One Lord, One Baptism, One Sentiment

This is so DGH, it’s not worth trying to Guess Who:

An implicit assumption of faith-based politics is that people who hold the same religious convictions will, or at least should, look at the political order in similar ways. Some invoke the idea of worldview. Faith creates an outlook that prompts believers to see the world in a specific way, one that calls for similar forms of political engagement or similar kinds of policy and legislation. This assumption has been crucial to Republicans’ cultivation of evangelicals. Born-again values voters share a perspective that will rally around certain proposals or ideals.

A moment’s reflection reveals the folly of such an assumption. Evangelical Protestants are one of the least unified groups of American believers at the level of ecclesiastical affiliation and religious organization. Enough differences exist between Wesleyans and Calvinists, Baptists and Pentecostals, megachurches and small congregations to prompt a veritable cornucopia of fellowships and associations. (One could make a similar point about Roman Catholics and Jews; neither of these groups in the United States has yielded predictable uniformity.) Why then would pundits and scholars treat evangelicals as if their faith, which on Sundays divides them along a host of theological and institutional lines, would unite them when they line up on the first Tuesday in November to cast their ballots in presidential contests?

From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin: Evangelicals and the Betrayal of American Conservatism, p. 145.

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47 Responses to One Lord, One Baptism, One Sentiment

  1. dr p says:

    On the one hand, there’s the expression “two Jews, three opinions;” on the other hand, there’s the expression “Jews have the wealth of Episcopalians and the voting record of Puerto Ricans,” so I’m not sure about the point being made here.

    Jews, unlike evangellyfish, are a clearly defined group. “Evangelical” is what we in medicine call a “wastebasket diagnosis;” ie a category we drop stuff into when it fits nowhere else. In the UK it used to mean one warm to Calvinism; in Germany and Scandinavia, a Lutheran; here and now?!

  2. John Yeazel says:

    I find you intriguing, dr p. What kind of Dr. are you? Unlike MikelMann, who hides his identity and vocation (for perhaps for some good professional reasons), I think you may be forthright about it and tell us the vocation specialty you spend great amounts of your time in.

  3. dr p says:

    @JY: I’m boarded in family medicine, but have spent most of my professional life working in corrections doubtless due to my signal inability to play well with others. You see, I maintain the outmoded idea that watching “House” no more makes one a physician than listening to “Car Talk” makes one a mechanic, and corrections seems to be the last venue wherein I can live out my delusion and do what I’ve been trained to.

  4. RubeRad says:

    “Corrections” = prison?

  5. RubeRad says:

    A moment’s reflection reveals the folly of such an assumption

    To play the devil’s advocate, although reflection may reveal folly, it seems to have turned out that the assumption is quite reliable, i.e. that’s why we have the religious right, and DGH was able to publish this book.

  6. dr p says:

    @RR: yes, I mean gaols and prisons. As for your Luciferian advocacy, I think the assumption is based in outdated observation of voting patterns of how people who used to call themselves evangelicals actually voted; ie they consistently practised American Civic Religion in their policies and election of foolish Christians over wise Turks.

  7. RubeRad says:

    So you think that’s changing now? (Is that how our current wise(?) turk(?) got into office?)

  8. dr p says:

    @RR: yes: I couldn’t imagine the numbers of NAPARC members and homeschoolers whose families voted for Imam Obama having done something similar a generation ago. It bodes ill: whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

  9. RubeRad says:

    So then here’s your litmus test for continued admission to the Outhouse (here, pee on this stick!) should those NAPARCers be disciplined for their madness?

  10. dr p says:

    Formal discipline, never; some friendly vaseline cum crowbar, yeah, but not after a generation or two of proper 2K teaching and doctrinal rigour – the organised church owns a lot of this and shouldn’t blame the sheep for the cupidity and stupidity of the leadership.

  11. John Yeazel says:

    Expand on this dr p- so, you have obviously pissed off some medical establishment types to where you cannot function within the “in” group and those who maintain the respect of their peers in their profession. I am interested in hearing your perspective of the ins and outs of the medical establishment and if you have thought about how to correct the main problems in the industry, ie., health care reform, etc. It sounds to me as if you have been sent to the medical outhouse so you won’t cause problems with the powers that be in the industry. With your bluntness I doubt if you would find much favor among those who are well respected medical types.

