I visited the blog of a CRC minister that was referred to me by a friend in mid-Michigan. This minister is a theonomist who calls Two Kingdom Theology (2Kt) a “disease”, and makes gratuitous assertions about a connection between 2Kt and gnosticism.
Unfortunately I took the bait and attempted a dialog. In return I recieved more gratuitious assertions, strawman arguments, and ad hominem attacks. Finally, I made assertions regarding what I believe concerning the nature of the two kingdoms and the Church’s role in them. Responding to this, this pastor pulled my post and hacked it apart so as to take my words out of context and do more grandstanding to show just how totally right he is for being a thenomist and how ludicrous my thinking on 2Kt is. He was even so kind as to make more assertions… this time telling me (or more correctly, those who read his blog) what I believe (which I can understand since much of my original post, that which contained my own assertions of belief, was removed or ‘reorganized’). To add insult to injury, he assured his audience that he does not care to support his claims concerning the connection between 2Kt and gnosticism.
Interestingly enough, several days ago there was a post concerning the political grandstanding and underhandedness of the Obama campaign. This being the culture a Theonomist would care to redeem, one must wonder exactly what that redemption will look like in that great millenium of political victory when ministers like this one rule the world ‘by the power of the Holy Spirit’. His concern, it was suggested in response to some of my comments, was the third use of the Law. I care not for it, he said, but he wants to see its fruits.
Of course those who subscribe to a 2Kt believe in the third use of the Law, and I pointed this out (that was one of those points he didn’t see fit to publish on his site). Furthermore, I am in awe of the ironic state of affairs in which this pastor finds himself; on the one hand he argues for application of the Law to the culture at large, and yet he violates it in his argumentation of that very point.
I do not believe it would be right for me to direct y’all to this site, nor do I think I ought to give his name. But there is a lesson to be learned here, and it is my hobby horse: everybody has a system. We’ve all thought this stuff through and I have no doubt that many who disagree with me are bright, intelligent, well-intending souls. They are just wrong. On the other hand, I’m happy to go toe-to-toe with those with whom I disagree knowing that I’ll either be strengthened in my belief or be corrected where I err. This, of course, requires argumentation that is soundly logical and respectful. We can debate and discuss with attention to one another’s presuppotions therein, but I stop when I feel the need to call names, mischaracterize, or call into question the salvation of those with whom I disagree (at least those who are presumably in the Church).
It would seem to me that given my disappointment with the rancor and putrid state of affairs in the realm of politics (though it doesn’t surprise me, it is politics after all) that I as a Christian could possibly (attempt to) set an example to the world. Must we always agree? Absolutely not. I love to argue. Should we attack (percieved) inconsistencies in the ideas of others? I hope so. Should we attack one another as stupid, as “against the Kingdom of God” or practice illegitimate forms of debate such as those cited above? Lets not.
Whether we all agree on 2Kt, Calvinism, Covenantalism (or what have you) or not, we agree that the saints of God ought to conduct themselves in a way that reflects the application of the redemption which God has accomplished through Christ on the cross. This board has gotten heated at times as these topics are likely to do, and we’ve had brothers correct brothers and get corrected back and so on, but we have stayed away from the sort of political grandstanding that I witnessed recently.
And that is exactly what it was. Political grandstanding for an audience. Why do I subscribe to 2Kt? Because ministers ought not attempt to utilize the tools of the kingdom of men such as mischaracterization, slander, and blantant dishonesty to further our Lord’s Kingdom. The Lord will bring in an innumberable harvest in the elect, but He will do so by His appointed means. We do Him no favors when we privelege cultural transformation over seeing to the faithful execution of those means. They’re weak in the eyes of men and even those in our own reformed camp sometimes sound as though they believe them inadequate to the task, but they’re all we’ve got.
May God’s kingdom come, may His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven… because of the preaching of the Gospel, the right administration of the sacraments, and the discipline of the Church.
Come Lord Jesus,