WCF says Yes on Prop 8

With apologies to RSC, who was much more thorough here, I believe I can name that tune in only 162 words.  Here’s a “proof” that confessional Californians should vote for Prop 8:

From WCF 24, “On Marriage and Divorce”:

1: Marriage is to be between one man and one woman; neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.

4: Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word. Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.

Yes, paragraph 1 is addressing polygamy, and yes paragraph 4 is addressing incest; but it seems to me to be no stretch at all to assume that the divines would also agree that a homosexual marriage can never be made lawful by any law of man.

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132 Responses to WCF says Yes on Prop 8

  1. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    That may be, but beware the culture warrior undertones in stuff like this. Sometimes the question on the table isn’t really the question on the table.

    Moreover, if Crouch is correct about cultivating culture (how’s that for alliteration?), maybe we just need to make everybody Christians instead of worrying about legislation? That’s the starry-eyed rhetoric Republicans use against the supposed economic Utopianism of Obamakins (funny how it never seems to apply when it comes to abortion, you know, just make everyone Christian and then the social conditions that prompt abortions in the first place will disappear instead of outlawing it). But given how I don’t think more Christians in the world makes it any better, I demur from Crouch: feti don’t have time for the world to get its act together any more than the poor have time to be taught how to fish. And I don’t think the answer is to make the gospel a tax-free social service.

    So, legislation has its place. But I say be careful not to over-realize it and use it to bash someone’s head in.

  2. I think this is purely a rights issue, and adding to the state Constitution in a way that deprives rights from certain people is not the right way to go.

    Especially in light of the “election issue” of Modern Reformation, which explicitly didn’t espouse either side of any political debate. That issue seemed to say (at least to me) that public citizens who are also Christians should not be voting one way or the other because of some perceived God-appointed social agenda. That starts to be approaching Charles Finney just a bit too closely.

    Indeed, God is ruler over both the left and right hands, but the WCF is the witness of Biblical testimony to the church, and not to society at large.

  3. RubeRad says:

    Hmm, that’s the second time (from our church!) that I heard the “not in the state constitution” argument. Isn’t the point that we already enacted reg’lr laws, and the laws were struck down (by activist judges) as unconstitutional? Isn’t the next step then to put it in the constitution?

    As for “rights issue”, are you saying the constitution is a vehicle for establishing rights, but not for disestablishing non-rights?

  4. prop8discussion says:

    thanks for the post.

    this is another interesting viewpoint:

    http://prop8discussion.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/same-sex-marriage-and-creeping-totalitarianism/

    “…the steps necessary to institute legal same-sex marriage represent an unusual and worrisome expansion of the State’s claims to authority and status.
    Defining Totalitarianism

    The word totalitarian conjures up specters from the last century—images of leader worship and revolutionary violence, of prison camps and secret police. But these are the incidents of totalitarianism, not its essence. Their different forms rise from a common root: A philosophical stand in which the State is pre-eminent, in which it may exert whatsoever power it will, in which its claim upon the bodies and minds of its subjects may not be excelled. That is the common heritage of Fascists and Bolsheviks; that is totalitarianism.

    What, then, do I mean by creeping totalitarianism? Simply this: the extension of State power to new domains, the reduction of competing authorities, or the consolidation of State power that had been dispersed. Creeping totalitarianism is a stepwise, slow, even covert movement toward the position of control described above, a quiet and gradual betrayal of liberty. I believe that as many as three such extensions are threatened by the same-sex marriage laws currently being debated: While instituting same-sex marriage, the State must co-opt its competition and promote legal positivism, and it may also diminish democracy. “

  5. Court says:

    As a citizen, though, I do have a responsibility and a right to vote. But I Do have a problem voting a constitutional ban—seems like the wrong place. Given that judges overturned the last vote—but isn’t that just going to happen again here? This is an issue with amendment voting, too. The difference in this and abortion I think is pretty clear—given the finality of abortion. The results of having gay marriage don’t seem as dire…I am still cloudy on this. Clarifications please!

    And while I am at i, as far as the ads go that churches wil be required to do this or that, I think then, that IS where the lines gets drawn, and then come what may.

  6. brmorris says:

    Ruberad,

    A few points/questions:

    1. If Prop 8 is adopted, won’t the US Supreme Court be forced to rule whether this is against the US Constitution?

    2. It seems to me that it is generally settled in the culture that homosexuals are both that way.

    3. If that generally is settled in the culture, I fear how it looks when ANYONE tries to deny someone a right that cannot have because they were born that way.

    4. If one day, there is a Prop in CA silencing the freedom of speech of Christians, and it passes, will you give up at that point and submit to the will of the people? (I submit that Christians would fight for their constitutional right through “activist” judges overturning the will of the people!)

    5. I fear how beneficial/detrimental having the church (or what publicly looks like the church) fight for civil laws is.

    6. I’m glad I don’t live in CA and have to decide yet.

  7. RubeRad says:

    1. I have no clue. By publishing this post, I don’t want to give anyone the impression I know anything about constitutional law.

    2. Okay. But “generally settled in the culture” is not the same as “true” or “morally OK”.

    3. It is probably just as settled that alcoholism, drug abuse, and child abuse have heritable components as well. But should we give drunks the right to drive, or legalize drugs, or condone child abuse?

    4. If you believe the ads, prop 8 is that law. Maybe no on 8 is what we need, so activist gays can entrap a few pastors and get them thrown in jail for not marrying them. Can you imagine the backlash?

    5. I think we can all agree that The Confessional Outhouse is not The Church. I’d say a reliable rule of thumg is: if there are big holes in the “pews”, you showed up for church in the wrong building!

  8. adam says:

    Seems strange that this would even be up for debate among folks who want to be confessional. The Westminster Larger Cathechism makes clear that the seventh commandment obligates the Christian to pursue chasity for themselves and others.

    WLC Q. 138. What are the duties required in the seventh commandment?

    A. The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections, words, and behavior; and the preservation of it in ourselves and others; watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance, keeping of chaste company, modesty in apparel; marriage by those that have not the gift of continency, conjugal love, and cohabitation; diligent labor in our callings; shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto.

    Q. 139. What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?

    A. The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts; all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections; all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto; wanton looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel; prohibiting of lawful, and dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them; entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage; having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce, or desertion; idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.

  9. RubeRad says:

    That’s a good point Adam, and it highlights something I never explicitly noticed; the catechism is quite explicit about “ourselves and our neighbors” for all of the required/forbidden questions concerning the 2nd table. But for the first table, they never mention “neighbor” or “other”. This seems like a pretty good confessional indicator of the first/second table boundary between duty to God and duty to our fellow men.

    (And yes, I see LC99.7, but that is qualified with “according to our places”, and I would contend that the consistent pattern of the per-commandment questions indicate that the “place” to regulate our neighbor’s sin is not in the first table. And I would also note that the American Revision removed “tolerating a false religion” from LC109 )

  10. Court says:

    Stage plays? Dang it, and I just went to the Old Globe!

    So questions 138 and 139 mean we have to police minds, too? How do we do that, not just in ourselves but in others, and then not just christians but in people postively hostile…? I am truly curious as to how that works out.

    And one more, sorry, what is keeping of stews?

  11. I take those as that we should pursue righteousness in all forms and in all people, but that we should not bludgeon them over the head with a Bible and proclaim, “Thou wilt be righteous!”

    Yes on 8 seems like a modern, more mild form of the Crusades.

  12. RubeRad says:

    Stage plays? Dang it, and I just went to the Old Globe!

    I think the operative word is “lascivious…stage plays”. Like Brokeback Mountain.

    And one more, sorry, what is keeping of stews?

    From the context, I’m guessing that “stews” are hooers. Either that, or it is unchaste to boil food.

    So questions 138 and 139 mean we have to police minds, too?

    Well, we certainly have to police our own minds, and when the minds of others are shown by their words or actions to be unchaste, it is appropriate to do something about it, depending on our several places and relations.

    Yes on 8 seems like a modern, more mild form of the Crusades.

    You prove too much — i.e. why can’t we use your same argument to dismiss laws against murder, theft, prostitution, …?

    (Besides, the crusades were about property, not chastity. However, I’d grant you that our position in Iraq is somewhat similar to the crusades, in that it is resistance to fundamentalist Islamic imperialism, which is defensible on natural law and just war grounds, but not as Christians defending themselves against Muslims — but no threadjacking!)

  13. Patrick Meighan says:

    “Maybe no on 8 is what we need, so activist gays can entrap a few pastors and get them thrown in jail for not marrying them. Can you imagine the backlash?”

    Same-sex marriage has been legal in California for five months, and in Massachusetts for five years. Has anything like the above happened to a member of the clergy in either of the two states during that time period?

    No.

    That’s ’cause American churches have First Amendment protections as to what rites they do and don’t perform. Which is why some churches can (and do) refuse to perform interracial marriages, interfaith marriages… and they still keep their tax-exempt status, despite the fact that, for most of us, it’s quite illegal to discriminate against Americans based on race or religion.

    Please note that the 1st Amendment religious freedoms and protections enjoyed by churches are of an order of magnitude greater than those available to commercial businesses–such as wedding photographers and fertility doctors–which are subject to anti-discrimination statutes that are not applicable to houses of faith. Also note that the churches’ right to discriminate according to their faith traditions far oustrip those rights enjoyed by educational institutions–even religious schools, like Bob Jones University–to discriminate without tax implications. For example, at the same time that Bob Jones University lost its tax exempt status (in 1975) for barring interracial dating, the LDS Church was in absolutely no tax danger for refusing to install blacks in its clergy. Then, as now, American churches enjoy unparalleled legal freedom to conduct the rites it wishes to perform, and not conduct the rites it does not wish to perform.

    Patrick Meighan
    Culver City, CA

  14. Yes on 8 seems like a modern, more mild form of the Crusades.

    You prove too much — i.e. why can’t we use your same argument to dismiss laws against murder, theft, prostitution, …?

    OK, I agree that the Crusades were a poorly-thought-out simile. However, murder, theft, and prostitution all do harm to individual members of society (or, in the case of prostitution, have strong potential for causing harm). The government is here to promote the public peace, not to have a say over what consenting citizens do in private.

