation for Christian Magistracy. It was only the second part that was repudiated by, as Lamont says, his public persona which was Arminian.
    Apparently, in Richard Baxter we have an example of the Armenian being unable to stand publicly for Covenanted Reformation, yet his private persona wrote A HOLY COMMONWEALTH, and his unpublished papers show that he continued to recommend the work to associates after his public repudiation.
    A Holy Commonwealth: or, Political Aphorisms, Opening the True Principles of Government: For the Healing of the Mistakes, and Resolving the Doubts, That Most Endanger England at This Time (1659)
    http://archive.org/details/holywealth00baxt

    *Bonar, Horatius (1808-1889), Words to Winners of Souls, ISBN: 0875521649 9780875521640. A Christian classic.
    "WORDS TO WINNERS OF SOULS, by Horatius Bonar, is addressed primarily to ministers of the Gospel. It is wondrously effective in its message to those called to preach the precious words of the Scriptures. However, the usefulness of the book is not confined to ministers, but has a message for all witnesses of Christ. The same spirit, sincerity, and fervency is needful for all witnesses, whatever their calling in life. There can be but one goal to winners of souls, to lead the lost sinners around them to that 'resting place where doubt and weariness, the stings of a pricking conscience, and the longings of an unsatisfied soul' may be satisfied, in Christ Jesus. In Him alone will all these be changed into holy joy, peace, and everlasting happiness." -- Jay P. Green, Sr. (1918-2008)
    "Bonar opens the book with an appeal for ministers who are awake. That is, he laments the state of a church that has convention centers full of clergy, but barely a bathtub full of true shepherds. . . . From there he moves on to paint a portrait of a 'living ministry,' that is, a ministry that is alive with passion and awake to the realities of heaven and hell, sin and salvation, meaning and futility. . . . In chapter 3 Bonar begins to name, with great candor and force, what he calls 'ministerial defects.' That is, those areas of pastoral ministry which are most vital, but most neglected. . . . In chapter 4, one of the most moving and inspiring (and humiliating), chapters I have ever read, Bonar quotes the Scottish Ministerial Confession of 1651. This is, in short, a corporate confession of the varied (and detailed), sins of the ministers of the church of Scotland. This alone is worth the book. It is telling, convicting (in the truest sense of the word), and I think, exemplary. In the final chapter, Bonar ends on a more hopeful note (the hug after the beating), and points us to a vision of revival in the ministry. . . ." -- Reader's Comment

    *Bridges, Charles (1794-1869), The Christian Ministry, With an Inquiry Into the Causes of its Inefficiency, ISBN: 1428610979. A Christian classic.
    "Bridges was a minister in England into the nineteenth century. . . . This book has been considered a classic book for ministers almost since it was written in 1829. . . ." -- Jay P. Green, Sr. (1918-2008)

    *Brown, John (of Edinburgh, 1784-1858), Discourses and Sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, 3 volumes, ISBN: 0851515819 (one ISBN for the set of 3 volumes). A Christian classic. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive.
    "Spurgeon says of this great commentary: 'Of the noblest order of exposition. Procure it.' Elsewhere in COMMENTING AND COMMENTARIES, he wrote, 'Dr. Brown's work must be placed among the first of the first-class. He is a great expositor.' Again, 'Brown is a modern Puritan. All his expositions are of the utmost value.'
    "These volumes cover much of the Gospel of John, plus many portions of the other three Gospels. In them he reveals his encyclopedic mind, and a profound regard for the Bible and the very Word of God. In addition, it is seen why it was said that he had the best clerical library in the whole nation of Scotland.
    "There is little doubt in the mind of this reviewer that any reader of these volumes will become possessor of myriads of new insights into the Scriptures, and what they reveal of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is indispensable to the student of the Gospels." -- Jay P. Green, Sr. (1918-2008)
    "Based upon the revised and enlarged edition of 1852. Rich in thought. Pastors will appreciate the writer's application of spiritual truths to the needs of men and women." -- Cyril J. Barber
    Recommended for daily devotions, as are all the books in the listing of "Books Considered to be Among the ten Greatest in the English Language."
    Discourses and Sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ: Illustrated in a Series of Expositions, 1854, vol. 1 of 2.
    http://archive.org/details/discoursessaying01brow
    Discourses and Sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, vol. 2 of 2.
    http://archive.org/details/discoursessaying02brow
    Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Illustrated in a Series of Expositions. . . . by John Brown, published 1856 [complete in 2 volumes. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers], original from the University of Michigan, digitized Feb. 17, 2006.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=SZl9u8v0Yi8C&dq=Discourses+and+Sayings+of+Our+Lord+Jesus+Christ&ie=ISO-8859-1&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0
    This University of Michigan digitized edition, that appears in Google Books, is available in paper from two publishers: (Gardners Books, 2006), and (Hard Press, November 26, 2007).
    Both volume are "produced from digital images created through the University of Michigan University Library's preservation reformatting program." -- Publisher

    *Bunyan, John (1628-1688), and Robert Philip (1791-1858), The Greatness of the Soul: and The Unspeakableness of the Loss Thereof; No way to Heaven but by Jesus Christ; The Strait Gate. Alternate title: THE GREATNESS OF THE SOUL, AND UNSPEAKABLENESS OF THE LOSS THEREOF: WITH THE CAUSES OF THE LOSING IT: FIRST PREACHED AT PINNERS HALL, AND NOW ENLARGED, AND PUBLISHED FOR GOOD. A Christian classic. Considered to be among the ten greatest books in the English language. Available (THE WORKS OF JOHN BUNYAN), on the Puritan Hard Drive.
    "In the 1660s, Charles II, King of England, asked John Owen (1616-1683), why he went to hear the preaching of an uneducated tinker. [John Bunyan -- compiler]. Looking the King in the eye, Owen answered, 'May it please your Majesty, could I possess the tinker's ability for preaching, I would willingly relinquish all my learning'." -- Andrew Thomson, John Owen, Prince of Puritans
    Owen would not have been surprised to learn that Bunyan's most influential work, PILGRIM'S PROGRESS, would be translated into more languages over the next 400 years than any book except the Bible.
    The Greatness of the Soul: and The Unspeakableness of the Loss Thereof; No way to Heaven but by Jesus Christ; The Strait Gate
    http://archive.org/details/greatnessofsoulu00bunyuoft
    Pilgrim's Page: A John Bunyan Archive
    This is the complete set of THE WORKS OF JOHN BUNYAN, George Offor edition, reprinted by The Banner of Truth. It is free online, and is downloadable in the following formats: HTML, RTF, TEXT, and PDF.
    http://www.chapellibrary.org/literature/bunyan/
    THE COMPLETE WORKS OF JOHN BUNYAN is also available at Project Gutenberg.

    *Calvin, John (1509-1564), The Necessity of Reforming the Church (1544). Available on the Puritan Hard Drive. Also found in CALVIN'S SELECTED WORKS, TRACTS AND LETTERS. Available in Library of Presbyterian Heritage Publications and Protestant Heritage Press CD-ROM Library. Available in THE CHURCH EFFEMINATE AND OTHER ESSAYS.
    "It [THE NECESSITY OF REFORMING THE CHURCH (1544) -- compiler], has still been correctly acknowledged as one of the most important documents of the Reformation.
    "C.H. Spurgeon once said, 'the longer I live the clearer does it appear that John Calvin's system is the nearest to perfection.' (cited in Christian History, Vol. 5, No. 4). . . . Like Calvin, some few believers today see 'the present condition of the Church . . . to be very miserable, and almost desperate.' Our context is different in one key respect however. The church needing reformation in Calvin's day was the tradition-encrusted church of Rome. Shortly after the Reformation, for those leaving Rome behind, two streams became apparent. One was the stream of classical Protestant orthodoxy, represented today by a handful of Gideons in their desktop publishing wine vats. The other was the left wing of the Reformation -- the anabaptist movement. In the early years, the anabaptists were suffering outsiders. But today the anabaptist church is the Establishment -- an establishment governed by a chaos of traditions instead of biblical worship. Everywhere we look we see Christians approaching God with observances in worship which Calvin calls 'the random offspring of their own brain.' Though this work is not an elaborate systematic presentation of the foundations of Christianity, such as CALVIN'S INSTITUTES, it has still been correctly acknowledged as one of the most important documents of the Reformation. Calvin here pleads the cause dearest to his heart before an assembly perhaps the most august that Europe could have furnished in that day. It has been said that the animated style used by Calvin in this work would not lose by comparison with any thing in the celebrated 'Dedication' prefixed to his INSTITUTES. To this day, THE NECESSITY OF REFORMING THE CHURCH remains a powerful weapon, both defensive and offensive, to fight the contemporary battle for Protestantism -- the everlasting gospel of truth. Here, in our modern setting, we find the answers to many of the vexing questions which continue to agitate the Church." -- Publisher
    The Necessity of Reforming the Church (1543), by John Calvin
    "Calvin rebukes the spirit of toleration which masquerades as 'moderation.' The reformer states:

    In a corruption of sound doctrine so extreme, in a pollution of the sacraments so nefarious, in a condition of the church so deplorable, those who maintain that we ought not to have felt so strongly, would have been satisfied with nothing less than a perfidious tolerance, by which we should have betrayed the worship of God, the glory of Christ, the salvation of men, the entire administration of the sacraments, and the government of the church. There is something specious in the name of moderation, and tolerance is a quality which has a fair appearance, and seems worthy of praise; but the rule which we must observe at all hazards is, never to endure patiently that the sacred name of God should be assailed with impious blasphemy; that his eternal truth should be suppressed by the devil's lies; that Christ should be insulted, his holy mysteries polluted, unhappy souls cruelly murdered, and the church left to writhe in extremity under the effect of a deadly wound. This would be not meekness, but indifference about things to which all others ought to be postponed.
    "The perceptive reader will see many parallels between the spiritual climate of Calvin's day and the religious chaos in our own society. If religious corruptions required reformation then, similar corruptions demand serious reform today. We witness the sad spectacle of Protestant churches fascinated with liturgical rites and innovations in worship. Prominent 'evangelical' leaders have endorsed a peace pact with Rome.[3] Many 'reformed' denominations tolerate evangelistic methods and gimmicks built upon Pelagian presuppositions. If anything, Calvin's tract demonstrates how far modern Protestants have declined from the doctrines and practices of the Reformation. The Necessity of Reforming the Church is more than just an historic monument to the Reformation. It is a spiritual manifesto, calling us to repentance in an era of gross religious corruption." -- Publisher
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/NRC_ch00.htm

    Case, Thomas (1598-1682), Spiritual Whoredom, Discovered in a Sermon Preached Before the Honorable House of Commons Assembled in Parliament Upon a Solemn day of Humiliation, May 26, 1647. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive.

    Chantry, Walter J. (1938-present), Shadow of the Cross: Studies in Self-Denial, ISBN: 085151331X 9780851513317.
    "Self-denial is a practice which lies very near to the heart of true religion. Without its exercise there can be no conversion to Christ. Qualities most basic to a Christian frame of heart -- notably humility and meekness -- would dissolve without its active expression. . . .
    "Why did Jesus Christ die? There are many sides to answering such an important question. But under the influence of the Spirit, the apostle teaches that our Lord's death was not designed to provide selfish men with eternal life while they remained abandoned to self-serving. A vital part of Christ's intention was to redirect the motivation of all whom his blood shedding would make alive. As he struggled up Calvary's hill and bled upon it, his aim was to eradicate self-love and implant the love of God in the hearts of men. One can only increase as the other decreases." -- Walter Chantry

    Dabney, Robert Lewis (1820-1898), Broad Churchism, ISBN: 0851513506 9780851513508. Alternate title: DISCUSSIONS OF ROBERT LEWIS DABNEY. "Transcribed from a sermon preached before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, Huntsville, Alabama, 18 May 1871." Available in DISCUSSIONS: EVANGELICAL AND THEOLOGICAL, 2 volumes. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #23.
    "Warfield called Dabney 'the most conspicuous figure and the leading theological guide of the Southern Presbyterian Church, the most prolific theological writer that Church has as yet produced.' These three volumes of articles and essays vindicate Warfield's statement. 'This is not a book to be read and returned to the library shelf,' states the well known Baptist minister Al Martin, 'rather, as I have found to my own profit, it ought to be read, digested, and kept close at hand as a guide, companion and constant prod to us.' Dr. Archibald Alexander called Dabney, 'the best teacher of theology in the United States, if not the world.' Freundt notes, 'Dabney championed the doctrines of Calvinism and applied them consistently and practically to the great issues of his times'." -- Publisher
    Broad Churchism, R.L. Dabney
    http://www.westminsterconfession.org/the-church/broad-churchism.php
    Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney Vol. 1: Evangelical and Theological.
    http://archive.org/details/DiscussionsOfRobertLewisDabneyVol.1EvangelicalAndTheological

    Dennis, John (1657-1734), The Danger of Priestcraft to Religion and Government: With Some Politick Reasons for Toleration, occasion'd by a discourse of Mr. Sacheverel's intitul'd The Political Union &c., lately printed at Oxford: in a letter to a new-elected member of Parliament, 1702.

    Dennis, John (1657-1734), Priestcraft Distinguish'd From Christianity, 1718.
    Shewing: I. That wicked priests are the real antichrists mention'd in Scripture. -- II. That the corruption of the laity in all Christian states proceeds from the corruption of the clergy. -- III. That there was a more general vertue in the grossest times of paganism, than there has been since our Saviour came into the world. -- IV. That there is a more general vertue in other parts of the globe, than in the Christian world. -- V. That there was a more general vertue in our own nation in the times of our ancestors, than there is in our own times; and that priestcraft, and corruption of manners, have increas'd together.

    Dennis, John (1657-1734), The Select Works of Mr. John Dennis . . . 1718, 2 volumes.
    "Notes: v. l. Poetical works. Priestcraft dangerous to religion and government. Proposal for putting a speedy end to the war, written upon the death of Charles II of Spain. Essay upon publick spirit. Essay on the operas after the Italian manner. -- v. 2. Iphigenia, a tragedy. Liberty asserted, a tragedy. Appius and Virginia, a tragedy. A plot and no plot, or Jacobite credulity, a comedy. Priestcraft distinguish'd from Christianity. The grounds of criticism in poetry. Letters upon several occasions, written by and between Mr. Dryden, Mr. Wycherley, Mr. ---, Mr. Congreve, and the author."

    Douglas, James, The System of Methodism Further Exposed; And the wiles of priestcraft investigated: being a refutation of the calumnies contained in the pamphlet of the Rev. Mr. Farrar, entitled "The condemner of Methodism condemned"; with a further development of the plans adopted by the Wesleyan preachers to enslave their followers, and establish a system of universal tyranny and priestly dominion, 1814.

