The Court Gives, the Court Taketh Away

From today’s majority opinion on same-sex marriage (thanks to our Michigan correspondent):

Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons. In turn, those who believe allowing samesex marriage is proper or indeed essential, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief, may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate. The Constitution, however, does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage on the same terms as accorded to couples of the opposite sex. (Justice Kennedy)

Two steps forward (Christian norms now govern same-sex marriage), one step backwards (Christians may still object to Christian norms governing same-sex marriages).

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1,544 thoughts on “The Court Gives, the Court Taketh Away

  1. After today, I now see things the same as the left. America is now the enemy. It’s me and mine against the rest of you; the war of all against all, as Hobbes said. Darryl, you were of course right: The Two Kingdoms stuff and all that–although it was those who stayed silent, those who sneered at the Falwells and Palins, who spinelessly handed America over to the forces of moral chaos.

    Religious liberty is now the last battlefield, me against my government. The US government has never before so explicitly set itself against the Bible. If America wasn’t a Christian nation, it lived in deliberate accommodation with it, and only a very few found themselves ever having to choose their nation or their religion.

    Today ended that accommodation. The war is on. You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you. Back to the catacombs.

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  2. TVD – If America wasn’t a Christian nation, it lived in deliberate accommodation with it…

    That is very well put. Seriously.

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  3. Darryl – Two steps forward (Christian norms now govern same-sex marriage), one step backwards (Christians may still object to Christian norms governing same-sex marriages).

    Erik – Isn’t the notion of “Christian norms governing same-sex marriage” nonsensical?

    How can Christian norms govern something that Christian norms do not allow?

    How is this different from you giving the Lord’s Supper (a Christian norm) to your cats?

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  4. And is the forward/backward calculation from the perspective of the gay activist or the Christian?

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  5. I remember thinking this was a done issue over 20 years ago, how did it take this long to get to today?

    I would posit that believers have been able to ride the coattails of non-believers acceptance of “niceness” and propriety for a few generations now on marriage and matters not as important as today’s headlines.

    Ruined by the millions, saved one by one….

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  6. Maybe I take a long view of history, but it seems like every era and society has it’s chosen “sin” it chooses to turn a blind eye towards. For some it’s violence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre), for others it’s racism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_United_States), and for our current place and time it is sex. Frankly of all sins for our society to turn a blind eye towards, I think sex might be the most preferential.

    While the church may lose some leaders to the sin of the day (http://www.christiantoday.com/article/tullian.tchividjian.billy.grahams.grandson.tweets.im.so.so.sorry.after.affair/57194.htm) we don’t have to worry about being killed for our beliefs, have our property seized without due process, or being enslaved due to the melanin content of our skin. Obviously, the church should remain resolutely against ALL sin, but Christians flying into hysteria every time non-Christians do something non-Christian is just silly.

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  7. Erik,

    One of the things that has occurred to me is the fact that God, for the hardness of His people’s hearts, in the OT laws gave ordinance by his norms would govern marriages which were contrary to his norms.

    One thing this decision does is to give official legal protection to vulnerable children and . . . “spouses”.

    So some minor degree of order and justice to the lawlessness.

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  8. d,

    It’s very confusing – was the struggle for gay liberation about rebellion, freedom, and sticking it to the man or about wanting to emulate middle class American values with a person of the same sex?Maybe it depends on which gay person you ask.

    Several years ago we were in Chicago on a multi-generational family vacation and stumbled upon an International Men of Leather convention. Guys wearing butt-less pants, guys leading each other around on leashes with dog collars, etc. What in the world does this have to do with settling down in the suburbs and adopting two kids? I have absolutely no idea how to make sense of all this.

    Did gay people adopt these strange lifestyles because the mainstream was not an option for them, or did they adopt these lifestyles because they were consciously rebelling against the mainstream?

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  9. Call me crazy, but as a fairly high-earning middle aged-man, I’m not exactly sure how many benefits the government recognizing my marriage confers upon me. I suspect it is mostly conferring burdens. If I decide to split and take up with a 22 year old minor-league basketball team dancer, I suspect that marriage is going to cost me once the wife finds an attorney.

    Once again, two men or two women willingly sign up for that because?

    I can blame my biology as a young man. God has a knack for making those young, fertile women seem appealing to us and the Christian ones are usually sticklers for demanding that government-recognized piece of paper.

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  10. Erik – Did gay people adopt these strange lifestyles because the mainstream was not an option for them, or did they adopt these lifestyles because they were consciously rebelling against the mainstream?

    EC – People adopt these “lifestyles” because sexual perversion knows no bounds. Once sex is simply about personal gratification then everything is in bounds and perverse desires multiply. They are seeking satisfaction where none can exist and so the quest becomes consuming – and ever more twisted.

    As an aside, the idea that this should be forced upon the country by judicial fiat is, in and of itself, offensive. I think it should not happen at all, but a supposedly free people should have decided this through the legislative process. And in our system it should have happened at the state level.

    But now that guys “marrying” each other is a constitutional right we will have decades of litigation over people’s conflicting rights. In case your wondering how that turns out, I wouldn’t bet any money on religious freedom carrying the day. I honestly can’t see the state allowing churches to enforce their own beliefs even in hiring and firing ministers within 20 years.

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  11. TVD
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
    After today, I now see things the same as the left. America is now the enemy. It’s me and mine against the rest of you; the war of all against all, as Hobbes said. Darryl, you were of course right: The Two Kingdoms stuff and all that–although it was those who stayed silent, those who sneered at the Falwells and Palins, who spinelessly handed America over to the forces of moral chaos.

    Religious liberty is now the last battlefield, me against my government. The US government has never before so explicitly set itself against the Bible. If America wasn’t a Christian nation, it lived in deliberate accommodation with it, and only a very few found themselves ever having to choose their nation or their religion.

    Today ended that accommodation. The war is on. You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you. Back to the catacombs.>>>>>

    Tom, is it correct to see this decision as a victory for the “freedom from religion” crowd? That is, we are “allowed” by the government to have our own sincerely held religious beliefs, but just keep them out of government and maybe even the marketplace.

    So, why does the good Justice Kennedy think that it is the government who get to give permission to the people about what we can and cannot agree or disagree on?

    What in the world does he mean by this? “..may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate.”

    Golly gee, Justice Kennedy. Thank you so very much for allowing this debate.

    Is it okay to start by telling you that you have no right to even make a statement like that unless you have somehow also redefined our 1st Amendment?

    Tom, am I reading this correctly? …and D.G. Hart is still worried that the papists are going to do something terrible to him. Maybe the Pope is not the antichrist that should be feared in our day.

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  12. erik, isn’t monogamy Christian? That’s what gays have lurched into. I’m sure they will follow heteros in recognizing the weaknesses of fidelity to marital vows.

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  13. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 26, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, and what did you do to help the Falwells and Palins? Hold a Cookies re-united concert?

    I did not do enough, Dr. Hart. By the time I’d studied enough about America’s religious foundations, it was too late. You, however, worked against them.

    http://www.amazon.com/From-Billy-Graham-Sarah-Palin/dp/080286628X

    Congratulations, Butch. You won. Many good men did nothing, but you did so much more.

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  14. Darryl,

    I would have loved to be in the inner circles of the gay rights movement to know exactly what the motivations behind all this have been. Is it truly to build up gay people or to tear down the perceived enemies of gay people — primarily political conservatives and Christians?

    I’m still not convinced that this is nothing more than an effective vehicle of the left to take on the things they hate.

    Once again, the next 20 years will be telling.

    You, Zrim, etc. need to be careful that you’re not serving as the left’s apologists in conservative Christian circles every step along the way. Future OPC histories may not judge you kindly. It’s a rubber meets the road issue for 2K people.

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  15. Mrs W – So, why does the good Justice Kennedy think that it is the government who get to give permission to the people about what we can and cannot agree or disagree on?

    Because they have the guns.

    Erik – I’m still not convinced that this is nothing more than an effective vehicle of the left to take on the things they hate.

    It is. The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.

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  16. Darryl,

    erik, isn’t monogamy Christian? That’s what gays have lurched into.

    I have to comment on this. Gays haven’t “lurched into” monogamy, particularly gay men. Even homosexual advocates of gay marriage admit this. Dan Savage advocates for “monogamish” marriages that allow for a little extra on the side when you get bored.

    If monogamy is really what they wanted, they wouldn’t need marriage to give it to them.

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  17. There is definately a desire it have what is done homosexually recognized as just as moral as heterosexuality. There is a you all must say what we all do is right stream in the mix.

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  18. The simplest explanation is that gays want to be treated equally. Equality would include the option of marriage. I think Occam agrees with me.

    Publius, Kennedy wrote his opinion “because they have the guns?” Uh, no. He believes the constitution changes with time according to our moral awareness and we are now aware of a fundamental right that we did not see before.

    There may indeed be tough times ahead for Christians in the United States but I hope we will gain at least one thing: the de-politicization of our thought life. The percentage of Reformed Christians who use political rhetoric, divide the world between bad liberals and good conservatives, and just follow the party line is quite high. Is there a way of thinking and acting that is not political? I think it is alien to us.

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  19. Let me change the apologist list to D.G., Zrim, and Muddy…

    Maybe we can forget about politics when the Supreme Court starts imposing things like abortion on demand & gay marriage upon the whole country by fiat. Is this what the Founders intended? Are we bringing politics to the left or is the left bringing politics to us?

    You guys will be looking like Kevin “All is Well” Bacon at the end of Animal House before this is done, mark my words.

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  20. Let’s turn it around. Can D.G., Zrim, and Muddy conceive of any Court decision or political event that would be a cause for concern?

    Or is it all just scare-mongering on the part of the right?

    Anything?

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  21. The question, EC, is whether we are capable of having thoughts that are not derived from and intended for politics. Can you misrepresent a liberal because he is a liberal? Can you take a position that is not pre-approved by Fox News? Can you be a human being to another human being?

    For example, I pointed out that things may go badly for Christians. *Right after that* you say ask if I can “conceive of any Court decision or political event that would be a cause for concern?”

    So you blew off what I said for the sake of your agenda. But thank you for being an illustration.

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  22. Erik, how about one without the kind of caveat Kennedy articulates here? But, alas, there it is. 1000 points for American jurisprudence, -2000 for culture warriors. But that won’t stop you and Tom from sounding the alarm, will it?

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  23. Zrim
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 12:18 am | Permalink
    Erik, how about one without the kind of caveat Kennedy articulates here? But, alas, there it is. 1000 points for American jurisprudence, -2000 for culture warriors. But that won’t stop you and Tom from sounding the alarm, will it?

    Are you really going to make this big a joke of it all, Mr. Z? The alarm was sounded decades ago; Darryl and all those who sneered at it won, saying it was a false alarm, or if it was a real alarm, let it all burn.

    The Presbyterian “religion” is already a joke.

    The Jointly Ordained Lesbian Couple Making History For Presbyterians

    Today is yours. The Reformation has made history, all right. Revel in it, wallow in it. You led the way: Victory is yours, Mr. Z. God help us.

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  24. Muddy – When I said, “because they have the guns…” I was referring to this part of Mrs. W’s quote: …who get(s) to give permission to the people about what we can and cannot agree or disagree on?

    The government – in this case SCOTUS – gets to give people permission because they have a monopoly on legal force.

    And as far as depoliticizing our thought life goes, good luck with that. To hold a position and believe it is right is to be political. It is fundamental to the human condition. We ought not wish to depoliticize anything – we are moral creatures with moral obligations. And to take those obligations seriously is fundamentally political.

    Zrim – …how about one without the kind of caveat Kennedy articulates here? That caveat is not binding on anyone. It’s window dressing. There will be litigation for the next several decades that will define how the country resolves the conflicts between the heretofore unknown inalienable right of dudes to “marry” each other and of religious groups to act on their beliefs. It is almost impossible to see any group that believes homosexuality is immoral winning. And the apologists – the wolves in sheeps clothing – will be quick to tell us it doesn’t matter or that Christianity demands acceptance of sodomy. #LoveWins

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  25. Publius – […] sexual perversion knows no bounds… the quest becomes consuming.”

    EC – I’m still not convinced that this is nothing more than an effective vehicle of the left to take on the things they hate.

    Lewis – Frankly of all sins for our society to turn a blind eye towards, I think sex might be the most preferential.

    It is unfortunate that x% of the population is afflicted with same-sex attraction (i.e., a non-voluntary state), but horrific that y% adopt a lifestyle in imitation of it out of lust – which homosexuality caters to most efficiently.

    Lust is sin and sin is slavery.

    What enables them to cast aside morality for sexual slavery (aside from that reliable old companion Original Sin)? Media portrayals. Sensitivity training. Sex ed. The modesty of the young (due to unruly passions) is intentionally broken down by these diverse organizations and practices.

    But why do the media, corporate leadership, and government afflict this on us? (Aren’t they acting in our best interests, or trying to, or…?) Because they see themselves as “thought leaders” or “influencers” and have a set of goals of mind (some individual, some pertaining to a specific group, some to a specific industry).

    Basically, I think they want Christians to not interfere with business-as-usual, whatever that may require (quantitative easing resulting in corporate inversions, foreign wars, declining real value of wages relative to expenses). To achieve this, a sexually permissive culture is necessary.

    What better tool for achieving this is than pornography? Has it not had a significant impact in forming our culture (comedy, cinematic standards, popular music) since the Roth decision in 1957 declared it ‘free speech’?

    If we use pornography, passion will rule our lives, and we are distracted from our real responsibilities (to family, local communities and other associations, state, God). We even think we are achieving some sort of “freedom” as we engage in it – freedom from morality, or from prudery. We serve our passions and celebrate it as an act of will overthrowing authority.

    Those who know how to use pornography as a weapon successfully control the minds of others.

    Once our morality is under control, political control follows. We internalize the commands of our oppressors. We grow to espouse the false principles ourselves- we come to believe nonsense like Larry Flint’s- position of ‘if I’m not free, you’re not free.’

    So to me, the real questions are:
    a) Who determines the acceptable parameters of our cultural products?
    b) How do we change their behaviour or replace them in order to improve the moral fabric of the nation?
    c) (Do we really have a genuine ‘nation’ – we’re pluralists incapable of recognizing even to ourselves the passive-aggressive ethnic warfare we’re engaged in.)
    d) So what’s the solution then?

    Not a favorite of mine, but even John Courtney Murray writes (last page or so of We Hold These Truths) that we are permitted to withdraw allegiance from the U.S. system should it change too drastically for the worse. I doubt he imagined it would ever happen.

    But withdrawing allegiance from a political system or particular government is by no means to lose responsibility to others in what remains of our society.

    In any case, I do not think we are at that point. But this decision (long in the making) is another step in a long series of steps which do not bode well for the future. I suspect we’re not through the worst of it- just a few more decades to go.

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  26. Apologies, I omitted crucial paragraphs between Larry Flint and the list of questions-

    […Larry Flint’s- position of ‘if I’m not free, you’re not free.’

    Other tools have become available as a result of pornography’s great success, most notably homosexual activity and ‘lifestyle’ (pseudo-culture). The activity in ways is alike and in ways differs from pornography, but being grounded in lust has a similarly corrosive effect, blinding our moral intuitions, disordering our emotions, and instilling alternately furtive and flagrant habits of character.

    Acceptance of the existence of the ‘lifestyle’ calls into question the received wisdom of our Western culture, turns us from stating Christian morality with confidence, and ultimately leaves us prey to whatever opinions are forced upon us, or clinging unquestionably to the best of what we’ve located within the context familiar to us.

    This context has been shaped, of course, by the very forces we are coming to understand are the problem. Except that the problem may be still deeper, or simply too much for us to understand. These tools, then, may be good in and of themselves, or they may be fatally flawed. Those we believed we could count on to uphold traditional morality may no longer be worthy of that trust (especially if we have put excessive trust in the state).

    The entire process of passing down traditional morality has been interfered with to such an extent that homosexuality has entered the panoply of pluralist options in America- an identity to be embraced and which others are bound (increasingly with legal backing) to respect without serious question.

    So to me, the real questions are…]

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  27. An almost overlooked and not entirely positive aspect of the SCOTUS decision is that they also delcared nagging, inevitable money squabbles, heartbreaking kids, and decreasing quality/quantity of sex to be constitutional, too.

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  28. I’m working on a theory that several of the regulars here are closet liberals but don’t have the stones to just come out and say it. Zrim is exhibit 1. Note how he talks about abortion and people who work on behalf of the unborn. Pretty much complete disdain. It’s easy to hide behind Confessional subscription, but at some point you would think that a person would take a position on a “social issue” that is actually in accord with what the Bible teaches as opposed to trying to continually appear to be above it all.

    Contrast the statement of Michael’s bishop to Darryl’s. Whose church is more likely to last another 1,000 years and whose is more likely to look like the PCUSA in 50?

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  29. Robert, if that is true, then why get married? I don’t favor gay marriage. But I don’t think this is merely a win for gays. They may have bitten off more than they can chew. That’s the way politics works.

    But Christians shouldn’t act like this is the end of the world, as if they are the Israelites who have gone into exile. We have always been in exile. Don’t act like this is our home.

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  30. Chortles,

    Your point goes back to my theory that this is less about gay people actually wanting to marry than it is sticking it to the man, the right, and the church, especially when it comes to the leftists who are not gay who have climbed on board.

    Kevin,

    Good points on pornography. Ironically, Kennedy’s rationale for gay marriage being rooted in the dignity of gay people might be able to be used against pornography. As violent and gross as it’s becoming, it’s certainly not promoting the dignity of women.

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  31. vd, t see Muddy’s comment. This is how From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin “wins.” But I don’t claim Muddy as a success story. His views may be entirely his own.

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  32. ec, I’m concerned every day — about the world, the flesh and the devil. Now you’re telling me I only needed to worry about the courts?

    Who knew?

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  33. Back to the issues I was raising two weeks ago: Church officers who call themselves 2k need to think through how much ground they can give on this issue without being derelict in their office and unfaithful to their vows. Prepare for some tough decisions.

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  34. vd, t, come on, blame the ones who were really in charge — the popes. If they had reformed the church the Reformers wouldn’t have been necessary.

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  35. ec, I have the stones to say you are clueless. A biblical position on a social issue. What is that? A moral precept is one thing. How to regulate it is another. That’s politics 101. But because someone doesn’t agree with you on the politics you conclude they don’t agree with you about the morality. Say hello to liberalism yourself, the kind that considered Machen immoral and libertine for not supporting Prohibition.

    And how long have you been hanging around here? I get it. More comments, less comprehension.

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  36. Darryl,

    The Courts are relevant in that their decisions impact your work as an OPC officer. Think about the impact on the OPC and OPC church planting & missions if in 20 years no contributions are tax deductible and all OPC churches are paying commercial property taxes, Both Westminsters are paying commercial property taxes, all your ministers are taxed on their housing allowances, etc.

    In addition many of your members have less to give because they’ve been professionally marginalized.

    We’re not many court decisions away from all that happening. Gay marriage is now a federally protected civil right. People who oppose civil rights do not receive favorable governmental treatment for long.

    You’re a smart guy and a historian. I would think that you should be the guy pointing these things out, not me.

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  37. Erik, so it’s all about the money and the perks? I believe Xianity spread under conditions where it was outlawed, beyond marginalized, and officially, violently opposed by an empire.

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  38. vd, t, hey! George Weigel says it’s your fault (and you don’t even go to church):

    The Catholic Church in the United States bears its share of responsibility for this incoherence. It was clear sixty years ago that the old mainline Protestant cultural hegemony was fading, that an alternative cultural foundation for American democracy was necessary, and that a new cadre of citizen-leaders, capable of articulating the moral truths on which the American democratic experiment rests, had to be raised up – and the prime candidate for doing all that was the Catholic Church. It might have happened. But too much of the Church’s clerical and lay leadership lost its nerve after Humanae Vitae; the window of opportunity closed amidst the maelstrom of the Sixties and the decadence of the Seventies; and the forces of incoherence won the day .

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  39. Darryl,

    Prohibition is not a great example because consumption of alcohol is not forbidden in Scripture. It was a bad law from a Christian perspective and liberals missed it (no surprise).

    Contrast abortion and gay marriage. The Bible clearly teaches that we should not murder or marry people of the same sex. Christians should have no problem in a representative republic taking a position against both.

    Not every political issue is prohibition. Move beyond the 1920’s.

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  40. “a new cadre of citizen-leaders, capable of articulating the moral truths on which the American democratic experiment rests, had to be raised up” — hello, what about nearly all-Catholic Fox News?

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  41. Chortles,

    No, it’s about the lives and livelihoods of people we care about. The power to tax is the power to destroy.

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  42. Chortles,

    As to your point about the church growing under persecution all I can say is, “well then you agree with me that persecution is coming.”

    Does Darryl? Does Zrim? Does Muddy?

    Help me wake them up.

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  43. If yer 2K and you know it
    This don’t hurt
    (clap clap)

    I hope the damage done to the church by this decision doesn’t even begin to tally up to .00001% that plain old lust and greed and pride and ingratitude have done to this point in the big picture

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  44. Darryl,

    I agree politics is not morality (there’s an often corrupt network of intermediaries in between), but that doesn’t mean that I have to just accept what appears to be the growing 2k default of mocking, disdain, and cynicism of those who do get involved in politics to try to take a stand as Christians.

    Think Zrim on pro-life.

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  45. ec, who said you have to agree with Zrim?

    And where have you been involved in politics? Oh, please wake us up to how it is done.

    Or take a pill and chill lest you become a Bayly Brother.

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  46. If I was a liberal Democrat and couldn’t admit it publicly I would probably get pretty bitter and passive-aggressive if I was surrounded in the church by conservative Republicans who constantly talked about their politics.

    Just admit being a liberal Democrat, though.

    Come out of the closet.

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  47. Darryl,

    Just voting, following the news, and thinking about the impact of political developments on the church.

    That’s all I’m asking of anyone here.

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  48. Darryl,

    Why get married? Indeed. This has never been about marriage except for maybe a few conservatives in the gay movement. Even conservative Andrew Sullivan who was among the first to make the case for gay marriage gives away the real fight in his response to the ruling. He notes that the best thing about the ruling is the affirmation that homosexuality doesn’t make a person any less normal, any more deviant than others. Of course there is a certain truth in that, but the point has been to erase all societal stigma. Eric is right to be concerned. As soon as the ruling was announced, you had scores of writers on the pro-gay marriage side talking about how this is not enough.

    Accreditation agencies have gone after Gordon College, Eich was drummed out of Mozilla, etc. The same people who hold the power there hold the power in government. If we think they’ll be content to live and let live, we’re hopelessly naive.

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  49. ec, brilliant. If I don’t agree with you, I’m a liberal Democrat.

    Have you ever heard of a conservative Democrat? Think Confederacy.

    You follow the news? Maybe that’s the problem.

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  50. One thing the core group here should think about is how this decision will continue to marginalize 2k. If you have someone going off the reservation you might want to police your own better. Break up the small group so everyone can speak freely to each other and not act like anything is owed. Why do I have to be the one to point out Zrim on pro-life? Because no insider feels like they can disagree with him publicly. That’s lame.

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  51. Darryl,

    If OPC ministers are actually fined (either through the administrative machinery under the attorney general or via courts) for violating ‘gay rights’ in their sermons, books, or blog statements – would this cultural shift be worthy of concern then? How about being charged with facilitating the spread of ‘hate speech’ via the creation of an online platform?

    All you need is someone over at So Po (for example) to decide you are a significant enough threat (e.g., recognize you as a “hate group”). A targeted press strategy would follow to de-humanize you in the eyes of the mass culture- “small group of Christian extremists promoting a fundamentalist understanding of the Bible” – “human rights violators, clearly not in line with mainstream Presbyterian and Christian standards” – “Advocating secession, they even seem to sympathize with the Confederate sympathizers.”

    Would your colleagues in the larger Presbyterian Churches come to your defense? Would they do everything in their power?

    Professing 2k theology will not get the attention off of you, unless you can lodge it in their minds as a form of Americanism/pluralism.

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  52. Kevin, and what if I became a victim? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Victimization wins these days. Being oppressed is what gives you leverage. Since when do Americans overnight turn into rooters for the big guy?

    Being in the minority could be the best thing that happens to Christians. Acting like we’re the majority sure hasn’t worked.
    we

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  53. Lewis:”every time non-Christians do something non-Christian is just silly.”

    White House lit in rainbow colors in celebration and President Barack Obama : “the court ruling has “made our union a little more perfect.” http://news.yahoo.com/white-house-lit-rainbow-colors-supreme-court-ruling-011752467–politics.html

    But today this salvation from sinful sexual acts was not embraced. Instead there was massive institutionalization of sin.The Bible is not silent about such decisions. Alongside its clearest explanation of the sin of homosexual intercourse (Romans 1:24–27) stands the indictment of the approval and institutionalization of it. Though people know intuitively that homosexual acts (along with gossip, slander, insolence, haughtiness, boasting, faithlessness, heartlessness, ruthlessness) are sin, “they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:29–32). “I tell you even with tears, that many glory in their shame” (Philippians 3:18–19).This is what the highest court in our land did today — knowing these deeds are wrong, “yet approving those who practice them.”My sense is that we do not realize what a calamity is happening around us. The new thing — new for America, and new for history — is not homosexuality. That brokenness has been here since we were all broken in the fall of man. (And there is a great distinction between the orientation and the act — just like there is a great difference between my orientation to pride and the act of boasting.)What’s new is not even the celebration and approval of homosexual sin. Homosexual behavior has been exploited, and reveled in, and celebrated in art, for millennia.
    What’s new is normalization and institutionalization. This is the new calamity. John Piper

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  54. Perhaps this was discussed back in April, but:

    “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed” so women can get access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth.”
    —Hillary Clinton to the Women in the World Summit, April 2015

    How long before the change in structural bias requires a change in the structure – the human resources – promoting it?