  15. Court says:

    Yes, I have to agree with both the previous statements. No real harm is done to people who marry.

  16. brmorris says:

    Response to RubeRad on October 28, 2008
    at 2:26 pm:

    I’m afraid you missed most of my logic:

    1. I don’t believe that alcoholism, drug/child abuse are generally believed to be acceptable in culture or they are unable to control those things because they were born that way. My point is that if we attack homosexual behavior without first pointing out natural law arguments for why they can’t be born that way, we are setting ourselves up for failure via equal protection laws. Most TV interviews I’ve seen don’t start there, so their arguments are easily defeated by Constitutional principals.

    2. I hope to not read about “activist judges” again here because we will need those judges someday and it is propaganda.

    3. I was not referring to this forum as “the church,” but the general understanding in the media that “the church” is leading the charge in support of Prop 8. (Correct me if I’m wrong on that.)

    adam,

    “The Westminster Larger Cathechism makes clear that the seventh commandment obligates the Christian to pursue chasity for themselves and others.”

    I would be careful of your sweeping indictments. I believe Two Kingdoms distinctions would be helpful here. Zrim?

  17. RubeRad says:

    natural law arguments for why they can’t be born that way

    I don’t see why they can’t be “born that way”. I was born with all manner of sinful tendencies, and I bet you were too.

    No real harm is done to people who marry.

    You need to rethink your presupposition that anything that all involved parties consent to cannot be harmful.

  18. No real harm is done to people who marry.

    You need to rethink your presupposition that anything that all involved parties consent to cannot be harmful.

    Yet the government’s concern is with apparent damage to person or property. They’re not the public’s parents and are not there to prevent spiritual and/or moral harm. Consent is a big part of how certain laws are enforced.

  19. brmorris says:

    RubeRad,

    You have to make some distinction between race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; and behaviors. You don’t seem to be understanding my arguments. Everyone in this country has human rights that cannot be violated based on things outside their control (see above). This Prop 8 is fundamentally about whether to add homosexuality to that list. That is the argument that needs to be made for or against. If you skip this fundamental argument, you have conceded the Constitutional high ground to those for against Prop 8 and are doomed to failure via the courts.

    If you follow your arguments’ logical conclusions, we’re going to be voting on making an amendment to the Constitution against coveting.

  20. Zrim says:

    Adam said,

    “The Westminster Larger Cathechism makes clear that the seventh commandment obligates the Christian to pursue chastity for themselves and others.”

    To which brmorris responded,

    “I would be careful of your sweeping indictments. I believe Two Kingdoms distinctions would be helpful here. Zrim?”

    I can’t tell if Adam meant to convey that we are somehow duty-bound to “others as pagans” or otherwise outside the church. It seems brmorris thinks so.

    If so, Adam, I’ll see the WLC and raise you 1 Cor. 5. As you know, the former has to be read or controlled from the perspective of the latter. The language of the WLC when it comes to “others” seems to mean “ourselves as believers and/or others as believers.” We as individuals or as the church are not obligated to make sure what is right, true and good be pursued by those outside the church—that charge is given to the magistrate, regardless of whether the magistrate gets it right or wrong. Our charge is only to those inside the church.

    Moreover, that said, I would recall what I said in the second post: beware the insidiousness of culture warriorism. Once we establish the rules about jurisdiction we then have to take up the harder questions of wisdom (which was my point here when it comes to that other culture war battlefront). Let’s not be naïve and think that the question of the table is the only issue. We ought to be cautious about carrying on a churchly version of culture war, whether it be the mean or kind sort. Personally, I’m not much for either the therapeutic or the moralistic ways of dealing with this problem.

  21. RubeRad says:

    You have to make some distinction between race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; and behaviors. You don’t seem to be understanding my arguments.

    I do understand the distinction between non-sinful heritable traits (race, color, sex, national origin), and sinful heritable traits. If homosexuality (sexual preference of men for men) has a heritable component, why would not pedophilia (sexual preference of men for boys)? If a NAMBLA gene is ever proven to exist, must the state then repeal laws against pedophilia?

    My point stands even for sinful traits without genetic components. Consider physical child abuse. Say, for argument’s sake, that child abuse is passed down in families purely by nurture, and not at all by nature. An abused child has no control over the fact that his parents instilled a tendency for child abuse — just like (for argument’s sake) a homosexual has no control over his genetics. Can a child abuser simply decide to stop beating his kids?

    The fact that people do not freely choose their tendencies to behave wrongly, is no argument that wrong behaviors must be condoned.

  22. Court says:

    Reuben, would you see a difference between a constitutional amendment like Prop 8, and one that forbids remarrying (in essence defining marriage as the first time only, as Jesus did)? I am not being sarcastic here—I really am trying to gauge how far (not insinuating yet that Prop 8 is that “far”) you would go in defense of marriage or the catechism—I would also like someone to address the idea of the different kind of government that existed with the reformers (since so much of the argument is framed there rather than the Bible), and what we have now, and doesn’t that play some part in the conversation? Thanks.

  23. RubeRad says:

    Yet the government’s concern is with apparent damage to person or property. They’re not the public’s parents and are not there to prevent spiritual and/or moral harm.

    Well, part of the reason for prop 8 is that deterioration of marriage is harmful at a societal, not just individual level. Similarly, I would argue that society as a whole is not (on the net) better off as a result of liberal divorce laws, which also deteriorated the institution of marriage in our society.

  24. RubeRad says:

    Hey Court, funny that we posted at the same time — I think you get part of your answer right there. I don’t think divorce laws should forbid remarrying — or even forbid divorce — but it should be a lot harder to get divorced. Likewise, maybe somehow it should be harder to get married.

  25. brmorris says:

    RubeRed said: “Can a child abuser simply decide to stop beating his kids?”

    Yes.

    Can I, a white man, choose to be black?

    No.

    I will not respond to pedophilia arguments.

  26. brmorris says:

    Zrim said: “I can’t tell if Adam meant to convey that we are somehow duty-bound to “others as pagans” or otherwise outside the church. It seems brmorris thinks so.”

    To clarify my position, I would subscribe that being duty bound as an individual Christian to love my neighbor and talk about law followed by gospel to my neighbor, but no means enforcing morality to my neighbor.

    I am opposed to most situations where the church, or what looks like the church, is trying to take Biblical moral laws and inserting them into civil law; especially if it is Christians vs. Pagans.

  27. RubeRad says:

    RubeRed said: “Can a child abuser simply decide to stop beating his kids?”

    Yes.

    You need to work on your view of depravity and original sin. Try reading Rom 2,3,7,9 a few times.

    I will not respond to pedophilia arguments.

    How about this then. Left-handedness is genetically-determined. I’m sure we agree that it would be wrong to legally discriminate based on handedness (except if it somehow made a practical difference, like a job where you have to operate some kind of machinery which cannot be properly/safely operated with the left hand).

    So my question is: would such discrimination be wrong because

    (a) lefties are born that way
    (b) left-handedness is not morally wrong
    (c) left-handedness is not harmful to the individuals involved
    (d) left-handedness is not harmful to society

    I say b, with c and d being consequences of b (not the other way around).

    no means enforcing morality to my neighbor.

    I would agree that the mission of the state is not to enforce morality, but to restrain evil.

  28. Zrim says:

    Rube suggests to brmorris at his suggestion that one can indeed choose to stop beating his children, “You need to work on your view of depravity and original sin. Try reading Rom 2,3,7,9 a few times.”

    I think you may need to brush up on total depravity versus utter depravity. It’s the more-Reformed-than-thou theonomists, not the Calvinists, who believe that sin goes all the way down.

  29. Zrim says:

    brmorris,

    Since you and I seem to be on the same page in general, I wonder if something got lost in translation. My meaning was that I take you to read Adam to say we are duty-bound to others outside the church–not that you yourself think we are duty-bound to outsiders.

  30. RubeRad says:

    I think you may need to brush up on total depravity versus utter depravity.

    If Paul (and all regenerated and being-sanctified Christians) is forced to admit “the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing”, what special power does the non-Christian have that his will can overcome his sin?

  31. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    Sometimes it’s not about “overcoming sin” but simply doing the right thing. Do you not have a category for providence? It’s easy to forget we all inhabit the common sphere. I mean, the thing is absolutely huge.

  32. RubeRad says:

    In this case, it has nothing to do with overcoming sin. It has to do with punishing sin. Why does being born with sinful desires give gays a free pass (“It’s my nature that’s responsible, not me!”), but being raised to have sinful desires is still civilly punishable (“It’s my nurture that’s responsible, not me!”)

    Whether somebody is able, by will-power, to “do the right thing” is irrelevant, since in fact, people often do not do the right thing. So how should the state respond?

    It seems you would have the say on the one hand “I know you were raised in an abusive environment, so that’s all you know, but really it’s not that hard to not beat your kids, so don’t beat your kids or we’ll take them away and put you in jail,” but to tell gays “I know you were born gay, and we understand it’s too hard for you to not be gay, and you want to be ‘married’, so we’ll redefine marriage to let you in.”

    Maybe it is empirically “harder” to not be gay than to not beat your kids, but so what?

  33. Chris Sherman says:

    This prop 8 here in California is really the wrong question. This issue was already voted on before. The real question should be whether judges have the right to overturn what was already approved by the voters. Or are they above the law, making them lawless?

    The other issue for me is whether or not we will allow the state to redefine the meaning of words thus further bastardizing our language.

  34. brmorris says:

    RubeRad said: “It seems you would have the say on the one hand “I know you were raised in an abusive environment, so that’s all you know, but really it’s not that hard to not beat your kids, so don’t beat your kids or we’ll take them away and put you in jail,” but to tell gays “I know you were born gay, and we understand it’s too hard for you to not be gay, and you want to be ‘married’, so we’ll redefine marriage to let you in.”

    I think you’re starting to get the distinction! You are starting with the assumption that homosexuals are making a behavior choice. The culture does not believe that. Any argument outside of that one is fruitless Constitutionally if the false supposition stands.

    Zrim said: “Since you and I seem to be on the same page in general, I wonder if something got lost in translation.”

    Yes, sorry, I took your comments about Adam to be that I believe it, you took it that I believed that Adam believed that — oh so confusing. This is why I sometimes will call someone in response to an email. Much can be lost!