    *Durham, James (1622-1658), Concerning Scandal. A Christian classic. Alternate title: THE DYING MAN'S TESTAMENT TO THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND: OR, A TREATISE CONCERNING SCANDAL. Available (1659 edition), on the Puritan Hard Drive.
    "The Rise of The Following Treatise
    "Having had occasion to consider the Book of the Revelation, and being on the Epistle to the Church of Pergamos in the second chapter, ground was given to speak something of Scandal, by reason of several doctrines clearly arising from that place. Upon this occasion I did first essay the writing of something of the doctrine of scandal in general, intending only to have spent a sheet or two thereupon, as elsewhere on some other subjects. When this was brought to a close, I found the place to give ground to speak of public church offenses, as they are the object of church discipline and censures. And being convinced, that that subject was not impertinent to be spoken of, I yielded to spend some thoughts upon it also, which did draw to a greater length than at first was intended or was suitable for a digression. This being finished, as it is, and any more thoughts of this subject laid by, it occurred again to me to think of doctrinal scandals or of scandalous errors. And considering that the scandals mentioned in that place, are of such nature, and that such are very frequent in this time, I yielded also to put together what thoughts the Lord would furnish concerning the same, whereupon followed the third part of this treatise.
    "When this was even at the closing, there was a fourth part of the same subject that did occur to me to be thought on, which before that had never been minded, and that was concerning scandalous church divisions. To this my mind and inclination was exceedingly averse at first, as knowing it not only to be difficult in itself to be meddled in, but also exceedingly above me, who am altogether unsuitable to hazard on such a subject. Yet considering the rise of the motion, and how the Lord had helped through the other parts, I did resolve to condescend to follow it, at least so far till it might appear what was his mind to me therein, and accordingly did follow it till it came to the period (whatever it be), that now it is at.
    "This is the true rise and occasion of this treatise, and of the several parts thereof, and therefore I have continued its entry in the original mold thereof, to wit, in laying down some general doctrines from that place of Scripture, and if there is afterward any more particular relation to the second and third chapters of the Revelation than to other Scriptures, this simple narration of the rise thereof may satisfy any concerning the same. Whereof we shall say no more, but first lay down grounds of all from that text, and then proceed in the treatise, which is divided in four parts, upon the reasons formerly hinted.
    "The Grounds of This Treatise
    "Among other things that troubled the church in the primitive times, scandal, or offense, was a chief one. The many directions that are given concerning it, and the reproofs that are of it, show that it is a main piece of a Christian's conversation to walk rightly in reference thereto, and a great evidence of looseness where it is not heeded. On verse 6 [Rev. 2 (Revelation 2:6)], we show that this was a sole fault of the Nicolaitans to be careless of offending, or of giving of offense, and not to regard scandal; and here the Lord holds it forth to be so by comparing it with Balaam's practice (v. 14 [Revelation 5:14]), which is aggreged from this, that he taught Balak to lay a stumbling block before Israel. From which these doctrines may be gathered:

    1. That there is such a fault incident to men in their carriage, even to lay stumbling-blocks before others and to offend them.
    2. That men ought to walk so as not to offend others, or so as to lay no stumbling-block before them. So that it is not enough not to stumble themselves (if this could be separated from the other), but also they ought to be careful not to stumble others.
    3. The Lord takes special notice how men do walk in reference to others in this, and is highly provoked where he sees any guilty of it.
    4. The Devil has ever endeavored to have offenses abounding in the church, and to make some lay such stumbling-blocks before others.
    5. It is most hurtful to the church, and destructive to souls where offenses abound, and men walk not tenderly in reference to these; so that the Lord expresses it with a twofold woe (Matt. 18 [Matthew 18]), as being a woe beyond sword and pestilence.
    6. We may gather that corrupt doctrine never [lacks] offenses joined with it, and that ordinarily those who spread that, are untender in this.
    7. That offenses often accompany the rise and beginning of any work of Christ's among a people; these tares of offenses are ordinarily then sown.
    8. That some offenses are of a public nature, and that church officers should take notice of such, and that it is offensive to Christ when they are overlooked and not taken heed unto.
    9. Church officers, even such as other ways are approved in their carriage and ministry, may fall in this fault, as by comparing the Epistles to Pergamos and Thyatira, is clear.
    10. When officers fall in this fault, it is yet no reprovable thing in members that are pure in respect of their own personal carriage, to continue in communion with such a church, the ordinances other ways being pure." -- Author's Introduction
    "In this work Mr. Durham, in opening and examining the different scandals which deface the visible church, causing both the professed people of God, and the heathen to stumble and fall in the snares of sin and the devil, shows carefully and clearly the various means of avoiding and remedying these offenses, and what the people of God in their various places and stations must do to maintain the beauty of Zion in godliness and holiness, in purity and in peace.
    "James Durham's work on scandal and offense is the first of several books Naphtali Press plans to publish by 17th century Scottish Presbyterians. Many of the works of this group of writers are classic statements on the subjects they treat. This book of Durham's is such a work.
    "John Macleod (SCOTTISH THEOLOGY), says, 'His book on the Scandal of Church divisions has long been looked upon as the Scottish classic on its topic.' John Macpherson (DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH IN SCOTTISH THEOLOGY), says, 'Taken all in all it is the very best book we have on the subject.' According to James Walker (THE THEOLOGY AND THEOLOGIANS OF SCOTLAND): 'He is the author of a book which once was very famous. For a hundred years and more you find it constantly referred to. Unhappily, as in so many other instances, it has a forbidding, or at all events not an attractive name. Yet I am not sure that anywhere a better idea is to be obtained of our old ecclesiasticism, and of its freedom to a large extent from the severity and rancorousness which have been so often attributed to it, than from the book 'On Scandal,' by this judicious man, who, with his thorough, searching, cumbrous intellect, reminds you not seldom of John Owen.'
    "The work is divided into four parts. The first deals with scandal and offense in general, where he defines these terms, and discusses private offenses between individuals, and how they are given and taken. In the second part he writes concerning public scandals, or such that need to be in some way taken notice of by the government of the church, and the various scriptural teachings on the order, implementation, and motive of church discipline. The third is about scandalous errors; the spreading of error, why it spreads, the Lord's design in it, Satan's devices in spreading error, and the duties of Christians in a time when error prevails. Of particular interest is a lengthy treatment of the minister's duty toward those seduced to error, where the four steps of discovery (or trial), conviction, admonition and rejection of an heretic are discussed. The last part concerns scandalous divisions in the church, how they arise, the evil of them, grounds for unity, things to overlook in order to unite, things to do in order to unite, and how to unify where the division concerns differences in church government.
    "Excerpted from THE DYING MAN'S TESTAMENT TO THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND, or, A TREATISE CONCERNING SCANDAL by James Durham. Copyright. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved." Publisher
    "This book ought to be required reading in seminaries and, indeed, for all who would serve as elders in Christ's church. It will repay careful study and breathe grace into our handling of the disciplinary problems that often confront us. Sessions will find real blessing if they study together Part Two [public scandals], especially." -- Gordon J. Keddie, Semper Reformanda, Vol. 2, No. 3
    "The appearance of a new and handsomely reset edition of James Durham's classic and unique work on ecclesiastical discipline is a timely and welcome event in these days of laxity in doctrine and morality within the church. The author was a Covenanter who ministered in the Church of Scotland during the Cromwellian interregnum. Possessed of a fragrant saintliness and an irenic spirit, he completed this volume on his deathbed, at age 36, under the title, 'The Dying Man's Testament to the Church of Scotland.' Durham grieved over the divisions that racked the Christian community of his time and was concerned that church discipline not be abused either by flagrant neglect or excessive rigor. The weighty scriptural balance he brings to his subject is unequaled." -- Gordon J. Keddie, Semper Reformanda, Vol. 2, No. 3
    "The book is divided into four parts -- Part One: Concerning Scandals in General -- dealing with offences between individual Christians. Part Two -- Concerning Public Scandals -- dealing with church discipline. Part Three: Concerning Doctrinal Scandals -- dealing with the spread of error in the church. Part Four: Concerning Scandalous Divisions -- dealing with divisions between godly men occasioned by such things as different outlooks and practices. The editor has spared no effort to make this old classic readable and useful." -- Austin R. Walker, Banner of Truth, Issue 337
    "In this work Mr. Durham, in opening and examining the different scandals which deface the visible church, causing both the professed people of God, and the heathen to stumble and fall in the snares of sin and the devil, shows carefully and clearly the various means of avoiding and remedying these offenses, and what the people of God in their various places and stations must do to maintain the beauty of Zion in godliness and holiness, in purity and in peace. This edition is based on the text of the edition printed in 1680, with revisions to contemporize the spelling, punctuation, and usage. This book has long been looked upon as the Scottish classic on this topic." -- GCB
    Concerning Scandal (extracts)
    http://www.naphtali.com/scanextr.htm

    *Edwards, Jonathan (1703-1758), The Religious Affections. Alternate title: A TREATISE CONCERNING RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS, IN THREE PARTS; PART I. CONCERNING THE NATURE OF THE AFFECTIONS, AND THEIR IMPORTANCE IN RELIGION. PART II. SHEWING WHAT ARE NO CERTAIN SIGNS THAT RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS ARE GRACIOUS, OR THAT THEY ARE NOT. PART III. SHEWING WHAT ARE DISTINGUISHING SIGNS OF TRULY GRACIOUS AND HOLY AFFECTIONS. BY JONATHAN EDWARDS, A.M. AND PASTOR OF THE FIRST CHURCH IN NORTHAMPTON. [TWELVE LINES OF SCRIPTURE TEXTS], ISBN: 0851514855 9780851514857. A Christian classic. RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS is volume two of THE WORKS OF JONATHAN EDWARDS, 26 volumes, ISBN: 0300022824 9780300022827 0300060599 9780300060591. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #21.
    Edwards "sets forth 12 distinguishing signs of truly gracious and holy affections: (1) [those] truly spiritual affections which arise from spiritual, supernatural, Divine influences on the heart; (2) those affections grounded in the intrinsic excellence of Divine things, without relating to our self-interest; (3) those primarily founded on the loveliness of the moral excellency of Divine things. . . ." -- William Young
    "This treatise soberly, thoroughly, and scripturally covers hypocrisy within the Christian church. We recommend it to everyone in full-time Christian service, and to anyone who may be discouraged by hypocrisy among professing Christians.
    "It is by the mixture of counterfeit religion with true, not discerned and distinguished, that the devil has had his greatest advantage against the cause and kingdom of Christ. [for Edward's work on the positive side of the revival in New England see THE DISTINGUISHING MARKS OF A WORK OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD, APPLIED TO THAT UNCOMMON OPERATION THAT HAS LATELY APPEARED ON THE MINDS OF MANY OF THE PEOPLE IN NEW-ENGLAND -- compiler]. It is by this means, principally, that he has prevailed against all revivings of religion, since the first founding of the Christian church. . . . By this, Satan prevailed against the reformation, began by Luther. Zwinglius, etc., to put a stop to its progress, and bring it into disgrace, ten times more than by all those bloody and cruel persecutions of the church of Rome. By this, principally, has he prevailed against revivals of religion in our nation. By this he prevailed against New England, to quench the love and spoil the joy of her espousals, about a hundred years ago. And I think, I have had opportunity enough to see plainly, that by this the devil has prevailed against the late great revival of religion in New England, so happy and promising in its beginning." -- Jonathan Edwards, in the Preface to The Religious Affections
    A Treatise Concerning the Religious Affections, Edwards
    http://archive.org/details/treatiseconcern00edwa
    Religious Affections, Jonathan Edwards
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/affections.i.html?highlight=religious,affections#highlight
    This work also appears full view in Google Books.

    *Enroth, Ronald M., Churches That Abuse: Help for Those Hurt by Legalism, Authoritarian Leadership, Manipulation, Excessive Discipline.
    "What makes a church abusive? Usually it's not doctrinal deviation but intimidating behavior: legalism, authoritarian leadership, manipulation, and excessive discipline. Enroth names abusive groups, shows you how to recognize them, and lists 'red flags' that may indicate when a church is drifting into trouble. Most importantly, Enroth offers help to Christians who've been hurt by abusive churches." -- CBD
    "Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps; The Assembly; Body of Christ Fellowship (Peacemakers); Boston Church of Christ; Christian Growth Ministries; Church of Bible Understanding; Church of Jesus Christ Forever; Church of Our First Love; Church of the Great Shepherd; Christian Growth Ministries; Community of Jesus; Emmaus Christian Fellowship; Faith Assembly; Faith Tabernacle; Fellowship of Christian Churches and Ministries; Great Commission International; Maranatha Christian Ministries; No-Name Fellowship/C-U (Champaign-Urbana), Ministries; River of Life/Truth Station; Set Free; Two-by-Two's; University Bible Fellowship; Victory Chapel (Potter's House); Vineyard; Word of God Community."

    Enroth, Ronald M., Recovering From Churches That Abuse, ISBN: 0310398703 9780310398707 0310398770 9780310398776.
    "The sequel to CHURCHES THAT ABUSE, this book deals more in-depth with the recovery process and its ups and downs. The author does not sugar-coat the toll that spiritual abuse takes on people. Instead, he gives accurate, compassionate, real-life stories which illustrate the recovery process. Anyone who has been harmed by a church or religious group would greatly benefit from this book. Mr. Enroth also shows that this type of abuse is not an easy, simple thing to recover from. Christians who have been given the pat answer 'forgive and forget' will find welcome relief and understanding here. This book will be helpful to Christians and non-Christians alike. Those who have suffered from similar experiences will find support in processing, expressing, and recovering from their ordeal. The author has provided an important service in courageously addressing this formerly forbidden subject." -- Reader's Comment

    Flavel, John (1630-1691), The Touchstone of Sincerity; or, Trial of True and False Religioon (1840)
    http://archive.org/details/touchstoneofsinc00flav

    Flavel, John (1628-1691), A Warning Against Backsliding, False Worship and False Teachers. Available (THE WORKS OF JOHN FLAVEL), on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #27.
    "Exposes the subtlety of false worship and false teachers and counsels all Christians to remove themselves from under ministries that practice such things. Promotes family religion and house gatherings in times of great declension and apostasy (such as ours)." -- Publisher

    Ganz, Richard, and William Edgar, Sold out: How the Evangelical Church is Abandoning God for Self-fulfillment, a Warning, ISBN: 0969469004 9780969469001.
    "Takes on the faulty world-views of Western culture, and the destructive influence of error on individuals, churches, and society. Sets out the hope of the Bible for rebuilding." -- David Powlison (1949-2019)

    Gunn Productions, The Monstrous Regiment of Women, DVD (Gunn Productions, October 31, 2007), 54 minutes.
    "Who is the monstrous regiment? Today, the feminists are our monstrous regiment!