    You will not be left in peace unless you – and your blog participants – retreat from all public profession of Christian morality.

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  55. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/so-called-same-sex-marriage

    My main reason for writing is not to mount a political counter-assault. I don’t think that is the calling of the church as such. My reason for writing is to help the church feel the sorrow of these days. And the magnitude of the assault on God and his image in man.
    Christians, more clearly than others, can see the tidal wave of pain that is on the way. Sin carries in it its own misery: “Men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:27).
    And on top of sin’s self-destructive power comes, eventually, the final wrath of God: “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5–6).
    Christians know what is coming, not only because we see it in the Bible, but because we have tasted the sorrowful fruit of our own sins. We do not escape the truth that we reap what we sow. Our marriages, our children, our churches, our institutions — they are all troubled because of our sins.
    The difference is: We weep over our sins. We don’t celebrate them. We don’t institutionalize them. We turn to Jesus for forgiveness and help. We cry to Jesus, “who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
    And in our best moments, we weep for the world, and for our own nation. In the days of Ezekiel, God put a mark of hope “on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in Jerusalem” (Ezekiel 9:4).
    This is what I am writing for. Not political action, but love for the name of God and compassion for the city of destruction.
    “My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.” (Psalm 119:136)

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  56. Not sure about your Bible there a. But mine has another dozen or so sins in equality with that type of sin. Keep reading Romans 1 to soak in verses 28-32. Anything in there that you need to repent kf?

    Many times its a huge shopping list in the Epistles.

    While the sin of great current discussion is not in my wheelhouse of temptation or interest, I sure qualify in many of the others listed sins

    Have to clean up my own house first, might then have a good influence on others and who knows how far righteousness can flourish

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  57. at least you haven’t told me to stop quoting the Bible, DG……yet….

    interesting, of all the crazy things posted and linked here, you are silent in rebuke, except for me on this one, interesting

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  58. I see this as an opportunity for the church in that a more honest discussion and admitting of what is truly in our hearts will lead to more people eventually coming to their senses and repenting and joining the “and so were some of you” crowd

    It’s been too whitewashed and pietistic. Jesus came to save sinners, too many in the church think they are above that because they have had lucky breaks in life and the wits not to ruin them.

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  59. …and…‘course, though you haven’t outright told me not to quote the Bible… yet…., you essentially have discouraged it – mocking it as ‘pietist’; saying no one will read the verses anyway, etc. Had never really heard of ‘OPC’ before, but given the witness here…. no thanks

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  60. “But I don’t claim Muddy as a success story.”

    Dang.

    Anyway, I just love the way the politically entrenched denounce whoever does not (with zeal!) say amen to their agenda, and yet they have not done a single thing in real life that exceeds the efforts of those they are berating. That was wordy. Let me try again: commenting and tweeting don’t count. None of you are writing the next Supreme Court opinion and none of you are doing anything to keep the barbarians back from the walls of the city. You’re posers, and I’ll bet $100 OL Bucks that I’ll do more to help real-life Christians deal with being cultural outsiders than the bloviators here.

    With some here I get the sense that describing a political mind is like describing water to a fish, but I’ll try an illustration. Here was a tweet: “There are pictures of almost every Democrat Senator over the age of 50 hugging Klansman Bob Byrd. Make them own it.” Cool, huh? Democrats are wrong so let’s use images that will hurt them without any regard to what they currently believe or what their record represents. This kind of thinking and this kind of tactic is yours when your mind has been politicized. Here’s your agenda, that’s their agenda, you are right, they are wrong, and “they” are not entitled to fair treatment.

    Whatever happened to “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?”

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  61. DG –

    so what did Christ and the apostles do? Should we not follow their example?

    You’re taking for granted I know your assumptions (I should read your books). Please cite the very clear example you see in the NT as to how we are to respond so I can consider it.

    The Apostles built Christian communities to permit the flourishing of the Faith. They worked to convert every man and all nations, i.e., to transform all of society in Christ. If we believe society has a structure to it (i.e., is not formless) then there are distinct roles and corresponding responsibilities for each of us.

    Threats to that mission were identified as enemies and dealt with by real individuals with real roles in society (not one among them born to political influence) – usually through self-sacrificial martyrdom which demonstrated the amazing and real novelty (in a good use of the word for a change) of the Christian religion. St. Paul had, of course, a role of some influence prior to his conversion, and to my mind applied the relevant organizational gifts and talents to effective evangelization of society.

    If they had converted (e.g.) advisers to Emperor Claudius, surely these advisers would be obligated to influence him to revise the Roman ceremonial/civil law requiring paganism (unseat the state religion)- over dinner conversations, in letters, while traveling on the sea for a few days, etc. More generally, I believe anyone with political or social influence at the time (whether “shadow elite” or “media personalities”) would have a moral obligation to guide society (addressing both the pre-political moral foundations and the political system) from promoting evil to tolerating both evil and good.

    But I don’t believe either Christ or the Apostles want us (present tense is more accurate and relevant than past) to stop at egalitarian toleration of evil and good both. The basis of the structure of society is a recognition of the proper role of every created thing in God’s plan, and the creation (or more usually, the adaptation) and efficient management of institutions with missions addressing specific areas of activity – including the State. Each has a proper domain which defines it, and operates in the world but oriented to Christ. In a phrase, Jesus Christ is King and Lord of the Universe. We are his vassals.

    This seems evidently the Christian position to me.

    Philosophizing aside, the Apostles embraced their martyrdoms for Christ and brought others to the Faith. We can do so similarly by not backing down – at all – from stating both the Christian position on specific moral issues and using various techniques to bring non-Christians to us – reason, history, story telling, doing our jobs well, displaying virtue in oppression (patriotism, wit, courage, foresight for the well-being of society).

    We should beware ‘borrowed armor’ – over-emphasizing secondary principles like ‘free speech’, ‘freedom of conscience,’ and ‘separation of Church and State.’ Charity and God’s justice (the rights of God) call us to it.

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  62. Pecca fortiter. Christy and Dean Parave, a Florida bodybuilding couple, evangelize by swapping partners with other couples.

    ‘If I can go to the next swinger’s event and get 10 people to believe in Christ… my job is done.'”

    (via Culture Wars June 2015).

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  63. Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants. William Penn

    The penalty good men pay for indifference to political affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato

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  64. (All about me)When I got up this morning, I found that my local paper had devoted the entire front page, two inside pages and a big part of another page to coverage of the SCOTUS decision. There was only a small amount of coverage given to the terrorist murders in France, Tunisia and Kuwait. I had to go online to find any coverage at all of Greece giving the finger to its creditors by calling a referendum. I stopped even trying to predict the future long ago, but I have a feeling that 10 years out the SCOTUS decision will be a nothing burger compared with how we have dealt with what may be the collapse of globalization.

    As for 2K, I have never understood it to preclude activism in the public square by individual church members, officers or not. I have voted for one Democrat, Jimmy Carter in 1976, and bought one Chrysler product, a 1979 Dodge Omni, in my life. I will never repeat either mistake, but I am very happy in going to church with Democrats, even though I have been active in political campaigns on the GOP side for decades. Sing hymns with them on Sunday, vote against them on Tuesday. When I took the intro course in political science in 1968, the textbook was Pluralist Democracy in the United States by Robert Dahl. His view was already under attack from the New Left, and critiques of what Theodore Lowi termed interest group liberalism were not without merit, but still pluralism as a concept that would enable us to live together without ripping each others throats out has merit. It certainly has its opponents on the left and on the right (it seems that about every third column Dreher runs has a quote by someone labeling pluralism as a positive evil), but since every one of these critics seems to me to want to repristinate the past in order to further their utopian agenda for the future, they can be safely ignored. I suspect, though, that events happening in the rest of the world as we speak may subsume this interesting conversation.

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  65. CW, we just got the f-bomb (“flourishing” bomb) from Newark. The King’s College has a Center for Human Flourishing. Seems like there’d be a lot of pressure being the Director of the Center for Human Flourishing. What if you wake up and you don’t feel all flourishy that day? I wonder if Mondays flourish there.
    ________

    We’d be better off in a monarchy, where we’d let the king do his thing and pay more attention to our families, churches, and neighborhoods. We might become 3-D people rather than agendas living in a land of agendas.

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  66. “If America wasn’t a Christian nation, it lived in deliberate accommodation with it…”
    That’s a great turn of phrase…kudos.

    “although it was those who stayed silent, those who sneered at the Falwells and Palins, who spinelessly handed America over to the forces of moral chaos.”
    I don’t think that’s quite right. If you look at where support for ssm came from, it was RC adherents who led the way. Why did they fold so quickly? After all, it is hard to see RCs to the “left” of mainline prots on sex issues, even in the 1980’s! I think the sex abuse scandal completely undermined the credibility of the RCC on sexual ethics. Your typical low information C&E catholic hears “Natural law…blah, blah, blah” all the while thinking “Dude, you shipped a pedophile to South America to run an orphanage so that he couldn’t testify against the diocese, and you want to tell me how my nephew is a threat to America’s moral order for wanting to commit to his boyfriend? Whatever…” Given the cultural zeitgeist, no way getting the 2-ker’s to all cheerlead Falwell is turning this thing around. Gay rights is the natural, logical extension of the sexual revolution that 95% of our country has totally bought into – barring marriage to some couples and not others strikes them as mere bigotry, and if you are going to allow divorcee’s the benefit of marriage it is hard to see what the principled difference is. One may be able to make one, but it is complicated and the ones making it are associated with bishops who have done things like threaten couples with excommunication for pressing charges against their child’s rapist.

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  67. “As for 2K, I have never understood it to preclude activism in the public square by individual church members, officers or not. I have voted for one Democrat, Jimmy Carter in 1976, and bought one Chrysler product, a 1979 Dodge Omni, in my life. I will never repeat either mistake, but I am very happy in going to church with Democrats, even though I have been active in political campaigns on the GOP side for decades. Sing hymns with them on Sunday, vote against them on Tuesday. ”

    This is my understanding as well.

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  68. “If monogamy is really what they wanted, they wouldn’t need marriage to give it to them.”
    My reading of folks like Althouse, Andrew Sullivan, etc… is that the case for gay marriage evolved out of the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s. Gay folks came out of the closet and found quite a bit of resistance from their families in many cases. The stories of guys being denied visitation rights by family members of their partners, not being able to inherit, etc… are pretty rough going even if you think relationships were sinful. Then there is the practical side (mostly coming from lesbians I think) of couples wanting to adopt, get the tax break, and inherit without major taxes (this is what Windsor was all about). Finally, I think they want to see stigma removed from their relationships and this is a big step in that direction.

    Another way to think about is we allow straight people to marry and divorce for more or less any reason. Then they can re-“marry” and have all the benefits of marriage. Why is it OK to recognize John McCain’s re-“marriage” and know that he doesn’t have to hide his relationship, he gets all the benefits, and his relationship will be accepted where ever he goes. But if this sham so-called “marriage” were between him and a guy none of this would be true. Why? I don’t think anyone has given a compelling reason to treat these different other than appealing to the “ick” factor. For younger folks raised on Howard Stern, that isn’t so compelling, so it just looks like bigotry. There is a small minority that thinks the sham marriages like that of McCain’s shouldn’t recognized as such, but this is a minuscule minority. There is no way you are going to convince the broader culture that serial monogamy should be stigmatized.

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  69. SDB – ‘RCs to blame for ssm’
    May your words spread far and wide. Hear, hear. Two essential edits, though- not “RC adherants” but “Catholics-in-name-only (CiNOs)”, and not “it is complicated” but “it seems complicated to the CiNO mind.”

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  70. SDB- ‘no way to convince the broader culture’

    I can think of one, but it is going to take a little time (a century at best) and a lot of work. Work God demands of us fortunately.

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  71. Kevin, “The Apostles built Christian communities to permit the flourishing of the Faith. They worked to convert every man and all nations, i.e., to transform all of society in Christ.”

    ” the Apostles embraced their martyrdoms for Christ and brought others to the Faith.”

    Which is it? They couldn’t have been martyrs AND transformed societies so they could flourish prosper.

    Not until the emperors converted did Christianity flourish succeed. And how did that work out for us? Crusades, inquisition, execution of Servetus.

    You can’t run the world and not expect some push back from people who don’t agree with the way you run the world.

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  72. Wow, I woke up to FB pronouncements of the end of the world and threats of defriending everyone and then come to OL and ec has gone gadfly on all the ‘insiders’. Does anybody actually know how this all turns out? I can barely get out of my own way at work but somehow I’m supposed to anticipate the effects of a SCOTUS decision on the church, state and nation? How the heck does anybody know? And if that’s the situation(that I don’t know for sure what’s gonna happen) what ever happened to the maturity to not overreact? I honestly can’t think of a scenario, so far, in life where I wasn’t well served by stepping back and just observing the fallout and then adjusting accordingly. What if the norming of homosexual lifestyle has the effect of minimizing their numbers even while strengthening their rhetorical political clout(which we can have a lot of say in if we handle it properly), isn’t that a win, even in a cultural influence kind of way? If alternative is no longer edgy, cool and fashionable but mundane and saddled with social norms and responsibilities that may just be the splash of cold water needed to curb it’s pop culture appeal. And if this further defines the distinction between church and state and demands of us all to more accurately define the powers and roles intrinsic to both(sphere sovereignty) isn’t that a boon as well? I appreciate a CPA’s viewpoint, a historian’s viewpoint, a lawyer’s viewpoint and everyone in between, if I take them together I get a bigger picture of how it’s shaping up. I’m not sure why this should be a polarizing event. I understand that’s what people(left and right) want it to be, but I’m not convinced it should be. And even if you’re on the ‘right’ and are appalled, sometimes ignoring someone’s provocative jabs and actions has the effect of undermining their power, zeal and most importantly, activity.

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  73. Guess I’ll just be a quote dropper today.

    “All the evils of the world are due to lukewarm Catholics.” Pope St. Pius X ( 1835-1914)

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  74. @Erik

    I don’t think the biggest problem you are going to have is pastors being fined or churches being closed down by the state for being “bigoted”. Even the Creator church and Westboro Baptist maintained their tax exempt status. The bigger threat is coming from within.

    We just saw that Gushee (a regular contributor to CT) has endorsed gay marriage. Tony Campolo and the other members of the evangelical left have as well. More significantly David Neff (the previous senior editor of CT) has. There is going to be huge social pressure to “evolve” on this issue. If you look at CT one of the things they note is that evangelical churches do not have a denominational history to turn to to help guide them through the challenges they face,

    This certainly means thinking afresh about what we will and will not do when, for example, a gay married couple, seeking to draw closer to God, shows up in church and wants to get involved. It nearly goes without saying that we will welcome them unconditionally as we would anyone who walks in the door. But what does love look like in this particular instance? How much participation do we encourage before we ask them to adopt the Christian sexual ethic? Much of this depends on a church’s tradition and its beliefs about baptism, church membership, eldership, and so forth. But many evangelical churches do not have a denominatonal tradition to lean on and will need to think through these matters with fresh urgency.

    One issue that demands special attention is divorce and remarriage. The Bible has a fair amount to say about marriage (as much or more than it does on homosexuality), and yet the evangelical church has become lax about honoring the marriage vow.

    Evangelical churches have “evolved” on divorce and remarriage despite clear biblical teaching on this topic. I suspect that we will see the same thing happen on gay marriage. Now here’s the $64,000 dollar question – wither the churches that don’t “evolve”? I suspect that we will be seen like the KJV-only places. Quaint at best, hotbeds of racism and homophobia at worst. The evangelical para-church organizations will go soft on ssm I’m sure in order to retain their tax exempt status. Where does that leave us? Creating the subculture necessary to support the retention of our kids is going to be tough and I think this is where the benedict option comes into play. I’m not sure what that looks like exactly, but I do think we will need to be intentional about creating supportive structures that encourage us in the faith while the broader culture is working against us.

    The quest for intellectual and cultural legitimacy and the investment in politics (and attendant compromises) have undermined conservative protestantism. Largely this happened as we neglected the working and underclass. In my mid-sized PCA church (we run about 700 on Sunday), I know of exactly one adult man in our church who is not college educated. Our session is comprised of professors, lawyers, doctors, and engineers – certainly no working class professions. If you look at the demographics, adherence has collapsed among the working class. So much of our energy as conservative protestants has gone into higher-ed (Christian colleges, campus ministry, etc…) and being intellectually respectable (hello Francis Schaeffer) that we have forgotten that the gospel is for the guy pushing a broom or driving a school bus. Our churches have spent the last forty years gutting ourselves while we pat ourselves on the back for fighting a culture war that we were never going to win (the weapons of our warfare are not carnal after all). If we spent more time building our church by faithfully preaching the gospel, catechizing our people, and evangelizing our communities and less time on voter guides, etc… the church would be in a much better place today.

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  75. “And even if you’re on the ‘right’ and are appalled, sometimes ignoring someone’s provocative jabs and actions has the effect of undermining their power, zeal and most importantly, activity.”
    That’s a really good point.

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  76. Hart,
    The Jewish authorities also called for the greatest act of cursing and blessing of us all, the Cross. They did the infallible work of the Father. The Church does the same. It only calls you to be like unto Christ and be ready for your own cross. Sometimes it happens too. Sometimes the state does it. Sometimes officials of the Church. St. Joan of Arc among others. Sometimes those called the heretic by Church or State are actually the Saint.

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  77. Some thoughts rumbling about in my head:
    The cultural environment is becoming more anti for the Christian church in America. Not a pleasant thing for Christians and possibly even more, pastors. But I wondering if this development, this increase in antithesis between Christ’s kingdom and the kingdom of this world, may be something that ends up helping to clarify the gospel call to believe in Christ. Just as when the antithesis of Law and Gospel is diminished things get dangerously fuzzy concerning the role of faith and works, maybe the lack of antithesis between church and state in America muddies the churches identification with the kingdom that is not of this world. As a result, too many in the world end up just seeing the church as a “clean club” and hearing her message as just one of many voices vying to establish its own particular beatific vision of how life should be lived in America. And the offense of the cross in the gospel, though not intended, takes a back seat. Just wondering…

    The Constitution, fairly read, should protect the free exercise of religious belief. But maybe the time is here when the world in the person of the State isn’t inclined to read the 1st Amendment fairly. The words of Jesus are helpful to me:
    “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

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  78. Amen, Jack. The visibility of a congregation becomes more visible when that congregation is not identified by the family or the nation or the race in which we were born, but by the effectual calling of the elect to justification through hearing and believing the gospel. Instead of being satisfied that our kind of (the right) people are in charge of everything (including history), we can more eagerly hope for the coming of the Heavenly King to His kingdom on earth.

    We didn’t decide to be born black or white, or male or female. And we didn’t decide to be born rebels (against God, not against abolitionism). When God causes a person to be born from above, God does not change our skin color or gender. But when God causes a person to be born from above, there is visible evidence of that effectual calling. They do not continue to love the false gospel in continued rebellion against God’s revelation of His justice and sovereignty. White people cannot decide to be black, but born from above people decide to submit to the righteousness revealed in the gospel. God does not save rebels without changing their wills so that old rebels decide to obey the gospel and trust in Christ’s death as that which satisfies the law for all the elect.

    http://wscal.edu/resource-center/resource/the-myth-of-influence

    Theodore D. Bozeman, “Inductive and Deductive Polities”, Journal of American History, December 1977, p722–Materially comfortable and conspicuously toward the leading groups in society, the old school carried forward traditional Calvinist support for business and professional vocations….Having supported from the beginning a version of Protestantism supportive of property consciousness, the Old School leadership had incentive enough for worry about social instability…
    Old School contributions to social analysis may be viewed as a sustained attempt to defend the inherited social structure…The General Assembly found it necessary to lament the practice of those who ‘question and unsettle practice which have received the enlightened sanction of centuries’…
    Social naturalists assumed that the laws of society were not merely true, that is, given in the scheme of nature. They bore too the humbling force of prescription; they demanded compliance. The desire was to draw the ought out of the is…to make facts serve a normative purpose.”

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  79. Chortles,

    You just fear speaking your mind with your buddies. You usually clam up when the heat gets turned up unless it involves picking on girls and girly men behind a fake name.

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  80. Muddy,

    Just come out as a liberal democrat. It will be cleansing.

    You can wear your bike shorts in public with pride.

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  81. Note the irony of being berated as a right-winger by OPC elders. Last I heard Theonomists were still in good standing in the OPC. Where’s Sowers when I need him?!

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  82. Kevin raises a great point. Why is Fox News assumed to be what motivates us as opposed to love of neighbor?

    I don’t watch Fox News and all of my subscriptions with the exception of the WSJ editorial page are center to far left so the Fox News accusations don’t hold water with me

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  83. Sean,

    If Darryl had written what you wrote I would have no beef.

    His continued stance seems to be “Nothing to see here, move along.”

    That’s what I’m pushing back against.

    Sdb,

    The problem with equating divorce & remarriage and SSM is that one violates natural law and one does not. Moses made provision for one and not the other.

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  84. @Erik
    I don’t buy natural law arguments – there is no natural law or laws of nature – these are patterns we impute to nature. The fact that we have basic knowledge of right and wrong (albeit one corrupted by sin) is true, but I don’t think you can do much with that for the purposes of forming public policy.

    That being said, I agree with you that SSM and adultery aren’t exactly analogous and the fact that social support for divorce and ssm came about by different paths make the consequences for society very different.

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  85. “b, sd, the OPC hasn’t evolved and we are holding steady at 30k. Woot!”
    But isn’t that a problem? If the kids in our denominations (I’m PCA) stuck around, we should be doubling or more every 20yrs even without conversions. But most of the growth in the OPC and PCA is shifting from other denoms right? That means our covenant children aren’t sticking around. It is going to get a lot harder when the broader culture tells them that opposing ssm is equivalent to opposing interracial marriage. Who wants to be known as a bigot?

    One thing the early Christians did was form a robust counter (sub?) culture for her members. I don’t see us doing a very good job of that.

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  86. Darryl,

    Robert, are you content to live and let live? If not, then why should they be?

    Well I’m not interested in criminalizing homosexuality, if that’s what you mean. Nor am I interested in getting companies to fire homosexuals who are competent in their jobs simply for being homosexual.

    On the other hand, other Western countries who are further along this road than we are have criminalized preaching as hate speech in many cases and have made it all but impossible to enter certain professions. If we think that can’t happen here, we’re foolish.

    I’m actually less concerned about government persecution than I am about making it so that confessional Christians need not apply to be psychologists, lawyers, etc. I’m also concerned about a coworker asking somebody in a secular work place what he thinks about homosexuality and then the answer leading to harassment and firing. I’m see very little of these concerns even being entertained here. And isn’t 2K supposed to advocate running society by natural law. Is gay marriage natural law?

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  87. I love how eloquently our president can call us with traditional values undeveloped Neanderthals.

    “Shifts in hearts and minds is possible,” he added. “And those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them. Because for all our differences, we are one people — stronger together than we could ever be alone.” Pres. Obama’s speach on the Sepreme Court ruling.

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  88. Erik, I don’t understand. Maybe because a lot of things have been said, but you seemed to have jumped from criticizing what you see as a general 2k indifference to calling out Zrim and I think Muddy as liberals(maybe Darryl too). So, you’ve gone general criticism to specific criticism tied to abortion politics and then running a fairly direct line from a pretty nuanced abortion stand(Zrim) to a broad stroke labeling as ‘liberal’. And for a while now you’ve seemed to want to ‘out’ a lot of folks as one thing or another in the name of honesty and full disclosure, I guess. I know you some, and these other guys some and we all seem, apart from what others may easily categorize as white privileged, middle-upper class, middle aged american white guys, to avoid that sort of easy-breezy classification. I don’t think anybody has told you, you can’t be more politically, rhetorically vocal than the rest of ‘us’ and NOT be 2k, so, I don’t understand why the need for, nor am I convinced of the accuracy of, labeling others in order to define yourself. It’s entirely possible that I’ve missed something here but that’s my drive by version of what it looks like. I’m fine with you disagreeing but I can’t quite tie your disagreement with the level of your ‘gadflyness’.

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  89. Erik Charter
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
    Sean,

    If Darryl had written what you wrote I would have no beef.

    His continued stance seems to be “Nothing to see here, move along.”

    What did you expect? To admit being a useful idiot for the left all these years? 😉

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  90. ……… can’t be more politically, rhetorically vocal than the rest of ‘us’ and NOT be 2k,”

    I’m struggling, I think I did the double negative, poor explaining thing here. What I mean is you can be 2k and be different in political activism overall or simply distinct from other 2kers in which issues animate you without diminishing others, potentially sophisticated, stances that differ either in substance or merely in degree from yours.

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  91. Sdb,

    I’m working on a theory that some of these guys are politically liberal and use 2k as cover.

    It’s not personal. If I was getting personal I could use real names, but I don’t. They’re big boys and can withstand some scrutiny.

    Parr of my motivation is that many of the guys who oppose 2k are buffoons and are bad at it. It doesn’t kill these guys to have to mount a defense against someone who knows where the soft spots are. Everyone could end up sharper.

    And what does Zrim’s disdain for the pro-life movement have to do with nuance?

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  92. Sorry – Sean, not sdb.

    Would never accuse Sean of being a liberal. He lives in Texas, owns big dogs, and shoots guns.