  35. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    I think you may be mistaking me for someone who is sympathetic to gay marriage. I am not. But the fact that you frame this as a “punishing sin” question is what bothers me. You seem to want to punish people for what they are as well as for what they do.

  36. brmorris says:

    Chris said: “The real question should be whether judges have the right to overturn what was already approved by the voters.”

    I’ll ask again: if 75% of voters decided that churches cannot meet on Sundays what would you do? I submit to you that you would push to go to the courts because this violates the 1st amendment (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..”). I don’t think I would hear you up-in-arms about the judges overturning the will of the people.

    We’re going to need the judges; stop chopping off the legs we’re going to need to stand on someday!

  37. brmorris says:

    Let me be more specific about my 2:44 pm — I’m referring to voters making state laws.

    I would assume that if Prop 8 passes, the battle would go to federal court and whether Prop 8 is US Constitutional. If people make the same old argument while allowing the assumption to stand (that homosexuals are born that way; it’s not a behavior), it would just be overturned in Federal Court.

  38. RubeRad says:

    I think you’re starting to get the distinction! You are starting with the assumption that homosexuals are making a behavior choice.

    I am granting, for argument’s sake, the concept that homosexuality is genetic, not volitional. My point is, geneticness is not a valid basis to exclude it from civic prohibition. I am happy for the state to restrain all sorts of evil behaviors over which individuals may not have 100% volitional control.

    But the fact that you frame this as a “punishing sin” question is what bothers me

    Sorry; “restraining evil”

    You seem to want to punish people for what they are as well as for what they do.

    You can’t punish someone for being gay. This is a question about behaving gay. Redefining marriage to include homosexual marriage is condoning homosexual behavior.

  39. Chris Sherman says:

    ok, let me rephrase that, The real question should be whether the judiciary of California has the authority to reinterpret existing law, rather than just interpreting law.

  40. Chris Sherman says:

    On a side note, I find it interesting that homosexuality is illegal in the communist countries of China, Cuba and North Korea and was illegal in the USSR.

  41. brmorris says:

    Pardon my ignorance on the Prop 8 specifics, could you elaborate on this: “The real question should be whether the judiciary of California has the authority to reinterpret existing law, rather than just interpreting law.”

    What law did they reinterpret?

  42. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    “Restraining evil” helps. However, I get the sense that some (not you) mean “punishing sin” when they say “restrain evil.”

    And I don’t think the right way to think of this is that to grant the measure is to “condone homosexual behavior,” since I don’t think to deny it is to “condemn homosexual behavior.” To my mind, it has more to do with “not legitimately finding homosexual behavior in creation, therefore not to be recognized as fit for the institution of marriage.”

    When something is condemned it is to be actively policed and punished. Nobody is suggesting that, only that homosexual marriage is illegitimate. Now, certain folk, like maybe you and homosexuals–might interpret that denial as a form of condemning, but I think they are wrong. If it were about condemning we’d be talking about sodomy laws.

  43. Chris Sherman says:

    California first explicitly defined marriage as a state between a man and woman in 1977.[11] That year, the California State Legislature passed a law that said that marriage is a “personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman”. In 2000, voters passed ballot initiative Proposition 22 with a margin of 61%, which changed the California Family Code to formally define marriage in California between a man and a woman. Prop. 22 was a statutory change via the initiative process, not a constitutional change via the initiative process.

    from: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_8_(2008)

  44. Chris Sherman says:

    It is interesting to see who all have become co-belligerents in the case for prop 8. The LDS church, Focus on the Family and the Knights of Columbus. However, seeing who is against it is alone is enough for me to vote for it,

    * Brad Pitt, $100,000.
    * Robert Wilson, $1,200,000.
    * David Bohnett, $600,000.
    * Human Rights Campaign, $2,057,981.

    * Bruce Bastian gave $1,005,000
    * David Maltz, $1,100,000

    * Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Service Center, $225,000.
    * Center Advocacy Project Issues PAC, $234,000.
    * National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, about $215,200.
    * James Hormel, $350,000.
    * Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), $250,000.
    * No on 8 – Equality California, $1,250,000
    * Tim Gill, (Gill Action Fund), $350,000.
    * GLAAD, $100,000.
    * Horizons Foundation, $100,000.
    * California Teachers Association, $1,300,000

    * Steven Spielberg
    * Kate Capshaw
    * Brad Pitt
    * Ellen Degeneres[51]
    * Molly Ringwald[52]
    * Bridget Fonda
    * Jason Tam
    * Stephen Bing
    * Gus Van Sant
    * George Takei (of Star Trek)[53]

    * Barbara Streisand
    * Melissa Etheridge
    * Mary J. Blige
    * David Hyde Pierce
    * Rob Reiner[54]

  45. RubeRad says:

    I agree! That California Teachers Association is a bunch of stinkin communists! And don’t get me started on PG&E…

  46. Chris Sherman says:

    Seeing PG&E on the list was shocking. No wonder my bill is so high anymore, they keep giving money away.

  47. RubeRad says:

    Condoning vs. Condemning: generally agreed. In 2000, 61% approved a law to restrict marriage to 1 man and 1 woman. Before that, gay marriage was implicitly condoned (since there was no law against it), and the law made it explicitly not condoned.

    Then a judge struck down the law as unconstitutional, thus explicitly condoning gay marriage.

    Prop 8 seeks to make a constitutional amendment, returning us to the state of explicitly not condoning.

    (Which would arguably be the same as implicitly condemning.)

  48. Joe Brancaleone says:

    “The LDS church, Focus on the Family and the Knights of Columbus.”

    Another step towards a prediction that we’ll be seeing some sort of “Evangelicals and Mormons Together” kind of co-signed document a few years down the road.

    For more evidence, check out the chapter titled “The Reformation, Today’s Evangelicals, and Mormons: What Next?” by Gary Johnson in the By Faith Alone book.

  49. David R. says:

    I was reminded of Warfield’s article 21 from his “Brief and Untechnical Statement of the Reformed Faith,” which seems to me to be a very helpful and concise articulation of 2K doctrine:

    “I believe that the Church is God’s spiritual minister for the purpose of redemption and the state is God’s providential minister for the purpose of this worldly order. The power of the Church is exclusively spiritual; that of the State includes the exercise of force. The constitution of the Church derives exclusively from divine revelation; the constitution of the State must be determined by human reason and the course of providential events. I believe therefore that the Church has no right to construct or modify a government for the State, and the State has no right to frame a creed or polity for the Church.”

    If it is really true (as Warfield says) that “the Church has no right to construct or modify a government for the State,” then it also seems to follow that neither can individual Christians be dogmatic about such matters.

    So I would agree with those above who argue that confessional statements regarding what is “lawful” or not ought to be taken as being directed specifically to the covenant community.

  50. Chris Sherman says:

    David,

    I’m a bit confused by this. Are you in essence saying that we should forgo any participation in the kingdom of men or at least leave our citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven behind if we do?

    I am under the impression that our citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven should inform or dictate what we do in the kingdom of men.

  51. RubeRad says:

    I would agree with those above who argue that confessional statements regarding what is “lawful” or not ought to be taken as being directed specifically to the covenant community.

    As I read it, the intent of WCF talking about “lawful” (in particular, incestuous marriages can never “be made lawful by any law of man”), means “This is an obvious consequence of natural law which we expect society to easily recognize”.

    I guess you’re thinking the intent is “those crazy men and their crazy laws — let them do what they will to “marriage”; just know that in the church and in the sight of God, some deviant marriages will not be recognized as legitimate”?

    The question still boils down to, for me, do I really believe that marriage is heterosexual by natural law? If so, then I should vote for prop 8. And WCF 24 reminds me that the reformed have traditionally affirmed that “one man and one woman” is a normative standard within natural law.

  52. David R. says:

    Hi Chris,

    The question has nothing to do with whether Christians participate in the kingdom of man, no one is denying that. The question has to do with to what extent the bible (and confession) provide a blueprint for the kingdom of man.

    I am doubtful that they do. Notice, for example, that all the proof texts given for WCF 24 involve legislation directed specifically at the *covenant* community.

    What do you think of the Warfield quote? Would you agree or disagree with him when he says that “the constitution of the State must be determined by human reason and the course of providential events [and presumably not divine revelation?],” and that “the Church has no right to construct or modify a government for the State”?

  53. Chris Sherman says:

    It depends on how much you read into “providential events”

  54. Chris Sherman says:

    I agree the church had no right to construct or modify a government for the state. We have no abiding city here. Does this mean we have nothing to say in such matters?

  55. David R. says:

    Rube,

    I agree with much of what you say. I confess that I had not read the Clark essay prior to posting so I was not posting with reference to his distinction between theocratic versus creational arguments for lawfulness.

    I’m still not yet convinced that this necessarily follows, “The question still boils down to, for me, do I really believe that marriage is heterosexual by natural law? If so, then I should vote for prop 8.”

    But I admit that I have more pondering to do with regards to the question of how Christians ought to apply their understanding of creational norms to the voting booth. Thanks.

  56. I agree the church had no right to construct or modify a government for the state. We have no abiding city here. Does this mean we have nothing to say in such matters?

    Absolutely not! While the Kingdom of Heaven has no right to impose its will on the Kingdom of Man, members of the covenant family surely have a right to participate in the Kingdom of Man according to perceived biblical or confessional mandates.

    Though I clearly have stated in this thread that I’m voting against Prop 8 (in fact, I have already done so, as my ballot is in the mail as we speak), I’m not trying to convince others that this is necessarily the right thing to do as a Christian. As I see it, that’s the whole point of Two Kingdoms theology… that participation in one does not necessarily prescribe a particular course of action in the other.

    I reasoned it out to the best of my ability until I was convinced of a particular position. Since I’ve done my civic duty and placed my opinion into the ballot box (by way of the mailbox), it’s also my duty to accept what the people as a whole decide come next Tuesday. That’s how our nation’s particular brand of the Kingdom of Man works.

  57. Chris,

    No, I hadn’t read that. However, that post presupposes that a marriage is incomplete without children. I don’t agree with that. Genesis 2:24 (ESV) says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” There’s a full stop at the end of that statement, and children aren’t even mentioned until Genesis 4.