    Do you count your banishment as your own fault or that you were asking too many embarrasing questions and were shut up for it? Things are not always as they seem and it is never easy to find the truth in complicated, important and influential professions.

  12. RubeRad says:

    If that’s something you’re interested in, I’d recommend you start reading this fascinating blog: http://anondoc.blogspot.com/, in which an anonymous resident of “a big-city hospital it’s probably better not to name (but you’ve heard of it)” vents about his professional difficulties.

  13. RubeRad says:

    If I may attempt a translation, “Excommunication, never; some brotherly discussion and strong exhortation, yeah, but even that wouldn’t be necessary if you could find a church/denomination that had maintained proper 2K teaching and doctrinal rigour for 50+ years. The problem of NAPARC members voting for Obama not wholly the fault of individual church members; rather it is largely due to pastors and denominations, who shouldn’t blame their parishioners for exhibiting the necessary effects of their own faults.”

    Or, perhaps a simpler answer, if you got lost, this is in answer to the question “should those NAPARCers be disciplined for their madness”?

  14. RubeRad says:

    Anon. Doc. also put some “animated” satirical interactions on YouTube!

    http://www.youtube.com/user/anondoc1/videos

    These are obviously not true (except maybe “World’s Worst Clinic Patient”), but I think they are merely exaggerations of what he has to deal with every day.

  15. dr p says:

    @JY: I’m more pissed at my profession for having played the ho’ to government subsidies and health care scams, as well as toadying to patients rather than showing necessary tough love – Dr Lily Marlene, call your office. When still in private practice I had a plumber for a patient who was getting rather aggressive and demanding; I asked him how he would answer me if, whilst fixing my throne, I started to instruct him on tools and techniques, citing my having watched a few episodes of “This Old House;” would he end up suggesting to me an alternative orifice for his snake? He answered in the affirmative, at which I retorted that he could imagine how I felt about a plumber telling me how to practice medicine because he watched a few episodes of ER. He got the point. In corrections I have but to remind my patients that I passed me school whilst they failed reform school, if they were smart crooks they’d be in congress, and I have no fear of lawyers who can’t get their clients out of gaol – and end up practising better medicine at a lower cost to the taxpayer. I don’t do entitled demanders, and want Uncle Sam out of health care – period.

    Per your huh, you Lutherans have this wonderful term “felicitous inconsistency” to rationalise faith-practice dichotomies. To borrow from the detractors of General Pope, I was referring to a pastoral offer to reduce the lower colonic obstruction experienced by those whose headquarters occupy their hind quarters; eg those taught in Biblical principles but vainly imagine Christ’s Kingship to end at the voting booth curtain. BTW I’m not W2K, but more like L(utheran)2K.

    @RR: good translation, and my point exactly.

  16. dr p says:

    @RR: anon doc’s blog brings back bad memories, quickly dispelled by his animation; frighteningly true, or close enough for me.

  17. Zrim says:

    Wait a minute, DP. If it’s true that “voting is not an act of devotion and is a matter of Christian liberty,” what’s the problem with NAPARC members voting for Obama? What does one thing have to do with the other? You may not be elevating it to an actionable problem, but why is it any sort of problem whatsoever?

    Maybe it’s because you do in fact think voting is an act of devotion. But if that’s the case, and if Christ’s kingship doesn’t end at the voting booth curtain as you seem to suggest, then why not discipline members for voting for the supposedly wrong guy?

  18. dr p says:

    @Zrim:not every sin is public, and the church has no business prying into personal lives; eg it’s not entitled to see my 1040 to determine if I’m tithing or no, peeking into my bedroom, snooping on my property (a la Guinn), scanning my hard drive, or transmogrifying the teaching office into reviews of domestic and foreign policy. If, on the other hand, someone insists on publicly espousing causes exegeted in LCQ as wanting in conformity unto or transgressing the Law of God, then said shmendrik must be counseled (at the least). What one does in private is still done coram Deo. Christ is king, and you are His subject.; He expects you to act according to His Law at all times and in all places – including the voting booth and jury box. Christian liberty is freedom to obey, not licence to sin. I’m talking about the church teaching principles, not picking candidates or baptising political parties; the specifics of voting should remain private and hence outside of church authority. PS: we’re to do all things to the glory of God – all things means no exceptions. Your thoughts?