    Be nice to Sean…

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  93. Sdb,

    If you want to confirm that adultery and ssm are not analogous, try both and report back to me

    On 2nd thought, don’t.

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  94. Hmmm. Purposeful, intentional, conspiratorial use of 2k to give cover to being liberal. That would seem a bit of a reach to me, heading toward Bobby’s Freudian social construct theory. But, so what if they were? Why stoke the fire for ‘internet polemical’ purposes or any other purposes? Boredom? I feel like I’m missing part of the plot here. But, I don’t have to understand.

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  95. Erik,
    I hate to say it but something like 42% if voting Texans wanted Obama in office. Sad sad thing to say.

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  96. sean
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
    Hmmm. Purposeful, intentional, conspiratorial use of 2k to give cover to being liberal.

    It certainly could be cover for not having the guts to speak out on difficult issues and risk the wrath of the left.

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  97. Minus one activist Kagen we would not be on this topic today it at least we would be looking at it from a different side.

    Like

  98. reporting but not agreeing with BB at Reformation 21—-But, however terrible this error is, it’s preferable to another championed by many of my more libertarian students and friends: that “the state should get out of the marriage business.” I suspect this view will seduce even more Reformed folks going forward, but it turns on an even more fundamental misunderstanding of marriage. Marriage is not just a religious rite or custom, but a really existing estate established by God among all people and thus something every state needs to recognize and respect, provide for and protect.

    The error settled into federal law today is grave and the practice it warrants confused and defiant. That the state still recognizes the reality of marriage and legally provides for true marriages (as well as false ones) may be little comfort, but it is a very big deal. As we lament this decision for our nation and grapple with its effects over the weeks and years to come, the libertarian line will no doubt look very attractive at times. But to adopt it would be like trying to put out a chimney fire by burning down the house. If the chimney fire isn’t put out, the house may burn down anyway. But it’s better to have a house with a cracked chimney than no house at all.
    – See more at: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/06/marriage-and-the-church-in-ame.php#sthash.32dUImqD.dpuf

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  99. Michael,

    Who knew Austin was so big?

    There’s also a reason Dallas is the sprints capital of the U.S. and it’s not because it’s full of people of Norwegian descent.

    Like

  100. Mark,

    No government recognition of marriage leaves vulnerable women & children at the mercy of male cads, and there is some of that guy in all of us.

    Like

  101. Tom, risk the wrath of the left? None of it is really hitting home IMO. We get marginalized by the left and the right, best that I can tell. And the right gives it to us up close and personal in our own churches. Why can’t it just be complex?

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  102. Chortles – I believe we’re witnessing the slow-motion formation of an outliers affinity presbytery

    Erik – I can just see all the kenneled cats at GA.

    You guys are like The Shakers, though. You’ll be history in a generation.

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  103. Muddy- we just got the f-bomb… from Newark.

    You wouldn’t be the first. Clever pun, though, a lovely rhetorical… flourish.

    We’d be better off in a monarchy, where we’d let the king do his thing and pay more attention to our families, churches, and neighborhoods. We might become 3-D people rather than agendas living in a land of agendas.

    Are you familiar with Charles Coulombe ‘s thoughts on monarchy (e.g., on Youtube)?

    Like

  104. sean
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
    Tom, risk the wrath of the left? None of it is really hitting home IMO. We get marginalized by the left and the right, best that I can tell. And the right gives it to us up close and personal in our own churches. Why can’t it just be complex?

    The left loves you. I “personally” object but I’m not going to say or do anything about it.

    How brave. He has strong beliefs but he keeps them to himself. Now THERE’S the sort of Christian we can do business with!

    Complex. Uh huh. See, you got me all wrong–if you think the Gospel means you have to fight for the welfare state, I’m all for that. Just have some balls. When Jesus said some men make eunuchs of themselves for the kingdom of heaven’s sake, I don’t think this is what he had in mind.

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  105. DGH, I’m just a redneck who has always liked to read and was fortunate to go to college at a time when it was possible to get a very good education at a State University located in fly over country.

    Speaking of reading, there is a book I would love to read. It wouldn’t need to be more than a work of synthesis, though the author would, ideally, be able to draw a few reasonably fresh insights as he tells the story. The book would trace how American Evangelical Christianity went from a position of dominance in the 19th century, to a fracture between its modernist and fundamentalist impulses, retreat into a ghetto of their own making by the self described fundamentalists, and the building of strong, though by worldly standards second rate, institutions of learning, media engagement, etc. From that base, after another world war, a movement would emerge that would appropriate the Evangelical label to itself, and achieve a degree of cultural and political influence that no one would have dreamed of, say, in the 1930’s. In fact, a diligent author could probably dig up a 1930’s quote by the likes of Reinhold Neihbur to the effect that traditional Evangelical Protestantism was soon to be a museum piece, best observed in an out of the way rural location before it disappeared completely. I could even suggest the beginnings of a title, some sort of play on that Old Time Religion. The author could leave open whether this re-emergence was a good thing.

    Oh, wait….

    But enough about you.

    Like

  106. Did a prolife march… once. The rally before the walk was almost a worship service. Was not comfortable with Catholics and Prots praying together as a catholic priest led the prayer. Women who were clearly mentally unstable giving speeches on how they could not forgive themselves for aborting a child, telling the audience that she made her own personal flag to carry with her during the march. Charismatics speaking in tongues during the march holding up signs with unspeakable images. There is just no way to civilly protest this without blaspheming God in the process. Haven’t been to one since. 2K could certainly help with this movement.

    As far as being afraid of calling out Zrim… afraid of what? As far as I can tell, he thinks that 2K opponents use the abortion argument as cudgel; is against abortion but isn’t thrilled with the political solutions to the problem.

    Glad to see old Eric back making the rounds and lashing out blindly at whatever and whomever.

    Like

  107. What in the world does rhetorical red meat have to do with courage? What courage does it take to be outraged in accord with MSNBC or Fox news? And how is the association of politics with religious life not an outright capitulation to the left that they’re right. Talk about rolling over and taking it. You lost before you opened your mouth on that score.

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  108. SDB said:

    “In my mid-sized PCA church (we run about 700 on Sunday), I know of exactly one adult man in our church who is not college educated. Our session is comprised of professors, lawyers, doctors, and engineers – certainly no working class professions. If you look at the demographics, adherence has collapsed among the working class. So much of our energy as conservative protestants has gone into higher-ed (Christian colleges, campus ministry, etc…) and being intellectually respectable (hello Francis Schaeffer) that we have forgotten that the gospel is for the guy pushing a broom or driving a school bus. Our churches have spent the last forty years gutting ourselves while we pat ourselves on the back for fighting a culture war that we were never going to win (the weapons of our warfare are not carnal after all). If we spent more time building our church by faithfully preaching the gospel, catechizing our people, and evangelizing our communities and less time on voter guides, etc… the church would be in a much better place today.”

    And knocked it, if not out of the park, at least off the center field wall

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  109. Amish,

    You were always right there to run for cover with Chortles whenever things heated up. “Let me out of this group! Let me out of this group!”

    By all means leave pro-life to the marginal, though. Hate to have you get anything on you that might hinder your Sunday routines.

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  110. Amish – As far as being afraid of calling out Zrim… afraid of what? As far as I can tell, he thinks that 2K opponents use the abortion argument as cudgel; is against abortion but isn’t thrilled with the political solutions to the problem.

    Erik – And exactly what are the political solutions to the problem that (1) he isn’t thrilled about, and (2) he suggests?

    Does he favor any solutions that actually leave the baby alive?

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  111. Dan,

    Those folks are still in evangelical churches, but they are largely Baptist and Pentecostal churches.

    Presbyterians have been from the higher classes of society from the earliest days in the U.S. Think about the demands for learned clergy slowing growth compared to the Baptists and Methodists.

    This is nothing new.

    Like

  112. And when Presbyterians did circumvent learned clergy through developments like The Log College, it led to the very things that guys here rightly decry regularly. You really can’t have a thoughtful, theologically rigorous church AND a church for the masses. Choose one.

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  113. Erik Charter
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink
    Dan,

    Those folks are still in evangelical churches, but they are largely Baptist and Pentecostal churches.

    Presbyterians have been from the higher classes of society from the earliest days in the U.S. Think about the demands for learned clergy slowing growth compared to the Baptists and Methodists.

    This is nothing new.

    Heh heh. From my upcoming book Calvinism: The REAL History:

    The enemies of Jonathan Edwards called themselves the “Old Lights.” They hated the First Great Awakening, they hated revivalism and “enthusiasm,” as they called it. They were theologians of the dry toast. My favorite quote is this

    “…babes in age as well as understanding. They are chiefly, indeed, young persons, sometimes lads, or rather boys; nay, women and girls, yea, Negroes, have taken upon them to do the business of preachers.”

    Yea, Negroes!

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  114. “I’m actually less concerned about government persecution than I am about making it so that confessional Christians need not apply to be psychologists, lawyers, etc. I’m also concerned about a coworker asking somebody in a secular work place what he thinks about homosexuality and then the answer leading to harassment and firing. I’m see very little of these concerns even being entertained here. And isn’t 2K supposed to advocate running society by natural law? Is gay marriage natural law?”

    Exactly. These are going to be real issues more and more. But they are secondary issues in the eyes of the supreme court. The first question( your last sentence) wasn’t even asked by the members of the supreme court. They(not all) seem believe that if something exists in nature, it therefore is a law of nature. That’s not what’s meant by natural law. But hey, if we can change the definitions of things in nature then maybe we can change its nature. But shouldn’t we ,as natural creatures, have a unified vision( evolutionary speaking) of how this is a good towards which we should be progressing, so that we can vote for that same vision? Otherwise how do we know whether we are bigots or ideologues’?
    Since we can’t get people to recognize what the bible and the church teaches, do we also give up on natural law to help right us from sinking( and I’m speaking of any polis).
    I believe that we are going to have to be gotten rid of so that natural selection can do her job. Will to power anyone? wow, very bad news.

    And my people, upon whom my name is called, being converted, shall make supplication to me, and seek out my face, and do penance for their most wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sine and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

    http://principiumunitatis.blogspot.com/search/label/Fideism

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  115. Eric, There isn’t political solutions. Just winning hearts and minds. You are not going to do that driving around in a van sporting graphic pictures of slaughtered children and idolatrist pictures of a bloody Jesus. And this from someone whom is more prolife than thou.

    You been talking all day about people being afraid to speak out about Zrim’s views that turn out to be not all that objectional. Hyperbole much?

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  116. By the way you were talking, you would have thought Zrim ran a clinic in his backyard. Oh, he’s against abortion but thinks prolifers are doing a terrible job making their case? Yawn.

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  117. Erik, growing up I knew lots of Presby’s who were like my parents, who had one year of college between them. The Baptist Church I grew up in had seminary educated Pastors. The one I joined in college had a pastor with a PhD in New Testament from the University of Edinburgh. What you say may be consistent what the history books say, but at least in my experience it simply is less than the full story.

    I certainly can relate to the issue that SDB raises, whether or not his reasons for why the problem exists or what to do about it persuade you or not. My own church has become more white bread than many of us are comfortable with.

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  118. Amish – By the way you were talking, you would have thought Zrim ran a clinic in his backyard. Oh, he’s against abortion but thinks prolifers are doing a terrible job making their case? Yawn.

    Erik – Good to see that you started out at a nice guy but you’ve learned from these guys how to be a pompous ass.

    Well done.

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  119. Amish,

    The only way to do anything about abortion is by “changing hearts and minds”?

    Was that the logic that The Supreme Court applied yesterday?

    “Well, since all of America has changed their hearts and minds about gay marriage, we had might as well make it legal.”

    We on the right are the only ones dumb enough to think that’s how the law works. That’s why we’re losing badly.

    Babies lives only deserve protection if everyone agrees to it?

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  120. sean
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink
    What in the world does rhetorical red meat have to do with courage? What courage does it take to be outraged in accord with MSNBC or Fox news? And how is the association of politics with religious life not an outright capitulation to the left that they’re right. Talk about rolling over and taking it. You lost before you opened your mouth on that score.

    You lost when you didn’t open your mouth. That’s the point, tough guy.

    Like

  121. Dan,

    The history books Darryl has written. Ha, ha.

    Presbyterianism in the South may be an exception.

    Like

  122. “The book would trace how American Evangelical Christianity went from a position of dominance in the 19th century, to a fracture between its modernist and fundamentalist impulses, retreat into a ghetto of their own making by the self described fundamentalists.”

    So are you talking about “Less Than Conquerers”, by Doug Franks? It’s a good book, with lots of Ellul, and the contrast with DGH will remind you that DGH still believes in the wrath of God, and in Christ’s satisfaction of that wrath for the elect.

    The fundamentalists for which there is so much nostalgia? Not so much. Sure, they agreed that Jesus died, but they had no hope only in that death alone.

    Urisinus–“Even the omission of doing good works is sin”

    When all the sins of a sinner are propitiated by God for God, the omission of doing good is also satisfied for…

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  123. Amish,

    And the ghoulish examples you cite are the only way to be pro-life?

    Why do you think that’s what he’s talking about?

    Last I knew he lived in Grand Rapids and was surrounded by Reformed people.

    I think his criticism is different than yours.

    He lives with the fear that Christian people somewhere might be doing good things in society and actually feeling good about themselves because of it. It keeps him up at night.

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  124. L.A., you keep missing the biggest point, thus why you never darken a church door, there are more important opportunities than the cultural horizons.

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  125. Matt t asks— Did the change in racial attitudes take place because Presbyterians suddenly started preaching faithfully (changing hearts, in the Bible hearts are minds) , or was it the result of the cultural, economic, political, and legal shifts brought about by the civil rights movement?

    Matt T—Does the racial repentance of the PCA, the SBC, and other southern churches testify to an escape from cultural captivity, or to its ongoing power? After all, these acts of repentance simply followed the broader political repentance of the culture in which they took place.

    Matt t–Southern evangelicalism has never been as individualistic as scholars sometimes claim. Traditional arguments in defense of slavery and segregation generally made use of communitarian arguments, while it was their abolitionist critics who appealed to the individualistic ethic of liberty
    Indeed, southern evangelicals often implied that because sin takes social form – even to the extent of becoming embedded in whole races of people – major institutional and cultural systems are necessary to maintain social order.

    https://matthewtuininga.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/presbyterians-and-the-political-theology-of-race-part-1-cultural-captivity/

    mcmark—So we need the state powers to control marriage because that’s the only way females are going to be free, because the collective state is always less evil than evil than the individual male….

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  126. DG – Which is it? They couldn’t have been martyrs AND transformed societies so they could flourish / prosper

    Am I not correct that the work of Peter, Paul and John in the region from Asia Minor to the nearer Syriac lands was rapidly effective, transforming thousands of existing towns and villages into Christian communities? I am willing to be corrected.

    We can question what constituted a “society” – I think that cultures were more locally rooted (even if trade and travel was quite widespread) and that linguistic regions of a smaller size than countries today would qualify as a “society.”

    But if so, I am comfortable calling that a transformation of society; especially since it initiated a process which resulted in as thorough a conversion of various peoples as we’re ever likely to see.

    Plus, the martyrdoms themselves were extremely effective at demonstrating the seriousness with which Christianity can and should be taken – leading to the creation of Christian societies from Ethiopia to Kerala (or elsewhere in India, but with the impact extending to Goa, Kerala and elsewhere).

    DG – so what did Christ and the apostles do? Should we not follow their example?
    me – You’re taking for granted I know your assumptions […] Please cite the very clear example you see in the NT as to how we are to respond so I can consider it.

    My question regarding what specific scriptural support prompted your question was a sincere one – what do you think Jesus and the Apostles would be doing? I don’t know what you’re thinking.

    I suspect Roman/Byzantine courts were not redefining essential aspects of peoples’ lives the way our courts do, and so we need to look to their commitment to relaying the Christian message which could be silenced (literally if not figuratively) only by martyrdom.

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  127. c, e, “Presbyterians have been from the higher classes of society”

    Say that about the OPC the next time you’r in a room with PCAer’s. You’ll think you’re a comedian.

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  128. EC: Re Zrim Does he favor any solutions that actually leave the baby alive?

    Nah, too nuanced for that.

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  129. I’m about 100 comments behind, but on page 2 it ought to have been noted (if it has been, kindly ignore me) that Erik may be revealing himself as a closet transformationalist.

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  130. Darryl, it’s past 10 a.m., it may be a combo. Drunk in public, I’m all for a witty retort but what about grossly misrepresenting someone’s position and conviction? Or is nuance and complexity just more than you signed up for today?

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  131. Erik, I suspect regional differences are less important than the time I grew up in. The 1950’s looked a lot different than the 1850’s, or the 1920’s for that matter. Post WWII, the older demographic lines were nowhere near as descriptive of reality on the ground.

    Mark, I was referencing our host’s own That Old Time Religion in Modern America, hoping to get a rise from him. A few commenters here have accused him of taking a “Nothing to see here, move on ” attitude. I was reminded of this book, which seems an obvious comeback. Perhaps too obvious. It may be the same s** t, but the future will most assuredly be a different day. Slippery slopes can turn into roads not taken. I have no idea what the future holds. But where evangelicals find themselves now has, as far as I can tell, eery similarities to the 1920’s. Whether their response will, can or should be similar to that of the fundamentalists back then is beyond me.

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  132. Erik Charter
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink
    And when Presbyterians did circumvent learned clergy through developments like The Log College, it led to the very things that guys here rightly decry regularly. You really can’t have a thoughtful, theologically rigorous church AND a church for the masses. Choose one.>>>>

    Seriously, Erik? I know of one. One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. You know what won me to the Catholic Church as much as anything? A woman named Elizabeth Anscombe. Convert from Protestantism, mother of 8 children, and professor of philosophy at Cambridge. Protestantism has no woman that even comes close to her. Check out her pro life record as well.

    Here is the quote that got me. Catholicism in a nutshell.

    “For everyone is to have faith and few can be learned, and their learning doesn’t give them a superior kind of faith. Everyone is to run: and few are road sweepers. ”
    – G.E.M. Anscombe

    Anyway, guys, this is going to be a rough ride for all of us. The sooner we realize we are all in this together the better, IMO.

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  133. But don’t the martyrs need to know that it will be all good when Constantine is converted and a conservative papist like Clarence Thomas becomes President of the United States. When we ask how Constantine will save the world, Leithart asks us to stop being so impatient. Thus Leithart defends the good old days of the middle ages. The Jews were merely not allowed to proselytize, and besides, he is pro-Jewish because he’s Reformed and thinks that the OT is good enough for politics.

    Leithart very much opposes the “John Locke” Protestantism in which separatists (isolationists) “hold opinions that divide them from the general public”. If we want to avoid being martyrs, what we are going to really need is not a combination of church and state but one “the church (with bishops) which can stand up to the state. No denominations, Leithart quotes Rushdoony (p181) about Trinitarians resisting imperialism. If you won’t support killing heretics, then you are left with “invisible churches” and then you can’t have assurance of salvation (no water) and then there will be martyrs.

    Which church? Which bishops? Whose ordination? Leithart cautions us to be patient about all such details. All we need to know for now is that cultural resistance is being done in the name of Trinitarianism. It’s happening, no matter what kind of “nominalist” 2 kingdom objections are being suggested. If the PCA were to become a sect and disqualify him, then Leithart would simply move on to the one true church.

    If you won’t defend Augustine for killing Donatists , then you simply show that you are an American evangelical at heart. We cannot say that Constantine had no mission, because his mission was the empire, and in order to become a citizen in that empire, you also need to have your infants done (along with your wife and slaves) and if you object to that, you show yourself to be modernist plain and simple. And maybe that kind of individual needs to be a martyr.

    Indeed, argues Leithart, Constantine really subverted the empire (you see) because he used his great power in the empire to change the empire! How could he have ended the gladiatorial shows, if he had retreated from cultural engagement for the sake of the spirituality of churches? If you can vote, you must, and if you can kill for a more civilized culture, then the killing itself becomes civilization!

    And shame on Constantine for refusing to wear the purple when he thought he was near death, as if being emperor and being Christian were in competition. Leithart knows that anti-Constantinianism is a cover for liberalism, or even worse, two kingdom theory.

    And so Leithart argues simply, for those of us who are too dumb to get it. Augustine was a Christian. Augustine was the original two kingdom thinker, and that did not keep Augustine from killing bad people. Therefore Christians need only to reject “the wrong wars” and do whatever it is they need to do “but not as a church” When Clarence Thomas becomes President, then we will speak in code about “natural law”, but we know that our wars then will become Christian .

    Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom , Peter Leithart, IVP, 2010

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  134. “Anyway, guys, this is going to be a rough ride for all of us. The sooner we realize we are all in this together the better, IMO.”

    Yep, you said it sister:) Glad you are here Mrs. Webfoot.

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  135. I am very surprised how many posters seem unconcerned by the facilitation of a sinful practice in our society. Do we want to live in a safe, peaceful, well-ordered society or not? Is patriotism a virtue or not?

    The promotion of non-Christian practices undermines society, and when coming from the Supreme Court, undermines the one element of our USA most responsible for coordinating the others.

    The solution is neither to form an Amish community (even an electronic one) nor seek salvation in this world (is that what you are terming transformationalist, d4v34x?).

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  136. d4v34x I’m about 100 comments behind, but on page 2 it ought to have been noted (if it has been, kindly ignore me) that Erik may be revealing himself as a closet transformationalist.

    Seriously. The next we know he’s going to be advocating enshrining the 6th commandment into law! And he once intimated that he thought there should be laws against theft too!

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  137. Kevin, you need to define what you mean by non-Christian practices undermining society. ‘We’ generally regard Christian practices in solely ecclesiastical ways around here, preaching, sacraments, officers, Lord’s day. It’s the whole 2k distinction between church and state and what properly belongs to each institution. Something like 1 cor. 5, what have I to do with judging those outside the church, God will judge those outside. So, I sup with the immoral who don’t take the name of christian. I have solidarity with those outside the church in terms of place(patriotism and mutual self-interest) and calling. My unity with those in the church is spiritual and religious first and then, maybe, culturally.

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  138. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink
    #seevd,tshowbigballs

    What would have had balls would have been if you said all this stuff years ago, Butch. Court-imposed gay marriage is inevitable, it’s no big deal, so just shut up and leave God and natural law out of it. If they cram homonormativity down our kids’ throats, no big deal.

    Now here comes the religious freedom war. No big deal. Shut up about that too, everybody.

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  139. sean – I agree with what you wrote to Kevin as far as it goes. But some advocates of 2K conflate the institutional church and the individual Christian. The institutional church ought not be directly involved in politics, but the individual Christian not only may be involved in politics but has an obligation to perform his duties as a secular citizen in a manner that honors our Lord. It is within the individual’s liberty to define the degree of participation – whether to run for office, support others who run for office, or simply to vote.

    A right view of 2K would take into account the Christian’s legitimate obligations in the secular kingdom as well. And to the extent that a Christian makes political choices he should endeavor to make sure that his actions – like all of his actions – honor the name of Christ. This seems to be where the arguments erupt because there is a fatalist streak running through part of the 2K world that appears strangely detached as if inaction and apathy were part and parcel of 2K theology and any political activity undertaken by a Christian that is in sync with God’s moral law – the law that is binding on all mankind – is a sign of incipient theonomy.

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  140. Publius
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    This seems to be where the arguments erupt because there is a fatalist streak running through part of the 2K world that appears strangely detached as if inaction and apathy were part and parcel of 2K theology and any political activity undertaken by a Christian that is in sync with God’s moral law – the law that is binding on all mankind – is a sign of incipient theonomy.

    And even worse, attacking those who aren’t lame as theonomists. Even worse than doing nothing is refusing to lead, follow OR get out of the way.

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  141. Mark – Electing a sincerely Christian president wouldn’t make a society more sincerely Christian anymore than electing a Kenyan, Irish & German President means we take on aspects of those cultures. We do need virtuous leaders, though, and ones which uphold right values- or at least eliminate the government-enabled subversion of traditional morality.

    Constantine may have been well-intentioned with regard to Christianity, but he was no saint. Does your source address whether in an Arian environment like that he received an orthodox education in the faith?

    As for today’s politicians in the USA, it’s not clear to me religion corresponds with ability to govern or an interest in serving the American people rather than a subset, usually the one which provided the funding. Kennedy, for all his flaws, was probably the last one with a genuine concern to serve the American people.

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  142. Pub, anything’s possible, I suppose, the only disinterest and or disillusionment I’ve noted with 2kers is when the do gooder transformationalists are beating the drum and the right or the left illegitimately appropriate ‘christian’ to buttress their political power plays. It sours me, personally, on the popular political debate while also diminishing my faith by reducing it to a bumper sticker in favor of this or that temporal cause. I’m all for legitimate obligations and good neighbors.

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  143. sean – It is certainly true that Christian churches and formerly Christian churches have not hesitated to dress up their political positions with Christian rhetoric. The Christian Right learned their lessons well from the social gospelers, to everyone’s detriment. It’s not even to say that many of the things they fought for weren’t worthy – but they conflated the Church and politics. And that is a real problem.

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  144. Darryl,

    Here’s what I’ll settle for:

    (1) Not calling 8 steps back 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

    (2) Not giving crap to people who are concerned or who do get involved politically or socially (the Zrim criticism).

    Unlike Tom, I don’t require activism. Just don’t get in the way of good people who feel called to it.

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  145. Try getting the OPC to issue pious advice that this was two steps forward, one step back.

    Watch the elders over 70 keel over.

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  146. Let’s discuss the notion that the Christian right is responsible for the success of the left. Offer evidence.