    I’m not quite sure that the government’s purpose is to codify natural law, anyway. Who says that “natural law” necessitates a 65 MPH speed limit? You can take the 15 up to Riverside County and drive 70 MPH with impunity!

  58. Zrim says:

    Rube claims, “Though I clearly have stated in this thread that I’m voting against Prop 8 (in fact, I have already done so, as my ballot is in the mail as we speak), I’m not trying to convince others that this is necessarily the right thing to do as a Christian. As I see it, that’s the whole point of Two Kingdoms theology… that participation in one does not necessarily prescribe a particular course of action in the other.”

    The title of this post is, “WCF says Yes on Prop 8.”

    Now, Rube, you have to admit, your fingers seem a tad crossed here. The title, and your subsequent argumentation both seem to imply that a truer piety votes the way you do.

    It is always my own temptation, for example, from a secular Christian/W2K view to say something blustery like, “Public education should be thoroughly secularized and Christian kids ought to be in them.” But liberty is always the trump in W2K, it seems to me. W2K gives you the liberty to argue your own persuasions on a thing indifferent, but it stops well short of implying that one’s conclusions should be those of others.

    So, vote no on your state’s Prop. 8, and I’ll vote yes on my state’s Prop. 2 (Stem cell research), but let’s agree that WCF doesn’t imply either one of us is more or less pious because of it. Let’s leave a comment on truer piety to be over something like the actual theory of the atonement, the solas, the doctrines of grace, the historicity of the resurrection, etc. Or just change the title of your post, that might be easier (!).

  59. Hey Zrim,

    That bit you quoted at the top of your last comment? That was me, not Rube. Based on what he’s said, I believe he’s likely to vote Yes on 8.

    …so, what point were you making, again?

  60. RubeRad says:

    Auggie is right; I belielve I have clearly stated in this thread that I’m voting for Prop 8 (in fact, I have already done so, as my ballot is in the mail as we speak). I’m not trying to convince others that this is necessarily the right thing to do as a Christian. But I am trying to convince others (who subscribe to confessional Reformed Christianity) that this is the right thing to do according to Natural Law.

  61. RubeRad says:

    that post presupposes that a marriage is incomplete without children. I don’t agree with that. Genesis 2:24 (ESV) says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” There’s a full stop at the end of that statement, and children aren’t even mentioned until Genesis 4.

    1:28 says “Be fruitful and multiply” — not to say that the only purpose of marriage is multiplication.

    I’m not quite sure that the government’s purpose is to codify natural law, anyway. Who says that “natural law” necessitates a 65 MPH speed limit?

    Natural Law says that people’s lives must be protected, so when the technology of the automobile came along, it became necessary to implement speed limits. It’s a totally separate question, however, what the “best” speed limits are — what is the acceptable balance between the public’s need for getting places, and the public’s need to not die? (We could have 0 road deaths for year if we had 10 mph speed limits, and universally enforced them!) (And all you theonomists trolling out there, good luck finding a verse in the Bible to make that judgment for you!)

  62. Rube:

    I agree with you that Natural Law and the Bible dictate that marriage is between one man and one woman, and any other such union is sin.

    My point of disagreement is on the nature of government… I don’t think its purpose is to enforce the Natural Law, but to promote the health and safety of its citizens. Yes on 8 won’t do anything to promote public welfare. My leaning-toward-Conservative default position is to say no on propositions, and I just wasn’t sufficiently convinced to vote otherwise on this one.

    Also, if you’re not currently watching Dr. Horton’s “Christless Christianity” live chat on the Washington Post, you’re missing out!

  63. Zrim says:

    Aug,

    Oops, I clearly messed that up, you’re right, sorry. But it doesn’t matter now, since Rube’s last comment makes my comment stick.

    Rube,

    Instead of trying to “convince us that it is the right thing for Reformed confessionalists to do” how about just being content with simply showing us why you voted the way you did? And, while you’re at it, how about explaining why you even care, since you don’t believe that marriage is grounded in creation in the first place? I seem to recall a comment once or twice to the effect that you’d be happy “to let them do as they please.”

  64. adam says:

    Zrim, Dr. Clark and other W2K advocates, I’m curious if you believe that there is any positive application for the special content of the Chrisitian faith in the everyday lives of Christians? Does the bible have a role in informing and guiding decisions made by Christians in the temporal world or are those temporal decisions to be informed by natural law only?

    That seems to me to be the key question and one I’ve yet to see addressed.

  65. Zrim says:

    Adam,

    As I understand it, the moral law of special revelation corresponds with what is located in natural revelation. So, I am not sure there is the kind of dichotomy your question suggests in the first place.

    The rub, actually, seems to be that, while we may be told clearly not to kill, special revelation doesn’t give us the specifics. Many point to the sixth commandment as if it proves complicated social and political dilemmas.

  66. RubeRad says:

    And, while you’re at it, how about explaining why you even care, since you don’t believe that marriage is grounded in creation in the first place?

    That’s a bit of a reach; my official position is that marriage is indeed grounded in creation, but that there is such a thing as a “Christian marriage” which includes the distinction of producing holy children (). Any further questions, talk to my press secretary.

    I seem to recall a comment once or twice to the effect that you’d be happy “to let them do as they please.”

    Yes, that is my natural (sinful) inclination — live and let live, avoid confrontation. However, hand-in-hand with that sentiment, I’d also like to say “What business does the state have ‘marrying’ people anyways! let the state make civil unions between whoever wants them — leave marriage for the church!”

    But since marriage is grounded in creation, the battle for the “sanctity” (“sectity”?) of marriage belongs not in the church, but in the state. (Or I should say “not only in the church” — since the church does have power, for instance, to excommunicate unrepentant adulterers.)

  67. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    I know what a marriage between Christians is, but I don’t know what a Christian marriage is.

    OK, so we’re good on where marriage is grounded now, and your more flippant comments owe more to personality than theology. Got it. I hope I can keep up.

    Here’s a question for those who want to battle for the sanctity of marriage: when should we expect license revocation for those who practice “open marriages”?

  68. RubeRad says:

    What’s good for the homosexual goose is good for the heterosexual gander. Show me where to sign.

    Strangely, my understanding is that, even if Prop 8 passes, it cannot invalidate existing gay marriages (ex post facto). But at least it would be a lot easier to identify all of the gay marriage licenses that need revoking, than finding “open marriages” that need revoking (is there a check-box on the application for “Open/Closed”?)

  69. kazooless says:

    ZRIM said:

    It’s the more-Reformed-than-thou theonomists, not the Calvinists, who believe that sin goes all the way down.

    Tsk tsk. Must you constantly misrepresent your theonomist brethren?

    I’m ‘different-Reformed-than-thou.’ AND, I completely understand and agree with you about total vs utter depravity.

    (now that that’s out of the way, the next comment from me will be to this subject)

    kazoo

  70. kazooless says:

    I’m going to try and speak from a W2K mindset here.

    It seems to me that W2K teaches that NL and moral law do NOT conflict with each other.

    Christians have the benefit of special revelation so they can understand the worldly kingdom accurately, even if they didn’t come to it through NL theory (reasoning). So, if Romans 13 tells us that the civil magistrate is a minister of God to restrain and punish evil, then that FACT must be discoverable by NLT as well.

    NLT also shows us that marriage is only between one man and one woman.

    NLT reveals that homosexual behavior is evil.

    NLT reveals that there is a creator to whom the magistrate is to serve (but ONLY in the civil arena, no cultic areas allowed!)

    Christians are participants in both kingdoms and should always try to “do good and avoid evil.”

    Okay, with all these premises in place, I’ll try to put them together and make an argument for a “YES” vote on prop 8 from NL.

    As a citizen of the civil kingdom, the USA to be specific in this case, I participate in our constitutional government, part of which is voting on new laws or constitutional amendments. Homosexual behavior is evil and marriage can only be between one man and one woman anyway. The voting of “no” on prop 8 is a vote for the magistrate to explicitly license gay marriage, which is clearly evil. Since magistrates must restrain and punish evil, I must therefore vote yes on 8, which is to do good.

    So, I am pretty sure that I argued ALL of this from a 2K view. (I feel like I need to go take a shower now). But if my logic is correct, then augmentedfourth and Court should absolutely be voting yes on this prop, as well as all other citizens of the civil kingdom, regardless of whether they are Christian or not.

    kazoo

  71. kazooless says:

    Let me just say that it is amazing to me how this type of debate can even be had amongst Christians! How there can be ANY question of what the right thing to do with this very simple Proposition just boggles my mind. We have the Word of God! We KNOW what is right and what is wrong. We KNOW that the magistrate is to restrain evil. We KNOW homosexuality is evil. We KNOW what marriage is. In our type of government, our vote makes us a very small part of the magistrate. NLT or not, God’s Word is clear on these very few facts.

    All we are voting on is adding these words to the California Constitution:

    “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

    How on earth can voting for this be sinful?

  72. kazooless says:

    Augmentedfourth,

    you say:

    I think this is purely a rights issue, and adding to the state Constitution in a way that deprives rights from certain people is not the right way to go.

    Can you explain what “rights” people actually have that they will be deprived of please?

    If I’m not incorrect, Natural Law Theory tells us that “an unjust law is no law at all.” Our federal Declaration of Independence says that our Creator endowed us with rights. So, did our Creator give men the right to marry men? Did our Creator give women the right to marry women?

    (please don’t say yes to those)

    Assuming you say ‘no,’ then there is no deprivation of rights in the proposed amendment.

    kazoo

  73. kazooless says:

    Last comment from tonight:

    I think even Dr. Clark will be proud of me and my attempt to reason only from NLT. Hopefully.

    Kazoo

  74. kazooless:

    Since magistrates must restrain and punish evil

    That’s the part with which I disagree. I don’t think it’s up to the magistrate to even define what is evil, much less to punish it. The civil kingdom in the US is concerned primarily with promoting the public welfare and preventing harm to citizens and their property.

    All we are voting on is adding these words to the California Constitution:

    “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

    How on earth can voting for this be sinful?

    I never said it was sinful to vote for this. It’s not sinful no matter which way you vote. See my comment from a couple of days ago: “As I see it, that’s the whole point of Two Kingdoms theology… that participation in one does not necessarily prescribe a particular course of action in the other.”

