Easypeasy

The good Rabbi posits once again that I am a dunce (along with all 2kers) for not recognizing that the church and the state are all part of one cosmic government under the authority of God. (One of his fans suggests I am not regenerate.) Actually, I do understand this. Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of divine sovereignty and powers delegated to parents, churches, and magistrates knows that God’s rule extends to the secondary means by which he orders all things.

The problem for the Rabbi is that he goes back and forth between this cosmic government and the specific relations between nations and their churches. Talking about divine sovereignty and human institutions in the abstract is one thing. Talking about the relations between church and state in a particular polity is another.

The signs of this confusion come when the Rabbi concludes:

1.) Darryl is saying Calvin was wrong and that Geneva was a unbiblical model. Sinful Calvin. Sinful Geneva. I’m sure glad we have a clearly superior model working for us now in these uSA that we can look to for an example.

2.) In an ideal social order the Pastors serve God by obeying God’s revelation for the Church and civil magistrates serve God by obeying God’s revelation for the Civil realm. The Pastors don’t work for the Government and the Magistrates don’t work for the Church. Both, however are subject to God in His revelation. This isn’t that difficult.

First, I am wrong to challenge the superiority of Geneva even though Christ and Paul did not establish a polity anything like Geneva. This would suggest that the Rabbi is not pleased with the early church that did nothing to make sure that the magistrate was following God’s law. Personally, I’d rather be in the camp of criticizing Calvin than the one that questions Christ. But most critics of 2k never really look at what’s happening in Acts to understand what the church’s mission properly is. Instead, they pine for the days when pontiffs in Rome were christening Holy Roman Emperors.

Second, the Rabbi takes as soon as he gives. Geneva by his reckoning was not an “ideal” social order because the pastors did work for the government. So Brett is no fan of Calvin’s town either, but this leaves him with no historical home (maybe that’s why he kvetches so much).

Third, this is easy stuff. Yes, despite the long and troubled history of relating religion to politics, from Israel to Kuyper’s Netherlands, it’s not difficult. Pass the mints.

One last point to notice is this notion of an “ideal social order.” The Rabbi presents himself as a true-blue political conservative and loves to deconstruct the social engineers on the Left who are trying to usher in the kingdom of justice and equality. He should know then that conservatives don’t believe in ideal social orders. They refuse to immanentize the eschaton. It’s the Stalins of the world who actually believe ideal social orders are possible. Conservatives simply endure the infirmities and woes of this world.

Turns out life in this world is difficult.

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33 Comments

  1. Bill Muether
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Go get ‘em, Darryl!

  2. Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Did he run this one by the ladies on the consistory?

    How biblical is this notion on his site?:

    “This website is a service to God’s Kingdom people. If you would like the opportunity to tithe or give to this ministry I would be glad to be yoked to your support.”

    A tithe? To a blog?

    This guy is a caricature of everything I fled on the religious right. I’m still a conservative, just not “that kind” of conservative.

  3. Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Less Falwell, less Limbaugh, less Donald Wildmon. More William F. Buckley, more Russell Kirk.

  4. Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Just how much in agreement with the Republican Party Platform does one need to be in order to be considered “regenerate” in these guys world? That must make family visitation quite disturbing.

    The GOP on American Exceptionalism:

    http://www.gop.com/2012-republican-platform_Exceptionalism/

    “So brother, where do you come down on unequivocal support of Israel?”

  5. Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    If either the Democrats or the Republicans ever gain full control of our government and actually enforce their full platforms the U.S. will be even weirder than it is already. Gridlock is not such a bad thing.

  6. Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Bill, just channeling your brother.

  7. Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    “Gridlock” is part of the Founders’ design.

    As Calvin said, “Change is always dangerous and often harmful.”

  8. Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    How many Muether brothers are there?

  9. sean
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    One would hope that age and experience would squash most of the nonsense, but then you see people converting to Rome BECAUSE of the audacity of an infallible pope and The Church that Jesus Christ founded ™. So, then you try to convince them that Jesus really meant it when he said we would live by faith(belief in the invisible) in this life and they say you lack for certainty and your faith is no faith after all without certainty, never mind the bit about hope. Which takes us back to the bewildering exchange of incredulity for audacity but now it’s the audacity of erecting a new Israel without divine charter and a reintroduction of the works principle which Christ has satisfied. Can we possibly gets this anymore bassackwards? Give me the wise Turk and a faith that necessarily entertains doubt.

  10. kent
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Erik:

    Less Falwell, less Limbaugh, less Donald Wildmon. More William F. Buckley, more Russell Kirk.

    More Voegelin (who coined immanentizing the escathon) and Albert Jay Nock.

  11. kent
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Your Senate is thankfully the ideal political arena for gridlock and slowly making necessary change over time.

  12. Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Hart’s lecture “Christianity & America” deals with these issues from an historical perspective:

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/resources/name-index/a/Darryl_Hart/category/sermons

  13. Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Kent,

    The guys you recommend would require fundamentalists to be good readers. Much easier to just watch Fox News and listen to talk radio.

  14. Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Hart points out in that lecture that the Westminster Shorter Catechism was leading up to the execution of a king (Charles I).

  15. kent
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Agreed Erik.

    Good thing that when I came to my senses and got back on the Vine that there was a friendly 3FU/2K church to join within driving distance

    But the pull of using one’s brain and living out the application is strong from the Jesuit side…

    Fortunately 2K can match them and provide a living faith as well.

  16. Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Sean asks Can we possibly gets this anymore bassackwards?

    Good one Sean! I just love it when people steal my lines! But in this case I’m afraid you’re the guy who has that unfortunate rectal problem, and here’s why. Jesus commanded us to disciple every nation in the name of Christ, teaching them to observe *all* his commandments.