    When you go into the public square with natural law or the law of God you just expect everyone to agree? You guys are so soft that you just immediately surrender when they don’t?

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  147. Publius – I could not agree with you more that to the extent that a Christian makes political choices he should endeavor to make sure that his actions – like all of his actions – honor the name of Christ , and thank you for clarifying that 2K has those who recognize “the Christian’s legitimate obligations in the secular kingdom vs. the apathetic.

    Sean – you need to define what you mean by non-Christian practices undermining society

    Practices which are contrary to the teachings of Christianity; sinful practices.

    Apparently some posters here believe at least one of the following:

    1) Decriminalizing sinful behaviour will not facilitate its more frequent practice – so there is nothing to worry about ;
    2) It doesn’t matter whether the world is filled with more frequent occurrences of sin;
    3) There will be good which will outweigh the bad;
    4) Our actions are necessarily ineffectual;
    5) It is contrary to the will of God to work toward making anything legal or illegal;
    6) It is contrary to the will of God to even have a preference;
    7) Why should we care what the future will bring, it makes no difference;
    8) It is wild speculation to think things could get worse;
    7) On second thought, what’s so wrong with homosexuality after all?

    I would not have imagined any of these positions would be credible here a week ago.

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  148. D,

    Not a transformationalist, but this gay marriage issue has been a wake up call for me.

    It’s not about transformation or even success. It’s about faithfulness to Christ, the Law of God, and the gospel.

    Presbyterian & Reformed officers standing by with the wry detachment of Donald Fagen & Walter Becker may not be the way to go (as cool as I think those guys are).

    One question: Does a 2k posture make the gospel any more appealing to the world?

    Like

  149. Kevin, let me ask it this way, should scripture norm common culture? Or, even better, was scripture given to norm common culture? And if it was, how do you understand Paul in 1 cor. 5

    Like

  150. Erik Charter
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Unlike Tom, I don’t require activism. Just don’t get in the way of good people who feel called to it.

    I said that on the other thread as well. Accusing people of theonomy in the name of “neutrality” or of befouling the Church’s mission by defending natural law isn’t neutral either. Being a useful idiot for the machinations of the anti-/post-Christians is a positive act as well. There is no virtue in it; it does not serve God and the truth.

    As for “requiring activism,” it’s a sliding scale. No one should not be silent on abortion if they believe it’s the taking of a human life. And how any orthodox Christian parent is OK with “homonormativity” being shoved down their child’s throat is beyond me, that sin isn’t just not a sin, it’s a positive good!

    [“Love.”]

    Or how anyone who’s childless isn’t upset for other people and their children. How can you not get their backs?

    And from the left, neither do I think it’s out of line for Christians to demand their government feed the starving and try to heal the sick if that’s the only way it’ll get done. [Private charity is often overrated.] Jesus is quite explicit about our duty to those in need in the story of the Sheep and the Goats.

    Would you let someone go hungry–starve?–die?–so as not to compromise the “mission” of the Church? That’s the Gospel according to St. Bastard.

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  151. Later I’ll link to an article in the local paper. Gay married couple, been together for years. Two of their grown kids are also gay. I thought this wasn’t learned behavior? Awfully big statistical coincidence, no?

    Like

  152. Anyway, guys, this is going to be a rough ride for all of us. The sooner we realize we are all in this together the better, IMO.

    In your dreams, Ms. Sweetness because it generally goes like this: Spiritual perversion/apostasy > sexual promiscuity > sexual perversion.

    IOW a look-say commentary on Rom. 1 which is not all about justification by faith and works, unless that means justification by faith alone in Christ’s work upon the cross, which saving faith is the work of Christ’s Spirit through Christ’s Word in our hearts. (Nope, no mention of ex opere sacramentalogy.)

    True, true believers go on to live lives of obedience, but let’s not conflate/confuse/combine the respective theses and thrust of Romans and James with your usual drive by quote of Gal. 5:6.

    Rome or at least some Romanists may be social conservatives, but that is not to say Romanism is theologically conservative or that its spiritual idolatry doesn’t contribute to a secular idolatry. At bottom, both believe in man as sovereign. IOW Romanism is religious humanism.

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  153. How can anyone be fine with sin in common culture( and act like it won’t harm everyone) and not with the same sin in Christian culture? They know the ordinances of God yet they still give hearty approval to those who practice them( Rom 1)

    Like

  154. The simplest explanation is that gays want to be treated equally. Equality would include the option of marriage. I think Occam agrees with me.

    The simplest explanation is Murray’s Gay Marriage Is Not About Gay Marriage. Rather it is all about silencing the consciences of homosexuals, while also silencing everybody else.

    Given that so few homosexuals and lesbians actually marry when given legal opportunity, their vigorous and often vicious campaign for gay marriage has always puzzled me. After reading Brendan O’Neill’s The Trouble With Gay Marriage, I’m puzzled no more. Although O’Neill doesn’t approach this from a Christian perspective, his post-referendum article on the Republic of Ireland’s move to legalize gay marriage shines a bright light on the ultimate aim of most gay marriage campaigners – and it’s not gay marriage. . . .

    Why is this state-sanctioned validation, empathy, acceptance, acknowledgment and approval so important to gay marriage campaigners? Why is it far more important than actually being allowed to marry?

    The answer lies in Romans 1v18-32, where the Apostle Paul explains what desperate measures that homosexuals (and other unrepentant sinners) take to silence the voice of their conscience. They hear God’s prohibition and condemnation in their consciences, hate it, and do everything they can to shut it up – including, in our own day, getting gay marriage legalized everywhere, even if relatively few ever make use of it. Because, in most cases, it’s not about the right to marry; it’s mainly a vain attempt to muffle the inner voice of conscience by multiplying and amplifying external voices of approval.

    And I think Paul agrees with that.

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  155. So, is the move to answer 1 cor 5 to pit Paul vs. Paul? That’s rough. Paul says what has he to do with outsiders(Is Paul guilty of political apathy and standing by while people kill babies and the culture approves inappropriate sexual activity?) So, Paul is St. Bastard? There is a really simple theological distinction of sacred/secular, common/holy, SR/GR. If we’re gonna be effective at life and not screw up the church, we’ve got to get this down. 1 Cor. 5 is a really helpful test case, because it brings apostolic authority, so, legitimate Christian conscience binding, to bear on our relationship to those inside the church and those outside the church as it pertains to sexual immorality.

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  156. Bob S.,

    Ding.

    And that’s why Churches and Christians still being against it is an obstacle that can not stand.

    Has no one yet learned that when a judicial decision says, “we don’t mean that our decision means this”, that’s the very thing that the winners will set out to litigate next?

    I’m sure when they do it will be another two steps forward, one step back, though.

    Who knew Darryl was such an optimist?

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  157. Look at the thrust of most of the gay reaction. Most of it centers around “this validates me”, or “this makes me feel fully human”. It’s all about affirmation. The thrill of being affirmed by judges only lasts so long, though.

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  158. Sean,

    Did Paul have an opportunity to influence public policy? Did he get to vote to elect politicians who appoint judges who are apparently now the boss of all of us? Did the Founders fight the revolution to be able to say. “Whatever”.

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  159. Babies lives only deserve protection if everyone agrees to it?

    I’m a page behind in this post folks. Sorry

    Erik,
    You hit it in the head there. Maybe we just shouldn’t have any of the golden rule enshrined in law? Murder? Theft? Rape? Infanticide? I should not expect society to hold anyone accountable for mistreating me or the generations of my kids in the future. Hmm. I just don’t think that is God’s intent for society. I’ll vote for people willing to expect “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” laws in place. Just me though. Others can vote their own conscience. I just can’t vote in a way that leads to a lawless, morally bankrupt adolescent society. I’m just funny like that. I wish we still had blue laws in Texas. Wow, how quickly our nation is changing. Blue laws…antiabortion laws…40 years later… Can’t even vote against homosexual unions in my state. At least out Texas constitution and our Gov says no one with a conscience problem with it has to do it or mess with any of the paperwork of it, even employees of the state. Sorry I haven’t been able to back up today, Erik. Tiling away.

    Back to tiling.

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  160. sean, 1 Cor 5 tells me that there are some things even the heathen know/don’t condone/can be expected not to condone.
    Two, lots goes without saying. What the heathen do is their business. When the heathen ask me to co-operate in their idolatry or immorality, I am not called to roll over and go along because of 2k.
    There’s meat offered to idols that is sold in the market and there is the actual offering in the pagan temple itself.
    IOW distinguish.

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  161. Erik, who’s opposing activism? I’m ok with being a person of your place and time and being committed to your place and time. The gospel transcends those concerns. Paul doesn’t make appeal to his temporal limitations in defining his posture but rather an scriptural distinction between how God governs the church and how He governs the world. And, just as importantly, how I’m to conduct myself in the midst of those tensions. Shun the brother-intolerance, associate with the immoral outside the church-tolerance. Somehow, Jesus hung out with the sinners without affirming them in their sin. The church has a mission of mercy, the state is saddled with justice. I have a heirarchy of allegiances, it’s not flat. Church, family, state(roughly). And my christian allegiance gets to trump all else, including family. Nobody said this was easy.

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  162. Darryl,

    What does Fox News have to do with it? You need to deal with the ramifications this could potentially have. Maybe nothing will happen. But maybe just maybe the more politically engaged Christians are right on this.

    What happens when Christian psychologists can’t be licensed by the state and can’t practice because they will counsel those homosexuals who want to change?

    What happens when Brandon Eich is no longer the outlier but the norm?

    Do you really thing this CAN’T happen?

    Maybe it won’t. Maybe the Constitution really is strong enough to preserve religious liberty. But as the minority opinion said, if the court couldn’t let a social institution practiced by all peoples from all times stand in the way, what will it?

    I don’t want to be an alarmist, but c’mon.

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  163. sean
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink
    So, is the move to answer 1 cor 5 to pit Paul vs. Paul? That’s rough. Paul says what has he to do with outsiders(Is Paul guilty of political apathy and standing by while people kill babies and the culture approves inappropriate sexual activity?) So, Paul is St. Bastard?

    This isn’t about judging the private conduct of others “outside the church.” It’s about its effect on innocent children, it’s about the state forcing us to give tacit approval if not outright cooperation to sin. It’s about our children being taught in schools that sexual sin is groovy, and just as good and normal as Christian marriage.

    That

    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’

    is dated, and no longer true. God may have made you male or female, but that’s only a starting point.

    http://www.knoxnews.com/knoxville/life/exploding-numbers-of-transgender-children-parents-seek-clinical-help_17315542

    The madness spreads. No one is safe.

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  164. Bob, Justice Kennedy is gay? The other 4 members of the SCOTUS are gay? Justice Cady in Iowa is gay? But maybe your description is more “our side good / their side demonic” than it is biblical.

    The idea of the Living Constitution is also a liberal thing, right? But it’s more likely a Christian thing:
    ____________
    Compton contends that the “living Constitution” idea arose much earlier in our history, an outgrowth the moral reform movement that swept across the United States from the 1820s until the early decades of the 20th century.

    Zealous champions of moral reform, then as today, thought that a proper function of the law was to eradicate vice and immorality. They were stymied, however, by the Constitution’s limits on governmental power. Compton explains, “For while the designers of the American constitutional order did not set out with the aim of inhibiting the moral development of future generations, they did envision a republic whose fundamental law would hinder efforts to interfere with settled property rights or restrict the flow of goods in interstate markets.” But that was exactly what the anti-liquor and anti-lottery forces wanted – for the law to declare that there could be no legitimate property rights in alcoholic beverages or lottery tickets and to block their flow in markets altogether.

    Compton’s history is compelling. The tension between moral reformers who insisted on a virtually unlimited view of the “police powers” of government (i.e., to regulate in ways intended to protect the health and morals of the citizenry) and the Constitution’s framers, who feared the results of allowing factions to use government power for their ends, was crucial in shaping constitutional law during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

    The book shows that by the time the New Deal’s aggressive expansions of federal power came before the Supreme Court, its earlier decisions in favor of approving legislation against liquor and lotteries had so undermined the defenses of property rights, contract, and federalism that it was nearly inevitable that the Court would cave in. Progressives argued that if the Court could interpret Constitution to allow federal legislation when it came to the alleged harms of alcohol and gambling, it should do the same with regard to child labor laws, unionization, wage and price controls, and similar issues. Eventually, they prevailed.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2014/07/15/how-the-ruinous-living-constitution-idea-took-root/

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  165. Newark, I haven’t seen that youtube. My remark about being under a king was in jest. I guess.

    A few other thoughts on what is going on upstream:

    Fascinating to see the perplexity of those who demand being on the agenda and expressing the agenda in the politically correct – right wing politically correct – fashion. So, lacking the requisite spittle flying out of my mouth, I’m suspect? But back in my blogging days I did a post featuring the natural law argument for limiting marriage to heterosexuals. And I analyzed a marriage case (https://presbyterianblues.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/when-defense-of-marriage-isnt/) in which I said the Defense of Marriage Act wasn’t so hot and spoke in favor of states deciding on marriage. If that rationale had been followed, the SCOTUS wouldn’t have made this week’s decision. But everyone’s asleep now, so let me apologize for not giving a satisfactory sound bite to show my bona fides.

    It used to be thought that one mark of a liberal was a narrow ideology that subscribes to the ultimacy of political solutions. But now that’s also characteristic of those who (falsely) call themselves conservatives.

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  166. Robert, there’s a chance that religious liberties will be crumble given that gay marriage is now a right. But help me out, is there some kind of virtue in prophesying – right now! – that it will happen? Is the message here that we should all emote on cue?

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  167. Susan
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 7:21 pm | Permalink
    How can anyone be fine with sin in common culture( and act like it won’t harm everyone) and not with the same sin in Christian culture? They know the ordinances of God yet they still give hearty approval to those who practice them( Rom 1)

    Susan, I don’t participate in most of these threads, and the regular posters here who fall into the 2K camp (as do I) are able to speak for themselves, but I must protest that you really aren’t being fair. I don’t read any of the regulars here as being ” fine” with the moral rot we are faced with. I know I’m not. I drew my first check for professional services rendered to a political campaign back in 1980. I stopped rendering advice on campaign finance disclosure compliance after the 2000 election as the law was getting too complicated to deal with unless you devoted full time. But my personal contributions to candidates and political causes easily exceeds every dime I made over that 20 year period. I am still as active in politics as my health permits. I just don’t expect my church to support me or oppose me. If it did either, I would find another church. How hard is that to understand? I do not like standing in the open sewer that is our culture, and I don’t like the fact that the whole armor of God looks a lot like a haz mat suit these days, but there it is. But I don’t want my preacher or your Pope telling me what to do about the obvious.

    I’ll step off my soapbox now.

    BTW, if you want to know how all this turns out, look at the last page of the Bible– the Lamb wins!! Worthy is the Lamb.

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  168. Tell me again what I’m supposed to be doing that I’m not doing to “save the culture”. What does the mythical activity look like? Is it just spouting off and venting outrage in certain predictable cultural and social directions? Is it contributing my voice to the ineffectual echo chamber of Fox News themes, sharing flag-wrapped Facebook memes, supporting all the right interest group teams? I can’t vote more conservative than I already vote. I can’t find a more biblical church than I attend. My two sons are far more conservative at their ages than I was at the same ages – why is that?. Short of Bayly-inspired vigilantism, what do you want? Do I have to support the next Falwell and the next Falwell water slide? Do we dig up D. James Kennedy? Can I just try to act ethically, treat people (all kinds) well through the week, speak well of my church and the reason for its existence, and go to that church twice on Sunday — participating in her odd rites and supporting her as I am able? I work five and half days a week, have a grandson and a bad back. If there’s more I can do please try to slot it for Saturday afternoon and no heavy lifting, please.

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  169. Sean – The church has a mission of mercy, the state is saddled with justice.

    Erik – Can telling people that what they are doing is sinful and will land them in hell short of repentance merciful or not merciful, if done in a respectful way?

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  170. As Calvinists can we really say we believe that sharing the Law AND the Gospel with unbelievers may repel them and thus keep them out of the Kingdom? Do we not affirm unconditional election? How are we called to be anything but faithful messengers?

    Reconcile unconditional election and fear of men.

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  171. Muddy Gravel:
    The idea of the Living Constitution is also a liberal thing, right? But it’s more likely a Christian thing:>>>>

    Muddy, read Justice Roberts carefully, and see if you see what I do. Does what he believes the living Constitution to be breathing right at this moment in history sound like the old 1st Amendment to you?

    Now, I may be wrong, but it sounds to me like our government just put limits on religious speech and expression that have never been there before in the US. I hope I am wrong, but whenever someone in government tells us what we are allowed to keep on belivin’, I sit up and take notice.

    Liberals should as well, it seems to me.

    Besides, TVD is the only one who has shown concern for what our children will be taught from this point forward. …and I won’t scare you with news about pedophilia advocacy groups… You wouldn’t believe it anyway…

    For now, just focus on the Roberts quote. What do you see, there? Should we thank him for allowing us to keep believing the Bible?

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  172. Here’s that piece from the local paper.

    http://amestrib.com/news/ames-residents-react-historic-same-sex-marriage-ruling

    “Terry Lowman, 68, the former co-owner of Lucullan’s Italian Grill in downtown Ames, married his longtime partner Mark Kassis, 59, in 2007 after District Court Judge Robert Hanson sided with six same-sex couples arguing that the Iowa law violated the equal protection clause of the state’s constitution in an August 2007 ruling.

    ‘I don’t really have much of a reaction (to Friday’s ruling),’ Lowman said. ‘I really thought it would happen. At this point, it’s counterproductive for those who are opposed to it to dig in the sand so deeply that they’re just going to look foolish as time goes on.’

    Although Brian Eslinger officiated the wedding of Lowman and Kassis at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames after Hanson issued a stay on his ruling, the couple’s marriage remained intact. In April 2009, the state became the fourth in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage after the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Varnum v. Brien.

    ‘Because I have gay children, it’s really important to me that I do everything I can to create a just world for them,” Lowman said of his son Erik, 46, and daughter Marci, 43, who both live out of state.”

    Wow – I thought this wasn’t a learned behavior?!

    I’m going a throw a wrinkle at you all soon, but you should be able to roll with it.

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  173. To Kevin in Newark from mcmark— i was reporting Leithart’s Christendom project, not endorsing it. If a Christian thinks their high calling is to save and or reform the common culture, they would be consistent to go with Leithart. To say, as an individual, there is a citizen me, but also a church member me, I think is inconsistent (and ultimately not true).

    I Corinthians 5: 12 For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders? Don’t you judge those who are inside? 13 But God judges outsiders. Put away the evil person from among yourselves.[

    Kierkegaard—A single true Christian is enough to justify the assertion that Christianity exists. Although the strength of a state is proportional to numbers, Christianity lives with an inverse relation to numbers.

    John Fea–“Fifield’s Christian libertarian vision would find an ally in Billy Graham. Kruse downplays Graham’s staunch anti-communist sermons, focusing instead on his pro-business and anti-labor rhetoric. Such an emphasis is part of Kruse’s larger thesis about the roots of the religious revival sweeping the United States in the immediate wake of World War II. Conventional wisdom suggests that this revival, and especially the various manifestations of civil religion that accompanied it, can be explained by Americans’ desire to distinguish themselves from the godless communism of the Soviet Union. For Kruse, the attempt to make America “one nation under God” had its roots not in the Cold War, but in attempts by Christian libertarians like Fifield and Graham to defeat a more imposing danger than the Soviets—the state power brought about by the New Deal.

    Fea–The Christian libertarianism of the 1930s was co-opted in the 1950s by Dwight D. Eisenhower. A deeply religious man with roots in River Brethren Anabaptism, Ike believed that the United States government was based on Christian principles, but he was no libertarian. In fact, he believed that religion was needed to strengthen the state rather than tear it down. It was under his administration that the Cold War replaced the New Deal as the primary enemy of Christian nationalists. Though Christian businessmen and those Protestants aligned with the Goldwater wing of the Republican Party wished that Eisenhower would talk more about the relationship between Christianity and free markets, and perhaps even roll back the welfare state, they were happy that the President was willing to bring religion into the halls of American power.

    http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/2015/julaug/one-nation-under-god.html

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  174. Muddy,

    Interesting point on a living constitution.

    Note that many who pushed for Prohibition were (theological) liberals, though. Think Machen’s opponents.

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  175. MwF, do you mean Roberts or Kennedy? I’m having a hard time coñecting your concern with anything Roberts is reported to have said, though I have not read all of the opinions.

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  176. O.K. Have your laugh and we can move on.

    Let’s just say I have some people in my life who share my name who are not activists and are very private. I’m surprised the leash has been as long as it has been.

    Now back to the discussion.

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  177. Muddy,

    Here’s an offer for you: Stop shouting “Fox News” whenever someone says something you disagree with and I’ll stop shouting “liberal”.

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  178. cw l’unificateur
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink
    Tell me again what I’m supposed to be doing that I’m not doing to “save the culture”. What does the mythical activity look like?

    Keep not doing whatever it is you’re not doing, Chortles. It seems to be working. And pray for your grandson. This is the world you made, but he’s the one who’s going to have to live in it.

    Rod Dreher: http://time.com/3938050/orthodox-christians-must-now-learn-to-live-as-exiles-in-our-own-country/

    It is now clear that for this Court, extremism in the pursuit of the Sexual Revolution’s goals is no vice. True, the majority opinion nodded and smiled in the direction of the First Amendment, in an attempt to calm the fears of those worried about religious liberty. But when a Supreme Court majority is willing to invent rights out of nothing, it is impossible to have faith that the First Amendment will offer any but the barest protection to religious dissenters from gay rights orthodoxy.

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  179. Muddy – Robert, there’s a chance that religious liberties will be crumble given that gay marriage is now a right. But help me out, is there some kind of virtue in prophesying – right now! – that it will happen? Is the message here that we should all emote on cue?

    Erik – Put this conversation in context.

    Darryl started it with his “Two steps forward, one step back” take.

    That’s provocative (big surprise)

    So everything after that is in response.

    Darryl doesn’t provoke, maybe no one comments.

    There was other big news in the Presbyterian world last week. Darryl refrained from comment, so did everyone else.

    The choir REALLY needs to quit brown nosing and break from the party line from time to time. Darryl is not paying you.

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  180. Chortles – Tell me again what I’m supposed to be doing that I’m not doing to “save the culture”. What does the mythical activity look like?

    Erik – See above. Do nothing if you want to. Just don’t mock those who do or aid and abet those who mock those who do. Think for yourself.

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  181. Mrs. – Besides, TVD is the only one who has shown concern for what our children will be taught from this point forward. …and I won’t scare you with news about pedophilia advocacy groups… You wouldn’t believe it anyway…

    Erik – I share his concern.

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  182. Tom,

    If fairness to Chortles, he’s a good guy (as are all these guys when they’re on their meds). He’s not at fault. I do think he needs to speak up more, though, and not aid and abet guys by his silence when they go off the 2K reservation by:

    * Considering admitting married gay people as members in the OPC

    * Speculating that the sin of credobaptists is on par with murder

    * Beating up on Pro life people

    * Saying that nationwide legalized gay marriage is two steps forward, one step back

    He values these “friendships” and defers more than he should at times, given his age, wisdom, personal convictions, and life experience.

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  183. Nightfly, Billy Sunday and his followers were theological liberals?

    Webster, give me a few minutes to look at the decision.

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  184. Erik, is the law merciful? No. But, it’s true and is a setup for the preaching of the gospel. And we still make distinction between sins and crimes. Erik, and this doesn’t just apply to you, but you’re here,so, I’ll ask you the question, is martyrdom a legitimate opportunity for american christians at the hand of the state? Or because I’m an american, is my final stand always going to ultimately be armed and or belligerent resistance cuz I’m an american? I like being an american and it’s pugnacity toward those in authority appeals to my natural inclinations, but, does that mean I’m supposed to die an american at the expense of my christian fealty? IOW, does my being an american mean I’m above the legitimate christian possibility of an unjust but acquiesced to, on my part, martyrdom? I mean that sincerely(Greg alert), don’t my patriotic allegiances have to yield to my christian ones?

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  185. (A different) Dan
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 9:31 pm | Permalink
    MwF, do you mean Roberts or Kennedy? I’m having a hard time coñecting your concern with anything Roberts is reported to have said, though I have not read all of the opinions.

    Yes, I believe she means Anthony Kennedy, author of the majority opinion.

    The Supreme Court Ratifies a New Civic Religion That Is Incompatible with Christianity
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/420376/marriage-christians-religion-love

    Roberts wrote–and hold onto your hats, “neutrals.” The culture war didn’t end. It went nuclear.

    Today’s decision, for example, creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority— actually spelled out in the Constitution. Amdt. 1. …

    The majority’s decision imposing same sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations. The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to “advocate” and “teach” their views of marriage. Ante, at 27. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to “exercise” religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.

    Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage—when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage. See Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 1, at 36–38. There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court. Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.

    For those Christians who voted for Obama–or just sat it all out–I hope this is what you wanted, because this is what you just got.

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  186. (A different) Dan
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 9:31 pm | Permalink
    MwF, do you mean Roberts or Kennedy? I’m having a hard time coñecting your concern with anything Roberts is reported to have said, though I have not read all of the opinions.>>>

    Oh, Dan, thanks! I am talking about the quote that D.G. Hart provided from Justice Kennedy.

    It’s the Roberts’ court, but I didn’t mean to drag him into this particular thread. Thank you for the correction. My bad.

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  187. For the court, Kennedy:
    it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.