    Not every choice is marked in a way that one road leads to sin and the other to righteousness. I can see where you might disagree with that, but your disagreement won’t change my stance.

    Can you explain what “rights” people actually have that they will be deprived of please?

    I’m not talking about inalienable Creator-endowed rights. I’m saying that same-sex couples currently have the right to marry according to the civil magistrate in California, and to vote in favor of this proposition removes that right.

    According to my understanding of W2K, the civil authorities have no more authority to punish evil than the church does to pronounce prison sentences.

  75. Chris Sherman says:

    This may be a bit simplistic, but for a covenant child of God to vote no in this matter would be to give tacit if not outright approval to sin, regardless of the kingdom in which it lies. How can one even consider homosexual marriage as viable? It is less than loving to not call sin what it is.

  76. Court says:

    I’m sorry but way too simplistic, here. If we have a vote for a constitutional amendment regarding every aspect of fallen nature, from divorce to disrespecting parents, am I giving tacit if not outright approval? I just don’t think that is correct.

    Would someone please comment for me (I asked before) about the type of government the reformers lived in when they wrote and the kind we live in now, and for that matter, the many different kinds of government that exist. If all of them are God’s instrument, then God must truly be unsearchable (He is). Can we apply all they write directly into our governance—or again, how would a reformer in Egypt go about this?

    I understand this is an issue of how one looks at law and government, and looking backwards at God’s kingdom spreading for 2K years, it seems like there are basics required of Christians (love one another, etc.), but in terms of government, a Christian works where he is placed. Paul used his standing as a Roman citizen to further the kingdom (tell others about Christ) and appeal to Caesar to spread the gospel—not so he could formulate laws. And this gets to the heart of my question—a real question—I am not being belligerent — isn’t at least SOME of the way the Reformers wrote, specific to the form of government they were blessed to have?

    Okay kazoo—have at me!

  77. kazooless says:

    augmented, you say:

    “Since magistrates must restrain and punish evil.”

    That’s the part with which I disagree. I don’t think it’s up to the magistrate to even define what is evil, much less to punish it. The civil kingdom in the US is concerned primarily with promoting the public welfare and preventing harm to citizens and their property.

    This is just silliness and irrational. Define evil? Where did you get that idea? Natural Law defines evil, NOT the magistrate. Natural Law tells the magistrate his duty.

    You’re also just playing semantics. I might have been prone to using biblical language, but it doesn’t make it inherently ‘religious.’ You say pohtaytoh, I say pahtahtoh. You say “promote public welfare and prevent harm,” I say restrain evil and punish it. SAME THING, silly. Use your head man! 🙂

    Natural Law Theory (not me, look it up) says that “an unjust law is no law at all.” NL says that homos DON’T have these rights, even if the civil magistrate wrongly says they do. NL says that in this civil US kingdom, the citizens can correct the wrongly enacted laws. If it’s a bad law, there is nothing in NL that says you must now live with it.

    NL says that sodomite marriage is BAD/EVIL for public welfare. NL says that sodomite marriage OBSTRUCTS public welfare. NL says that sodomite filth is HARMFUL to its citizens, and NOT just the so called “two consenting adults.” THEREFORE, NL says that you MUST be in favor of upholding NL, as the magistrate (the voter in this case IS the magistrate); you MUST be in favor of prop 8.

    You, uhh, DO know, that we’re PCA, NOT PCUSA, right?

    Shocked, appalled, but mostly disappointed,

    Kazoo

  78. Actually, I think I agree with Kazoo here, FWIW. The magistrate cannot make theft lawful. The magistrate cannot make murder or suicide lawful. Neither can the magistrate make homosexuality either lawful or the basis or a marriage.

    The magistrate is bound to recognize the state of things. He can do that as a matter of common humanity. He doesn’t need to be regenerate to do that. The unregenerate magistrate knows that, without the aid of propulsion he cannot fly. He knows that from experience. Nature teaches him that if he jumps from a cliff he will fall and, if the cliff is high enough, he will die. If his senses are functioning normally his intuitive revulsion against suicide, his desire to continue to live will prevent him from jumping.

    The magistrate has similar experiences, which we Christians rightly explain relative to his status as an image bearer. The magistrate doesn’t even have to understand that he’s an image bearer. He has only to recognize the natural order of things and he has legislate accordingly. When he does so he ordering common life according to natural law, even if he doesn’t recognize it.

    The bottom line is that there are creational givens, there is such a thing as nature, it reveals the law. The magistrate oversees a covenant of works between citizens not a covenant of grace (something that neither the fundy right nor the evangelical left seems to understand). It’s not the magistrate’s vocation to be “inclusive.” It’s the magistrate’s ONLY function to enforce the law. Period. If people want grace, let them go to church to hear the gospel (and let the minister fulfill his divinely ordained function as God’s minister in the Kingdom of God and preach the good news).

  79. kazooless says:

    Augmented said:

    I never said it was sinful to vote for this. It’s not sinful no matter which way you vote. See my comment from a couple of days ago: “As I see it, that’s the whole point of Two Kingdoms theology… that participation in one does not necessarily prescribe a particular course of action in the other.”

    Sorry, but in this case you’re wrong. There are plenty of matters to vote on that either way would not be sinful. But in this case it is a moral issue, so voting for the immoral outcome is an immoral action, therefore sinful. And again, this is all just human reason, I haven’t appealed to scripture at all.

    Sure, 2K theology might say (I have my doubts to this) that participation in the church doesn’t prescribe a particular course of action in the other. I’ll stipulate that to you.

    But Romans chapter 1 makes it clear that participants in the civil kingdom have the moral law written on their hearts which DOES prescribe particular courses of action. The heart-law DOES tell every citizen NOT to “do evil” (sin). Again, that’s Acquinus’ NLT, saying that reason alone can show us what is good and evil, so the word ‘evil’ is not confined to a religious kingdom sphere.

    NL gives us government. NL gives us marriage. NL says the magistrate is to enforce the second table of the MORAL LAW, which is the same as NL discoverable via reason. Last I checked, adultery was prohibited in the second table, hence the magistrate can and should enforce prohibition of filthy disgusting perverted sodomy behavior, much more official recognition and approval of filthy disgusting perverted sodomy marriage. The magistrate should protect your children from being indoctrinated with this filth in their schools too, but that moves on to a different subject.

    Aug and Court, you are just completely wrong on this issue, and I haven’t even argued from a biblical (theonomic) point of view!

    kazoo

  80. kazooless says:

    Court said:

    Would someone please comment for me (I asked before) about the type of government the reformers lived in when they wrote and the kind we live in now, and for that matter, the many different kinds of government that exist.

    Our reformers, the Westminster divines, wrote the Westminster Standards during Cromwell’s “reign.” They had just come from centuries of monarchy, which heavily believed in the “Divine Right of Kings.” Lex Rex (The Law is King) was written by Samuel Rutherford to combat the idea of “Rex Lex” (The King is the Law).

    There was a small minority of Erastians in the group of divines, which held the view that the state was OVER the church. I am unsure of how many, if any, of them took the opposite view that the church should be OVER the state. George Gillespie pretty much tromped on them and we were fortunate NOT to get Erastianism in our Standards. But there was still very much a feeling of the need to be loyal to the monarch in that day and age, which is why when Cromwell died, England couldn’t hold onto the Parliamentarian Republic that he presided over as “Lord Protector.”

    So, during the writing of the Westminster Standards, they lived under a Parliamentarian Republic, and the church and state were equals, much like in a marriage. Equal but distinct in function. It was still theocratic though, because they felt the state had an obligation to enforce the law against evil, even as evil was revealed through special revelation. Most people that hang out on this blog believe that the reformers were wrong in this point and in later centuries that (alleged) error was corrected.

    kazoo

  81. kazooless says:

    Court said:

    but in terms of government, a Christian works where he is placed. Paul used his standing as a Roman citizen to further the kingdom (tell others about Christ) and appeal to Caesar to spread the gospel—not so he could formulate laws. And this gets to the heart of my question—a real question—I am not being belligerent — isn’t at least SOME of the way the Reformers wrote, specific to the form of government they were blessed to have?

    In short, I would say “yes.” The form of government they WERE BLESSED TO HAVE (I like that!) I’m sure in some way influenced the way they wrote but also vice versa.

    But also look at your other statement: “in terms of government, a Christian works where he is placed.”

    You, as a Christian man, are placed in the civil kingdom in a position to help decide the civil kingdom’s laws. NL tells all magistrates to enforce the (natural) law. Enforce the NL that marriage is a creational ordinance between only one man and one woman on Tuesday brother.

    kazoo

  82. Zrim says:

    Kazoo,

    The problem, as I see it, is they way in which you make voting synonymous with a moral action. This is where your fundy skirt begins to show. Voting is merely a necessary tool to make a liberal democracy work—it’s not a moral action. To think voting is somehow moral is more American than Christian. Instead of being concerned with whatever political or ideological views folks have we should be more concerned with their doctrinal beliefs and moral actions in their own minds and bodies as believers.

  83. kazoo,

    First off, I’m more than a little offended that you’ve explicitly decried my position as “wrong” and “sinful,” and that you’ve told me that I “MUST” vote the same way as you. I’ve been absolutely clear up until this point that I’ve been merely describing my own reasons for voting as I have; I haven’t been telling others that they must vote this way or calling them wrong if they don’t. I would appreciate it if we could keep this discussion civil and not resort to attacking each others’ views.

    Obviously there are moral issues at stake here, and I fully support the Natural Law (and, of course, biblical) argument that homosexuality is wrong and sinful. But my position is now and has always been that this is not an area of the civic sphere in which moral law needs to affect public policy.

    I completely understand if your reasoning has led you to vote otherwise, but I ask that you please also respect the vote to which my reasoning has led me. Realize that I have spent a long time in considering this, and I do not cast this vote lightly.

  84. I hadn’t read Zrim’s most recent comment before posting (looks like he sent it while I was composing mine), but I wholeheartedly agree.

