Question: Presbyterianism

It’s been awhile since the last comment and question post. I believe that the last one, which was on the Trinity, was really helpful, so thanks for all who contributed to the discussion. Two weeks ago we had a joint fellowship with the senior families in our church and they urged us to stay true to our Presbyterian tradition, its distinctive and teachings, although immediately afterwards a friend asked to me, “What do you mean by Presbyterian tradition?” A short discussion afterwards revealed that what they meant was actually some kind of traditionalism, to keep the church as it is right now (e.g., liturgy and language of congregational worship). It contained some grains of truth, but I would say that it’s not the whole thing. So the confusion about our identity, if I were allowed to say that, was not totally cleared yet. It’s easy to construe our identity in a negative sense, e.g., we are not like the Catholics or the Charismatics (for example! I truly love both of them as well!), but the more pressing challenge is to construe it in a positive sense. What does it mean to be a Presbyterian?

I’ve also been writing about the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition, recently. So perhaps it is a good time to discuss about it. A quick glance at the comments in this blog would probably justify the discussion, as well, since the majority of the readers came from the Bukit Batok Presbyterian Church, Chen Li Presbyterian Church, Orchard Presbyterian Church, and Reformed Evangelical Church Singapore. On the other hand, of course, it could be helpful for those who came from a different tradition. Even better, you could ask your questions too to clear up your confusions. Indeed, actually many of us perhaps came from a different tradition in Indonesia before we settled here in our respective churches. At least some of us are Methodists and Lutherans, right.

So, please comment and put your questions about the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition, whatever it is. On the deacons and elders, the synod, predestination, liturgy, covenants, infant baptism, spiritual presence in the Holy Communion, etc. I’ve addressed some of the issues here, but you are of course welcome to ask more.


10 thoughts on “Question: Presbyterianism

      1. septian Post author

        maksudnya gw atau elu ngebaptisin orang gt ya? keknya benernya bole de, walau sekarang uda termasuk dalam exceptional cases, misalnya orangnya uda mau ko’it gitu. in general case we follow the institutionalized method (awalnya jemaat happy go lucky tapi lama2 butuh aturan main juga, hence perkembangan dari Acts ke 1-2 Tim). haha.

  1. Martin

    Why are we using “Nec tamen consumebatur”?
    Is it a correct representation of our belief and our uniqueness?

    1. septian Post author

      gw baru sadar klo di seri The Burning Bush gw belom post yg Nec Tamen Consumebatur. tu ud gw tambahin haha.

      correct representation of the history of the church of scotland, i guess, berhubung lambang tersebut digunakan untuk melambangkan sejarah tradisi prebyterian mula-mula yang diawali oleh konflik berkepanjangan antara kaum monarki dan kaum parlementer (presbyterian) sebelum akhirnya di-‘menang’-kan oleh kaum parlementer.

      kalau mau ditarik-tarik, latar belakang sejarah ini melambangkan bentuk pemerintahan gereja yang parlementer pula di gereja presbyterian, yang menjadi ciri khas tradisi ini jika dibandingkan dengan tradisi lain.

      1. Martin

        Gw sebenernya masih belum ngerti sih >.<

        Kalau awal2nya dipakai untuk melambangkan kemenangan kaum parlementer terhadap kaum monarki, which aspect of the burning bush does represent that? Apakah semangat yg dari dulu di-opress oleh situasi, tapi tetap terus menyala?

        Kalau sekarang kita masih memakai simbol itu, tentu ada pergerseran pemaknaan dari yang dulu. Dan apa pemaknaan yang kamu sendiri pikir tepat untuk konteks gereja presbyterian (ato mungkin GPBB/GPO/ChenLi)?

        1. septian Post author

          blm jawab si martin gw haha.

          iya, jadi dioppress, tapi tetap menyala.

          hmm kalau mau digunakan untuk konteks presbyterian secara umum, mgkn bisa dimaknai sebagai lambang dari perjanjian, dimana framework kovenan menjadi ciri khas tradisi ini..

      2. d

        andai yg menang monarki,
        ntar presby ada 1 church leader yg oversee gitu, presumably dibantu council begitu:
        interesting jadi mirip katolik.

        1. septian Post author

          klo yg menang monarki, bukan mirip katolik lagi dun, emang bakal jadi katolik.. :p

          i.e., church polity inter-related with state polity.

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