  19. John Yeazel says:

    So, you were not sent to the Outhouse then, you just chose to work at corrections because that is what you wanted to do? That is not what it sounded like from your post.

    Tough love is not all its cracked up to be either. It sounds good as an idea but I have failed to see it put in practice without some abuse behind it. I don’t lose sleep over it anymore though because I’ve learned to learn about all situations I go through.

  20. dr p says:

    I voluntarily marched to the outhouse, magazines and splinter-tweezer in hand, knowing that I was made to ride the pine-box pony and to accept my niche, which is a much better fit for me than family practice. Funny, though, that my residency did prepare me well for corrections.

    Nothing humans do or dream of is all it’s cracked up to be, but give me blunt honesty over a sugar-coated turd any day. When dealing in a corrections environment, all subtlety is interpreted as subterfuge and so my approach works best. Things are very concrete, requiring one to stick by the rules, do what one says one will do, and apply one’s Calvinism to realise that inmates differ from us in that they do what we merely dream about; then one can practice good medicine with a clean conscience.

    You see tough love as potentially abusive whilst I see the Marcus Welby wannabe as a potential manipulator; in this world ye shall have abuse.

  21. John Yeazel says:

    I needed a good laugh before I went off to work the grave-yard shift tonight- I was feeling a bit grim but you lightened my load a bit. You are a funny guy dr p

  22. Zrim says:

    DP, how can the specifics of voting be at once coram Deo and outside church authority? But I forgot that your view has something to do with ascribing a lot more morality to politics than some 2kers do. Does it help to know that when I’m in a voting booth I never blaspheme or commit adultery? I just cast a vote.

  23. dr p says:

    No, Zrim, you don’t “just cast a vote,” but rather you act upon a conviction. As for the scope of kirk government, it’s obviously restricted to the public sphere unless a valid complaihnt is brought forward. Even so, Christ alone is lord of the conscience, and that excludes civil and ecclesiastical magistrates from arrogating that power to themselves. As a member I swore to study the purity and peace of the church, notto let the church run my life. I also have a sceptical view of politics (being a steady-state amillennialist); believe that, regardless of who gets elected, Will Rogers was rigfht when he said “when congress is in session, robbery is in progress;” and hence vote for the candidate who will do me and mine the least amount of harm. Nonetheless I challenge you to justify voting for a sworn enemy of Christ when a lesser evil is an option…unless, of course, you believe in neutrality?

  24. RubeRad says:

    Aaaaand Z doesn’t like the color of the pee-stick…

    I was pretty happy until “…voting for a sworn enemy of Christ…”, as I see Obama’s (or Romney’s) hatred for the true Christ orthogonal to their earthly missions. Is Obama using his office to attack the church? There are plenty enough reasons within common-grace to reject Obama (and I suppose some to reject Romney as well) that we don’t need to turn to religious reasons.

  25. Zrim says:

    DP, my own skepticism has more to do with being agnostic about the power of politics, not being cynical about politicians.

    But if I can hire or work for pagans (which could also be construed as “acting on convictions”), I don’t see why I mayn’t vote for one. The only thing I mayn’t do is marry or commune one. So how far do you want to go, DP? Maybe I mayn’t work for or hire unbelievers? So how am I supposed to provide for my family?

  26. dr p says:

    @RR: forcing Christian health care organisations to provide for abortion services, and removing conscience c;lause for health care workers sounds like an attack on the church to me. I share your thoughts about Romney.

    @Zrim: I share your scepticism, but aimed it at politicians due to the messianic talki I heard at church about Bachmann and now Santorum – pass the emesis basin, please. I mentioned nothing about hiring or voting for Christians only, and even quoted Luther about wise Turks vs foolish Christians above; please show me where I made the points you’r attributing to me.

  27. RubeRad says:

    forcing Christian health care organisations to provide for abortion services

    So secular and muslim health care organizations are not forced to provide abortion services? I am not informed about your reference, but it sounds to me more like an attack on babies than an attack on the church.

    I share your thoughts about Romney.

    That’s funny, I didn’t know I had any! Isn’t that Romney’s problem with everyone?

