Editorial: The potential dangers associated with an aggressive Confessionalism

Friends and Brethren in the Lord,

Who among us interacts online faithfully and frequently, in forums and groups, only to be accused of being disloyal to one’s confessional standard? I know that at times I have been accused of not being a “genuine” or “real” subscriber to the 1689 Confession, typically by those who disagree with a doctrinal position in a non-essential or secondary matter.

Being called disloyal to the 1689 standard is a grave and serious accusation among the brethren, one that shouldn’t be made lightly. Disagreeing with someone over a secondary point of doctrine, only to have a self-appointed “1689 cop” call you out, ask to see your “credentials”, accuse that you are in violation, presumed to be guilty, and held in contempt, until (maybe) you can prove yourself innocent, usually only by submitting to their interpretation of a doctrinal position instead of your own in a secondary manner, seems to be an unpleasant side effect of participating in online discussions. In fact, it seems to be a nasty, eristic form of trolling.

Among family members (in the Lord), I think such loyalty examinations are neither godly nor edifying, and often over-played by some who hold to a form of confessionalism. I invite friends and brothers and sisters on the forum to mindfully examine their own participation, and to resolve in their hearts to only interact with brothers and sisters in the Lord with the highest regard, esteem and intention.

Beware the tyranny of the “1689 police” or interactions with those who have the only copy of holy scripture in a disagreement (by extension, implying that you, of course, in your reasoned position, do not similarly reason as they do from the Confession or holy scriptures!).

"May I see your papers, please?"

“May I see your papers, please?”