By J. Parnell McCarter


Currently the Reformation Party (http://www.puritans.net/Reformation_Party/ ) is in its incipient persuasion phase.  There is the need to persuade people, especially those who profess to believe in the original Westminster Standards, with its Establishment Principle doctrine, that a Reformation Party-like model is the logical implication of their professed belief.  Not surprisingly, the idea meets with significant resistance.  In strictly human terms, it seems improbable that the Reformation Party could ever succeed, current human numbers being so overwhelmingly against it.  In addition, it has been a long time in history since a political organization only allowed people of one denomination to be voting members, even though this is clearly an implication of the Establishment Principle. Furthermore, part of this persuading entails showing those who profess to believe in the doctrines of the original Westminster Standards why the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland is the right church to join, since it is the denomination whose communicant members would be voting members of the political party.  The Bible provides precedence for the task of persuasion, in such passages as Acts 19:8: “And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.”  Of course, more important than persuasion is prayer, for the Reformation Party will only succeed if God blesses the effort.


Below are some examples of recent discussions on the topic on the ComeOutFromAmongstThem yahoo list:


--- In ComeOutFromAmongstThem@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ferrell"
<jglennferrell@...> wrote:
> Parnell:
> While I agree with your views regarding the Establishment
Principle as expressed in the WCF, your Reformation Party is
unrealistic because:
> 1) Rather than simply advocating an established church in each
jurisdiction adhering to the original Westminster Standards, you
specify party members must be members of the FPCoS. You are not yet
a member of the FPCoS and know the difficulty of becoming such.
> 2) Political parties in this country are not national but state
parties. They may join together in an alliance as a national
party. However, to actually be able to run candidates for political
office, there are requirements to be met in each state. There is
not even a national election for President and Vice President in the
US, but 51 individual elections for electors who then chose the
persons to fill these offices.
> While I find the various options presently available in the US
untenable because they are coalitions of believers and heretics not
recognizing the biblical qualifications for office nor the necessity
of the Establishment Principle, the Reformation Party you propose is
not likely to be an option for many of us for several generations.
> What are my options for today as a Reformed Christian resident of
Idaho, which is one-third Mormon and one-third papist, with many of
the remaining Arminians and Charismatics? And, I don't have to vote
for a winner; but I'd at least appreciate a political party and
candidates standing for the truth, waving the banner of the crown
rights of Jesus, educating the electorate in the process, allowing
me to cast an un-compromised vote for someone representing King
Jesus. Your 'international' Reformation Party is not likely to
offer that option in Idaho in my lifetime.

You who look to numbers, have you not read about what God did
against the numbers in the case of Noah, Abraham, our Lord Jesus
Christ, etc.? Do we not read in Revelation 16-19 about a time when
all the nations of the earth have become wicked, but God brings
judgment upon them, and ends up raising up a millennial kingdom? Is
the US with its wicked anti-Establishment Principle Constitution so
mighty it cannot fall, using the wicked (like Islamists) to bring
down the wicked? Did God not use the wicked Persian empire to
destroy the wicked Babylonian empire, then to allow the restoration
of Israel under Nehemiah? Again I say, let each man do his duty
before God, and leave to God the numbers.

One does not have to be a member of the FPCS to be a member of the
Reformation Party (http://www.puritans.net/Reformation_Party/) by
the way, though it is true one must be a communicant member of the
FPCS to be a *voting* member. But if some feel the FPCS is not the
right church to join, then there is the alternative of starting a
political party whose voting members are from some other
denomination. I happen to believe the FPCS is the right church to
join, and the fact that few here in Michigan happen to agree with me
right now will not deter me from applying, any more than it deters
me from being a member of the Reformation Party.

How many members did the Republican Party have in 1840? Did it just
arise out of thin air with tens of thousands of members? Is that
really how political parties form? Or how many people agreed with
Mr. William Farel when he first entered Geneva
? Was he greeted by
multitudes who wanted a reformed Geneva?