  28. dr p says:

    @RR: nobody is forced at this point; since Islam teaches ensoulment at ~ 1 month gestation, abortion is not their issue (pun unintended); the attack is clearly on Christian institutions.

    I wish everyone did haveno thoughts about Romney; that way we wouldn’t be facing the spectre of his candidacy.

  29. Zrim says:

    DP, you wanted me to “justify voting for a sworn enemy of Christ.” But I don’t know why anybody has to do that unless he also has to justify working for or hiring one. My point is that voting and employment aren’t on the same level as marrying or communing. Christian status only matters in the latter instances but not in the former.

    So your challenge seems altogether moot, since, after all, if Paul tells us to submit to a pagan ruler then it sure seems to me I can vote for one without any condemnation. But you also seem to be suggesting that you know Obama’s spirtitual status in all this. From what I know, he’s in a broad evangelical tradition. But so is Dubya. Neither are confessionally Reformed, but since when does that mean “a sworn enemy of Christ”? May I suggest it to be a spiritual problem for anybody in NAPARC to have voted for Dubya the way you have for Obama?

  30. dr p says:

    @Zrim: I’ll take your challenge, although I’m not convinced that Bush was as far along the continuum as Obama, but you have a point. As for justifying your choice, I mean to God rather than to men, but the question remains: if I have a choice between greater or lesser evils, why would I choose the former, especially as the consequence affects so many other people? If your argument was something along the lines of voting against someone who got us into an unjustifiable war and voting for someone who promised to get us out of it, you’d have some case – but you didn’t make one (ie, you didn’t justify).

    I judge Obama’s spiritual status by his public words and deeds; he is a total scoundrel whilst Bush was just a well-meaning ninny. Both have done incalculable harm to both Americans and America. Indeed, I really don’t care about their spiritual states, and don’t recall ever having equated lack of Reformed confession with being a sworn enemy of Christ – that’s your non sequitur/distraction. I care only about common grace issues, and which candidate will do me and mine the least amount of harm. What are your criteria – hope for change? Do you see voting as an amoral or neutral activity?

  31. RubeRad says:

    From what I know, he’s in a broad evangelical tradition. But so is Dubya.

    C’mon, the black liberation theology of Jeremiah Wright is miles further from the gospel than Methodism.

  32. dr p says:

    if memory serves me, the esteemed rev was previously a Black Muslim ranter.

  33. Zrim says:

    DP, I maintain than voting is as much liberty as substance use, which means I don’t have to justify my voting to God anymore than which beer I drink. I can even abstain from both without having to justify it to God.

    You say “…if I have a choice between greater or lesser evils, why would I choose the former, especially as the consequence affects so many other people…I care only about common grace issues, and which candidate will do me and mine the least amount of harm.” That makes it sound like you simply employ political considerations to determine who gets your vote, with which I have no argument because it makes sense to evaluate politics politically. But you also seem to want to maintain that there is a spiritual dimension to political choice, which is lost on me because it makes no sense to evaluate politics spiritually (any more than it does to evaluate spirituality politically). So you ask whether I understand voting to be amoral or neutral. It’s liberty, which isn’t another word for amoral or neutral. What do you have against liberty that you’d want to tar it with the N-word?

  34. Zrim says:

    C’mon, the black liberation theology of Jeremiah Wright is miles further from the gospel than Methodism.

    Rube, the point is that Obama is a lot closer to Christian than Nero. And if Paul can tell us to submit to Nero–you know, the guy who thought he was deity–then I fail to see how it’s a problem to vote for Obama–who doesn’t have such delusions of deity. But as far as the Reformed tradition is concerned, Methodism is closer to the Radical Reformation than the Protestant Reformation. To the extent that the Protestant Reformation was a battle on two fronts, are you saying the Protestant Reformation is half over?

  35. dr p says:

    @Zrim: whilst I see your way clearly re voting being a matter of liberty, the liberty ends with voting per se. I doubt that you vote on the toss of a coin, hepatoscopy, or what side of the bed you got up on on Election Day. Like me, you vote on your principles, and it’s the principles that are open to reflection and discussion. My drinking whisky is liberty; my spending money on Lagavulin before my bills are paid is sin; context is key to distinguishing liberty from licence.