    To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature . . . A thing most contrary to His revealed will and approved ordinance. -- John Knox
    "The 16th century reformer John Knox wrote his famous tract THE FIRST BLAST OF THE TRUMPET AGAINST THE MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN to oppose a notorious European female tyrant who sought to stamp out biblical Christianity in his beloved Scotland.
    "When we approach the issues of our day we wish to borrow his biblical perspective to apply his blast against those who rule in the wake of his monstrous queen. This group, we shall see, far surpasses the queen's iniquities in both kind and degree.
    "Feminists tell women not to submit to a husband, to avoid having children, and that they should listen to their inner voice and chase a career to find true fulfillment. This twisted and irrational teaching has led to disaster for American women, leading many into a frustrating, isolated existence. With this film, we call women back to a life filled with joy and beauty that can only be found by following God's Word.
    "Due to the subject matter this film is not suitable for children.
    "Subjects Covered: | Who was John Knox? | What did he think of women? | What is Feminism? | Feminism and Socialism | Daycare | Modesty | Women in the Military | Women in the Workplace | Margaret Sanger | Planned Parenthood | Abortion | Hillary | Birth Control | Betty Friedan | Rock for Choice | Plus 26 minutes of unique interview footage
    "Featuring: | Sharon Adams -- Historian, Edinburgh University | Jennie Chancey -- Ladies Against Feminism | Jane Doe -- Military Cadet | Carol Everett -- Former Abortion Provider | Dana Feliciano -- Homemaker | Carmon Friedrich -- Writer, Buried Treasure Books | F. Carolyn Graglia -- Author, Domestic Tranquility | Rosalind Marshall -- Knox Biographer | Stacey McDonald -- Author, Raising Maidens of Virtue | Phyllis Schlafly -- Eagle Forum | Denise Sproul -- Homemaker | Kathleen Smith -- Homemaker" -- Publisher

    Hamilton, Ian, The Erosion of Calvinist Orthodoxy: Sceders and Subscription in Scottish Presbyterianism, 1990, ISBN: 0946068348 9780946068340.

    Howitt, William (1792-1879), A Popular History of Priestcraft in all Ages and Nations, eBook.
    "Two Evil Principles: Kingcraft and Priestcraft; Paganism; Mythology of the Assyrians and Syrians; Establishment of Monkery (monks); Popish Arrogance and Atrocities; Jesuits and Inquisitors; English Church; Ministerial Plan of Irish Church Reform; Clerical Incomes; Evils of the system of Church Patronage; Retrospect view of the Effects of Priestcraft."

    *Johnson, David, and Jeff VanVonderen, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church, ISBN: 0764201379 9780764201370.
    "Manipulation, shaming, 'using' other people -- that's in the church, too. Spiritual abuse happens when authority figures use spiritual means to gratify their desires for importance, power, or intimacy. Because abusers use spiritual-sounding language, their followers are trapped in legalism, guilt performance, and begrudging service. Johnson and VanVonderen explain how to identify spiritual abuse, break the cycle of abusive spiritual dynamics, and encourage both abusers and victims to repent and recover." -- CBD
    "In a breakthrough book first published in 1991, the authors address the dynamics in churches that can ensnare people in legalism, guilt, and begrudging service, keeping them from the grace and joy of God's kingdom. Written for both those who feel abused and those who may be causing it, THE SUBTLE POWER OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE shows how people get hooked into abusive systems, the impact of controlling leadership on a congregation, and how the abused believer can find rest and recovery.
    "David Johnson has been the senior pastor at Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, Minnesota, since 1980. During this time, the church has grown from a congregation of 160 to 3,000 people. A much sought-after speaker, he is a graduate of Bethel College and received his theological training at Bethel Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His "Growing in Grace" radio broadcast is syndicated internationally. David and his family live in Minnesota.
    "Jeff VanVonderen is an internationally known speaker on addictions and church and family wellness. He has worked as a counselor in both residential and outpatient treatment settings, as well as in the religious community, taught at the college level, and is the author of several books. He makes his home in California." -- Publisher
    "The difference between churches that use manipulation and those that practice grace is like night and day. . . .
    "VanVonderen and Johnson warn people who read the book not to use what they have learned as a weapon, but to take action only in the proper spirit. Of course, any time someone takes action in a church, real problems will become visible. My question in every case is: are those problems caused by those speaking out, or have they been there all along and are only now being exposed. . . ?
    "It is fair, it is doctrinally solid, and it gives effective counsel. There is something beneficial for everyone. . . leader, wounded Christian, or loved ones of people in either group." -- Reader's Comment

    *Johnston, Jerry, with Bill Stern, The Edge of Evil: The Rise of Satanism in North America, ISBN: 0849906687 9780849906688.
    "Amid the hoopla and shock of occult mysteries and Jerry Johnston's trans-continental investigation he ferrets out the truth. The intoxication of satanic power, the mind-warping of Satan's new children isn't easy reading, but it is must reading for every parent, educator, and teenager desiring to be protected. . . . Jerry Johnston's profound impact on young people and their parents has been acclaimed by educators, clergy, mayors, media personalities, politicians, and President Reagan coast-to-coast. . . . Johnston is considered an expert on youth culture and trends. . . ." -- Publisher

    Klassen, Margreta, Soul Stealing, Abuse of Intimate Power: A Narrative Memoir, ISBN: 1439262365 9781439262368.
    "Dr. Margreta Klassen, a nationally known psychotherapist with expertise in sexual trauma, has written a vitally important book that is both informative and healing as well as soul stirring and thought provoking. Survivors of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse will find hope and a path to recovery in reading this comprehensive work. Highly recommended." -- Dr. Larry Lachman, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Monterey, California
    "The author has captured the child's point of view." -- Ralph Potter, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Harvard Divinity School

    *Knox, John (1505-1572), Appellation From the Sentence Pronounced by the Bishops and Clergy: Addressed to the Nobility and Estates of Scotland. Alternate title: THE APPELLATION OF JOHN KNOX FROM THE CRUELL . . . SENTENCE PRONOUNCED AGAINST HIM BY THE FALSE BISHOPPES AND CLERGEY OF SCOTLAND, WITH HIS SUPPLICATION AND EXHORTATION TO THE NOBILITIE, ESTATES, AND COMMUNALTIE OF THE SAME REALME, and THE APPELLATION . . . TO THE SCOTTISH NOBILITY, and REFORMATION, REVOLUTION AND ROMANISM: AN APPEAL TO THE SCOTTISH NOBILITY, and THE APPELLATION FROM THE SENTENCE PRONOUNCED BY THE BISHOPS AND CLERGY: ADDRESSED TO THE NOBILITY AND ESTATES OF SCOTLAND, and THE APPELLATION. Cover title: REFORMATION, REVOLUTION AND ROMANISM: APPEAL TO THE SCOTTISH NOBILITY (1558). Available (singly as REFORMATION, REVOLUTION AND ROMANISM, in which key text have been underlined by a previous reader), on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available (REFORMATION, REVOLUTION AND ROMANISM), on Reformation Bookshelf CD #1 (MP3), #26. Available (APPELLATION FROM THE SENTENCE PRONOUNCED BY THE BISHOPS AND CLERGY: ADDRESSED TO THE NOBILITY AND ESTATES OF SCOTLAND), on the Library of Presbyterian Heritage Publications and Protestant Heritage Press CD-ROM Library. Available (APPELLATION FROM THE SENTENCE PRONOUNCED BY THE BISHOPS AND CLERGY: ADDRESSED TO THE NOBILITY AND ESTATES OF SCOTLAND), in THE WORKS OF JOHN KNOX, Vol. 4. [John Knox; David Laing ((collector and editor)), THE WORKS OF JOHN KNOX, Vol. 4, reprint of the 1855 edition printed for Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh (New York: AMS Press, 1966)].
    "David Chilton notes, 'Of all the sixteenth-century Reformers, John Knox remains the most ardently loved and fiercely hated. No other leader of his day saw so clearly the political issues in the light of Scripture. Nor has any of his contemporaries had so much direct influence upon the subsequent history of the world. He transformed a land of barbarians into one of the most hard-headly Calvinistic cultures ever to exist, and his doctrines lie at the core of all Protestant revolutionary activity. While he is often considered merely one of Calvin's lieutenants, he was actually a Reformer in his own right. In some respects he was the greatest of them all.' ("John Knox," in The Journal of Christian Reconstruction: Symposium on Puritanism and Law [Vallecito, CA: Chalcedon], Vol. V, No. 2, Winter, 1978-79, p. 194).
    "Furthermore, R.L. Greaves has noted that 'it has even been suggested -- and not altogether without merit -- that Knox was a key link in the development of political ideology that culminated in the American Revolution.' (Theology and Revolution in the Scottish Reformation: Studies in the Thought of John Knox [Grand Rapids, MI: Christian University Press, 1980], p. 156).
    "Moreover, Mason [Roger A. Mason -- compiler], states that this APPEAL [APPELLATION FROM THE SENTENCE PRONOUNCED BY THE BISHOPS AND CLERGY: ADDRESSED TO THE NOBILITY AND ESTATES OF SCOTLAND -- compiler], 'is the most important . . . of Knox's political writings.' (in the Introduction to his compilation of Knox's political writings entitled KNOX: ON REBELLION). [see annotation for KNOX: ON REBELLION elsewhere in this bibliography -- compiler]. It shows in a conclusive manner that Knox wanted a Theonomic Establishment which was careful to 'disapprove, detest, oppose and remove all false worship and all monuments of idolatry' (cf. Westminster Larger Catechism, #108). It also clearly demonstrates that Knox believed in and promoted the continuing binding validity of the Old Testament case laws and the penal sanctions attached to them, including the death penalty.
    "Kevin Reed, in a editor's note, introducing this piece in his newly published SELECTED WRITING OF JOHN KNOX [available on the Puritan Hard Drive. -- compiler], also points out that 'the Westminster Confession provides a distinct echo of Knox, when it states that the magistrate ""hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed"" (Ch. 23:3, original wording). One secular historian once described Knox as 'Calvin with a sword,' making one wonder if he had not just been reading this very book. For 'where Calvin merely permitted disobedience to an ungodly ruler or immoral law, Knox championed armed rebellion -- a type of Calvinism that made religious revolution in Scotland possible.' (Christian History, Issue 46, p. 35). This is the best of the best; don't miss it!" -- Publisher
    Knox, John, Appellation From the Sentence Pronounced by the Bishops and Clergy: Addressed to the Nobility and Estates of Scotland
    This is a character scan (OCR) of the modernized text published by Protestant Heritage Press. While text may be cut and pasted it is subject to copyright.
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/appellat.htm
    The Works of John Knox (1846), Vol. 4.
    http://archive.org/stream/worksjohnknox07laingoog#page/n4/mode/2up
    Reformation, Revolution and Romanism (1558), John Knox, MP3 file.
    "This has been called John Knox's most important political writing. It also deals with Romanism, God's law, and much more.
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?currSection=sermonssource&sermonID=1030075041
    See also:
    Goodman, Christopher (1520-1603), How Superior Powers ought to be Obeyed of Their Subjects: And Wherein They may Lawfully by God's Word be Disobeyed and Resisted, 1558. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #26. Available (HOW SUPERIOR POWERS OUGHT TO BE OBEYED), on the Library of Presbyterian Heritage Publications and Protestant Heritage Press CD-ROM Library.
    "From 1555 to 1558, Christopher Goodman served as co-pastor, with John Knox, of the congregation of English exiles in Geneva. During the course of his ministry, Goodman preached upon Acts 4:19 and 5:29: 'Whether it be right in the sight of God, to obey you rather than God, judge ye. We ought rather to obey God than men'. . . . In this book, Goodman contends against both ecclesiastical and political tyranny." -- Publisher
    How Superior Powers Ought to be Obeyed of Their Subjects
    http://www.constitution.org/cmt/goodman/obeyed.htm
    See also annotation for:
    Knox, John (1505-1572), The History of the Reformation of Religion Within the Realm of Scotland. . . . Together With the Life of the Author, and Several Curious Pieces Wrote by him, . . . By the Reverend Mr. John Knox, . . . To Which is Added, I. An Admonition to England and Scotland . . . BY Antoni Gilby. II. The First and Second Books of Discipline, Glasgow, 1761. Alternate title: THE HISTORIE OF THE REFORMATION OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND CONTAINING FIVE BOOKS: TOGETHER WITH SOME TREATISES CONDUCING TO THE HISTORY. EDITED, WITH A LIFE OF KNOX AND A PREFACE, BY DAVID BUCHANAN. INCLUDES: "THE APPELLATION OF JOHN KNOX, FROM THE . . . SENTENCE PRONOUNCED AGAINST HIM (pp. 1-33); "THE ADMONITION OF JOHN KNOX TO HIS BELOVED BRETHREN THE COMMONALTY OF SCOTLAND" (pp. 34-42); "A FAITHFULL ADMONITION MADE BY JOHN KNOX TO THE TRUE PROFESSORS OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST WITHIN THE KINGDOM OF ENGLAND, 1554" (pp. 43-79); "THE COPIE OF A LETTER DELIVERED TO QUEEN MARY, REGENT OF SCOTLAND" (pp. 80-97); AND "A SERMON PREACHED BY JOHN KNOX [AUGUST 19, 1565]," ISBN: 0851513581 9780851513584. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #1.

    *Knox, John (1505-1572), Faithful Admonition to the Professors of God's Truth, 1554. Alternate title: A FAITHFUL ADMONITION TO THE PROFESSORS OF GOD'S TRUTH IN ENGLAND, and AGAINST ROMISH RITES AND POLITICAL AND ECCLESIASTICAL TYRANNY. Available (WORKS OF JOHN KNOX) on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #15, #26. Available in SELECTED WRITINGS OF JOHN KNOX.
    "Formerly titled A FAITHFUL ADMONITION TO THE PROFESSORS OF GOD'S TRUTH IN ENGLAND, this letter is said to be 'undoubtedly the most important' of Knox's writings (up to that time), by W. Stanford Reid in TRUMPETER OF GOD (p. 114). Furthermore Reid notes that Knox's 'views on the magistrate expressed in the FAITHFUL ADMONITION, were to have an important influence upon much of his future conduct, and upon the development of the Reformation in both England and Scotland.' The editor of KNOX'S WORKS states, 'the object of the ADMONITION was twofold. The one was to animate those who had made a good profession to perseverance, and to avoid the sin of . . . appearing to conform to the 'abominable idolatry' re-established in England; the other, to point out the dangers to be apprehended in when the kingdom became subjected to the dominion of strangers.' Knox uses very strong language here, in the hopes of getting through to those who came to be termed Nicodemites (i.e., those who thought that they could 'keep faith secretly in the heart, and yet do as idolaters do,' in Knox's own words). Written at a time when the true church had been driven underground by Roman Catholic persecution, it was said concerning this letter that 'many other godly men besides have been exposed to the risk of their property, and even life itself, upon the sole ground of either having had this book in their possession, or having read it.' Kevin Reed gives an excellent summary of this letter in SELECTED WRITINGS OF JOHN KNOX, when, in part, he writes, 'while acknowledging the risk of persecution to the faithful, the reformer perceives a greater danger in compromising with idolatry. Government persecution may bring disfavour of men, loss of personal goods and, in some cases, physical death; but idolatry brings down the wrath of God, resulting in grievous punishments, now and through eternity. Idolatry also invites a curse upon the posterity of the nation. In an intense pastoral appeal, Knox strongly admonishes his readers to avoid conforming to the Romish rites of worship' (p. 220). For those who would rather read many of these Knox items with contemporary spelling, punctuation, and grammar we highly recommend the SELECTED WRITINGS OF JOHN KNOX." -- Publisher
    John Knox: Faithful Admonition (1554)
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/FaithAdm.htm