--- In ComeOutFromAmongstThem@yahoogroups.com, "jgferrell" <jglennferrell@...> wrote:
> You talking to me Parnell? The only numbers I'm concerned about
are: give me one Reformed, Establishment Principle, WCF Christian on
>the Idaho ballot, for which I may cast my one vote.

Mr Ferrell, if political parties and their appearance on state ballots
arose out of thin air, your point would be well taken.

>> Wouldn't an interim party of Reformed, WCF, Establishment Principle
> Christians in good standing with their local congregation make more
> sense for now?

Establishment Principle Christians realize the Biblical Establishment
Principle means one denomination is established in a given nation, and
hence God has provided Biblical guidelines by which we can know which
denomination we ought to join and which denomination ought to be
established. So why ought Establishment Principle Christians work to
create a political party that contradicts by its structure what they
profess to believe?

(Keep in mind: if the Lord wills, tomorrow He could cause everyone in
the world to repent and believe in the doctrines of the Westminster
Stds and want to join the denomination they ought to join. )

Just as seeking to join a church denomination that we think we ought
to join (instead of one that just has the numbers), so seeking to be
part of a political party that we think is structured the way it ought
to be structured (instead of one that just has or can get the
numbers), is one way we can express our faith in God.


--- In ComeOutFromAmongstThem@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ferrell"
<jglennferrell@...> wrote:

> Why must one who advocates the Establishment Principle decide in
advance which denomination will be the Established Church, especially
in the American context? Must I say, "We need an Established Church,
and I'll only cooperate politically with those who agree it should be
this small Scottish denomination, hardly represented in North
America, which has yet to advocate a political party in Scotland?"
Can a confession of faith not serve as the focal point for a future

Mr. Ferrell, I would respond as follows:

1. The denomination we should join is not based upon which
denomination the govt actually establishes, but the one that
scriptural principles dictate we should join, whether or not the govt
so recognizes it or not.

2. The denomination we should join is the same as the denomination
the state should recognize as the official denomination.

3. The denomination we should join is not based upon the number of
its members.

4. The establishment principle taught in the WCF means one
established church denomination for a given nation, not multiple
denominations. Those who only seek an established confession but not
an established denomination or church do not adhere to the
establishment principle in its totality.

5. The decision of whether one church/denomination should merge with
another is to be made by the elders of the church/denomination, not
by politicians applying political pressure for such a merger. So a
multi-denominational political party seeking to implement the
Establishment Principle long term is too prone to apply inappropriate
pressure on the church elders for a church merger in the future. It
is Erastian in tendency. And the issues hindering church merger now
will not be made easier but harder when such political pressures are
present. In reality, we could expect the lowest common denominator
to prevail in such a situation. So if a political party consisted of
voting members from the OPC and FPCS, and the political party were to
grow in numbers and prevail politically, which denomination would the
political party likely say should be established?

6. One great problem (but by no means the only one) of modern man is
that he has rejected that the voting members of a political
organization should come from only one church denomination (ie,
rejection of the Establishment Principle). This problem is not to be
remedied by working for a political party with multi-denominational
voting members, but by working for a political party with voting
members from one denomination. But because it is a great problem of
modern man, we should not be surprised it meets with such resistance,
even from those who profess to believe in the Establishment Principle.
There is a great psychological barrier that can only be broken by the
grace of God putting conviction in men's hearts, and I feel I must
patiently wait while He puts this same conviction in others that He
has in me. But I feel God can use me to show others why this is the
logical implication of what they profess to believe.



>Mr. McCarter, Are women allowed to be voting members of the Reformation Party? I went to the site but did not see any information on the subject. It seemed to address only male membership but >perhaps I am in the wrong. - Mrs. William Galyon, American Heritage Party, Missouri, 100% Pro-life NO Exceptions!