    All his commandments? Even theonomy? Yikes! What part of “all” are you leaving out, Sean? What commandments do you personally teach the lost, they must obey, hmmmm? I find it rather odd, that you NEVER talk about teaching anyone, anywhere what commandments the church is supposed to teach the nations to observe. You act as if you hate the law!

    Or as if, since Jesus obeyed the law, you don’t have too! But if that’s the case, why did Jesus tell us to teach every nation to obey all his commandments? Was Jesus hung up on a works principle? Didn’t Jesus say, if you love me, you will keep my commandments? What commandments was Jesus talking about?

    Can you flush this out?

  17. Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Kent, careful how you type that 3fu/2k attribute.

  18. kent.
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, if it was even 1% on my mind I wouldn’t have typed it in like that…

  19. sean
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Doug: I find it rather odd, that you NEVER talk about teaching anyone, anywhere what commandments the church is supposed to teach the nations to observe.

    Me: Well, at least your paying attention. Your constant conflating of cultic obedience with national governance has been digested and flushed out so many times, to do it again would seem to infer that prior ‘passings’ were incomplete. I’m pretty sure the colon cleanse has been adequate. But maybe you’re like Dr. Kellogg and find regular irrigation necessary, in that case I refer you back to TLNF, DVD, 1 cor 5, the entire book of galatians, Rom 2,3, and 10 and the apostle Paul for maintenance.

  20. Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Sean, let me help you out; before we can expect the nations to observe all of God’s commandments, they first must confess that Jesus is Lord, amen? First things first! You always put the cart before the horse!

    Until and unless the Magistrate repents and bends his knee to Christ, it’s foolish to expect him to fear God. So you’re wrenching this verse out of context. You are forcing the early church into a paradigm that doesn’t account for long sustained growth! You act like you’d expect a tiny seed to be a giant oak tree in a few years. How lame is that?

    Daniel prophesied in Dan 2:44 that a Rock not made with human hands would crush Rome, during the time of Christ. Yet it took over three hundred years after Christ, before she came crashing down! Was God slow on his trigger finger? It would be folly to expect after a few years after our Lords victory at Calvary, that all the kings of the earth would show deference to God. That’s not how Jesus said his kingdom would grow.

    Therefore, you need to discard the aberrant teacher who taught you 1 Cor. 5 means Rulers or Magistrates are exempt from the commandments found in the Law of God. You need to read other teachers in the Reformed world. The large majority disagree you’re your unusual slant.

  21. Jack
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Not to distract from the primary point, but I never cease to be astounded by attempts to label Calvin as a traditionalist conservative just because he rejected Anabaptist errors and was worried about social upheaval. Students and professors of history should know just how radical was the reformation of Geneva under Calvin in terms of both kingdoms. It’s one thing to worry about the effects of the reforms you’re unleashing, but Burkean longing for the old ways seems far from the mind of Calvin and other iconoclastic reformers.

  22. Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Sean, let’s leave theonomy out of our discussion for the moment. What commandments do you personally feel you should obey? What commandments would you advise other Christian men to obey?

    I’ve never heard you expound on this subject, please flush it out for me.

  23. sean
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Dougiefresh and clean as a whistle, When you can articulate and distinguish the cult from the non-cult, this discussion can be fruitful. You want to argue that Paul is addressing a pilgrim church in 1cor 5, not willing to abide an entire interadvental period as a pilgrim age before Christ’s return. Your view makes Paul’s directions to the church at Corinth specious, and less than adequate for the equipping of the saints in this age, and unsuitable for the church two thousand years removed. I disagree and side with Paul. What’s prescribed for the cult isn’t granted(focus on grant/ed) for those outside. There is a theocracy-a-coming, but it awaits the glorious return of the King.

  24. Posted March 7, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Sean, are you able to write the words church and state? How about dropping the word cult, since in our culture considers a cult a false church. I know what you mean, but why not use a biblical word? What’s wrong with using biblical terms?

  25. Andrew Buckingham
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Unregenerate, DG? I may need to visit that blog…I’ve been looking for people to talk golf with, lately.

  26. sean
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Doug, it’s probably because I hate the law and doubly hate the bible because the law is contained therein. I did grow up RC and ignoring the bible was a big part of the distinction, and that’s because silly protestants read the bible, and look what that got ‘em; theonomy, Jack Chick, pentecostals, baby blue leisure suits and slicked back hair.

    The reason I didn’t use the word church and state is because non-cult status is what’s being regarded in 1 Cor 5 and encompasses more than the state.

  27. kent
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Probably not news, but he’s gone further totally over the bend about you on this topic…

  28. Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Kent, now the Rabbi has gone weepy over 2k. Such a sensitive guy. And “out of his element.” He thinks I accuse Calvin of uniting church and state the way Rome does. Actually, in Geneva the state was above the church. Rome idealized the state church above the church state. But don’t let facts get in the way of a bleep fest.

  29. Darren
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink
  30. Darren
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Oops, botched formatting.

  31. Kent
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    He writes a lot of words for 0 comments in return.

  32. Posted March 9, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Kent, I almost thought you had noted that “he writes a lot of words for 0 thoughts.”

  33. kent
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    DGH, my eleemosynary capacities are limited on working days.

    From that site I get a giggle from the headline, read the overture to the fleshing out of the kvetch, and dismiss via the “Page Dn” button.

    Fortunately wise bloggers have learned to fill in their comments with a yellow hue, prevents me from an op-sys alert that “Page Dn” is going to be designated a sticky key, whatever that could possibly mean…

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