    *Knox, John (1505-1572), and Kevin Reed (editor), The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment [government], of Women, with the "Summary of the Second Blast" appended (Dallas, TX [Presbyterian Heritage Publications, P.O. Box 180922, 75218-0922]: Presbyterian Heritage Publications, 1993), trade paperback, 96 pages, marginal notes, scripture index, and subject index. This edition appears in three additional formats: SELECTED WRITINGS OF JOHN KNOX: PUBLIC EPISTLES, TREATISES, AND EXPOSITIONS TO THE YEAR 1559, pp. 370-436, the LIBRARY OF PRESBYTERIAN HERITAGE PUBLICATIONS AND PROTESTANT HERITAGE PRESS CD-ROM LIBRARY, and e-text that includes the marginal notes as endnotes, but does not include the scripture index, and subject index. Citations for these three additional formats are listed below.
    "The text of this edition is based on the definitive edition of THE WORKS OF JOHN KNOX, edited by David Laing (Edinburgh, 1895).
    "In this controversial work, John Knox contends that 'to promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature, contumely [insult], to God, a thing most contrary to his revealed will and approved ordinance; and finally, it is the subversion of good order, of all equity and justice'." -- Publisher
    Subheading used in this edition:

    "The SUMMARY OF THE SECOND BLAST was originally appended to the APPELLATION FROM THE SENTENCE PRONOUNCED BY THE BISHOPS AND CLERGY: ADDRESSED TO THE NOBILITY AND ESTATES OF SCOTLAND (1558), published in KNOX'S WORKS, VOL. IV, pp. 539-40." (see citation below) -- Publisher
    Knox, The First Blast of the Trumpet
    http://archive.org/details/firstblasttrump00knoxgoog
    The First Blast of the Trumpet. Available (in KNOX'S WORKS, VOL. 4) on the Puritan Hard Drive.
    http://archive.org/stream/worksjohnknox07laingoog#page/n4/mode/2up
    Other publications of THE FIRST BLAST OF THE TRUMPET follow:

    *Knox, John (1505-1572), and Roger A. Mason (editor), Knox: On Rebellion (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought series), ISBN: 0521390893 9780521390897 0521399882 9780521399883.
    "John Knox's FIRST BLAST OF THE TRUMPET AGAINST THE MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN, one of the most notorious political tracts of the sixteenth century, has been more often referred to than read. Its true significance as one of a series of pamphlets which Knox wrote in 1558 on the theme of rebellion is therefore easily overlooked. This new edition of his writings includes not only THE FIRST BLAST, but the three other tracts of 1558 -- THE LETTER TO THE REGENT OF SCOTLAND, THE APPELLATION TO THE SCOTTISH NOBILITY, and THE LETTER TO THE COMMONALTY OF SCOTLAND - in which Knox confronted the problem of resistance to tyranny. Related material, mostly drawn from Knox's own HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION IN SCOTLAND, illuminates the development of his views before 1558 and illustrates their application in the specific circumstances of the Scottish Reformation and the rule of Mary Queen of Scots. This edition thus brings together for the first time all of Knox's most important writings on rebellion." -- Publisher's Annotation
    The edited, Roger A. Mason, is co-author of A DIALOGUE ON THE LAW OF KINGSHIP AMONG THE SCOTS: A CRITICAL EDITION AND TRANSLATION OF GEORGE BUCHANAN'S DE JURE REGNI APUD SCOTOS DIALOGUS and is from the University of St Andrews, Scotland.
    "This compilation brings together, for the first time, all of Knox's most important political writings. It shows, in Knox's own words, how he directly and faithfully confronted the problem of resistance to tyranny. It is especially illustrative in regard to how Knox made application of Scripture to the specific circumstances of the Scottish Reformation and the rule of Mary, Queen of Scots. It includes his FIRST BLAST OF THE TRUMPET AGAINST THE MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN, THE APPELLATION TO THE SCOTTISH NOBILITY, his confrontations with Lethington (the Queens's secretary) during the General Assembly [A DEBATE BETWEEN JOHN KNOX AND SECRETARY LETHINGTON ON THE DUTY OF CHRISTIAN SUBJECTS TO EXECUTE JUDGEMENT UPON CRIMINAL MAGISTRATES -- sk], and much more. Reconstructionists, and all serious students of the Reformation, will welcome this volume, as it conclusively proves that Knox held to some very specific points related to Theonomic ethics. Knox even went so far as to call for the execution of the Queen, because she was publicly promoting sedition (against Christ the King) in her celebration of the idolatrous Popish Mass. He based his reasoning, including negative civil penal sanctions, on Old Testament case law. B.K. Kuiper says of him, 'After Knox returned to Scotland the Reformation in that land swept forward . . . The preaching of Knox was like a spark in a keg of gunpowder.' Wherever he preached there followed an iconoclastic explosion. Images were broken and monasteries stormed by the mob. He wrote: 'The places of idolatry were made level with the ground, the monuments of idolatry consumed with fire, and priests were commanded under pain of death to desist from their blasphemous mass . . . The pope's authority and all jurisdiction by Catholic prelates was abolished, and the celebration of the mass was forbidden. Maintenance of the true religion was declared to be the prime duty of government . . .' (The Church in History, pp. 217-18). This book will leave no doubt in your mind as to why Knox has been called 'Calvin with a sword.' It will light a fire in your soul for righteousness in civil matters -- something the Reformers often addressed!" -- Publisher's Annotation
    Some of the tracts included in this work are available singly in THE WORKS OF JOHN KNOX on the Puritan Hard Drive and the Reformation Bookshelf. Available (THE WORKS OF JOHN KNOX) on Reformation Bookshelf CD #1.
    See also the following political writings of John Knox single on both the Puritan Hard Drive and in The Reformation Bookshelf: CD #1, John Knox Debates God's Law, Idolatry and Civil Resistance in the General Assembly of 1564 | CD #1, Select Practical Writings of John Knox | CD #15, Against Romish Rites and Political and Ecclesiastical Tyranny (1554) | CD #26, Against Romish Rites and Political and Ecclesiastical Tyranny (1554) | CD #17, An Admonition to Flee Idolatry, Romanism and All False Worship (1554) | CD #25, The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (This book is on the first CD in this set). | CD #26, Reformation, Revolution and Romanism: An Appeal to the Scottish Nobility (1558).
    The First Blast of the Trumpet, John Knox (1505-1572)
    http://archive.org/details/firstblasttrump00knoxgoog -->

    Kraut, Ogden, The Four Crafts: Doctorcraft, Lawyercraft, Priestcraft, Kingcraft.
    The Mormon doctrine of the priestcraft.

    *Lloyd-Jones, D. Martyn (1899-1981), Truth Unchanged, Unchanging.
    "Shows that man's present troubles are due to his stubborn refusal to bow before the sovereign God of the Bible." -- William J. Grier

    *Machiavelli, Niccolò (1469-1527), The Prince, ISBN: 0192833979 9780192833976.
    This famous analysis of statesmanship and power, lauded by the world system and read by practically all politicians, will give insight to those who may still not understand power politics in Washington. But to fully understand the current situation in the Federal government even the discerning person must work in a Federal office or within the corporate limits of the District of Columbia for at least a year. A secular author.
    The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli
    http://books.mirror.org/gb.machiavelli.html

    Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm (1844-1900), Walter Kaufmann (translator), Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, ISBN: 0585110875 9780585110875.
    Non-dualism was a basic tenet of the philosophy of Nietzsche. See: The Non-duality of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother: A Profile.
    "Represents Nietzsche's attempt to sum up his philosophy. In nine parts the book is designed to give the reader a comprehensive idea of Nietzche's thought and style. With an inclusive index of subjects and persons." -- Publisher

    *North, Gary, Conspiracy in Philadelphia: The Origins of the U.S. Constitution, an e-book.
    "In addition to primary sources, North relies on the work of the most well respected members of the historical community -- Bailyn, Wood, Mcdonald, Gaustad, Boller, Koch, Adair, and Rakove to name a few.
    "The thesis of the book is that the key U.S. Founders -- the ones who pushed through the ideas upon which America declared independence and then constructed the Constitution -- were secret theological unitarians, whose heterodox religious creed inspired them to found American government upon the notion of religious neutrality, and consequently break the tradition of covenanting with the Triune Christian God. His book focuses on Article VI Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution (no religious tests) as the device for achieving secular government.
    "From what I have researched, North is correct in his essential claim. Other scholars have noted something similar. For instance, in this post I noted Thomas Pangle and Cushing Stout, whose work North cites, concluding that there is a connection between the U.S. Constitution's benign approach to religion and the key Founders' enlightened and benign personal religious creed. Indeed, one could argue, as does Dr. Gregg Frazer, that the Founders' unitarianism or theistic rationalism was the political theology of the American Founding.
    "Ideas have consequences and it was these heterodox unitarian ideas, not orthodox Christianity, that drove the U.S. Founding's approach to religion and government. However, such heterodoxy or heresy wasn't a popular creed, but rather was disproportionately believed in by the elite Whigs. Whatever the religion of a majority of the U.S. population (either nominal Protestant Christianity, which itself can tend towards Deism, or orthodox Protestant Christianity), orthodox Churches held a great deal of institutional power. With such power, they had to essentially consent to the elite Whig's new plan on government. And they did. But not all of them, for instance, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (Covenanters) to whom North dedicates his book. From the very beginning they smelled a rat in Philadelphia.
    "So the notion that there was a secret coup, a bait and switch as Michael Zuckert put it, to sell a Christian audience non-authentically Christian ideas is not new. James Renwick Willson was one of those covenanters who in 1832 made arguments very similar to North's. And he was burned in effigy for this sermon which called all of the Presidents from Washington to Jackson infidels and not more than unitarians. I think Willson got at the truth, but did so by shattering a sacred cow -- a social myth. The kernel of truth that David Barton et al. have is that many folks in the 19th century did believe in the Christian America social myth as a cultural prejudice. And many of their bogus, unconfirmed quotations source back to 19th century places that pushed this social myth.
    "Now the non-respectable has become the respectable and secular scholars more or less agree with the claims of James Renwick Willson and Gary North that America didn't have an authentically orthodox Christian founding. . . ." -- Jonathan Rowe, June 8, 2008 (http://www.positiveliberty.com/2008/06/gary-norths-ebook.html).
    Download a copy at:
    Conspiracy in Philadelphia: The Origins of the U.S. Constitution
    https://www.garynorth.com/philadelphia.pdf
    Conspiracy in Philadelphia, an article by Gary North
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north291.html

    Odeberg, Hugo (1898-1973), Pharisaism and Christianity. "Hugo Odeberg's penetrating analysis of the all-embracing and distinctive conflict between Pharisaic righteousness and primitive Christianity. New Testament evidence leaves no doubt, the author insists, that the conflict between primitive Christianity and Pharisaism was irreconcilable."
    https://archive.org/details/PharisaismAndChristianity

    *Pink, Arthur W. (1886-1952), The Sovereignty of God, ISBN: 0801068649 9780801068645. A Christian classic. Available (the original, unrevised, unabridged text), on the Puritan Hard Drive.
    Be sure to read the original, unrevised, unabridged edition, not the Banner of Truth edition (see the Marc Carpenter article below).
    "Present-day conditions call loudly for a new examination and new presentation of God's omnipotence, God's sufficiency, God's sovereignty. From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth that God still lives, that God still observes, that God still reigns." -- Arthur W. Pink
    "This is the best contemporary book explaining the foundations of Calvinism and God's sovereignty (as revealed in Scripture). It is like a key that, by God's grace, opens the door of understanding to some of the most blessed truths in Scripture. From the myriad of testimonies that we have heard concerning how God has used this book, we think that we can safely say that this is also the best book to pass on to those that you want to introduce to Calvinism." -- Publisher
    The Banner of Truth edition removed three chapters, "The Sovereignty of God and Reprobation," "God's Sovereignty and Human Responsibility," and "Difficulties and Objections." It also removes four appendices that "deal with the false distinction between decretive and permissive will, the foreordaining of the Fall, and treatments of John 3:16 and 1 John 2:2 to show that there is not a universal love or propitiation. . . ."
    The Sovereignty of God, by A.W. Pink
    The complete text available in either Word (.doc) format, or Rich Text Format (.rtf)
    http://w3.goodnews.net/~maxward/sov.html
    The Banner of Truth versus Calvinism, Marc D. Carpenter, an article.
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/PDF/147a-TheBannerTruthvsCalvinism.pdf

    *Price, Greg L., Biblical Civil Government Versus the Beast; and, the Basis for Civil Resistance. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #26.
    "This is the best modern testimony for the biblical principles of civil magistracy -- which were so prominent during the height of the Second Reformation -- that we have seen. Price documents the teachings of many of the major Reformers (and some of the church fathers), and in an easy reading manner simplifies what can at times become a very complex subject. This particular Reformation message, proclaiming Christ's Kingship over the nations (and the practical outworking of the same), has been buried from the view of the general public for some time now, but is once again being brought to light in this very helpful introductory book. A sobering appendix has been added (written by a friend of the Covenanted Reformation), which shows why it is unlawful for a Christian to swear any oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. This appendix also compares the points of difference between classic (or historic), Reformed teaching and modern Reformed teaching regarding magistracy and religion. Special attention is given to the OPC, the PCA and the RPCNA and the changes that these groups have made to second Reformation confessional standards (concerning matters related to the civil magistrate). Statements by B.B. Warfield are also contrasted to the older Reformed views. You won't find a better easy-to-read and easy to understand introduction to this important topic -- a topic which impacts directly on every Christian's testimony for the crown rights of King Jesus!" -- Publisher
    "It is this author's contention that the modern churches have let go of this important piece of the faith [Christ's Kingship over the nations -- compiler], once for all delivered to the saints. Thereby they have delivered the church, not to kings as nursing fathers, but to the cruel civil domination of the enemies of the true religion, their sheep being taught that they must submit passively to every pretended civil authority as the ordinance of God. By this defection, these leaders of the flock have also undermined the magistracy, allowing and even encouraging wicked men to remove this blessed ordinance from its foundation in God its creator, and from its subjection to Christ His King, thereby directly opposing God's benevolent ends in instituting civil government: 'Thus have [they] made the commandment of God of none effect by [their] tradition. . . . teaching for doctrines the commandments of men' (Matthew 15:6,9). Furthermore, by their false teaching regarding civil government, they have made themselves guilty of the very sin of which we are often accused: opposing the ordinance of God. If this wasn't enough, however, consider that their sin is worse than that of the garden variety rebel, inasmuch as their opposition to God's institution is not so much practical as it is principal; and because of their position as teachers and guides of the flock of God. 'Be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. . . . For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.' (James 3:1; II Cor. 13:8 [2 Corinthians 13:8]) -- Greg Price, Biblical Civil Government Verses the Beast, p. 64
    Biblical Civil Government Versus the Beast; and, the Basis for Civil Resistance, Greg Price
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/BibCG_GP.htm