Thank you for asking, Mrs. Galvon.  Women are allowed to be voting as well as associate members of the Reformation Party (http://www.puritans.net/Reformation_Party/ ), but women are not allowed to be officers.  The reason for the latter rule is based upon the teaching of such passages as Isaiah 3:12 (“[As for] my people, children [are] their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause [thee] to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.“). 


I should also add that being a member of the Reformation Party does not preclude one from voting for a candidate from the Constitution Party, American Heritage Party, Christian Heritage Party, Republican Party, etc., especially since the Reformation Party cannot even field candidates on civil election ballots at this time.  Membership in the Reformation Party at this time is one’s way of making the statement that one regards its political model as more ideal, and encouraging others to join.  In the meantime, it is left up to individual conscience how one votes in civil elections where a Reformation Party candidate is not even running for office.


--- In ComeOutFromAmongstThem@yahoogroups.com, "Deejay"
<CrazyCalvinist@...> wrote:

> I'm a little confused about the FPCoS aspect. I don't doubt what
> say about the church to be correct, but I'm alittle uneducated
> church denoms geographically. Does the FPCoS exist outside of
> Cos if not, that would seem to make the whole thing pretty
> and very little chance of fruit bearing?


Quite agreed, Deejay. The FPCS ( http://www.fpchurch.org.uk/ )
currently has congregations on every continent save South America
and Antarctica. And it allows membership even when a FPCS
congregation is not in one's locality.



Note: Of course, political activity is only one part of our Christian life, and it should not be allowed to crowd out our other responsibilities to God.



If the statements below from the Protestant Reformation era are true, then does that not suggest the Reformation Party (http://www.puritans.net/Reformation_Party/ ) model is correct, whereas the model of such political parties as the Democratic Party, Republican Party and even Constitution Party are fundamentally flawed:


(1) Civil government is an ordinance of God established for
God's glory and and the welfare of man. To that end God has entrusted
into the hands of the lawful magistrate the sword. It is lawful for
Christians to serve as magistrates in a lawful government and in even in
an unlawful government (provided no oath of allegiance to an evil
constitution is required), to exercise capital punishment, just wars and
judicial recompense to the guilty, and for a Christian to exercise self-

(2) It is the duty of the civil magistrate to suppress all
false religion and to establish the true reformed religion (in
doctrine, worship,
and government) by law within his realm.

Wherefore we condemn the Anabaptists, and all those troublesome spirits,
which do reject higher powers and magistrates, overthrow all laws and
judgments, make all goods common, and, to conclude, do abolish and
confound all those orders and degrees, which God hath appointed among
men for honesty's sake (Belgic Confession, Article 36).

Yet civil government has as its appointed end, so long as we live among
men, to cherish and protect the outward worship of God, to defend sound
doctrine of piety and the position of the church, to adjust our life
to the society of men, to form our social behavior to civil righteousness, to
reconcile us with one another, and to promote general peace and
tranquility (Calvin, Institutes, IV, XX, 2, p.1487, emphases added).

Moreover, to kings, princes, rulers, and magistrates, we affirm that
and most principally the conservation and purgation of the religion
appertains; so that not only they are appointed for civil policy, but
also for
maintenance of the true religion, and for suppressing of idolatry and
superstition whatsoever: as in David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah, and
others, highly commended for their zeal in that case, may be espied
(_The Scottish Confession of Faith_, Chapter 24, emphases added).

The orthodox churches believe also, and do willingly acknowledge, that
every lawful magistrate, being by God himself constituted the keeper and
defender of both tables of the law, may and ought first and chiefly
to take care of God's glory, and (according to his place, or in his manner
and way) to preserve religion when pure, and to restore it when decayed and
corrupted: and also to provide a learned and godly ministry, schools
also and synods, as likewise to restrain and punish as well atheists,
blasphemers, heretics and schismatics, as the violators of justice
and civil peace [George Gillepsie]


If George Gillespie is correct that even heresy and schism should be suppressed by the civil magistrate, then does it not logically follow that our political party should not have as its voting members heretics and schismatics?