    Roberts’ dissent:
    Respect for sincere religious conviction has led voters and legislators in every State that has adopted same-sex marriage democratically to include accommodations for religious practice. The majority’s decision imposing samesex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations.
    The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to “advocate” and “teach” their
    views of marriage. Ante, at 27. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to “exercise” religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.

    Muddy: Kennedy didn’t have the power to create religious liberties in this decision – his words are “dicta” – hinting at how the court might view a future decision but not binding. So there is a limited cause for optimism there. Roberts is pretty self-explanatory – he is skeptical of how much accommodation will be made for religious rights.

    FYI, this court has been quite favorable to religious rights https://presbyterianblues.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/a-time-to-clap-for-the-united-states-supreme-court/ But my crystal ball is a bit foggy right now.

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  188. E,

    Still haven’t read everything between here and there, but…

    The wry detachment, it seems to me, might be for this particular water cooler, to provoke thought, perhaps?. Probably not the pose I expect might be struck from the pulpit or in session, if I had to venture a guess.

    I think a 2k approach just might more properly adorn the gospel better than culture warpaint.

    My take, if you want it, is preach the truth to the flock and, as opportunity presents, neighbors and co-workers; vote; engage in such personal apologetic efforts as one’s talents permit (maybe a letter or two to the editor?); and hope in the Lord during the few and evil days of one’s sojourn here.

    Like

  189. The Nightfly
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 9:49 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    If fairness to Chortles, he’s a good guy (as are all these guys when they’re on their meds). He’s not at fault. I do think he needs to speak up more, though, and not aid and abet guys by his silence

    Sure, they’re all nice people. That’s somewhat the point.

    “Don’t blame me” doesn’t cut it. Those who stood by silently–and worse, left the dirty work to the Falwells and Palins, all the time mocking them–helped bring these things about.

    Now is the time for Two Kingdoms types to wake up. If they refused to influence the government, well, the government has just put the church into its sights. It’s the one thing that’s been missing from their calculations: “Society” is the real world, the sphere between church and state.

    The state has just taken over society. “The “culture,” you will. Nature abhors a vacuum, and 2K creates the vacuum. And now, you’re next.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25/us/schools-fear-impact-of-gay-marriage-ruling-on-tax-status.html?_r=0

    And it’s not just “2K,” it’s everyone who lacked the guts to speak up and voice their beliefs. Look, if something thinks Jesus wants gay marriage, what can I say? But it’s those who say “Don’t blame me,” who were too afraid to look uncool, or worse, even mocked the clumsy and stupid evangelicals who stood up for Biblical morality–they’re the ones I can’t give a pass to.

    Things are gonna get a lot hotter, me 2K buckos. If you were for the separation of the state and the church, fine. But now it’s the state against the church. Time to 2K up.

    Like

  190. Erik, I’ve re-read your aforementioned pious advice and it seems my culture-saving marching orders are to argue with or correct friends whom I agree with on the most important things (church) about any and all secondary things about which I may disagree with them. Not sure I would have made 30 years of marriage if I had adopted your strategy at home.

    Like

  191. Again, Tom — what the hades do you want us to do? Vote twice? Please tell me what you’re doing to fix California and we’ll compare it to our activities. I have friends or fellow church members (or I myself) who have done all of the following: visited prisons, helped poor people (locally and internationally), helped the victims of disasters, started a local Tea Party chapter, contributed to political campaigns, worked on political campaigns, run for office, marched in pro-life rallies, supported crisis pregnancy centers. Somehow my great personal influence was unable to prevent all of these things. What does Tom do? Oh, I forgot, Tom blogs. And the big question — is Tom affiliated with any church? I understand there’s a pretty big one that’s now pushing enviro-salvation. Buy a Nissan Leaf and start a litter drive, why don’t you?

    Like

  192. Kevin, we’ve been living with Roman Catholics for how long now? Confessional Protestants consider the mass a form of idolatry. So we tolerate a sinful practice. Same goes for tolerating Mormons.

    So why be shocked that people tolerate sinful practices?

    Like

  193. Muddy, my apologies, but thank you for the summary of what each justice said! I was talking about the Justice Kennedy quote that D.G. Hart provided.

    Muddy:
    Kennedy didn’t have the power to create religious liberties in this decision – his words are “dicta” – hinting at how the court might view a future decision but not binding. So there is a limited cause for optimism there. Roberts is pretty self-explanatory – he is skeptical of how much accommodation will be made for religious rights.>>>>>

    Well, my point was that he really should not be saying anything at all about what religious people are allowed to teach. Do you see what I mean? He is not speaking as a private citizen, after all.

    At least he tried to give a little protection to those who, as a matter of conscience, object to same sex marriage. I’ll give him that. Does it worry you even a little that he felt a need to put a kind of band aid on the future wound?

    It’s worrisome. At the very least, our courts will be tied up with more and more lawsuits for a long time to come. Is that a good way to spend the people’s money?

    I think it is much worse than just that. You start messing with people’s kids and jobs, and things could get very ugly.

    I think TVD is correct in his assessment. Our government is now the enemy of anyone who will not submit to the new definitions of what religion needs to look like in our society.

    They have just made a law respecting religious practice. If it were just a simple law allowing same sex couples to get married, well, that would be one thing. However, Justice Kennedy’s words seem to show the he thinks it is much more than that.

    Now, will congress try to make a law about the new law, limiting its religious implications and thus making a law about the free exercise of religion?

    What’s the 1st Amendment there for, anyway? Chaos ensues.

    Well, thanks for your input. I appreciate it.

    Like

  194. CwL, add in opposing the state lottery, lobbying like crazy to stop no fault divorce and supporting every pro life candidate that ran for local, state and national office in the last 35 years, and you have described me and the vast majority of folks I go to church with. Today, i have blogged so much my tablet is out of juice, so I am done, but I am sick of being lectured by dilletantes. And BTW, even though I have been on the losing side more often than not in the future!fire wars, I would fight every fight again if I had to.

    I am through for the day.

    Like

  195. “Well, my point was that he really should not be saying anything at all about what religious people are allowed to teach. Do you see what I mean? He is not speaking as a private citizen, after all.”

    There’s a certain way legal decisions are written. Draft opinions are circulated and the justices comment on them. Concerns are expressed, and opinions address those concerns while countering, for example, any dissents. It’s reasonable to say something about the impact of religious rights even if it’s not binding. Such words may be directed to future decisions or they may be directed to the public. So there’s nothing remarkable or concerning about speaking to religious rights per se.

    Like

  196. “Careful, Muddy, or I’ll have to reveal how much I secretly loathe everything you stand for.”

    CW, if I’m correctly understanding our counsel upstream, you can’t save our country unless you do.

    Like

  197. Irene good night Irene good night
    Good night Irene Good night Irene
    I’ll see you in my dreams

    (The Leadbelly version)

    Like

  198. Chortles,

    So they would stop being your friends if you disagreed with them on secondary things and said so?

    Sounds like bad friends.

    Like

  199. Chortles,

    You’re so beaten up by TKNY & The PCA I fear you’ll embrace anything that doesn’t wear skinny jeans or sound like Mumford & Sons on Sunday morning.

    Maybe it’s your current perspective on what the essentials consist of that is off?

    Like

  200. Chortles,

    I just noticed that you compared your relationship with these guys to your marriage. These are dudes.

    Now we’re getting somewhere…

    The regulars have reverted to their default 13 year old mindset (with the exception of Muddy’s good legal analysis) so I’ll call it a night.

    Like

  201. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Permalink
    Kevin, we’ve been living with Roman Catholics for how long now? Confessional Protestants consider the mass a form of idolatry. So we tolerate a sinful practice. Same goes for tolerating Mormons.

    So why be shocked that people tolerate sinful practices?>>>>

    The point is not what religious people are willing to tolerate in other religions, or even what we are willing to tolerate in our gay friends, neighbors, and loved ones. We get along okay.

    It is what our government may be unwilling to tolerate in us as religious people that is the problem.

    You know, that, though, so why do you act as though Catholics or Mormons are trying to limit your freedom? That makes no sense.

    Government is always trying to limit people’s freedom. It’s the nature of the beast. Will it be significantly harder to get a job in certain professions, or educate your children as you see fit after this court decision? It is a pretty big deal.

    The “Papists” are really not out to get you, Brother Hart.

    Like

  202. One more.

    Sean,

    The founders reckoned with the questions of allegiance to God vs. King and they were mostly just bitching about taxes.

    You disagree with their conclusions?

    Like

  203. A Different Dan,

    It sounds like you’ve been acting politically responsible( for the right side) for a long time. I don’t doubt your commitment to battle. How could I, you just said that you speak-up for life, were and are against no-fault divorce etc. You must have believed that you could hold back the tide of evil or why else would you do anything? You are more politically active than I have been these last ten years. Before that, I used to get the conservative voters guide from the evangelical fellowship that I was a part of. I thought we as Christians had a stake in this country, and since I couldn’t possibly be knowledgeable of all the candidates, and props, I needed help. When I became Reformed the language from the man in the pulpit was something along the lines of,” Here we are in this congregation knowing the difference between law and gospel( good for us, we covenant people we), and that’s all that matters, so if anyone in here is a Democrat and votes according to “that” mostly liberal conscience then we don’t judge or bring it up because all that matters is The Gospel”. Political involvement in my former denomination was seen as unnecessary for the most part. Why we can’t vote according to the gospel of loving our neighbor(at least)makes no sense to me.
    Keep heaven and earth separate at all costs; we don’t want the secularist confused.
    Anyways, I’m happy to hear that your church is politically involved whether or not they get encouragement from your pastor, consistory, or fellow parishioner.
    Please, keep up the good work.

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  204. DG – Confessional Protestants consider the mass a form of idolatry. So we tolerate a sinful practice. […] So why be shocked that people tolerate sinful practices?

    So ‘Sexual Liberation’ (particularly in its cutting-edge form, homosexual marriage) and the Mass are threats to the moral order, both of which Confessional Protestants tolerate. Fair enough.

    As a general note, one can only “tolerate” what is within one’s power to permit or deny; I’d be interested to hear how your 2K philosophy addresses the toleration of the Mass.

    I see a few problems with the toleration you refer to:

    1. The damage wrought by sexual liberation (with the legitimization of homosexual practice the cutting-edge) is visible to a keen observer, and cries out to be combated:

    a) The family is a good;

    b) sexual indoctrination of children by the state, not so good;

    c) resultant non-practice of Christianity by children and subsequent failure to enjoy the blessedness of Christian family life (with its joy in the present combined with an orientation toward the final end of each) and, ideally, community (be it parish, church, neighborhood, city, intellectual/scholarly community, etc.) – a tragedy, since avoidable and actually plotted against;

    d) subsequent adoption and evangelization of ‘the Americanist Creed’ – a danger for all men of good faith in this country, and indeed for humanity worldwide (e.g., the Syriac Christians, wage slaves worldwide from Haiti to Nepal, the Mexican people, the ability of an American man to support a family on his income alone);

    e) in light of what could well have been a faithless, hopeless, confused, empty life, the unlikelihood in old age of this unfortunate child radiating the quiet Christian joy which even today is a bit less common than even a single generation ago.

    -> Has the Mass been obviously responsible for an attack on family life or whole societies? Is it currently undermining society in every town in the country? (If so, how exactly?) Do fewer children come into existence because of it, fewer elderly feel that the society they leave behind them is one that gives them hope for those who come after them?

    a) The question isn’t whether you can find examples of priests, laymen, or popes over 2000 years who have done wrong, unless you can demonstrate this flowed from the Mass;

    b) You can assert that it does spiritual harm, but I would ask you give an argument based on historical facts rather than theology (which might be better discussed over in the ‘white smoke/hot air containment’ thread, don’t want Erik to go into apoplexy).

    c) Regardless of the fact this blasphemy, idolatry, etc. seem so clear to you – is this perceived harm a danger to you and your children? Is the modesty of your children at risk, and a calculated strategy not only in place but of proven efficacy, and spreading rapidly? Is it being promoted by the government in public schools? Exported via US embassies to schoolchildren worldwide? Does it affect your ability to attend (or at least enjoy attending) parties or to dine with neighbors or coworkers?

    d) Is the media pushing the Mass in a relentless fashion, in sitcoms and film? Going My Way, Bells of St. Mary’s, The Quiet Man, On the Waterfront, Marty, Fulton Sheen, etc. were quite popular of course, causing many Protestants to ‘change their faith practice’ (as some put it)- but granted that, what media influence today which solicits Protestants to participate in the fruits of the Mass is comparable in reach to the influence of sexual liberation?

    e) Do you really think the 16th century religious wars are coming back immanently and secular Catholic (so-called, at least) powers and cooperating churchmen will criminalize your ability to practice your religion and pass on to others what is most dear to you? Nancy Pelosi & Joe Biden & co. are going to get the 1st Amendment Establishment Clause repealed, a state religion declared, and somehow Wall Street and Hollywood brought in line?

    2. The gospels and examples of the Apostles cannot be reconciled with tolerating evil when it is in our power to combat it.

    We have power in conversation (improving the pre-political), voting (political), in our jobs etc. (being willing to be an ‘outsider’ of sorts, even in a corporation or town meeting). Shouldn’t we use this power, even if limited, to promote the traditional family and seek to limit the sexual practices menacing it?

    Cw – it looks to me like your role is maintaining a number of fundamental components of social life. Future generations will be indebted to your work, whether they know it or not. Your progeny may make great contributions in future decades. As you suggest, you may not need do more.

    In my opinion, the Apostles aren’t crying out to everyone who proclaims himself a Christian to martial every resource possible (in a prudent manner) to bring to an end the celebration of the Mass in the U.S. A. (but hey, I’m biased). I believe they are so crying out regarding the destruction of our society- and we each have a role proper to our own station to play, perhaps small, but nevertheless an obligation.

    Like

  205. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, I did say it years ago. I learned how to say it from Machen.

    Never before has someone spent so much energy doing so little.

    cw l’unificateur
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 10:33 pm | Permalink
    Again, Tom — what the hades do you want us to do? Vote twice? Please tell me what you’re doing to fix California and we’ll compare it to our activities.

    I thought you were proud of your non-activity. Which is it?

    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Permalink
    Kevin, we’ve been living with Roman Catholics for how long now? Confessional Protestants consider the mass a form of idolatry. So we tolerate a sinful practice. Same goes for tolerating Mormons.

    The Mass isn’t a government institution. Gay marriage is, now. Can you see the difference?

    No, I didn’t think so.

    Like

  206. Note:

    By ‘the Americanist Creed’ I mean, more or less, a relativistic/pluralistic approach to life which denies God’s command over all of life, with the added meaning of government sponsorship of special interests such as the financial industry, Hollywood (chiefly by loosing content morality restrictions), the ‘war industry’, etc. I combine them because I think they are essential companions- a deviant married, if you like.

    All of this has an impact worldwide – whether through a War in Iraq, exporting American jobs to other countries, or interfering with the economies of those countries to ensure cheap labor- e.g., the Obama administration’s fight to decrease the minimum wage for garment workers in Haiti from $.61 per hour to $.31 per hour.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/wikileaks-haiti-minimum-wage-the-nation-2011-6

    (FWIW, Not just everyone, DG, is in a position to get me to spend 2.5 hours on a Saturday night carefully composing a reply to a handful of sentences – a testimony to the interesting blog you’ve permitted to… flourish).

    Like

  207. c,e “Can telling people that what they are doing is sinful and will land them in hell short of repentance merciful or not merciful, if done in a respectful way?”

    Is that what vd, t wants?

    Like

  208. c, e you want more posts about Roman Catholicism?

    “The choir REALLY needs to quit brown nosing and break from the party line from time to time. Darryl is not paying you.”

    vd, t could not have said it any better.

    Like

  209. c, e, “do nothing if you want to. . .”

    c, e what are you doing? Sounds like you have some money. Do you at least give some of it to the activists? Do you buy beach chairs for the public square?

    Like

  210. Kevin, families are good. Gay marriage is bad. So is idolatry.

    Governments used to abolish idolatry. They saw it as a threat to social order. Think Nicene Creed.

    Times change.

    God’s word abides.

    Like

  211. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink
    vd, t, if only I had been a roadie for the Cookies.

    That doesn’t make any sense, Butch.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 7:13 am | Permalink
    c,e “Can telling people that what they are doing is sinful and will land them in hell short of repentance merciful or not merciful, if done in a respectful way?”

    Is that what vd, t wants?

    We can count on you keeping your skirts clean and leave the dirty work to others. Me, I’m more concerned about what they’re going to shove down the throats of America’s children. You will be of no help there, either, I expect.

    It’s no big deal.

    Like

  212. Chortles,

    Tennessee was one of the states that did not have gay marriage before the Supreme Court’s ruling. Now they do.

    Would you say that is two steps forward, one step back for churches and Christians in Tennessee or would you assess it differently.

    Answer for yourself. Pretend it’s just you and me talking.

    Like

  213. Darryl,

    You now say “gay marriage is bad”.

    In your original post you said the fact that “Christian norms now govern same-sex marriage” is “two steps forward”.

    You also said that the fact that “Christians may still object to Christian norms governing same-sex marriage” is “one step backwards”.

    If you really believe that Christian norms can govern same-sex marriage, why is it bad?

    How is Christians still being able to object a step backwards?

    Whose perspective is the forward/backward calculation from? Yours or gay people who want to marry?

    I’m honestly trying to understand and help you clarify. If you said what it initially looks like you said, that could get you in trouble on several fronts.

    Like

  214. Rev. Bordow used some of the same logic that I think you are using when he was thinking about admitting celibate, married gay people to membership in OPC churches. Out of compassion for minor children we perhaps ought not break up those families, he reasoned.

    This concedes the argument that it is better to be raised in an intact household led by same-sex people who are married to each other than a broken household with one still gay parent and one formerly gay, now repentant, parent.

    Yesterday I shared an article about two married gay men whose two adult children, one male, one female – also identify as gay.

    Are we sure leaving gay parent led families intact is the right thing? Are you sure having Christian norms govern gay marriages is a positive? Christian norms say that divorce is bad. Is gay married spouses divorcing bad or is it a sign of repentance?

    Like

  215. Living in the same time and space with papists for a long time now is not the same as ECT—the idea of a “common mere Christian” cultural resistance done with papists because we also are catholic and trinitarian and not biblicist or pietist or sectarian….

    Back in the 50s there was resistance to any idea of Billy Graham doing “Christian stuff” with papists, but now after ECT, the evangelical hope is Clarence Thomas, or somebody religious about natural law be they Mormon or papist

    Sean—is the law merciful? No. But, it’s true and is a setup for the preaching of the gospel… is martyrdom a legitimate opportunity for christians at the hand of the state? Or because I’m an american, is my final stand always going to ultimately be armed and or belligerent resistance cuz I’m an american?

    mcmark—not to get my pacifist kooties on Sean, but amen.

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/trent6.htm

    Trent—by original sin, the servants of sin and under the power of the devil and of death, that not only the Gentiles by the force of nature, but not even the Jews by the very letter of the law of Moses, were able to be liberated therefrom, BUT FREE WILL, weakened as it was in its powers and downward bent, WAS BY NO MEANS EXTINGUISHED IN THEM

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  216. The biggest bombs going off will be officers of the church finally admitting that they are gay, many of them with the greatest fake lives before your own eyes, and then some of them claiming they have the right to continue in their church capacities. The more entrenched they are by large donations and the old boys network the more painful this will be. Stay tuned…

    I once asked a few men what the big deal was with long hair on the male populace starting in the mid 1960s. One underlying theme was that you would see someone attractive from the back and then feel especially dirty about it when you found out it was a man. And that as a Christian it is wrong to lust after a man. It didn’t bother their conscience as a Christian that lust after a woman in this sense should make them feel dirty as well, I guess.

    Like

  217. This recent outcome does not show that the Manhattan Declaration did not work. It shows we need more self-appointed “Christian statesmen” joining together with other famous persons in order to write more declarations.

    But I was not healed.
    That was because you did not believe enough. Double down on the faith.

    But we still got no fault divorce and abortion and (maybe next) polygamy.
    That was not because of Charles Colson and Packer and Neuhaus, but only because we need more people like that.

    Was polygamy protected or merely tolerated by the moral law of the Mosaic covenant? Please discuss the difference…

    Like

  218. Mark Mcculley
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink
    This recent outcome does not show that the Manhattan Declaration did not work. It shows we need more self-appointed “Christian statesmen” joining together with other famous persons in order to write more declarations.

    But I was not healed.
    That was because you did not believe enough. Double down on the faith.

    But we still got no fault divorce and abortion and (maybe next) polygamy.
    That was not because of Charles Colson and Packer and Neuhaus, but only because we need more people like that

    Hear hear. The Manhattan Declaration came too late: Too many kept silent too long, and let Falwell and Robertson become the face of Biblical morality.

    But the solution wasn’t to attack them, it was for better men to stand up and take their place.

    Like

  219. DG –
    Two steps forward (Christian norms now govern same-sex marriage), one step backwards (Christians may still object to Christian norms governing same-sex marriages).

    I visited the OPC church in Westfield NJ this morning – kind and grounded people, admirably sober and straightforward liturgy. Had to mind the baby, couldn’t stay for all of it unfortunately, but I’d like to visit again.

    I believe you are saying that the ssm instigators who profess to be Christian see this as two steps forward and one step back. If so, you don’t indicate your own position or suggest to readership the right position.

    It could be read to suggest an approval that the behaviour (sinful or not?) now gets the stamp of government approval – although I’m not clear how ‘Christian norms’ enters into it.

    It seems to assume the government’s ability in principle to define the word and concept of marriage.

    It also seems to assume that marriage as currently defined by the government is under Christian norms (are Christian marital norms more compatible with today’s easy-divorce policy or lifelong fidelity?).

    Your quote could easily be used to discredit the OPC (“see? they’re just like all the rest of those Christian groups”), or maybe at some point even in a courtroom to indicate a diversity of opinions within the OPC which disqualifies them from being permitted xyz freedoms from gov regulations.

    With the right set of attorneys lined up (So Po), retractions and demonstrations of position elsewhere will be of limited value. These people are ruthless and know how to maniplate the system.

    It could also easily be used to scandalize your own OPC faithful.

    On issues like this, I think it is best that our yeas be yeas, and nays nays.

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  220. Erik, your project to expose sounds a bit paranoid. But I’m here to help. Human life begins at conception and I’m both morally and politically opposed to one segment of the human population taking said life at will or whim simply because the former bodily house the latter. I also don’t think homosexuality should enjoy the sanction of marriage. My libs hate those views, but I can’t recall any going on a quest to expose my “rabid fundamentalism.” The pro-life movement has problems. Since when was it an act of treason and betrayal to agree with some of the essentials of a political lobby but not walk lock step in its ethos and methods? What’s unfortunate (righteous indignation alert) about decisions like RvW and Friday’s is how how it strips local governments from being able to govern the way they see fit, not that my particular outlook hasn’t found embodiment in the long arm of federal jurisprudence and outlawed the other guy’s view in every nook and cranny of the Union. IOW, I’d be perfectly satisfied with elective abortion and gay marriage outlawed over here but not over there. That’s how America should actually look.

    You want nuance but I’m not sure you’d know it if it fell from the falling sky and cracked your squawking beak.

    Like

  221. If only DGH was more like this guy. Sigh.

    Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer)
    6/27/15, 4:22 PM
    The swastika was a Rainbow Swastika. Most of Hitler’s Storm Troop officers were homosexuals.

    Like

  222. Z, according to milk monitor Erik I (as the rightmost 2k OL regular) am supposed to disagree with you (the alleged leftmost 2k OL regular), but danged if I can find anything that you just wrote that I can disagree with. I must be disingenuous.

    Like

  223. For all the proponents of declarations from Christian statesmen and “famous” people, what exactly do these statements accomplish? Some denominations have issued statements for years (even apologizing for past sins of racism). How many declarations do you need before moral outrage grows long in the tooth ? Do declarations from Muslim statesmen or Stoic statesmen count?

    Like

  224. Susan: You must have believed that you could hold back the tide of evil or why else would you do anything?

    Dan: It is more complicated than that. A lot depends on who asks you to get involved. Sometimes that is a factor involving personal relationships, sometimes it is a business decision, sometimes both. And the thrill you get when an underdog wins helps make up for the despair you feel when a good candidate gets beat. I don’t think I have ever believed I could turn back the tide of evil. Maybe make the community a little better place to live, but even that sometimes seems a reach.

    Like

  225. Muddy Gravel
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink
    If only DGH was more like this guy. Sigh.

    Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer)
    6/27/15, 4:22 PM
    The swastika was a Rainbow Swastika. Most of Hitler’s Storm Troop officers were homosexuals.

    That’s precisely the type of smugness that abandoned the public face of Christianity and Biblical morality to the yahoos. Well done.

    You might not want to become more like Bryan Fischer, just less like Barack Obama.

    Like

  226. Zrim,

    So you’re personally against abortion but not troubled when it’s legal in other places where those who are not personally against it are in the majority?

    Like

  227. Zrim,

    So what is your beef with pro-life people where you live?

    Any specific groups that especially irritate you?

    Like

  228. Sean – 1 cor 5: a scriptural distinction between how God governs the church and how He governs the world…Shun the brother-intolerance, associate with the immoral outside the church-tolerance… The church has a mission of mercy, the state is saddled with justice. I have a hierarchy of allegiances, it’s not flat.”

    If I am reading you correctly, I agree with everything you say here, although I would add to it.