    *Reformed Presbytery of North America (Steelite), David Steele (1803-1887), John Thorburn (1730?-1788), John Courtass (d. 1795), et al., Act, Declaration, and Testimony, for the Whole of the Covenanted Reformation, as Attained to, and Established in, Britain and Ireland; Particularly Betwixt the Years 1638 and 1649, Inclusive. As, Also, Against all the Steps of Defection From Said Reformation, Whether in Former or Later Times, Since the Overthrow of that Glorious Work, Down to This Present day (1876), (Philadelphia, PA: Printed by Rue and Jones, 1876), a new edition of the Ploughlandhead Testimony of 1761, the subordinate standard of the original "Steelite" Reformed Presbytery that was constitutes in 1840. Available (the 1850 edition only) on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available (the 1850 edition only) on Reformation Bookshelf CD #1.
    "And now, when time has proved that more recent Testimonies, Terms, and Covenants, have failed to preserve either unity or uniformity among those who framed them; it cannot be unseasonable to re-exhibit the original ACT, DECLARATION, AND TESTIMONY, which has been justly characterized as 'the most profoundly reasoned document ever emitted by the Reformed Presbyterian Church'." -- The Reformation Advocate Magazine, Vol. I, No. 8, December, 1875, page 267
    "Upholds the original work of the Westminster Assembly and testifies to the abiding worth and truth formulated in the Westminster family of documents. Upholds and defends the Crown Rights of King Jesus in Church and State, denouncing those who would remove the crown from Christ's head by denying His right to rule (by His law), in both the civil and ecclesiastical spheres. Testifies to the received doctrine, government, worship, and discipline of the Church of Scotland in her purest (reforming) periods. Applies God's Word to the Church's corporate attainments 'with a judicial approbation of the earnest contendings and attainments of the faithful, and a strong and pointed judicial condemnation of error and the promoters thereof.' (The Contending Witness magazine, Dec. 17/93, p. 558). Shows the church's great historical victories (such as the National and Solemn League and Covenant, leading to the Westminster Assembly), and exposes her enemies actions (e.g. the Prelacy of Laud; the Independency, sectarianism, covenant breaking and ungodly toleration set forth by the likes of Cromwell [and the Independents that conspired with him]; the Erastianism and civil sectarianism of William of Orange, etc.). It is not likely that you will find a more consistent working out of the principles of Calvinism anywhere. Deals with the most important matters relating to the individual, the family, the church and the state. Sets forth a faithful historical testimony of God's dealings with men during some of the most important days of church history. A basic text that should be mastered by all Christians." -- Publisher
    Act, Declaration, and Testimony (1876)
    https://archive.org/details/actdeclarationte00refo
    Act, Declaration and Testimony, 1761 (edition of 1876
    "Compared with the 1777 edition, Philadelphia. We hereby certify that this is a true edition of the ORIGINAL JUDICIAL TESTIMONY, emitted by the Reformed Presbytery at Ploughlandhead, Scotland, 1761; together with the Supplements adopted by the Reformed Presbytery at this date, June 2d, 1876. [Signed -- compiler] David Steele, James Campbell, Robert Clyde, Robert Alexander, Committee.
    http://www.truecovenanter.com/

    *Reformed Presbytery of North America "Steelite" (David Steele [1803-1887], James Campbell, Thomas Sproull, James Fulton), A Short Vindication of our Covenanted Reformation, 2nd Edition, Revised, and Enlarged by a Committee of the Reformed Presbytery ("Circular" and "Review" prefixed), 1879, 50 pages. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive. Also available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #2 (also #1, #25, and #30).
    "Until the church comes to terms with what is written in this book it will remain weak and divided. Covenant breakers will not prosper, as this rare item demonstrates from both Scripture and history. The power packed ordinance of covenanting (the National and Solemn League and Covenant in particular), was foundational to the second Reformation and the work of the Westminster Assembly. 'By the National Covenant our fathers laid Popery prostrate. By the Solemn League and Covenant they were successful in resisting prelatic encroachments and civil tyranny. By it they were enabled to achieve the Second Reformation . . . They were setting up landmarks by which the location and limits of the city of God will be known at the dawn of the millennial day . . . How can they be said to go forth by the footsteps of the flock, who have declined from the attainments, renounced the covenants and contradicted the testimony of 'the cloud of witnesses. . . . All the schisms (separations) that disfigure the body mystical of Christ . . . are the legitimate consequences of the abandonment of reformation attainments, the violation of covenant engagements.' If you are interested in knowing how to recognize a faithful church (or state), when and why to separate from unfaithful institutions, who has held up the standard of Covenanted Reformation attainments and who has backslidden (and why), what it means to subscribe to the Westminster Confession (1646), (and why most that say they do so today do not have any idea of what that means), and much more concerning individual, family, church and civil, individual, family, church and civil duties, this is one of the best books you will ever lay your hands on. It chronicles 'some instances of worldly conformity and mark(s) some steps of defection from our 'covenanted unity and uniformity,' noting how 'it is necessary to take a retrospect of our history for many years; for we did not all at once reach our present condition of sinful ignorance and manifold apostasy.' Presbyterian and the Reformed churches lay under the heavy hand of God's judgement in our day, because of the very defections noted throughout this fine work. 'We heard (hear) from various quarters the cry, "maintain the truth, stand up for the principles of the Second Reformation"; and yet many of those who are the most loud in uttering this cry, appear desirous to bury in oblivion those imperishable national and ecclesiastical deeds, by which the church and kingdom of Scotland became 'married to the Lord.' Are we married to the Lord, or have we thrown off the covenants of our forefathers; are we the chaste bride of Christ, or a harlot who is found in the bedchambers of every devilish suitor (whether ecclesiastical or civil), who tempts us with the favors of this world? Let us cry out, as with 'the noble Marquis of Argyle, upon the scaffold,' when he said, 'God hath tied us by covenants to religion and reformation. These that were then unborn are yet engaged, and it passeth the power of all the magistrates under heaven to absolve them from the oath of God. They deceive themselves, and it may be, would deceive others, who think otherwise.' Not for the weak of heart." -- Publisher
    A Short Vindication of our Covenanted Reformation, Reformed Presbytery
    http://www.covenanter.org/reformed/2016/4/26/a-short-vindication-of-our-covenanted-reformation

    *Robbins, John W. (1949-2008, editor), Christ and Civilization, ISBN: 1891777246 9781891777240.
    "A new 48-page booklet. Includes a complete listing (in an additional 16 pages), of the books currently available from The Trinity Foundation."
    Christ and Civilization
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/PDF/200a-ChristandCivilization.pdf

    *Robbins, John W. (1949-2008, editor), The Church Effeminate and Other Essays (Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation, 2002), ISBN: 0940931540 9780940931541.
    Contents: Robbins: The Church; Witherow: The Apostolic Church; Ryle: The True Church; Lloyd-Jones: The Primacy of Preaching; Adams: Preaching to the Heart; Ryle: The Fallibility of Ministers; Crampton: Exclusive Psalmody; The Geneva Service Book of 1556: Scripture and the Ordering of Worship; Miller: The Christian Education of the Children and Youth in the Presbyterian Church; Calvin: The Teachers of the Church; Clark: The Presbyterian Doctrine of Ordination; Warfield: Paul on Women Speaking in Church; Clark: The Ordination of Women; Robbins: The Church Effeminate; Luther: On the Councils and the Church; Hodge: The Relation of Church and State; Calvin: The Roman Church-State; Dostoyevsky: The Grand Inquisitor; Burroughs: Episcopacy; Witherspoon: Secrets of Church Polity; McFetridge: Calvinism and the Church; Chan: The New Babylonian Captivity of the Church; Robbins: The Reconstructionist Road to Rome; a Lasco: The Abolition of Vestments; Hanko: Ought the Church to Pray for Revival? Hodge: The Great Revival of Religion, 1740-1745; Luther: The Power of the Word; Clark: What Is Evangelism? Clark: Art and the Gospel; Calvin: The Necessity of Reforming the Church; Ryle: Idolatry; Ryle: Pharisees and Sadducees; Machen: The Good Fight of Faith; Ryle: Apostolic Fears; Machen: The Separateness of the Church; Robbins: The Sin of Signing Ecumenical Declarations; M'Crie: Fundamentalism and Ecumenism; Calvin: The Unity of the Church; Robbins: The Church Irrational; Index; Scripture Index.
    The Necessity of Reforming the Church (1543), by John Calvin
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/NRC_ch00.htm
    Calvin's Commentary on Hosea
    http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/m.sion/calvhose.htm

    Robbins, John W. (1949-2008), Cornelius Van Til: The Man and the Myth.
    "The actual teaching of this eminent Philadelphia theologian have been obscured by the myths that surround him. This book penetrates those myths and criticizes Van Til's surprisingly unorthodox views of God and the Bible." -- John W. Robbins
    Cornelius Van Til, John W. Robbins
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=33

    *Roberts, William Louis (1798-1864), The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism, ISBN: 0524065543 9780524065549. A Christian classic. Considered to be among the ten greatest books in the English language. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available from ATLA 1991-2638.
    A magnificent catechism that sets forth the Crown Rights of The King of Glory and Lord of Lords. It also presents incontrovertible evidence that the United States Constitution is not a Christian document, and that it is, in fact, a slavery document.
    "A manual of instruction, drawing from such notable authors as William Symington and J.R. Willson, presenting 'arguments and facts confirming and illustrating the 'Distinctive Principles' of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Chapters deal with: 'Christ's Mediatorial Dominion in General;' Christ's Exclusive Headship Over the Church;' 'The Supreme and Ultimate Authority of the Word of God in the Church;' Civil Government, the Moral Ordinance of God;' Christ's Headship Over the Nations;' 'The Subjection of the Nations to God and to Christ;' The Word, or Revealed Will of God, the Supreme Law in the State;' 'The Duty of Nations, in Their National Capacity, to Acknowledge and Support the True Religion:' 'The Spiritual Independence of the Church of Christ:' 'The Right and Duty of Dissent From an Immoral Constitution of Civil Government;' 'The Duty of Covenanting, and the Permanent Obligations of Religious Covenants;' 'The Application of These Principles to the Governments, Where Reformed Presbyterians Reside, in the Form of a Practical Testimony;' and finally 'Application of the Testimony to the British Empire. . . '." -- Publisher
    Reformed Presbyterian Catechism, William L. Roberts D.D.
    http://archive.org/details/ReformedPresbyterianCatechism
    On the Mediatorial Dominion of The Lord Jesus Christ, excerpted from THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CATECHISM.
    http://www.truecovenanter.com/reformedpresbyterian/roberts_rp_catechism_section_01_mediatorial_dominion.html
    The Exclusive Headship of The Lord Jesus Christ Over the Church of God, excerpted from THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CATECHISM.
    http://www.truecovenanter.com/reformedpresbyterian/roberts_rp_catechism_section_02_christs_headship_over_the_church.html
    Civil Government the Moral Ordinance of God, excerpted from THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CATECHISM.
    http://www.truecovenanter.com/reformedpresbyterian/roberts_rp_catechism_section_04_civil_government.html
    On Christ's Headship Over the Nations, excerpted from THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CATECHISM.
    http://www.truecovenanter.com/reformedpresbyterian/roberts_rp_catechism_section_05_christs_headship_over_nations.html
    The Subjection of the Nations to God and to Christ, excerpted from THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CATECHISM.
    http://www.truecovenanter.com/reformedpresbyterian/roberts_rp_catechism_section_06_subjection_of_nations_to_christ.html
    See also: The Scottish Covenanting Struggle, Alexander Craighead, and the Mecklenburg Declaration, Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Constitutional Convention; Conspiracy in Philadelphia: The Origins of the U.S. Constitution, and A Theological Interpretation of American History.

    *Robertson, O. Palmer, The Current Justification Controversy -- Westminster Theological Seminary (Trinity Paper No. 63), [unabridged], ISBN: 094093163X 9780940931633.
    Contents: About the Author, Foreword, Introduction, 1. The Beginnings of the Controversy, 2. The October 1976 Paper, 3. Reactions to the October 1976 Paper, 4. The Issue before the Presbytery, 5. The Downingtown Conference, 6. The "Committee to Draw Up a Statement," 7. The Commission on Allegations, 8. Implications for Church Union and Unity, 9. The Removal of Mr. Shepherd, 10. Challenge, Response-and Continuation, 11. The Causes of the Controversy, Index, Scripture Index, The Crisis of Our Time, Intellectual Ammunition.
    The Current Justification Controversy O. Palmer Robertson
    (Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation, 2003).
    "These two issues [of The Trinity Review], are excerpts from Dr. O. Palmer Robertson's book, THE CURRENT JUSTIFICATION CONTROVERSY, which is a detailed history of the controversy surrounding Norman Shepherd in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Westminster Theological Seminary from 1975 to 1982.
    "Dr. Robertson's book is essential background for understanding what is happening today with the case of John O. Kinnaird in the OPC, the Monroe 4 (Barack, Schlissel, Wilkins, and Wilson), in the PCA (and micro-denominations), and the widespread departure from Christ and his Gospel in professedly Reformed churches.
    "In fact, some of the actors in Act 1 have reappeared in Act 2, despite the elapse of 20 years. More importantly, one can see arguments used 20 years ago to defend Norman Shepherd's views now being used to defend the views of men who are echoing his heretical opinions." -- The Trinity Foundation
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/reviews/journal.asp?ID=203a.html

    *Rogers, Richard (1550?-1618), Judges, ISBN: 0851513778.
    Richard Rogers was a contemporary of William Perkins (1558-1602).
    "This for the Puritan period is THE work upon Judges. It is thoroughly plain and eminently practical. . . ." -- C.H. Spurgeon
    "It [the book of JUDGES -- compiler], provides a dramatic illustration of the effect of apostasy upon every aspect of life. The root cause of Israel's decline was that the covenant relationship with the Lord, with its requirement of absolute and loyal obedience to His commands, was broken. This led to disintegration in the political, religious, social, and family spheres and to a sharp increase in immorality. THE BOOK OF JUDGES serves as a reminder that a nation cannot live on its past glories. The author of JUDGES was, of course, a preacher to his own generation, but his message has a permanent and universal application, and may be summed up in the words of Proverbs 14:34:

    Righteousness exalts a nation,
    but sin in a reproach to any people.
    [Proverbs 14:34 ]
    "Israel's chronic inability to profit by its own bitter history is a solemn exhortation to profit from the lessons of experience, whether observed or experienced." -- A.E. Cundall
    "Gideon asks the question that is central to JUDGES: 'if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?' (Judg. 6:13 [Judges 6:13]). There was warning in Deuteronomy that the result of turning away from God and serving idols would be the sort of suffering that took place during the period of the judges. God would seem to be absent and the land would be filled with sorrows. (Deut. 31:16,17 [Deuteronomy 31:16,17]). Israel needed a king who could teach them how to keep their covenant with the Lord. . . .
    "The central section of Judges (3:7-16:31 [Judges 3:7 -- Judges 16:31]), the bulk of the book, makes an extensive use of repetition. The author describes a repeating sequence of events. The Israelites do evil in the eyes of the Lord, turning to serve other gods. God becomes angry and delivers them up to oppressors. They cry out for help, and God raises up a judge to deliver them. The judge brings peace, but the nation returns to sin as soon as the judge dies. The repeated phrasing describing this pattern reinforces the point that the Israelites were unrepentant. While each judge and the details of the deliverance he brought varies, the end was inevitable: the people again did evil in the eyes of the Lord.
    "Six major judges are described, interspersed with the mention of six lesser judges. The opening and closing sections of the book are like bookends, enclosing the cyclical narratives about the judges. The introduction (1:1-2:5 [Judges 1:1 -- Judges 2:5]), points out Israel's general failure to conquer the land according to the provisions of the covenant God had made with them. The cycles of the twelve judges show that the judges could not lead the people into faithfulness to the covenant. There was a downward spiral of increasing disobedience. The conclusion (chs. 17-21 [Judges 17 -- Judges 21]), recounts two especially grievous examples of covenant disobedience. The writer repeats the brief, tragic observation, 'There was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.'
    "The writer of Judges, like the authors of the other historical books, calls the community of faith to obey the covenant, applying to their lives the teaching of Deuteronomy. He points to the successes and failures of previous generations, and challenges the people of David's time to be faithful to the covenant. He warns them prophetically about the dangers of the wrong kind of leadership.
    "According to JUDGES, Israel was falling away from the covenant and worshiping false gods as they forgot the Lord's acts of salvation in the past (2:10; 6:13 [Judges 2:10; Judges 6:13]). As in Deuteronomy, the sin of seeking other gods is the continuing pattern of covenant disobedience (Judg. 2:11,12 [Judges 2:11,12]; 3:7,12 [Judges 3:7,12]; 8:33 [Judges 8:33]; 10:6,10 [Judges 10:6,10]; Deut. 4:23 [Deuteronomy 4:23]). The repeated cycles with the constant refrains, the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord (2:11 [Judges 2:11]; 3:7,12 [Judges 3:7,12]; 4:1 [Judges 4:1]; 6:1 [Judges 6:1]; 10:6 [Judges 10:6]; 13:1 [Judges 13:1]), and everyone did what was right in his own eyes (17:6 [Judges 17:6]; 21:25 [Judges 21:25]; cf. Deut. 12:8 [Deuteronomy 12:8]; 31:16,17 [Deuteronomy 31:16,17]), were a sharp warning to Israel in David's early kingship that they absolutely needed a king who could enable the nation to keep the terms of their covenant with God.
    "Beyond these immediate applications for the original audience of JUDGES, we should observe that later readers doubtless saw in the book the hope for a new David who would teach them to keep their covenant with the Lord. This would be especially true of those who read the book in the days of the divided monarchy or during and after the exile to Babylon. In New Testament days, the gospel of Jesus, the son of David (Matt. 1:1 [Matthew 1:1]), answers the longing of the readers of Judges for the presence of a godly king, and heightens the church's expectation of His return in glory." -- The Reformation Study Bible: The Word That Changes Lives -- The Faith That Changed the World, New King James Version, pp. 331, 332
    A study of the books of Judges and Micah (we recommend Calvin's Commentary on Micah), reveals that Bible Magistracy, executed by leaders of Church and by leaders of State, turns back the wrath of God. It could be argued this is an underlying theme throughout the Bible. Terrorism against the United States, abroad and at home, can be seen as the wrath of God punishing a wayward people. Practicing Bible Magistracy in society, then, is central to stopping terrorism. When men enforce the Law of God, then they turn back the wrath of God. The conclusion of David's life in 2 Samuel 23:3: The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

    *Rushdoony, Rousas J. (1916-2001), Christianity and the State, ISBN: 9996717755. Available through Exodus Books.
    "The need to return to a Biblical doctrine of civil government is evidenced by our century's worldwide drift into tyranny. Humanism invariably rushes in to fill the world's theological vacuums: the need of the hour is to restore a full-orbed, Biblical, theology of the state. This work sets forth that theology." -- GCB

    *Rushdoony, Rousas J. (1916-2001), Institutes of Biblical Law, 3 volumes, ISBN: 1879998130. Available through Exodus Books.

    Volume 1: Institutes of Biblical Law, ISBN: 0875524109.
    "A monumental volume . . . Deeply explores the meaning and application of the Ten Commandments for today in civil government, social ethics, and personal conduct." -- GCB
    "Many consider this to be the author's most important work. With indices." -- Publisher
    Volume 2: Law and Society, ISBN: 1879998238.
    "The relationship of Biblical Law to communion and community, the sociology of the Sabbath, the family and inheritance, and much more are covered in the second volume. Contains an appendix by Herbert Titus. With indices." -- Publisher
    Volume 3: The Intent of the Law, ISBN: 1879998130.
    " 'God's law is much more than a legal code; it is a covenantal law. It establishes a personal relationship between God and man.' The first section summarizes the case laws. The author tenderly illustrates how the law is for our good, and makes clear the difference between the sacrificial laws and those that apply today. The second section vividly shows the practical implications of the law. The examples catch the reader's attention; the author clearly has had much experience discussing God's law. The third section shows that would-be challengers to God's law produce only poison and death. Only God's law can claim to express God's 'covenant grace in helping us'. With indices." -- Publisher
    See also: Theft: Commentary and Cases of Conscience. A Listing Excerpted From The Institutes of Biblical Law by Rousas John Rushdoony, 1973 edition
    http://www.lettermen2.com/theft.html
    *Ryle, J.C. (1816-1900), The Fallibility of Ministers. Available in Ryle, WARNINGS TO THE CHURCHES, ISBN: 0851510434 9780851510439. Available in KNOTS UNTIED: BEING PLAIN STATEMENTS ON DISPUTED POINTS IN RELIGION FROM THE STANDPOINT OF AN EVANGELICAL CHURCHMAN.
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/reviews/journal.asp?ID=113a.html

    *Ryle, J.C. (1816-1900), Warnings to the Churches, ISBN: 0851510434 9780851510439.
    "I see this tendency to lean on man everywhere. I know no branch of the Protestant Church of Christ which does not require to be cautioned upon the point. It is a snare, for example, to the English Episcopalian to make idols of Bishop Pearson and 'the Judicious Hooker.' It is a snare to the Scotch Presbyterian to pin his faith on John Knox, the Covenanters, and Dr. Chalmers. It is a snare to the Methodists in our day to worship the memory of John Wesley. It is a snare to the Independent to see no fault in any opinion of Owen and Dodderidge. It is a snare to the Baptist to exaggerate the wisdom of Gill and Fuller and Robert Hall. All these are snares, and into these snares how many fall!
    "Infallibility is not to be found in the early fathers, but in the Bible.
    "What are the best of ministers but men -- dust, ashes, and clay -- men of like passions with ourselves, men exposed to temptations, men liable to weaknesses and infirmities?
    "It is amazing to observe how vast a man's intellectual attainments may be, and yet how little he may know of the grace of God.
    "We have no right to expect anything but the pure Gospel of Christ, unmixed and unadulterated -- the same Gospel that was taught by the Apostles -- to do good to the souls of men.
    "Peace without truth is a false peace; it is the very peace of the devil. Unity without the Gospel is a worthless unity; it is the very unity of Hell.
    "False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism.
    "It was controversy that won the battle of Protestant Reformation.
    "Three things there are which men never ought to trifle with -- a little poison, a little false doctrine, and a little sin.
    "A church may have good forms and regularly ordained ministers, and the sacraments properly administered, but a church will not see conversion of souls going on under its pulpits when this doctrine [Justification by Faith], is not plainly preached.
    "Once let a man get wrong about justification, and he will bid a long farewell to comfort, to peace, to lively hope, to anything like assurance in his Christianity. An error here is a worm at the root.
    "An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a church.
    "True Gospel in the pulpit, true Gospel in every Religious Society we support, true Gospel in the books we read, true Gospel in the friends we keep company with -- let this be our aim, and never let us be ashamed to let men see that it is so.
    Let the meekness of St. Peter in taking a reproof be as much our example as the boldness of St. Paul in reproving." -- J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), "The Fallibility of Ministers," in Warning to the Churches, pp. 93-121.
    The Fallibility of Ministers, by J.C. Ryle
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=182
    Pharisees and Sadducees, J.C. Ryle
    https://gracegems.org/23/Ryle_pharisees_and_sadducees.htm

    *Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), The Apologetics lecture series using FROM RATIONALISM TO IRRATIONALITY: THE DECLINE OF THE WESTERN MIND FROM THE RENAISSANCE TO THE PRESENT (1979) as the text, and delivered in Decatur, Georgia, beginning November, 1979, 17 MP3 files.
    "So many times people in the pew and the pulpit say, well how did all this get started? How did psychology descend to its present level? . . . How did political science produce our political thought, produce the dictatorships which are engulfing the modern world? Why are we in the economic mess in which we are today? Why is sociology such a jumble of immorality? Why is education as it is today? Why is art so meaningless? . . . Why is modern music an affront to the modern ears as well as to the mind and ear of God? . . . Why are all these things!? . . .
    "I would suggest to you that if you will follow this course with thought and care, you will finally come to see the answer to the questions which haunt us today in Western society." -- C. Gregg Singer, from this cited lecture series
    Apologetics lecture series C. Gregg Singer
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=2250511453

    *Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), From Rationalism to Irrationality: The Decline of the Western Mind From the Renaissance to the Present, ISBN: 0875524281 9780875524283 and a reprint of the P&R Publishing edition of 1979 (Wipf and Stock, 2006), 479 pp.
    "Now, frankly students, this course is presented from obviously the Reformed Theology. I hold unabashedly, unashamedly to the whole of Reformed Theology as we find it specifically in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Longer and Shorter Catechisms.
    "At the same time I hold to a position in regard to Apologetics generally known as Presuppositionalism, and particularly that view held by Cornelius Van Til.
    "This book is an attempt to enlarge and to broaden the scope of Van Til's own Apologetical system, and also his Epistemology. By that I mean, and I worked this book with him, so anything that I say is not to be construed as a criticism of Cornelius Van Til. I might add he wrote me a letter. He is delighted with this book. But what I did was to take his principles, both of Apologetics and of Epistemology, and apply them to all realms of modern thought.
    "Dr. Van Til, for good and sufficient reason, sought to limit to the main stream of what we might call pure Philosophy, that is from Saint Thomas, well even before them, back to the Greeks, but particularly in the more modern period, from Saint Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham (Occam), down through Descartes, the Rationalists, the Empiricists, down to Kant and Hegel, and of course Modern Philosophy and Modern Theology. Very seldom has he gone into what we might call the arena of Political Philosophy, or the arena of Social Thought, or the arena of Psychology and Psychiatry, the realm of Educational Philosophy, and into Art, Music, and so on, to the Fine Arts.
    "This book is an attempt to apply his system, and show what happens when the Western mind has forsaken his principles, or the principles which he has espoused, and turned into its own way. And thus the book called FROM RATIONALISM TO IRRATIONALITY. The thesis being that the Rationalism inherent in Saint Thomas and the post-Thomists, and more particularly, and more openly, in the Philosophy of the Renaissance, and Descartes, and Spinosa, and Leibniz has, as it's gained momentum in the modern world, brought Western Culture to its knees. We are living, as I would think, in the death throws of the Western Cultures, the Western Civilization." -- Dr. C. Gregg Singer, in the introductory address to his course in Apologetics soon after FROM RATIONALISM TO IRRATIONALITY came off the press in 1979
    Apologetics: #01: Classical and Medieval Thought #1
    Dr. C. Gregg Singer, Apologetics, 56 min.
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=2250511453
    "Locke endeavored to set forth a political philosophy which would anchor his democratic political thought on what he felt were the firm foundations of his empiricism. However, his insistence that nature has bestowed upon mankind certain basic and inalienable rights was an assumption quite contrary to his empiricism. His denial of conscience as an innate possession or quality makes it impossible for men to know that they possess the rights of life, liberty, and property. The very concept of a human right is moral in nature and has its basis of authority in the human conscience. It is thus impossible for men to know through the senses that they have these cherished human rights. Granted that it was far from Locke's intention to undermine or destroy the traditional English concept of personal rights, his empiricism removed from his political thought the necessary foundations on which a government could be built for the protection of these rights. His empiricism supported neither the idea that men have such rights nor that they are inalienable. (p. 61)
    "Underlying the secular and naturalistic assumptions of the thought of the Enlightenment was a related and equally serious problem. In their political and economic thought the leaders of this era were passionately devoted to the pursuit of freedom, and yet they seemed to be completely unaware of this incompatibility between their quest for freedom on the one hand and their reliance upon natural law on the other. How can an impersonal and deterministic concept of law produce and sustain a meaningful concept of freedom? Blindly convinced that there was no problem involved in the contradiction, the leaders of the Enlightenment pushed boldly ahead in the quest for political and economic liberty. However, their failure to recognize the issues involved in this quest led not only to the disaster of the French Revolution but to the growth of the totalitarian political and economic philosophies which first appeared in Hegel and Marx during the nineteenth century and reached their culmination in the totalitarianism of the twentieth century." (p. 73) -- quoted at the blog, Imago Veritatis: Post-modern Reformed Paleo-orthodoxy
    Singer used this as textbook for his course in Apologetics. Epistemology is a recurring theme throughout the textbook and the course. The series of 24 addresses on Apologetics is available free online. See: "Apologetics" under:
    Works of C. Gregg Singer
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr3ch.html#cgsinger