  85. Zrim says:

    Kazoo,

    A further problem with your position is that you claim this has something to do with preserving what is right, true and good. I agree that the magistrate is charged with doing justice and punishing evil. Its function, however, is not to make sure society is running well (whatever that means). The problem with those who over-realize the burden of the magistrate the way you seem to is that it seems to brink on Utopianism, where people never go hungry and babies never die, depending on one’s particular ideological slants.

    In point of fact, it is the institution of family, not the sheriff, that has the burden of making sure society is preserving what is right, true and good. When someone breaks a law, the sheriff must punish him. The family, though, has the more burdensome task of making that person in the first place. This is what the wharp and woof of most theonomists don’t understand. You all are so concerned about what happens in statecraft, and society in general, that you forget a higher view of the family. What is interesting to me is how Utopian Liberals and Fundamentalist Theonomists have more in common with each other than either would be willing to admit.

  86. kazooless says:

    Augmented says:

    First off, I’m more than a little offended that you’ve explicitly decried my position as “wrong” and “sinful,” and that you’ve told me that I “MUST” vote the same way as you. I’ve been absolutely clear up until this point that I’ve been merely describing my own reasons for voting as I have; I haven’t been telling others that they must vote this way or calling them wrong if they don’t. I would appreciate it if we could keep this discussion civil and not resort to attacking each others’ views.

    Offended? Sorry, grow some thicker skin. Have you seen the way that Dr. Clark and others talk to me? Have you seen the way they speak about me and others like me? And yet, I don’t think I’ve ever whined that I was offended. Sorry, but no apology here. Man up, or go play with the girls. (I suppose that last sentence is personal)

    Secondly, I have shown by matters of “reason,” even playing in the framework of this forum why I think that your vote is wrong and sinful. I did it WITHOUT using the Bible or the confessions even, just logic. These are, IMO, reasonable/rational conclusions of the premises I gave. If the premises are correct and the conclusions follow, then the logical conclusion also includes telling you how to vote. So they aren’t “attacks” or “uncivil,” and they certainly aren’t by motive meant to be “personal.” I apply these conclusions to all people alike.

    A rational response would have been to show how either my premises are wrong, or how the conclusions don’t follow. If you can prove that, or feel you’ve proven it to yourself, then you don’t have a rational basis to be offended.

    An emotional (non-rational) response may be an indication of the Holy Spirit’s conviction. I’m not a prophet, so I am NOT saying that it is. I just know that many times someone gets “offended” when confronted with the truth of their sin and then they end up repenting.

    If you want to keep this “personal,” then I believe you have my e-mail address. We can take it offline. You can e-mail me, or call me on the phone, or speak to me at church. Happy to do so. Happy to do it with a friend, elder, pastor, running interference if you want. If you don’t have my contact info but you want it, get it from Rube.

    Kazoo

  87. Zrim says:

    Kazoo,

    I am not much for “offended” language either. But when liberty-killers and conscience-binders do what they do, my sympathy increases.

    You are spoken to the way you are for good reason: you’re out of confessional Reformed bounds as a theonomist and do nothing but harm the peace of the church; theonomy is not Reformed. I know, I know, “prove it to your satisfaction.” You and I both know that will never happen. This has nothing to do with “being offended” or taking anything personal, or thick skins, etc. It’s about getting it completely wrong.

  88. kazooless says:

    Zrim says:

    A further problem with your position is that you claim this has something to do with preserving what is right, true and good. I agree that the magistrate is charged with doing justice and punishing evil. Its function, however, is not to make sure society is running well (whatever that means). The problem with those who over-realize the burden of the magistrate the way you seem to is that it seems to brink on Utopianism, where people never go hungry and babies never die, depending on one’s particular ideological slants.

    Z, I agree with you here (except the part where you say “the way you seem to). Take a closer look at what I said and what Aug said. HE’S the one that wants the magistrate to promote the public welfare (his words). I by no means think the government’s role is to bring the society to a utopian state. Uggh. So I think you are disagreeing with Aug here, not me.

    Then you say:

    In point of fact, it is the institution of family, not the sheriff, that has the burden of making sure society is preserving what is right, true and good. When someone breaks a law, the sheriff must punish him. The family, though, has the more burdensome task of making that person in the first place.

    Z, I took out your personal “attacks” on theonomist here, since I see them as irrelevant to the discussion at hand. We’ve been on that merry go round and I’m trying to avoid it here (out of respect for you, Rube and this thread). But look at what I underlined from what you said. I agree with that. I also agree with your thoughts on the family. I believe the family is a much bigger and more important building block of society. So I don’t see how my reasoning is off here.

    Check out what Dr. Clark contributed here. Can you believe it! He said he ‘thinks’ he agrees with me here! Whoa! That should be enough to make you stop and think, huh? Then he goes on to support the arguments to vote in favor of this proposition.

    So, I’m trying very hard to keep my theonomist skirts from showing here. Try not to drag it in unless you can point to a specific thing in my reasoning that I ‘borrowed’ from theonomic thought and then show how it doesn’t follow from a 2K way of reasoning.

    Thanks,

    kazoo

  89. kazooless says:

    Z says:

    You are spoken to the way you are for good reason: you’re out of confessional Reformed bounds as a theonomist and do nothing but harm the peace of the church; theonomy is not Reformed. I know, I know, “prove it to your satisfaction.” You and I both know that will never happen. This has nothing to do with “being offended” or taking anything personal, or thick skins, etc. It’s about getting it completely wrong.

    Again, I completely agree with you here. I know that I am spoken to in the way that I am because you believe those things about me and we will probably not ever agree on these things. So be it. My point was that it happens but I don’t “whine” about it.

    I also agree with you that this has nothing to do with “being offended” or taking anything personal, or thick skins, etc. It’s about getting it completely wrong. That’s basically what I was saying.

    Again, if Dr. Clark didn’t say that I got it “completely wrong,” then maybe I didn’t in this case.

    kazoo

  90. Ron Smith says:

    It is good to see you defending God’s Law, Rube (if only in part). But since you opened the door, I must object to this:

    But for the first table, they never mention “neighbor” or “other”. This seems like a pretty good confessional indicator of the first/second table boundary between duty to God and duty to our fellow men.

    Even if the non-use of these words proved what you wanted (which it doesn’t since According to WCF LC, Command 2 requires “the disapproving, detesting, opposing all false worship”, which would of course include that of our “neighbor” or “others”), it is clear from the original version of the WCF that the assemblymen did not think in first/second table boundaries concerning the duties of the civil magistrate. I know much of this has been amended out in the version the PCA now confesses, but that doesn’t magically change the presuppositions of those who wrote the original. So the fact the *words* “other” and “neighbor” are not used in the requirements/prohibitions of the first 4 Commands is hardly any indicator at all that the WCF rejects civil authority with regard to the entirety of God’s Law.

  91. Ron Smith says:

    Rube adds,

    Well, we certainly have to police our own minds, and when the minds of others are shown by their words or actions to be unchaste, it is appropriate to do something about it, depending on our several places and relations.

    Well said. I can see your memorizing of the WCF SC coming out in your comments, bro.

  92. Ron Smith says:

    Rube makes a few interesting statements:

    Well, part of the reason for prop 8 is that deterioration of marriage is harmful at a societal, not just individual level.
    I would agree that the mission of the state is not to enforce morality, but to restrain evil.
    In this case, it has nothing to do with overcoming sin. It has to do with punishing sin [later clarified as “restraining evil”].
    That California Teachers Association is a bunch of stinkin communists!

    First, is communism bad? Why? I remember sitting at a table with you at the zoo one day when you didn’t seem to feel this way.

    The other statements up there seem to be just as effective arguments for civil enforcement of the first table. Idolatry is harmful at a societal level. Blasphemy is a great evil. Why don’t those arguments work for table 1 laws?

  93. Ron Smith says:

    Z said,

    you’re out of confessional Reformed bounds as a theonomist

    But Clark has admitted (finally), that

    the Reformation was practically Constantinian

    and that is wasn’t until

    “the 18th century [that] … we gave up our Theocratic politics.

    So please stop asserting that theonomy is “out of confessional Reformed bounds”. This is simply unfounded and even one of your own admits now that it is not true. The politics marketed here at the Outhouse and in W2k theory in general are an 18th century novelty, much more reminiscent of Locke than Calvin.

  94. kazooless says:

    Ron,

    To be fair, Clark asserts that modern day theonomy is not the same as the Reformers theocracy. He says that theonomy is an even worse error. I don’t know (yet) if he totally throws theonomy out of Reformed Orthodoxy. I asked him on his blog recently. I’m just waiting for him to get back to me.

    On the other hand, Kline did say that theonomy was the old error of theocracy here: http://www.covopc.org/Kline/Kline_on_Theonomy.html

    I think this is the one where he almost says that we’re not covenant children.

    kazoo

    Let’s stay on topic though

  95. kazoo said:

    And yet, I don’t think I’ve ever whined that I was offended. Sorry, but no apology here. Man up, or go play with the girls.

    Ha! You think I was asking for an apology? No way! I don’t agree with you on this issue, and it looks like I never will, so your condescension (or lack thereof) means nothing to me.

    I wasn’t being thin-skinned, I was just pointing out that you are the only one whose has gotten into attack mode here. On the whole, your impassioned response (with TOO MANY words in ALL CAPS) seemed quite defensive to me.

    And if you had couched your opinion in “I think” or “IMO” in the first place, instead of taking on the mantle of God and attempting to assert that your particular reasoning on this issue is undeniably correct, I never would have mentioned anything in the first place. Any such arrogance is entirely out of place in a supposedly “reasonable” discussion.

    A rational response would have been to show how either my premises are wrong, or how the conclusions don’t follow. If you can prove that, or feel you’ve proven it to yourself, then you don’t have a rational basis to be offended.

    I feel I’ve proven, at least to myself, that the civil magistrate lacks the authority to enforce moral laws outside the scope of apparent interpersonal harm, which (in my mind) is decidedly a limited-government Conservative view. My offense was merely at the blinders-on arguments you keep bandying about, providing proofs of conclusions you’d already made before the discussion began.

    Again (and again, and again), I’ll state that I am completely against homosexual marriage. But I don’t think it’s my job to tell the state to forbid it.