    We must hold fellow Christians to the demands of Christianity (with various caveats of wisdom, prudence, patience, charity), which can in extreme cases involve excommunication/shunning;

    You shouldn’t (can’t?) excommunicate (shun) someone who isn’t a Christian for immorality (they may not know any better, and need you to evangelize them);

    We must (at times) tolerate evil outside the Christian community.

    I would add:

    Working to implement laws which reflect Christian norms isn’t to ‘judge non-Christians.’ – primarily it is for the purpose of protecting and ordering the Christian community, and facilitating evangelization;

    When the Christian community is threatened by immorality outside, we absolutely must not tolerate it- this would be suicide and treachery to future Christian generations.

    I can’t accept that we are to always tolerate evil outside the Christian community- there are things which are potentially in our power to change, and if nothing else we are commanded by “love thy neighbor.” The command isn’t “don’t annoy thy neighbor.” (I take all those living in the US to be neighbors).

    Agreed, it isn’t always easy to tell what to do (requiring prudence); but sometimes it is! We shouldn’t fall into apathy.

    In this light, I don’t see how we can justify the NIMBY approach (ok in Washington DC, not ok in Virginia) – to hell with thy neighbor?

    Like

  229. Muddy,

    Why would you want Darryl to be like that guy?

    Back to Muddy the flaming liberal again…

    Like

  230. The thing that the choir can’t admit is that when the hand they are holding is shite, the more they bob, duck, weave, and mouth off on Darryl’s behalf, the more obvious it becomes to an impartial reader that their hand is shite. The choir is small, aging, and not growing much. The choir might want to grow up and think for themselves. Or maybe suggest to Darryl occasionally to not deal you shite hands that you have to spend days defending.

    Like

  231. Chortles,

    Can’t answer my question on whether or not it was a positive development for Tennessee churches & Christians that they now have gay marriage?

    Like

  232. (I need to pick a name and stick with it…)

    Is there any take you guys won’t stand behind Darryl 110% on?

    To date I can recall no dissent from your great herd of independent minds.

    Like

  233. Muddy, cw-

    The Nazis were democratically elected because the Weimar Republic was permissive of immorality and people got fed up with it (e.g., homosexuality in films). Why could that not happen here?

    And I think a number of senior Nazis were homosexuals. Their unjust persecution of homosexuals (murder) provided cover for this and their more infamous murderous policies.

    And I think my last comment is worth reading, apologies for the html error.

    Like

  234. The Nightfly
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink
    (I need to pick a name and stick with it…)

    Is there any take you guys won’t stand behind Darryl 110% on?

    To date I can recall no dissent from your great herd of independent minds.

    How do you think the polls swung so much in a handful of years? The herd mentality. For traditional marriage, the best people stood silent; on the other side, their most charismatic got out front on it. Eventually, cowards and opportunists like Hillary Clinton and Jim Wallis eventually drifted over to what they saw was becoming the winning corner.

    [Just like Don King during the Frazier-Foreman fight. He arrived with Joe and left with George.]

    The only question now is what a lot of self-fancying Christians who believe “blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake” will do. It was an easy ride, but the now the fun starts.

    Like

  235. To be clear, I am saying the best way we can avoid a secularist fascist government from manipulating Christian dissent is to work within our current system for public moral order.

    If we give up on society, we invite chaos and disorder, and every family and community is imperilled. We risk the ability of Christians to serve God in community.

    Like

  236. Can’t, never, 110%, I can recall no dissent, Is there any. Erik, you’re sliding into Greg-scorned woman tactics of argument. If you’re going to disregard and discredit the nuance offered, you’re not likely to ever, ever, never get anybody willing to spend the time.

    Like

  237. Stan the H—In his essay “Church and Liberal Democracy” Hauerwas— “Christians must again understand that their first task is not to make the world better or more just, but to recognize what the world is The first social task of churches to provide the space and time necessary for developing skills of discrimination sufficient to help us recognize the limitations of our society and to have churches built on truth rather than fear. ”

    While the modern Western state makes space for Christian identity, its acceptance of Christian identity relies on Christianity’s identification with the mainstream institutions (the military, democratic elections, peer-reviewed science teachers, etc) of the modern nation-state. To get tax exemption, you need to make some accommodations to the needs and goals of the nation-state. The tax exempt church is never an independent church.

    But of course if there is already only one “the church”, no problem…

    Like

  238. Erik – Zrim writes: What’s unfortunate (righteous indignation alert) about decisions like RvW and Friday’s is how how it strips local governments from being able to govern the way they see fit, not that my particular outlook hasn’t found embodiment in the long arm of federal jurisprudence and outlawed the other guy’s view in every nook and cranny of the Union. IOW, I’d be perfectly satisfied with elective abortion and gay marriage outlawed over here but not over there. That’s how America should actually look.

    He makes a good point. Do you object to this?

    These decisions are so divisive not just because of the underlying subject matter, but because the Court removes the decision from the hands of the people. And yes, I too would be satisfied – happy even – if our system worked the way it should and these decisions were left to the people at the state and local level. New York would get gay “marriage” but not Mississippi. Fine. And we’d probably get the added bonus of more reasonable laws through the legislative process. But today every argument is framed in terms of inalienable civil rights and therefore the Court jumps in to save us from ourselves. The practical issue we have to face is that the system we want – the Federal system set up in the Constitution – is the not the system we actually have. Legislating by judicial fiat provokes fear and resentment.

    Like

  239. The Nightfly
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 2:59 pm | Permalink
    The thing that the choir can’t admit is that when the hand they are holding is shite, the more they bob, duck, weave, and mouth off on Darryl’s behalf, the more obvious it becomes to an impartial reader that their hand is shite. The choir is small, aging, and not growing much. The choir might want to grow up and think for themselves. Or maybe suggest to Darryl occasionally to not deal you shite hands that you have to spend days defending.

    Erik, what is behind all this? DGH reminds me of several of my old college and law school profs. Participation here is voluntary. He may be an officer in his church, but I am pretty clear that this isn’t an OPC approved site. I think you know all of that. .

    He has written some good books (A Secular Faith is a classic), but he has written at least one clunker, to me (From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin, though my reasons for my opinion are distinct from TVD’s disdain). His perspective is different from most historians that take American Religious History seriously, but not so different as to not be in contact with the Marsdens and Nolls of his world.

    I mean, can it really be just SSM that has you this upset? Were you asleep when the Supreme Court decided Lawrence? If you weren’t prepared for it, whose fault is that? Can there only be one response- yours? Is the slippery slope you envision the only way the future can unfold?

    I have been following this blog off and on roughly since Hart’s Calvinism: A History came out. Up until recently, I thought you made some reasonable comments on threads that had any interest for me. I really don’t know what has happened.

    Like

  240. Mark Mcculley
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
    But of course if there is already only one “the church”, no problem…

    There’s not even one Presbyterianism.

    Like

  241. Dan,

    “It is more complicated than that. A lot depends on who asks you to get involved. Sometimes that is a factor involving personal relationships, sometimes it is a business decision, sometimes both. And the thrill you get when an underdog wins helps make up for the despair you feel when a good candidate gets beat. I don’t think I have ever believed I could turn back the tide of evil. Maybe make the community a little better place to live, but even that sometimes seems a reach.”

    Well, my point was that being politically active in the first place is because you believe that whatever it is that you oppose is a wrong and whatever it is that you promote or seek to protect is a right. Amazingly this is what everyone does, so how is it that people can be on opposite sides of an issue?
    My first comment was speaking to the 2K crowd who thinks that Christians are either not supposed to oppose evil( yes evil) or at least not spend too much time doing it, and to certainly never see it as being done for God. There is no cultural mandate except it be mandated by God.
    We are on this site right this very minute debating something that the actually rightness or wrongness of stands at it stands whether we legalize it or not, so why can’t we say it is always and at all times bad, and if bad, bad for the family and the nation. If it can be admitted as a bad then why cannot we also say that to battle bad is the godly thing to do and our Christian responsibility. This wishy-washiness is giving me a headache.

    We can all do our own little part but we wouldn’t do any thing is we didn’t believe there was truly something worth doing.

    “Man lives always according to a culture which is properly his, and which in turn creates among persons a bond which is properly theirs, one which determines the inter-human and social character of human existence”. from Verbum Domini

    If you have never read it, I recommend it to you. It’s beautiful thought and writing.

    Like

  242. @ Kevin in Newark

    I’m really enjoying your comments. They are well laid out and kindly spoken. You are a breath of fresh air. Thank you. Do you blog? If not, you should.

    Susan

    Like

  243. Muddy Gravel
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 10:56 pm | Permalink
    Me, Mrs. Webfoot:
    “Well, my point was that he really should not be saying anything at all about what religious people are allowed to teach. Do you see what I mean? He is not speaking as a private citizen, after all.”

    Muddy Gravel:
    There’s a certain way legal decisions are written. Draft opinions are circulated and the justices comment on them. Concerns are expressed, and opinions address those concerns while countering, for example, any dissents. It’s reasonable to say something about the impact of religious rights even if it’s not binding. Such words may be directed to future decisions or they may be directed to the public. So there’s nothing remarkable or concerning about speaking to religious rights per se.>>>>

    Okay. So we don’t know how this will play out as far as religious liberty is concerned. It looks like it will be a battle, though.

    Well, maybe you’re done with this, and as Yogi Berra said, it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future. I think it looks pretty dark myself. Time will tell.

    What is especially troubling is what our kids are being taught by our government. What they will be taught in the future as far as marriage, family, and even our sexual identity is concerned is pretty scary, I have to admit. Do they think kids are their lab rats and that government is free to run whatever crazy social experiment they wish on them?

    Of course, our daughter will probably home school our grandchild. She is not willing to send their child into the public school. So, is that a cop out? Anyway…

    Good comments, Muddy. Thank you for your time.

    Like

  244. (A different) Dan
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink
    His perspective is different from most historians that take American Religious History seriously, but not so different as to not be in contact with the Marsdens and Nolls of his world.

    I mean, can it really be just SSM that has you this upset? Were you asleep when the Supreme Court decided Lawrence? If you weren’t prepared for it, whose fault is that?

    Lawrence was precisely the difference between tolerating sin in society [lifting sodomy bans], and institutionalizing it [forcing gay marriage on society and the states].

    The court abolished not only theology but philosophy in this opinion, man.

    Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here. But when that sincere, personal opposition becomes enacted law and public policy, the necessary consequence is to put the imprimatur of the State itself on an exclusion that soon demeans or stigmatizes those whose own liberty is then denied.

    The “Naked Public Square” Richard John Neuhaus warned us about is now here. You can no longer speak of “ordering society” when any principles of liberty except libertinism have been made illegal. Your children will be propagandized to believe that men and women are interchangable, that sex is love, and the Bible is hate.

    Like

  245. Publius, Zrim, CW, Muddy-

    What would this NIMBY approach mean for your fellow Christians at Grace OPC in Westfield NJ? They should simply accept unlimited abortion, church taxation, freedom-of-speech limitation, etc if the NJ legislature so declares? Limitation on freedom of association- the dissolution of the congregation for advocating ‘hate speech’ against homosexuals?

    For NIMBY OPCers, is there no obligation to their well-being? Communion is more than just shared theology, isn’t it?

    God’s word abides- the Gates of Hell will not prevail against Christian evangelism- in a worldwide sense. But Hell can triumph in specific areas (e.g., the elimination of Christianity from Augustine’s North Africa) if we let it.

    Like

  246. It would be a sad day if this decision led to America electing the Nazis to power, especially the the gayest ones.

    Like

  247. Susan, to the extent I have ever had a political hero, it was the recently deceased Senator Howard Baker, Jr. His motto was “Listen to the other fellow- he might be right “.

    Like

  248. Erik, no, should I be troubled by distant majority’s that think differently than me for some reason? But the group that wants a petition signed in the all-purpose room (aka fellowship hall) right after the morning service tends to irritate.

    Like

  249. Sean,

    Are you volunteering yourself as a member of the choir?

    You have actually been making some substantive contributions to this conversation. I wasn’t including you.

    You can man up even more and take on Darryl, though, if you choose to.

    You’ve always been pretty good at being your own man. Speedy Mart has served you well.

    Like

  250. Sean – If you’re going to disregard and discredit the nuance offered, you’re not likely to ever, ever, never get anybody willing to spend the time.

    TN – O.K. Have at explaining the nuance that Darryl has offered.

    Is it possible that, on occasion, nuance can just be sucky thinking?

    Like

  251. Newark: “If we give up on society, we invite chaos and disorder, and every family and community is imperilled. We risk the ability of Christians to serve God in community.”

    What’s this “we” of which you talk? If you want to get involved in that way, you are perfectly free to do that as a citizen and as a Christian. If you are talking about conscription – all Christians must do as you do in the political realm, that’s another thing altogether.

    And I wonder if it is “giving up” to lead exemplary, peaceful lives in which we aren’t agitating about the latest front-burner issue and engaging in standard political idiocy and slander of those whom we oppose. I’m convinced that at this point the Christian right is not just “in the world” but in their politico-centric thinking they are “of the world.” Who’s right? Who’s left? Who shall we praise denounce vilify alienate so we win? When everything becomes political we are less Christian.
    ______________

    Paul wrote epistles while unjustly under arrest. If he took counsel from the screamers, he would have used that wonderful opportunity to get Christians to DO SOMETHING! But, what a shame, he spoke of politically inert things like humility. And, man, he really blew it here:

    12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

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  252. Susan-

    It’s good to know I’m not on at least one person’s do-not-read list! Thanks.

    Nah, I don’t blog. I direct my energies to conversation, choral music, my tenants, my job (Caribbean media), and my baby. More than enough.

    Like

  253. Sean – If you’re going to disregard and discredit the nuance offered, you’re not likely to ever, ever, never get anybody willing to spend the time.

    TN – Here’s the problem with the “Tom and TN are jerks, so we’re just going to make fart jokes and hope they go away” strategy.

    (1) Tom and The Nightfly are so persistent that they make the Hounds of Hell look lazy, so you’re in for a long ride.

    (2) There might actually be people who come hear to read the arguments and don’t really care about the personalities. When you tell fart jokes as opposed to taking us on, that impresses no one except for other 45 year old men who act like 13 year old boys (and maybe actual 13 year old boys).

    (3) If Tom and The Nightfly are jerks, presumably their ideas suck too, so they should be easily refuted. So refute.

    Pretty much everybody but me blew Greg off because they took him for an unwashed, unlettered blowhard. I engaged him and actually learned quite a bit. He had a lot of good things to say (on movies, not so much on Van Til).

    So engage or don’t, but there are downsides to not engaging.

    Like

  254. Kevin – It’s not a NIMBY approach – it’s a political solution for a political problem. And it allows for the will of the people to be expressed through the elected legislators. Compromises and accommodations can be made during the legislative process – and most of all, laws can changed and repealed in a way that Supreme Court decisions really can’t. So would I say to my fellow OPCers in NJ to sit back and accept the laws the NJ legislature passes? Well, in one sense, yes. They would need to follow those laws with the usual caveats. But they would also have the ability to work through the political process to change the laws they found objectionable.

    However, this is all a counterfactual. That’s not what happened. The situation we have is one in which we are ruled by a judicial monarchy that has taken for itself the powers rightly reserved for the people. And the assault on Christians will likely increase. Our pastor and elders today affirmed that they are prepared to be persecuted but that our session will stand on God’s word. Period.

    It’s not hard to envision a time when churches lose their tax exempt status and seminarians lose eligibility for student loans. I told Scott Clark last year that the Westminsters should prepare for that eventuality. Today they are so dependent on that source of funds that they are extremely vulnerable. And yes, there will be other assaults on our liberties. But Christ’s Church will endure.

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  255. Erik, thanks for your concern for my sanctification. Your thoughtful prodding has led me to consider Tennessee law relative to biblical law.

    Commandment 1: violation is legal and widespread in TN
    Commandment 2: violation is legal and widespread in TN
    Commandment 3: violation is legal and widespread in TN
    Commandment 4: violation is legal and widespread in TN and actually encouraged by the state
    Commandment 5: violation is legal and widespread in TN
    Commandment 6: illegal unless the victim is a fetus — score 1/2 point for the good guys
    Commandment 7: violation is legal and widespread in TN
    Commandment 8: illegal unless you’re a politician or the federal government — score 3/4 point for the good guys
    Commandment 9: sorta illegal (bur rarely punished) — permissible for lawyers, politicians, and advertisers — score 1/4 point for good guys
    Commandment 10: violation is legal and widespread in TN

    So on the moral law scale my state already fails with a 1.5 out of 10 score. Marriage is said to be a creation ordinance (and thus a biggie) but evolution is taught in TN schools so I don’t guess I can appeal to the c-word. I do despise the gay marriage laws, but am I supposed to be more worried about them than the minor laws listed above? I have no plans to make use of this new “freedom” in my state. You aren’t proposing, are you?

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  256. Hi Dan,

    “Listen to the other fellow- he might be right “. Yep, completely agree. He might be, but when he’s wrong and the public( minority or majority) stand to lose because he is, then he deservers to be opposed. And it’s okay, no it’s obligatory, for Christians to do the opposing.
    That’s all I meant.

    Enjoy the rest of your Lord’s Day:)

    Like

  257. Publius – He makes a good point. Do you object to this?

    These decisions are so divisive not just because of the underlying subject matter, but because the Court removes the decision from the hands of the people. And yes, I too would be satisfied – happy even – if our system worked the way it should and these decisions were left to the people at the state and local level.

    TN – I do.

    Why should State and Local governments allow the killing of babies just because the majority wants it? I thought our Constitution guarantees the right to life?

    If the Supreme Court is going to get involved it should be to outlaw abortion in all 50 states, not to allow it.

    What are you guys, France? Why surrender immediately by granting the other side’s premises?

    Like

  258. Dan – Erik, what is behind all this?

    Erik – Nothing other than the fact that I think he’s making a losing and incorrect argument and other guys are too afraid to point it out.

    It’s not personal.

    As I’ve moved to the middle here I just seek out winning arguments. I couldn’t care less who is making them. Can we not have one space in our lives that is devoted to that without people getting all weepy and soft?

    Like

  259. c, e, if you weren’t such in a froth you might be able to see that same-sex marriage follows the Christian pattern of one plus one equals one. That’s not polygamy. And it is fidelity.

    I don’t approve. But if you told a gay person that Jerry Falwell actually won on Friday, they might not celebrate so much

    As if marriage is bliss.

    Like

  260. Kent – It would be a sad day if this decision led to America electing the Nazis to power, especially the gayest ones.

    TN – Kent makes me chuckle (as always), but there is a grain of truth to what he is saying. Extreme left wing actions beget extreme right wing actions (less so the other way around). In a sense, when liberals sow the wind, they need to be prepared to reap the whirlwind.

    Look, for example, at the radical Muslim world’s response to depravity in the West.

    Look at Dylann Roof.

    This is why there always needs to be room left for reasonable levels of dissent. If it’s all squelched, some people will turn to desperate measures.

    Like

  261. Kevin, I am saying: why would homosexuals, who were historically transgressive, now want to emulate bourgeois norms? You can spin this a lot of ways.

    Still, it’s not the church that did this.

    Like

  262. Zrim – Erik, no, should I be troubled by distant majority’s that think differently than me for some reason? But the group that wants a petition signed in the all-purpose room (aka fellowship hall) right after the morning service tends to irritate.

    TN – You’re not troubled at all when babies are killed as a result of people thinking differently from you?

    Are you somehow required to sign the petition?

    Like

  263. Muddy – What’s this “we” of which you talk? If you want to get involved in that way, you are perfectly free to do that as a citizen and as a Christian.

    TN – Does his involvement then entail you deriding him as a “Culture Warrior”?

    It’s your right to do so, but include that caveat when giving him permission.

    Has anyone here (other than maybe Tom) said that churches and ministers have to do anything about gay marriage other than be prepared to face persecution?

    Can you cite any examples of “engaging in standard political idiocy and slander of those whom we oppose” in this discussion or is that mere handwaving?

    Any thoughts on Darryl’s “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back”?

    Like

  264. Chortles – So on the moral law scale my state already fails with a 1.5 out of 10 score. Marriage is said to be a creation ordinance (and thus a biggie) but evolution is taught in TN schools so I don’t guess I can appeal to the c-word. I do despise the gay marriage laws, but am I supposed to be more worried about them than the minor laws listed above? I have no plans to make use of this new “freedom” in my state. You aren’t proposing, are you?

    Erik – That’s a response, and not a bad one.

    You say “it’s a biggie”. Does that mean that you disagree with Darryl that’s it’s not a net positive development for the Church (“two steps forward, one step back”).

    Do you see any potential for this development causing more problems for churches than the other commandment violations that you cite? (I’m thinking about loss of tax exemptions, scrutiny of teachings, persecution of members, etc.)

    If so, why? If not, why not?

    Like

  265. Again Eric – You go on about people being “afraid” to call other people out. Who is afraid? Do you confront every person whom says something disagreeable in your presence or do you inwardly roll your eyes at them and decide it’s not worth the effort? I do this often with friends in real life and on the Internet. Is DGH’s post above an eye roller? Yup. But taken in context with his previous posts on the subject, it’s quite funny. To spell out the joke; the moral majority has been beating the left over the head with their family values club. Well, the left has now embraced family values. Win! See, isn’t that funny? No? Ah well.

    The problem Eric is that you are never an honest broker of other people’s positions. Zrim’s aborting babies in his backyard. DGH is advocating gay marriage. Chortles hates all women and hipsters and Sean, well man-crush so it’s all good. You see what I did there?

    Finally. You sure can dish it out, but you can’t take it. When you are dolling out the low blows, other people need to lighten up and be more entertaining. When someone call you out on your bull shite.. Well, you thought they were a nice guy but now they are A-holes. That is why no one wants to engage you. That and you go from 0 to nuclear in no seconds.

    No thanks man. See you around. Like Three 6 Mafia says just “Keep my name out yo mouth.”

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  266. Darryl – c, e, if you weren’t such in a froth you might be able to see that same-sex marriage follows the Christian pattern of one plus one equals one. That’s not polygamy. And it is fidelity.

    TN – Wow.

    Double wow.

    If the OPC had any balls at all and could stand up to an eccentric (and well published) academic, that statement would cause problems for you.

    Likely they don’t and it won’t, though.

    Like

  267. Darryl – c, e couldn’t take it when I started blogging at Patheos. Another Yoko.

    TN – No idea what that means. I think I’ve maybe read 1-2 pieces there so it’s hard to attribute anything to you blogging at Patheos.

    Like

  268. Amish, and watch c, e melt down if you suggest his comments aren’t very interesting and should be limited.

    But heck, at least he’s not bored by Old Life this week. There’s that.

    Like

  269. Darryl – Zrim, I thought for sure you’d say that Charter and his millions irritates.

    TN – I wish. If I had millions would I be at the office (and at Old Life) so much? Ha, ha.

    Try lots of kids kids and a stay at home wife for two decades. Good recipe for not having millions.

    Like

  270. c, e, you’re not that young.

    Yoko broke up the Beatles.

    You used to be the lead singer in the Old Life choir.

    I started to blog at Patheos (read Yoko).

    You turned on the choir (read John leaves the Beatles).

    Are you wearing a mullet too?

    Like

  271. Erik, as I told you before, you’re unfairly summarizing and or criticizing others contributions. Your stance of taking up for the mistreated kids is overwrought. In fact, Greg asked you and others not to do it for him, he was good. And he needed to be considering he gave more than he got. Likewise, I’m under no delusion that Tom is a wounded bird. And if he’s convinced you that he is, than you’ve been suckered. So, if that makes me part of the choir, I’m good with it. Your gadfly routine is misplaced here and badly played.

    Like

  272. While Darryl has moved to desperately lighting farts as opposed to merely telling fart jokes, I’ll explain why I think what he is advocating is damaging.

    There’s a school of thought that says that “normalizing” homosexual relationships is a positive and compassionate development. By taking gay relationships out of the bathhouse, the gay bar, and the truck stop (if Sowers is to be believed) we make it healthier and safer for the participants and provide a more stable environment for both gay people and their children.

    The problem is, the more normalized it becomes, the more it is seen as an “option” for young people, confused people, people who have had difficult relationships with the opposite sex, physically unattractive people, people who suffer from trauma due to sexual abuse, etc. It’s suddenly just a lifestyle choice that is equally valid to what God has intended — men and women marrying, coming together as one flesh, and having children together.

    In a sense I am drawing on the argument “what does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul”. This is a behavior that Scripture says will not allow those who practice it to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. We need to either explain that away (I wish I could) or take it seriously.

    Darryl’s not taking it seriously.

    Like

  273. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
    diff Dan, why do you think Graham/Palin clunked? Just curious.

    And you helped, tough guy. Sneering and smirking at the people doing the dirty work while you hid in your Presbyterian garden.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink
    “The “Naked Public Square” Richard John Neuhaus warned us about is now here.”

    The title of the Cookies reunion tour.

    More nonsense from the eunuch. And the Naked Public Square is indeed here, not that you did anything to stop it. Now they’ll come for the rest of you. Smirk away.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25/us/schools-fear-impact-of-gay-marriage-ruling-on-tax-status.html

    Like

  274. Darryl,

    You’re not exactly on a hot streak with explaining and analyzing things this week, so if you want to blame you blogging at Patheos for something, go for it.

    No idea what you’re talking about.

    If I figured anything out, it’s that an unquestioning cult of personality is not a great thing, regardless of whether the personality is a pope or a clever academic.

    I still like you. I have no intention of going all anti-Darryl all the time, because that’s equally lame to going agree-with-Darryl all the time.

    You’re just a guy. You have good ideas and bad ideas.