    *Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), A Theological Interpretation of American History, 1994, 354 pages (Greenville, SC: A Press, 1994, 1981, 1975, 1974, 1964), ISBN: 0875524265 9780875524269. A Christian classic.
    This book portrays "the influence of theology and the changing doctrines in the life of the church on the pattern of American political, constitutional, social and economic development.
    "The author shows that the decline of constitutional government in this country is the result of the departure from historical Christian faith and the resulting rise of alien political philosophies. Particularly does he emphasize the intimate relationship between theological liberalism on the one hand and political, social, and economic liberalism on the other. This theological liberalism has been a major agent in the decline of the Constitution in the political life of the people and in the appearance of a highly centralized government." -- Publisher
    "There is between the democratic philosophy and theological liberalism a basic affinity which has placed them in the same camp in many major political struggles.
    "This condition exists because theological liberalism shares the basic postulates of the democratic philosophy. . . .
    "Theological liberalism at heart has been a continuing protest against Calvinism, particularly against its insistence on the Sovereignty of God and the Total Depravity of the race. These two Biblical doctrines have often proved to be a stumbling block to theologians within the church as well as to the unbelieving world." -- C. Gregg Singer, A Theological Interpretation of American History, p. 290
    The result of theological liberalism has been the movement away from constitutionalism and away from liberty, and a movement toward collectivistic society and totalitarian regime.
    The scope of this early work of the author does not cover the Covenanted Reformation of the Church of Scotland between 1638 and 1650.
    "The Erastian Revolution, anno 1689, was "utterly inconsistent with the covenanted constitution of the Reformed Church of Scotland, anno 1648."
    In fact, the relationship between Church and State has been in decline since 1661. "In early 1661 . . . the Scottish Parliament passed the Act Rescissory, which established the king as supreme judge in all matters civil and ecclesiastical, and which made owning the covenants [National and Solemn League], unlawful. These acts undid all the works of Reformation from 1638 to 1650 and made it high treason to acknowledge Jesus Christ as head of the church. . . ." See: Act, Declaration, and Testimony, 1876, Part II.
    Another turning point occurred in 1758 with the reunion of the Old Side and the New Side of American Presbyterian Church. "This signaled the end of the influence of Calvinism in American Politics." For a detailed discussion see:
    From Old School to New School in CROSSED FINGERS: HOW THE LIBERALS CAPTURED THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, by Gary North
    http://entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/html/gncf/Chapter02.htm
    An example of the positive influence of theological doctrine on American political development is the Presbyterian General Assembly meeting in 1774, in which the Assembly instructed local congregations to press for the dissolution of ties with Great Britain. The result was a flood of resolutions, the most important of which was the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence which became a pattern for our national Declaration of Independence. See: James Geddes Craighead (1832-1895), SCOTCH AND IRISH SEEDS IN AMERICAN SOIL: THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE SCOTCH AND IRISH CHURCHES, AND THEIR RELATIONS TO THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AMERICA, ISBN: 0790546221 (microfiche).
    In 1787 there were two conventions in Philadelphia: the Constitution Convention and a convention of the Presbyterian Church. "In 1787-88, American Presbyterians revised the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) in order to make it conform to the political pluralism that also lay behind the U.S. Constitution,(26) which was being ratified at the same time that the presbyteries were voting for the revision of the Confession. The Presbyterians removed that clause in Chapter XXIII:3 which had authorized the civil magistrate to call a synod for advice.(27) This was one of the last traces of the theocratic Calvinism of the Scottish Covenanters -- or Calvin's theocratic Calvinism, for that matter. (The final trace was the Confession's assertion that the failure to take an oath to a lawful authority is a sin [XXII:3]. That provision was abandoned in the 1903 revision, and Machen's Orthodox Presbyterian Church did not restore it in 1936). From that time on, Presbyterians became defenders of a secularized republican order. They believed that God's civil covenant could be made on a common-ground confessional basis, without a mandatory covenantal civil oath, operating under a providential natural law order that did not mandate Trinitarian confession. Obedience to this natural order, they believed, would bring national prosperity.(28) This was the liberal worldview of English Whig politics, and no group in America was more dedicated to defending it than the Presbyterians.(29)" -- Gary North, Crossed Fingers, p. 106
    In 1788 the U.S. Constitution and the revised Westminster Confession were ratified. For a detailed discussion see:
    From Old School to New School in CROSSED FINGERS: HOW THE LIBERALS CAPTURED THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, by Gary North
    http://entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/html/gncf/Chapter03.htm
    See: A THEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF AMERICAN HISTORY, Chapter 6, "Theological Liberalism After 1920 and its Political Consequence." See: the A Partial Timeline of U.S. History Showing how Liberalization in the Church and Liberalization in the State, has Been Paralleled by Advances in the Feminist Movement, and the Overall Decline of American Society.
    After 1920 "Forces of liberalism were able to gain a commanding position in the liberal arts colleges and seminaries run by most of the major denominations. . . .
    "The denial of the inspiration and infallibility of the Scripture proved to be tantamount to a rejection of their doctrinal authority; one by one, the great evangelical doctrines of the past were rewritten in such a way as to be scarcely recognizable. . ." -- C. Gregg Singer, A Theological Interpretation of American History, p. 187
    "The basic issue is the reduction of the total scope of government, on both the federal and state level, to those spheres which are clearly conferred upon it by the Scriptures, and the surrender of those extra-Biblical powers which liberal political philosophies and practice have given to it during the last one hundred years or so. . . .
    "When Jesus Christ returns, this span of history will cease. Perhaps at this point the cleavage between the biblical position and the views of Hegel, Marx, Spengler, Toynbee, and other contemporaries, becomes most obvious. The modern mind simply cannot accept the idea that humanity does not control its own destiny. It refuses to believe that the ultimate manifestation of the glory of Jesus Christ is beyond all human manipulation, whether they be statesmen or educators. It denies that the sovereign Ruler of the universe will bring all sinful humanity to judgment in a final accounting for its long history of willful rebellion against His righteousness, goodness, and mercy." -- Gregg C. Singer
    The roots of liberty and limited government are in the Protestant Reformation. We believe the key to the maintenance of liberty and limited government is to be found in the Scottish covenanting struggle. -- James A. Dodson

    Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), The Unholy Alliance: The Definitive History of the National Council of Churches and its Leftist Policies -- From 1908 to the Present, 384 pages, ISBN: 0870003275 9780870003271.
    "This book is not calculated to win friends among adherents to the National Council of Churches. It provides convincing evidence of the tremendous gap that has developed between the NCC and its critics and demonstrates the NCC's inability to achieve its objectives." -- Cyril J. Barber
    Unholy Alliance: The Definitive History of the National Council of Churches and Its Leftist Policies -- From 1908 to the Present
    Freebooks online e-text.
    http://freebooks.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/39be_47e.htm

    Sloan, James, Priestcraft Unmasked, or, The Whore of Rome, Alias Mystery Babylon the Great: The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth, that hath made all nations drunk with the wine of her fornication, stripped of her gay and fascinating [sic] attire, and shown in her genuine form, which is that of a filthy painted harlot, 1829.

    Sparks, Q.S., Priestcraft Exposed: False Religion Unmasked . . .

    *Thornwell, James H. (1812-1862), Collected Writings of James Henley Thornwell, 4 volumes, 1875, ISBN: 0524059632 9780524059630. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive.

    Vol. I. LECTURES ON THE DOCTRINE OF GOD AND ON DIVINE GOVERNMENT (672 pages)
    Vol. II. THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE; SERMONS; DISCOURSES ON TRUTH (632 pages)
    Vol. III. THEOLOGICAL AND CONTROVERSIAL; RATIONALIST CONTROVERSY: REASON, REVELATION AND MIRACLES; PAPAL CONTROVERSY; BAPTISM, JUSTIFICATION, INFALLIBILITY, THE APOCRYPHA (824 pages)
    Vol. IV. WRITINGS ON THE CHURCH: CHURCH OFFICERS; CHURCH OPERATIONS; CHURCH DISCIPLINES; THE SOUTHERN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ETC., SERMONS AND APPENDICES (640 pages).
    "J.W. Alexander once wrote the following of one of Thornwell's sermons, 'His sermon was a model of what is rare, viz.: burning hot argument, logic in ignition, and glowing more and more to the end.'
    "Henry Ward Beecher, the famous Northern liberal minister, wrote after Thornwell's death, 'By common fame, Dr. Thornwell was the most brilliant minister in the Old School Presbyterian Church, and the most brilliant debater in the General Assembly. This reputation he early gained and never lost. Whenever he was present in the Assembly, he was always the first person pointed out to a stranger.'
    "Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said of him, 'Thornwell was one of the greatest preachers that America has ever produced'." -- Publisher
    See particularly, "Relation of the State to Christ" and "National Sins: a fast-day sermon, preached in the Presbyterian Church, Columbia, Wednesday, November 21, 1860.
    THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO CHRIST "is the petition of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America to the Congress of the Confederate States of America, then sitting in Richmond, Virginia. It argues that though the newly formed Confederate Constitution was admirable in many respects, it still laboured 'under one capital defect,' that being that it was not 'distinctively Christian.' It asks the Confederate Congress to 'express the precise relations which the Government of these States ought to sustain to the religion of Jesus Christ.' Suggests 'the following or equivalent terms, to be added to the section providing for liberty of conscience: Nevertheless we, the people of these Confederate States, distinctly acknowledge our responsibility to God, and the supremacy of His Son, Jesus Christ, as King of kings and Lord of lords; and hereby ordain that no law shall be passed by the Congress of these Confederate States inconsistent with the will of God, as revealed in the Holy Scripture'." -- Publisher
    The Collected Writings of James Henley Thornwell, D.D.
    Reported to contains some faulty text.
    http://www.archive.org/stream/collectedwriting01thor/collectedwriting01thor_djvu.txt

    Vinet, Alexandre Rodolphe (1797-1847), An Essay on the Profession of Personal Religious Conviction and Upon the Separation of Church and State Considered With Reference to the Fulfilment of That Duty, ISBN: 0790574845 9780790574844.
    "This duty [public acknowledgement of faith in Christ by leaders], is, even in our own times, very imperfectly understood. The best illustration of its importance and obligation ever given, is to be found in [Alexandre] Vinet's masterly treatise, "On the Profession of Personal Religious Conviction." -- John Brown (of Edinburgh, 1784-1858), Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, II:339

    W.R., Methodism Priestcraft Exposed, or, Who is the Devil in the Pulpit? 20 pages.

    *Westminster Assembly (1643-1652), The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), [completed and first printed in 1646, approved by the Assembly, August 27, 1647, Session 23 -- compiler] (Glasgow, Scotland: Free Presbyterian Publication [133 Woodlands Road, Glasgow G3 6LE], 1994), ISBN: 0902506080 (case-bound), and ISBN: 0902506358 (paperback). Among the ten greatest works in the English language. Available (THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646) with all its subordinate documents in searchable format) on the Puritan Hard Drive. Also available (THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646) with all its subordinate documents in searchable format) on Reformation Bookshelf CD #1.
    Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) With Scripture Proofs
    http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/
    The Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, With the Scripture Proofs at Large: Together With The sum of Saving Knowledge (contained in the Holy Scriptures, and held forth in the said Confession and Catechisms), and Practical use Thereof, Covenants National and Solemn League, Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement to Duties, Directories, Form of Church-government, &c. of Public Authority in the Church of Scotland, With Acts of Assembly and Parliament, Relative to, and Approbative of the Same (1757) [the original version of 1646, prior to the changes of the "American Version" of 1789 -- compiler]
    http://archive.org/details/confessionofscot00chur
    " 'The product of Puritan conflict,' stated Shedd, reaching 'a perfection of statement never elsewhere achieved.' All that learning the most profound and extensive, intellect the most acute and searching, and piety the most sincere and earnest, could accomplish, was thus concentrated in the Westminster Assembly's Confession of Faith, which may be safely termed the most perfect statement of Systematic Theology ever framed by the Christian Church,' writes Hetherington. (The History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, p. 345).
    "Concerning The Shorter Catechism, which is one of the items also included in this book, Mitchell notes: 'it is a thoroughly Calvinistic and Puritan catechism, the ripest fruit of the Assembly's thought and experience, maturing and finally fixing the definitions of theological terms to which Puritanism for half a century had been leading up and gradually coming closer and closer to in its legion of catechisms.' (Westminster Assembly: Its History and Standards, p. 431).
    "THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646) is the greatest of all the creeds of the Christian church. The church of Christ cannot be creedless and live. Especially in an age of doubt and confusion, it is her duty to define and proclaim the one true faith. Nowhere has the Reformed church done this so effectively as in the WESTMINSTER CONFESSION, and family of documents. This book represents Reformed thinking at its purest and best. It was intended, as part of the Covenanted Reformation taking place during its compilation, to be adopted as the binding confessional standard for every individual, family, court, church, and legislature in the British Isles." -- Publisher
    This is considered to be the definitive publication of the Westminster family of documents. It includes the following:

    1. "To the Christian Reader, Especially Heads of Families"
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_standards/index.html?mainframe=/documents/wcf_standards/p005-to_head_of_families.html
    2. "Mr. Thomas Manton's Epistle to the Reader"
      https://reformed.org/documents/wcf_standards/index.html
    3. THE CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646), the full and original edition with Scripture proofs written out
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/
    4. THE LARGER CATECHISM with Scripture proofs written out
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/wlc_w_proofs/index.html
    5. THE SHORTER CATECHISM with Scripture proofs written out
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/WSC_frames.html
    6. THE SUM OF SAVING KNOWLEDGE
      http://www.reformed.org/master/index.html?mainframe=/documents/sum/sum.html
    7. "The National Covenant"
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_standards/index.html?mainframe=/documents/wcf_standards/p345-nat_covenant.html
    8. "The Solemn League and Covenant"
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_standards/index.html?mainframe=/documents/wcf_standards/p355-solemn_league.html
    9. "A Solemn Acknowledgement of Publick Sins and Breaches of the Covenant; and a Solemn Engagement to all the Duties Contained Therein"
      http://www.truecovenanter.com/covenants/scotland_covenant_renewal_1648.html
    10. THE DIRECTORY FOR PUBLIC WORSHIP
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_standards/index.html?mainframe=/documents/wcf_standards/p369-direct_pub_worship.html
    11. THE FORM OF PRESBYTERIAL CHURCH GOVERNMENT
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_standards/index.html?mainframe=/documents/wcf_standards/p395-form_presby_gov.html
    12. "The Directory for Family-Worship, Approved by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, for Piety and Uniformity in Secret and Private Worship, and Mutual Edification"
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_standards/index.html
    THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646) is said to be the finest summary of THE HOLY BIBLE available. It is recommended for daily devotions. See the following resources:
    1. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WESTMINSTER STANDARDS AS A CREED
      http://www.fpcr.org/blue_banner_articles/signific.htm
    2. "The Complete Scripture Index to the Westminster Confession (1646), Larger and Shorter Catechisms." Alternate title: SCRIPTURE INDEX TO THE WESTMINSTER STANDARDS. Available on Library of Presbyterian Heritage Publications [and] Protestant Heritage Press CD. Also available on the Puritan Hard Drive.
    3. Bordwine, James, A GUIDE TO THE WESTMINSTER STANDARDS: CONFESSION OF FAITH AND LARGER CATECHISM, ISBN: 0940931303 9780940931305.
      Includes a unique, 100-page topical index to both the CONFESSION and the LARGER CATECHISM.
    4. WESTMINSTER LARGER CATECHISM WITH PROOF TEXTS
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/wlc_w_proofs/index.html
    5. THE SHORTER CATECHISM WITH SCRIPTURE PROOFS
      Arguably the greatest tract ever created, all factors considered.
      http://www.reformed.org/documents/WSC_frames.html
      THE SHORTER CATECHISM
      Free downloadable PDF file.
      http://www.greenvillepresbyterian.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shorter-catechism.pdf
    6. Westminster Shorter Catechism Project
      "Click on any of the individual questions below to get the answer and Biblical references, as well as links to works by John Flavel, Thomas Watson, Thomas Boston, James Fisher, and John Whitecross, and others."
      http://www.shortercatechism.com/
    7. Commentaries on the Westminster Standards Including the Westminster Confession of Faith, The Larger Catechism, and The Shorter Catechism
      http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr3ch.html#cwswcsc
    8. The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), (The Westminster Standards), and Related Works: A Study Guide
      http://www.lettermen2.com/suggest.html
    9. The Scottish Covenanted Reformation continued the work of The Westminster Assembly. David Steel (1803-1887), is considered to be one of the most faithful Covenanter ministers in America. Notice that the citation following is an authorized, complete edition of their final TESTIMONY.
      *Reformed Presbytery of North America (Steelite), David Steele (1803-1887), John Thorburn (1730?-1788), John Courtass (d. 1795), et al., Act, Declaration, and Testimony, for the Whole of the Covenanted Reformation, as Attained to, and Established in, Britain and Ireland; Particularly Betwixt the Years 1638 and 1649, Inclusive. As, Also, Against all the Steps of Defection From Said Reformation, Whether in Former or Later Times, Since the Overthrow of that Glorious Work, Down to This Present day (1876), (Philadelphia, PA: Printed by Rue and Jones, 1876), a new edition of the Ploughlandhead Testimony of 1761, the subordinate standard of the original "Steelite" Reformed Presbytery that was constitutes in 1840. Available (the 1850 edition only) on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available (the 1850 edition only) on Reformation Bookshelf CD #1.
      "And now, when time has proved that more recent Testimonies, Terms, and Covenants, have failed to preserve either unity or uniformity among those who framed them; it cannot be unseasonable to re-exhibit the original ACT, DECLARATION, AND TESTIMONY, which has been justly characterized as 'the most profoundly reasoned document ever emitted by the Reformed Presbyterian Church'." -- The Reformation Advocate Magazine, Vol. I, No. 8, December, 1875, page 267
      "Upholds the original work of the Westminster Assembly and testifies to the abiding worth and truth formulated in the Westminster family of documents. Upholds and defends the Crown Rights of King Jesus in Church and State, denouncing those who would remove the crown from Christ's head by denying His right to rule (by His law), in both the civil and ecclesiastical spheres. Testifies to the received doctrine, government, worship, and discipline of the Church of Scotland in her purest (reforming) periods. Applies God's Word to the Church's corporate attainments 'with a judicial approbation of the earnest contendings and attainments of the faithful, and a strong and pointed judicial condemnation of error and the promoters thereof.' (The Contending Witness magazine, Dec. 17/93, p. 558). Shows the church's great historical victories (such as the National and Solemn League and Covenant, leading to the Westminster Assembly), and exposes her enemies actions (e.g. the Prelacy of Laud; the Independency, sectarianism, covenant breaking and ungodly toleration set forth by the likes of Cromwell [and the Independents that conspired with him]; the Erastianism and civil sectarianism of William of Orange, etc.). It is not likely that you will find a more consistent working out of the principles of Calvinism anywhere. Deals with the most important matters relating to the individual, the family, the church and the state. Sets forth a faithful historical testimony of God's dealings with men during some of the most important days of church history. A basic text that should be mastered by all Christians." -- Publisher
      Act, Declaration, and Testimony (1876)
      https://archive.org/details/actdeclarationte00refo
      Act, Declaration and Testimony, 1761 (edition of 1876)
      "Compared with the 1777 edition, Philadelphia. We hereby certify that this is a true edition of the ORIGINAL JUDICIAL TESTIMONY, emitted by the Reformed Presbytery at Ploughlandhead, Scotland, 1761; together with the Supplements adopted by the Reformed Presbytery at this date, June 2d, 1876. [Signed -- compiler] David Steele, James Campbell, Robert Clyde, Robert Alexander, Committee.
      http://www.truecovenanter.com/
    10. Church and State
      Works listed here discuss the decline of the influence of Calvinism and the Covenanted Reformation in Great Britain and the United States. The various alterations to the Westminster Standards are also discussed.
      http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr9chc.html#churchstate
    11. Heresies Defined and the Necessity of Heresies Explained, by George Gillespie, Scottish Commissioner to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster
      http://www.truecovenanter.com/gillespie/ggilles09.html

