The Fourth Principle is stated negatively. It contains statements which identify certain beliefs and practices as being contrary to God's word. While they are stated negatively, they do not teach positive truth. Their purpose is to prevent falsehood, not to teach truth. The Articles of Religion settle those matters. these negative statements merely clarify matters. So, while denying that the Church of Christ exists only in one order or form of ecclesiastical polity, this Article does not teach that all orders and forms are regular and /or desirable. While denying that Christian Ministers are priests in a different sense than that in which all of God's people are priests, this article does not teach that Christian Ministers are not priests at all, for there is a priesthood of all believers. While denying that the Lord's Table is an altar on which the oblation of the body and blood of Christ is offered anew to the Father, this article cannot be read to teach that the Lord's Table is not an Altar in any other sense because the Order for Holy Communion says that we do make a 'sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving' and the prayer is offered at the Holy Table. While denying that the presence of Christ in the Lord's supper is a presence in the elements of bread and wine, this statement does not teach that there is no presence of Christ in the Holy Supper. While denying that Regeneration is inseparably connected with baptism, this statement does not deny all connection between Regeneration and Baptism.


Principle Four does not define what Reformed Episcopalians believe, but what they don't believe. and in each statement there is compatibility with the Articles of Religion.