    Like

  275. TVD: “Now is the time for Two Kingdoms types to wake up. If they refused to influence the government, ”

    Two observations:

    1) I consider myself a 2-K type. At the risk of redundancy, I ask “what more could I have done?” I voted last time out. I blogged regularly on the issues of the day. In the past, I’ve “rescued” at abortion mills and passed out flyers supporting George Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004. I created videos for commercials for 3rd Party candidate, Howard Phillips. Now, how exactly is this SCOTUS ruling my fault?

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  276. c, e I was merely trying to find some good news in disappointing developments so that people wouldn’t go hysterical. I obviously didn’t succeed with you.

    But if you’re going to fault me for not taking sex seriously, why do you fault me for going on so much about Roman Catholicism (which I believe is a form of idolatry)?

    You’re utterly inconsistent and simply trying to get a rise out of people since Literate Comments won’t do it.

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  277. Amish,

    If the other guys are 13-year-olds, you’re the red faced 6 year old having a tantrum.

    Come back in 6 months acting older for your next comment.

    I’ll gladly respond to any logical argument you wish to make.

    Like

  278. Publius – It’s not a NIMBY approach – […] it allows for the will of the people to be expressed through the elected legislators.

    I agree with your criticism of the court. Further, I would like to see Nullification (right of US states to nullify federal legislation, perhaps also SC rulings) a topic of talk show discussion.

    Under our current system, Texans and Louisianans can help protect New Yorkers from unjust laws (whether enacted by a democratic majority within the state or not). While this is so, they ought to – by voting, but more importantly by contributing to the development of a positive political consensus through conversation in all areas of their lives, including blogs.

    The requirement is relatively small for the vast majority of people, but the pre-political matters.

    What’s bothering me here is watching those who are in a position to relay the attractiveness of a Christian life in an ordered society basically cop out – on a blog – of affirming right from wrong.

    If the country fractures, our obligation to one another will be of a different nature (like our much more limited obligation to Nigerians – basically, to stop our government and corporations from harming them – or to Canadians).

    Like

  279. Sean,

    I’m not talking about sticking up for underdogs.

    I’m talking about hearing people’s arguments in spite of their personalities.

    Greg had good points about holiness and sanctification that I frankly needed to hear. I went from watching maybe 4 movies a day on a weekend (half-way watching while I’m working, anyway) to watching city meetings, resuming my interest in track and field, etc. More neutral to edifying things. I feel like I am better able to lead and guide my wife and kids because of that. He had a valid point that I didn’t want to hear, but once I considered it, he helped me.

    Will I never watch an R rated movie again? No, I will, but I won’t make a habit out of it.

    Like

  280. Sean – Erik, as I told you before, you’re unfairly summarizing and or criticizing others contributions

    TN – Tell me how.

    If I could get anyone to tell me what they think of Darryl’s analysis we can actually start the discussion.

    Chortles has gone half-way, but no one else has. That’s why I use phrases like “The Choir”.

    Tell me why Darryl is right or wrong.

    Like

  281. Tom,

    As some background, David is legit in what he says.

    Probably the best-known anti-abortion activist of his era in Des Moines.

    I don’t know that I could do what he used to do, but I don’t judge him for it.

    Like

  282. Darryl – c, e I was merely trying to find some good news in disappointing developments so that people wouldn’t go hysterical. I obviously didn’t succeed with you.

    TN – O.K. Now we’re getting somewhere. Do you ever feel like your should use your brain and your position to just play it straight and be a leader?

    Darryl – But if you’re going to fault me for not taking sex seriously, why do you fault me for going on so much about Roman Catholicism (which I believe is a form of idolatry)?

    Erik – I fault you less for taking Catholicism seriously than providing an open forum for Catholics who have no clue how to be concise and engaging to drone on ENDLESSLY. It’s just bad blogging.

    Darryl – You’re utterly inconsistent and simply trying to get a rise out of people since Literate Comments won’t do it.

    Erik – I just have no motivation to blog myself right now. Maybe again in the future. Ask Muddy why he doesn’t blog any more.

    Like

  283. Darryl,

    If you honestly ever want me to leave, just ask.

    The other thing that will make me leave is if there ceases to be any serious people here. There are some, but it depends a lot on their mood on a particular day. I think the Christian maturity level of 2K folks (at least in the blogosphere) is honestly subpar. That’s included me too, at least in the past.

    I would like to see if I can have a hand in raising the level of everyone’s game. If not, at least I tried.

    Like

  284. TVD wrote, “How do you think the polls swung so much in a handful of years? The herd mentality. For traditional marriage, the best people stood silent”

    Who stood silent? Who are these “best people”, anyway?

    Like

  285. Muddy – “We” – Those living in the USA who profess to be Christian, above all those who take it seriously (e.g., those present).

    Every Christian has a duty to defend the faith, which includes coming to understand it and determining what action should follow from it, including its application to civil society. This is particularly true for laymen. We can disagree on courses of action, of course.

    We both profess Christianity and so are linked by a common concern. I would hope this would include Charity toward all with particular reference to the USA, and the desire for a stable country.

    As I see it so far, the purpose of a blog is to engage with issues of interest to the moderator (and the volume of comments here reveals they are important indeed). But a part of engaging with them is, in a phrase that often recurs to me, to “lend ardour to virtue” – to enable one another to engage with our separate challenges on a daily basis, with attention to the future.

    St. Paul: “it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.”

    Paul made it plain “to everyone” his beliefs. Are those present doing so in the various areas of life they are active in? If so (and until yesterday or so I would have assumed they are), why the hesitancy to say so here? Is homosexual “marriage” a problem for society for numerous reasons? Ought we not to say so, and try to influence others to vote properly?

    Like

  286. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
    diff Dan, why do you think Graham/Palin clunked? Just curious.

    You aren’t the first historian to fail to convince me that there is an American Conservatism that could be betrayed. Hard to fault people for slipping moorings that don’ t exist. Wish they did.

    Like

  287. DGH,

    On further reflection, if you revised the book a little and titled it Why American Protestantism has Made American Conservatism Impossible– From Jonathan Edwards to Tim Keller, you might have a best seller.

    Like

  288. <i.David Shedlock
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 6:24 pm | Permalink
    TVD: “Now is the time for Two Kingdoms types to wake up. If they refused to influence the government, ”

    Two observations:

    1) I consider myself a 2-K type. At the risk of redundancy, I ask “what more could I have done?” I voted last time out. I blogged regularly on the issues of the day. In the past, I’ve “rescued” at abortion mills and passed out flyers supporting George Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004. I created videos for commercials for 3rd Party candidate, Howard Phillips. Now, how exactly is this SCOTUS ruling my fault?

    By “2k” in this milieu, we’re speaking of the “radical” Two Kingdoms types, who save most of their fire for their own side. Sarah Palin didn’t “betray” conservatism, they did, with friendly fire.

    As for you personally, Erik vouches for you. what you describe above is not the “Two Kingdoms” stuff I’m speaking of. Would that they were all like you.

    As for the Howard Phillips thing, I dunno. Funny that someone here was just singing the praises of mugwump Howard Baker and Phillips saw through his squishiness.

    OTOH, I’m not big on those who take their ball and start a new game down the street in the name of doctrinal purity. [And that goes for Mr. JG Machen as well.] Howard Phillips made himself irrelevant, there’s no other way to spin it. Seems like a helluva guy,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Phillips_(politician)

    even a visionary, but it’s just that sort of thing I’m railing against at the moment. Self-immolation is no better than self-castration.

    And if you read to the end of my argument on 2k-ers, the “culture” is lost–the US government is going to come after religious freedom now. Gird them 2k loins, drop your sword and pick up a shield. Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. And the hell with those who run and hide.

    Like

  289. (A different) Dan
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink
    DGH,

    On further reflection, if you revised the book a little and titled it Why American Protestantism has Made American Conservatism Impossible– From Jonathan Edwards to Tim Keller, you might have a best seller.

    The irony is that after all the crowing that Darryl did about “Catholic” Ireland going gay–America was always more a Protestant nation than a “Christian” one. Now that the Episcopalian Church and Presbyterian Church USA have officially gone gay, it’s hardly a surprise the Supreme Court was emboldened to follow suit.

    These were not unrelated developments. The evangelicals were marginalized, the Protestant mainstream establishment did what it always does, follow rather than lead.

    Like

  290. For the uninitiated, Howard Phillips is/was Doug Phillips dad. Not sure if he’s still living.

    Like

  291. Tom,

    How did the PCUSA & The Episcopalians influence the Supreme Court? Aren’t they all Catholics & Jews?

    Like

  292. DGH: a period. interesting that you keep coming back to a site with all sorts of crazy things said and linked. interesting.

    yeah I know; hafta figure out why or maybe never will; anyway the no thanks was to ‘OPC’

    Like

  293. Chortles,

    Which outliers club is that?

    Not sure I’d want to be in a club with you. Getting kind of crotchety.

    You guys are still in the junior high clique, not me.

    Like

  294. Chortles,

    You never told me how Beffany is doing.

    Has she lifted that restraining order against you?

    Picking on single women is a bad sign at your age.

    Like

  295. Nightgnat, your habit of making scandalous and unfounded accusations continues. I was blocked on Twitter (not exactly a restraining order — I thought you were sensitive to slander) by her not because of any interaction I had with her but because others glommed on to a thread I started. Keeping flinging it against the wall.

    Like

  296. Chortles,

    Oh, so others were at fault.

    Sounds like Tom’s explanation for his bans.

    Maybe he needs more sympathy from you guys?

    Like

  297. Chortles,

    How is a reference to a fictitious name doing something to another fictitious name “scandalous”?

    Do you yell at the TV to tell the cartoon characters to be nicer to each other?

    Meanwhile I get wrongly accused of doing something in real life under my real name and you & your buddies offer no help whatsoever…

    Like

  298. Chortles,

    O.K. Truce. I won’t bring that line of questioning up again.

    You need to not poke me, though. Frankly you’re too nice of a guy. That’s a compliment. Darryl, Muddy, Zrim, and Tom are more in my league.

    Plus it gets Amish all riled up.

    Like

  299. I’m thinking the basic 12 step program could be used for compulsive commenters. But, like drunks, they’re the last to know they have a problem. Everyone around them – embarrassed. The drunk: “hey, I’m fine.”

    Like

  300. a.,

    I apologize if I insulted you. I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about, though. Point it out if you’re serious.

    Like

  301. The Nightfly
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink
    Tom,
    How did the PCUSA & The Episcopalians influence the Supreme Court? Aren’t they all Catholics & Jews?

    The SC doesn’t make moves–even radical ones like this–without knowing they can get away with it. They like being at the forefront of “progress,” but think of it as finding a parade and standing in front of it. This was a perfect storm–indeed, if we didn’t have the First Black President as a spearhead, Black America wouldn’t have gone along. Add in two major Protestant denominations not just tolerating gay sex but institutionalizing it, and the coast was clear.

    [BTW, reform Judaism has already gone gay, the Catholic vote is split, and the Catholic Church itself can be safely ignored politically, as we know.

    Like

  302. It was interesting that at church today, there was almost no mention and even less concern for the SCOTUS decision. I took that as a good sign. People are busy living their lives and while this may have some domino effect as regards future religious liberty, most people aren’t willing to say that this is that moment. Nothing, in fact, changed for most of us and it has yet to be proven or borne out that anything will. It’s always good to check virtual spin ups with local, particular spin ups. My RC parents were more engaged than my prot brethren but their conclusion was that they weren’t gay, the archdiocese’s policies were predictable and appropriate to the news, and they were more concerned about the grocery shopping list. At which point, I looked at my wife, as is my custom, to make sure she got the message that that was her sign. I got my usual response. So, basically the reaction seemed to be, I hope the gays had a good celebration, bless their hearts and welcome to marriage and all it’s wonderment. Now, about monday and you meeting my needs.

    Like

  303. Erik, “babies killed”? The 70s anti-war protesters are on line two asking for their breathless sloganeering back.

    No requirement to sign, which doesn’t make the intrusion of politics into religion any less annoying though. Say something about killing babies again, though, that’s the flip side of crying “misogyny!” for opposing elective abortion or “homophobe!” for dissenting on SSM.

    Like

  304. Anyone on board with Zrim, pro or con? I like babies.

    Sean,

    Interesting. Catholic church making a statement good or bad?

    Like

  305. It’s too much of a leap to demand that American Conservatives are automatically so set against abortion or same set marriage that they’ll lock people up for committing either

    Let’s see.. Professor Plum, in the Conservatory,with the lead pipe…oh…. wrong on all counts…
    .

    Like

  306. Erik, it was basically that they won’t be solemnizing any same sex marriages so don’t ask and no you can’t use our buildings either but we love you and let’s talk.

    Like

  307. sean
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 9:15 pm | Permalink
    It was interesting that at church today, there was almost no mention and even less concern for the SCOTUS decision. I took that as a good sign. People are busy living their lives and while this may have some domino effect as regards future religious liberty, most people aren’t willing to say that this is that moment. Nothing, in fact, changed for most of us and it has yet to be proven or borne out that anything will. It’s always good to check virtual spin ups with local, particular spin ups. My RC parents were more engaged than my prot brethren but their conclusion was that they weren’t gay, the archdiocese’s policies were predictable and appropriate to the news, and they were more concerned about the grocery shopping list. At which point, I looked at my wife, as is my custom, to make sure she got the message that that was her sign. I got my usual response. So, basically the reaction seemed to be, I hope the gays had a good celebration, bless their hearts and welcome to marriage and all it’s wonderment. Now, about monday and you meeting my needs.

    This is how it went down in the first place. Rust never sleeps.

    Like

  308. Erik, liking babies is insufficient. What are you doing to stop the mass execution of heaven’s most innocent creatures who deserve the utmost effort of every able bodied person? Don’t you know western civilization depends on this? Don’t you know heaven will judge you and the nation for not doing enough? Don’t you know every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great?

    Like

  309. TVD, maybe but maybe not. I’m leaning not. And if it does, wait for it, God is still sovereign and ordaining all things. In the meantime I’ll have more immediate legitimate obligations and acts of good citizenry and even Christian charity to get done tomorrow but probably not toward you cuz that’s not how you and I love each other.

    Like

  310. sean
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 9:52 pm | Permalink
    TVD, maybe but maybe not. I’m leaning not. And if it does, wait for it, God is still sovereign and ordaining all things. In the meantime I’ll have more immediate legitimate obligations and acts of good citizenry and even Christian charity to get done tomorrow but probably not toward you cuz that’s not how you and I love each other.

    Yes, God is still sovereign and ordaining all things. But he punished Israel not capriciously but because she had it coming.

    I’m not a “providential history” type, that God made a covenant with America, but I do think it’s true that on some level America made a covenant with God–as Mr. Lincoln put it, not that God is on our side but that we are on his.

    Even if that covenant was not divinely reciprocated, I do believe America just abandoned its end. The Bible is now an enemy of the state.

    Like

  311. Newark:
    “Every Christian has a duty to defend the faith, which includes coming to understand it and determining what action should follow from it, including its application to civil society.”

    Every Christian has a duty to be ready “to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” There is no duty to be reading Supreme Court opinions or to agitate for social change.

    Newark: “Paul made it plain “to everyone” his beliefs. Are those present doing so in the various areas of life they are active in? If so (and until yesterday or so I would have assumed they are), why the hesitancy to say so here? Is homosexual “marriage” a problem for society for numerous reasons? Ought we not to say so, and try to influence others to vote properly?”

    Paul was explicitly addressing the gospel. You are addressing law, and civil law at that. You have created some kind of hybrid that you can not attribute to Paul

    Like

  312. David Shedlock – good to hear from you. Do you folks know David Shedlock? He’s being admirable in not detailing his resume but there’s only the slimmest of chances that anyone here has done as much in the realm of pro-life activity as David. For a while in the Des Moines area, every morning was about pouring a cup of coffee, chomping on a bowl of cereal, and reading about David Shedlock’s latest arrest for the pro-life cause. So, yeah, tell him he’s a whimp for being 2k, ya posers.

    Like

  313. diff Dan, I hear you.

    But in my defense I would also say that a world of conservatism exists out there that the Schaeffers and even some of the neo-Calvinists don’t know about. When you enter the stage, stage right, and claim to be conservative, I think you should be aware of what the conservative conversation is before you speak on the right’s behalf.

    thanks.

    Like

  314. Muddy Gravel
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 10:04 pm | Permalink
    Newark:
    “Every Christian has a duty to defend the faith, which includes coming to understand it and determining what action should follow from it, including its application to civil society.”

    Every Christian has a duty to be ready “to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” There is no duty to be reading Supreme Court opinions or to agitate for social change.

    To a Catholic–and many Protestants, “the faith” includes both general and special revelation, both the Bible and “natural law.”

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/1992/01/002-protestants-and-natural-law

    If the Bible is short on explications of the natural law, it’s because back before modernity turned philosophy into gibberish, even the merest pagan had some idea of right and wrong

    14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

    Not so easy these days, though. Men and women are interchangable in the sex act, or on the cover of Vanity Fair. All things are created equal, or can be made to be.

    Like

  315. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 10:18 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, the culture was lost when Cookies started to perform.

    When you’re going to slime The Cookies, Dr. Front Porch Quisling, give the link, always give the link! Let the people decide!

    http://squelchers.net/Cookies/Cookies.html

    Wining and dining, the party that’s Washington
    Rome in its glory all belly and thigh
    Gross is the word for the national product
    The Nine make decree and
    The sheep just comply
    —“Such Brave Men”

    Baa for us, Butch. Baa-aaaa. 😉

    Like

  316. D. G. Hart
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink
    “Solid analysis.”

    Code for solid waste.

    Ah, that deadly Darryl Hart pith. Horthpith.
    __________________

    D. G. Hart
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
    Vd, t, how can the state be an enemy of the bible when the chief executive just led a congregation in singing Amazing Grace?

    Your call, Dr. Calvinism: A History. I was appalled, by the singing alone. I wish you wouldn’t wank off on this one, though.

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/26/obama-ditch-religious-convictions-about-same-sex-marriage-already/

    You have been right all along–if not true in the past, the fact now is that the Bible is the enemy of the state and vice-versa. It’s actually your turn to shine.

    Like

  317. D. G. Hart :Vd, t, how can the state be an enemy of the bible when the chief executive (don’t know his Christian faith denomination profession) just led a congregation in singing Amazing Grace?

    and Newark:“Every Christian has a duty to defend the faith,”

    …first within the ‘church’ … Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:3-4

    and.. immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
    For this reason it says ,“Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:3-14

    Like

  318. Zrim,

    THE strategy on debating any social issue with you is to just wind you up, watch you go, and imagine the look on your allies faces.

    You’re the crazy uncle who everyone talks about how they are going to distract him for two days over Thanksgiving so he doesn’t get rolling.

    Now carry on.

    Like

  319. DGH, point taken. You do deal with an impressive amount of material in the book. I do think A Secular Faith is exemplary- rigorous and tightly argued. Ordered the Kindle edition of Lost Soul a few days ago, in fact, so you didn’t lose me with Billy & Sarah– just thought you tried to anchor a valid critique in a non- existent harbor. And maybe it made a difference that I read it while recuperating from a heart attack last December.

    Like

  320. No offense but “A Secular Faith” is “Penthouse Letters” to Van Drunen’s “The Kama Sutra”. Hart’s Machen bio is his best by far.

    Like

  321. Erik, sure. I actually think the gay ‘threat’ is an opportunity to further highlight the distinction between church and state, force us all to better define ourselves along 2k lines, and even provide an opportunity to distinguish the gospel and being a christian from being an american. Good things.

    Like

  322. Erik,

    After reading the love-fest here between you, DGH, and his hind-quarters smooching sycophants, I am left heartbroken at the escalation of this dreadful conflict. It seems as if what we have here is a failure to communicate.

    Seriously, can’t we all just get along?

    Sheesh, it’s not as if Darryl just ran off with Zrim to the Grand Rapids courthouse here… of course I wouldn’t be shocked with Darryl’s love for cats and Zrim’s love for tennis.

    Like

  323. Pound sand, Jedlyn. Don’t talk about my friends that way, you singlet wearing not fooling anyone twink. Can I say twink? I think I can. Urban dictionary: A twink is the gay answer to the blonde bimbo cheerleader. Yes!

    Like

  324. sean
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink
    Erik, sure. I actually think the gay ‘threat’ is an opportunity to further highlight the distinction between church and state, force us all to better define ourselves along 2k lines, and even provide an opportunity to distinguish the gospel and being a christian from being an american. Good things.

    Exactly. Let’s see if we can tell the difference with you and Darryl and the rest before and after this. 2K-ers, cowboy up, balls out! Here comes Obama!

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/26/obama-ditch-religious-convictions-about-same-sex-marriage-already/

    Like

  325. Muddy –

    I. There is no duty to be reading Supreme Court opinions or to agitate for social change.

    I agree with you. Do you agree with me that:

    1) God wants the U.S. government to provide for the public good;
    2) The U.S. government is made up of people (e.g. my father-in-law, sr. government economist in DC);
    3) These people should do good, not evil (individually and collectively);
    4) When the government does evil, we should say something about it to friends and neighbors so that they know they aren’t the only ones with objections (pre-political);
    5) Then we should vote, if the position is elective, for different people (the political);
    6) If we are feeling particularly motivated, we might send government officials’ offices an email;
    7) We could even post our thoughts in a comment box on a blog (pre-political).

    ?

    That is all I’m talking about, particularly with regard to the case of SSM. Surely this is uncontroversial common sense.

    II. Paul was explicitly addressing the gospel. You are addressing law, and civil law at that. You have created some kind of hybrid that you can not attribute to Paul.

    This one’s yours – I agree that’s the purpose of the passage and that I made a misstatement. Too tired to come up with a ‘post-hoc justification.”

    Is this obviously applicable to our current government?:
    For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. […]
    Do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
    for he is God’s servant for your good.

    Like

  326. BTW, as to the substance of the debate, I am with Ron Paul on this one – the state, especially the Federal gov’t should get out of the marriage business altogether. Let each community of faith (or lack thereof) deal with and define their understanding of marriage. It would get each side off of each others throats. If the gays want to get married let them go to the PCUSA or a liberal Episcopal church – or a Bahai temple, and let our conservative ministers and communities continue to operate with our traditional categories of marriage.

    I get the complications with children, and when divorce comes into play, but these hurdles can be overcome. One thing is for certain, gay marriage is here to stay whether we agree with it or not. In many ways the anti-gay marriage activists ended up forcing the issue (e.g. Prop 8), and pretty much ensured that this matter would be solved in the courts, anyone who didn’t see this backfire coming years ago was either willfully ignorant, or dull, or both.

    Like

  327. This was inevitable It’ll be the best thing that ever happened to the whorehouse American church. His winnowing fork in His hand. When it REALLY costs people to play Christian, we’ll see who’s who.

    I can’t wait. When the fires of genuine persecution have purged Christ’s church of the numberless multitude of world loving plastic pretenders, I wanna be in THOSE worship meetings. I WANT that kind of pressure. It will only make me and mine stronger. Always does. All throughout history. I do not want to be on this planet one minute longer than my usefulness to the King of glory.

    Erik. Reading you in this thread is why I can’t give up on you.

    Like

  328. Zrim –

    ~[…] the mass execution of heaven’s most innocent creatures […] Don’t you know heaven will judge you and the nation for not doing enough? Don’t you know every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great?~

    a) Does the scale of abortion not qualify as ‘mass’ (in NYC, more black babies are killed than are born)?

    b) Are they not innocent creatures?

    c) Is human life not created by God and endowed with a soul?

    d) A human soul is equivalent to sperm?

    e) How would God’s judgment be out of line with his judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah?

    f) ‘Enough’ can be simply making your opinion known at work, in casual conversation with strangers should the subject come up, etc. – should you be a relatively normal person, this will have a positive impact.

    Like

  329. Newark, that was the first time in the history of blog comments that anyone has admitted a misstep. Kudos to you. But I’m spent so I’ll reply to your list tomorrow.
    ———
    Hey, why does Jed always get to step in late and be the voice of reason & reconciliation? Opportunist.

    Like

  330. Mark Mcculley
    Posted June 29, 2015 at 12:35 am | Permalink
    Rushdoony did all he could. Van Till and the antithesis. But that’s not enough anymore. It never was.

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/04/a-real-theocrat

    “There is one other book that can teach you everything you need to know about life… it’s The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but that’s not enough anymore.”

    ― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

    Not even a Darryl Hart decoder ring–if one existed–could sort out Rushdoony, Van Til, First Things, Dostoyevsky and Vonnegut.

    Yet somehow you did. Once you realize the Old Life Theological Society is a granfalloon, everything falls into place.

    Like

  331. When the outsiders look like insiders, and inside the insiders there is this one most inside dude who really abides…

    A granfalloon, in the fictional religion of Bokononism is defined as a “false karass” which is a group of people who affect a shared identity or purpose, but whose mutual association is actually meaningless.

    “are you a Hoosier?”
    I admitted I was.
    “I’m a Hoosier, too,” she crowed. “Nobody has to be ashamed of being a Hoosier.”
    “I’m not,” I said. “I never knew anybody who was.”
    – Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

    Like

  332. sean
    Posted June 28, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink
    Erik, sure. I actually think the gay ‘threat’ is an opportunity to further highlight the distinction between church and state, force us all to better define ourselves along 2k lines, and even provide an opportunity to distinguish the gospel and being a christian from being an american. Good things.>>>>>

    Sean, I wish I could think of this as a “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” situation. We have not been handed lemons, but something much worse, I fear. The US is not Canada. However, you might be interested in reading about the impact of same sex marriage on our sister country to the north.