  96. Ron Smith says:

    Jeff,
    Isn’t it funny that all you have to do is make a bunch of assertions in accordance with your theonomic conclusions, and you can get W2kers to agree with you? I mean, if you replaced every instance of “NLT” in your argument with “the Bible”, I wonder if you would have gotten the same response.

    Maybe we need to start arguing in favor of first table civil laws like Calvin did. “The duty of magistrates … extends to both tables of the law … for no man has discoursed of the duty of magistrates, the enacting of laws, and the common weal, without beginning with religion and divine worship.” (Institutes 4:20:9)

  97. Ron Smith says:

    To be fair, Clark asserts that modern day theonomy is not the same as the Reformers theocracy.

    Whatever Clark would say, the difference between theocracy and theonomy is one of form, not content. The standard of ethics is the same in each case: God’s (whole) Law.

  98. Ron Smith says:

    the civil magistrate lacks the authority to enforce moral laws outside the scope of apparent interpersonal harm.

    Brad,
    I assume you mean here the government should only forbid “interpersonal harm” when one of the persons involved is not willing to be harmed. Otherwise, by your own argument, the civil government should forbid homosexuality in general because both parties involved are harmed significantly.

    If my assumption is correct, what about

    this case

    ? Should the government forbid cannibalism if both the party eating and the party eaten are willing participants?

  99. Ron Smith says:

    Wrong tags on the link…

    the civil magistrate lacks the authority to enforce moral laws outside the scope of apparent interpersonal harm.

    Brad,
    I assume you mean here the government should only forbid “interpersonal harm” when one of the persons involved is not willing to be harmed. Otherwise, by your own argument, the civil government should forbid homosexuality in general because both parties involved are harmed significantly.

    If my assumption is correct, what about this case? Should the government forbid cannibalism if both the party eating and the party eaten are willing participants?

  100. Ron:

    I’m not being asked at the polls to make a decision on that one, so I really don’t know. I know that response sounds flippant, but I’ve heard of that case before and, while it totally weirded me out, I really wasn’t sure what I’d do if asked to make a decision on that case.

    Since one party’s harm is very physically apparent in that case, and that harm (death) is mutually agreed upon by all onlookers regardless of the level of consent, I would currently lean towards ruling against the cannibal if I were asked to decide. (However, since the issue is not on my ballot, I feel that I can remain safely ambivalent on the issue.)

    The harm to homosexuals practicing their sin is only defined as harm by the Moral Law, which leads me again to the fact that I don’t feel the need to enact civil laws governing Moral Law stipulations.

  101. Ron Smith says:

    Actually, the physical and psychological harm caused by homosexual activity is well documented.

    But even if this weren’t the case, to be consistent, the government should legalize prostitution without a camera (prostitution is already legal in every state under the first amendment, so long as a camera is present). I mean if the government should permit unregulated sex, what’s the big deal if a little money changes hands? Surely the “potential for harm” is just as strong in the case of homosexual acts as it is in the case of prostitution. Is it your view is that the government should permit such harmful acts so long as all parties involved willingly accept the harm involved in said acts (with the exception of death/cannibalism)?

  102. What “physical and psychological harm” regarding homosexuality is well-documented, aside from the same possibilities for interpersonal harm that also exist in heterosexual sex (e.g. domestic abuse)?

    I don’t particularly care what the state does with prostitution. In fact, legal and regulated prostitution as practiced in Nevada is certainly much better for all concerned than the illegal prostitution that happens here anyway. I, of course, wouldn’t participate, but in general I subscribe to the view you posit.

    Of course, how I would vote on any proposition regarding such activities would depend on the particulars of the proposed law. Since they’re not currently in front of me, I couldn’t say how I would respond on those topics without knowing exactly how the law might change.

  103. kazooless says:

    Augmented said:

    I was just pointing out that you are the only one whose has gotten into attack mode here. On the whole, your impassioned response (with TOO MANY words in ALL CAPS) seemed quite defensive to me.

    And if you had couched your opinion in “I think” or “IMO” in the first place, instead of taking on the mantle of God and attempting to assert that your particular reasoning on this issue is undeniably correct, I never would have mentioned anything in the first place. Any such arrogance is entirely out of place in a supposedly “reasonable” discussion.

    My offense was merely at the blinders-on arguments you keep bandying about, providing proofs of conclusions you’d already made before the discussion began.

    Well, a guy can’t win for losing. I tell ya. Notice all the places I underlined for you. These are all subjective judgments on your part. Isn’t it possible that you took offense at something you thought you read from my comments, but in actuality, you read it into my arguments?

    I just re-read everything I wrote on this thread, and for the most part it sure seems pretty level headed to me! CAPS don’t always mean SHOUT OUT LOUD!!!! They can also be used to emphasize a word or phrase when all you have to work with is text. It’s easier than using code to emphasize a word in bold, italics, or underlines. I use them so that an important word doesn’t get lost. It’s easy to read a DOES as a DOESN’T when it isn’t emphasized sometimes. But maybe that looks like attack mode to you, hence my thick skin comment.

    Don’t you think that as my brother in the LORD with whom you worship at the same location every Sunday, you could have given me the benefit of the doubt instead of just get “more than a little offended?”

    Take a look again at my first post in this thread addressing the issue:

    https://confessionalouthouse.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/wcf-says-yes-on-prop-8/#comment-3745

    Do these statements (to follow) really seem like I am “impassioned,” “arrogant,” acting as “God’s Mantle?”

    I’m going to try and speak from a W2K mindset here.

    It seems to me that…

    Okay, with all these premises in place, I’ll try to put them together and make an argument for a “YES” vote on prop 8 from NL.

    So, I am pretty sure that I argued ALL of this from a 2K view … But if my logic is correct, then augmentedfourth and Court should absolutely be voting yes on this prop, as well as all other citizens of the civil kingdom, regardless of whether they are Christian or not.

    That’s how I entered this discussion. Defensive? No. Attacking? No. Humble? Yes. I didn’t explicitly use “IMO” or “I think,” but it looks to me IMO that I came pretty close.

    I’m out of time to go on. It would just be more of the same though. You misread and misjudged me dude. I sincerely hope that this doesn’t affect your ability to worship the LORD with me tomorrow morning.

    kazoo

  104. Don’t you think that as my brother in the LORD with whom you worship at the same location every Sunday, you could have given me the benefit of the doubt instead of just get “more than a little offended?”

    Whoa. This is a political discussion. I think *you’ve* read too much into what *I’m* saying. (Hey, look! Easy emphasis without shouting!)

    This is a political discussion. As such, it can have no more than a tangential effect (if even that) on Christian brotherhood. I’ve never told you that you should vote differently, or that I think a “yes” vote is sinful, and I’ve totally agreed to disagree here.

    If you’re going to continue to use your arguments (in which the end was determined before the proofs were offered) to call me sinful and wrong, we’re still going to have major political issues with one another, but as my Christian brother I’ve already given you every benefit of any doubt.

    Sounds like *you* need to get a thicker skin now.

    I admit that much of my initial reaction to you was knee-jerk, but look at the following statements you’ve made:

    Let me just say that it is amazing to me how this type of debate can even be had amongst Christians!

    Use your head man!

    Aug and Court, you are just completely wrong on this issue

    Does that all sound reasoned and impartial to *you*?

    So, I am pretty sure that I argued ALL of this from a 2K view … But if my logic is correct, then augmentedfourth and Court should absolutely be voting yes on this prop, as well as all other citizens of the civil kingdom, regardless of whether they are Christian or not.

    OK, I’ll just disagree that your logic is correct. There are many different ways to look at this issue, and I came from a leaning-Conservative *political* viewpoint rather than building a philosophical argument from first principles.

    It seems like we’re coming to different conclusions primarily because we didn’t start in the same place. I’m attempting to vote as a citizen of the civil kingdom and take my Christian beliefs into account where warranted; you’re voting as a citizen of the heavenly kingdom and not trying to make political arguments at all.

    I’m out of time to go on. It would just be more of the same though. You misread and misjudged me dude. I sincerely hope that this doesn’t affect your ability to worship the LORD with me tomorrow morning.

    Of course not. As I said before, politics aren’t an issue when I come to church, and I hope they aren’t for you either.

    As I’ve continually stated, I’m not trying to pressure anyone into voting as I have, and I haven’t even *implied* that others are sinning if they disagree with me. I’m just describing my reasons, and everyone can take them or leave them as they choose.

    kazoo: Can we just agree to disagree here?

  105. kazooless says:

    Aug,

    I agree we disagree here.

    See you in church!

    j

  106. Zrim says:

    Kazoo & Ron,

    I am not sure that RSC’s agreement with something Kazoo said really means something akin to concession. We have as essential differences with each other yet as we both would have with the biblicism of Albino Hayford; but at least Hayford recognizes that he is quite off the Reformed reservation. Biblicism isn’t Reformed, and neither is theonomy.

    As far as this stuff about the Reformation being theocratic, I am not sure what your point is. The fact is that we live in the 21st century with lots of history between us and them, now and then. I suspect your appealing to the clearly theocratic ways of the reformers is simply a wooden way to put old patches on new wineskins. Translation: the reformers got it wrong in their applications. We are Protestants, not Romanists who have to ape whatever is located in our history, remember?

  107. kazooless says:

    zrim,

    Speaking for myself (Ron can speak for himself), my point about RSC isn’t to say that he and I agree on how to arrive at the conclusions here. I think we *all* know that we don’t.

    But, I specifically and most intentionally tried to argue in such a way that *conforms* to his worldview and not mine. IF I did that well, then I would hope he could say that I did so. And I take his *cautious* statement “I think I agree with Kazoo” as not an approval of me or my real views and methods, but of the argumentation I provided within the NLT framework.

    Secondly, I think when you find that two people who differ so strongly in so many areas and methodologies both arrive at the same conclusion, namely that it is necessary for all people to vote yes on this simplistic proposition, that the position gains in strength.

    Off to worship!

    kazoo

  108. Zrim says:

    K,

    Oh, so you were just play-acting. In that case, yes, give that man an Academy award. He’s already got the tux. But I am not sure what is to be gained by simply winning a statue that confirms you get W2K. The real gain would be agreeing with it.

