The Westminster Confession EXPOSED!
by David J. Stewart
I thank God for His precious Word, which is a lamp for us to shine upon the darkness of men's lies. I am truly amazed that so many professed "Christians" are naive enough to follow the traditions of men, rather than the eternally preserved Word of God. I am going to expose the Westminster Confession for what it is, the tradition of men (Mark 7:6-13). Does the Westminster Confession contain any truth? Of course; but, so does every lie which Satan has ever told.
According to WIKIPEDIA.com...
"The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith, in the Calvinist theological tradition. Although drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly largely of the Church of England, it became, and remains the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in the Church of Scotland and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide (with appropriate changes it has also been adopted by some Congregationalists and even Baptists)." -SOURCE
Follow God's Word; NOT men!
Kindly said, who cares about what a group of men had to say in 1646 A.D.? It is crazy! Why are professed Christians following groups of men instead of what the Bible teaches? The Lutherans greatly error by following the Augsburg Confession, written in 1530 A.D. Who cares about the Augsburg Confession! Who cares about the Westminster Confession! We should all be obeying Romans 3:4, "God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar..." Also, Psalm 118:8, "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."
God does not want us following Calvin, Arminius, or the Protestant movement. The Apostle Paul clearly warned against following men...
"Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name." -1st Corinthians 1:12-15
It is certainly not wrong to study the writings of other godly Christians; BUT, we must NEVER elevate the doctrines of those men to the level of the Word of God. The Lutherans idolize Martin Luther, a man who led many people into Hell with his damnable doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Likewise, the Westminster Confession contains many heresies, including the damnable doctrines of John Calvin.
Baptism is NOT a Sacrament!
The following quotes concerning baptism are taken from chapter 28 of the Westminster Confessions...
"1. Baptism is a sacrament of the new testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church; but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of his ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life. Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world.
First, baptism is NOT a sacrament. There is NO special grace conferred by being baptized. The word "sacrament" isn't even found in the Bible. Furthermore, there is NOT one single Verse in the entire Bible which teaches that a person is sealed through baptism. On the contrary, Ephesians 1:13 states...
"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise."
It is God's Holy Spirit which seals the believer; NOT baptism. The only sure sign that a person has been placed into the Body of Christ is the Holy Spirit of God Himself, "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit" (1st John 4:13).
2. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the Gospel, lawfully called thereunto.
Biblical Baptism is by Immersion; NOT Sprinkling!
3. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but Baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person.
EVERY convert baptized in the Word of God was baptized by IMMERSION. Baptism by sprinkling is NOT taught in the Bible! Immersion represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; thus, sprinkling does not adequately represent the Gospel. No one in the Bible was ever sprinkled, and no infant was ever baptized.
Infant Baptism is Unbiblical!
4. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.
Again, infant baptism is NOT taught in the Word of God. The writers of the Westminster Confession ADDED doctrines to the Bible which God did not write. Infant baptism is a heathen practice which originated in Catholicism. No baby can understand the concepts of sin, Christ's redeeming work, or salvation; therefore, it is ridiculous to baptize infants. Not one baby was ever baptized in the Bible. Not one person in the Bible was ever baptized who didn't first believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
So why baptize babies when the Word of God doesn't teach any such nonsense? There is a great danger in baptizing infants, the danger that they'll grow up thinking they're ok with God because they were baptized. Many adults, when witnessed to, reply that they were baptized as a child, and are ready to meet God. Nothing could be further from the truth! Children should NOT be baptized until they are old enough to realize their sin, and make a conscious decision to trust upon Jesus Christ as Saviour. This age varies from child to child.
There is NO Power to Baptism!
5. Although it be a great sin to condemn or neglect his ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it: or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.
They claim that baptism is not necessary for regeneration; YET, they call it a "sacrament," which by definition implies that there is some POWER to baptism. Biblically, there is NO power in, or associated with, baptism.
6. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in His appointed time.
This is heresy! There is NO "efficacy" (power) to baptism. According to the Westminster Confession, baptism opens the door for God's grace to be bestowed upon us, at a time appointed by God. BUT, the Bible never teaches any such thing. ALL of the blessings available to the believer are a direct result of placing our faith in Christ as Savior, nothing else. When we trust Christ for salvation, all the graces of God become freely available to us, "That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel" (Ephesians 3:6).
Ephesians 2:7 states, "That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." I don't see any mention of being baptized in those Scriptures. Where did someone get the crazy unbiblical idea that baptism confers "grace" upon a believer? The Word of God teaches in Romans 6:5,6 that baptism is only symbolic of the Gospel. Baptism is the Biblical method for us to make a public profession of faith.
The Bible Never Calls Failure to be Baptized a Sin!
There is nothing to be gained personally from being baptized, other than a clear conscious (1st Peter 3:21). Baptism is simply a believer's act of obedience. Those believer's who refuse to be baptized will feel guilty for not following the Lord's example to be baptized; but, that is true concerning all the commands in the Bible. We should feel guilty for not following the Bible. Yet, NO Christian perfectly follows the Bible, we all falter and mess up. I am not condoning wrongdoing, I am just saying that we all come short of what God expects (Romans 3:23).