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/04/14899/

    Like

  333. TVD:
    Exactly. Let’s see if we can tell the difference with you and Darryl and the rest before and after this. 2K-ers, cowboy up, balls out! Here comes Obama!>>>>>

    Indeed! Obama is now theologian in chief.

    BTW, I love The Cookies music, Tom. You guys were excellent.

    http://squelchers.net/Cookies/Cookies.htm

    Obama:
    “Shifts in hearts and minds is possible,” he said. “And those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them. Because for all our differences, we are one people — stronger together than we could ever be alone.”

    Like

  334. Susan
    Posted June 29, 2015 at 2:52 am | Permalink
    Tom,

    I will let anyone correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the 2K theology/anthropology is the outgrowth of its philosophy of Monocausalism. That’s why they will speak of our inability to change anything.

    Oh my, thank you, Susan. I’ll read this. I was actually making a joke, quoting one of my [non-Cookies] tunes,”In Another 1000 Years.”

    Don’t tell me
    You’re waiting for a better age

    Oh yeah…

    In another 1000 years
    maybe something will change
    In Another 1000 years

    Maybe nothing will change

    In a prayer but the words will change you
    In a prayer
    But the words will break you

    Don’t tell me you
    Think you’ve heard this all before

    Oh yeah…

    Something like that, Susan. In this modern information age, there are so few who have not heard the Word. The rest simply need to be reminded, eh?

    Fantastic link. That these people have the temerity to mock him.

    http://principiumunitatis.blogspot.com/2008/06/monocausalism-salvation-and.html

    Oh well, that’s the way of the world.

    Like

  335. Jed,

    Didn’t Jason & his brother become Bahai and hit the road to play the hits of England Dan & John Ford Coley?

    No word if they saw Zrim on the Cambodia tour stop…

    Like

  336. Jed,

    It’s my ministry to help some of these guys suck less.

    As I watched several anti-2k ers come here over the years swinging wildly before quickly departing in a huff I often said to myself, “now why didn’t he just say x”.

    I know the regulars here so well that I can make a comment, know their response before they make it, and have my next comment ready.

    Occasionally when they go off script things get worthwhile — and interesting. A few are completely hardwired and probably beyond hope, though.

    Like

  337. Greg, good job bringing the macho bluster. Quiet determination might serve you better if the worst comes, but maybe that ‘help wanted – OT prophet’ sign you’ve been looking for will appear. And that last line to Nightgnat is right out of ‘Brokeback Mountain’. Through with this unficator business — Jed is taking that over.

    Like

  338. Sean,

    Thanks.

    Do you think the OPC should issue similar “pious advice”, as Darryl calls it or just ignore the matter?

    Will Darryl & Muddy oppose the issuance of said pious advice?

    Like

  339. Chortles,

    What’s wrong with “Brokeback Mountain”?

    I thought the point of all this was to show that 2k people were enlightened non-homophobes?

    There’s that poor breeding again…

    Like

  340. I’m mostly just giddy with gladness having a reprieve from nothing but Catholics droning on endlessly. This is like the good old days. May we fight over gay marriage until the day they lock us up and throw away the key!

    Like

  341. Thread has been over since the comment below (from page 5) by cw[th]lu. You all just don’t know it.

    Tell me again what I’m supposed to be doing that I’m not doing to “save the culture”. What does the mythical activity look like? Is it just spouting off and venting outrage in certain predictable cultural and social directions? Is it contributing my voice to the ineffectual echo chamber of Fox News themes, sharing flag-wrapped Facebook memes, supporting all the right interest group teams? I can’t vote more conservative than I already vote. I can’t find a more biblical church than I attend. My two sons are far more conservative at their ages than I was at the same ages – why is that?. Short of Bayly-inspired vigilantism, what do you want? Do I have to support the next Falwell and the next Falwell water slide? Do we dig up D. James Kennedy? Can I just try to act ethically, treat people (all kinds) well through the week, speak well of my church and the reason for its existence, and go to that church twice on Sunday — participating in her odd rites and supporting her as I am able? I work five and half days a week, have a grandson and a bad back. If there’s more I can do please try to slot it for Saturday afternoon and no heavy lifting, please.

    Like

  342. Newark: 1) God wants the U.S. government to provide for the public good;
    MG: God *does* use the government to provide for the public good.

    Newark: 4) When the government does evil, we should say something about it to friends and neighbors so that they know they aren’t the only ones with objections (pre-political);
    MG: This is what some may decide to do. I note that you say “does” evil rather than “fails to proscribe an evil.” There is a wide gulf between the two.

    Newark:
    Is this obviously applicable to our current government?:
    For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. […]
    Do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
    for he is God’s servant for your good.

    MG: I see description, not prescription. I live in a land of substantial order and extensive freedom. I can go to work, raise a family, engage in recreation and practice my religion with minimal interference. Roads are good. My house is not burned to the ground when I leave in the morning. If my house catches on fire a fire truck will soon be there. Criminals of various types are tried, usually by a fair process. If I rob a bank or murder someone at lunch time the rulers will become a terror to you. The government is God’s deacon.

    Like

  343. Going to be an interesting day today in the rest of the world. I’ll check back later to see if you all have finished up your biopsy of the pimple you discovered on the elephants ass.

    Like

  344. CW, I found your mythical activity, FB has a celebratepride color scheme one can fly. You could not do that but instead fly the confederate flag color scheme and that’d mean you’re on god’s side and not the devil’s like you have been.

    Like

  345. I’m going to be busy today and will not have time to defend this, but here’s my statement:

    The main effect of Xian political and social involvement since the late Finney period (the father of the religious right and left in this country) has been the destruction of proper worship and serious doctrine, as in Cane Ridge cooperation to redeem the godless frontier, Fox News papist-evangelical mongrelization, elevation of social-moral issues above the local church, etc.

    Bone thrown.

    Like

  346. Diffident Dan, you can insult me any time if your insult is as good as that one. But, yeah, for the most part I’m going to let everyone else look at the elephant’s ass today.

    Like

  347. Erik, ah, the crazy uncle analogy. So this is what it feels like to be Doug Sowers. But don’t flatter yourself, you’re only a sounding board.

    Like

  348. Kevin, I was being facetious. But the unborn are not innocent, unless by that term you loosely mean weak and defenseless. Sorry to be pedantic on this point, but as a logocentrist I think it’s worth making the distinction. Conservative Calvinists should be more wary in adopting the confusing language of pro-lifers.

    You ask “how would God’s judgment be out of line with his judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah?” It’s out of line because that’s a type of God’s wrath against the sins of the world, which was satisfactorily poured out on Christ at the cross and will come once more on the final day. Anything that suggests God’s judgment comes before that is suggesting contrary to Christ that his judgement is incomplete and/or tied to any particular phenomenon (political, social, etc.) is dangerous because it obscures the gospel under the traditions and interests of men.

    Re enough, that’s all some of us do. But for many pro-lifers, this isn’t nearly sufficient. And that’s because it isn’t about simply being a participant in the conversation. It’s a moralistic cause that reveals who’s faith is genuine and whose isn’t. Robert Bork would come in for severe judgment for sounding so lax:

    “I oppose abortion. But an amazing number of people thought that I would outlaw abortion. They didn’t understand that not only did I have no desire to do that, but I had no power to do it. If you overrule Roe v. Wade, abortion does not become illegal. State legislatures take on the subject. The abortion issue has produced divisions and bitterness in our politics that countries don’t have where abortion is decided by legislatures. And both sides go home, after a compromise, and attempt to try again next year. And as a result, it’s not nearly the explosive issue as it is here where the court has grabbed it and taken it away from the voters.”

    Like

  349. I’ll say before evening Mass was over yesterday, the priest presiding said, President Obama called the SC decision a “win for America”. He went on to say this was not a win for America but a win for evil and that the Churches marriage will not change.

    Next weekend at all Masses after the Scripture reading there is to be a statement read from the local Bishop addressing this issue. I applaud them both. Some here may have the idea that this will have a easy and peaceful transition… I do not have that idea. We already have county clerks being called hypocrites and bigoted here in Texas who refuse to be a part of the paperwork. What happens now to the justice of the peace who refuses. This just became part of the voting platform for JPs. Do they object or not. This is local stuff that just got thrown in our laps. This is not organized rule of law. This is chaos. 2k or not…we should all be able to say that.

    Like

  350. Lester the Nightfly:

    DGH is earning his honorary Canadian credentials on this one. We haven’t had an abortion law on the books since a Jury Nullification 20 or so years ago. And SSM is a “whatever, Dude” issue.

    And the world didn’t fall apart. Except for a few Canadians who published newsletters that made Westboro Baptist seem meek.

    I’m not sure the Usual Suspect/Likely Lad reaction of gleefulness on here over this SCOTUS ruling being the greatest thing in his life for the misery it will cause is a proper stance either. Just adds another abascus bead to the side where I think a woodchipper will be taking in human flesh when he finally goes “TOING….” in his head….

    Like

  351. Here is a nice quote from someone who disagrees that a county clerk or any state employee has the religious right to refuse licenses or to perform them:

    Legally they cannot refuse to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple and if they do so, that couple can seek legal remedy: criminal and civil damages against the Clerk who refused as well as the Department officials and the Governor. You want to give it a shot, then go for it. We’d love to see you behind bars and your financial life destroyed because of your bigotry.

    Anybody think there is not a voice for pursecution in the air?

    Like

  352. MTX: It’s hard to legislate on rights for which there is no more of a test than to simply declare that someone possesses certain behavioural preferences.

    Like

  353. Darryl,

    Brandon Eich is the inventor of Javascript (perhaps you heard of it) and a founder of Mozilla. He was promoted to CEO of Mozilla briefly, but when it came to light that he have a $1,000 donation to California’s proposition 8 defining marriage as one man and one woman, he was basically hounded to death to resign:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brendan_Eich

    This despite the fact that he was never known for treating gay coworkers unfairly. He was punished for a political and religious belief.

    My question is what happens when such things become the norm, if they become the norm. Do you think that any Christian currently advocating for a positive biblical view of marriage could get tenure at any secular university, let alone get hired. There are all sorts of stories that Dreher has reported of lawyers not saying anything about their views for fear of getting fired or blacklisted. The California judicial association recently declared that you can’t be a member of it if you are in the Boy Scouts and specifically because of the Boy Scout policy on gay marriage. IOW, you can’t be a judge in California anymore unless you tow the party line.

    This is what I’m talking about. Did you even see the reaction of major corporations on Friday? You’d think they’d all gone gay.

    What happens if such a mentality spreads to more and more institutions. You think the public schools aren’t already enforcing such groupthink? You end up with confessional Christians being shut out from many professions. We already have the arm of the state being used to run little old ladies who run flower shops out of business.

    These aren’t paranoid delusions. I’m no supporter of Fox News and I didn’t vote for Romney. Maybe everybody will go along and get along, but there is a distinct possibility that they won’t.

    Why such a reluctance to even admit the possibility, and what does 2K have to say if that does happen? These are legitimate questions and too many here are sloughing them off. I understand being against the Republican party. I don’t understand thinking that anyone who has a concern is a slave to Fox News or the Christian Right.

    Like

  354. Kent,

    I suspect that Canadian gay activists, being Canadian, won’t bring the fight to the church like American gay activists will.

    We have the best damn gay activists in the world, yo.

    Like

  355. I was trying to figure out DG’s position, so below are most of his comments on this thread.

    Good news – So Po may not be a threat to the OPC after all. I think they’d be surprised and pleased.

    Not sure what the Westfield OPCers would think, though.

    —DG’s position?
    SSM is two steps forward. The only step back is that Christians will
    still object. The government determines what marriage is for US citizens, not the
    Bible. Further, it has the power to determine whether Christian norms
    apply to SSM.

    Live and let live. Let them practice monogamy. SSM follows the
    Christian pattern. It is fidelity.

    Take a pill and chill. The OPC hasn’t evolved. This is a government
    change of policy, and does not touch on morality. Marriage isn’t bliss anyway.

    —DG’s other position
    1 – Kevin, families are good. Gay marriage is bad.

    2 – I don’t favor gay marriage. But I don’t think this is merely a win
    for gays. They may have bitten off more than they can chew. That’s the
    way politics works.

    3 – I don’t approve

    —Is SSM Christian marriage?

    1 – same-sex marriage follows the Christian pattern of one plus one equals
    one. That’s not polygamy. And it is fidelity.

    2 – erik, isn’t monogamy Christian? That’s what gays have lurched into.

    —Shouldn’t we speak well of (true) marriage?

    1 – I’m sure they will follow heteros in recognizing the weaknesses of
    fidelity to marital vows.

    2 – As if marriage is bliss.

    —Who is really to blame?

    vd, t, come on, blame the ones who were really in charge — the
    popes. If they had reformed the church the Reformers wouldn’t have
    been necessary

    —How are we to react?

    1 – Don’t worry about it – But Christians shouldn’t act like this is
    the end of the world, as if they are the Israelites who have gone into
    exile. We have always been in exile. Don’t act like this is our
    home.

    2 – take a pill and chill lest you become a Bayly Brother

    3 – “Live and let live” – Robert, are you content to live and let live? If not, then why
    should they be?

    —What could we have done to keep this from happening?

    (Radical legal changes are not worth paying attention to):

    ec, I’m concerned every day — about the world, the flesh and the devil. Now you’re
    telling me I only needed to worry about the courts? Who knew?

    —Is the Devil a factor, then?

    (From “Window Shut” – this isn’t an adequately unusual situation, I suppose; let’s not be “exotic”):

    vd, t, I think human depravity is usually sufficient to explain evil in the world. I don’t need it to be exotic to believe in it, or to think that a little Hitler lurks in all of us.

    —Can we find guidance in the Bible?

    1 –ec, I have the stones to say you are clueless. A biblical
    position on a social issue. What is that?

    2 – (no citation provided when asked): kevin, so what did Christ
    and the apostles do? Should we not follow their example?

    —But isn’t the point of having laws to maintain a just moral order?

    ec, read. Politics is not morality

    —Isn’t Homosexuality immoral, and institutionalizing it problematic?

    1 – (from the Dordt containment thread; meant ironically?) – Scripture doesn’t really disapprove of homosexuality any more than it teaches Adam.

    2 – A moral precept is one thing. How to regulate it is another. That’s
    politics 101. But because someone doesn’t agree with you on the
    politics you conclude they don’t agree with you about the morality.

    —But isn’t it possible we’re better off without this unprecedented
    experiment? isn’t homosexuality seriously immoral?

    (As immoral as scotch whiskey, apparently): Say hello to liberalism
    yourself, the kind that considered Machen immoral and libertine for
    not supporting Prohibition.

    —Surely we should act out of love of country, though?
    (from the “2 Paradigms” thread):

    vd, t I hate America because it’s no longer anti-Catholic. We lost our way. And you love the old America. #gofigure

    —This sounds like it might be a change from traditional Christian
    moral teachings, no?

    b, sd, the OPC hasn’t evolved and we are holding steady at 30k. Woot!

    —What should we expect to see in the future?

    1 – Kevin, and what if I became a victim? Wouldn’t that be a good
    thing?

    2 – Being in the minority could be the best thing that happens to
    Christians.

    —So we abandoned a position which protected our families, churches,
    and social institutions – so that we could become victims – in order
    to gain leverage to… win back the same positions we gave up?

    Being oppressed is what gives you leverage

    —What irrelevant issues can we introduce into the conversation to
    get Catholics to drone on endlessly – thereby more easily getting on
    everyone’s do-not-read-list?

    (No response to Q on how alleged idolatry in 2015 (not the 16th
    century) touches on the social order):

    Kevin, we’ve been living with Roman Catholics for how long now? Confessional Protestants
    consider the mass a form of idolatry. So we tolerate a sinful practice. Same goes for tolerating Mormons.

    —And how to discredit the non-Catholics who disagree?

    (Ad hominem):

    1 – ~Why not open a threat at Literate Comments?~

    2 – You’re utterly inconsistent and simply trying to get a rise out of
    people since Literate Comments won’t do it.

    3 – Amish, and watch c, e melt down if you suggest his comments aren’t
    very interesting and should be limited. But heck, at least he’s not bored by Old Life this week. There’s that

    —Might this not give homosexual activists a position to further normalize their sin?

    How can 2 percent of the population become the norm? They can take up 6 minutes of a 22 minute news show.

    — What is the role of religious leaders in interpeting this?

    1 (Everything’s ok after all) – c, e I was merely trying to find some good news in disappointing
    developments so that people wouldn’t go hysterical.

    2 (“You can spin this in lots of ways”) – why would homosexuals, who were historically transgressive, now want to emulate bourgeois norms? You can spin this a lot of ways.

    Like

  356. MTX, what makes someone gay in the eyes of another? Simply saying that you are? Can you pretend you aren’t when it’s convenient? Can you decide some day that you no longer are, or at least won’t “practice” it? Can you pretend you are when you aren’t, just for certain benefits?

    It’s tough to legislate based on such a premise.

    Like

  357. When’s the last time Canadians got excited about anything, save a nice baguette and a Pasolini film festival? They’re too frozen to notice.

    Like

  358. I’m wondering what the conservatives here would have us do. Vote harder? When has voting ever made a positive change? We can’t even totally agree on what the problem is, let alone how to solve it, and so we aren’t even close to a political platform, which bodes very poorly for any concerted action- especially one that has such little effect as voting. I’m not saying we are all doomed, but I’m questioning whether everyone here is sane- if we keep doing the same thing expecting something different.

    Like

  359. When did Canadians get blinkety-blanking angry the last time…. can I get back to you?

    The Pasolini Festival was great. But Greg wouldn’t come up to see Salo, so I also declined to attend that one.

    It’s a good morning, BBC 3 is playing Bruckner’s 8th, a version not quite up to Giulini’s.

    Like

  360. CW says: “The main effect of Xian political and social involvement since the late Finney period (the father of the religious right and left in this country) has been the destruction of proper worship and serious doctrine, as in Cane Ridge cooperation to redeem the godless frontier, Fox News papist-evangelical mongrelization, elevation of social-moral issues above the local church, etc.”
    Much truth but an oversimplification that I don’t have time to defend either.

    Like

  361. Robert, again, what do you want people to do? What show of angst suffices for you?

    Not sure why you feel you have to distance yourself from Romney.

    Do you have no concern that a Christian’s thoughts, attitudes and behavior might be dominated by politics?

    Like

  362. Kent,
    You are right, but in society we do this all the time. Regular marriage would be a prime example. We require a man a nd a woman to jump through all the loops to get the license and a JP or an official minister if some kind to preform the ceremony. We expect the vows to have certain promises for it to be “basic” marriage…death do us part, richer poorer, forsaking all others, etc. Then if they don’t keep those, we in society expect them to start jumping though some other loops at least. In society we can make them act like they are in Holy Matrimony, but we can make it clear we expect it. The same should be regarding homosexual activity. We should have laws that make it clear we do not want it occurring. This makes it easier for those with this weakness to fight the good fight against the desires of the flesh. We all have our own weaknesses. We should not want it easier and more excepable to endulge in sin. We should make virtue encouraged. But who’s virtue is of course the next question. At least let states and local counties settle that instead of the SC.

    Like

  363. Tightie Righties, haven’t you lost virtually every big fight we’ve had in the last 40 years? Not that I blame you for having tried, but does that at all affect your current trumpet call to DO SOMETHING?

    Like

  364. MTX, agreed, but you can’t expect the system to cater to our views under the definition of rights in North America.

    Like

  365. CW –

    Hard to be brief with so many comments to aggregate. Here is the attempt at a faithful summary:

    “—DG’s position?
    SSM is two steps forward. The only step back is that Christians will still object. The government determines what marriage is for US citizens, not the Bible. Further, it has the power to determine whether Christian norms apply to SSM.

    Live and let live. Let them practice monogamy. SSM follows the Christian pattern. It is fidelity.

    Take a pill and chill. The OPC hasn’t evolved. This is a government change of policy, and does not touch on morality. Marriage isn’t bliss anyway. ”

    Accurate or no?

    Like

  366. diff Dan, never take a book about the history of Christianity to bed during recovery.

    I have myself lost some of the mojo of intellectual conservatism that did inform Graham/Palin. But I still like the agnostics like Oakeshott and Mencken who were conservative in their own ways.

    Like

  367. c, e the point of this was to show something different from the BB’s canned response. Now the point is to show something different from the BB’s and c,e.

    Like

  368. Roberto,

    …and what does 2K have to say if…

    Let me relieve your deep angst here – 2k doesn’t say anything, its a quite diverse system for approaching Christ/culture issues. Hart, who has 2k affinities says one thing, Van Drunen says another, as does RS Clark, Horton, Tuininga, etc.,etc. There is no ubiquitous 2k out there haunting theonomist children in their nightmares, just the fundamental distinction between the Kingdom of God and the human kingdom, as well as a distinction in how Christ rules over both… See, didn’t that make everything easier?

    Take two of those and call me in the morning.

    Like

  369. Taking a lunch break. See the biopsy is continuing. Under reported story of the day:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-29/china-stock-futures-jump-in-singapore-after-rate-cut-yuan-drops

    The link’s title is misleading since it was posted based on early morning developments. The headline now reads: China’s Stocks Enter Bear Market as Rate Cut Fails to Stop Rout

    I am not a perma-bear, but there is some truly scary stuff going on out there.

    Like

  370. Robert, we don’t know if they will become the norm. At the same time, contrary to jackass c,e and blowhard vd, t none of knows what to do to prevent them from becoming the norm.

    Until we know what’s going to happen, which we never well, it may be paranoid to worry that this is the new normal.

    Again, what happens if several ministers have to go to jail for not performing a gay marriage, for instance? Will public opinion support that norm? I don’t think so. In fact, I think Christians looking like underdogs would put a different twist on the current situation.

    Like

  371. I’ve been receiving anti-2k hatespeech on the Tweeter lately from culture warriors who blame everything on a tiny sliver (2kers) of a tiny sliver (NAPARC churches minus 98% of the PCA). And that’s just because I link to OL and am known not to hate DGH. I rarely say anything about 2k.

    Like

  372. CW –
    “This is your mind. This is your mind on politics.” Espouse the agenda unequivocally (with passion) or else “whoever is not for us is against us” in a scripture-twisting kind of way.

    Like

  373. Kent,
    you can’t expect the system to cater to our views under the definition of rights in North America.

    I think this is a mistake. I and we can vote for people who have the same view of rights and will put justices in place that view the constitution from an original intent view and who will respect the tenth amendment as relegating anything not enumerated to the federal government as reserved to the states or the people. Deciding who has a right to marry is not in the constitution as a right given to the federal government not who is allowed to be protected from the surgeons knife(abortion).

    How did you like that runon sentence?

    Like

  374. Mud, you must get sufficiently torn up about socio-political issue du jour or you will get torn up by the the torn. But give a rat’s rear about ecclesiology and you’re a divisive basterd (sic).

    Like

  375. MTX, the SCOTUS has been making up its own law based on feelings and emotions since it was founded. It only hurts when it really hurts. It’s horrendous what happened in this decision. Not unpredictable though, and hopefully not a slippery slope to worse perdition.

    The 10th amendment argument goes absolutely nowhere, never has.

    I would hope that Americans would vote for candidates that most represent godly and Bible principles, even if it means 1% better than the next worst of the bunch. But hey, what are you gonna do? The pendulum swings between lawlessness and a return to some form of sanity. You need a Carter to get a Reagan as a response.

    Maybe Canada is just a better and more honest place for getting decent conservative governments in power once in awhile.

    Like

  376. Darryl,

    c, e the point of this was to show something different from the BB’s canned response.

    We have to take it easy on Erik. Nobody, and I mean no-body could stand up to the kind of interrogation that the Bros. Bayly and the Baylybloggers put him through. Whose 2K ideals could stand up to endless days of being duct-taped to a chair in a dark room while contemporary P&W was blaring through the sound system. Between merciless beatings with soap bar filled socks, Bayly would hold him close in a manly embrace as he reassured him that this was all out of love, and that it could all end as soon as he got good and mad enough over gays marrying and Planned Parenthood. Some of us could only last a few hours, Erik was in the bowels of Clearnote for the better part of three weeks before he finally broke.

    While he has clearly become a sleeper agent for the Bros Bayly, we need to have some compassion. It might take months before he is able to enjoy even the most benign PG-13 movie. All this to say, while Erik is so obviously confused, we need to have patience as he slowly nurses back to health.

    Like

  377. DG –

    kevin, thanks for the pretty goodest hits. Brilliantly incoherent. It’s life under the sun.

    Just trying to make sense of your posts. If it truly seemed “brilliantly incoherent” to you, then – how is my summary not what you said?

    I agree with you on Oakeshott, by the way- interesting ideas. I was introduced to his work through a political philosophy class I audited with Roger Scruton at Princeton- I recall Oakeshott’s favorite place to vacation was Avignon.

    Like

  378. Talk about in the closet, P&W music mixed with heavy patriarchy and/or the bio of half the sex offender registry.

    Like

  379. Kent,
    Don’t know where you reside, but here in Texas the tenth amendment is a big deal. We bring suet againt the fed all the time overstuff. I wish more states would join the band wagon. Maybe we could shrink that monstrosity in DC. Only 18 of 254 countys here in TX passed out licenses and both our Gov, Lt Gov and even our A. General said anybody could ignore this ruling if they had a religious objection. We hold freedom of conscience high here.

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  380. MTX, I’m in Toronto, Canada.

    The 10th amendment argument sounds like an attempt to set up the Confederacy again to most people outside of your state… just sayin’

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