    Re different reasons for the same conclusion, I disagree. When it comes to the a-word I am for a literal overturn of Roe, but not because I am a natalist but because I believe in states’ rights on this one. Natalism, like theonomy, isn’t Calvinist. Conclusions have their place, but reasons are just as important, Kazoo. If I were to vote yes on this one it wouldn’t be becauseI want to institutionally punish particular sinners, but because I can’t legitimately find this behavior in creation.

  109. kazooless says:

    z,

    Well, for me, it helps to confirm that I *actually* get W2K and NLT. That’s important, because even though you or others might think that I just want to stir up trouble, in actuallity, I really want to study to show myself approved. So far W2K & NLT hasn’t convinced me, but if my trying to argue from that standpoint shows that I don’t correctly understand that, then… well, I’m sure you get the rest. Thanks for the statue! LOL

    Regarding the other, fair enough.

    k

  110. Zrim says:

    Kazoo,

    I’ll go so far as to suggest that you may get W2K the way an Arminian like Mylie gets Calvinism. But I am not sure how that bodes well for either of you. “Showing oneself approved,” it seems to me, has less to do with an academic understanding of an opponent and more to do with being finally and organically persuaded with what is right and true. It’s one thing to understand that 2 and 2 are 4, but if one tries to go any further mathematically skeptical of said equation he isn’t as approved as he might think.

    It is not clear to me how a theonomist, who thinks OT laws must be instituted today, sees himself as any different from a Dispensationalist who thinks the OT laws will be reinstituted in the future; both undermine the full satisfaction of Christ’s fulfilling of the law. If Dispensationalism isn’t Reformed neither can be theonomy

  111. kazooless says:

    Z said:

    It is not clear to me how a theonomist, who thinks OT laws must be instituted today, sees himself as any different from a Dispensationalist who thinks the OT laws will be reinstituted in the future; both undermine the full satisfaction of Christ’s fulfilling of the law.

    Z, this statement just shows that you are not as informed in theonomy as well as I want to be informed on W2K. Theonomy says that we can learn the ‘moral’ thing to do in a certain ‘case’ (aka ‘case’ law). And, since it is a ‘moral’ thing we learn, the ‘moral’ part of it is still required today. The ‘moral’ thing we learn in a certain ‘case’ is the ‘general equity.’

    Notice that it is you that is pounding the theonomy hammer here, not me. I am responding, but I started out playing in your ball field adhering to your rules.

    Z concludes:

    If Dispensationalism isn’t Reformed neither can be theonomy.

    But Z clearly isn’t properly informed about theonomy, built up a straw man by using false premises, and therefore his conclusion doesn’t follow.

    And Z, I must first understand W2K and NLT in order to rightly consider it and its reasoning for myself to weigh whether it is right or wrong. Maybe the study to show myself was taken a little out of context but the sentiment was that I want to be intellectually honest (with myself most of all) in this debate since ethics is an important part of one’s Christian life.

    Do *you* want to be intellectually honest with theonomy? If so, maybe (as RSC constantly says) *you* should do *your* homework.

    kazoo

  112. Zrim says:

    Kazoo,

    If that is all true (that I don’t understand theonomy and it’s all about “general equity”) then what is your beef with 2K? Clearly we have differences. I understand there are different strains of theonomy, but it all essentially the same. And when W2Kers speak theonomists get hot and bothered. Why?

  113. Chris Sherman says:

    Is theonomy anything like dominion theology?

  114. kazooless says:

    Chris,

    “Dominion Theology” is a pejorative that was used to name the reconstruction movement, which includes theonomy. So, yes, sort of. I believe there is a book with that title but it grossly misinforms and misrepresents the positions.

    Z, on the point that you stated, and I corrected, it is true. Too much of a threadjack to go into it here though. There are many other reasons that W2K and theonomy don’t agree about things. One such thing is the answer to this question: Does the church have anything to say to the state?

    Peace,

    kazoo

  115. kazooless says:

    Oh, and Z, what, you don’t like my tux?

    🙂

  116. Chris Sherman says:

    “Does the church have anything to say to the state?”

    As an institution or as individuals within? or is there a distinction?

  117. Ron Smith says:

    We are Protestants, not Romanists who have to ape whatever is located in our history, remember?

    Z, think about that statement. Your position is also “located in our history”, but you have no problem “aping” it.

    My question is, how can you call your position “Reformed”, and theonomy “not Reformed” when the theonomy, by your own admission (as well as that of Kline, and Clark), is closer to the reformers own position on civil ethics than your own position? Isn’t that a bit like gerrymandering a line between your legs and calling it the “mainstream” (thank you Greg Bahnsen)?

  118. kazooless says:

    I am writing this on November 3rd, 2008 at 3:15 PM, from San Diego.

    This post can certainly be deleted. I am just confused by the time entries. Ron’s post says he posted it more than two hours from now.

  119. RubeRad says:

    This blog runs on Eastern, in deference to the Michiganders involved. It would be a good WordPress feature if it could display all times local to the browser, ya?

  120. kazooless says:

    ya

    (see if zrim can disagree with this comment. LOL)

  121. Zrim says:

    Ron,

    If I understand your point, right, I have no problem aping something when it is right. I ape my father all the time.

    Re your question, you’re being much, much too wooden about it. Let me quote a fellow 2Ker when I asked him about changes to the forms with regard to issues of polity: “I think it possible to argue that, under the influence of Constantinianism, the Reformers got this one wrong (sort of). There is actually plenty in Calvin, Luther, and Ursinus to suggest that Christ’s kingdom is spiritual and different from the church, thus, that the civil magistrate has no responsibility for the church.”

    Remember, Ron, the Remonstrant errors came out of the Reformed churches. Reformed people got soteriology wrong and we call any views that are sympathetic to the errors “not Reformed.” When views like yours logically lead to the very Constantinianism inherent in Romanism, it seems to me best to invoke Protestantism against it.

  122. Ron Smith says:

    If I understand your point, right, I have no problem aping something when it is right.

    Hmm, so when *you* ape something, it is because “it is right”, and when *theonomists* ape something, they are just blindly following “whatever is located in history”. That is a devastating argument. *coughs* (begging the question)…

    you’re being much, much too wooden about it

    This is just a meaningless catch-all statement I’ve noticed you like to use when one believes what the Bible or someone actually says, rather than reading your presuppositions into what is said. I could just as easily claim that you are being much, much, too liquid about it. This proves nothing.

    There is actually plenty in Calvin, Luther, and Ursinus to suggest that Christ’s kingdom is spiritual and different from the church, thus, that the civil magistrate has no responsibility for the church.

    I assume you mean that the Church/Christ’s Kingdom is a spiritual kingdom and different from the State. If that is what you mean, agreed. Of course it is. But the Church is also a physical kingdom. What you don’t seem to get is that you are making the reformers say things they most certainly did not, given the pre-enlightenment context in which they operated. If Calvin believed that no one could engage in discourse about the duty of civil magistrates and the enacting of laws without *beginning* with religion and worship, how comes it that so many w2kers like to use his comments on Natural Law to support the claim that one need not appeal to religion or worship when discoursing about the duty of civil magistrates and the enacting of laws? He appeals to Natural Law to support the exact opposite. If you are going to accuse me of “aping” anything, at least admit that I am aping the reformation.

    Religion and worship is inescapable. The question you have to answer every day when you engage the public sphere is *which* religious presuppositions will you operate under? The humanists have tricked you into thinking the best religions presuppositions to operate under in the public sphere are humanistic/atheistic presuppositions. The humanists (with some unwitting help from the Church) have deceived you into thinking that the Church’s place in the world is merely personal and spiritual. They just love it when the kingly office of Jesus is removed from the public sphere and reduced to the personal and spiritual.

  123. Zrim says:

    Ron,

    “But whoever knows how to distinguish between body and soul, between this present fleeting life and that future eternal life, will without difficulty know that Christ’s spiritual Kingdom and the civil jurisdiction are things completely distinct.”

    Looks like Calvin was equally duped by the big, bad guys as well.

    I realize that distinctions aren’t the theonomist’s long suit, but you seem to be under the impression that I am an apologist. I’m not, I’m a blogger. I’ll leave the apologizing to apologists (and those yahoos who think of themselves as ones). You might do well to read the About tab again, Ron.

  124. kazooless says:

    z,

    I don’t see how this quote you’ve provided disagrees with anything Ron said. If I am reading this quote correctly, he is saying that a civil kingdom is distinct from Christ’s kingdom. And Ron agreed with that:

    I assume you mean that the Church/Christ’s Kingdom is a spiritual kingdom and different from the State. If that is what you mean, agreed. Of course it is.

    And how does being a blogger instead of an apologist mean that you somehow don’t need to support your claims when blogging? I don’t get it. Blogging seems to be a place of exchanging ideas and discussing them along with disagreements. Are you saying that when the argument doesn’t seem to be favoring your ideas that you don’t need to give a rational defense for them?

    And Dr. Clark, I’ve printed this article of yours and started “studying” it by marking what I can find as your main points. Instead of just reacting to what I’ve read, I am spending some time with it so I can make sure I am fully understanding your arguments. I plan to interact with this article officially once I’m done. It may just with questions though, we’ll see after I have an even better understanding of your position.

    Also, I don’t know if you missed my question above, or ignored it. If the former, would you please respond? Thanks.

  125. Ron Smith says:

    In other words, Z wants to make unsubstantiated claims and wishes for us to leave them unchallenged.

    Sorry Z, I have to obey my master. 2 Cor 10:5

  126. kazooless says:

    oops. wrong thread for the Dr. Clark comment. kaz

  127. Pingback: Please Pass the Salt if You Can See it « The Reformed Standard

  128. lahona says:

    Friends, be aware that there are persecutions starting up using the donor lists. Your voices in support of these targets is helpful. We shouldn’t let our p8 friends and donors twist in the wind alone. This man stood up for his personal beliefs on family and lost his job this morning because of it.

    http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/persecution-continues-martyrs-for-prop-8/

  129. Pingback: DVD on Abortion « The Confessional Outhouse

  130. jedpaschall says:

    Ruben,

    I didn’t realize you had commented over in my ‘hood, cause you got spammed for some reason. I’ll pick it back up soon.

  131. Pingback: WCF Says No on Gay Marriage | The Confessional Outhouse

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