Monday, October 12, 2009

No contrived addition to God's law

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 4 of 4 - External Means by which God Invites Us into the Society of Christ and Holds Us Therein

Chapter 10 - Power of making laws: Pope's tool of tyranny
19-22 - Accumulation of rites; weak consciences bound
19. Lots of extra stuff has accumulated since the apostles. In the Lord's Supper, they have added "priestly vestments... altar ornaments, these gesticulations, and the whole apparatus of useless things." Augustine listed only celebration of Good Friday, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost as church-wide holy days. Rome now says "every little ceremony among them is to be considered apostolic!"
20. Even if the apostles did acts of piety not in the Bible that we could imitate, that doesn't mean we are bound by conscience to do them.
21. They say the Jerusalem council of Acts 15:20 gives them warrant to add decisions to Scripture. But "this is no new law laid down." They only required the Gentiles not offend their brethren.
22. We know this from 1 Cor 8:1, 4, 7, 9. Since the council's decision "was framed with a view to love, in it nothing is prescribed except as it pertains to love."

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