The Westminster Presbyterian Covenant of Union|
January 13-14, 2006 (Amended 2013)
In order to effect a more perfect church union, preserve the attainments of the covenanted reformation of our spiritual forefathers, make our desires and intentions known to other ecclesiastical bodies and our posterity, we do humbly and sincerely promise and swear before the Great and Dreadful Name of the Lord our God the following covenant:
- We promise to adhere to and maintain the true reformed religion by strictly adhering to the doctrinal attainments of the Protestant Reformation; in particular, the original Westminster Standards (The Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism, the Shorter Catechism, the Directory for Public Worship, the Directory for Family Worship, and the Form of Presbyterian Church Government). In publicly professing and owning the Westminster Standards as upholding the true Christian faith and religion, we adopt a principle of full subscription to the Westminster Standards. We reject and abjure the alteration, denial or misinterpretation of these original standards by various ecclesiastical bodies as misguided, unscriptural, and unsound. Further, we reject all forms of loose subscription in Presbyterian bodies wherein church officers are permitted to swear to the standards, yet actually reject many elements therein.
- We do acknowledge that public, social covenanting, is an ordinance of God, and obligatory on churches and nations under the New Testament dispensation: and that the National Covenant of Scotland, and the Solemn League and Covenant of Scotland, England, and Ireland, were an exemplification of this divine institution: and that these solemn deeds and lawful renewals are of perpetual obligation upon these and their descendant nations, and moral persons.
- We condemn all human perversions of the Protestant biblical doctrine of Justification by grace through faith alone, whether from Romanism or from various alleged Protestant denominations, e.g., covenantal nomism, the New Perspective on Paul, the Auburn Avenue/Federal Vision doctrine or Shepherdism. Further, we shall not extend the right hand of fellowship nor have fraternal relations with ecclesiastical bodies that refuse to discipline church officers holding to these damnable heresies.
- We oppose Wesleyan and various higher life views of sin, deliberately reducing the extensive nature of the moral law and/or advocating a view of love apart from the standard of the moral law. The ministers, with the support of the elders, promise to proclaim repentance unto life with all clarity, purposing to live after the Commandments of God. Yet, notwithstanding, we confess the once and for all sacrifice of Christ and His shed blood to cleanse Godís people daily from all sin.
- In accordance with the Holy Scriptures, we promise to proclaim creationism within the space of six normal length 24 hour days (Gen. 1:1 to 2:3; Ex. 20:11). This is the explicit teaching of the Westminster Standards (see WCF 4:1; LC 15). We reject all other views of creation, including day age and framework hypothesis.
- The Lordís Supper is a sanctifying means of grace by the preaching of the Word, the word of institution, the work of the Spirit of Christ, and worthy partaking in accordance with proper fencing of the Table of the Lord. We deny sacerdotalism, which teaches the inherent efficacy of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lordís Supper, apart from the preaching of the Word. We deny baptismal regeneration, presumptive regeneration, and even assumptive regeneration.
- In order to preserve biblical worship for ourselves and our posterity, we promise to advance and maintain purity of public worship in our congregations with the following biblical truths: (a) strict interpretation of the regulative principle of worship; (b) the exclusive use of the biblical Psalter for public worship, unaccompanied; (c) the rejection of the ecclesiastical calendar and man-made holy days; and (d) the rejection of popish and prelatic prayer books and liturgies.
- We affirm male leadership reflected in ordination to church office (Gen. 2:18-25; I Cor. 11:8-9; 14:34-35; I Tim. 2:11-15). We reject the ordination of women to office, including the office of deacon.
- In order to further the biblical truth of the kingship of Christ (that God has appointed the divine-human Mediator as the King over all nations), we promise to maintain the rightful dominion of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we promise to adhere to and teach that all nations have a moral obligation to explicitly recognize Jesus Christ as King and supreme lawgiver in their constitutions, courts, legislatures, etc. Civil government has the duty to legislate in conformity with Godís moral law summarized in both tables of the Ten Commandments. We hereby pledge to work for the restoration of the establishment of the Christian faith in the United States and reject religious pluralism, secularism, and arbitrary governmental authority in accordance with the Westminster Standards and the principles of the Solemn League and Covenant.
- Whereas we believe that schism and sectarianism is unbiblical and sinful, we promise to pray for and work toward ecclesiastical union with all Presbyterian bodies that have not departed from the doctrinal attainments of our covenanted reformation. To this end we will seek fraternal relations with Presbyterian denominations which are faithful to our standards in doctrine, worship and church government with a desire for eventual ecclesiastical unity. We reject all attempts at ecclesiastical union which set aside true doctrine, biblical worship or proper discipline. Further, we reject as unscriptural and sinful the failure to seek union with like-minded brethren on the basis of alleged personality conflicts, human traditions, or peculiar ecclesiastical histories.
We do enter this solemn act of covenanting before God with the purpose of glorifying Jesus Christ our Savior and King and serving His kingdom. May God enable us and our posterity to keep this promise throughout all ages. Amen.