    I’m curious as to how you determined that there is no spiritual aspect to to politics, since one’s politics is a function of one’s values; since all of life falls under the crown and covenant rights of Christ, you do indeed seem to be dancing around the n-word Please clarify.

  36. Zrim says:

    DP, look at the post’s quote again. When those who claim the same spiritual devotion have vastly different political views it’s not so clear that faith has the kind of direct and obvious bearing on the cares of this world as you seem to assume. Spiritual devotion is measured by spiritual practice (this just seems so basic to me). So when someone tells me he’s a Christian but withholds baptism from his children I seriously have to wonder. Contrariwise, when someone tells me he’s a Republican who wants more government and taxes, I seriously wonder about his claim. In other words, spiritual claims are tested by spiritual practice and political claims are gauged by political practice.

    I don’t know how you get neutrality out of all this. Frankly, it seems like the go-to word for those who don’t want to even try to understand the claims of 2k. It’s also very similar to one who can’t wrap his mind around the fact that another might care about something differently than him and imply that just because the other doesn’t care the way he does then the other doesn’t care at all. Neutrality seems to be another word for apathetic. But do you really think I’m apathetic in all this? If I didn’t care I wouldn’t engage you.

  37. dr p says:

    Again, Zrim, no accusations are being made – by me, anyway. My questioning you is based on what appears to be voting for one candidate or another to be no different than buying Lagavulin over Talisker’s; one is a matter of principle, the other of mere taste. You’re doing this, in part, by denying that actions flow from principles, which have in themselves spiritual significance. Politics is nothing more than human behaviour, and I doubt you deny spiritual significance to our behaviour…so what privileges political behaviour over any other type? We’re not islands of individuality, and so our conduct in the agoras and senates of life affect others; don’t you think this should oblige us to some degree of reflection? You probably do, but I’m not seeing it in your post; rather, all I’m catching is Old Blue Eyes crooning “I Did It My Way.”

    As for 2K, I’m sure you’re also aware that DVD is neither the alpha nor the omega. Frankly, I favour Luther and Sasse over the outhouse saint – does that mean that I don’t understand 2K, or that I think another version of the same is the superior model? I’m no prodigy, but neither am I stupid; I didn’t get through medical school and residency on my looks (for which my patients are grateful). BTW models are human constructs to provide cognitive framework for making sense of life. No model is perfect, and all have their epiphenomena, thus requiring modellers to have some humility before the data.

    So tell me, what do you care about? How do you decide on a political question place before you; is there any reference to the uses of the Law, our summum bonum, or the crown and covenant rights of Christ? Enquiring minds want to know.

  38. Zrim says:

    DP, what I care about is liberty. I know you keep hearing rational individual autonomy, neutrality, etc. But lest you think my concern is over-realized, remember that the WCF devotes an entire chapter to liberty. I don’t know of one called “Of the Crown Rights of Christ Concerning the Voting Practices of His People.” So where your concern seems to be for political orthopraxis mine is for believers to be able to make their own political deliberations as they see fit, full stop. But take heart, you have the sympathies of worldviewers who are quite in the majority.

  39. dr p says:

    Zrim, you refer to WCF Chapter 20, from which I quote:”I. The liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the Gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, and condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law;… But, under the New Testament, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected…” So far, no relationship whatsoever to the agora or senate.

    But it goes on: “II. God alone is Lord of the conscience,[10] and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in any thing, contrary to His Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship.;” ok, the Regulative Principle of Worship is laid
    down; still sounds rather apolitical.

    Shall I continue? OK, as you wish: “IV. And because the powers which God has ordained, and the liberty which Christ has purchased are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another, they who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God.[15] And, for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity (whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation), or to the power of godliness; or, such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ has established in the Church, they may lawfully be called to account,[16] and proceeded against, by the censures of the Church. and by the power of the civil magistrate.” ISTM the Westminster divines didn’t share your view of liberty vis-a-vis politics or liberty. That’s OK, because the subordinate standards are just that; however, you will need to appeal to some other source for your definition of liberty.

  40. dr p says:

    PS: you still haven’t answered my question. BTW have you read “The Solemn League and Covenant,” also put out by Westminster? Your ideas of liberty will find no support therein.