Yes, a believer should be baptized; BUT, it would be just a wrong for a Christian not to pray or treat their spouse properly. The Bible never associates the graces bestowed upon the believer with baptism. In Acts 10:47 Peter states, "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" Carefully notice that these people had ALREADY received the Holy Spirit. They were saved; but, had not yet been baptized.
The Westminster Confession doesn't go as far as to teach baptismal regeneration; BUT, it does teach that it is A GREAT SIN (see point # 5) not to be baptized. Can you show me that in the Bible? In fact, show me where the Bible ever calls not getting baptized a sin ... you cannot! The Apostle Paul said in 1st Corinthians 1:17, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." If baptism were so crucial, and such A GREAT SIN not to be baptized, then why would the Apostle Paul DIMINISH the importance of baptize? John 4:2 states that Jesus didn't baptize anyone; BUT, He told people to BELIEVE upon Him for salvation (John 14:6).
I had a Church of Christ minister defend baptismal regeneration by telling me that Jesus didn't need to baptize because His disciples did it instead; BUT, there's a problem with his reasoning because Jesus' disciples weren't with Him much of the time. Where were the disciples when Jesus witnessed to the Samaritan woman at the well in John Chapter 4? Baptism is not mentioned. Where were the disciples when Jesus witnessed to Nicodemus in John Chapter 3 at the midnight hour (John 7:50)? Again, baptism is not mentioned. Clearly, water baptism is NOT required for salvation.
But is it a sin not to baptized? The Bible states in James 4:17, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." Therefore, I do believe that it would be sinful for a believer not to be baptized if God is dealing with their heart about it. However, the Word of God never actually makes an issue of baptism being a sin. Is it a sin not to go to church in lieu of Hebrews 10:25? Is it a sin not to partake of the Lord's supper in lieu of Luke 22:19? Is it a sin not pray continually in lieu of 1st Thessalonians 5:17? These are often referred to as sins of "omission."
However, carefully notice the words of James 4:17, "...to him it is sin..." As a believer grows in the Lord, the Holy Spirit reveals more and more things to him/her that need to be addressed. A person who gets saved needs time to grow in the Lord. As they grow in the milk of the Word (1st Peter 2:2), the Holy Sprit will begin to open their eyes, showing them things which they should be doing as a believer. It is at this time that the believer must make a decision to do what they have learned to be right, or refuse to do it. It is a sin to grieve the Holy Spirit and not yield to His Will. So what I am saying is this, what might be a sin of omission to a believer who has been saved for 10 years, may not be a sin to someone who has only been saved for a short time.
One cannot reasonably argue whether murder is a sin or not, because the 10 commandments openly condemns such a sin. However, there is not a Verse in the Bible which condemns a person for staying home from church to watch a football game. Now, it would be a sin for a believer who knows better; BUT, doing such a thing might seem perfectly acceptable to a younger convert. Thus, I believe it is very unscriptural to label those who aren't ready to be baptized as being guilty of committing "A GREAT SIN!" You can't show me that in the Bible! We must be careful not to call something "sinful" which the Bible hasn't called sinful.
Ministers Cannot Forgive Sin!
According to the Westminster Confession, chapter 30...
"The Lord Jesus, as King and Head of His Church, hath therein appointed a government, in the hand of Church officers, distinct from the civil magistrate ... To these officers the keys of the kingdom of heaven are committed; by virtue whereof, they have power, respectively, to retain, and remit sins; to shut that kingdom against the impenitent..." -SOURCE
How arrogant! No minister or priest was ever given the power to forgive sin! There's not one recorded incident in the entire Word of God where the Apostles or disciples ever forgave someone's sins, not one! Furthermore, who is a minister to "shut that kingdom against the impenitent"? How pompous! Presbyterian and Lutheran ministers do NOT have the power to forgive your sins! In fact, Jesus said that if we didn't forgive other's sins, He wouldn't forgive us, "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:15).
Clearly, the Bible does not give ministers the power to forgive sin, or deny forgiveness of sins. There is no such thing as "Apostolic succession" taught in the Bible, i.e., there are no Apostles today. In Matthew Chapter 10, Jesus empowered the Apostles to perform signs to validate their Gospel message to Israel, "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease ... These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:1, 5-8).
Carefully notice, there is no mention in Matthew 10 about the power to forgive sin. I'd like to see one, just one, of these ministers who claim to have the power to forgive sin, go into a hospital and heal the sick. Jesus gave the Apostles the power "...to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease." So why can't these ministers today, who claim they can forgive sin, heal the sick? Because they are imposters!!! They can't heal the sick, and they can't forgive anyone's sins, not even their own.
The Westminster Confession is filled with unbiblical doctrines, and should be AVOIDED by all professed Christians. The problem is that many people are LAZY and don't want to STUDY the Bible for themselves, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2nd Timothy 2:15). It's high time for ALL professed Christians to become as narrow-minded as the Word of God. If anyone teaches something that doesn't match up to the Bible, then we should expose them and their lies!
This is Biblical (Ephesians 5:11). I'm not endorsing being mean to anyone, I'm just saying that we need to break away from Protestantism, and follow the incorruptible Word of God instead! Protestantism may have come our of Catholicism; BUT, Catholicism didn't come out of Protestantism. We need to forsake the whole mess. Most Protestants don't know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, having Churchianity without Christianity, because they are trusting in their damnable baptismal regeneration, instead of placing their faith ALONE in Christ Jesus.
God's Simple Plan