    See also:
    The sovereignty of god,
    The doctrine of man (human nature, total depravity), Church and state,
    Glory in iniquity, the temptation of vainglory,
    Hypocrisy,
    Absolute truth and relativism,
    The sovereign grace of god: his everlasting mercy and lovingkindness,
    The inspiration and infallibility of scripture (the doctrine of revelation, the doctrine of plenary inspiration, the doctrine of divine inspiration, the doctrine of verbal inspiration, theopneustia, sufficiency of scripture),
    Epistemology of theology, the theory of knowledge,
    The ten commandments: the moral law,
    Justification,
    Justifying faith,
    Self-justification, self-righteousness, works righteousness,
    Mind control, intimidation, and coercion,
    Spiritual discernment,
    Christ's kingdom,
    The person and work of jesus christ the Lord (christology),
    The cross of christ,
    The blood of christ,
    The lordship of jesus christ,
    The words of christ,
    Words of christ appearing in the web edition of biblical counsel: resources for renewal,
    The all-sufficiency of christ,
    Unity and uniformity in the visible church: unity in the truth,
    Systematic theology,
    The westminster confession of faith (completed by the assembly in 1646, approved by parliament in 1647), the westminster standards and related works, the westminster assembly,
    The larger catechism,
    The shorter catechism,
    Commentaries on the westminster standards (westminster confession, larger catechism, and shorter catechism),
    Individual responsibility for corporate faithfulness and sanctification,
    Teaching/Training Children,
    Conscience, casuistry, cases of conscience,
    The question of the one and the many, The mediatorial reign of christ: the crown rights of christ,
    Authority,
    Power,
    Power religion,
    Church and state,
    Bible magistracy turns back the wrath of god,
    An introduction to the covenanted reformation,
    The covenanted reformation of scotland background and history,
    The covenanted reformation of scotland author/title listing,
    Selection of covenant heads for positions of leadership, Reform of the church,
    Church government,
    Unfaithful reformed ministries,
    Priestcraft, pharisaism, soul-stealing,
    Signs of spiritual abuse in the institutionalized church,
    The counter-reformation,
    Pseudo-christian movements: a selection of works,
    Secret societies, ungodly alliances, voluntary associations,
    Covetousness, greed, and selfishness,
    Freedom and property rights: theft, stealing, and fraud,
    Treason and impeachment, Abortion and the sanctity of life, and so forth, and so on.


    Related Weblinks

    American Revisions to the Westminster Confession of Faith
    http://www.opc.org/documents/WCF_orig.html

    Appendix A: Major Changes of the Savoy Declaration
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/wescoappa.html

    Appendix B: Major Changes of the PCUSA (1788-1958)
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/wescoappb.html

    Appendix C: Major Changes of the UPCUSA and PCUS (1958-1983)
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/wescoappc.html

    Beware of Men, Trinity Review, July 1999, John W. Robbins (1949-2008)
    http://trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=136

    Biblical Test of Character for Candidates for Public Office and all Civil Servants
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bibltest.html

    Books Considered to be Among the ten Greatest in the English Language
    http://www.lettermen2.com/tengreat.html

    Calvin's Commentary on Hosea
    http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/m.sion/calvhose.htm

    Calvin's Commentary on Zechariah and Malachi
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom30.html

    The Changing of the Guard: Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Mark W. Karlberg (Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation, 2001).
    A critical discussion of Westminster Seminary's anti-Reformational and unbiblical teaching on the Doctrine of Justification.
    The Changing of the Guard, Mark W. Karlberg
    http://trinityfoundation.org/reviews/last.asp

    The Christian Ministry and Self-Denial, Walter J. Chantry (1938-present), Banner of Truth Magazine, November 1979, pages 22,23.

    Combined Interactive Contents for The Web Edition of Biblical Counsel: Resources for Renewal
    http://www.lettermen2.com/combtoc.html

    Corporate Faithfulness and Sanctification
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr9chb.html

    The Current Justification Controversy O. Palmer Robertson
    "These two issues are excerpts from Dr. O. Palmer Robertson's book, The Current Justification Controversy, which is a detailed history of the controversy surrounding Norman Shepherd in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Westminster Theological Seminary from 1975 to 1982.
    "Dr. Robertson's book is essential background for understanding what is happening today with the case of John O. Kinnaird in the OPC, the Monroe 4 (Barack, Schlissel, Wilkins, and Wilson), in the PCA (and micro-denominations), and the widespread departure from Christ and his Gospel in professedly Reformed churches.
    "In fact, some of the actors in Act 1 have reappeared in Act 2, despite the elapse of 20 years. More importantly, one can see arguments used 20 years ago to defend Norman Shepherd's views now being used to defend the views of men who are echoing his heretical opinions."
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/reviews/journal.asp?ID=203a.html

    The Decline of American Presbyterianism, a book review of Gary North's CROSSED FINGERS: HOW THE LIBERALS CAPTURED THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Kevin Reed
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/decline.htm
    Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church, by Gary North
    http://entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/html/gncf/table_of_contents.htm

    The Decline in Spiritual Maturity and how to Recover Discernment in Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses its Will to Discern, -- John MacArthur, pp. 62-66
    http://www.erictyoung.com/2013/12/03/the-decline-in-spiritual-maturity-and-how-to-recover-discernment-john-macarthur/

    A Defense of Reformed Orthodoxy Against the Romanizing Doctrines of the New Auburn Theology, Brian Schwertley
    "Reformed believers need to be made aware that the Auburn paradigm is a radical departure from the Reformed faith. It is not a refining of Reformed doctrine but rather a rejection of confessional orthodoxy in favor of sacramentalist, Arminian and Romanizing concepts. It is heretical because it strikes at the very heart of Reformed theology -- the doctrines of the atonement and justification by faith alone. May God protect his precious church from this vile theological poison . . .
    "At the 2002 Auburn Avenue Pastor's Conference four speakers -- John Barach, Doug Wilson, Steve Schlissel and Steve Wilkins -- articulated what they themselves called a new paradigm in theology. These men set forth this new paradigm as an answer to their own perceived problems within Reformed theology as well as the inadequate manner in which they believe Reformed interpreters and theologians have dealt with 'problem' passages in Scripture. The main theme of the conference centered on a new way to view the covenant which they referred to as 'the objectivity of the covenant.'
    "In their lectures a number of traditional, confessional Reformed doctrines were rejected and replaced by the novel ideas of the speakers. Some of the standard Reformed doctrines that were rejected or redefined were: the covenant of works, the distinction between the visible and invisible church, the nature of baptism (especially relating to efficacy), the doctrine of perseverance (we are repeatedly told that real believers can fall away), the doctrine of the atonement (the speakers repeatedly separate the ground of salvation from its application in an Arminian manner), justification (sometimes faith is defined in a Romish manner as an obedient or working faith [the Norman Shepherd heresy], at other times perseverance is defined in a manner that makes it either a partial ground of salvation or co-instrument in justification), and assurance (the main answer to problems of assurance [we are told], is baptismal regeneration: 'Look to your baptism because you were really saved and united to Christ in your baptism.')
    "Because the new paradigm set forth by the Auburn theologians is a radical departure from the Reformed faith and is heretical in many areas, we will briefly examine some of the most perverse areas of their teaching.
    "Not every area will be considered, for that would require a book-length response.
    "Further, some areas such as justification have already been discussed at length. (For example, many excellent articles have been written refuting Norman Shepherd's heretical view of justification. As far as this author can tell the Auburn doctrine of justification is essentially the same as Shepherd's. In fact, Shepherd was originally scheduled to speak at the Auburn conference but was replaced by John Barach because he could not attend.)
    "Therefore, this author will not spend time analyzing their view of this topic. One area that will receive a great deal of attention is the Reformed doctrine of the atonement. The Auburn teaching is a repudiation of the classic Reformed formulation of this doctrine . . .
    " 'It is our hope and prayer that this brief analysis of their perverse doctrines will inoculate Reformed believers against the Romanizing paradigm of the Auburn four' writes Brian Schwertley."
    http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/Auburn2.html

    A Defense of Reformed Orthodoxy Against the Romanizing Doctrines of the New Auburn Theology
    The Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States (RPCUS) response to "the Romanizing doctrines of the new Auburn Theology" (set forth by Douglas Wilson, Steve Schlissel, John Barach, and J. Steven Wilkins), June 22, 2002
    http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/s36p93.htm

    Heresies Defined and the Necessity of Heresies Explained, by George Gillespie, Scottish Commissioner to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster
    http://www.truecovenanter.com/gillespie/ggilles09.html

    How to Find a Book
    http://www.lettermen2.com/findbook.html

    Luther's Commentary on Galatians, That He might deliver us from the present evil world. (Galatians 1:4 excerpt), English translation by Erasmus Middleton, B.D., edited by John Prince Fallowes, M.A., Pembroke College, Cambridge
    http://www.lettermen2.com/luther2.html

    Luther's Commentary on Galatians, who hath betwitched you, that you should not obey the truth? (Galatians 3:1 excerpt), English translation by Erasmus Middleton, B.D., edited by John Prince Fallowes, M.A., Pembroke College, Cambridge
    http://www.lettermen2.com/luther1.html

    The Pharisee and The Publican, by Martin Luther
    http://www.markers.com/ink/mlpharpub.htm

    Rethinking the Apostles' Creed, Clifton R. Loucks, The Trinity Review, Number 218, April 2003.
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/reviews/journal.asp?ID=201a.html

    Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999)

    Singer, C. Gregg, John Knox, the Scottish Covenanters, and the Westminster Assembly, Acts 1:11; Romans 13 (1 of 3 audio files [MP3]). Available on the Puritan Hard Drive.
    "Great historical teaching, Singer at his best!" -- Publisher
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=124071413102

    Singer, C. Gregg, John Knox, the Scottish Covenanters, and the Westminster Assembly, Hebrews 11:39; 1 Peter 2:13-14 (2 of 3 audio files [MP3]). Available on the Puritan Hard Drive.
    "Great historical teaching, Singer at his best!" -- Publisher
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=125071244422

    Singer, C. Gregg, John Knox, the Scottish Covenanters, and the Westminster Assembly, Daniel 4:35; Acts 13:17 (3 of 3 audio files [MP3]). Available on the Puritan Hard Drive.
    "Great historical teaching, Singer at his best!" -- Publisher
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=12607114250

    Spiritual Abuse
    Extensive resources.
    http://www.apologeticsindex.org/8006-spiritual-abuse

    Spiritual Abuse
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_abuse

    A Study Guide for the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), (The Westminster Standards) and Related Works
    http://entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/html/gncf/timeline.htm

    Trinitarianism Verses Polytheism: Unresolved Questions of Article VI, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution
    http://www.lettermen2.com/trinpoly.html

    The Trinity Foundation Horror Files
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/horror_file.php

    Unfaithful Reformed Ministries
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrrappd.html#unfaith

    Unity and Uniformity in the Visible Church: Unity in the Truth
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr9chc.html#vcunity

    A Warning to Believers, by Charles H. Spurgeon
    http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/history/spurgeon/web/ss-0030.html

    Warning Signs of Destructive Cults and Satanism
    http://www.lettermen2.com/warncult.html

    The Westminster Confession Larger Catechism, Questions 103-106
    http://www.reformed.org/documents/wlc_w_proofs/index.html

    What do the Churches and the Cults Have in Common: Spiritually Abusive Systems
    http://www.believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID=681

    When Should a Christian Leave a Church? John G. Reisinger (parts 1-3), Solo Christo homepage.
    Solo Christo Online
    http://www.cet.com/~dlavoie/solo.christo/



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