  41. Zrim says:

    DP, what you gloss over is that the conscience is free from the commandments of men which are contrary to his Word. The Bible is silent on political devotions. It says nothing about how to vote. It doesn’t even command political involvement. So if God is politically silent then why do you keep talking?

    But I don’t know what question I haven’t answered. What you haven’t addressed yet is why, if Paul commands us to happily submit to a magistrate who is openly opposed to Christ because he thinks he himself is God, it’s such a problem to freely vote for a magistrate who doesn’t even come close to that sort of blasphemy. Can you just admit you are politically opposed to Obama without suggesting spiritual inferiority of those who aren’t?

  42. dr p says:

    @Zrim: please read the quote in toto, then you will note the “if in matters of faith, or worship” – not politics. The question you haven’t answered is why you would want to vote for such a one as Obama, which is an act of approval (rather than mere submission, as is due magistrates). I’m both politically and spiritually opposed to Obama, neither of which impacts on my submission to his office lawfully executed. No, I can’t even consider approval of a man whose political conduct opposes the very liberty you say you respect to be anything but a sign of spiritual declension. So you think profligate spending, raising abortion to the level of a secular sacrament, and the redefinition of religious freedom to be restricted to worship only, are positions worthy of approbation? Do you not see such as covered in the “publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity (whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation)” clause? Bottom line: your opinions are your own, and you are entitled to them – just don’t hang them on Westminster, especially the Solemn League and Covenant, which is very crown-and-covenant-rights oriented.

  43. dr p says:

    PS: we also disagree that God is politically silent; Psalms 2 and 110 immediately come to mind. If God is talking, why aren’t you listening?

  44. Zrim says:

    DP, how exactly are the 1788 revisions of 23.3, which is to say legalizing national blasphemy and idolatry, Solemn League and Covenant-ish?

    But this IS a matter of faith. You are the one saying that faith can be measured by something more than doctrinal fidelity, namely political persuasion. And if you want all matters political to go through biblical tests then I don’t see how anybody can vote for anybody since nobody can ever possibly meet that standard.

    I haven’t answered why I would vote for Obama because I never said I would. My point has been about the freedom to do so if I so chose, and that I wouldn’t have to justify it to anybody. What still escapes me is how you can place such rigorous spiritual tests on political leaders when Jesus and the apostles never did. In point of fact, all they ever did was put the onus on believers to show honor and submission to those who at once held office and opposed God. There was good reason they were so amazed in Mark 12. It’s because they held your assumptions about the relationship between the spiritual and political.

  45. dr p says:

    Zrim, you can’t keep dodging the bullet of political behaviour as function of personal ethics, and I truly believe (disabuse me if I’m wrong) that you believe that Scripture has something to say about ethics. How, then, is political behaviour exempt from the ethical requirements of Scripture? It plainly isn’t, and you know it.

    Look, neither of us believe GOP to stand for God’s Own Party, wish to have the pulpit hijacked by politicos and their agendas, or imagine that the banging of a Bible on a podium can drown out populist screed and hypocritical self-promotion. I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that we concur in our disapprobation post-millennial notion of (to borrow from orthodox Judaism) “bringing Messiah in by his beard.” But how does voting for someone who promotes abortion and economic profiligacy show love for one’s neighbour, unless your notion of love comes more form “What’s Up, Tiger Lilly?” than Scripture? So what that there’s no church court to judge your voting, or that the law allows you to vote as you please; do you really imagine that the God Who holds us accountable for every idle word views your choices as having no ethical import? I doubt it, as otherwise you would be going from the n-word to the a-words (autonomy and antinomianism).

    Given your respect for OHS Clark, your antihistorical (ab)use of Westminster is 180 degrees from his strict subscriptionist and original intent views (at least as I read him). American revisions aside, the Westminster assembly was clearly theocratic, albeit not hagiocratic or Erastian. Given that the SLC is a Westminster document, how can you possibly find support in it? I suggest that you confuse political freedom with Christian liberty, at least as understood by Westminster. You are, of course, free to do that; you are not free, however, to label it as confessional.

  46. dr p says:

    PS: I reviewed the 1788 revision of WCF 23, and still find no support for your position. What am I missing, particularly with regard to “legalizing national blasphemy and idolatry?” The reference is clearly to ” the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians.”

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